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Rules Of Darts

Basic Rules Of Darts

Darts is a game that is played worldwide and as such, there are many variations of what is basically the same game. The main game would be 301, 501 or 901. The game is the same in all of these versions, simply the starting point differs. The starting point always ends in 01.

The object of the game is simple... each player starts with the same score (eg 301 or 501) and the first to reduce his score to zero wins. Players take turns throwing three darts each. The points scored are added up and the total is then deducted from the original starting score. Darts that bounce off the Dart Board or miss the scoring segment of the Board, do not score at all. These Darts cannot be thrown again in that turn.

The difficult part of the game is certainly the “finish”. To win the game, you must reach zero before your opponent. You must reach zero exactly and the dart that reduces your score to zero, must be a double. Doubles consist of the numbers in the outside narrow scoring band and the centre (small) bullseye, which counts as 50 points. The centre bull is actually a double of the outer 25-point bull.

This means that if you have 4 points left, you must hit a double 2 to bring the score down to zero. From 24 points, a double 12 would be needed. If you have an odd number left, so that a double finish is impossible, then darts must be thrown to reduce the score to an even number, before then throwing a double.

Eg. From 19 points left, there is effectively no double out available. One way to finish would be to throw a single 3 first, reducing the score to 16. The 16 can then be obtained by throwing a double 8.

The games of 501, 601, 801, 1001, etc. are all played the same way, the only difference being that you are starting with more points. Because 301 is a relatively short game, most venues start the game with a double. That means that each player must hit a double (any number), before their scoring actually commences. Each player begins scoring with the first double that is obtained.

Players generally play a Best of 3, or 5, Legs.

This is merely a guide and a basic outline of the scoring methods. It is by no means intended to cover all aspects of all Darts Games. We advise you to read one of the many books that are available as knowing the rules and objectives, will significantly increase your enjoyment.

One of the best books on the market would be “Getting To The Point” by Barry Atkinson. Barry was a professional Darts Player that enjoyed significant success in Australia and on the World Professional Darts Circuit. In his book there are the rules and instructions for many games, together with countless tips and hints that will assist every player, from Beginner to the Seasoned Competitor.


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