The history began approximately in the 1860s, the United Kingdom started a new kind of indoor games in the bars and pubs. The game was about throwing an object to a particular target and hitting a score. That casual pub game has gained so much popularity across the globe now for its simplicity and fun. That game is termed as Darts.
People of all ages regardless of any skills can play and enjoy this game. Darts can be played almost anywhere with little precautions on breakable objects like glass windows. This is the article that will help you learn this amazing indoor game in detail and how to play like a professional.
We are going to explain the best way you can learn darts. And after that, we will also answer some frequently asked questions on darts to ensure you get all your queries answered in one article.
How To Play Darts?
Darts can be said to be the simplest of indoor games. Aim and Hit, 2 words simply define the game and describe the process of playing a game of dart too. Simple stuff is not enjoyable, right? Yet dart is enjoyed at the competitive level a lot by lots of people because there are twists in the tail. Darts can be played in numerous ways. Each type has different rules and scoring systems. Basically, these rules make the game competitive and enjoyed by all. Before going towards the rules and playing process lets know the terms and equipment of the game step by step. We have segmented the complete process in 3 stages for better understanding and mastering the art of playing darts.
- Understanding the board and scoring system
- Throwing the dart
- Playing different types of dart games
Understanding the board and scoring system
Having proper knowledge about sports or games before getting into the actual field gives you the confidence to play and master the game. More importantly, prior knowledge helps a lot to understand while learning practically. Here are a few very common terms that you will require to understand prior learning how to play darts.
Dart: The Indoor Game
Darts is an individual sport that can also be categorized as target sports. The game is termed as ‘dart’ upon its major equipment which is a small missile-like throwable equipment. The main objective of this indoor game is to aim and hit a certain point to score more than your competitors. The game can be played between two or more players. You can play against virtual entities as well in a few electronic dartboards.
Dart is not only a pub game these days. People across the world enjoy the game. Since 1974, the World Darts Federation (WDF) has governed the game and organizes several tournaments as well all over the globe. The game is named after its major playing equipment, termed as “darts”. There are lots of gameplay options in darts. You will find a more detailed description of the types of games in the dart segment of this article.
Dart: The playing equipment
In the game of darts, the small missile-like throwable used to play the game is called darts. In the earlier days, the butt of an arrow or crossbow bolts were used as darts. After that, french people manufactured a dart with wood, split feathers wrapped with a strip of lead and named it as French Darts. Then onwards, people started loving the game and the game started evolving among people. Modern darts are delicately made to ease the hardship and make the game more affordable and enjoyable.
Modern-day darts have 4 parts. Flight, Shaft, Barrel, and Tip (as shown in the picture).
Flight: Flight actually drags the dart so that it doesn’t go over and bounce back. Larger darts need larger flights.
Shaft: The shafts make a balance between flight and barrel. Shafts can be made of plastics, nylon polymers, or metals such as aluminum and titanium. Shafts can be either rigid or flexible.
Barrel: Barrel is the longest portion of the dart as you can see in the image. Barrel plays the role of adding weight in the dart so that it can stay on target while flying in the air. 03 (three) basic shapes of barrel seen usually i.e. cylindrical, ton, or torpedo. And it can be made of various materials like brass, tungsten alloy, silver-nickel.
Tip: Tips are also known as points. Two types of tips are seen mostly. The major difference between them is the length. The most common length of the tips found in 32mm and 41mm.
What is Dartboard?
The circular target at which players throw the dart is called dartboard. A Dartboard is 451 mm (17 3⁄4 in) in diameter and is divided into 20 radial sections by metal wire or a thin band of sheet metal. The dimension is set by the Dart Regulation Authority. In the above image, you can see a clear vision of a standard dartboard with its 4 sections, which is related to the scoring system. A detailed explanation of those sections will be discussed in the scoring segment.
The following image demonstrates how a dartboard looks after being hit by darts.
You can set up your dartboard on your own. It is very much easy.
How to set up your Dartboard?
There are some official rules for setting up a dartboard. If you are passionate about the game and wish to participate in any competitive tournaments you better follow the standard rules set by the Dart Regulation Authority. But if you play for fun or casual friendly matches with your dear ones then it is not mandatory to follow the official rules to set up a dartboard indoors or outdoors.
