How To Play Darts

How To Play Darts | Darts Rules, Tips & Tricks

Darts-the ever popular game which you must have played at some part of your life. From the amateurs to the pros, darts is a game which requires skill and technique to master.It is an ideal game to pick up and play, and a great way to unwind from the daily grind and have some family fun. It also encourages friendly competition with your friends. A game of darts can be exciting, thrilling, and nerve-wracking at the same time. But before all that, you need to know how to play darts.

This sport requires a large amount of hand-eye coordination. You need to gauge the distance and power of your throw, while choosing your target on the board carefully. You may miss the board altogether when you just start out- but with practice, you will only get better and better.

Darts Rules And Darts Regulations

Dartboard Height

According to the PDC, the regulation dartboard height i.e. standard height from the floor to the bullseye of the board is 5 feet 8 inches (approximately 1.7 meters).  Maintaining this height makes a fair competition between players.

Dartboard Dimensions  

An official dartboard is 17.75 inches in diameter, and is divided into 20 sections, with each section separated from each other by thin wiring.

Dartboard Distance

There is a standard distance to be maintained to stand away from the dart. This is marked by a line known as “Oche”- the player throwing the dart must stay behind this line. This is 2.37 m away from the board up to your toe, or 7 ft 9,25 inches away from the board.

How To Play Darts?

The rules and regulations of darts are not very sophisticated and are fairly easy to grasp. There are many game modes and their variants available. At first, you have to understand how to score darts, in other words the scoring system associated with darts.

The dartboard is like a clock, instead of the 1-12 hours, you have the numbers 1-20, in no particular order. The board is divided into 20 radial sections as well, which are again subdivided into colored sections.

The black and white (yellow in some boards) sections correspond to the same number of points of that exact section. For example, if your dart lands on a black section of the number 12, you will get exactly 12 points. Now, you have the red or green sections.

There are two rings of red and green; one is inner, and the other is outer. If your dart lands on the outer red or green section, you will get double the number of points of that section. For example, if your dart lands on the red section of the number 20, you will get 40 points.  The inner section is the triple point section; if your dart falls into the inner green section of the number 10, you will get 30 points.

These were the basics of a traditional dartboard scoring chart. And, last but not the least is the bulls-eye. The bulls-eye is the exact middle of the board, the red circle in the middle. Hitting the bulls-eye accumulates 25 points.

Darts Stance

The first thing you have to keep in mind before throwing a dart is the stance. You have to be steady before throwing a dart, and your body posture must have stability. For the left-handed throwers, you have to keep your left foot in the front, while keeping your left foot in the back. Your left foot should be taking majority of your body weight, but be careful not to lean too much on your left foot.

Darts Stance
Photo Credit:

The same goes for your right foot- keeping your right foot in the front, your left foot must be planted to the back. Once again, don’t push excessive weight to your right foot; or else you may find yourself leaning forward and leading to an even more unstable stance. Always keep your fit tightly placed on the floor, and behind the oche. Maintaining a stable and good stance is key to score more points.

Another popular dart stance is facing the center of the dartboards in a sideways position and keeping your main foot in front. It is also highly effective in throwing straight and accurate darts.

How To Throw Darts

The technique of throwing darts requires some practice. To become fully adept at it, you need patience and a long time’s worth of dedication. You have to have a perfect mix of the following two: Throwing and Aiming.

To throw a dart correctly, you have to grip the dart properly. Use a minimum of three fingers to hold the barrel of the dart- the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger. You can use the ring finger, if you want an even better grip. Keep your fingers relaxed and opened, NOT clenched.

How To Throw Darts
Photo Credit-

If you hold your dart too hard, you won’t be able to produce the desired direction and force. The dart’s trajectory is more dependent on your technique, rather than raw, brute force.

How To Hang A Dartboard?

Keep the dart on the side of your dominant hand. A big tip is always to tip your dartboard slightly upwards, it is advantageous to the trajectory of the dart and more than often, you will hit your desired target. How high is the dartboard? This should be determined by your eye level, with your elbow pointing to the dartboard. Line the target with your eye. Don’t aim at anything left or right, align the dart and your eye towards the targeted section only.

During throwing, use your hand and wrist to generate the force required to throw the dart. Move your wrist forward; this generates enough power and speed of the dart to hit the target adequately.

Dart Game Rules

Some Common Dart Games

There are a host of game variants you can play. Here is the list of the games you can play in darts:

301 Darts Rules

All the players in this dart game start with a score of 301, and as you throw darts and accumulate points, you subtract your points from the starting 301 score. The first player to reach 0 gets the win.

501 Darts Rules

This is also part of the ‘’01’’ game mode, as the 501 has a higher starting score of 501, and once again, the player who manages to get to 0 points gets the win.


Darts Cricket Rules

This game mode only has the numbers 15-20 in play and the bullseye as well. There are two bullseyes here- the green bull is 25 points while the red bull is 50 points. To win, the players must ‘close out’ the numbers aforementioned, and gain the highest points in the process.

