How to Play Darts

Spelregels Darten


The board is split up into twenty separate sections that are each allocated to a particular number. Hitting one of the larger portions of these sections (traditionally coloured black and yellow), scores precisely the points value for that section.

Hitting the thin outer portions of these sections (coloured red and green) scores double the points value for that section. For example, double 20, also called Double Top, scores 2x20 = 40 points.

Hitting the thin inner portions or these sections (roughly halfway between the outer wire and the centre of the board) scores triple the points value of that section.

The centre of the board or Bull is split into two sections, a green outer ring known as the ‘Outer Bull’ or ‘Single Bull’ hitting this section scores 25 points, and the red inner circle, which is usually known as the "Double Bull" or ‘Bull’s eye’, is worth 50 points.

If a dart hits outside the outer wire the player scores nothing for that throw, the same is true if a dart does not remain in the board after throwing.



For playing a game of Darts, the board needs to be in perfect condition, without any damage. The metal wire has to be easily visible while throwing, as well as the numbers. The 20 has to be the top portion and it should be black with a red double and triple portion.

In the standard game of darts, the board is hung so that the bulls eyes is 5ft 8in (1.73m) from the floor. The Oche is the line that a throwing player must stand behind, this generally 7ft 9in (2.37m) from the face of the board.

The height of the oche in official games usually is between 3.5 and 6 cm and its length at least 60cm. A darts player, while throwing, needs at least 1 meter of free space around him. Of course, the area of throwing, so the space between player and board, should be unoccupied.


Dart boards are preferably accompanied by good lighting. This is provided by at least two spots on both sides of the board, located on equal distances form the middle line of the board. The light will not cause any reflections and should not create any shadows on the board.


As far as we know, it is possible to use any kind of Dart. However, the length of the Dart may not exceed 30.5 cm and the maximum weigth of the Dart is 50 grams.



A Player shall throw darts from a standing position, excepting only in thosecircumstances when a physical disability or physical injury requires a Player to adopt a non-standing position. All darts must be thrown in an over arm fashion, one at a time. A “Throw” shall consist of a maximum of three darts thrown consecutively.

Everyone will throw their dart differently, but as a general rule the dart should be held between the thumb and forefinger. To aim your dart it is helpful to hold it at eye level. Throw your dart with a smooth action. Remember that darts requires a high level of skill, and it may take a little time before your throws become accurate.

Any dart bouncing off or falling out of the dartboard prior to being retrieved by the throwing player does not count and shall not be re-thrown. The same goes for darts that are thrown in another dart, for the tip of the dart must be in the board for it to count.

During the game, the player has to keep track of his score. Preferably, a scoreboard is hung next to the dart board.


There are many different variations on the game of darts. The rules may depend on what the players agree on beforehand. However, the most well-known, and also the official game is 501. Each player is given a score of 501 points before they start. The aim is to bring their score down to zero in as few visits to the Oche as possible. Each player throws their three darts in turn attempting to get the largest score possible. The highest score a player can get in a single visit to the oche is 180, this is done by hitting the triple twenty three times in a row. A player wins by throwing a dart into the double score area that will leave them exactly on zero. If they go past this into minus points or fail to hit a double with their last dart or they leave on 1 point (which is impossible to finish with a double), go bust and must wait for their next turn to try again. So it is very important to know which double to leave yourself. Most players prefer even doubles, because then when they throw a single, they still leave a double. For example, when you leave 32 and fail to throw double 16 and throw single 16 instead, you’ll leave yourself 16, so double 8. The double Bull (50 points) is also considered to be a double and thus can be used to finish a game.

In the 501 game, the famous 9-dart finish is considered to be the perfect game. It can be achieved by 9 perfect darts, for example, 7 treble 20s, 1 treble 19 and double 12.

Variants to the 501 game are 301, 701 and 1001, each meaning the total points that have to be scored in order to win. Also, in some variants, the game must not only finish but also start with a double.


One game of 501 is considerd to be a Leg. Usually an odd amount of legs is played in a match, which makes a draw impossible. Some matches consist of multiple sets, in which a set then again is played by a best of 3 or 5 legs. In a set played by best of 5 legs, the player first to win 3 legs in that set wins the set. In case of a match played by sets, as well an odd number of sets is played, for example best of 7 sets. In this case, the player first to win 4 sets wins the match.

The goal of this game is to hit the numbers 10 to 20 and the Bull three times. The treble of a certain number already counts for 3 times the number, the double of course counts as 2 times the number.
When you hit a number more than 3 times, and your opponent has not yet hit this number three times, you can score points. When you and your opponent both have scored a certain number three times, that particular number is ‘closed’. The games ends when one player has closed all his numbers and the Bull and is ahead in the score.


As was mentioned before, tons of different variants to the game are possible. Also, the height of the board and the distance of the oche can vary. Therefore, before playing any game, be sure to agree on everything, to prevent you and your opponent from throwing the darts at each other.


NOTE: Darts is a sport for adults. Darts with sharp steel tips are not suitable for children. An alternative would be to play with soft tip darts, which also diminishes the risk of any damage to the wall where the board is hanging. However, then again adult supervision is advised. If you decide to play with soft tip darts, please note that soft tip darts is played on a different kind of board.


If you require any more information on the beautiful game of Darts. We sell a booklet that contains all ins en outs of Darts!