Darts and pool are great social games with friends and family at your favourite local club or venue. However, at times they’re not so fun for a group of three or more people, or those that aren’t particularly skilled at the games. Here we’ve comprised a list of some alternative, somewhat casual, fun ways to play pool and darts for groups and families.
Around the world darts
Around the world is a fun easy alternative to standard darts and a great game for groups and kids. Any number of people can play. As usual, each player is given three darts, they must start by hitting the number 1 (if you hit a double or triple it doesn’t matter) once you’ve aced number 1, it’s onto 2, 3, 4 and so on in order. The object is to be the first to get around to 20. You may or may not choose to finish the game with the bullseye. You can also choose to play in teams or individually.
This is a great variation for groups of people. Only three balls are racked up and the object is to sink all three balls in the least amount of shots. Each player continues play until they’ve sunk all three balls, counting their shots and handing the cue over to the next contestant. You can choose to make it more interesting by collecting $1 from each participant to be pooled for the winner. If two or more people tie, the pot carries over to the next round.
Scram is a strategy game for two players and begins with nominating a ‘stopper’ and a ‘scorer.’ The numbers 1-20 are written on the scoreboard. The stopper begins by trying to hit all the numbers from 1-20 on the board once only in any order. The numbers the stopper hits are marked off the board. The scorer then follows by trying to score as many points as possible with the numbers that remain. (The scorer cannot score off the numbers the stopper has hit).
Once the stopper has marked off all the numbers, the scorer tally’s their score and the roles are reversed. Doubles and triples do count. The winner is the ‘scorer’ who racks up the most points.
Kelly Pool is perfect for groups of people, children and people who are not pool sharks.
Also known as pea pool, the game is supported by a shake bottle and ‘peas’ that are numbered 1-15 (as per the pool balls). If you don’t have a shaker, you could easily pull numbers out of a hat instead. or they’re available at any good billiard retailer.
Each player receives a numbered ‘pea’ and must keep it secret from the other players. No one is to know another’s number. The object is to avoid potting your own ball until all others have been sunk. Play rotates and as the balls are sunk, the player with the corresponding number is out of the game.
The rule book says players must contact the lowest numbered object ball on each shot first; but we think that’s up to your discretion and how friendly you want the game to be.
Terrible name; but great fun if you want to practice the art of hitting doubles.
Play starts with each player taking a shot with their non-throwing hand. The number they hit is their number for the game, bullseye included. Players must have different numbers. The person with the lowest number throws first, followed by the person with the second lowest number and so on.
To become a ‘killer’ you must hit the double of your number. You then circle or mark your initials on the scoreboard with a K. Once you have become a killer you can proceed to try and knock other players out of the game by hitting the double of their numbers. Whenever a player is ‘hit’ they get a mark against their name. When a player reaches three marks, they’re out. If you hit your own number, you also get a mark. If you’re not yet a ‘killer’ and you hit someone’s double, it doesn’t count.
Rotation pool is a nice variation and can even be played with three people. Players must hit and pocket the lowest numbered ball on the table including from the break shot! If you fail to do so, you receive a foul and play moves on to the next player. This player can nominate whether they want to try and hit/pocket the lowest ball on the table or they can ask you to shoot again.
As per normal, the cue ball is played from where it lies. A player’s turn continues until he fails to pocket a shot, fouls or if a ball is pocketed illegally. Play is scored by calculating the numbers on the balls that you have legally pocketed. If a player hit’s three consecutive foul shots, they forfeit the game.
Get down to your local and have a game!
So there you have it, a nice little mixture of alternative dart and pool games to keep everyone happy. There’s nothing better than a relaxing casual game, a bit of pizza and cold drinks with great friends and family. Cardwell Country Club has free pool on Sundays from 1pm and now offers three dartboards! No excuses, grab your mates and come down to support your local club.
If you know of any other fun variations on traditional pool, darts or even golf and lawn bowls let us know, we’d love to hear it!