How to Play Cricket Darts

Next time you pick up your favorite dart set, try the game of Cricket Darts. Cricket Darts features strategy and attention-to-detail far beyond the typical “throw, wait, count” of many traditional darts games.

If you’re interested in learning to play Cricket Darts, we’ve prepared the the basic rules for how to play Cricket Darts below:

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Playing Cricket Requires: A Scoreboard, A Dartboard, and Darts

Who Can Play Cricket Darts?

Number of Players: 2 Players (or Teams of 2)

Equipment: 3 darts per Player; regulation-size dartboard, & a score-keeping board

Throws Per Turn: Players each get 3 throws, per turn

To determine who gets first throw, players can first throw a dart to see who hits closest to the center, or they can toss a coin.

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Each Player Throws 3 Darts Per Turn

Basic Cricket Darts Rules

When throwing in Cricket Darts, there are seven board spaces which are considered “Active”, in terms of scoring; all other “inactive” spaces are non-scoring.

The seven “Active’ Board Spaces in Cricket Darts are: the Bullseye, plus the numbers 15 through 20. All other spaces won’t count for a score in Cricket Darts.

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In Cricket Only the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and Bullseye Score

“Opening” & “Closing” in Cricket

When a player hits an Active Board Space three times, then that number is considered “Open”, and the player who opened it is eligible to score points for that number.

The number remains “Open” until both players have hit it three times, at which point the number is “Closed” and no more points can be scored by hitting it.

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Each Section Must Be “Opened”, Potentially Scored In, Then “Closed”

A game of Cricket Darts is won by being the first player to “Open” (hit three times) all the active numbers, 15 through 20, plus the Bullseye.

Optional – Keeping Track of Points

Players may choose to track points in Cricket Darts, and this is optional.

Darts which hit “Closed” or Inactive Spaces numbers don’t score; only “Open” numbers score points when hit.

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Players Only Score When They Hit “Open” Numbers

Once a player has “Opened” a number, they’ll earn points for each time they hit that number again, until their opponent “Closes” that same number.

  • Single Segments are worth points equal to the number’s face value
  • Outer Ring Segments are worth a 2x points multiplier
  • Inner Ring Segments are worth a 3x points multiplier
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The Outer and Inner Rings Multiply Your Score

The Bullseye Section of the dartboard is worth following point values:

  • Single Bullseye is worth 25 points
  • Double Bullseye is worth 5o points
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The Inner and Outer Bullseyes are Worth 25 and 50 Points Respectively

Cricket Darts – Blue’s First Turn

In our Example Game of Cricket Darts, Blue has just taken their first turn and it resulted in an “Open” number 18!

  • Blue’s first dart landed in the Inner Circle segment of the 18; three hits for that Active Space and, thus, an instantly “Open” number.
  • Blue’s second dart landed in the Outer Ring segment of the 19:, two hits for that Active Space.
  • Blue’s third dart hit the Single Segment of the 20: a single hit for that Active Space.
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After Their First Turn, “18” is Open for Blue Only

Cricket Darts – Orange’s First Turn

In our Example Cricket Darts Game, our second player, Orange, has now taken their first turn.

  • Orange’s first dart hit the Single Segment of the 18; one hit for that number.
  • Orange’s second dart hit the Single Segment of the 16; one hit for that number.
  • Orange’s third dart also hit the Single Segment of 16; one, additional hit for that number, earning Orange a total of two hits of 16.
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Orange Did NOT “Open” Any Numbers in Their First Turn

Cricket Darts – After First Turns

In our Example Game of Cricket Darts, both of our players, Blue and Orange, have taken their first turn, which means each of them have thrown three darts.

We can see that Blue’s side of the score boards shows a circle with an X through it, next to the 18.

The symbol of a Circle with an X through it is used to indicate that three hits of that number have been made, and it is used to symbolize that the number is “Open” for that player.

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Marks on the Scoreboard Let You Know What Numbers are “Open”

In our Example Game of Cricket, the scoreboard shows that number 18 is “Open” for Blue, which means they can score points by landing subsequent darts in any of the 18 segments.

We can see that Orange has an “X” next to the 16; the “X” symbol in Cricket Darts means that number has been hit twice by the player.

Finally, for the Single 18 segment Orange hit, they have marked only a single slash “\”, and the slash symbol “\” next to a number means that number has been hit only once.

Cricket Darts – Blue’s Next Turn

In our Example Cricket Darts Game, Blue has now taken their next three throws. 

Blue was able to hit the 18 once more, and in the Outer-Ring segment of the 18, earning double the points, which is 36.

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In This Turn, Blue Manages to Score on Their “Open” 18

Blue’s other two darts land in non-scoring areas, so no score is recorded at all for those two darts.

At the end of their turn, Blue has marked their point total on the score board by writing “36” in the far-left column, in the same row at the Number 18; if Blue lands any additional darts in the 18 sections on their next turn, they’ll update their point total to reflect the new amount.

Cricket Darts – Orange’s Next Turn

Let’s return to our Example Cricket Darts Game, in order to see how Orange’s second turn goes. 

On Orange’s first throw, they hit the Double Bullseye; scoring two hits for the “Bullseye”.

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In This Turn, Orange “Closes” the Number 18 for Both Players

Orange’s second throw hit a double 18, scoring two hits for Number 18.

On Orange’s third throw, their dart hit the Single Bullseye, which means they had now recorded three hits for the Bullseye, and Yellow can now mark it as “Open”on the scoreboard.

Winning Cricket Darts 

Whichever player “Closes” all of the numbers, and scores the highest points wins.

Part of the strategy element to Cricket Darts is that players will want to focus on “Opening” as many numbers as possible before their opponent, thus enabling them to earn points before their opponent “Closes” the numbers (thus preventing ALL players from scoring in that now-Closed number)

A victory in Cricket Darts is not just about getting the most points; Cricket Darts rewards those who can outsmart their opponent by closing numbers swiftly, and scoring judiciously.

Next time you pick up your darts, aim not just for the board, but for a winning strategy in Cricket Darts!

Have fun!

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