Get Ready to Throw: A Guide to the Different Types of Dart Games

Discover the thrill of different types of dart games! From traditional to unique variations, master the strategies and compete in dart game championships. Unleash your inner darts pro!
different types of dart games

Popular Dart Games

When it comes to dart games, there are several popular choices that offer excitement and challenges for players of all skill levels. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most well-known dart games: Cricket, Shanghai, Killer, Halve-It, X01, and Golf.


Cricket is undoubtedly one of the most famous choices when it comes to dart games. The main objective of Cricket is to be the first player or team to close all the numbers 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and the Bull. It can be played in teams of two or one-on-one, and having more members is recommended for added fun (Decathlon). To learn more about the rules and gameplay of Cricket, check out our article on cricket dart game rules.


Shanghai is another exciting dart game that tests players’ accuracy and strategy. The goal of Shanghai is to score the highest points possible by hitting specific sections of the dartboard. In each round, players aim to hit the single, double, and triple sections of a designated number. The scoring for Shanghai can be customized based on the players’ preferences and skill levels.


Killer is a thrilling dart game that puts players’ precision to the test. The game requires hitting doubles only, and it starts with each player choosing a random number by shooting at the board with their non-shooting hand. Players need to hit double that number to become a “killer” and should avoid hitting their own double to stay in the game (Decathlon).


Halve-It is a dart game that challenges players to hit specific numbers on the dartboard in order to score points. The game is played in rounds, with players taking turns to throw three darts each. The objective is to hit the designated numbers and score the corresponding points. However, if a player fails to hit the required number, their score is halved for that round (Escalade Sports).


X01 is a family of dart games that includes popular variations like 301 and 501. These games are often played in competitive settings and require two players to aim at numbers 19 and 20 for higher points. The inner bull’s eye is worth 50 points, while the outer bull’s eye is worth 25 points (Decathlon). To learn more about the rules and gameplay of the 301 and 501 dart games, visit our article on 301 dart game rules.


Golf is a fun dart game that adds a unique twist to traditional gameplay. In this game, players aim to reach the lowest score possible by hitting specific numbers on the dartboard. The objective is to complete each hole (number) in the least number of darts. The player with the lowest overall score at the end of the game is the winner (Escalade Sports).

These popular dart games offer a variety of challenges and strategies for dart enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the competitive nature of X01, the precision required in Shanghai, or the strategy of Cricket, there’s a dart game to suit every player’s taste. So gather your friends, sharpen your darts, and get ready for an exciting game night filled with friendly competition and skillful throws.

Traditional Dart Games

Traditional dart games have been enjoyed for many years and are the foundation of dart playing. In this section, we will explore two popular traditional dart games: 501 and the Around the Clock variation.

501 Game Overview

The 501 game is one of the most commonly played dart games and is often seen being played by professional players on television. In this game, each player starts with a score of 501 points. The objective is to reach exactly zero by subtracting the score achieved with each throw.

To begin the game, players must aim for the numbered sections of the dartboard and try to maximize their score. The outer bull’s-eye is worth 25 points, while the inner bull’s-eye is worth 50 points (Decathlon). The double and triple areas of the board offer higher scores, providing players with an opportunity to quickly reduce their total score.

One important rule in the 501 game is that players must finish with a double, just like in the 301 game. However, unlike the 301 game, a double is not needed to begin scoring in 501 (Escalade Sports). This adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the game.

Around the Clock Variation

The Around the Clock variation is a classic dart game that tests players’ accuracy and consistency. In this game, players take turns throwing darts at each number on the dartboard in sequential order, starting from 1 and working their way up to 20. The objective is to hit each number with the fewest number of throws possible.

To play Around the Clock, each player takes turns throwing three darts at a time. They must hit the current number on the dartboard before moving on to the next one. If a player fails to hit the current number after three darts, their turn ends, and they resume from where they left off in the next round.

The game continues until one player successfully hits all the numbers on the dartboard in order, from 1 to 20. The player who achieves this with the fewest number of throws is declared the winner.

The Around the Clock variation is a great way to improve accuracy and consistency in dart throwing. It challenges players to focus on hitting specific targets and helps develop their ability to move around the dartboard effectively.

By exploring traditional dart games like 501 and the Around the Clock variation, players can experience the origins of dart playing while honing their skills. These games require precision, strategy, and concentration, making them enjoyable for both casual and competitive players.

