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Official Darts Rules

Darts is a classic game that involves throwing darts at a dartboard fixed to a wall. There are various games you can play with darts, but "501" and "Cricket" are two of the most popular. Here are the rules for these games:

Darts Setup

  1. Dartboard Placement:

    • Height: The dartboard should be hung so that the bullseye is 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) from the floor.

    • Throw Line (Oche): The throwing line should be 7 feet 9.25 inches (2.37 meters) from the face of the dartboard.

  2. Dartboard Layout:

    • The dartboard is divided into 20 numbered sections, each scoring from 1 to 20 points.

    • The outer bullseye is worth 25 points.

    • The inner bullseye (the center) is worth 50 points.

    • The outer ring scores double points.

    • The inner ring (between the bullseye and the outer ring) scores triple points.

Basic Rules

  1. Starting the Game:

    • To determine who goes first, each player throws one dart at the bullseye. The player closest to the bullseye starts the game.

  2. Throwing Darts:

    • Each player throws three darts per turn.

    • The score for each dart is the value of the section it lands in.

Game Variants


Objective: Reduce your score from 501 to exactly zero.

  1. Starting Score:

    • Each player starts with a score of 501.

  2. Scoring:

    • The score for each turn is the total of the three darts thrown.

    • The total score for each turn is subtracted from the player's current total.

  3. Winning:

    • To win, a player must reduce their score to exactly zero.

    • The final dart must land in a double or the bullseye. For example, if a player has 32 points remaining, they must hit double 16 to win.

  4. Bust Rule:

    • If a player scores more than the remaining points or hits a zero without landing on a double, it’s called a "bust." The player’s score for that turn is invalid, and their score reverts to what it was before that turn.


Objective: Close all your numbers (20 through 15 and bullseye) and have the highest or equal score.

  1. Numbers to Close:

    • Players aim to close the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and the bullseye by hitting each number three times.

  2. Scoring:

    • A number is considered "closed" once a player has hit it three times.

    • Hitting a number’s double counts as two hits, and hitting its triple counts as three hits.

  3. Scoring Points:

    • Once a player closes a number, they can score points by hitting that number until the opponent also closes that number.

    • Points are the face value of the number hit. For example, hitting a triple 20 scores 60 points.

  4. Winning:

    • The game ends when all the numbers and the bullseye are closed by at least one player.

    • The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

    • If both players are tied on points, the first player to close all the numbers wins.

General Etiquette and Rules

  • Stand Behind the Oche: Players must stand behind the throw line when throwing their darts.

  • No Interference: Players should not distract or interfere with their opponent’s throws.

  • Scorekeeping: Accurate scorekeeping is essential. Usually, one player or an impartial person keeps the score.

Tips for a Fun Game

  • Practice: Regular practice improves accuracy and consistency.

  • Focus: Concentrate on your throw and maintain a steady hand.

  • Good Sportsmanship: Always play fair and respect your opponent.

Darts is a versatile and enjoyable game that combines skill, precision, and strategy. Whether you’re playing a casual game of 501 or a competitive match of Cricket, understanding the rules and practicing regularly will enhance your experience.

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