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     Cricket Strategy!

    General Dart Topicserik writes "NOTE: Since the time I wrote this article I have learned some new things about Cricket. Specifically, my overall strategy. I intend to re-write this piece when I have time, in order to explain the changes and refinements I have made. So, what follows below is my OLD way of thinking -- this is NOT how I play the game today!!!!! Erik

    I've often been asked about my Cricket Strategy and have often been involved in some, well interesting exchanges regarding how I play Cricket, so I decided to write about it here.

    First off, let me clarify that ADO Cricket (the kind I play and most often is played in US Tournaments and leagues) is called 'Slop Cricket for Points' for a reason. Obviously, you can 'slop' a dart somewhere and it will count if it hits a Cricket number you need, or can score on. But the points debate is the one which gets most heated isn't it?

    So what WAS my position? I used to play what I call a closing and back closing strategy which has paid off well over the years (but I later learned was the lesser of two fine strategies of the game and would cause me to lose more often then I should have). My plan was to out close my opponent without trying to point them first. The reason for this strategy was my philosophy that if you can hit to point, you can hit to close – boy was I mistaken!

    For example, if I hit a triple 20 with my first dart, my second dart was ALMOST always for a Triple 19 or a Double Bulls Eye -- what I hit may be a different manner, but that's why the game is 'slop' *chuckle*. I did this, because I believe that if I can hit the closes faster than my opponent then even if he points me somewhere, I'll be able to match his points and win the game faster, then if I first try to point, then go for other closes.

    BUT and this is a big but folks, if I knew my opponent was most likely going to point me, or if I was playing in a doubles match I MIGHT HAVE (emphasis on might) actually changed that and pointed early on.

    OK, you can calm down this was me after all and any of you who knew me then could probably not remember more than once or twice that you may have seen me do this...but it isn't to say that I won't if I think it might help (point that is).

    When will it help? When I think I need more time. Take for example a game I played just last night in league; I had a new player as my partner (I always try to pair up with the least experienced players on my team) and we were up against two players who could quite potentially beat us unless I was able to extend the game a bit and force them to miss! Yes, I said force them to miss! My first dart was a single 20 (after winning the cork) my second was a Triple 20, and then, much to the surprise of my very teammates, I went for another 20!!!
    Next I shot a 19 and a triple 19 and then tried to hit the 18. The whole idea here was to keep my opponents team throwing at numbers other than the ones they might otherwise close behind me. By doing this I held them off right to the bulls eye where our points were only 1 point apart but in my favor. I needed 3 bulls to their 4 and they needed to close the 16 still.

    We won that game, my partner and I, and I strongly feel it was because I extended the game by forcing them to play a points game with me which allowed me to really get my darts going and doing what I wanted them to. The longer I throw in a game, the better my darts tend to get.

    If I were my opponents however, I would not have played into that game at all, rather I would have 'back closed' each number and tried to force the game to move along faster in hopes of out playing my opponent and his/her partner (like I said – this was the OLD strategy, and it wasn’t very good!).

    It's all a matter of personal strategy in my opinion really. After all, I can average 4 marks per round in cricket (and higher) but over the long haul of averages usually hit 2.5 marks per round. What this means, is that I can close and win a cricket game in an average of 8 throws (24 darts) but often run in the 4 to 6 throw range when I am really smoking. My best is 10 darts. So, if I can quickly do that my opponents might be left in the dust, whereas, if I stretch the game out by pointing I may well stretch it into a 30+ dart game and risk throwing 2.5 MPR rather than 4 or 5. If my opponent is capable of the same results, then I am really pushing my luck because he/she may well come into their game right when I am going back to my average....this will not win lots of cricket games.

    In the example game I played last night my partner can average about 1 MPR each throw and often less whereas our opponents could average 1.5 to 2 MPR each. If you do the math I had to stretch the game out a bit to try to keep them off the 2MPR range so that my 2.5MPR would overcome them. It did.

    So, if I play you in cricket you can be assured that most likely I will not go for points right away, but rather go for the fast closes. If you point me I will try to back close your pointing numbers first and catch up on points later, especially because I can hit bulls eyes about 1.75MPR as a high and an average of close to 1.5 a round. That means I need only two throws to close the bull and then can point about 37.5 points per round using them. BUT, if I think I need to force a long drawn out game I MAY once in a blue moon change that strategy and point you early. Never count that out, after all the game is called 'Slop Cricket FOR POINTS.'

    It's a game in which the first person to close and whom has the most points wins. I always aim to be that person no matter what my strategy is.

