Complete Guide On How To Play Cricket Darts

Over 17 million Americans play dart games – and the Cricket dart game remains a popular choice. Haven’t heard of it? Well the game also goes by the names ‘Mickey Mouse,’ ‘Oscar Boscar,’ and ‘Beds and Bulls.’

With simple rules and a chance for weaker players to stand up to the stronger ones, this one’s a favorite across all ages.

Find out the A to Z about cricket dart game rules in this complete guide.

What is Cricket Darts?

Cricket Darts Game Info image

One of the most popular and exciting darts games, this one’s all about a set of numbers — played on a regular dartboard.

You can play cricket darts in different ways, and with as many as four players or more. In games with more than two teams involved, making the other teams lose is more important and saves you from penalty points.

Cricket darts is the kind of game you would want to passively suggest when you’re out for drinks with friends and even the kind that you’d plan a purposeful house party for. However, it is not a game you can play without rules!

Number of Players: Generally, you have two or teams of two each

Ages: Enjoyable for all age groups

Difficulty: Medium

Main Objective: Scoring higher than the competitor by opening and then closing all numbers from 15 through 20 and the bullseye.

Why we love it: It has got that perfect combination of ease and challenge to keep your mind stimulated. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, or some laid back fun, cricket darts is the game for you.

A Brief History of Cricket Darts

Traced back to the 1800s, like its sister versions, this game became a hit for a night of fun, games, and competitive spirits. The rules of Cricket Darts are impressively configured for a game as ancient. 

According to dart historians, it was only during the later parts of the 19th century that elaborately set standards and rules came into play after Brian Gamlin’s ‘near-perfect’ dartboard was introduced to pop culture. However, with the introduction of the ‘doubles and triples’ innovation added in the board, cricket darts game rules have evolved over time.

Cricket darts followed its original versions and reached the bars of America in the mid 20th century and shot to popularity soon after. 2010 marked history, with the Darts World Cricket Championship declaring it an internationally acclaimed game. However, that was the only time when Cricket Darts was played in a Professional Darts Corporation tournament.

Cricket Darts Game Equipment

Here’s a list of equipment that you will need for cricket darts with the best-rated brands to get you started:


– Cricket darts require each player to have three darts for convenience because every turn involves three throws.

– A good dart generally doesn’t exceed 12 inches.

– Make sure to choose the ones with good grip, lightweight, and the right length. The steel tip darts by IgnatGames is a catch and checks all of the above boxes.

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Dart Board

– Regular dartboard is ideal to play cricket, approximately 451 mm in size, with 20 radial sections.

– Choose a dartboard by assessing its quality that is determined by the sinking and bouncing of darts. Winmau’s Diamond Plus dartboard is a favorite among all age groups for minimum bounce rate and easy sinking of darts.

Our Pick
Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard

Professional bristle dartboard with exclusive British Darts Organization (BDO) endorsement.

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– A paper and pen, your whiteboard and a marker, or just your cell phone and its notepad.

– Three columns, drawn with scores of two teams on either side

– A middle column that separates the numbers.

Cricket darts involve a more graphic way of keeping track of winners as it is more about opening and closing the numbers than it is about the score. Once all of these are checked, it’s game on!

Cricket Darts Rules And Gameplay

If the anticipation of playing the game has got your stomach into knots, let’s ease them out and brush up with these easy to understand cricket dart game rules.

Starting the Game

The game starts with a ‘diddle,’ like most dart games where the team or player that throws a dart closest to the center goes first. Every turn consists of three throws, and unless a number is opened, the scoring cannot begin.

Opening a Number

A number is opened when a player hits the number three times.

The sequence or number of turns doesn’t matter; what matters is hitting the same number — single in three throws, a double and a single in two throws, or a triple in one throw — before the competitor opens the number. Opening a number is like owning a number as it will help you multiply your scores.

For example,

– Player A hits a single 16 in one throw

– Double 16 in the next

Now, the player has opened the number. The third throw will be counted in their score.

