Darts Game Rules Decoded: Your Roadmap to Success

Master the darts game rules and unlock your path to success. Learn scoring basics, tactics, and variations for a winning edge!
Darts Game Rules Decoded: Your Roadmap to Success

Understanding Darts Rules

To excel in the game of darts, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the darts rules. In this section, we will explore the key components of darts, including the dartboard setup and measurements, as well as the basics of scoring.

Dartboard Setup and Measurements

The dartboard is the focal point of the game, and proper setup is essential for fair play. The regulation dartboard height places the bull’s eye at 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) from the floor, which is recognized internationally for both soft tip and steel tip darts (Dart Brokers). To ensure accurate gameplay, it is important to hang the dartboard at this specified height.

The distance from the face of the dartboard to the front of the throw line is another crucial aspect of setup. For steel tip dartboards, the regulation distance is 7 feet 9 ¼ inches (2.37 meters), whereas for soft tip dartboards, it is 8 feet (2.44 meters) (GLD Products). This distance ensures fair play and allows players to throw their darts with ample space.

It is also important to consider the diagonal distance for the throw line. For steel tip dartboards, the diagonal distance is 9 feet 7 ⅜ inches (2.93 meters), while for soft tip dartboards, it is 9 feet 9 ½ inches (2.98 meters) (GLD Products). This measurement ensures that players have enough room to stand comfortably and throw their darts without obstruction.

Scoring Basics in Darts

Understanding the scoring system is fundamental to playing darts effectively. The most common and widely played darts game is 501. In this game, each player starts with a score of 501 and takes turns throwing three darts to reduce their score. The objective is to reach exactly zero by subtracting the scored points from the starting score.

The scoring system in darts is based on the segments of the dartboard. The outer ring, known as the double ring, doubles the score of the corresponding segment, while the inner ring, known as the triple ring, triples the score. The bull’s eye in the center of the dartboard is worth 50 points, and the outer bull is worth 25 points.

It is important to note that in order to finish the game, players must hit a double segment. This means that the final dart must land in a double scoring area. For example, if a player has a remaining score of 32, they must aim for a double 16 to achieve a game-winning checkout.

To keep track of scores, a scoreboard is used. This can be a physical scoreboard or a digital one. Players subtract their scores from the starting total and aim to reach zero. The first player to reach exactly zero with a double checkout wins the leg or the game.

By understanding the dartboard setup and measurements, as well as the basics of scoring, you are equipped with the knowledge needed to participate in the exciting world of darts. Remember to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the game you are playing, as there are variations in gameplay such as cricket darts rules and 501 darts rules.

The Game of Cricket

Cricket is a popular dart game that involves strategic gameplay and precise dart throwing. In this section, we will explore the objectives, gameplay, and tactics involved in playing cricket.

Objectives and Gameplay

The objective of the dart game cricket is to hit the numbers 20 through 15 and the bullseye three times. By hitting a number three times, the number then becomes closed. The aim is to close each number before your opponent or the opposing team does, providing you or your team with the opportunity to earn points. This means that hitting the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and the bullseye is essential to success in cricket.

During the game, each player or team takes turns throwing three darts at the dartboard. To close a number in cricket, a player must hit the numbers 20 through 15 and the bullseye three times per number. However, there is also a variation of cricket where hitting the outer ring counts as two and hitting the inner ring counts as closing the number. The outer ring on the bullseye counts as 1, while the inner ring counts as two.

After all the numbers are closed by a particular player, the points are tallied up. The player or team with the most points and who has all their numbers closed emerges victorious in the game of cricket.

Tactics in Cricket

Strategic decision-making plays a significant role in cricket. As a player, you must decide whether to focus on closing your opponent’s numbers or accumulating more points from your own numbers. This aspect of the game adds an element of fun and strategy to cricket, allowing players to employ various tactics to outscore their opponents.

One effective tactic in cricket is to score in each area as much as possible before it closes. This means aiming to hit your opponent’s numbers before they can close them, preventing them from earning points. Alternatively, you can focus on accumulating points by hitting your own numbers multiple times. Choosing the right strategy depends on the current game situation and the playing style of your opponents.

