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The Rules of Darts You Need to Know

dart board

Darts is a throwing game that is commonly played in pubs and bars but becoming far more popular at home as well. Darts tests the accuracy and precision of the player by making it their goal to obtain the highest score via hitting small areas on a dart board. There are a variation of dart games that can be played on a board but tournament standard is 501 with players taking it in turn to throw three darts each and working there way down to zero.

Darts Rules

  1. Measurements:
    1. The board must be placed at the eye level of the players or at a minimum of 5 feet 8 inches from the floor. The players must then throw the darts from an area that is 7 feet 9 inches from the board.
    2. The players are advised to play with their own darts, provided that the length does not exceed 30.5 centimeters and the weight not more than 50 grams.
    3. Darts are subject to inspection upon request. If you’re new to the sport and looking for the best darts to get started with, check out our in depth guide.
  2. Throwing:
    1. A player must hold the dart between the thumb and the forefinger as a general rule. In addition, the player must always throw standing up unless the player is incapable of doing so (for example, the player is in a wheelchair).
    2. For every turn, the player gets to throw three darts and only those darts that stick to the board will be counted. However, darts that fall out of the board are retrievable while those that landed outside of the scoring range are not.
    3. A player may or may not choose to throw all three darts in one turn.
  3. Starting and Finishing
    1. The game will start with every player having 501 points, with the goal of reaching zero by scoring the last shot at a double-score section of the board.
    2. For every turn, there is a required number of points that a player must reach. If the player gains a score greater than the required, the “Bust” Rule will be applied. The “Bust” Rule indicates that the player’s points would remain the same as it was before the turn. If the player fails to reach the required score after throwing three darts, then the player has the right to continue until he/she has reached the required score.
    3. Game shots or throws that are supposed to land on double-score sections must be done during a player’s turn to greatly reduce the number of points for that round. It must be validated by the referee whether the player has satisfied the required number of points. However, there would be no indication what the Game Shot would be.
    4. Any dart accidentally thrown after the Game Shot would not be counted.
    5. The game ends if there is a player who has managed to reach zero points and has obtained the required Double.
  4. Scoring
    1. A dart would only be counted if it manages to stay on the board until the player retrieves it after their turn.
    2. The dartboard is divided into 20 numbered segments that dictates the number of points a player can obtain. The inner narrow band will triple the number in that segment; the outer narrow band will double it. The outer center ring gives 25 points while the inner circle, called the “Bull,” gives 50.
    3. Protests about the scores, whether a player wants to check his/her score or the opponent’s score, must be made before their next turn. The actual score to be obtained by the player must be visible at the eye level of both the player and the referee.
    4. If a dart falls or hits outside of the board, the player gains nothing.
    5. The referee should consult other officials before making any final calls about a change in a player’s score.

bristle dart board


Rules for Dart Tournament and Championships

Unless stated otherwise, these games should be done on a knockout basis. Everything about the tournament details, such as cancellation or change in date, can be changed by the promoter without prior notice. Furthermore, all final decisions will be made by the promoter. The general rules will be applied unless any supplementary rules were agreed upon in either formal or electronic agreement between the promoter and the player.

If a player is proven to have intentionally lost a game, that player will be disqualified and is subject to sanctions to be decided upon by the DRA (Darts Regulation Authority). If a team loses the event, they may no longer participate in the event by means of substituting for any other team, etc. However, if a team breaches the general playing rules or the rules agreed upon and their disqualification would change the losing team’s position, the promoter may reinstate that team as substitutes or as members of the winning team.

If the player or team is not present during the awarding ceremony without the permission of the promotor, that player or team has forfeited their right to receive the prizes that was supposedly theirs. The player or team must also fulfill all their commitments; otherwise, they would also forfeit their right to receive prizes.

In the instance wherein additional expenses were incurred by a certain player or team, that player or team would then be liable for those expenses.