The Best Darts Games You Can Play

Learn how to play some of the best darts games

One aspect that makes darts so popular is its versatility. There are lots of games that you can play on a dartboard, whether with a group or by yourself.

In this post, we’ll list some of the most popular darts games you can play, as well as how to play each one.

So, let’s get into it.

Cricket

Cricket is one of the most popular games in darts, mainly due to its sheer simplicity.

Cricket is also known by several different names, such as: “Mickey Mouse,” “Tactics,” “Horse and Carriage,” “Faldo,” or “Coach and Horses.”

Required number of players

2 to 4 players

Numbers in play

It uses the numbers 15 through to 20, plus the bullseye. Occasionally, you’ll find players using numbers 10 to 20 and the bullseye.

Gameplay

In Cricket, the aim is to ‘close out’ a set of numbers. Either 15 through 20 or 10 through 20 plus the bullseye. By hitting each one of these three times before your opponent.

You ‘close out’ a number by hitting the Treble, Double, and Single scoring zones.

Once a player closes a number, any additional hits are added to that player’s score tally. This player can add to their total points until their opponent closes this number.

The game involves taking turns throwing three darts. Once a player has thrown their darts, their hits for that round are tallied on the scoreboard.

This carries on until all the numbers, and the bullseye are closed. Points are totaled, and the team or player with the highest number of points wins.

Around the Clock

Around the Clock is often referred to as ‘Around the World.’ This game is not only fun, but it’s also great for players looking to improve their hand, eye coordination.

Plus, it is a straightforward game, so it’s great for beginners. But, what I like most about this dart game is that it’s not competitive-natured.

Number of players:

1 or more people can play this game.

Numbers in play:

All numbers are in play for this game.

Gameplay

In ‘Around The Clock’, the aim is to hit all numbers on the board in order before your opponent. Every player gets a turn to throw a dart and hit the following number in the sequence.

The game starts with the first player targeting numbers 1, 2, and 3. Once the player has thrown their three darts, it’s another player’s turn to aim for the numbers that follow, 4, 5 & 6.

You cannot move to the following number until you hit the number you’re targeting.

Once all 20 numbers have been hit, the next thing is to try and hit the bullseye. Whoever manages to hit the bullseye first wins.

Hare and Hounds

The objective of this game depends on the role you’re assigned, that is, whether you’re the Hare or the Hound.

Number of players:

At least two players

Numbers in play:

All numbers are in play.

Gameplay

If you’re playing as the Hare, your goal is to go around the board, Clockwise, before your opponent (the Hound) can catch you.

Alternatively, if you’re playing as the Hound, your goal is to catch up to and pass your opponent.

The Hare starts on number 20 while the Hound starts one spot to the left (number 5).

Each player then takes turns to throw darts in an alternating manner. A player can only advance in the game by throwing a dart on the following number during their turn.

The Hare wins the game if this player manages to do a complete lap and land back on the number 20. At the same time, the Hound wins if this player manages to pass the Hare’s current position.

Overall, Hare and Hounds is best played by two players with similar skill sets. However, if there’s a skill gap between you and your opposing player, you can adjust either player’s starting position.

This game’s name is derived from the point penalty that a player suffers every time they cannot hit their target.

This is one of the more challenging games; hence, it’s more suitable for advanced players as beginners may find it too difficult and lose interest.

Number of players

Two players or two teams

Numbers in play

All numbers are in play for this game. Yet different for each round.

Gameplay

The players have to agree on the number of rounds and the assigned target for each round beforehand.

For example, we’ve drawn out a target for each round below:

Half-It Darts Game Scoreboard

When the game begins, the first player must hit the first number or cumulative score on the list. In the example above, this would be 20.

With each of their three darts, each player must hit the first number in the list. With any other number hit added to their score for the round.

The standard dart game rules apply, which means that Doubles earn you 2x the points and Triples earn you 3x.

However, if any player fails to hit a double 15 with their following three darts, their score is halved.

After all players have hit the six selected numbers, the highest score wins the game.

Chase the Dragon

Chase the Dragon is similar to ‘Around the Clock’ but has a twist that makes it more challenging.

Number of players

At least two players are required

Numbers in play

10 to 20 and the bullseye

Gameplay

The game’s goal is to land your darts on each treble segment. The first area of focus is the numbers 10 to 20, followed by the outer bull and, ultimately, the bullseye.

The aim is to hit these numbers in sequential order while focusing on the trebles. To put this into perspective, you have to hit a triple 12 before hitting a triple 13.

Each player gets three darts to throw per round. This means they have three chances to land their dart on the corresponding treble.

However, if you don’t hit the target number with any of your three darts, you lose your opportunity, and the next player gets their turn.

The first player to hit all the trebles from numbers 10 through 20, the outer and inner bullseye, wins the game.

Knockout

If you’re looking for a competitive darts game, Knockout is a perfect option. Essentially, with each round, players go head-to-head in an attempt to get the highest score they can.

Number of players

An unlimited number of players can play.

