20+ Different Games for Darts | You Will Never Get Bored

20+ Different Games for Darts | You Will Never Get Bored

24 minutes read
Sep 24th, 2022

One great thing about darts is there are so many games for different sizes of groups and skill levels. Everyone can enjoy darts. The most popular types include the standard ‘01, Cricket, Around the World, and Shanghai.

This blog gathers a long list of different games for darts so that you will never get bored. For each game, we carefully list out the player number, skill level, and basic rules. Enjoy reading and choosing your game!

different-games-for-darts

General Rules for Different Games of Darts

There are several rules that can be applied to different types of darts games. Here are some of the most common ones.

1. Each player normally has 3 darts per turn.

2. Thrown darts have to remain on the board after the scores are recorded. The darts that fall out or bounce out don’t count.

3. To decide the playing order (who plays after who), there are numerous ways. But here’s the darts way. Everyone takes a turn throwing at the board. Who has the closest dart to the bullseye goes first. The second closest goes second, and the furthest goes last.

4. There’s a standard scoring rule that is applied to the majority of darts games. Everyone should know this. Read here about the standard scoring.

5. The standard distance between the throwing line and dartboard is around 7 feet 9 inches or nearly 2.4 meters.

Different Games of Darts: The Most Popular List

Below are the most fun and popular darts games. We list out the player number, skill level, and basic rules for each type.

1. The Standard ‘01 (For 1+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 1 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

This is a very popular darts game. All players will have 301, 501, or 701 points at the start by default. Each will throw 3 darts per turn to score as many points as possible. The scored points in each turn will then be subtracted from their total points. The first player whose points go down to exactly 0 will be the winner.

About how scoring works, the single areas give you single points, doubles give you double points, and triples give you triple points. The inner bull is worth 50 points and the outer bull is worth 25 points.

However, to start subtracting points, “doubling in” is required. This means players have to hit the double sections so that the scored points can be subtracted from their total points.

And to win, “doubling out” is required. Similarly, players have to hit the double sections to bring their remaining score down to precisely 0 so that they can win the game.

Depending on the skill level, the rules of doubling in and out can be modified as long as all players agree.

> Read the details of the 301 darts (501 and 701 are the same).

2. Around the World (For 1+ Players and Beginner Level)

Number of players: 1 or more

Skill level: Beginner

Rules:

This is a very easy game to start for darts beginners. The objective is to go around the board by hitting all the numbers from 1 to 20 in order and then the bullseye. Whoever does this first win the game. You only need to hit each number once (the single, double, and triple areas are treated the same). It’s just that simple.

To make the game more challenging for intermediate players, you can add more rules.

> Read more about Around the World darts and its variations.

3. Chase the Dragon (For 1+ Players and Beginner Level)

Number of players: 1 or more

Skill level: Beginner

Rules:

Chase the Dragon is a good game for you to practice your accuracy because you have to hit all the triple sections of the numbers from 10 to 20 in order, then the outer and inner bulls. The player who does it first will be declared the winner.

You can consider this game as a harder version of Around the World.

> Read more about the rules of Chase the Dragon.

4. Shanghai (For 2+ Players and Beginner Level)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: Beginner

Rules:

Before playing, you will need to determine the number of rounds (normally 7 rounds or 20 rounds). In each round, players have to hit the corresponding number. For example, in round 1, you need to hit number 2, round 2 – number 2, round 3 – number 3, and so on.

There are two ways to win this game. The first way is hitting a “Shanghai”. This means when a player hits all the single, double, and triple areas of a number with 3 darts in one round. As soon as this happens, he/she will be declared the winner and the game ends.

The second way to win is to score the highest points after the end of all rounds. The way scoring works is the same as the standard 301 game. Singles give single points, doubles give double, and triples give triple points.

> Read the details of how to play Shanghai Darts.

5. Gotcha (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

You will need to determine a target score. The player who reaches the target first is the winner. For the scoring, it works the same as the standard 310 darts.

One rule to remember is that when a player “busts” in a turn (throwing a dart that makes their total points higher than the target score), their turn ends immediately, and their total points return to that before such turn.

There’s more! A player can make another one’s total scored points drop down to 0 if the former attempts to make his/her score the same as the latter’s.

To decide the playing order, each player throws one dart at the board. Whoever lands their dart closest to the bullseye will go first. The second closet will go second, and the furthest will go last.

