Dart Rules and Regulation | Instructions For Newbies

Darts sport has a very long history dating back to the Middle Ages of England, and accordingly, the darts rules have been changed many times.

Today’s dart rules and regulation – as we all know them – have their origins at the beginning of this century.

Dart Rules And Regulation

Dart Rules and Regulation: Game Preparation

To play darts these things you will need:

  • A dartboard
  • Three darts per player
  • An opponent

To throw the first darts at all and to start the game, certain game preparations have to be made. It is important to note some darts rules and darts dimensions.

The five most important points in the front:

  • Each player has three arrows in his hand and thus three throws
  • Only arrows are counted that are stuck in the board even after the last of the three throws
  • Most tournaments count 501 or 301 points backward
  • The players aim to get as fast as possible to the score zero
  • The pros usually play with “Double Out,” for beginners we recommend the variant “Straight out” (no matter how to get to zero)

Read Also: What are the best soft tip dart board?

Dart Board Scoring Rules and Dimension


First of all, we deal with the dartboard, which is thrown with darts. It is completely irrelevant whether an electronic dartboard (such as the cricket pro 800) or a classic dartboard (such as the Blade5) is thrown.

All dartboards are divided into 20 equal segments, which are assigned to the numbers 1-20. The numbers are confused so that most large and small numbers follow each other alternately. The 20 highest value is always in the middle.

Two narrow rings cross all segments. The outer of the two rings is the so-called double segment and surrounds the disc at its outer edge. A hit within the double segment doubles the worth of the individual segment. Towards the interior of the disc, a small ring pervades the disc. Here we speak of the so-called triple-segment, which triples the value. The highest score per litter is, therefore, the Triple-20, so 60 points.

In the center of the dartboard, there are also two other fields: The green single bull (counts 25 points) and the red bull’s eye (counts 50 points). The Bull’s Eye has a diameter of 1.27 centimeters, a single bull of 3.18 centimeters.

Read Also: Best electronic dart board for home.

The other dartboard dimensions are as follows. The value range of the disc, so the area covered by the double-ring, has a diameter of 34 centimeters. The entire disc, however, has a diameter of 45.1 centimeters.

Dartboard Height and Distance

dartboard hight and distance

How Far to Stand From Dart Board?

After familiarizing ourselves with the scoring system on the dartboard, let’s take a look at the distance and height of the dart. These have changed significantly in recent years, especially for the e-dart (= electronic dartboard game), so now apply almost uniform rules for the entire darts.

Only the dartboard height is different: The classic dartboard is mounted on the wall so that the Bulls-Eye hangs at the height of 1.73 meters. With the E-Dart, the dartboard height is 1.72 meters.

Above all, we recommend protecting the wall behind the dartboard as well as the floor within the play area. This is especially true when playing with steel darts, darts that have an iron tip. There are ready-made rear panels for the dartboards, so-called surrounds, as you see them, for example, at the World Cup in use.

Let us now move to the dart distance: The distance from the front of the dartboard to the throw-off line – also called Oche – is uniform for all variants 2.37 meters. It is advisable to play with attached drop marks to maintain the dart distance. So, no player can break. In the meantime, there are even specially produced dart mats or small lasers that project a broken line at the touch of a button.

Dart Dimensions

dart dimensions

Now, if the dartboard hangs in the right place, we just have to worry about the right darts. The purchase of perfect darts is initially a science in itself, especially for beginners and novices in the sport of darts. The weight of darts is very important.

Here are only the following conditions; The Steel-Dart only arrows are used, which are a maximum of 30.5 inches long and 50 grams heavy. For e-dart tournaments where players target an electronic dartboard, the soft darts may be up to 16.8 centimeters long and 24 grams, depending on the type of dart.

Now that all preparations have been made, it can finally start with the darts. Game On!

Read Also: How to play darts for beginners?

Basic Darts Rules

Let’s start with the basic rules of darts. As mentioned above, every player must stand behind the oche, the throw-off line. If the player is far to the right or left of the line, the stand must be behind an imaginary extension of the oche.

When throwing must always take min. One leg of the player touches the ground. Each player has three arrows in his hand at the beginning and thus three throws for each shot. Of course, the darts must be thrown on the disc one by one and in quick succession.

In theory, each player has a maximum of one minute for a throw, he may take a maximum of three minutes for each shot (= three throws). In practice, this time is usually never maxed out; most players need a maximum of 30 seconds for their recording.

