Mulligan darts is a variation on the extremely popular darts game – Cricket darts. The key distinction with Mulligan darts is that players are going to be throwing for random numbers each game instead of the standard 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 beds.
For this reason, I’d say Mulligan darts is a variation that is best suited to more experienced players or those that are able to play with a decent level of accuracy (meaning it may not be the best game for an absolute beginner).
As it’s a variation on a popular game, I’m going to cover all the rules, scoring, tips, and strategies in this article to give a full run-through on how to play Mulligan darts. If you’re a fan of cricket darts and consider yourself to be a good player then this is the game for you!
Number of Players
2 or more players
Any number of people can participate in a game of Mulligan Darts. The names of the players go across the top of the board in their order of play. If there are many people that want to play with varying degrees of skill, creating teams is acceptable.
Mulligan Darts Rules and Scoring
The object of this particular dart game is to “close” six random numbers along with the bullseye before your opponent(s) can reach it. Players pre-select these random numbers and write them down vertically on the left side of the board with a B at the bottom for the “bullseye.”
To “close” means to hit three of the same number on the treble ring of the board and the bullseye. This is the thin inner ring, third from the bullseye. Each player must hit every number three times in a row in the selected order, ending with the bullseye. Whichever player achieves this first wins the game.
After each player’s turn, there are markings made under the name next to the number. A slash (/) indicates one, and “X” indicates two by adding an opposing slash (/) and an “O” indicates a “close.”
How to Play Mulligan Darts
Participants determine this order by throwing one dart at the bullseye, whoever hits closest plays first. In the rare event of a tie, the players throw again. Then, everyone determines the six random numbers. You can do this by the first player throwing darts with their weaker arm at the board, each player calling the numbers, or each team throwing a dart.
Three Times Is the Object
Then, starting with the first person, each player must hit three trebles of each number and three bullseyes to win the game. You don’t have to hit all three trebles in the same round but you do have to close the number before moving on to the next.
The reason this variation is for more experienced players is that it’s not easy to consistently hit the treble beds of each number, especially when the numbers are randomized like they are with Mulligan darts!
Basic Flow of Play
When the game begins, the first player throws a dart at the treble ring of the first number on the list. No other numbers will count until each player closes the first number. The next player goes up and continues alternating until someone closes all six numbers and ends with the bullseye.
Mulligan Darts Example Game
Let’s say Player 1 and Player 2 are going to play a game of Mulligan Darts. Each player throws a dart to see who goes first and Player 1 hits closest to the bullseye. So, Player 1 is the first player and Player 2 is the second.
At the top of the scoreboard, Player 1’s name is first and then Player 2’s name. Then both players select three numbers each to total the six random target numbers. So, for the sake of illustration, the numbers are 4, 10, 20, 16, 3, and 11.
Player 1 shoots his three darts toward the treble 4, but none of them make it. Then Player 2 goes and he hits treble 4 with one dart but misses with the other two. At this point, no marks go under Player 1’s name but there will be a “/” under Player 2’s name next to the 4.
Scoring for Player 1 versus Player 2
The turn goes back to Player 1. He manages to get two darts in the treble 4 but misses with the third. This means the game returns to Player 2, and he gets the last dart in. This means they close 4 and can move onto 10 with the next two darts. But he only makes one dart into the 10.
The scoreboard should now show Player 1’s name with an “X” by the 4. For Player 2 there will be an “O” next to the 4 and a “/” next to the 10.
It’s now Player 1’s turn and they miss closing the treble 4 but do land on the 10; this will not count. They must complete hitting 4 three times before he can move onto 10. So, Player 1’s scoring mark won’t change and they can’t move onto 10 until they close the 4.
As the two continue the game, Player 2 is the one who manages to hit each consecutive number three times along with the bullseye before Player 1. This means Player 2 wins the game.
Mulligan Darts Tips
Mulligan darts are definitely a test of skill and accuracy. As the aim of the game is to throw for trebles instead of singles, the difficulty is significantly increased. Therefore, the first point to note is that you shouldn’t play this game if you don’t have the accuracy to consistently hit a treble.
This isn’t meant to be an arrogant statement but if you don’t yet have the accuracy needed for the standard of the game, it could mean an incredibly long and drawn-out game. This would ultimately not be enjoyable for any players involved!
Another point to note is that numbers will be randomized before each game. This will make the games fairer (meaning the treble 20 and treble 19 specialists won’t have a clear advantage) but it means they can also be used as a dedicated practice game to work on trebles that you might not usually throw for.
This is great for finishing practice and just to become more comfortable scoring on more areas of the board.
Mulligan darts is not a hugely well-known or popular darts game, mainly because it’s a variation of cricket darts – which in contrast is a hugely popular darts game (2nd most popular darts game globally).
Despite the fact that it’s not the most popular dart game, it’s not to say it’s without benefits. Due to the difficulty of the game rules, this is a perfect practice (or fun) game for more experienced players. The fact that you aim at different sections of the board and throw for trebles which you wouldn’t normally practice on adds a challenge as well as a practice element.