How to Play Darts
How to Play Darts
Another nineteenth century game, darts was originally designed to be played with a wooden “puffer”, where the user would propel the dart with their breath into a cork board. Similar to billiards, darts has come a long way since its origins in making the game more inclusive to a wider audience. It is now one of the most popular games played at bars and pubs.
How to play Darts
Although the premise of the game -- throw darts at a board -- seems simple and straightforward, there’s a bit of strategy that goes into the game. Professional players are also highly accurate to avoid “busting” in a game of 501. These players can effectively replicate their throwing movement every time for the best accuracy.
There are many variants of darts, but the most common one played professionally is called 501 Any-In-Any-Out. Here, the first player or team to reach zero (or the lowest combined score) from 501 points is declared the winner.
Rules of Darts
- Dart boards are about 18 inches in diameter and separated like a pie using numbers 1 through 20. There are different sections throughout the board. The outer colored ring represents a double score -- or the number your dart has landed in times two. The inner colored ring represents a triple score (number times three). The bullseye counts for 50 points in a game of 501.
- The distance from the dart board to the toe line is 7 feet 9.25 inches. If the player steps on or over this line, they forfeit their turn. A player, however, can lean as far over the toeline.
- In 501, players will work the score down without “busting” (or scoring below zero). If a player busts, they’ll go back to their previous score. If zero is achieved, the game is essentially over unless matched by an opponent.
- Players will decide who goes first by throwing a dart closest to the bullseye at the beginning of a match. If the first turn hits bullseye, the second must match it -- and vice versa.
- Each turn consists of a player throwing three darts.
- If a dart falls out of the board, that point doesn’t count. A player can pull a dart out of a board before it falls, however, all three darts must be thrown before doing this.
- Legally, a player can throw their dart at another players dart and knock it off the board.
Dart boards can be made out of pretty much any material in which a dart would stick. The highest quality, professional boards are made out of sisal fibres, or really fine thread. Cheaper boards can be made out of cork or coiled paper. There’s also pre-holed plastic boards, and even electronic boards where you throw magnetic darts and it automatically calculates the score.
Written by: Devin Pickell