Any darts that fall or bounce off the board (= bouncer) will not be scored. Only arrows are counted that are stuck in the board even after the last of the three throws. The darts must remain stuck in the board until the player has pulled the darts out of the board by hand. If an arrow drops out of the board, it does not count. To prevent these bouncers, especially steel tips with a grippy surface help.

It may even happen that a player aims so precisely that he throws his dart into an already darting dart. Then one speaks of a so-called “Robin Hood.” Although this litter looks very spectacular, counting is still only the one arrow, which is itself on the board.

Dart Game Mode

darts game mode

Now that we have become familiar with basic procedures, we come to the most common game modes. Depending on the tournament mode, especially 501, 301 or cricket will be played. The classic darts game is 501 Double Out.

Here is an initial value of 501 points per pass (= Leg). The goal now is to reduce the 501 scores to zero as fast as possible. The players take turns throwing three darts. The points of the fields hit by the player are subtracted from the remaining score. The player who can first zero his score has won the leg.

To end the game or to come to exactly zero points, this must be done via a throw on a double field (outer ring) or the Bulls-Eye. For example, if there are 40 points left, the player can win the game over the Doubles 20 (= D20).

The highest possible score that you can check (zero) with three darts is 170 points. For many starting scores, there are different ways to throw zero. Therefore, there are so-called checkout tables, where you can quickly check which fields you need for victory.

If the player achieves a higher score than necessary, he has fallen over. This is considered a “no score”: The recording is thus not scored, and the opponent is back in the series. If it is again the turn of the player who has lost, he starts again with his starting point number before his last throw.

Dart Count

To prevent this, it is especially important in the game mode 501 Double Out to master the basics of arithmetic. The small 1 × 1 will probably have remembered most of the players from dark mathematics lessons, but at the latest at the big 1 × 1, the fun stops. The right and fast arithmetic can be just as important as mastering the darts rules.

In large dart tournaments on the world-wide stages of the PDC (= Professional Darts Corporation) and the BDO (= British Darts Organization) is played with so-called callers. A caller calculates the score of the recording in fractions of a second and then loudly announces it to the audience. The legendary “one hundred and eightyyyyy” announcements at the Darts World Championship at the Alexandra Palace are probably present in every ear of a dart fan.

darts count

But not every one of us has the skills of a caller. Until you can add in a few seconds not only the recording (i.e., the three thrown darts) but also to deduct the 501 Double Out even from the rest – that definitely takes a long time.

Calculation Aids

For the newcomers in the sport is essential; first, finish the throw, then count up. Otherwise, one is, unfortunately, out of concentration very quickly. The easiest way is to act with a pencil and paper at the beginning. Say go up 501 and subtract the thrown points below, lap by lap. It makes sense to do this as in school; first the ONE, then the TENDERS!

For example, if the starting value is 501 and you throw 26 points (this could happen more often at the beginning), you first draw six points and get 495 points rest. After that, you subtract the remaining 20 points and end up with 475 points.

Although it may be a bit of a hassle at the beginning, one should be aware that the players on TV and all other experienced dart players often do not consciously count. Through years of practice, they have practically all the subtractions of the most frequently thrown combinations in mind!

But even for the very lazy computers among us, we have a solution ready. The dart counter app! Here you just have to count your three hits together and then enter them into the app. This then automatically subtracts your thrown points from your current score and also displays possible checkout options in the finish area (see table above). Everything else can be found here.

Especially when entering the darts, the game mode 501 DO but relatively quickly causes boredom. In particular, the attempt to end the game with a double field is often very tedious at the beginning and quickly leads to resignation.

Darts Game Variant

The variant to end the game with “Double Out” is indeed the most popular with experienced dart players and by the TV also the most popular variant, but there are too many other options. As explained before, you need to hit the double-ring to finish, finish and win a darts round.

Also, there is the version “Master Out.” Here, the game may end with a “triple” throw or a “double” throw. In the “Straight Out” may be thrown to quit any field, as long as the player comes to zero points. For beginners, it is especially recommended to start with this variant first and later adapt the game to the correct darts rules.

However, there are also game variants where you have to hit a given field at the beginning of the game. Double in must hit any double before starting to count down the points. The thrown “double” is deducted from the score. In the case of the “Triple In,” however, you have to start with a hit in a triple field, only then do you score the points (including the thrown triple).


This was an insight into the dart rules and regulations for game preparation. Of course, darts can be played even if not all distances are observed centimeter by centimeter. For optimal fun, however, it is advisable to follow the official rules as well as possible.