A Comprehensive Guide to How to Play Darts: From Beginner to Pro

I. Introduction

Darts is a widely popular game that can be played by everyone, from beginners to professionals. It is a game of skill and strategy that requires accuracy and precision. This article is your ultimate guide to playing darts, covering everything from the basics of the game to advanced strategy, game variants, tips and tricks, and the history of darts.

II. A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Darts

To get started playing darts, you need to understand the basics of the game. The game of darts requires you to throw darts at a circular board with numbered sections, attempting to score points by hitting specific areas or targets. The game can be played by two or more players, either as individuals or as teams.

Setting Up the Dart Board

Before you start playing, you need to set up the dart board correctly. The standard dartboard is made of sisal, a type of fiber, with a diameter of 18 inches. The board is divided into 20 numbered sections, each of which has a specific point value. The bullseye is the center of the board, worth 50 points for hitting the outer bull, while the inner bull is worth 25 points.

To set up the board, you need to mount it at a height of 5 feet 8 inches from the ground. You also need to mark the throwing distance, which is 7 feet 9 ΒΌ inches from the board’s face. You can use tape or a piece of wood to create a line on the floor to mark the throwing distance.

Throwing Darts

Now that you’ve set up your dartboard, it’s time to start throwing darts! Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Stand at the throwing line (also known as the oche), with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold the dart with three fingers, placing the thumb at the back of the dart and the other two fingers at the front.
  3. Aim for the section of the board you want to hit, using your other eye to aim before throwing the dart.
  4. Draw the dart back by your side before throwing it in an upward motion towards the board.
  5. Follow through by keeping your arm extended, and your hand pointing towards the board.

Scoring Points

There are two ways to score points in darts: by the section of the board you hit, and by the size of the section you hit.

If you hit the outer bull, you get 25 points, while hitting the inner bull is worth 50 points. Points are also awarded for hitting the numbered sections on the board.

Each section on the dartboard has a value assigned to it, ranging from 1 to 20 points. The score is calculated by adding up the values of the numbered sections you hit, along with any bonus points for hitting the outer or inner bull’s eye.

III. Tips & Tricks for Mastering the Game of Darts

Mastering the game of darts requires skill, strategy, and practice. Here are some tips and tricks to help improve your game:

Tips for Aiming Better

To aim better, you should find a focal point on the board and aim for it. Many players aim for the triple 20 section of the board, which is worth the most points.

You can also try different throwing positions and angles to find the one that works best for you. Experiment with different grips, release points, and distances from the board to find your perfect technique.

Controlling the Trajectory of a Dart

To control the trajectory of your dart, you need to focus on your follow-through and body positioning. Keep your arm steady and extended, and try to follow through your shot in a straight line towards the board.

You can also experiment with different weights and types of darts to find which ones work best for you. Different darts will have different flight paths and levels of accuracy, so it’s important to find the ones that suit your style of play.

Practicing Effectively

Finally, practice is key to mastering darts. Set aside time each day or week to practice your throwing technique and improve your consistency. You can also practice specific sections of the board or work on specific games, such as 501 or Cricket.

IV. The Psychology of Darts: How to Get in the Zone

While darts is a physical game, it also requires a strong mindset and positive attitude. Here’s what you need to know to get in the zone when playing darts:

Staying Focused

To stay focused when playing darts, you need to eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand. Concentrate on your breathing, and try to block out any external distractions, such as noise or movement around you.

You can also develop a pre-shot routine, which includes taking your time, focusing on your aim, and mentally preparing for your next shot.

Dealing with Pressure

Darts is a game that requires both skill and poise under pressure. To deal with pressure, try to stay calm and focused on the task at hand. Break the game down into smaller, manageable parts, and concentrate on each shot as it comes, rather than worrying about the outcome.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Finally, maintaining a positive attitude can help you play better and enjoy the game more. Celebrate your successes, learn from your mistakes, and focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on past or future outcomes.

V. The Different Games You Can Play with Darts

While the standard game of darts is played by throwing darts at a board and scoring points, there are many different variants and games you can play with darts. Here are some of the most popular games:


In 501 or 301, players start with a fixed number of points and try to be the first to get to zero by hitting the sections on the board. Players must end on a double, and if they hit more than their remaining score, they bust and their turn ends.


In Cricket, players aim for the numbers 15-20 and the bullseye. Each hit on a number scores points, and players must hit each number three times before they can score points on it.


Killer is a game played by two or more players in which each player has three lives, and they take it in turn to throw darts at the board. The aim is to hit specific sections to score points and “kill” other players by deducting their lives.

VI. The History of Darts: From Pub Game to Competitive Sport

Darts has a rich history that spans back centuries, from being a popular pub game to now being a fully recognized competitive sport. Here’s a brief overview:

From Pub Game to Sport

The game of darts dates back to the 19th century, where it was played in pubs and bars throughout the UK. It later became popular worldwide, with elaborate tournaments and leagues forming in the UK, Australia, and North America.

The Evolution of the Game

The game of darts has evolved over time. The first dartboards had no particular design, and the rules varied depending on the bar you were in. It wasn’t until the 1920s that a standardized dartboard design was agreed upon, along with official rules for the game.

The Professional Era

Today, darts is played professionally all over the world, with major tournaments and leagues such as the PDC World Championship and the Premier League. Players compete for large sums of money, and the game has even been recognized as an Olympic sport.

VII. The Anatomy of a Dart: Understanding the Parts of the Dart

The dart may look simple, but it has many different parts, all of which can affect the way it flies through the air. Here’s a breakdown of the different parts of a dart:

The Barrel

The barrel is the main body of the dart, where you grip it. It can be made of various materials, including brass, tungsten, and nickel-silver.

The Shaft

The shaft is the part of the dart that attaches to the barrel and holds the flight. It can be made of aluminum, nylon, or plastic.

The Flight

The flight is the rear part of the dart that stabilizes its flight path. Different flight shapes and sizes can affect the trajectory of the dart.

The Point

The point is the tip of the dart that sticks into the board. It can be made of steel or soft-tip plastic, depending on the type of board you are playing on.

VIII. Conclusion

Congratulations, you now know how to play darts! From setting up the board to mastering your throws, understanding the different games you can play, and learning the history and anatomy of darts, you now have all the tools to become a pro player.

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