    My 2c on Cricket.


    Note: On a side note, check 'Cricket Strategy Revisited' for my strategy of the last few years -- the one that actually works!"

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    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by Erik ( on Monday, June 28 @ 20:02:10 UTC
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    [Quote] If I were my opponents however, I would not have played into that game at all, rather I would have 'back closed' each number and tried to force the game to move along faster in hopes of out playing my opponent and his/her partner.

    It occurred to me that this sentance may have confused some of my readers! What I mean by this, is that if I am ahead in points and have another number closed which my opponent does not, THEN I will go back and close the number they are trying to point on -- back close.

    Hopefully that makes more sence.

    Change (Score: 1)
    by Erik ( on Tuesday, October 05 @ 00:09:14 UTC
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    I have learned something over the past year which has caused me to re-visit my cricket strategy.

    First off, I read Frank Pratts 'Fundartmentals' and secondly I spent alot of time discussing cricket on -- while competing in tournaments etc. also.

    I've learned that where a trip 20, trip 19, trip 18 round of nine can be tied, a trip 20, trip 20, trip 20 cannot! Furthermore, it takes a 9 count to beat an open of trip 20 single 20 single 20!!! Why? Simple, with 20's closed and 40 points your opponent must close 19's score 57 points and then close 20's to take control of the game!!!

    So, I will now change my strategy slightly by opening with the strongest open I can muster on the 20's with the purpose and intent to close them, score at least 40 points and perhaps then consider the 19's.


    • Re: Change by Taechon on Friday, August 12 @ 00:03:49 UTC
      • Good Post by Erik on Saturday, August 13 @ 02:14:33 UTC

    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by USUALCHAOS on Sunday, November 11 @ 04:28:57 UTC
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    Erik great post in the early days of SEWA. pronanly one of the best and most read stories here.

    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by Chell on Tuesday, February 05 @ 08:42:38 UTC
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    I try to play in local tournaments and recently played in Bullshooters in Houston and I learned quickly that there is no mercy. Those girls came to play and were quick to point!

    Hoowever, I agree with you and do not go for points right away, but I am starting to believe that maybe I should point up more than I do. Perhaps that is because I am not as skilled as some of the people I like to play. :) Any suggestions?

    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by ChadJohnson on Monday, May 26 @ 06:10:22 UTC
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    First of all the comment on "slop points" is no different then aiming at the triple 20 and hitting triple 5, it counts in 501 as well, secondly you need to evaluate your opponent, if they are average you won't need to point but if your playing greatness you need to maintain 100 point lead, this allows you to make your opponenet use all three to catch up on 16 or lower and force them to shoot all points at 18 or lower, the game makes a turn when someone tries the "hero" shot, I do it, but I have it like that, the average player needs to stick to the point game. as age kicks in a short cricket game fairs better, the 1000 point games are hard on the player, some of the Brits have gooten good at cricket from playing in the USA, its more thinking then playing if your not spot on with the strategy. 501 is the game of games, me against the board, cricket is playing another players weaknesses. with all the big money coming to America, I plan to jump back in the mix and grab my share, no fear of anyone out there.

    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by warnock ( on Thursday, June 05 @ 13:11:34 UTC
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    i find that in almost every game of cricket is if you are away and throw all 3 darts at the twenty and score say 80 point well then you set the tone/pace for the game to become a high scoreing game., but if you throw trip 20 then trip 19 and try for the third trip well then even if the opp. scores it is not much and you can fix that on 2 numbers but again you set the tone for a fast game if you ar closeing instead of scoreing but my opinion is that there is not really any strategy's because you cant predict what the other person will do, becuase if you make one mistake the game technically can swith to the opponents hands and you become the chaser,,but like i said the only thing that you can do is kepp ahead in marks and score and you will do fine ( but my thoughts is that there is not really any set strategy's in this game because it changes with every shot you just go with the flow basically.. well chow 4 now..peace out

    Re: Cricket Strategy! (Score: 1)
    by MIKEMACK ( on Friday, August 13 @ 19:31:08 UTC
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    i love it when i point and people back close because if im hitting then they will lose fast my first 3 darts are always for trip 20 s after that i point till im atleast 4 marks up to make sure that it will take them at least 4 darts wich makes them desperatly need a triple .but i can see your strategy as working aswell cause if i fell apart and missed a close you could throw a white horse or something wich has happend many times to me and then im pressuring myself to open point on other numbers i guess it all matters on how well the two are shooting

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