Soft Tip Game
Besides the points, there are several differences between electronic soft tip darts and hard darts. First, in most taverns the electronic game costs money to play. If you want to play in a typical soft tip dart tournament, you show up with a roll of quarters in your pocket. I have only played in one such event, a blind draw format and that drew 19 teams. I knew several players from my steel tip league, and they were happy to show me the basics.
Besides having to pay money to play, the plastic tipped darts you throw at the machine are much lighter than the 23 gram tungsten darts I throw at the bristle board. In fact most of the dart game machines require darts that weigh 18 grams or less. This took some getting use to, but then the key scoring areas are much larger on the soft tip board, and bounce outs count. The machine allows up to 30 darts per game, but seldom are that many required.
At glance I could see that I was surrounded by some very good players. The steel tip players who walk into a soft tip house thinking he's going to play a little whoop ass on the local patrons is in for a rude awakening. That thought never entered my mind, as I knew several guys there who play both games, and they are formidable competitors with either type of dart.
Another difference between soft tip and steel is that bounce outs count, and the machine keeps score. All the player has to do is take care that machine is ready to score for the right player. I must admit that I enjoyed not having to keep score in the '01 game, but it didn't improve my shooting any. On the soft tip board, 301 is a faster race than it is on the bristle board. You don't have to double in or out, and everyone I played against shat at the large bulls-eye to run score instead of throwing at the trip 20.
Not having to double out was a difficult concept to adjust to, and my partner and I didn't last long enough for me to get used to it. The soft tip Cricket game is similar to steel, but pointing is practically a way of life with plastic darts. This is because when more than two teams are playing, points accrue on numbers that any team has open, so unlike the steel tipped game, it's much harder to take a run at the bull without throwing a lot of points.
Interestingly enough, most players I've met who play both games usually start with soft tip and then find their way over to steel play. Knowing how to play both of these games will cover most of what you need to know to play darts anywhere in this country.
I think the player who begins playing steel tipped darts on a bristle board will adapt much easier to the soft tip game, than one coming from plastic darts to hard darts. Knowing how to score the game in your head is an advantage in both games, and that is the best learned by writing it down with a piece of chalk.
I think I will always prefer to play with steel tipped darts, but if soft tip was the only game in town, I could make do, as I could also make do with American darts. Soft tipped players should not feel slighted by the short course given here. This book was written by a steel tipped player, whose first love is bristle board Cricket, for those who aspire to win playing hard darts. I will leave the book on soft tip to someone who feels about the plastic game as I feel about steel tipped play.
Until Next Time!