Darts is an incredibly simple but fun game. OK, it’s not a table game but it would be an excellent addition to any Game Room.
Interestingly described as a throwing game in which small missiles are thrown at a circular board on a wall marked with scoring values, the modern game of darts is thought to have originated in England in 1896 and became a popular pub game across the UK. It is now played worldwide and has become popular in western Europe, Australia, Canada and the US.
A traditional dartboard is made from compressed layers of sisal fibres. Sometimes called a Bristle construction, this makes it ideal for throwing sharp metal short arrows into without damaging the board. The Bull’s Eye in the centre should be exactly 5’ 8” (172.27 Cms) above the floor; the distance from the Bull’s Eye to the Toe Line in the throwing position should be 7’ 9.25” (93.25 Cms) though variations on this are allowed for ladies and children.
There are now two versions; the traditional game of throwing small sharp metal arrows into a board, and a modern electronic version which automatically calculates the score after each throw of soft tipped arrow which is caught in one of thousands of small holes om the board.
The basic game of darts involves players taking turns to throw three arrows at the dartboard, add their score and subtract it from the start total of 501. The first player to reach 0 wins. However, the last dart thrown must be a ‘double’; i.e it must finish in the outer ring of scoring areas or in the central ring known as the Bull’s eye.
Nine Dart Finish: It is possible to do this in nine darts. Have a go. Bet you can’t do it!
The game has become very popular and there are amateur and professional tournaments across the globe. Television rights and sponsorship have brought a lot of money into the game with professional players earning eye-watering amounts of money for what started out as a pub game.
There are rival ruling bodies for the game who hold their own versions of the Darts World Championship. The British Darts Organisation (BDO) and the Professional Darts Council (PDC). The PDC tournaments often have higher prize money and feature the leading player in the history of the game, 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor.
Tournaments often attract large crowds with noisy enthusiastic supporters cheering on their favourite.
There are many variations on the basic game and also many other games that can be played on a dartboard. The current standard design for a dartboard is shown in the picture above though there are a few alternative boards that have different sections and numbers. On the widely used standard board, there are 20 numbers, each with a segment of it’s own. The narrow outer ring is the “Double” area where you score double that number. The slightly smaller inner ring is the “Treble” area where you can score three times the face value of that number. In between, there are two wedge-shaped segments where you score one of that number. In the centre of the board is the Bull’s Eye area which has an outer Bull’s Eye (25 points) and an inner Bull’s Eye which scores 50 points. The outer area where the numbers are shown scores zero.
Among the many ‘other games’ that can be played on a dartboard include Killer, Cricket, Clock, Scram, Shanghai, Prisoner, Nine Lives, Chase the Dragon and 301.
Three of the most popular ‘other games’ on a dartboard are Killer, Round the Clock and Shanghai.
“Killer” is a ‘knock-out’ game for two or more players (at its best at 4–6 players). Initially, each player throws a dart at the board with their non-dominant hand to obtain their ‘number’. No-one is allowed to have the same number as anyone else. Each player takes it in turn to get their number five times with their three darts (doubles count twice, and triples three times). Once a person has reached 5, they become a ‘Killer’. This means they can aim for other people’s numbers, taking a point off for each time they hit (doubles x2, triples x3). If a person gets to zero they are out. A killer can aim for anyone’s numbers, even another killer’s. You cannot get more than 5 points. The winner is ‘the last man standing’
Round the Clock
“Round the clock” is a simple fun game that involves hitting the numbers on the board in sequence. You have to score three or five of each number before moving on to the next. Also known as “Around the World” in Australia and New Zealand or “20 to 1” in Holland.
The goal of the game is to be the first player or team to throw all numbers in consecutive order 1 and win the game by scoring a Bull’s Eye.
A simple game that is best played in small teams. There are a number of variations but this version is fairly common.
There are 5 or 7 rounds. Each round has a number that has to be hit. Players can throw with their none throwing hand to decide this number (or they can be selected at random). You have to score SIX of the selected number for each round before moving on the next number. A “Shanghai” is when you get a triple, a double and a single in one throw of your three darts which allows you to have another go immediately. Getting 2 or 3 Shanghais in succession gives you a great advantage. The winner is the player that completes all the selected numbers first.
Like Killer and Round the Clock, it is a fun and sociable game that brings people together.
All things considered, a Dart Board would be a fantastic addition to any Game Room. Anyone of any age can play. You don’t have to be skillful to take part. Darts is a fantastic way of bringing people together to have an enjoyable time as a group. Everyone will go away feeling uplifted.
Darts is not an expensive game to buy. A good quality Dartboard can be purchased for a reasonable price. Here are some you might like to try.
Oh BTW ….you’ll need some of these
Soft Tip Dartboards