Numbers in play

All numbers are in play.

Gameplay

In the beginning, every player is given a chance to throw one dart. This will determine the order in which people throw.

If you’re the first player, your goal is to hit the highest score possible. The next player has to record a higher score than the first player.

Each player must beat the previous players’ score. If a player fails to beat the last score, they lose a life. If you lose three lives, you’re out of the game.

Tic-Tac-Toe

Tic Tac Toe scoreboard

This game blends the game of tic-tac-toe with darts.

Number of players

Two players

Numbers in play

12, 20, 18, 11, 6, 7, 3, 2, and the bullseye

Gameplay

The game starts by drawing the standard tic-tac-toe grids on the board.

The numbers in play appear on the dartboard with identical placement to the Tic-Tac-Toe box they represent. ‘B’ refers to the bullseye.

For a player to mark an “X” or “O” on the board, to achieve this, three throws of that number have to be scored, with the thin outer ring representing a double (2 points) and the inner ring representing a triple (3 points) and of course, the single scoring zone (1 point).

When it comes to scoring, a score of one is represented by a slash (/), a score of two is represented with an X, while a score of three is represented with a circle (O) to indicate that it’s closed.

For instance, if a player lands their dart on a single 18, a double 18, and a single 7, they’d place a circle in the upper left-hand box to indicate that 18 is closed.

They’d also place a slash in the lower left-hand box to represent the score for the single 7.

Since that individual is the first to close 18, they can claim the upper left-hand corner on the board by placing an X or O. This means that 18’s are no longer in play for the other opponents to play.

The winner of the game is the first to end up with their X’s or O’s in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal pattern on the main scoreboard.

Looper

Also known as loop, this is a game that two or more players can play. As with most dart games, every player gets three darts to work with when it’s their turn to play.

This game is about sabotaging your opponents and setting them up for failure.

Number of players

An unlimited number of players

Numbers in play

All numbers on the board are in play

Gameplay

This game is based on a simple premise: hit the target number set for you.

At the beginning of the game, each player gets between 3 and 5 lives. You have to be accurate with every dart you throw, or you lose a life.

The game starts when the first player throws a dart to set the first target number. Afterward, you can choose any other target numbers for your opponents.

If you end up using all three darts to hit the target number, then you’ll need to throw a fourth dart to set a new target for the next player.

If a player uses their three darts and fails to hit the set target, they’ll lose a life. In addition to that, the target remains the same for the individual playing next.

If none of the participants manages to hit the target and the cycle reaches the player who set the target, they’re free to set a new target or pass on the opportunity to play.

Killer

A good number of dart games require an even number of participants or groups. However, the Killer dart game can be played by as many or as few people as you like.

Number of players

No limit to the number of players.

Numbers in play

All numbers on the board are in play.

Gameplay

Killer is one of the simplest dart games you can play, making it ideal for beginners. Personally, this is my favorite game.

Your goal is to hit your target number then hit your opponents’ target numbers, at which point, they’ll start losing lives.

The game starts with every participant throwing a dart on the board. The number on which your dart lands is the number unique to you throughout the game.

Let’s say you’ve hit number 12. Your aim is to hit this number six times.

Every time you land on your target number, you score a point and get to write a letter next to your name on the scoreboard. You’ll start with ‘K’ then I, L, L, E, R. Essentially, you’re trying to be the first person to spell out the word ‘KILLER.’

If you manage to hit your number six times, you become a ‘killer,’ earning you the right to start aiming at your opponents’ numbers. For each of your opponent’s numbers that you hit, they’ll lose a life.

Your goal is to force them to lose more lives than the number of letters they have on the board. Meaning that if an opponent only has the letter ‘K’ against their name, and you hit their target number once, they’re out of the game.

Shanghai

The best thing about this game is that it covers the whole board. This means that if you play enough times, you’ll be able to hit any number and challenge yourself with more complex dart games.

Number of players

At least two players

Numbers in play:

All numbers are in play

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to score higher points than your opponents. You accomplish this by aiming at one number every round. The game starts at one and ends at 20. If you manage to hit a single, double, and triple of the same number with three darts, you win the game.

To establish the order in which the participants will throw their darts, each player will throw two darts on the board simultaneously. The order will depend on the scores of the players. The individual who scores the highest goes first.

Once the order is determined, the numbers 1 through 20 are recorded on the left column.

In the first round, you’ll need to hit the number 1 scoring zone if you want to score. In the second round, only 2’s earn you a score and so forth.

Once all twenty rounds are over, the player with the highest points wins. But as we mentioned earlier, the aim is to hit a Shanghai, that is, hitting a single, double and triple of one number.

You win regardless of the other players’ scores in previous rounds if you do this.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’re now aware that you can play many different games on a dartboard. Some you can play alone, while you can play others in groups.

Either way, we hope we’ve provided some good darts games to help make darts even more enjoyable.

Michael Andrew

Michael Andrew

Michael Andrew has been playing Darts for more than 20 years and is passionate about helping others improve their game through his own experiences.