By understanding the objectives and employing effective tactics, you can enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of success in the dart game of cricket. Enjoy the strategic elements of the game and strive for precision and accuracy with each throw.

Nine-Dart Finish

The nine-dart finish is a remarkable feat in the game of darts, representing a perfect game where a player achieves the lowest possible score within nine darts. Let’s explore how this extraordinary accomplishment is achieved and highlight some of the notable players who have accomplished this impressive feat.

Achieving the Perfect Game

To achieve a traditional nine-dart finish, a player must score 60 points (treble 20) with each of the first six throws, leaving them with 141 points to score on the final shot, known as the outshot Wikipedia. However, there are other methods to achieve a nine-dart finish. These include scoring 167 with each set of three darts or hitting 180 (3×T20), 171 (3×T19), and 150 (3×bullseye). The latter method is considered the most difficult due to the small size of the bullseye.

In a game of 501, the total number of different ways to achieve a nine-dart finish is 3,944, with various combinations ending on different double scoring areas such as the bullseye, D20, D18, D17, D15, and D12 Wikipedia. Out of these combinations, 574 ways can be used in a double-in double-out game. This demonstrates the skill and precision required to achieve a perfect score with just nine darts.

Notable Nine-Dart Finishers

Throughout the history of darts, there have been several notable players who have achieved the coveted nine-dart finish in televised matches. As of April 4, 2024, a total of 92 nine-darters have been thrown in televised matches by 45 different players Wikipedia.

Phil Taylor, one of the most successful darts players of all time, holds the record for the most nine-dart finishes on television with a remarkable total of 11. Taylor’s first televised nine-darter was achieved on August 1, 2002, during a quarter-final tie against Chris Mason at the 2002 World Matchplay in Blackpool Wikipedia.

Other players who have achieved multiple nine-darters include Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld, and Adrian Lewis. Additionally, Luke Littler made history by becoming the youngest player to throw a televised nine-dart finish at just 16 years and 363 days old during the quarter-finals of the 2024 Bahrain Darts Masters Wikipedia.

These remarkable achievements highlight the skill, precision, and consistency required to achieve a perfect game in darts. The nine-dart finish is a testament to the mastery of the sport and continues to captivate fans around the world.

As we explore the world of darts, it’s important to familiarize ourselves with the various game variations beyond the nine-dart finish. In the next section, we will delve into different dart games such as 301, Round the World, Killer, and English Cricket.

Variations of Dart Games

Darts is a versatile game that offers a range of variations to keep players engaged and entertained. Here are two popular variations of dart games: 301 and Round the World.


In the game of 301, each player or team starts with 301 points, and the objective is to reach zero by subtracting the amount scored in a turn from the remaining number. Players must ‘double in’ and ‘double out’, hitting a double to start the game and finish it. Going over the score will result in being ‘busted’ (Shot Darts).

Game Starting Score Objective
301 301 Reach zero by subtracting the score from the remaining number

Round the World

In the game of Round the World, also known as Round the Board or Round the Clock, two players aim to be the first to hit every number on the board in sequence from 1-20. Hitting any part of the number (single, double, or triple) counts, and players must hit the numbers in order to advance. The first player to hit 20 wins (Shot Darts).

Game Objective
Round the World Hit each number on the board in sequence from 1-20

Apart from 301 and Round the World, there are many other exciting variations of dart games. Here are two additional popular options: Killer and English Cricket.


In the game of Killer, players aim to hit the double of their own randomly chosen number to become a ‘killer.’ Killers then target doubles of opponents’ numbers to eliminate their lives. The last player standing is the winner, and each player has three lives (Shot Darts).

Game Objective
Killer Hit the double of your own number, target opponents’ doubles to eliminate their lives

English Cricket

English Cricket involves two players or teams where all numbers are in play, but scores must be higher than 40. Ten stripes are marked as wickets, and the bowler aims to erase them by hitting bullseyes. The batter scores as many runs as possible while wickets remain, with only scores over 40 counting towards the total.

Game Objective
English Cricket Score runs while wickets remain, with only scores over 40 counting towards the total

These variations of dart games add excitement and challenges to the traditional game of darts. Whether you prefer the strategic gameplay of 301 or the sequential challenge of Round the World, exploring different dart game variations can enhance your darts experience and keep the competition lively.

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