Know the size chart first
We suggest setting up the dartboard according to the official rules. The official measurements are as follows.
|Height||5′ 8″ (1.73m) from the floor to the center of the bullseye.|
|Throwing / Toe line or Oche||7′ 9 ¼” (2.37m) from the board to the throw line or 9′ 7 ½” (2.93m) when measured diagonally from the bullseye to the throwing line). This second measure is used when playing on an uneven surface.|
|Throwing Lane||Minimum 2′ (0.6m) clearance both sides of the board (remember darts are sharp!).|
|Mounting||The board should be mounted flush to the wall not leaning forward with D20 directly at the top.|
|Soft-tip Dartboards||The common oche length used when playing on a Soft-tip board is 8’ (2.43m) not 7’ 9 ¼” (2.37m). See your local league for any variation. The height of the board is the same as a standard dartboard.|
Are there any differences between men’s darts and women’s darts? This is the most common question we are asked frequently on the internet. Well, the answer is there is no such difference officially between men’s’ dart game and women’s dart game. But there are variations in measurements in several leagues.
Choose the right place to mount your dartboard
From the size chart mentioned earlier, you must be aware of how much space you will need to set up a standard size dartboard. Though there is no hard and fast rule to follow, it is suggested to follow the standard size for better practice.
Select a safe place to mount your dartboard so that any miss-shot should not damage anything. It is better to set up your dartboard away from glass items like windows. Also, avoid entry points or nearby walkways to avoid injuring people passing by or entering your home. Try to mount the dartboard in a place where you can afford some more space to place the scoreboard as well.
Mount the dartboard accurately
Finally, it is time to mount the dartboard. Be sure that you have all the tools you may need to set up your dartboard. You will require a screwdriver, a pencil, and a tape for this process. Follow the steps mentioned below:
- Take measurement tape first and find the right place to mount.
- Mark the place on the wall with a pencil (recheck the measurement if needed)
- Drill the marked places with a screwdriver and run the dartboard mounting screw on it.
- Hang the dartboard on to the screw. Tighten the screw (if needed)
Now you are ready to play the game of dart.
Throwing the dart
Aiming and Throwing the darts are the major skills that you will require to expertise the game. Hitting bullseye can be a very handy skill in competitive games. In this section of the article, we will be discussing how you can learn and adapt the skill of throwing and hitting a bullseye. Certainly, when you are capable of hitting the bullseye with consistency you are likely to hit your aim to the other parts as well.
You need to adopt some strategies. Here are some strategies you can follow to learn throwing the dart.
To throw darts on the dartboard you need to be in a place where you can hit the darts directly on the bullseye. Stand at a certain distance and notice the position of your toes and arms. When you move towards Oche, your big toe will face the dartboard. Keep it along the front part of your body. Then, keep your arms in a vertical position while the biceps are in a horizontal position to control. Try to keep your body stable when you lean on the Oche.
Hold the dart correctly
Before throwing the dart, make sure that you are holding the dart correctly. Because it is very important to know if you want to hit the bullseye. Darts can be caught in different ways. How you hold a dart is called a dart grip. Some players use 2 and some use 5 fingers grip. These grips are named after the number of fingers used when throwing darts.
You can use the grip that seems easy to you. So, you can try different grips to see which grip is appropriate for you. Remember, the dart cannot be held too tightly, it has to be held lightly. If you place the first finger and thumb on the back of the dart and keep your middle finger at a certain point, you can hopefully control the dart better.
Practice throwing dart correctly
When you are preparing to throw a dart to hit the bullseye, point your hand straight at the bullseye and keep your arm as straight as possible. Then, throw the dart. Watch the following video that will illustrate the complete process.
Playing different types of dart games
By now, you know the basics of a dart. Whether it’s subjective knowledge or we can say practical knowledge too. There is no short-cut than practicing to be successful in darts. The more you practice the better you get in throwing darts. It is high time you play some competitive games. In order to do so, let’s learn about the popular types of competitive dart games.
Type of Game in Dart
The dartboard consists of a circle of 20 segments numbered from 1 to 20 randomly. Hitting the required number is the main objective of the gameplay in most cases. There are numerous games that can be played on the dartboard, we will be discussing some of the popular types here. These games are likely to be played in your nearest pubs and dart playing zones.
