How to Play Bowling Darts: Master the Game in 5 Steps

Do you want something thrilling in your dart game to refresh and fuel your energy? It’s time to experience Bowling Darts! 

Bowling Dart is a unique game inspired by traditional bowling games and combines the zest of the bowling game perfectly. It combines the excitement of throwing darts and the satisfaction of striking pins. 

If you are into challenging, fast-paced games, bowling dart is your perfect match. It is an excellent source of entertainment for family gatherings and competitive game nights with friends. Moreover, it improves your throwing skills and helps you to aim accurately. Thus you get to enjoy a new variant of dart game and sharpen your dart skills simultaneously. 

In this article, we’ll focus on the ins and outs of the bowling darts game, the bowling dart game rules, and its scoring. Our guide on playing bowling darts games will help you master this dynamic sport. 

Traditional Bowling and Bowling Dart Game: What’s the Difference?

Traditional Bowling and Bowling Dart Game Whats the Difference

In most cases, beginners misunderstand bowling darts as a traditional bowling game. The names are quite close, and these games have some elements in common, raising confusion. But the overall gameplay, including rules and equipment, bowling, and bowling dart are two different games. 

Let’s look at the major differences between bowling and bowling darts:

1. In a traditional bowling game, players roll a large ball down a narrow long way toward a set of 10 pins to knock those down. While in dart bowling, players need darts and a dartboard as equipment. They hit their darts on the specific numbers of a regular or specialized dartboard.

2. In bowling, the scoring depends on how many pins are successfully knocked down in the determined fame. But, in bowling darts, different sectors of the dartboard have different values, and players score points by hitting those sections.

3. In traditional bowling, players roll the ball down the lane, aiming to knock down as many pins as possible. Each player has two throws or three throws per frame, depending on which rules are being followed. The game has ten frames, and the player with the highest score wins. On the other hand, in bowling darts, players take turns throwing the dart at the dartboard. Each player has a set number of throws, usually three, to accumulate points. The game can have a predetermined number of rounds; the player with the highest score at the end is the winner.

4. Bowling is mainly a target game. It requires accuracy, speed, and techniques to target the pins. Players must deeply understand the ball, throwing lane, spin, and angle. Bowling darts also requires accuracy to aim at target sections. But it also requires control over the throw, consistency in throwing techniques, and precision to play bowling darts.

Dart and Bowling have similarities as well.

That was all about the differences between these two games. But bowling and bowling darts have a few similarities as well. 

1. Bowling dart game generally consists of ten plays (or frames), similar to traditional bowling, and can be solo or in a team, like bowling.

2. Both bowling and bowling dart is a target game and needs good hand-eye coordination. You need to have accuracy and strategy to play these games. 

3. Both the games are played indoors.  

4. The terms and rules used to play these games are common. For example, frames, pins, spare, strikes, etc., terms in both games. 

How to Play Bowling Dart 

How to Play Bowling Dart

Playing a bowling dart on a regular dartboard differs from playing it on a bowling dartboard. The rules, gameplay, and scoring are almost similar to regular darts but have the elements of a bowling game. 

Terms and Rules of Bowling Darts

Note: There are numerous game variants with different rules and scoring methods. As there are no globally recognized rules and regulations, we’ll share the most known rules of bowling darts that can be played on a regular traditional dartboard. 

Since it’s bowling ‘darts,’ if you know how to play darts, understanding the rules of bowling darts will be easier for you. Bowling dart has no official rules. So players follow different rules and methods according to their convenience and understanding. 

Equipment: For this game, you’ll need a standard dartboard of 18-inch diameter with usually numbered sections and a bullseye. Also, 3 good quality soft or steel tip darts are required to play the game. 

Number of Players: Two or more people can play bowling darts. If you have a large group, make teams and challenge your friends. 

Setup: Before you start, ensure you have the proper dartboard setup and distance from the dartboard. Whether traditional or electronic one, the dartboard height should be 5′ 8″ from the bullseye to the floor. 

Goal: The primary goal is to accurately hit the designated pins on the dartboard within a specific ‘frame’ and earn more points than the other team or player. 

Pin: In dart bowling, ‘pin’ is the target area a player hits with their darts. Each section on the dartboard represents a pin from a traditional bowling setup. The dartboard setup in bowling darts includes a headpin, adjacent pins, and remaining pins.

Frame: Here, the term ‘frame’ is taken from a traditional bowling game. It consists of the attempts a player takes to hit the target zones. Dart bowling is played with multiple frames, usually 10. Each frame includes 3 throws. After one frame is completed, players can move to the next frame. 

