First Dart Success
by Frederick Everson
Cricket Strategy for First Dart Success
Letís look at a first dart scenario. You won the diddle, and your first dart is dead center of the treble 20. You have several options for your next dart. You can continue to throw at the 20 and try to dig a hole for your adversary, you can throw at 19 and continue on your way toward the end of the game, or you can take a shot at the bull.
Continuing to throw at the 20 is the least aggressive play in this situation. Adding points after a good dart on your very first throw is a waste of initiative. Even should you hit another trip 20, it takes you no closer to the end of the game. It may dig a hole for your opponent, but your first dart was a good one. If your thinking is to play a higher percentage shot by staying up top, I think a shot at the 18 is the better play. Pointing is a defensive play. Moving on to another number affords the most potential for damage. If your second dart hits a treble 18, or a treble 19, you will have two numbers closed. This increases your alternatives greatly, while reducing those of your opponent.
Closing the 20 with your first dart should inspire confidence. It makes sense to me to take that good feeling and make it work even harder. Chances are you will feel good as you prepare to throw the second dart. Here, taking a crack at the double bull is a good ploy. You are relaxed and confident after your initial success, and if you happen to hit the red eye your opponent is really on the ropes. Even a single bull will make you feel pretty good, and further depress most rival dart throwers. And if your throw is off the mark, it may even catch another open number, or the 20 for some incidental points, which is be less likely to make your opponent think you are trying to kick sand in his face. If your opponent plays well, he is apt to be aroused if you point him on purpose so early in the game. The last thing you want to do is make him concentrate harder and play better.
The idea is to get him depressed, and if you get far ahead with your first two darts, itís apt to be a lot more disconcerting than any number of points.
The text book play for your second dart here would be a shot at the 19, and most good players will do it automatically. Even if you hit two singles, youíve still had a good throw. It will also likely force your rival to throw at 19, leaving that big playground open on the 20, should you need it later. If your opponent doesnít close the 19 after your throw, you still have the initiative. In this situation, however, you shouldnít be worried about what your opponent is going to do. Concentrate on doing the most damage with the two darts left in your hand. Capitalize on your first dart success. Play aggressive, play to win.