21 Popular Darts Games to Play

21 Popular Darts Games You Can Play On a Dartboard

The popularity of darts games has grown immensely with the advent of the internet. Playing dartboard games is fun, increases your precision and allows you to involve a larger number of players at once.

If you thought that the game of darts was just a one trick pony then you couldn’t be more wrong! There are now many kinds of dart games that anyone can play and here for you is our guide to 21 of the most popular darts games you can play right now.

All you need is some darts and a regular dartboard. If you don’t have a dartboard then you need to get one!

So let’s get to it…

Darts Games for you to Play Today

1. The ’01 Darts Games

The first of our darts games are what we call the #01 games, which refer to the standard 301, 501, 701, 901 and 1001 games.

Players are assigned scores at the start of the match. For instance, players must score 301, 501 and 701 for 301, 501 and 701 games respectively.

Players win by reducing their points to 0 down from 301, 501 or 701. Different parts of the board attract different scores. The bullseye scores 50 points while the outer bull scores 25.

Most players aim for the treble 20 with each dart which is the maximum score that can be achieved in one throw. Hitting the treble 20 in three consecutive darts will give you a maximum 180.

To finish and win the game a player must hit a double. For example, with a score of 32 remaining a player can win by hitting the double 16. If they hit a single 16 they can then finish with the next dart by hitting a double 8.

Playing the #01 games are good for you dexterity and your maths!

(By the way, if you’re playing any of the ’01 darts games make sure to print out the Mancavery darts checkout table)


2. Around the Clock

This game is just as its name implies.

Players are expected to hit the numbers in sequence around the clock (the board). Thus, the numbers from 1 to 20 must be hit in the order in which they appear and the players take it in turns to throw three darts each.

The game can be played any number of players.

You start by hitting the number 1 and work up to 20.

If a double is hit then you skip the next number. For example, if on the first turn a double 1 is hit then the number 2 is skipped and the next number required is 3.

If a treble 1 is hit the next number required is 4.

The first to reach and hit 20 wins.


3. 180 Around the Clock

180 Around the Clock is a great game for increasing your darts accuracy.

The maximum score you can get in this game is 180, hence the name.

The rules are simple. You play “round the clock” from 1 to 20 as per the game above, but here you must hit each number three times.

If you hit a number in the inner or outer segments you score one point. If you hit a double you score two points and treble gets you three points. You then add up these points and move on to the next number.

The maximum score is 9 points for each number (three trebles) hence the name “180 Around the Clock”.


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4. Chase the Dragon

Of all the darts games you can play, Chase the Dragon is perhaps one of many people’s favorites but it isn’t easy!

This game is all about hitting the designated numbers from 10 to 20 as well as the outer and subsequently the inner bull.

The points must be hit in sequence.

The goal of the game is for each player to hit the trebles of each segment starting at 10 and ending at 20. After that they must hit the outer and inner bull before claiming victory!

Trebles must be hit in sequence, so for example, you can’t hit a treble 17 before you’ve hit the treble 16.

The winner is the first player to hit the trebles in sequence for the target numbers 10 to 20, followed by the outer and inner bull.


5. American Cricket

This one of the most popular dartboard games.

The American form of cricket requires each player to close out designated numbers on the board.

The required number of players is two players or two teams. An innings is closed when a player scores three of his or her stated numbers.

The winner is the individual or team that first closes all the innings with the most of points.

However, if the player first closes the innings and has equal points with the opponent, he or she is also declared a winner

You can play cricket on many electronic dartboards which have this game as a built-in feature. Check out the Arachnid Cricket 800 Pro which comes highly recommended and is one of the best electronic dartboards around for playing American Cricket.


6. English Cricket

This game is slightly different to American cricket and involves a “batter” and a “bowler”.

The aim of the game for the batter is to score as many runs as possible. The bowler’s objective is to remove 10 “wickets”.

The batter goes first and has 10 wickets, which are drawn as lines on the scoreboard.

The bowler must remove these wickets by trying to hit the bullseye and outer ring. If the outer ring is hit that will remove one wicket. If the bullseye is hit that will remove two wickets.

