Darts 101: Types of Dart Games and How to Play Them

Dart games are popular recreational activities played with a set of darts and a dartboard. There are several types of dart games, each with its own set of rules and objectives. Here are some common types of dart games:

1. 501/301

501/301 is one of the most popular and widely played dart games. The objective is to reach zero points from a starting score of 501 or 301 by subtracting the points scored on each turn. Players take turns throwing three darts and deduct the score they hit from their starting total until they reach zero.

2. Cricket

Cricket is a strategy-based dart game played between two players or teams. The objective is to score points by hitting specific numbers on the dartboard, usually 15 through 20 and the bullseye. The player/team that closes all the numbers first and has the higher score wins the game.

3. Around the Clock

Around the Clock is a game that requires players to hit each numbered segment on the dartboard, starting from 1 and progressing clockwise to 20. Players take turns attempting to hit the next number in sequential order. The first player to hit all the numbers and the bullseye wins the game.

4. 301 Double In/Double Out

Similar to the 501/301 game, this variation requires players to start with a double (outer ring) to begin scoring. The objective is to reach zero points by deducting the score on each turn. However, players must finish the game by hitting a double segment to reach exactly zero points.

5. Shanghai

Shanghai is a game played on the numbered sections of the dartboard, including the bullseye. Each player takes turns throwing three darts at a specific number, and the objective is to score as many points as possible. The twist is that a “Shanghai” can be achieved by hitting a single, double, and triple of the targeted number in a single turn, resulting in bonus points.

6. Halve-It

Halve-It is a challenging game that involves multiple rounds. Each round has a specific target number, and players aim to hit that number with one of their darts. If successful, the player’s score doubles, but if they miss, their score is halved. The game continues with different target numbers, and the player with the highest score at the end wins.

7. 501/301 Cutthroat

In 501/301 Cutthroat, three or more players compete against each other. Each player starts with a score of 501 or 301 and takes turns throwing three darts. The objective is to reduce the score to zero, and players can steal points from each other by hitting numbers that opponents have yet to close.

These are just a few examples of the different types of dart games. Dart games can be played in various formats, and there are countless variations and rule variations. The choice of game often depends on the number of players, skill levels, and desired level of competition.