RED DRAGON 12 weeks game improvement course.

Discussion in 'Practice, Strategy & Technique' started by bulldozer, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. CraigB

    CraigB Best looking Craig B in the forum! $:-{P> Staff Member Site Admin

    I take a middle road although it's flexible if I know how a certain opponent plays. Even though it's completely stupid, people go ballistic when you over-point them. It reminds me of road rage. My main goal is to remove the chance for the "miracle comeback" not to try and beat them into submission which, I find, really motivates them to play better against you the next time. We used to have several of the so-called top players out here that would ruthlessly bully opponents who pointed more than even a mark ahead, then they would back-fill and close any number the opponent had open so they could head into the end-game with a chance for that one big turn that wins the game for them. My choice will definitely differ depending on whether I'm ahead or behind. I'm in the camp that points keep the player who's behind in the game, therefore I rarely point much if I'm already ahead. That said, I will always throw an extra dart at a number if it means a single will cause my opponent to have to throw two marks to get ahead. For example, you will never see me start off with T20, T19, T18. If I hit the T20 on the first dart, my second will always be right back at it. Even a S20 is worth two 19's or 18's. That said, I will deviate from conventional thinking because I've been struggling so much with my 20's lately and can completely bomb the 19's. I've been known to start with 19's and fight 19's against 20's. So much so that, several times in league, my opponents will start a game trying to close 19's first - heh... Along the same vein, when my opponent closes a number but doesn't point, I will always try to close the next number instead of following (for several reasons). However, if I only close the number and have one dart left, I won't throw for points but will use that dart to see if I can close the larger number (hey, you have to shoot at it eventually if you intend to win, right?). Besides the obvious fact that you might triple the number and takeover the lead in the game, psychologically, a lot of opponents will then try to close your lower number instead of pointing because you didn't point!

    When it comes down to it, I only have a few guidelines that I use. One is "Never assume a triple." Where I choose to throw my final dart is influenced a lot by this. If a number requires two marks to close but I have another number available to point on, I will use that last darts for points. A triple for points works great but so does a single. A single at the number I need two to close is nearly useless. When I have the superior number I won't over-point but will get ahead then move on however, if I have an inferior number, I will often point the crap out of it to cause my opponent to stop his progress and play my game. If I get a turn to back close a higher number, I'll throw my first dart at it but, if it's only a single, I won't follow like most do and close it with two or three darts, but will go back to pointing. Along a similar theme, one thing I see that bugs the heck out of me is when someone has zero marks on one number, but two on a lower number and, if given the chance, will throw to close the lower number "because it only needs one mark to close!" Dumb, dumb, dumb! Ignoring the statistic that shows how often that one dart hits a wasted triple when you only need a single, closing the lower number doesn't really help if you leave a higher number open! That one dart is MUCH better used by throwing at the number with zero marks. Sure, if you hit a single, you still have two numbers open but that doesn't matter because your opponent is still going to throw at the higher number anyway. However, if you DO hit the triple, then you've now forced them to move on to the lower number AND you've progressed the game much farther towards the end in your favor. Another thing I do which, interestingly, can impact the last scenario as well, is that I'll go for the bull after the 17's and, definitely, will throw there if I have one dart left. You have to hit bulls anyway, but your chances of slopping in either points or closing that number with only two marks is far higher than later in the game when only the bull is left. Plus, a DB is better than a T16. Another good reason to close bulls early is if you're playing an opponent who mostly plays soft-tip. On the mid-range players this can really mess them up since that's what they throw at much of the time and they're simply not used to spending "quality time" on any of the numbers. In fact, my preferred opening shot against them is one I call the Dieter Schutsch since he did this a LOT against everyone and that's to start T20, T20, DB. When possible, your next turn would be T19, T18, DB but even just closing the T19's and the bulls can unnerve an opponent because they are now being squeezed. Holy cow does this work against soft-tippers! LOL. Oh yeah, there is one time I might pound the points even when I'm ahead and that's when one of these "plan for a late miracle" opponents starts trying to back-close numbers. In those cases, I will definitely punish them with more points (heh, hopefully!) than I'll ever need.

    So, to summarize, I don't feel there is any "perfect" Cricket strategy but, and this is the beauty of this game, a handful of strategies that can be used based on what your opponent does. 501 can (and, in my opinion, should) be played as if it's just you by yourself since there are only rare moments towards the end of the game where you might change what you're throwing at based on your opponent's position in the game. But Cricket is a game where one player can influence what the other player can shoot at so you have to have more than one strategy.
     
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  2. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    No expert here I just remember my partner Charlie and his some of his chides for me in doubles(and singles from the gallery). Ones I remember are, give your opponent 3 marks per round, never chase, stay aggressive, stay 4 bulls ahead in points if you can and never waste darts. If I hit t20 on first dart he would ALWAYS say “Again” and after the seconds nd hit on 20 it would always be “18.” For what it’s worth.
     
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  3. CraigB

    CraigB Best looking Craig B in the forum! $:-{P> Staff Member Site Admin

    A couple of good reasons for that last 18. It's along the same plane you were just shooting plus, by pointing, you've already funneled your opponent into going for the next highest number available so, if he closes it, points AND closes the 20's, then you already have a start on the next number YOU have to shoot at. Now, if you had shot at the 19's, only a triple prevents them from going there. All of that said, I'm a bit of an exception since 19's are my best number (usually! LOL) so I'm more inclined to "feel" a triple coming and shoot down there.
     
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  4. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    You could be, Charlie, my partner of old Craig! Except that you’re Craig and probably not as old as Charlie. :D He was pretty old 25 years ago but if he’s still around and can see he could probably still hold his own at a dartboard. He could wear out triple on 17,19,16.
     
  5. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    I have been doing an experiment against the computer on Expert level on my Hi Darts board. On this level it regularly plays at around 7 to 8 MPR at Cricket.

    I can only beat it a few times on this level, around 1 game in 6 and I have to go first and shoot the lights out of the trebles closing them as fast as I can out of the gate.
    I won 3 games from 18 played against the computer on Expert level , I went first in every game that I played against it.
    My winning MPRs were 4.9 MPR (it had a rare off game as I lost quite a few games shooting 5MPR and more) then I won with a 5.9 MPR (it dropped below 6 with a hat trick on the bull) and the last game I ended with a fantastic 6.9MPR (again it dropped below 7 with a hat trick on the bull) against the computer who was a throw behind me as I went first it had an MPR of over 8.

    If I try to get into a points war, even if I am scoring 9 marks in Trebles regularly as I have tried and failed again and again against this machine, I have no chance.

    I have to try and hit a white horse out of the gate or at least 7 from 9 and then do it again and if I get a shot at bull I have to take it out in one go. The Computer is closing numbers as fast as it can but if I try and point against it on this level it simply destroys me.

    I know it is an exaggeration as not many if any human players play consistently to around 8 MPR but I feel it shows the best tactics to give you a winning chance if you are good enough to take it.
    The computer on Expert level is obviously way better than me but I have a slim chance to win if I play great, Closing numbers quickly by hitting what I throw at and Going First is my biggest advantage and my only way to win against this vastly superior opponent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018

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