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CyberDarts - Darts Basics:
How To Play the Game of Darts,

What you need, Equipment & Room
How many Darts Players?
The most common Darts Games
How to Score a Darts Games
How to Start a Dart Game
Darts Play Etiquette
How to finish a Darts Game

What you need: How much space, or room is needed:

The throwing distance for steel-tip darts is 2.37 meters, or 7feet, 9-1/4inches, as measured along the floor from the toe line to the plane of the face of the dartboard.  Players may lean over the line, but no part of a player's foot or body may touch the floor in front of the toe line.  For Soft-Tip, or Electronic Darts, the distance is 8 feet. 

Because room is needed to stand behind the line, both for the thrower and other players, another 4 to 6 feet of clear space is recommended behind the throw line (also called "toe line").

The darts lane should preferably be several feet wide, with 5 to 6 feet being common specifications in darts league rules.  This allows room for a chalker or scorekeeper to stand alongside the scoreboard, as well as enough room for players to easily walk to & from the dartboard.

For safety, the darts area should be away from common foot-traffic areas, so that people do not accidently walk in front of someone throwing darts while on the way to the bathroom or bar.

What Equipment is needed?

A Dartboard, mounted at the appropriate distance and height. 

Scoring, either a manual scoreboard or electronic device for scoring. Manual scoreboards are generally used for steel-point darts games, and may consist of a chalkboard, dry-erase whiteboard, lucite or plexiglass scoreboard, or just paper.  Appropriate lines and marks are usually printed on the scoreboard, to keep the scoring neat and easy to read.

Throwing line, (also coche, or toe line) marking the appropriate distance for the player to throw from. The thrower may not step over thealled hockey, part of the line that marks the correct throwing distance.  Leaning over the line is allowed by the rules, but may not be the most accurate way to stand while throwing.

Darts: Each player should have a set of 3 darts.  It is possible to share a set of darts, but that is awkward and really slows the game. 

Every person's hand is different, so people who play darts on a regular basis will usually visit a darts shop or sporting goods store to buy a darts set that properly fits their hand and throwing style.  This is just like people who purchase their own bowling balls, pool cue sticks, golf clubs, etc.

Is special clothing or footwear needed?

No special clothing or uniform is required for casual play.  Just comfortable clothing that does not restrict the arm, which is of course used to throw darts. 

T-shirts or shirts in the styles of "bowling shirts", "golf shirts", or "polo shirts" are common, as theyare generally designed to allow freedom of movement.  Many darters, especially men, prefer shirts with front breast pockets, as that provides a convenient place to carry darts between rounds.

However, many players on Darts Teams do wear specially printed or embroidered darts shirts bearing the name of their sponsor, or their team's name.  Many darts pros and darts league teams have created elaborate artwork for their shirts.  In fact, sometimes Pros or very good local players are referred to as "Shirts", as the wearing of a dart shirt with one's name on it is indicative of a player's skill at the game of darts.

Shoes should be comfortable, suitable for standing & walking in for several hours.  Many beginners wear sneakers or rubber soled sports shoes, while many top world professional darts players often wear traditional leather shoes for a more firm stance.

How many People can play a game of Darts?

Darts is usually played by 2 to 4 players as individuals, or by two competing teams that might consist of 2 to 4 players each. It is possible, but rare, for more than 4 players might play on each team.

The most Common Darts Games:

The game of '01 (pronounced "oh-one") and Cricket are the best known and most common darts games played around the world.  Various versions of '01, especially 501, is the usual game in international steel-tip competition.

In the USA, and increasingly in other countries, the darts game of Cricket is popular. 


How to Start a Dart Game

A coin or token is commonly flipped to determine who gets to Diddle first. 

Diddle means that each player, or one member of each team, throws a single dart at the center of the bullseye.  The player with the closest dart to the center can choose whether to go first or second, in beginning the dart game.  Normally, the winner of the diddle will choose to go first.

In casual games, it is common for the winner of a "leg" to let the loser throw first in the second leg.  This is indicated by the winner saying "Mugs Away".  In competition, the players generally take turns beginning each leg of a match.

Darts Play Etiquette

Traditionally, players always shake hands before & after every game of darts. 

In recent years, many players (especially soft-tip darters) will instead "bump fists" to begin play and often also "bump" their partners' hands after they have thrown each round of darts.  Some old-time steel-tip darters find this practice distracting and will not "bump fists" after each round.  This is a matter of personal preference, and no one should take offence either way.

If there is a volunteer scorekeeper, or chalker, everyone should at least thank the chalker before and after each match.  If the game is long or especially important, it is not unusual to buy the chalker a drink.



Darts Bars, Dart Pubs, & Taverns
with Bristle Dartboards available for Public use
  • International/World Darts Bar Listings for Steel-Tip Darts (other than USA)

  • Please Note: Bars & taverns often change ownership, hours, & services. Before visiting any new pub, we suggest that you call first to confirm Open Hours & availability of Darts facilities.