Basics of Darts

THE BASICS OF DARTS IN 7 EASY STEPS

STEP 1: KNOW THE DARTBOARD.

Figure 1: A standard dartboard

Figure 2: The official WDF Dartboard setup.

STEP 3: SELECTING A SET OF DARTS:
You should not rush into buying a set of darts. The weight and shape of darts varies enormously, as do the shapes of the flights. We recommend that you try as many different types of darts and flights as possible before making a purchase. After a while you will soon become aware that each different type of dart behaves differently when YOU throw it. Take your time, find a set that you feel comfortable with BEFORE you buy.

STEP 4: DARTS TERMINOLOGY: Here is a brief glossary of some of the common and most used terms and phrases used in darts:
“Game on”:-Advises all players that the match has now started.
“Ochie” (pronounced “okkey”) :- The name of the throwing line.
“Leg shot”:- Signifies that a player has completed (Won) the “leg”.
“Game shot”:- Signifies that the match winning double has been hit.
“Bust”:- Means a player has scored more than the score required.
“Double in”:- A double is required before scoring can commence.
“Straight start”:- No double required to start.
“Ton”:- Means a score of 100 points or more.
“Ton-forty”:- Means a score of 140 points or more.
“Ton-eighty” or “Maximum”:- Means a score of 180 points.

STEP 5: THE BASICS OF A GAME OF DARTS.
A game of darts always starts, and ends, with a handshake.

A game of darts can be played in played in several forms. The most common forms are:- One player against another which is known as “Singles” or teams of two players per team which is known as “Doubles” or “Pairs”. A game of darts is played over an agreed number of sections which are known as “legs”. The number of “legs” in a game is always an odd number usually 1, 3, 5, or 7 “legs”. Matches are played as (for example) “Best of 5 “legs”. This means that the first player or team to win 3 “legs” win the match.

Players throw alternately in “Singles” matches. In “Doubles” or “Pairs” matches each “Pair” throws alternately with each player in the respective “Pair” also throwing alternately. A “Throw” consists of “3” darts. If a player completes the “Leg” or the match in less than three darts the remaining dart or darts are not thrown.

Matches usually start from 501 in competition darts but other common starts are 301, 401, 701, and even 1001. Sometimes darts matches are played where a “double” is required to start each “Leg” of the match. However, the most common form of play is “straight start” which means that players/teams can begin to score points immediately with the first dart thrown. Both teams start on the agreed starting number and the object is to score down to zero as quickly as possible. The value of the different sectors of the dartboard can be seen in Fig 1. above. Each section or “leg” of the match must be finished with a “double”, this means the outer scoring ring. For example as one approaches the end of a “leg” a player or team may have 40 points left to score. This means Double 20 is required and to end the “Leg” a dart must be thrown into the “double” section of the “20” sector. Should the thrower miss “double” 20 and hit (for example) a single 1, the the thrower would require 39 to win the “leg” where a single 7 then “double” 16 could be an option. Another example could be the player or team require 51 points. Then there would be several alternatives to end the “leg”. The usual route would be either a single 11 and then “double” 20, or perhaps a single 19 and then “double” 16. The first player or team to hit the required “double” wins the “leg”. A new leg is then started and the procedure repeated until one of the players or teams has won the required number of “legs” to win the match.

STEP 6: HOW TO KEEP SCORE.
The scoreboard starts as a blank sheet of paper which is usually hung on the wall about 50 cm or 1.5 feet to the left of the dartboard and at about the same height as the dartboard itself. The sequence below shows how a game is scored and how the scorecard takes form. The score shown in red is the last score thrown.

Scorecard: View 1 Scorecard: View 2 Scorecard: View 3 Scorecard: View 4
Player A: First Throw Player B: First Throw Player A: Second Throw Player B: Second Throw
Player A Player B Player A Player B Player A Player B Player A Player B
Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest
85 416 85 416 100 401 85 416 100 401 85 416 100 401
140 276 140 276 95 306
Scorecard: View 5 Scorecard: View 6 Scorecard: View 7 Scorecard: View 8
Player A: Third Throw Player B: Third Throw Player A: Fourth Throw Player B: Fourth Throw
Player A Player B Player A Player B Player A Player B Player A Player B
Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest Score Rest
85 416 100 401 85 416 100 401 85 416 100 401 85 416 100 401
140 276 95 306 140 276 95 306 140 276 95 306 140 276 95 306
140 136 140 136 81 225 140 136 81 225 140 136 81 225
96 40 96 40 123 102
Scorecard: View 9
Player A: Fifth Throw
Player A Player B Player “A” has won the first “leg” using a total of 15 darts.
Score Rest Score Rest
85 416 100 401
140 276 95 306
140 136 81 225
96 40 123 102
40 0
3 darts used