> Read the details of the Gotcha Darts rules.

6. Killer (For 3+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 3 or more (4 – 8 would be most ideal)

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

Killer is a fun game to play in a large group. The game is very interactive.

The first thing to do is decide the playing order. Each player throws a dart at the board. The one with the closest to the bullseye goes first, the second closet goes second, and the furthest goes last.

After that, each player continues to throw another dart at the board with their non-dominant hand. The number they hit will be assigned to them for the rest of the game.

This is an elimination game. So the last one standing will be the winner. To do so, you must get a Killer status first by hitting the double section of your assigned number. Then, you are allowed to “kill” others.

Each player has 3 lives. You can take one life away from another player by landing your dart on the double section of his/her assigned number. A player who loses all 3 darts will be eliminated from the game.

If you accidentally hit your double section again (after gaining the Killer status), you will lose one life, too.

Killer darts can have a lot of additional rules to make the game suitable for all levels.

> Read more about the detailed rules of Killer darts and its variations.

7. Cricket (For 2+ Players and Intermediate Level)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: Intermediate and Advanced

Rules:

Often called American Cricket, this is a fun and challenging game as it requires accuracy and calculation skills. The board areas in play for Cricket are the numbers 15 to 20, the bullseye.

To score, you have to make a number “open” first. This can be done by striking three marks on it.

  • If you hit the single section of the number, it counts as 1 mark.
  • If you hit the double section of the number, it counts as 2 marks.
  • If you hit the triple section of the number, it counts as 3 marks.

You don’t need to score 3 marks in one turn to close a number. For the bullseye, the outer bull counts as 1 mark, and the inner bull counts as 2 marks.

After you “open” a number, you can start scoring by landing darts on it for the rest of the game (until your opponent also gets 3 marks on that number). The scoring works exactly like the 301 darts.

For example, in the first turn, you hit a single 20 and double 20 with the 1st and 2nd darts. This means you have opened the number 20 and now you are allowed to score on it. With the 3rd dart, you hit the triple 20. After the first turn, you score 60 points.

If your opponent also strikes 3 marks on the number which you have opened, that number becomes out of play. No further scoring on that number.

The winner of Cricket is the one who gets more points when all the numbers and bullseye are closed.

> Read more about the Cricket darts, variations, and tips to play.

8. Tic Tac Toe (For 2 Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

The numbers on the dartboard in play for this game are 12, 20, 18, 11, the bullseye, 6, 7, 3, and 2, representing the 9 spaces in a tic tac toe grid. You will need to draw a grid.

Whenever you “close” a number in play, you will get to leave your mark (X or O) on the grid. To close a number, you will need to get 3 strikes on it.

  • If you hit the single section of the number, it counts as 1 strike.
  • If you hit the double section of the number, it counts as 2 strikes.
  • If you hit the triple section of the number, it counts as 3 strikes.

When you get 3 marks (O or X) in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally before the other player, you win the game.

> Read the details of Tic Tac Toe rules and see examples.

9. Bermuda Triangle (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

There will be 13 rounds, and for each round, you will need to hit a target segment on the dartboard. The winner will be the one who has the highest score at the end.

The scoring works the same as the standard 301 darts game. But one thing to note, if you miss all 3 darts in one turn (not throwing at the right number for the round), your total points will be cut in half.

> See the rounds, their respective target segments, and tips to play Bermuda Triangle.

10. Beer Darts (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

This is a fun game for the drinkers. You don’t need a dartboard. You will need an open space to play the beer darts.

All players can sit on a chair in a circle, keep an even distance from one another, and leave a beer on the ground in front of them.

The objective is easy. Each player takes turns throwing a dart at another one’s beer. If the darts hit the beer squarely, the player whose beer gets hit has to drink it.

Be careful when playing this game as darts can hit the players’ feet. Place a piece of cardboard between a player and their beer for safety.

> Read the detailed steps to play the beer darts game.

11. Baseball (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

There will be 9 innings (or rounds) in this game. In each inning, players need to hit the corresponding number to score. So, inning 1 – number 1, inning 2 – number, all the way to inning 9 – number 9.

The winner will be the one who has the highest “runs” (you can understand this as “points” in the Baseball game) after 9 innings. The singles give you 1 run, the doubles give you 2 and the triples give you 3 runs. The maximum runs you can score in a turn is 9 runs.