The batter must score as many points on the board as they can while they still have wickets left. Runs can only be scored by hitting over 40. For example, a score of 50 in three darts would score 10 runs whereas a score of 30 would score no runs.

Once all the 10 wickets have been taken the players swap over and the new batter’s task is to beat the run total set by the new bowler.


7. Hare and Hounds

Just as its name implies, this game involves the hare (the player that starts the game) and the hound (the hare’s opponent).

The players have to play clockwise by hitting each point. The hare starts from 20 while the hound starts from 5.

The hare needs to get to 20 to be declared a winner before the hound catches up with the hare.

If the hare gets to 20 before being caught he is the winner. The hound wins if he catches the hare in time.


8. Halve-it

This game can be played by two or more players.

The players first select the numbers to play and then draw out a table to record the number and space for each player as well as a row to record the score of each player against the numbers chosen.

The purpose of the game is for each players to hit their number, beginning with the first number. If a player hits it the number score is recorded against his or her name. If a subsequent number is missed the previous points are divided into two.

The player with the highest score wins.


9. Grand National

This game can be played by novices and more accomplished darts players and there is a version for each.

In the novice version, the players have to move around the board anticlockwise beginning at 20, then 5, 12 etc. Each segment of the dartboard is called a “hurdle”. Every segment must be hit with each set of three darts. Once a segment is hit you move to the next one. If you fail to hit a segment in three darts you “fall” and are out of the game.

The winner is the first to get round the board back to 20.

For the more accomplished darts player the object is to travel around the board twice, starting at 5 and making sure to hit the large segment in each number in three darts.

In the second lap of the board the small segment has got to be hit in each segment, ending with the outer ring and bull. Players can have three “lives” to make the game not too hard!!


10. Killer

This is another popular darts game and can be played by up to 5 people.

The players are allotted numbers between 1 and 20 and pick blindly by throwing one dart at the board with their weaker arm.

Each player must hit their own number five times (a double gives two lives and a treble gives three) and when he or she does, they are referred to as a “killer”.

At this point, the “killer” can then throw at the opponent’s numbers. Whenever they hit an opponent’s number they lose a life.

If an opponent’s double is hit they lose two lives and a treble means three lives are lost. The opponents must hit their own numbers again to build their lives back up again.

If any player loses all their lives they are out of the game. The winner is the last player to remain with any lives.


11. Blind Killer

This dart game is similar to “Killer”.

The players pick their number from 1 to 20 by drawing out of a hat and remembering it.

To start you must hit the inner or outer bull and then throw at random numbers of the board. Each player starts with three lives.

This game relies on honesty because when your number is hit you must take one life off your total. When you realise all off your lives are gone you are out of the game.

As with “Killer” you can introduce doubles and trebles to make it more interesting. The difference here though is that that no-one really knows who has which numbers, so it’s less personal!


12. Knockout

First, the players throw single darts each and the order of play is determined by the proximity of the throw to the bull.

The first player must hit as high score as possible and his score is recorded.

The next player is expected to hit higher score than the previous player and if not his name is circled.

If you have three circles against your name, you are out of the game. The last player standing wins.


13. Loop

Two or more players can play this game and each player is given three darts.

The order of player is determined by the first throw’s proximity to the bull.

The players are given between three and five lives with their names recorded on the scoreboard.

The players are expected to hit any part of the board in their first throw and then in the subsequent throws they must hit the same spot, else they lose a life.

The winner is the last player standing with any lives.


14. Mickey Mouse

This dart game is just like American cricket with some few tweaks.

You must close out the numbers by hitting each one of them three times, moving round the board from twelve to twenty.

After that the players must hit any three doubles, trebles and the bullseye.

If a dart lands in a double or treble when throwing between 12 and 20 that number may be used to close it out used towards closing doubles and triples.

The winner is the player who closes it all out first.


15. Nine Lives

In this game the players do not have designated numbers, but start with nine lives.

The object of this dartboard game is to be the first player to hit each number from 1 to 20 around the clock in that sequence.

If a player fails to hit the correct number with any of their three darts they lose a life.