Unique Dart Game Variations

Dart games offer a wide range of variations to keep players entertained and challenged. In this section, we will explore two unique dart game variations: American Cricket and English Cricket.

American Cricket

American Cricket is a popular dart game that can be played by two or more players or by separating a group into two teams. The objective of the game is to score more points than the opponent or the other team by hitting specific segments on the dartboard. The segments typically used in American Cricket are 15 through 20, as well as the Bullseye.

To start the game, each player or team takes turns throwing three darts. The numbers hit are marked or closed, while any missed darts or darts that hit numbers already closed do not count towards the score. Once a player or team has closed a number, they can start scoring points by hitting that number again. The Bullseye is often used as a strategic target to gain additional points.

The game continues until all the numbers and the Bullseye have been closed by both players or teams. The player or team with the higher score at the end is declared the winner.

English Cricket

English Cricket is a dart game that adds a unique twist by incorporating elements of traditional cricket into the gameplay. This game can be played with two players or split into two teams (Darts Corner).

In English Cricket, players take turns acting as a “batter” and a “bowler,” similar to a traditional game of cricket. The batter’s objective is to score points by hitting specific segments on the dartboard, while the bowler aims to prevent the batter from scoring.

To score points, the batter must hit the numbers 15 through 20, as well as the Bullseye. Each hit on a targeted number earns the batter runs, and the total runs are added to their score. The bowler’s goal is to hit numbers that the batter has not yet closed, which results in the batter losing wickets and lowering their score.

The game continues with players taking turns as the batter and the bowler until a predetermined number of rounds or until all the numbers have been closed by the batters. The player or team with the highest score at the end of the game is declared the winner.

American Cricket and English Cricket provide exciting and strategic gameplay experiences for dart enthusiasts. These variations offer a refreshing twist on traditional dart games, adding elements of competition and strategy that keep players engaged. Whether you prefer the challenge of American Cricket or the unique dynamics of English Cricket, these games are sure to provide hours of dart-throwing enjoyment.

Fun Dart Games

In addition to the traditional and popular dart games, there are several fun and unique variations that can add excitement and entertainment to your dart sessions. Let’s explore two of these enjoyable dart games: Sudden Death and Hare and Hounds, as well as Chase the Dragon and Tic-Tac-Toe.

Sudden Death

Sudden Death is a fast-paced and thrilling dart game that can be played with two or more players. The objective of the game is to be the last player standing by hitting assigned numbers on the dartboard. To begin, each player selects a random number by shooting at the board with their non-shooting hand. This number becomes their target.

The game progresses with players taking turns throwing their darts at their assigned numbers. If a player successfully hits their target number, they move on to the next round. However, if a player fails to hit their target number, they are eliminated from the game. The game continues until only one player remains, making them the winner of Sudden Death.

Hare and Hounds

Hare and Hounds is a fun dart game that combines strategy and skill. It requires three or more players and is played in teams. The game involves two teams: the Hares and the Hounds. The Hares start with a head start by throwing their darts first.

The objective of the game is for the Hares to reach a specific score, while the Hounds aim to catch up and surpass the Hares’ score. The game is played over a predetermined number of rounds. In each round, the Hares throw their darts, and their scores are recorded. The Hounds then have their turn to throw their darts and try to exceed the Hares’ score.

At the end of each round, the difference between the Hares’ and Hounds’ scores is calculated. This difference is added to a cumulative score. The game continues until the predetermined number of rounds is completed, or until the Hounds catch up to the Hares’ score. The team with the highest cumulative score at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Chase the Dragon

Chase the Dragon is a fun and challenging dart game that tests your accuracy and precision. It can be played with two or more players. The objective of the game is to hit a sequence of numbers in ascending order.

To begin, a sequence of numbers is determined, such as 1, 2, 3, and so on. Each player takes turns throwing their darts and aims to hit the next number in the sequence. If a player successfully hits their target number, they move on to the next number. However, if they miss, they must continue throwing at the same number until they hit it.

The game continues until a player successfully hits the final number in the sequence. That player is declared the winner of Chase the Dragon.


Tic-Tac-Toe is a classic game that can be adapted for darts, adding a fun twist to your dart sessions. It can be played with two players or teams. The objective is to get three darts in a row on the dartboard, similar to the traditional game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

To play, create a 3×3 grid on the dartboard, similar to a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Each player takes turns throwing their darts to hit a specific section of the grid. The first player or team to get three darts in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, wins the game.