These are the basic rules. More advanced players or baseball fans can try out different variations to have a more fun and baseball-like game.

> See Baseball darts variations and how to play.

12. American Football (For 2 Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 (individuals or teams)

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

The game happens on the horizontal segments on the board. So the segments in play are the double 11, large single 11, triple-11, small single 11, outer bull, inner bull, small single 6, triple 6, large single 6, and double-6.

Team A will start at the double 11 while team B will start at the double 6 (these are their end-zones in football terms). Two teams will need to decide who goes first.

The team going first will try to move forward and reach the other team’s end-zone. To move 1 step, the team has to land a dart on the segment next to where they’re standing. For example, team A goes first. They need to hit the double 11, then the large single 11, then triple 11, and on to move forward.

Each team will have 4 downs (1 down = 3 darts) per turn to try to move as far as possible to reach the other team’s end-zone. After 12 darts, a team’s turn ends, and the segment where the team ends up standing on will be the segment where the other team starts their turn. The other team is now trying to push back and reach the opponent’s end-zone.

A team reaching the other team’s end-zone is a touchdown, rewarding 6 points and an opportunity to score an extra point by landing a dart anywhere on the number 20. After a touchdown, the other team will start a new round from their starting point/end-zone.

You will need to determine the target points or time limit/rounds for the game. Which team reaches the target points or has the higher points when the time goes off will be the winner.

13. Golf (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

You will need to decide the number of rounds (normally 9 or 18). In each round, players need to throw at the corresponding number. Round 1 – number 1, round 2 – number 2, all the way to round 9 – number 9 (or round 18 – number 18).

If you:

  • Hit a double section, you get 1 “stroke” (you can understand it as point)
  • Hit a triple section, you get 3 strokes
  • Hit a single section, you get 4 strokes
  • Miss the target segments, you get 5 strokes

Each player has 3 darts per turn. But they don’t need to throw all of them. After throwing a dart, they can decide to end their turn immediately or continue to throw the remaining darts. Only the last dart they throw in a turn counts.

The winner will be the one who has the lowest total of strokes after all the rounds.

> Read the details of Golf darts.

14. Hare and Hounds (For 2 Players and Beginner Level)

Number of players: 2

Skill level: Beginner

Rules:

You will need to decide who will be Hare and Hounds. Rock-paper-scissors can do the trick. The winner will be Hare and the loser will be Hounds.

Hire will start at the number 20 and his objective will be going around the board clockwise. The rules are similar to the Around the World darts game.

Hounds, on the other hand, will start at the number 5 (or 12 or any number behind if the skill gap is there) and he will need to catch Hire.

Hire will win if he returns to the number 20 without getting caught by Hounds. Hounds will win if he catches Hire. Each player will have 3 darts per turn.

15. Nine Lives (For 2+ Players and Beginner Level)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: Beginner

Rules:

Nine Lives is similar to the Around the World game but adds one more rule. The objective is to hit all the numbers from 1 to 20 in order. You can regulate which segment of the numbers to hit in order to move from one number to the next (to make the game more challenging).

Each player will have 3 lives. If a player misses all 3 darts in a turn, they will lose a life. Losing all 3 lives means a player is eliminated.

16. Prisoner (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

The objective of this game is similar to Around the World, which is going around the board from number 1 to number 20 in order.

However, the areas in play are limited to the double sections, large single sections, and triple sections.

If a player lands a dart outside of the double ring or the dart bounces out, it will be out of play in the following turn. This means the player will play with only 2 darts for his/her next turn, and get back all 3 darts in the turn after that.

If a dart lands on the small single sections or the bullseye, it becomes a “prisoner.” Any other player can capture it by landing another dart on the number which the imprisoned dart sits on. In case a prisoner dart sits on the bullseye, a player needs to hit on the bullseye to capture it. If prisoner darts don’t get captured, they stay there forever.

Only one imprisoned dart can be captured at a time. For example, if there are 2 darts imprisoned on the number 18, and you land a dart on the double 18, you can only capture one prisoner.

At the start, each player will have 3 darts per turn. And during the play, someone may get 6 or 7 darts. The more darts you have, the quicker you can go around the board and win the game.

17. Halve it (For 2+ Players and Intermediate Level)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: Intermediate and Advanced

Rules:

You will pick out certain segments on the dartboard and the rounds to hit them. The remaining areas on the board will be out of play.

