A game of darts can be a great party game or an intense competition of skill between friends or serious players. Whichever it is for you, these fun versions of the game will spice up your time in front of the dart board.
Popular Modern Dart Games
Darts have become trendy games for night scenes at hip bars and clubs. (One club even invented their own style, called 'social darts,' that uses multi-player technology to transform the traditional game into a team experience.) Although the following games may not be as sophisticated as a hip night club's 'social darts,' they are some of the most popular and newer dart games around.
In this addicting dart game meant for groups, each player is assigned a number on the dart board. When a player hits their number three times, that player becomes a 'killer.' He or she then tries to eliminate the other players by hitting their numbers three times. Meanwhile, the other players are still trying to hit their own numbers three times so they can become killers too. The last dart player standing wins.
Around the World
The goal of this game (also known as Around the Clock or Around the Board) is simple: hit every number on the board and the bulls eye before anyone else does. Each player starts at number one and moves in sequence. When the player misses, the turn ends. When it's his or her turn again, the player resumes where he or she left off.
Note: a more advanced version of this game is Shanghai, in which you do the same thing but you must hit the three segments of each number before you can move on to the next number. This version is best for advanced players.
This is another team game. The winner of Ice Breaker is the team that reaches 150 points first. Typically, to make it more challenging, the rules will limit the numbers on the dart board that can be counted towards your team's score (for example, only numbers one through 10 or 12 might count). The game allows double and triples to be counted in the score.
Here's the clincher: if any player gets a bulls-eye, everyone's score goes back to zero. However, only three Ice Breakers are allowed per game.
Classic Dart Games
The following classics have been around for decades and are still timeless choices for a game of darts.
The 501 Game
This is a countdown darts game. You start with 501 points. Each round, you throw three darts and the total score from those three darts is deducted from your 501. The goal is to reach zero points before your opponent. However, there's a twist: you must finish the game by hitting a double scoring zone on the dart board. For example, if you have 30 points left, you must hit a double 15 to win the game.
If you don't hit a double or if you score more points than you have left, you 'bust' and return to the number of points you had at the beginning of that particular round.
In this classic game, you and your opponents are aiming for the numbers 15 through 20 on the dart board. Your goal is to 'close out' (hit three times) each number, then hit the bulls eye, all while maintaining the same amount of points as your opponent or gaining more points. If you close out all the numbers and have the same amount of points or gain more points than your opponent in the process, you win.
Here are a few rules about the scoring system:
- After you close out a number, you continue throwing darts at the number until your opponent closes the number out too.
- During this phase, while you're waiting for your opponent to close out the number, every time you throw a dart at the number you get points.
- If you hit the double point zone of the number 20, for example, you get 40 points. The outer bulls-eye is worth 25 points and the inner bulls-eye is worth 50 points.
- Once your opponent closes out the number, you stop trying to rack up points in that number, and you both move on to the next number to attempt to close that one out.
Fun Tradition of Darts
Darts have been especially popular in recent decades, inspiring custom dart accessories for the most dedicated dart fans. The game has even inspired new trends such as axe throwing. (Yes, there are clubs where you can go and throw small axes at targets.) If axes seem a little too much, you can stick to the safe and fun dart games above.