These fun dart games provide a break from the traditional gameplay and offer a chance to try new challenges and strategies. Whether you’re playing Sudden Death, Hare and Hounds, Chase the Dragon, or Tic-Tac-Toe, these games are sure to bring excitement and enjoyment to your dart sessions.

Strategy in Dart Games

When it comes to dart games, having a solid strategy can make all the difference in your performance. This section will explore some key scoring techniques and gameplay tips to help you improve your game.

Scoring Techniques

In popular dart games like 301 and 501, it’s important to aim for high-scoring areas on the dartboard. The inner bull’s eye is worth 50 points, while the outer bull’s eye is worth 25 points. Players should aim for numbers 19 and 20 to maximize their score.

To finish the game in 301 and 501, a double is required. This means that the final dart must land in a double segment of the chosen number. To strategically work your score down to an easier out shot, aim for numbers that leave a double when subtracted from 32. For example, if your score is 32, aim for double 16. This way, even if you miss the double and hit the single, you’ll still have an easy double left to finish the game (Escalade Sports).

In the game of Cricket, the strategy goes beyond simply scoring points. Players can also hinder their opponents’ scoring efforts by closing numbers. Focus on closing numbers that your opponent needs to score on, while maintaining your own lead. By strategically targeting specific numbers, you can gain an advantage and increase your chances of winning.

Gameplay Tips

  • Practice: Regular practice is key to improving your dart game. It helps you develop consistent throwing techniques and improve your accuracy over time.

  • Stance and Grip: Establishing a comfortable and balanced stance is crucial. Find a grip that allows you to throw the dart smoothly and with control. Experiment with different grips and find what works best for you.

  • Focus on the Target: Keep your eyes on the target and visualize where you want the dart to land. Concentrate on your aim and release the dart with a smooth follow-through.

  • Stay Relaxed: Tension in your body can affect your throwing motion. Stay relaxed and maintain a smooth, fluid motion throughout your throw.

  • Analyze Your Throws: After each throw, analyze the result and adjust your aim if necessary. Pay attention to the position of the dart and make any necessary corrections to improve your accuracy.

  • Mental Focus: Dart games require concentration and mental focus. Eliminate distractions and maintain a positive mindset to enhance your performance.

Remember, practice and consistency are key to improving your dart game. By implementing these scoring techniques and gameplay tips, you can enhance your skills and elevate your performance. Keep honing your skills and enjoy the exciting world of dart games.

For more information on specific dart games and their rules, check out our articles on cricket dart game rules, dart game rules, 301 dart game rules, and baseball dart game rules.

Dart Game Competitions

For those who have mastered the various dart games and are looking to take their skills to the next level, participating in dart game competitions can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are two prominent dart game competitions that attract skilled players from around the world.

World Darts Championship

Considered the pinnacle of professional darts, the World Darts Championship is the largest and most prestigious darts event in the world. Organized by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), this tournament showcases the popularity and competitive nature of darts as a sport. The championship features top dart players from around the globe competing for the coveted title.

The World Darts Championship follows the format of 501, which is one of the most popular games played in professional dart tournaments (Medium). In this game, each player starts with 501 points and must hit the double to reduce their score. The game requires a combination of strategy, precision, and focus to outscore opponents and ultimately reach zero points to win.

Competing in the World Darts Championship is a testament to a player’s skill and dedication to the game. It provides an opportunity to showcase talent, compete against the best, and potentially secure the title of world champion.

National Dart Association Leagues

In addition to professional tournaments, dart enthusiasts can also participate in National Dart Association (NDA) dart leagues. These leagues provide a platform for players of all skill levels to engage in friendly competition, improve their dart skills, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow players.

NDA leagues typically consist of teams or individuals competing against each other in a structured league format. Participants have the opportunity to compete in various dart games, including popular ones like cricket, 501, and more. These leagues often have different divisions based on skill levels, allowing players to compete against others of similar abilities.

Joining a National Dart Association league provides players with the chance to refine their dart skills, learn from experienced players, and enjoy the social aspect of the game. It can be a stepping stone for those looking to improve their game and potentially participate in higher-level competitions.

Whether it’s the grand stage of the World Darts Championship or the friendly atmosphere of National Dart Association leagues, dart game competitions offer players the opportunity to test their skills, showcase their talent, and experience the thrill of competitive darts. It’s a chance to join a community of dart enthusiasts, learn from others, and take part in a sport that has a rich history and continues to captivate players worldwide.

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