STEP 7: LEARN THE RULES PROPERLY
This has been a very simplified introduction into the game of Darts. Your next step should be a look at the the complete rules for Tournament Darts. Here you will find all you need to know about the rules of darts. The rules can be found in the main menu on the opening page of this website.

ADDITIONAL INFO: LEARN HOW TO FINISH
Once you have got the hang of things its time to start learning how to finish your “legs” and matches in the quickest possible way. There are many, many ways to “finish”. The tables below show you the target numbers you should be aiming at.

Scores which can be obtained using 2 darts
“T” = Treble “D” = Double

Score 1st Dart 2nd Dart
110 T20 Bull
107 T19 Bull
104 T18 Bull
101 T17 Bull
100 T20 D20
98 T20 D19
97 T19 D20
96 T20 D18
95 T19 D19
94 T18 D20
93 T19 D18
92 T20 D16
91 T17 D20
90 T18 D18
89 T19 D16
88 T16 D20
87 T17 D18
86 T18 D16
85 T15 D20
84 T20 D12
83 T17 D16
Score 1st Dart 2nd Dart
82 T14 D20
81 T15 D18
80 T16 D16
79 T17 D14
78 T18 D12
77 T19 D10
76 T20 D8
75 T15 D15
74 T14 D16
73 T19 D8
72 T16 D12
71 T13 D16
70 T10 D20
69 T19 D6
68 T20 D4
67 T17 D8
66 T10 D18
65 25 D20
64 T16 D8
63 T17 D6
62 T10 D16
Score 1st Dart 2nd Dart
61 25 D18
60 20 D20
59 19 D20
58 18 D20
57 17 D20
56 16 D20
55 15 D20
54 18 D18
53 13 D20
52 20 D16
51 19 D16
50 18 D16
49 17 D16
48 16 D16
47 15 D16
46 14 D16
45 13 D16
44 12 D16
43 11 D16
42 10 D16
41 9 D16

Scores which can be obtained using all 3 darts
“T” = Treble “D” = Double

1st dart 2nd dart 3rd dart 1st dart 2nd dart 3rd dart 1st dart 2nd dart 3rd dart
170 T20 T20 Bull 141 T20 T15 D18 119 T19 T10 D16
167 T19 T20 Bull 140 T20 T16 D16 118 T18 T16 D8
164 T20 T18 Bull 139 T19 T14 D20 117 T19 20 D20
161 T17 T20 Bull 138 T20 T18 D12 116 T20 20 D18
160 T20 T20 D20 137 T19 T16 D16 115 T19 18 D20
158 T20 T20 D19 136 T20 T20 D8 114 T20 18 D18
157 T19 T20 D20 135 T20 T15 D15 113 T19 16 D20
156 T20 T20 D18 134 T20 T14 D16 112 T20 20 D16
155 T20 T19 D19 133 T20 T19 D8 111 T17 20 D20
154 T18 T20 D20 132 T20 T16 D12 110 T20 18 D16
153 T20 T19 D18 131 T20 T13 D16 109 T19 20 D16
152 T20 T20 D16 130 T20 20 Bull 108 T20 16 D16
151 T17 T20 D20 129 T19 T16 D12 107 T19 18 D16
150 T20 T18 D18 128 T20 T20 D4 106 T20 14 D16
149 T19 T20 D16 127 T20 T17 D8 105 T19 16 D16
148 T16 T20 D20 126 T19 19 Bull 104 T18 18 D16
147 T20 T17 D18 125 T20 25 D20 103 T17 20 D16
146 T20 T18 D16 124 T20 T16 D8 102 T20 10 D16
145 T20 T15 D20 123 T19 T10 D18 101 T17 18 D16
144 T20 T20 D12 122 T18 T20 D4 100 25 25 Bull
143 T20 T17 D16 121 T17 T18 D8 99 T19 10 2×16
142 T20 T14 D20 120 T20 20 D20 99 Bull 17 D16