Closing a Number

You need to hit an open number three times to close the number. Then, that number can no longer be counted in the scores. The conditions of closing are the same as that of opening. It resembles field cricket to a great extent if we compare the number to a ‘batsman’ and closing as a ‘wicket,’ after which the batsman can no longer score runs for the team.

Continuing the above example, let’s say Player A’s third throw was a single 18. Now, Player B manages to score a triple 18 in their turn, thereby opening the number, and then manages to hit a single 16 and a double 16.

Here, player B closed the number 16 for Player A before he even had the chance to score from 16. The score is 0-0, and it remains undecided who is in the lead. However, with Player A’s one lost number and Player B’s one open number, the latter is clearly at an advantage.

Also, should you fail to record your score before the next player goes, you forfeit the particular points too.

Winning the Game

The game ends when all the numbers are closed by the high scoring player. The key is to open numbers for yourself as fast as possible so that you can start earning those points and close numbers for your opponents so that they can stop doing the same.

All brushed up? Let’s hop on to how you count the scores!

Cricket Darts Scoring

cricket darts image

Cricket dart game rules with regards to scoring are pretty straight forward. While these may vary by the version you’re playing, some of them apply across all formats.

Aim to hit the Bulls eye or Numbers 15-20

You’ve to aim to hit 15 through 20 at least three times to own the number. 

Once you open, each time you hit the number, you score equivalent points. If you hit an open 17, you score 17 points. Here the single, double, and triple factors come into play and get added as multiples according to the outer, middle, and inner rings you hit, respectively.

Other Points

Aim to hit the double ring to score double the points, or the treble ring to score three times as much. Hit any other number on the dartboard, and it doesn’t count.

When an open bullseye is hit, you score 25 points for the outer ring and 50 for the inner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fun and games or cut-throat competition, it’s always best to be prepared. Have you still got a few questions hovering in mind? Clear the clutter with answers to these frequently asked questions!

What Is A Cut-Throat Cricket Darts Game?

Cut-Throat is the transverse of cricket darts wherein you play to close your opponents. The lesser numbers you have closed for opponents, the more penalty points you get. In the end, the player or team with the least penalty points wins.

What Are The Different Variations Of Cricket Darts?

Cricket darts is a game of the masses. It’s played worldwide with variations in the set of numbers, tweaking of rules, elaborate scoring guidelines with doubles and triples, among others.

Tactics, Bowlers and Batters, and Scram are some of the most popular variations. You also have recent versions like Twenty20 darts cricket, popular in Nottingham and Newfie cricket, played in Newfoundland, Canada.

How Are Scores Marked In Cricket Darts?

The traditional way of marking score in cricket darts is marking a ‘/’ alongside a number that you hit once, crossing it again by forming a ‘X’ on the second hit, and finally enclosing it in a circle ‘O’ once you open it with the third hit.

Can Cricket Darts Be Played With Numbers Besides 15-20?

Yes, several versions of cricket darts like scram use all of the numbers on the dartboard while the rest of the game follows the same guidelines.

Alternative Darts Games

If cricket darts has piqued your interest, have a look at the following dart games to add variety to your weekend bar darts tournaments!

If you’re up for a game of chase and adventure, Killer Darts is the game for the night. The game is about scoring a double on your number and becoming a killer while other team players defend themselves and their three lives.

Another exciting darts game is Shanghai – the game of consistency. Pick a number and hit all the three rings in any sequence to ‘shanghai’ and win the game.

If not, you can always go back to the classics. Try out Darts 301 if you’re in the mood for some focused calculation and precision to reach the target zero points or bust yourself multiple times for a good, hearty laugh!

Cricket often has us on our toes, and cricket darts are no less, if not more. If there’s one thing that matters more than your stance, style, and focus in the game, it’s your clarity of the cricket dart game rules.

That literally leaves you with one thing to do – bullseye!

SEE ALSO: 27 Fun Dartboard Games to play with friends and family.

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