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.