How to score in darts really depends on the games you’re playing. Different darts like the typical ‘01 darts, around the world, baseball, and cricket have specific rules and scoring systems.
But don’t panic. Most games follow a standard scoring mechanism. The approach would be you learn about that first – the most common way of how to score in darts – since it can apply to many games. And that’s exactly what we’ll show you in this blog.
For other less popular scoring rules, you can learn about them when you learn the corresponding games.
Navigation
- Understand the Dartboard
- How to Score in Darts
- Additional Rules for Darts Scoring You Should Know
- How to Keep Score in Darts
- Next Actions
Understand the Dartboard
Let’s get down to the very basics – understanding different sections of the board. The surface is divided into 20 similar segments/sections. Each segment has a number above it. There is a total of 20 numbers, from 1 to 20, representing the 20 segments.
These segments are divided by a metallic wiring system which is also known as the spider. In the center, you can see a circle which is called the bullseye.
How to Score in Darts
As mentioned above, this blog will show you the most common way of scoring which is applied to the majority of darts games (like the 301, 501, 701, and gotcha darts).
To score, you’ll need to throw darts at the board. Different areas will reward you with different scored points. Only the darts which stick on the board surface until the players collect them count as scores. If a dart hits and then falls out before the player collects it, it doesn’t count. If a dart hits the wires and bounces out, it also doesn’t count.
Scoring on the Single, Double, and Triple sections
All segments (except the bullseye) have the same structure. Each one consists of 3 smaller sections: the single, the double, and the triple.
The single section is worth one time the number above. The double section is worth two times the number. And the triple section is worth three times the number.
An example will help you understand more easily. Let’s say, you’re playing 501 darts. Each turn you get 3 darts to score. And you hit a single 20, a double 20, and a triple 20 in one turn. So, the total points you score in that turn is 120 [(20×1) + (20×2) + (20×3)].
The highest score possible with three darts is 180, commonly known as a “ton 80” (100 points is called a ton), obtained when all three darts land in the triple 20 – Wikipedia
Scoring on the Bullseye
The circle in the very center of the board is divided into 2 parts. The first part is the green outer ring (called the outer bull, single bull, or bull ring) – worth 25 points. The second part is the inner red or black round area (called the inner bull or double bull) – worth 50 points.
By the way, the black outermost ring which contains the number is out of play. If you hit it, zero points.
To sum up, here’s a very detailed illustration of all the sections and their corresponding scored points:
Additional Rules for Darts Scoring You Should Know
It’s worth mentioning again that the darts which hit have to remain on the board until the players collect them or at least finish counting the score. If the darts bounce out (mostly due to hitting the wire) or fall out (hit but then fall out), they don’t count.
In case a dart hit the board at an angle, even if it is being held by other previously thrown, it still counts. The points would be which sections the tip makes contact with.
For electronic dartboards specifically, it’s really common that darts fall out, so as soon as they hit the board, points are counted.
Another interesting and quite rare situation is someone hits a Robin Hood – which is when a dart hits another previously-thrown dart at the back. In this case, it counts as a throw but does not score any points. The tip of the dart must hit the surface to score.
How to Keep Score in Darts
The best practice to keep score in darts is to write it down. You can use a darts scoring app. All you need is to choose the game type and input the score for each round and each player. Or you can go with the traditional way which is drawing a scoresheet on a whiteboard or chalkboard or paper.
For example, the scoresheet would look something like the below for the 301 darts. If you are completely a newbie and haven’t known the rule of 301, here’s a quick summary. All the players get 301 points from the start by default. Each player has 3 darts per turn to score. The scored points in a turn will then be subtracted from the 301 points (or the remaining points). The winner will be the one who goes down to exactly 0 points.
Round/Turn | Name A | Name B | ||
Scored points | Total points | Scored points | Total points | |
1 | 60 | 241 | 54 | 247 |
2 | 20 | 221 | 33 | 214 |
3 | 21 | 200 | 36 | 178 |
4 | … | … | … | … |
Please note that the scoresheet will be different for specific types of games. And this is just an example, you can draw whatever you want to keep track of the scores as soon as it makes sense to all the players.
And as you can see, you’ll need basic calculations, mostly adding, subtracting, and sometimes multiplying, to record the scores and plan your playing strategy (like which numbers you should hit next to win).
Next Actions
Now you know how to score in darts! So, what’s next? Let’s pick a type of dart game and try applying what you’ve learned about the board and scoring sections. Here are the most common ones:
Don’t forget to score effectively, accuracy is important. It usually comes from your aiming and throwing technique. Here’s a blog on how to throw darts – the right technique. Check it out if you want to get all the basics right! Happy throwing!
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