For example, you pick the number 20 for the first round, double 17 for the second, double 9 for the third, and so on until the outer bull for the 7th round (which is decided to be the final round).

The winner will be the one who scores the highest points after all the rounds. The scoring works the same as the standard 301 game.

Each player will have 3 darts per turn. If they miss all of them in one turn, their total points will be cut in half. This makes the game become challenging and suitable for more intermediate and advanced players.

18. Fives (For 2+ Players and Intermediate Level)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: Intermediate and Advanced

Rules:

This game will need some calculation skills. You will need to determine the target points (normally 50 or 100 points) and the playing order. Whoever reaches exactly the target first will win the game.

Each player has 3 darts per turn to try and get a score that is divisible by five. Divide that by 5 for the points they get after the turn. If they fail to get a score that is divisible by five, 0 points.

For example, if you get a score of 50 for a turn (the scoring works the same as the standard 301 game), you’ll get 10 points for such turn (50/5 = 10).

If your total points go over the target in a turn, it’s a bust. In this case, your total points will return to that before the turn.

19. Knock out (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

As the name suggests, this is an elimination game. With 3 darts per turn, each player will need to compete only with the score of the player hit right before them. If they fail to get a higher score, they will get a mark. Three marks mean elimination.

You will need to decide the playing order. The player going first will have the benefit of not getting a mark since they don’t compete with any previous score.

Here’s a gameplay example. There are 4 players. The first player scores 50. The second player scores 65 (65 > 50 so he’s good). The third player scores 24; therefore he receives a mark (24 < 65). The fourth player scores 20, she receives a mark (20 < 24). It’s the first player’s turn again, he will need to score more than 20 in order to not get a mark.

The game continues until there’s only one player left. He/she will be the winner.

20. Scam (For 2 Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

Decide who will be the stopper and who will be the scorer. Each role will take turns throwing 3 darts at the board.

The stopper will be the one who goes first. Every number that the stopper hit will be out of play. The only objective of the stopper is to close out all the numbers on the board so that the scorer cannot score.

On the other, the scorer, in each turn, will try to score as many points as possible (on the numbers that haven’t been hit by the stopper). The scoring works the same way as the standard 301 game.

After all the numbers are closed out, calculate the total points of the scorer. Then, switch the roles for the second round. The winner will be the one with a higher score as a scorer.

21. Sudden Death (For 2+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 2 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

This is an easy and quick elimination game. Each player will have 3 darts per turn and try to score as many points as possible in each turn. After one round, the player with the lowest score in that round will be eliminated.

The last one standing will be the winner of the game.

22. Follow the Leader (For 3+ Players and All Levels)

Number of players: 3 or more

Skill level: All levels

Rules:

Every player will have 3 lives. Losing all lives means being eliminated. Before playing, you’ll need to decide the playing order.

Only for the very first turn, the player going first will throw a dart with their non-dominant hand and set the first target of the game. For the rest of the game, everyone throws 3 darts per turn with their dominant hands.

The second player will try to hit the target. If failing, he/she will lose a life. The third player continues trying to hit the target. If the second player hits the target, he/she will set a new target by throwing darts at the board. The third player will then try to hit the new target. The process goes on until there’s a winner – the last one standing (or has the highest lives remaining after certain rounds).

If a player hits a target with the 1st or 2nd dart, he/she will use the remaining darts to set a new target. If a player hits a target with the 3rd dart, he/she will have 3 new darts to set a new target.

In both cases, the player can stop immediately after getting the new target they want. There’s no need to use all the available darts. If he/she fails to set a new target with the available darts (hit the areas outside the double ring), the player loses a life, and the new target returns to the previous one.

In case all the players cannot hit a target and now it returns to the turn of the player who set such target. He/she can choose to play like everyone else or pass (no throwing needed). It’s better that you pass in this case.

Final Words and Some Advice for Beginners

There you have it! Different types of games for darts! If you are new to darts and don’t know which to pick, here are some pieces of advice.

Choose games that don’t involve complex calculations and strategies. Around the World darts game may be a good start since there are so many other games that apply the same basic playing rules.

The standard ‘01 games and Cricket are the two that nearly all darts players know. So, learn how to play these so that you join the fun with others.

We will keep this list updated regularly. Remember to revisit this page to have new games to play with your friends. Happy darting!

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