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     Cricket Strategy -- revisited...

    Dart TournamentsErik writes "Some time ago I submitted an article on Cricket Strategy. The basic idea was that pointing was something I didn't do right away unless I felt I had too -- my opponent was someone who would do it, or was a real threat and I knew would do it, or as a measure to throw off someone, like in the case when playing partners and my partner is a brand new player and I know we'll need a little something extra. To add to that, I always felt points was something best left till late in the game when as a last resort it could be used to extend the game a bit.

    Now, where do I stand? Not there.

    What's different? What happened? Why has my mind changed on this?

    After writing that article on Cricket Strategy, and after some 15 or 16 years of playing Cricket, I've learned some things! So, yes you can teach and old dog new tricks!

    You see, on there are some of the best Cricket players in the nation talking about this very subject, and in the book, FunDartMentals the subject is discussed also, and after reading and re-reading both I have decided they are right!

    Pointing is as much a part of Cricket, as Doubling is a part of 501. It simply is. So what to do about it?

    40 points earned in the first throw can allow you to control the game. In fact, a 5 count on the 20 in the opening throw can only be beaten by a 9 count on the 19! It's a fact. It's part of the game and I'll do it.

    Will I do it when playing a new player whom I am not threatened by? No way! I see no reason to do that, but if I am playing someone who I know is capable of kickin' my butt, you bet I will try to take control of the game and make them work for it! I'll do my darndest to break their throw, to intimidate them, to fluster them and all the while I hope they are trying to do the same to me! Because that's the game of cricket!

    So don't be afraid to make those darts count, to make the triples you hit be in open numbers or numbers you can point on, to not follow but push on ahead and threaten your opponent with offensive moves, not defensive! The best defense is a good offence right? Blast away and ask questions afterwards!

    In the end, it's about darts and Cricket is the only game in darts that allows the player to play a strategy, to try to control the game, to keep it going if need be, or to end it fast if that's better. Either way, it's a game that can go on for a long time, or end fast. Like no other dart game, this one can be a battle or a drag race. Play your darts and enjoy the game, and don't fault your opponent if they go 'Thermonuclear' on you by slamming some extra triples for points early on -- just return the favor!

    I've changed my mind about this game, and though in regular league play I don't think this strategy would always be best, I do think at equal levels of play -- be it fun games, league nights or National competition -- this is the best strategy.

    Play on!

    "Cricket Strategy -- revisited..." | Login/Create an Account | 5 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Cricket Strategy -- revisited... (Score: 1)
    by USUALCHAOS on Sunday, November 11 @ 05:38:13 UTC
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    Great add on to the original.

    Re: Cricket Strategy -- revisited... (Score: 1)
    by drolmaeye on Wednesday, October 01 @ 09:41:24 UTC
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    I don't mean to be critical, but there is something that caught my eye in your post:

    "In fact, a 5 count on the 20 in the opening throw can only be beaten by a 9 count on the 19!"

    I do not think this is correct. Interestingly, I have seem similar suggestions along these lines in "Fundartmentals," for example, for every 20 you point on, your opponent needs two 19's. In reality, your opponent just needs the number of counts you have scored on the 20's, +1.

    For example, a 5-count on 20's in the opening throw opens 20's for you and scores 40 points. A 6-count (the number of marks your opponent got on 20's +1) on the 19's opens 19's for your opponent and scores 57.

    The difference is kind of subtle, but for all of us that get hit with the 5-count on our opponennt's opening turn, it can be somewhat of a relief to know that we can regain control of the game without hitting the 9-count.

    Re: Cricket Strategy -- revisited... (Score: 1)
    by Erik on Friday, March 23 @ 15:08:07 UTC
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    The reference is actually to this:

    5 20's means you've opened them for scoring and have 40 points.  Your opponent must hit 9 to take control of the game.  Here is why:  He needs a T19 to open them for scoring, a T19 to beat your 40 points and a T20 to close your 20's and force you to move over the 18's.

    By doing this he still has the 19's to point on and you don't have the 20's.  If however, he fails and say only hits 6 19's and one 20 then all you have to do is it ONE 20 to take the point lead and 3 19's to close his number.

    So, you shoot a 5 mark, he shoots a 7, you shoot a 4 and he's left with having to shoot at least a 6 or 7 in his next throw to force you away from the 20.  Why?  He needs a T18 to open it for scoring and a S18 to gain the point advantage then needs a D or T20 to shut down your 20's.

    At this point you have to open a new number (the 17) and must hit the T17 plus at least one more 17 to outpoint him.  4 marks.

    He then must throw a S18 to outpoint you back and a T17 to stop you from pointing.

    You throw 4 on the 16 to gain the advantage
    He has to throw a 4 also (1 18 and 3 16's)
    You throw a 4 on the 15 to which he must maintain and throw a 4 again closing your 15 and scoring 18 more points.

    Leaving the Bull -- if you hit 4 of them and a T18 the game is over -- even just 1 18 and he knows he's in trouble.

    But notice that I didn't say you had to ever hit a 6 or 7 or higher mark to win that game while he HAD to!

    See the advantage?

    Now imagine if you hit NINE 20's at the open....he's doomed.


    Re: Cricket Strategy -- revisited... (Score: 1)
    by Erik on Tuesday, October 28 @ 13:38:28 UTC
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    Few seem to understand this concept but I feel that a real critical view of the game will bring them around if they are a competitive shooter bent on winning.

    As in my example above, shooting a mere 5 mark on the 20 to open sets the tone of the game and forces your opponent to have to shoot better than you the remainder of the game in order to win.

    Of course, it could just as easily be said that you must always start to make this work but I can turn it around like this:

    If you opponent wins the cork and does not close the 20's you should punish him/her by nailing 9 20's.  This puts the pressure on!  He's not got to close the 19 and score two triples to get himself back in the game but again, you just have to hit one more T20 to take away the advantage.

    The power is in the open but it can be brought on later if need be.  I once won a cricket match in a major tournament against an excellent shooter.  He could shoot >4mpr and in one leg hit a 10 dart cricket game, but then I refused to quit and nailed 9 15's to close and point when my back was against the wall!  He'd closed 20-17 but had no points.  My 60 point shot irritated him and while he matched it with 3 20's he didn't shoot as well because my throw made him upset.  I then hit 7 15's for points...putting me up over 100 points.  He made the mistake of closing the 15 but leaving himself down over 80 points on his next shot and I hit 7 16's which I'd left alone on purpose because I wanted to take his mind off a sequential format (going in order)....this upset him more and while he pointed back it wasn't enough and I hammered the T16 with two darts and began working on closing his numbers....this went on for over 600 points and I won the match with a great bull shot.  He won the cork but only closed the 20's (still upset and wanting to go for the fast close) I punished him again and again and again and nearing the 400 point mark (and advantage to me) I closed out the bull and ended the game.

    This was in an $11,000 event and he was out and upset while I went on.  Perhaps the key here is that a large part of the game is getting inside your opponents head a little and breaking their throw.

    Just some thoughts.


    Re: Cricket Strategy -- revisited... (Score: 1)
    by Erik on Tuesday, October 28 @ 22:17:26 UTC
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    I might also add that those were 'low' scoring games ;)  I've played many a game that broke 1000 points and not a few that broke 1500 points.  Can only remember one that went over 2500 but that was a soft tip machine and we were goofing off ;)


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