Each player gets three turns each. To close off one number, the player must score three singles of the number, or a single and a double of the number, of a triple of the number. It is easily one of the most popular dart games in play.

Darts Baseball Rules

Darts baseball pits two team together, a dart recreation of the baseball game. The players of each team try to score as many points as possible in a single inning. The catch is, you have to hit the number which is the same number as the current inning you are in, to gain points.

An inning is equivalent to three turns for throwing darts. The points are calculated as runs; a single is one run, a double is two runs while a triple is three runs.  Both teams play 9 innings, and whichever teams with the highest runs win the match. If there is a tie in points, both teams play extra innings to find a winner.

Darts Killer Rules

Killer is a game mode where the numbers in play are chosen by the players beforehand. This is done through the process of throwing a dart onto the board with your weaker hand- i.e. a left hander throwing a dart with his/her right hand.

Then, the player goes on to hit a double of his own number. If he is successful, the player is now declared a “Killer” and now starts going for the double of his opponent’s number.

Now, each player has 3 lives and when the killer can hit the double of his opponent three times, the opponent is defeated and leaves the game. If a player hits his own number, then he also loses one life. The game goes on, and the winner is the last person remaining; when all other players, are ‘killed’.

Darts Shanghai Rules

Shanghai is a dart game with the numbers 1-7 usually in play. Players take turns to hit the number in play, with one turn accounting for three throws each. Doubles and triples do not count here- you hit the number in play and get one point.

You win by making the highest number of points by the time all players finish hitting 7, but you could also win by getting a “Shanghai” which is a single, double and triple of a number in play.

Darts Round The World Rules

Round the world is a rather linear version of the game. Players must hit the numbers 1-20 at least once. The player to hit all the numbers 1-20 at least once…wins. However, you have to throw sequentially, i.e. you cannot hit a 3 after hitting 1, it won’t count. You have to hit 2, to progress onto 3. In this way, you have to hit up to 20.

Darts Legs Rules

Legs are another linear, watered down version of darts. Usually the higher numbers, like 15-20 are targeted by players here. Players throw darts at a particular number, and note down the score. The next player who throws the dart has to get a score higher than that score, or else he or she shall ‘lose a leg’. The player who has lost both legs is defeated.

Darts Fifty-One By Five’s Rules

This dart game has quite a catch- as the score of a player who throws three darts must be divisible by 5 to receive ANY points at all at the end of a turn.

Suppose, if you scored 20 at the end of one round, you receive 4 points, while if you score 18, you receive 0 points. Thus, players mostly concentrate at 5, 10,15 and 20. The player who scores 51 fives is the winner.

Darts English Cricket Rules

This interesting dart game pits two players or two teams together in a recreation of a real cricket match. The two teams are divided into batsmen and bowlers; the task of the bowlers is to hit the bullseye to take a wicket- there are 10 wickets.

The batsmen need to score as much as runs possible until wickets fall, but scores only above 40 count, thus the higher numbers are more favored by players. When all 10 wickets fall, the teams now change roles, and the batting team now chase the target while the bowling team try to get the wickets before the batting team get the runs first.

As you have learnt the basics of the dart game, here is some extra information which may help you.

How To Set Up A Dart Board | Darts Equipment

Since you are going to play darts, there are some essentials you need. The first thing would be a dartboard set. The best dartboards are usually differentiated by category, bristle dartboards are usually used by the traditional players and the pros. They usually come in regulation diameter and length, and are mostly used in tournaments worldwide.

The best dartboard brands may include Winmau, the premier dartboard brand which produces the Blade-4 and Blade-5 series which are wildly popular. Another one is Viper Shot King dartboards, one of the top rated dartboards in the market.

Magnetic dartboards are also readily available, Marky Sparky’s Doinkit Darts being one good version.

Electronic dartboards have taken the world by storm as well, with the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 being a great option.

How To Win Darts | Darts Tips And Tricks

  1. Darts is a game which requires you to make yourself fully stable and requires a lot of focus. While gripping the dart, be relaxed and hold it with confidence. A too strong grip may lead to muscle tension in your hands and may disorientate the trajectory of your dart.
  2. Always aim at a particular target. If you think about too many targets at once, your dart will be wayward.
  3. Be careful about the dart barrels; not all dart barrels are the same in size and dimension. Longer dart barrels may require more fingers, while shorter will need lesser.
  4. Always remember to balance your stance; your dominant foot should hold a larger percentage of your weight, but not so much that there is imbalance in your stance itself. And NEVER lift your leg during throws- it is strongly discouraged.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully this guide on how to play darts was helpful for you. Mastering darts technique increases ones’ chance to win and it requires a high amount of practice. Experiment with your stance, your throwing style, while keeping the main principles of throwing same.

Remember, everything is linked here- from your stance to your throw to your grip of the dart- all have to be combined perfectly to throw the dart into your desired target. This requires constant training- so continue practicing and hone your darting prowess. It is a game which is although a bit difficult to master, but fantastic to pick up any day for fun and play.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.