The winner is either the last player standing, or the first to make it to 20 and hit it with three darts before any of the other opponents.


16. Tic-Tac-Toe

This darts game involves two players or teams.

A noughts-and-crosses board is drawn, consisting of nine spaces.

The bull is drawn at the center and other numbers are written in the remaining eight squares (two different numbers in each, but the same number can’t be duplicated in two squares).

Just like the traditional game, the players must mark their “square” by hitting one of the designated numbers in that square. The winner is the individual or team that gets three squares in a row.


17. Prisoner

The ideal number of players for this game is five, but it can be played by two people or teams.

The aim here is to go round the clock from 1 to 20 clockwise, however you can only score if you hit the space between the double and treble rings. If you land outside this area you have to leave the dart in the dartboard and play your next turn with two darts. This dart is called the “prisoner”.

If the next player hits the same area where the opponent’s dart has been left then he or she can take the prisoner and use it as an extra dart with their next turn.

If there are two prisoners in the game then the player has to throw two darts in the same area to recapture both of them and take two extra darts.

The winner is the first player to finish at the 20.


18. Shanghai

The numbers in play for the “shanghai” in darts are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7.

Each player starts at 1 and has three darts to score as many points as possible when hitting the number in play. So for example, when 1 is in play the maximum score is 3 and when at 7 the maximum score would be 21.

The winner is the player who scores the most points at the end of the game, or otherwise a player will win automatically at any stage if they hit a “shanghai” on any single number in play, which is hitting a single, double and treble of the number in play with all three darts.


19. 51 by 5’s

This game is often known also by the name of “All Five’s”. Any number of players can take part, the higher the number the better.

Each player takes it in turn to throw three darts. If any dart misses the board or bounces out the player gets a nil score for that round.

The purpose is to make sure that the total score of the three darts is divisible by 5. The players actual score is worked out by dividing the total score of the three darts by 5. So for example, if the player throws a total of 30 in three darts their score for that round would be 6.

If the total is not divisible by 5 the score for that round would be zero.

To win the game a player must get to an aggregate score of 51. So for example, if they are on a total of 50 they must score a total of 5 with their next three darts (5 divisible by 5 to give 1, which added to 50 makes 51)


20. Tennis

The tennis darts game is much like tennis play. The aim is to win the best of six service games.

The game can be played with two players, or you can play doubles with four players.

The first player to throw is the “server”. Each service game starts in the “play area” – this starts on the left-hand side of the board (numbers 5 to 19 inclusive) and then on the next point changes to the right-hand side of the board (numbers 1 to 17 inclusive) and vice versa.

The server must hit a number in the play area with their first two darts. If they fail to do so a point goes to the opponent. If they hit a double with their first dart that is an “ace” and the server wins the point automatically.

If they hit a number that then becomes the “target” number and they must hit this as many times as possible in the three darts. A treble of the target number scores three points, a double two points and anywhere else in the segment scores one point. The total score is then added up.

The receiver then has to score more points by hitting the same target number.

The winner then scores in the same points system as tennis, so for example if the receiver wins the score becomes “love-15” and the game continues in this way, scoring points and winning games and sets in the same manner as tennis.

For a deuce tiebreak the focus is on the bull and outer ring. The server goes first and if they hit the bull with the first dart then that counts as an “ace” and the point is won.

A target score is the points accumulated from three throws. A bullseye is 2 points and an outer ring 1 point. Of the outer ring is hit twice that is 2 points in total. The receiver then has to beat that to win the point.


21. Mulligan

The darts game of Mulligan is all about hitting the trebles and is for the more experienced darts players as trebles can be hard to hit.

There are a total of seven targets in play and to close each target a player must hit three trebles of that target. To finish the game they must hit the bullseye.

The players take it in turns to hit three trebles of the target number in play, although the number of trebles can be aggregated over more than round of three darts.

Once that number has been closed they move on to the next. Each player must close out their own targets before moving onto the next. The winner is the player hitting three trebles in all their targets and a bullseye to finish.


Do you want to try out more dartboard games? The games above should keep you going a while but you can find plenty more darts games here.

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