Dart Board Scoring: How to Score Darts
Updated: Apr 17
The dart board may look complicated, but it's easy to decipher once you understand the elements you see. In this post, we'll break down what each part of the board means and discuss some of the most fun dart games to play.
When you look at the dart board, you'll see that a range of numbers circles the perimeter. They're out of order, but scattering them around is part of the fun. You have to aim each shot carefully — notice how the 20, the highest score on the board, is directly beside the 1, the board's lowest factor.
Under most dart board scoring rules, you receive a score corresponding with the number you land inside. However, the number itself is out of bounds — tosses must land within the legal dart board scoring zone.
In addition to numbered slivers, you'll also notice different colored segments around the board. The first two to consider are in the center — the inner and outer bullseye circles. In most games, these give high scores. The center circle is often worth double the points of the outer ring. Most games reward 50 points for a double bullseye and 25 for the outer circle.
The other sections to note are the two rings, one around the perimeter and the other halfway between the perimeter and center. These sections — generally red, blue or green — are score multipliers. The outer ring doubles the points for the throw while the inner one triples the score. For example, throwing a dart into the colored inner ring of the 12-point sliver results in 36 points.
Ways to Play
While a dart board is a fairly simple object, it gives a lot of freedom for players to experiment with different games. Dozens of variations accommodate players at any skill level. Here, we'll discuss a few must-know dart games you can enjoy with anyone.
501 and 301
Two of the most basic dart variations, 501 and 301 are racing games with a precise finish. In either version, players take turns throwing three darts, subtracting the total from either 501 or 301. A player wins when they reach 0, but only if they hit the number exactly — going under 0 negates the player's turn.
As players get closer to 0, it becomes easier to plan the exact score they'd need to finish the game in a single turn. Some variations include additional qualifiers, such as requiring a player to land in a double section or mark a bullseye to win.
Around the Clock
Around the clock features teams of two players who each throw three darts per turn, alternating team representatives each inning. Rather than tallying points, the goal is to hit every number on the board. Landing in a score-multiplying section counts, but there is no extra reward for doing so. The first team to hit all 20 numbered slivers is the winner.
In cricket, two players or teams alternate throwing three darts, but only the bullseye and numbers 15 through 20 are in play. The goal of this game is to close out the board by landing three darts in a given number while also scoring the most points. In this game, doubles count as two hits and triples are an automatic closeout.
When one team lands three darts in a section, they may begin collecting points on that number with every subsequent hit they make until the other team also closes it out. For bullseye, the outer ring is a single hit while the inner is a double. A team wins when they close out every eligible section on the board, so long as they've collected the most points.
If a team closes the board but has fewer points, they can win by continuing to score while the other team attempts to close out the remaining sections. This rule means a team can win by having more points even if they are last to complete the board. Point ties go to the fasted team to close.
In English Cricket, two players alternate between batting and bowling, similar to cricket or baseball. The batting player throws three darts per turn, attempting to score as many points as possible. But here's the catch — the batter only receives the points they score over 40. If a player's three throws add up to 60 points, they will receive 20 toward their score.
Meanwhile, the bowler throws for bullseye, receiving two wickets for a double bullseye and one for a single. When the bowler marks their 10th wicket, the players switch roles. Additionally, the batter can remove a wicket with a single bullseye and two with a double. If the bowler misses the board, the batter receives 20 points. The game ends after each participant has played each role twice. Victory goes to the highest scorer.
To make the game easier for new players, you can omit the 40-point threshold, play with fewer than 10 wickets per inning or replace the bullseye with an easier-to-hit number.
Dart Boards From HB Home
If you want to practice your favorite dart games from home, consider a dart board from HB Home. We offer unique models featuring beautiful wood finishes and fine metal binding that make a sharp addition to any game room. To learn more, contact HB Home today!