Strike: The strike is considered the best and most desirable outcome for a single delivery. In bowling darts, when you hit your determined target with the first dart, it’s a strike. Like in bowling, If a player knocks down all ten pins with the first roll, it is a strike.  When a strike happens, the player’s turn in that frame is over, and they are awarded the highest possible score. 

Spare: A spare in bowling is when a  player knocks down all remaining pins with both rolls. In dart bowling, if the player succeeds in aiming the target in the second throw, it is considered a spare. 

Winning: At the end of all the frames, the player with the highest score is considered the winner of bowling dart. 

How to Score and Win Bowling Darts

Introduction of the sections

The total score for a frame is the sum of the points scored from each throw within that frame. A game comprises ten frames, and the player with the highest cumulative score wins after all frames are played. Take a look below to get an idea of the different scores of bowling dart board:

How to Score and Win Bowling Darts

Scoring depends on the pinned section of the dart board. Usually, 3 types of pins are included in the board in a bowling dart game. 

Headpin: The outer double ring of the dartboard represents the headpin. It is the center pin in a bowling setup. Hitting the headpin typically scores the highest number of points. 

Adjacent Pins: The inner triple ring of the dartboard represents the adjacent pins. It is also known as side pins. These sections have a lower point value than the headpin but higher than the others in the remaining pins. 

Remaining Pins: The remaining sections on the dartboard, apart from the headpin and adjacent pins, correspond to the remaining pins in the bowling setup. Each section represents one pin, and hitting these sections offers points according to the value associated with each section.

Alternative Verison of Bowling Dart

The abovementioned rules and method isn’t the only way to play bowling dart. There are other versions of this fun game with a different dartboard and slightly different rules.

Alternative Verison of Bowling Dart

You need a specially designed dart game toy that emulates the popular bowling game to start playing. This set includes a dart and a target board featuring representations of bowling pins.

A dart game toy is suitable for simulating popular bowling games; it comprises a dart and a target board with representations of bowling pins

The rest scoring method in Bowling Darts is exactly the same as in traditional bowling. Each frame consists of two or three throws, depending on whether you are playing the ten-pin or five-pin version of the game. The scoring systems in traditional bowling differ in 5 Pin Bowling and 10 Pin Bowling. 

In 5 Pin Bowling, players earn points based on the number of pins knocked down. Each pin has a different point value, and there are bonus points for certain pin combinations. In 10 Pin Bowling, players earn points based on the number of pins knocked down throughout the game, with additional points awarded for strikes and spares.

For a more detailed guide on scoring, refer to the scoring tutorial in this video. 

Master the Game in 5 Steps

Now you know the rules of bowling darts, it is time to play and master them. We are going to explain 5 easy steps. So are you ready to hit down pins yet?

1. Aim for the specific section of the dartboard you want to hit. Focus your eyes on the target, keeping them fixed throughout your throw. 

2. Align your dominant eye with the intended target and ensure that your throwing arm, shoulder, and elbow align with your desired trajectory. Maintain a steady posture and avoid unnecessary movements that could affect your aim. 

3. The release is a crucial part of the throw. As you release the dart, maintain a smooth and fluid motion. Avoid gripping the dart too tightly, as it can hinder your release and affect the accuracy of your throw. Practice a relaxed release, allowing the dart to leave your hand smoothly. 

4. Focus on following through after the release, keeping your arm extended toward the target. This helps maintain accuracy and control. 

5. Familiarize yourself with the scoring zones on the dartboard. The dartboard is divided into different sections, each with its point value. Take time to understand the point values associated with each section to plan your throws strategically. Our next segment will help you understand the scoring more. 

Master Your Dart Skills

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player looking to perfect your game, we have resources tailored just for you. Our detailed guides will help you improve every aspect of your dart-playing technique:

Invest time in mastering these skills, and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your performance in Darts 301 and other dart games.


Bowling Darts is a fun game that combines the strategic elements of bowling with the precision and skill of darts. It creates a unique twist of the dart you will enjoy. If you’re new to this game, don’t worry, it’s simpler than it seems. And we tried to make it easy to understand in this article. 

It is an indoor game but exciting enough to give you endless thrill and entertainment. Moreover, you can develop your dart skills and practice accuracy through this game. If you start playing, we believe you’ll love the competitive and challenging pattern of the bowling dart game. So get ready to enjoy the most challenging game night with a bowling dart game. 

Let us know if you have any confusion. Else share it with your friends and enjoy. 

Written by Zach Barnes

Zach Barnes is a sport enthusiast and a sports column writer. He is dedicated to continuously expanding his knowledge and sharing his expertise with others who have a passion for indoor games like foosball, badminton, air hockey etc. Zach Barnes aims to use his expertise to educate new players in improving skills and heighten excitement for these exciting games.

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