How To Play Darts

Are you ready to step up to the oche and learn how to play darts? Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your skills, this guide will help you hit the bullseye in no time. Grab your darts, take aim, and let’s dive into the exciting world of this popular pub game!

Darts is a game of precision, strategy, and a whole lot of fun. With just a dartboard and a set of darts, you can challenge your friends or compete in professional tournaments. But where do we start? Well, let’s begin by understanding the basics of the game and how to set up your own dartboard.

Now that we have our dartboard set up and ready, it’s time to learn the proper technique for throwing darts. From the grip to the stance, we’ll explore the mechanics that will help you deliver accurate and consistent throws. Get ready to unleash your inner darting pro and impress your friends with your newfound skills!

how to play darts

How to Play Darts: A Complete Guide

Understanding the Game of Darts

Darts is a popular game that requires skill, precision, and focus. It is typically played between two players or teams, and the objective is to score points by throwing darts at a circular board divided into numbered sections. The game is played with a set of three darts, and players take turns throwing their darts at the board. Let’s explore the rules, techniques, and strategies involved in playing darts.

In a standard dartboard, the circular scoring area is divided into 20 numbered sections, each with a specific point value. The bullseye is at the center, and it is divided into an inner and outer ring, each worth different points. The outer ring is known as the single bull, and it is worth 25 points, while the inner ring, also called the double bull or the bullseye, is worth 50 points. The outer edge of the board is divided into numbered sections starting from 1 and going clockwise, with the number 20 at the top. The game can be played in various formats, such as 301, 501, or 701, where the objective is to reach zero from the starting point by subtracting the points scored in each round.

To play darts, you’ll need a dartboard, a set of darts, and a designated playing area. The standard throwing distance is 7 feet 9 1/4 inches (2.37 meters) from the front of the board. Before you start playing, ensure that the dartboard is securely mounted on the wall and that there is enough space around the board for the players to stand comfortably and throw their darts without any obstructions.

The Basic Rules of Darts

Now that we understand the fundamentals of darts, let’s dive into the basic rules of the game. The rules may vary slightly depending on the specific format being played, but the following guidelines apply to most standard games of darts.

1. Each player or team starts with a predetermined score, such as 301 or 501 points.

2. Players take turns throwing their darts at the board, and the score is deducted from the starting score.

3. The aim is to reach zero by finishing on a double or the bullseye.

4. A player must stand behind the throwing line when taking their shot, and their foot must not cross the line until the dart has left their hand.

5. If a player fails to hit a double or the bullseye to finish the game, their score is reset to what it was at the start of their turn.

6. The first player or team to reach zero using a double or bullseye wins the game.

Mastering Your Dart Throwing Technique

Throwing darts with accuracy and consistency is essential to success in the game. Here are some tips to help you improve your dart throwing technique:

1. Stance: Stand with your dominant foot slightly forward, shoulder-width apart, and perpendicular to the board. This gives you a stable base and allows for proper weight transfer during your throw.

2. Grip: Hold the dart with a relaxed grip, balancing it between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Experiment with different grip styles to find the one that feels most comfortable and natural to you.

3. Alignment: Line up your dominant eye with the target and focus on your aim. Keep your throwing elbow at a 90-degree angle and bring your forearm back, aligning it with your dominant eye.

4. Release: Release the dart smoothly and with a consistent motion, keeping your wrist firm but relaxed. Avoid flicking your wrist excessively, as it can affect your accuracy.

5. Follow-through: Follow through with your throw, extending your arm forward toward the board. This helps maintain a consistent trajectory and improves your accuracy.

6. Practice: Like any skill, mastering darts requires practice. Set up a regular practice routine, focusing on your technique, accuracy, and consistency. Practice various throwing distances, targets, and game scenarios to improve your overall skills.

Strategies and Tips for Success in Darts

While the rules and techniques lay the foundation for playing darts, employing effective strategies can give you an advantage over your opponents. Here are some strategies and tips to enhance your performance in the game:

1. Focus on scoring: Aim for the higher-scoring areas of the board, such as the triple or double sections. This will help you accumulate points faster and put more pressure on your opponent.

