Rules of Darts | How it is Played?

Though it may look like a casual game, Dart has been played at professional level worldwide. There could be many reasons why such an old-fashion sport is still played today, not only for fun and entertainment but numerous international level Dart events are proof that the game is still very much alive and still growing.

Rules of Darts

Not much research is required to prove that this game has been driven from similar ancient games in which the aims were tested. The current form of Dart is believed to be developed in the late 1890s in the UK where it is still played in pubs and bars for fun. The Dart boards also vary from region to region in the UK where different Dart boards are used in different regions.

Object of Playing Dart

The most common form of Dart is 501 game and the object of this game is to go down to 0 all the way from 501 points.

Unlike traditional sports, everytime you throw a dart and it hits any area of the dart board designated a certain number of points, those points are subtracted from your account. The first to finish all 501 points is declared winner of the leg/match.

The game can also follow best of 3 leg practice, the player winning the 3 legs first wins the set, and the player who wins the most number of sets is declared winner of the game. Each leg follows the same 501 Game method.

How to Play?

Darts is a simple game in which players are supposed to hit the Dart at the best areas of the Dart board, and the mentioned number of points are deducted from the player’s account. Players start the game with a certain number of points already present in their account and by scoring more points they actually take them down to 0 to win the game.

Casual players don’t bother much about Dart rules but at a competitive level, you have to understand point scoring, winning conditions and how players take turns. Below, you can find everything from rules to equipment used in it.

General Rules of Dart

  • The Dart board has different sections denoting a specific number of points, upon hitting your dart to any of these sections, a certain number of points are subtracted from your account.
  • In a single throw, you get three darts to get as many points subtracted as possible.
  • If the dart does not stick to the board, the player gets 0 point subtracted from his tally of 501.
  • Throws are taken by players in an alternate manner.
  • In professional tournaments, the distance between the dart board and the player is 7’ 91/4.
  • One of the stipulations of the game is you must hit Double darts to win the game.
  • For example, you have 40 points left on the board. Now you can win the game by hitting 2 darts on a 20-point area.
  • A bull point is marked in the middle of the Dart board which consists of 50 points.
  • At the end of a decided number of sets, the player who wins the most number of sets is declared winner.


This isn’t a traditional coin toss but before the game both players try to aim Dart at the “Bull” and the player who hits the nearest gets the first turn in the official game.

Time Duration of a Dart Game

There are no time limits. The time duration of the game depends upon the format of the game.

Playing Field

The game of Dart is played in sports arenas where a Dart board can be easily placed. A Dart board requires very little space. Dart Board is always situated 7’ 91/4” away from the playing position of the player.

Playing Equipment

The equipment required for Dart are a dart board and a dart.

Dart Board: This board is made of sisal fibres and is 7¾ inches (451mm) in diameter and is divided into 20 radial sections with the help of a metal wire. Different sections are marked from 1-20, representing the number of points each section worth.

Darts: The darts used are made of a combination of different materials like nylon and plastic. A dart must not weigh more than 50g and must not be longer than 300m.


A referee in darts is also known as the caller and he calls out a player’s score after he has thrown. Moreover, his job is to make sure that the markers have recorded the score correctly on the scoreboard.

Famous Dart Event

Despite continuous efforts, the authorities haven’t succeeded in pushing the game of Darts in the Olympics. Up till now, the World Professional Darts Championship is the biggest and most famous tournament of this sport.

Governing Body

The World Darts Federation (WDF) is the official governing body of the sport that sanctions all international events. The federation was formed in 1974 by representatives of the original 14 founding members from different countries.

The job of the federation is to promote the sport of Darts among all genders and in all regions of the world to gain international recognition for darts as a major sport.