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Games to play on a dart board

The great thing about darts, is the huge choice of games there are to play on the dart board. Live television tournaments usually feature the standard game of 501 and that’s a great game to play. However, it doesn’t stop there and you will probably be surprised by the number of different options available.

501 Darts

As mentioned above, this is probably the most popular darts game, especially in competition. Each player starts on 501 and needs to reduce their score to 0, to win the game. During a visit, a player throws their three darts and the score is taken off the total remaining. Players tend to aim for treble 20 or treble 19 to begin with, as these offer the best scoring opportunities. To end the game, the winning player must finish on a double and there are numerous combinations in order to do this. Check out this full guide on how to play 501 Darts.

Cricket

The game of cricket uses the numbers from 15 to 20 and the bullseye. The single bed is equal to one mark, the double bed is equal to two marks and the treble bed is equal to three marks. The object of the game, is to close all the numbers (score three marks) before the opponent and finish with more points than them. It’s possible to a close a number using just one dart, by hitting the treble of that number and this will score three marks.

Players take it in turns throwing three darts, until one player closes all their numbers. When a number is closed, that player can score runs on this number, until the opposing player has also closed it. For example, if a player closes 18, then hitting the treble 18 will score 54 points (runs). Once both players have closed the number, no further scoring is allowed on that number. In terms of the bullseye, the outer bull is counted as a single and the inner bull as a double.

The team who has closed all the numbers first and has equal or more points than the opposition, will be declared the winner. Check out our full guide on how to play cricket on a Dart Board.

Around the Clock

The aim of this game, is to hit every number on the board, in order, from 1 to 20. Each player has three darts and takes it in turns, starting with the number 1. Once a player has hit number 1, they can move to number 2 and so on. Therefore, it is possible to hit a maximum of three numbers per visit. The first to hit 20, wins the game. The bullseye can be added on at the end for an extra challenge, if players wish to do so.

An alternative version of Around the Clock, is to play it using only the doubles or trebles of a number. This gives players a more difficult challenge and helps them to practice hitting the smaller areas of each number.

Chase the Dragon

This game is similar to Around the Clock but it involves the numbers 10 to 20 and the bullseye. Players have three darts each and attempt to hit the treble of each number, from 10 to 20 and the bullseye. Players take it in turns to throw three darts and the first to hit the bullseye, wins. This is a good game because it gives players plenty of practice on the trebles which are used to finish combination shots in a game of 501.

Hare and Hounds

This is a game for two players, one of which is the hare and the other is the hound. The hare throws first and the hound follows on. The hare starts on the number 20 and needs to hit each number on the board, in a clockwise motion. The hare has three darts and on their first visit, could hit 20, 1 and 18. The hound starts on either 12 or 5 and also has three darts. Once the hare has thrown their first three darts, the hound can throw their three and the aim for the hound, is to catch the hare, by hitting the same number the hare is on, before they get back to 20.

Killer

Sometimes, if there is a large group of people wanting to play darts at the same time, it’s impossible to play a standard game, such as 501 and this is where Killer comes in. To play Killer, players draw numbers between 1 and 20 out of a hat and the names of each player, is written on the scoreboard, alongside their number. Each player is given three lives.

To begin with, each player must hit the double segment of their own number, three times and once they have done this, they earn the right be a Killer. A Killer, can throw for the double of their opponent’s number, in any order they wish and each time they hit it, a life is taken away from that player.

Once a player loses all their lives, they are out and the last player remaining alive at the end, wins the game.

Knockout

This is a good game for players to practice their scoring ability. Each player has three darts and the player throwing first, attempts to hit the biggest score possible with their three darts and this score is recorded. The next player, must then throw a higher score than the previous player, if not, their score is recorded, with a ring around it. If a player has three rings next to their name, they are out of the game.

You only have to score higher than the person who threw before you, not the highest score registered during the whole game. Play continues, until there is only one person left in the game and they are the winner.

Shanghai

This game can be player by any number of players and each player has three darts, taking it in turns to throw. The object of the game, starting with the number 1, is to hit the single, double and treble of that number, in a single visit, in any order. The player who achieves this first, wins the point and play moves on to the number 2 and so on, until number 20. The player who won the previous number, throws last on the next number. The player who has the most points at the end, wins the game.

So there you have it. There are a few games to get you started. Good luck and happy playing!

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