Standard 701, 501, 301
This is the easiest of all dart games. The rule is very simple. The first player to take his score to exactly zero is the winner. And the game will start from an agreed score at the start of the game. It can be any from 701 or 501 or 301. The most common and popular is the 501 standard game. Each player will have 3 darts to throw in one round. The score for each turn is calculated and deducted from the players’ total. Bullseye scores 50, the outer ring scores 25 and a dart in the double or treble ring counts double or treble the segment score.
Scoring: A double is mandatory to finish the game. And no compulsory start off rule. Achieved score on each turn will be deducted from the agreed number at the start like 701 or 501. The agreed number at the start can be any number. But in most cases, the number ends with 01 so that you can’t hit only 20 every time.
Around the Clock
This game of dart can be played between 02 players. Both players will have 03 darts each. The aim of this type of dart game is to be the first player to hit all the numbers sequentially from 1-20. Players will alternate after 3 dart throws. You can not proceed to the next number till you complete the earlier number like if you fail to hit a 5, you can’t skip to 6. You have to hit a 5 first. Bullseye to finish off the sequence adds more difficulty.
Cricket in darts is very much popular to play in teams. Don’t get yourself confused with the original cricket which is played with bat and ball. But, if you are familiar with that cricket then it will be easier for you to understand this cricket of darts.
Playing strategy and dart scoring: Cricket in dartboard can be played individually and in teams. A coin toss decides who will bat first, and the role will be reversed after innings. The scoring system is similar to the standard 501. The batting player starts and, during each turn, attempts to score as many points as possible. When the batting player scores more than 40 points in a turn, the number of points above 40 is added to that player’s score. e.g. If the batting player scores 58, 18 points (runs) are added to that player’s score. else they get 0.
The bowling player will aim only at the bullseye. The bowling player scores 2 wickets for the bullseye and 1 wicket for the 25 rings. The batting team turns to keep going till the bowling team achieves the 10th wicket. Fall of the 10th wicket brings an end to the innings, then the role is reversed and another innings takes place. After equal innings from both teams, most runs scored wins.
Failing to land the dart in the appropriate positions causes penalties. For example, if a batsman hits bullseye while batting the penalty is 2 wickets, similarly, if the bowler throws a dart which does not land in the bullseye or 25 ring then the penalty is 20 runs which is awarded to the batting team. The scoring rules can be modified according to the skill of the individual to make the game more enjoyable.
There are several other games on darts. You can learn those here and play your favorite ones. But note that, more or less the aforementioned 3 types of dart games are played across the globe.
Frequently Asked Questions on Darts
Our experts are often asked some common questions on different platforms regarding darts. We thought about including them here so that you get your queries answered in one place. Here are those questions, please do mention in the end if we missed out answering any of your queries.
What are the rules for playing darts?
Here is the summary of the major rules of darts.
- In a game of Standard 701, 501, or 301: one player or a team reaches first to zero wins.
- One player can throw 3 darts in one turn.
- Players should stand a specific distance according to the rule locally set. The standard and most common standing distance are 7′ 9 ¼” (2.37m) from the board. (a detailed size chart is mentioned earlier)
- Each game is played on the best of legs or sets. Like Best of 3/5/7/9/11/13 Sets.
What is the most popular dart game?
The standard 01 game i.e. 701/501/301 is the most popular and common dart game played in different parts of the world. Besides the following games are also very much popular among dart players.
- Around the World
These are the games professional dart players play mostly.
How do you throw darts with precision?
To increase precision in throwing darts, practice the move or your arms and standing with balance more. The video included in this article is a perfect example of how you should throw a dart. To sum up the process the highlighting points would be:
- Do not move your shoulder when you make the throw.
- Keep most of your body weight on the foot that is forward.
- Bend your wrist slightly while throwing your arm forward.
Are heavy or light darts better?
The answer varies from individual to individual based on their skillset and personal preferences. Beginners tend to like the lighter darts, whereas professionals and experts like heavier ones for more precision. Heavy darts go straight on the other side, light darts fly with a slight trajectory.
In what countries are darts most popular?
European countries are mainly popular places for darts. The United States and the United Kingdom are highlighted among them. Statistics from dart501.com claims that over 17million people from only the United States play darts.
Apart from the European countries the popularity of darts is growing all over the globe. And it has already become one of the most favorite indoor games in the world. It is easy to play.No complex rules. Very much affordable and more importantly people of all ages can play this game with minimal caution steps. We tried to cover most information to learn the game and start playing. If there is any information missing, let us know.
Don’t forget to share your experience if you just started playing darts after reading this article.