How Does Scoring Work In Darts?

How Does Scoring Work In Darts

Darts is one of the most beloved, easy-to-play sports in the world. Although it’s often thought of as simply a bar game, darts actually has strict rules and regulations, including for scoring. In this article, we’ll take a look at the rules related to scoring in darts.

The Dartboard

Before we begin with how games are scored, it's necessary to have knowledge of how the dartboard is set up. Each section on the dartboard is labeled with a number, either to the side, above, or below each section. The sections are divided by different colors and lines. The sections run from 1 (the lowest amount) to 20 (the highest amount) points. For example, if a dart hits the section labeled 12, it counts for 12 points.

Double and Triple Rings

There are also two rings on the dartboard, one on the outside and one on the inside. The outside ring is known as the double ring because, if a dart lands on the ring, it counts for double the points allotted to that section. The inner ring is known as the triple ring and counts for triple the points for that section.

The rings run through every section, so if someone’s dart hits the portion of the double ring in the 18-point section, it would count for 36 points. The same applies to a dart that lands in the triple ring area of a section, which in the case of the 18-point section would mean that it counts for 54 points.

Bull and Bullseye

At the center of the dartboard is a small circle surrounded by a ring much smaller than the double or triple rings. This ring is known as the bull. The circle at the center is called the bullseye, but sometimes both the circle and the surrounding ring are collectively called the bullseye. If a dart lands on the bull, it counts for 25 points. If a dart lands on the bullseye, it counts for 50 points. This makes the bullseye a prize target for dart throwers.

Traditional 501

Now that we’ve discussed how the board is set up, let’s dive into how professional games are played and scored. The standard pro darts game is “501.” Every player starts with 501 points, and the goal is to be the first player to reduce their points total to exactly zero.

This is important to remember because a score of 1 or anything below zero means that the player’s turn is over and their score returns to what it was at the start of the turn. For example, if a player has 16 left, but hits the 19 section, their turn is over, and they return to 16.

In addition, the last dart thrown must land inside the double ring or in the bullseye. Even though each player is allowed three dart throws on every turn, if a player has 32 and hits the double ring in the 16-point section on their first dart throw, they automatically win without having to finish the last two throws of their turn.

If a player happens to reach one point, an unofficial rule not used in professional darts is “Splitting the 11.” This means that instead of going bust because a player has one point, they can instead aim to throw the dart between the two 1s that make up the 11 on the dartboard. If the player manages to get the dart between the two numbers, they win the game. This can be an interesting way to spice a game up when it gets down to the wire.

Killer Scoring Rules

Although 501 is the traditional way to play darts, there are also several other variations of the game, such as “killer.” The game begins with each player throwing the dart with their non-dominant hand. The section the dart lands on is that person’s assigned section for the rest of the game. Two players can’t have the same section, so if a player hits a section that is already taken, they can throw again.

Once everyone has a section, the players then take turns aiming at their number. Each player has three darts per turn. The goal is to get to five lives. A dart that lands on the double ring counts for two lives, while a dart that lands on the triple ring gets three lives. When a person reaches five, they become a “killer.”

Killers can aim for other players' sections to eliminate them from the game. Players are eliminated when they go below 0. If someone hits a killer’s section, they are no longer a killer. The last player alive at the end wins the game.


How do you score points in darts?

In darts, there are multiple ways to score points. The highest point total aside from the rings can be gained by hitting the bullseye, which awards 50 points to the player. Then there is the bull, which awards 25 points to the player who hits it. Each section on the dartboard is numbered, and a player is awarded the number of points for the section that they hit. However, there are also two rings. The double ring is the one closer to the outside of the dartboard, which awards double the points for the section that the dart lands in. The triple ring is closer to the center of the board and awards triple the points for the section that the dart lands in.