Darts: history, rules of the game, equipment used


In the article “Darts” we will get acquainted with the popular game, which is more than 300 years old. We will tell about the history of throwing darts, consider the varieties and rules of the game.

You can’t just stop playing darts. Sports interest, having tried it once, you will want to play again. Darts is originally from England, and the game appeared banal. One day, a downpour interrupted the competition of archers, and those, waiting for it indoors, began to throw arrows at the target out of boredom.

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor

Knights of that time had no modern darts to play with, so they threw arrowheads into an empty wine barrel, so the heady past of darts is not forgotten even today. Since then, darts have become an integral part of the English national pastime, and dart boards have become a must-have in any pub.

If the gentleman in the pub began not to hit the board with a dart, then the evening is over and it’s time for someone to go home. Well, if you continue to play, you can grow up to international competitions. That’s how Phil Taylor, the world’s strongest darts player, started his sporting career, holding a a dart in one hand and a pint of beer in the other. Taylor won more than 200 titles during his career, becoming a 16-time world champion.

Today darts is not just a game, but an entire industrial world of equipment and component manufacturers, sponsors, media and international tournaments. Professional darts has become a real business that allows players to earn not only prize money, but also contracts with sponsors.

Anastasia Dobromyslova
Anastasia Dobromyslova

In Russia darts is in its development stage. Every year more and more people become interested in this sport,clubs are opening and tournaments are being held. Among outstanding Russian athletes we can mention Anastasia Dobromyslova, Boris Koltsov and Alexander Oreshkin.

Anastasia is 3-time world champion among women and is in the top 6 of the WDF world ranking. Boris paired with Alexander to win the 2017 WDF World Cup. Anastasia, Boris and Alexander are also multiple champions of Russia in various disciplines, our young people look up to them today.

What is darts? In general, it is a game of marksmanship, where you need to throw darts into a special board divided into sectors. The game does not require special facilities and complex equipment, it has no age restrictions, almost anyone can play it.

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The dart board has a diameter of 45.1 cm. The center of the target is located at a distance of 1 meter 73 centimeters from the floor.

Target height in Darts
Target height in Darts

The distance from the throw line to the target is 2 meters 37 centimeters. The value of the black and white sectors is determined by a digit. The outer ring doubles the sector count, and the inner ring increases it by 3.

Bullseye of the target (bull’s eye) it costs 50 points, and the green sector around the bullseye is 25 points. To finish the game, and accordingly, to beat your opponent, you can only hit the double ring or bull’s eye.

The values on the target are not placed in a random order, but precisely in such a way as to encourage accuracy and punish inaccuracy. Each player makes three throws per round. The fastest way to earn points is to throw in the tripling of the 20th sector, since hitting costs 60 points.

Outer ring (ring of doubling)
Outer ring (ring of doubling)

Inner ring (ring of triplication)
Inner ring (ring of triplication)

To play darts it is necessary to have special darts, which can be bought at any sports store. These darts are divided into four parts – needle, barrel, shank and feathering. The needle and barrel are the fighting part, so professionals buy expensive tungsten darts because they are much stronger and thinner, which allows them to make heaping throws (hit with 3 darts in triple sector 20).

A dart for playing Darts
A dart for playing Darts

There are also several varieties of game targets. There are targets for playing with plastic tips (electronic version) and for playing with steel tips. Professional targets are thicker and made only of natural materials, usually sisal (a natural coarse fiber derived from the leaves of the plant Agava sisolana).

Professional Darts game targets
Professional Darts game targets

In addition, professional models use a knife wire to separate sectors, which is attached to the target without staples. The use of such wire allows to completely eliminate bounces.

The most popular game of darts is the 501. The essence of the game is not to score 501 points, but to win them back by reaching exactly zero, provided that the last dart is sure to be thrown in doubles or bullseye.

The player who does it first is the winner. If the player reduces the score to 1 or below 0, his series of 3 throws (round) is interrupted and the score returns to what it was before the last approach.

All darts that fall or bounce off the board cannot be thrown again. The 501 can be played one-on-one or in pairs (4 players). In pairs, players alternate each approach (round).

There are so many varieties of darts games: 301, 1001, “Round”, “All Fives”, “Twenty Seven”, “Thousand”. For example, in the game “Thousand” players are counted only hits in the “Apple” and “Green Ring”. Tournament games are 501, 301 and 1001.

Darts is not just a game of marksmanship, it is also a game of tactics. For example, you can intentionally miss or score fewer points to gain an advantage in the next round. In addition, there are various strategies and techniques used by experienced players.

Darts competitions are held at the city, regional, national, and world level. Currently, there are several darts federations, among them are such as: PDC (Professional Darts Corporation), BDO (British Darts Corporation) and WDF (World Darts Federation). Each federation has its own competition system and rules of the game.

In conclusion, darts is a fascinating game that requires not only marksmanship, but also tactical thinking. It can be interesting and enjoyable entertainment for friends and family, and it can become a real sport and bring titles and prizes at professional tournaments.

About Darts


The original name of the game of Darts was Folgepick. The name was invented in Belgium back in 1792. In the ancient version, darts were not thrown, but poked into the board with a stuffed bird with a needle in its beak, suspended on a wire.

The prize fund at international darts tournaments can range from a few thousand to 2.5 million pounds. An athlete will receive 500,000 pounds ($635,000) for winning the world championship, and only 120,000 rubles will be paid for winning a Russian tournament.

Double in darts means an outer ring target sector that doubles. It is written as "D" or "d" in front of the sector number.

Treble means the sector of the inner ring of the target, which triples the value. It is written as "T" or "t" in front of the sector number.

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Alexander/ author of the article

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