Due to the huge popularity of the game, darts has overgrown being just a casual pub game long time ago. Besides countless variations of unofficial types of games and rules, there are also rules made by large governing bodies such as British Darts Organization. However, don’t expect the rules in your local pub to be the same as in an organized tournament.
In this article, I will focus on the most common board design which is the clock board, but there are also different boards to choose from out there. These boards are usually made of special fiber, where the wires and colors separate sections on the board.
Bullseye or the center circle is the most popular part of the board and a thin 25 ring surrounds it. The rest of the board is split into 20 segments with numbers 1 to 20. There are also two “multiplier” rings. One on the edge of the scoreboard called “double” and a “treble” ring which is halfway between the bullseye and the edge.
When throwing the dart, the player should be exactly 7ft and 9 ¼ inches (2.37m) from the board. The board is placed so that the bullseye is 5ft and 8 inches (1.73m) above the ground. There is usually a mark on the ground or “oche” behind which the player stands. Here are some of the most common Darts rules:
Together with 301 one, 501 is one of the most common and simplest Darts games out there. You start with a score of 501 and you have three throws at every turn in order to get to the zero first. Most professional tournaments are using this game as it is both exciting and simple to regulate. The trick is that you have to hit a double or the bullseye with your last shot in order to win the game.
In case you overthrow zero or score 1, you are dealing with a “bust”. That whole turn is not counting and you are returned to your previous score. To avoid this, a good idea is to aim for repeatedly divisible numbers like 32 or 24, so you can still end the game with your next dart.
There is no difference between a 501 and 301 game except for the starting score. Sometimes, to spice the things up, the rules require you to start and end the game with a double. There are also some useful combinations that you can learn to get the fastest exit after you reach 170 or lower.
It’s not unusual to incorporate the gameplay of one sport into another, people do it all the time. One of those mashups is the combination of cricket and darts. The cricket darts rules are not that complicated. There are two roles, a batter and a bowler, which is decided by a coin toss on the first turn.
As with usual darts rules, a player throws 3 darts with every turn. The batter tries to score as many points as possible, but only the points over 40 count in his turn (if he scores 51, he gets 11 points). On the other side, the bowler aims for bullseye and 25-ring. Hitting bullseye will earn him 2 wickets and the 25-ring 1 wicket. They change turns until the bowler scores 10 wickets. This counts as one inning and now they reverse the roles. The game lasts until each player has batted 2 innings.
The game also has a penalty system. For example, if the batter hits the bullseye or 25-ring, he is deducted 1 or 2 wickets. On the other hand, if the bowler lands outside the board, the batter gets bonus 20 points. However, you can always make less strict rules or lower scoring system for less skilled dart players.
Around the Clock
Another simple and very popular game in pubs is “Around the Clock”. As the name implies, you go around the board, scoring every segment from 1 to 20 in chronological order. You can’t skip o a number unless you hit the previous one. To end the game, a player must hit 25 and then finish it off with a bullseye.
The killer is one of the most entertaining darts rules. You will get the most fun out of it when playing with a large group of friends. However, you should be careful, since this game is notorious for ruining friendships. 🙂
At the start of a game, every player starts by throwing with their weaker hand to get a number allocated. If you miss everything or hit a number that’s taken, you are out of the game. A group decides the number of lives that are allocated to each player (5 usually).
Each player has a turn to try and score a life for each dart that hits their number, doubles, and triples count too. When the player reaches PRECISELY 5 lives, he is the “killer” until someone gets one or more points off him. If you overshoot, each point you overshot is deducted from the 5. The role of the killer is to aim at other players’ numbers and try to knock them out. A player is knocked out when he or she goes into a negative score.
Those were some fun darts rules that you can play with your friends at the pub. However, you can always look for more online, or even get creative and invent some yourselves. Whatever you do, I hope you have a lot of fun.