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How to Play Darts

Impress your friends by actually knowing what to do with those darts—other than winging them toward the wall—next time you're at a bar.


  • Step 1: Find a dart board Go somewhere that has a dart board. Nearly any normal bar will do.
  • Step 2: Pick up darts & stand behind oche Pick up the darts, and stand behind the oche, the line marked by tape or paint.
  • Step 3: Set up players or teams Set up your players or teams. Each player or team gets three darts. If there are not enough darts to go around, alternate who uses them.
  • Step 4: Warm up Official dart rules allow for a warm-up by throwing up to nine darts per person.
  • Step 5: Decide who goes first To decide who goes first, each person throws one dart at the board. Closest to bulls eye goes first.
  • Step 6: Throw your 3 darts Once the game begins, take your turn by throwing your three darts.
  • Step 7: Grip dart To throw a dart, hold the barrel between your thumb and index and middle fingers, lightly enough that you're not squeezing it.
  • Step 8: Raise throwing arm Raise your throwing arm up, so that your upper arm is nearly parallel to the ground and your elbow is pointing forward.
  • Step 9: Put foot forward Put forward the same foot as your throwing arm.
  • TIP: Your weight should remain on your forward foot.
  • Step 10: Extend forearm Extend your forearm, being careful to keep your elbow and upper arm in place.
  • Step 11: Release dart Release the dart just before the top of the motion, causing a nice fluid arch trajectory.
  • TIP: If a dart misses the board completely, it's counted as one of your three throws.
  • Step 12: Calculate your score Calculate your score. In an official game, the inner bull's-eye is 50 points, the outer bull's-eye is 25, and the numbered sections are scored according to their assigned point value written on the board, from 1 to 20.
  • TIP: If you hit the outer colored portion of a section, it usually doubles the points. If you hit the inner colored portion, it triples the points.
  • Step 13: Remove darts Remove your darts and allow the next player his turn.
  • Step 14: Alternate turns Alternate turns with the other players until whatever game you're playing ends, like choosing a set score and subtracting your points off until the first person reaches zero.
  • FACT: Early English dart inventors used the bottom of wine barrels as targets which is why the modern dart board looks the way it does.

You Will Need

  • A dart board
  • At least 3 darts
  • 2-5 players

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