Learn To Play Darts: Rules, Scoring, Equipment And Instructions On Throwing

This article briefly explains the game of darts, equipment needed, how to set up the playing area, how to stand, how to throw, the scoring system, and the rules for some games.

Darts is a game in which any number of players/teams takes turns throwing three darts at a target hung on the wall. The player with the most points wins. To play darts, you will need a dartboard, darts, and a playing area.

The equipment needed for darts is a dartboard (which is the target) and darts (which are the objects that you throw at the target). You will also need a tape measure and some tape to set up the playing area.

Dartboards are available in several different materials and designs. For example, electric dartboards have digital scoring methods and some preprogrammed games. Other dartboards have manual scoring methods and can be, in essence, used for a number of different games. Regardless of the type of dartboard used, all have similar target areas. The target area is a circle with the numbers (clockwise, starting in the very top position) 20, 1, 18, 4, 13, 6, 10, 15, 2, 17, 3, 19, 7, 16, 8, 11, 14, 9, 12, and 5. Within the target area (the circle), there is an outer ring (the outermost circle of the target area) and an inner ring (the second circle within the target area). In the very center of the circle, there is a bull's-eye with an outer and an inner section. Finally, each number has a pie-shaped wedge (with the widest section near the number on the outside ring coming to a point within the bull's-eye). The scoring goes as follows:

1. For each number, there is a section that corresponds to it (the pie-shaped wedge).

2. In this section, 3 points are awarded if the dart lands in the outer ring, 2 points if in the inner ring, 1 point if in any other area.

3. The bull's-eye is usually used to see who goes first in most games or as a tie-breaker, although some games do incorporate it into the game.



Darts are what you throw at the dartboard. A dart has 4 main parts: the tip, barrel, shaft, and the flight. The dart tip is the sharp-pointed end that sticks into the dartboard. The barrel is the widest section of the dart that connects to the tip, and this is where most players hold the dart. The next section is the shaft, which is the skinny section connected to the barrel and the flight. The flight is at the opposite end of the tip. This is the section that helps the dart to fly. Each part of the dart can come in many different materials, shapes, or designs. Choose one that best fits your throwing style or preferences.

To play darts, you must set up a playing area. The dartboard is first hung on the wall with the center of the bull's-eye 5'8'' off the floor. The toe line (where a player stands to throw) is drawn from 7' 9.25" horizontally away from the face of the dartboard. The 7' 9.25" is the recognized standard set by the World Darts Federation. The toe line can be a length of tape placed parallel to the wall that the dartboard is on, a semicircle measuring the same distance to the face of the dartboard from each point, or a raised structure no more than 1.5" high.

The object of darts is to throw the dart at the target to achieve the desired score. When throwing the dart, a player must stand behind the toe line. There are three general stances while playing darts. One option is to stand with both of your feet together, toes on the line, and feet facing forward. Knees can be bent or straight and your legs can be together or slightly apart. The next stance involves facing the dartboard and then turning left or right so that you are angled from the dartboard. The last option involves facing the dartboard and stepping forward with your right foot (if you are right-handed) or your left foot (if you are left-handed). The foot in front should be directly facing the dartboard, and your toes should be on the line. The other foot should be behind you in a comfortable yet supportive position that will give you balance. Choose any stance that will work for you in terms of comfort, throwing ability, and balance.

Once you are in your stance, you need to throw the dart at the board. First, you should hold a dart using your thumb and the first two fingers in almost the same way you would hold a pen or pencil. The dart should balance on your thumb if you take away the other two fingers. The optimal place is at the dart's center. Once you find this position, you will better be able to control the dart's path. If you hold it too close to the tip, then there will be too much weight at the back. If you hold it at the opposite end, there will be too much weight at the front. This will affect the dart's path towards the dartboard, and it may veer upward or downward from where you were aiming. You should always aim the point (tip) of the dart precisely where you want it to travel. Do this by positioning the dart in your line-of-sight with the desired point on the target. Now throw the dart using only your forearm. You should not use your shoulder like in a pushing motion. Try not to sway, lean, or shake while throwing the dart. Take your time, and try to be deliberate in your throw. Release the dart at the same point of your throw each time to be consistent. Just as in golf, you should follow through with your throw even after the dart has been released. Your hand should be pointing in line to the space you were aiming. Make sure that you pause at the end of your throw so that if you make a mistake, you may take note of the position of your feet, torso, arm, and hand. The most important thing is to not get sloppy with informal stances. Lastly, make sure to stand and throw the exact same way every time to be consistent

Now it's time to play a game. Cricket is the most popular dart game played, and it is the one that is most likely to be programmed into an electronic dartboard. The objective of cricket is to be the first player/team to own certain numbers on the dartboard while achieving the highest score.

Each player/team gets three darts per turn and alternate turns during the game. During the player's/team's turn, that player/team tries to own the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and the bull's-eye. To own a number, the player/team must score three points on that number via three singles, a double, a single, or a triple (treble) before the other player/team does. The double ring counts as 2 points, the triple ring counts as 3 points, the outer bull's-eye counts as 1 point, and the inner bull's-eye counts as 2 points. After a player/team owns a number, they may continue to score on that number until the other player/team score their 3 points. During this time, the double ring is worth 4 points, and the triple ring is worth 9 points for the player/team who has already achieved their 3 points. Once the other player/team scores 3 points on that number, then the number is considered closed, and no one can score any further on that number. Numbers do not need to be owned or closed in any order. The player/team who owns/closes all innings first and has the most points is the winner. In the event of a tied score, the player/team who owned/closed all the innings first wins. A player/team may continue to score after that player/team has owned all the numbers, but only until the other player/team closes any numbers that are still open.

A few other fun games to play are Cut-Throat Cricket, Baseball, and Around the Clock.

Cut-Throat Cricket is a variation of Cricket. In this variation, the objective of the game is to be the first player/team to own all the numbers with the lowest score. After a number is owned by a player/team, that player/team can add points to the score of the other player/team who still has that number open. The player/team who has closed all their numbers with the lowest score wins.

Baseball is a fun dart game which is similar in concept to the real-life sport. Each player gets 3 darts and tries to score as many points as possible in each of the nine innings. The nine innings correspond to the numbers 1 through 9 on the dartboard. In the first inning, players will only get points by hitting the 1 which corresponds to first inning. The single area counts as one run, the double area counts as two runs, and the triple (or treble) area counts as three runs. The player with the most runs at the end of the nine innings wins. Should there be a tie, players will continue on to the next inning (the number 10). If the game is still tied at the end of that inning, game play continues until a winner is declared.

Around the Clock is a game in which you try to be the first player to hit every number on the board from 1-20. Each player gets to throw three darts before passing them to the next player, and play alternates this way throughout the whole game. If you throw dart #1 and hit the 1, you may aim at 2 with the next dart. However, if you don't make the 1, you must continue to throw your last two darts until you do. Once you hit the number, you may continue to the next one, but you cannot skip numbers you haven't been able to hit. The first player to hit from 1 to 20 in order wins.

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