Rules Of Various Dart Board Games

Rules for four of the most popular dart board games and variations: 501 Up, Cricket, Killer, and Around the Clock. Read on to brush up on your dart skilld.

There are many variations on a game of darts. Even different pubs and clubs have their own rules. Most of the games are played on the 'clock' or 'trebles' board that is made of vegetable fibers. It is called a bristle board and is a circle with 20 segments separated by color and wire. The numbers from 1 to 20 are randomly placed on the board with a small black circle in the middle called the bulls eye. A thin red ring around the bulls eye is called the 25 ring. The slices have areas for double and treble score counts. Each player uses three darts. Quite a few of the games have the rule that a person must hit a double before they can start scoring.

Professional matches usually follow a version called '501 up'. Each player has 501 points. They take turns throwing their three darts. After the score is totaled, it is removed from their score. The person who wins is the first to reduce their score to zero. The catch is that the last dart thrown must land in a double area or the bulls eye. Therefore, players try to hit certain combinations to reduce their score quickly. If a score goes to one or below, the turn is over and that persons score is returned to what it was before the turn. For a shorter game, there is another version called 301.

One of the more popular versions of darts is called cricket. Cricket requires more skilled throwing and strategy. It mainly uses the numbers 15 through 20 and the bulls eye. These numbers and the bulls eye are 'opened' by the player or team after scoring three of that number in any combination. The opposing player or team, who are considered the bowling side, cannot score that number but can close it by getting three scores on it. Each batting player tries to get as high a score as possible. Everything above 40 points is added to their score. When it is the bowling side, those players aim for the bulls eye. A bulls eye is worth two wickets, the 25 ring is worth one wicket. Taking turns until the bowling team hits and gets its 10th wicket. Now the two players or teams change sides, and scoring continues for four 'innings'. There are simpler rules for making the game easier for beginners such as counting the whole score or lowering the number of wickets per inning.

Large groups of players use a version of darts called killer. Once the order of play is decided, each player throws one dart using his or her off-hand. When a number is hit, that is that players number. Each player takes their turn trying to hit their number. One 'life' is scored for each dart that hits, with two lives for a double and three for a treble. When a player scores exactly five, he is then a 'killer'. A killer player can than then aim at any other player's numbers. When they hit, the number of lives is taken from their score. If the number of lives goes below zero, that player is out of the game. The last player remaining wins the games.

A fun version of darts is called Around the Clock. Each player must hit the numbers from 1 to 20 in order, then the 25 ring and finally the bulls eye. A player cannot progress until they hit the next number. First player to go all the way through wins the game.

All dart games use a set position for the dartboard. There is also a foul line that a player's foot cannot cross. They can lean as far as they can though. Before darts are pulled from the board, the scorekeeper or opposing player verifies them.

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