Cricket Darts Rules

Unlock the secrets of Cricket Darts with our comprehensive guide, covering the rules, strategies, and thrilling variations of this popular game. From mastering the basics to exploring dynamic variations like Wild Mouse, our article equips players of all levels with the knowledge to become Cricket masters.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-01-05

8 minutes read

three darts on a board

Darts enthusiasts and bar-goers alike are no strangers to the exhilarating game of Cricket, the most popular dart game in the US. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner eager to learn, understanding the rules of Cricket darts is essential for an enjoyable experience. This article serves as your comprehensive guide, breaking down the game's fundamentals, strategies, and even exploring intriguing variations to keep the excitement alive.

Number of Players and Setup

Cricket is a versatile game that can be played solo or in teams of two. The objective is to outscore your opponent by closing out specific targets on the dartboard. The targets include the numbers 15 through 20 and the bullseye, both outer and inner rings.


Targets: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and bullseye. 

How to Play Cricket Darts

At the onset, all targets are "open" for each player, and the aim is to "close" them by scoring three marks. Marks are earned through single, double, or triple throws, with each type counting as one, two, and three marks, respectively. 


cricket scoring.webp


The player who closes a target first gains ownership and accumulates points until the opponent closes it as well. It's crucial to strategize, aiming for higher-numbered targets first to build a lead.


It is also possible to score points by earning more hits on a throw than a player needs to close the target. For example, if a player has two hits on 20, and then hits a triple 20, they will close the 20 and earn 40 points.

Winning the Game

To emerge victorious, a player must close all target numbers and have more points than their opponent. If a player closes all their numbers but lags in points, they must continue scoring until they surpass their opponent or until the opponent closes all targets. The first to achieve both objectives claims victory.


Let's imagine a scenario where a player strategically focuses on closing the higher-numbered targets first. They start by hitting a triple 20, closing that number and earning points. Moving on to 19, they manage to close it with a combination of single, double, and triple throws. 


Next, they target 18 and successfully close it as well. Meanwhile, their opponent is lagging behind in closing the higher numbers. By the time the player closes out 17, 16, and 15, they have not only sealed victory by closing all the required targets but have also outscored their opponent. The player emerges triumphant, showcasing the strategic prowess essential in mastering the game of Cricket Darts.

Tips and Strategies

Mastering strategic gameplay is essential in Cricket Darts. Consider these valuable tips to elevate your performance in the game:


  • Priority Targeting: Prioritise targeting higher-numbered segments like 20, 19, and 18 at the beginning of the game. Closing these numbers first allows you to accumulate points faster, putting pressure on your opponent.

  • Strategic Bullseye Shots: Save the bullseye for later in the game. Since it's a smaller target, consider aiming for it after closing higher numbers when points become crucial. Expert players often reserve the bullseye for a strategic finish.

  • Competitive Opening: In the initial turns, focus on scoring heavily on open numbers rather than closing them immediately. This builds an early points advantage, making it challenging for your opponent to catch up.

  • Closing Weaknesses: Identify your opponent's weaknesses and capitalise on them. If they struggle with a particular number, exploit this by closing it early to limit their scoring opportunities.

  • Managing a Lead: If you establish an early lead, consider targeting the opponent's closed numbers strategically. This prevents them from scoring while you continue to accumulate points.

  • Adapting to an Opponent: Be flexible in your strategy based on your opponent's progress. If they are closing higher numbers quickly, adjust your focus to prevent them from gaining a significant points advantage.

  • Practice Bull-Offs: Sharpen your skills in bull-offs, as going first in Cricket holds a strategic advantage. Practice precision in hitting the bullseye consistently to secure the initial throw.


By incorporating these tips and strategies into your gameplay, you can enhance your skills and increase your chances of success in Cricket Darts. Experiment with different approaches to find a playing style that suits your strengths and keeps your opponents on their toes.

Cricket Variations

For those looking to spice up their Cricket experience, various exciting variations exist:


No Score Cricket


This variation simplifies the game for beginners by eliminating the points system. This game type is the same as standard Cricket but there are no points, meaning each player just has to close all of the numbers first to obtain the win. 


Wild Mouse


This variant of Cricket introduces an added layer of challenge by requiring players to not only close the standard cricket numbers (15 through 20 and the bullseye) but also achieve three doubles, three triples, and three bed shots (all three darts in the same number). These additional targets can be scored similarly to the cricket numbers. 


Importantly, a single dart cannot contribute to multiple requirements. For instance, if you hit a triple 20 in one turn, you must choose to count it as three marks on 20 or as one triple, not both. Mild Mouse allows players the flexibility to score on non-cricket numbers for doubles, triples, and bed shots, adding an element of unpredictability to the game.


Cut Throat Cricket 


While the fundamental rules mirror those of standard Cricket, the key distinction lies in scoring dynamics. In Cut Throat Cricket, points earned are not added to the scorer's total but instead contribute to other players' scores. The ultimate goal in Cut Throat is to achieve the lowest cumulative score, making the player with the fewest points the winner.


Whether you're a traditionalist or an adventurer, these Cricket variations promise endless darting excitement.


In conclusion, mastering Cricket darts requires a combination of skill, strategy, and a dash of creativity with the numerous variations available. Armed with this knowledge, enthusiasts can embark on their journey to becoming Cricket masters, ready to take on any opponent at the oche. So, grab your darts, aim true, and let the Cricket games begin!

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Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.