2. Use the whole board: Don’t stay fixated on one area of the board. Explore different sections and aim for areas that will leave you in a favorable position for your next turn.

3. Pay attention to your opponent: Observe your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. If they struggle with a particular target, focus on hitting that area to disrupt their rhythm and put them under pressure.

4. Develop a consistent rhythm: Establishing a consistent throwing rhythm will improve your accuracy and reduce the likelihood of missing your target. Practice your rhythm during your training sessions.

5. Stay calm under pressure: Darts is a game of skill and mental fortitude. Stay focused and composed, even when facing challenging situations or tight matches. Maintaining a calm mind will help you make better decisions and execute your throws with precision.

Remember, playing darts is not just about winning; it’s about enjoying the game and having fun. Embrace the competitive spirit, but also savor the camaraderie and social aspect of playing darts with friends or fellow enthusiasts. So, gather your darts, set up your board, and start practicing your aim and accuracy to become a master of the game!

Key Takeaways: How to Play Darts

  • Stand at a distance of 7 feet and 9 and 1/4 inches from the dartboard.
  • Hold the dart with a relaxed grip and align your dominant eye with the target.
  • Aim for the various sections of the dartboard to score points, with the bullseye being the highest.
  • Throw the dart with a smooth and controlled motion, releasing it at the right time.
  • Practice regularly to improve your aim, accuracy, and consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you new to the game of darts? Not sure how to play? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out these frequently asked questions to get started on your dart-throwing journey.

1. What are the basic rules of playing darts?

Playing darts is simple. All you need to do is stand at the designated distance from the dartboard, usually around 7 feet for steel tip darts and 8 feet for soft tip darts. Each player takes turns throwing three darts, aiming to earn points by hitting specific areas on the dartboard.

The most common game is “501,” where each player starts with 501 points and strives to reach zero. To score, aim for the numbered sections on the dartboard, with the innermost ring counting as triple the value and the outer ring as double the value. The player who reaches zero first wins the game.

2. How should I hold a dart properly?

Holding a dart correctly is crucial for accuracy. Start by gripping the dart barrel between your thumb and index finger, ensuring a comfortable and firm hold. Your other fingers can rest gently on the dart for support.

Experiment with different grips to find what works best for you. Some popular grips include the “pencil grip,” where the dart rests between the thumb and index finger like holding a pencil, and the “hammer grip,” where the dart lies along the base of the thumb, with the fingers providing added stability.

3. What are some essential dart throwing techniques?

To improve your throwing technique, consistency is key. Focus on maintaining a smooth and controlled action, with a fluid motion from your backswing to your follow-through.

Another crucial element is aiming. Find a target point on the dartboard, like the triple 20, and concentrate on hitting that spot consistently. Practice your aim by throwing at different sections of the board, gradually increasing the difficulty as you become more comfortable.

4. How can I improve my accuracy when throwing darts?

Improving accuracy takes time and practice. One effective method is to visualize your throw before releasing the dart. Develop a mental image of the dart hitting the desired target, and then execute your throw with focus.

Another strategy is to focus on your stance and body alignment. Stand with your dominant foot slightly forward, ensuring that your body weight is balanced and your front shoulder is pointing towards the target. This alignment helps maintain consistency and accuracy in your throws.

5. Are there any strategies I can use in dart games?

Absolutely! In addition to aiming for high-scoring areas, strategic dart players often aim for specific numbers to maximize their chances of reaching zero. For example, aiming for triple 19, followed by triple 18 and triple 20, can help reduce your score quickly.

Furthermore, analyzing your opponent’s score and adjusting your strategy accordingly can give you a competitive edge. If your opponent is close to reaching zero, consider aiming for numbers that will not help them progress. Remember, dart games require a combination of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck!

How to Play Darts


Playing darts is easy once you know the basic rules. You need a dartboard, darts, and a throwing technique. Stand the right distance away, focus, aim, and throw your darts. Each player takes turns, aiming for specific areas of the board to score points. The player with the highest score wins the game. Practice and have fun!