Darts Cricket

I’ve received so many enquiries from darters about the differences between the US and the UK forms of Darts Cricket that I’ve decided to post this article to clarify any issues.

The UK game of darts Cricket is not the same as the darts Cricket played in the US.

The game known as ‘Cricket’ in the US is known in the UK as ‘Tactics’ and is generally played with the numbers 20 to 12 written vertically down the board. Each side has to obtain 3 of each individual number before they can score on that number. Their ability to score ceases when the opposing side hits three of that number. Why are cousins in the US call our Tactics ‘Cricket’ is not known.

 The game played in the UK is a dart game based on the English traditional field game of cricket. Each team has five players or ‘lives’. One team decides to bat and the other bowls. Usually the bull represents 2 wickets and the outer bull 1 wicket. As some as all ten wickets or ‘lives’ have been lost in the way the other side bats.

Whilst the bowling side is working hard to hit the bull or outer, the batting side tries to accumulate score, usually any score over 40 is a ‘run’, for example a score of 57 earns 17 runs. However, any darts that land off the scoring area of the board are deemed to be out – or in English cricket parlance, the player has run himself (or herself) out. Also any batting darts that land in the bull or outer mean that either 2 or 1 player is also run out.

The team that ends up with the greatest number of runs at the end of the match is the winner.

Every Electronic Dart Board in the US has CRICKET. When a blind draw tournament is played the format is one game of 501 then one game of cricket and if tied they ‘cork’ and the winner chooses either cricket or 501. At the nationals in 2003 there were one or two days that are all cricket doubles. The cost is about. 50 pence or 75 cents per game, the board keeps score. Competitors must close a cricket number 20,19,18,17,16,15 then close the bull ,( scoring 25 points for the outside ring and/or 50 points for the centre. Competitors can score in any number they you have closed that their opponent hasn’t. The player with all the numbers and bulls closed with the most points wins. Players can also choose random cricket where the computer in the dart board picks the numbers for cricket for you.


It is amazing that eight years have elapsed since I wrote this section of my website. Although the basic facts above remain valid there is much more information about the US version of ‘cricket’ in my book The Official Bar Guide to Darts (New York: Puzzlewright Press, 2010) which is available via Amazon.com. My thanks to Chris Carey (author of The American Darts Organization Book of Darts(Guildford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, updated and revised edition, 2005) for providing both information and insights into a game that seems more popular in the USA than the ’01 games.

Also check out Bull’s-Eye News for Tony Payne’s series ‘Thermonuclear Cricket’ that, at the time of writing was being updated, revisedand re-run in the magazine; an indication of just how seriously darts players ‘across the pond’ take their ‘cricket’.