Basically dart games are played between two players or two teams. The teams can be made up of two or more people each. Variations that allow for more than two sides have been devised, but these have not achieved any popularity.
Nine throws are generally allowed for each person as a warm-up before a game begins. Then, to determine which team or person is to take his turn first one dart is thrown by a person from each team. The team with the dart closest to the bull’s eye takes the first turn.
Each player throws three darts in his turn. Generally, two sets of darts are thrown. One set by each team before the darts are retrieved. If a foot crosses over the line or a person happens to trip over the oche and releases his dart, the throw counts for no points and may not be re-thrown.
Darts must stay on the board for at least five seconds after a player’s final throw to count. A throw does not score if it sticks into another dart or if it falls off the board.
Darts making it on the board score in the following manner:
In the wedge: the amount posted on the outer ring. The double ring (the outer, narrow ring): twice the number hit. The triple ring (the inner, narrow ring): three times the number hit. Bulls eye (outer bull): twenty-five points. Double bulls eye (inner bull): fifty points.
This is the basic method for play and scoring. Various games are discussed in the next section.
The two most popular games played by dart players around the world are “301” and “Cricket”. “301” is the most obvious. Each side begins with 301 points and throws their darts in an effort to reduce their score to zero. Denleys Butchers Supports this SiteBefore points may count a player must first hit a double. The score is then quickly reduced toward zero. The real skill comes in at the end of the game when a player must throw a double or bull’s eye that reduces the final score exactly to zero. Any series of three throws (one turn) that would reduce the score beyond zero do not count.
Each game is considered one leg. The match is won when two out of three games are won.
Cricket is a more intricate game requiring more throwing skill and strategy. It is played using primarilly the numbers 15 through 20 and the bull’s eyes.
At the begining 15 through 20 and the bull’s eye are eligible to be opened. To open a number, a player or team must score three of that number (any combination of singles doubles and triples). Once a team opens a number every subsequent score on that number increases the score for the team. The opposing team may not score on that number. But may attempt to close it by getting three scores on that number.
For example side A scores once on 17. He gets no points but his score accumulates. Side B scores four times on 17 (a double and two singles). The first three scores open the number for B. The fourth score gives B 17 points. Now A strikes 17 three times. The number is now closed for everyone. A gets no points, but does have the satisfaction of not allowing B to get any more points on 17.
In attempting to open and close the bull’s eye, the inner is counted as a double and the outer is counted as a single bull.
The game ends when all of the numbers are closed off. However, it may be declared over sooner if the player in the lead closes all posibility of the other side scoring.