Dart Rules: How To Play Darts


Darts is a game that can be played by two or more people competitively with the aim of trying to achieve a certain score by throwing three small missiles with a sharp point, either metal or plastic, at a dartboard that is split into 22 different scoring segments, whilst also including treble and double zones.

Scores on a dartboard range from 1-20 (each with a double at the top and a treble in the middle of each segment), 25 for the outer bull and 50 for the Bullseye.

It is not exclusively a professional sport, as anyone can play the game and has perhaps seen an increase in popularity over the years for its reputation for being a traditional pub game.

When placing the board, the centre of the bullseye should be 1.73m (5 feet 8 inches) above the ground. Players should stand behind an elevated horizontal block 38 mm (1 1/2 inches) high, which is called “oche” (pronounced “okky”), although any markings on the ground can be used for casual games.

The front surface of the oval should be 2.37m (7 feet, 9 and 1/4 inches) from the front surface of the board.

What Is PDC?

The Professional Darts Corporation, also known as the PDC, are one of the biggest organisations to be involved in the sport. The group was formed in 1992 after deciding to break away from the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and have gone from strength to strength as they regularly host some of the top competitions and some of the best players, both male and female, have decided to join them throughout their existence.

Types Of Professional Games

The most professional competition is 501 up. This is the simplest game. Each player has a score of 501, and then throws 3 darts in turn. They need to calculate the score for each round and deduct it from the total they had previously acquired.

The bullseye score is 50, the outer circle score is 25, and the dart score in the double circle or treble circle is twice or three times the segment score. The goal is to be the first player to accurately reduce the score to zero. The only rule they need to consider is that the last dart thrown must fall into the double-shot or bullseye.

If the player lowers the score to 1 or below zero, the score is broken, the round ends immediately, and the score returns to the level at the beginning of the round.

For example, if the player has 32 outgoing darts, and the first dart is 16 darts and the second is 15 darts, the player goes bankrupt and the score returns 32. So in the last round, it is not necessary to throw away all three darts-the player can win the first or second arrow on the turn.

How Winners Are Counted?

Winners of matches can be determined in a number of different ways, with legs and sets generally being the favoured methods. Legs are simply the number of 501 up games that have been won, whilst sets are usually created when players play games such as first to three legs.

301 is played in exactly the same way but players start the game with 301. Some games require a double to start scoring as well as to finish the game.

When the score goes below 171, professional players know the numbers to aim at in order to check out in a single turn with 3 darts. 170 provides the highest possible three-dart check out, with Treble 20, Treble 20, Bullseye one of the more spectacular spots, whilst leaving 40 on the next round of throws is usually favoured as double 20 is at the top of the board, therefore perhaps slightly easier to aim for.