How To Play Killer Darts

Learning a new dart game can increase the level of competition around your dartboard. Adding Killer Darts to your gaming repertoire will make for a fun way to spend quality time with your family and friends.

If you’d like to learn how to play Killer darts, you’re in the right place, from the rules to scoring. So get ready to step up to the Oche and play Killer darts.

What Is Killer Darts?

Killer darts is a highly-competitive elimination-style game that is very similar to the game of HORSE in basketball. It is a well-known, entertaining game meant for large groups of players.

Players will take turns shooting for the double mark for their designated number to become a “killer.” Once a player reaches the status of a “killer,” they can attack other players by hitting the double of opponents’ designated numbers.

Players continue to “kill” each other until no lives remain. The winner of Killer darts is the last player who has lives remaining on the board after everyone else has been “killed.”

How to Play Killer Darts

To begin Killer darts, each player needs a designated number unique to that player. This number is determined by having each player throw a single dart with their non-dominant hand.

Once each player has a designated number, turns will be taken, throwing three darts in an attempt to hit the double of their assigned numbers. After a player hits the double for their given number, that player becomes a “killer.”

Once a player achieves the status of “killer,” they can begin to “kill” their opponents by hitting the double of opponents’ designated numbers. Each dart that hits the double of an opponent’s number will deduct a “life” from the opponent. Once a player is out of lives, the player is no longer in play.

Gameplay will continue until one player is left standing, and that player will be the winner.

Now that you know how to play Killer darts, let’s cover rules and scoring.

Killer Darts Rules and Gameplay

The rules for Killer darts are pretty simple:

  • Killer darts are for 2 to 20 individual players, or you can increase the number by creating teams of three players.
  • The numbers in play on the dartboard are determined by the players.
  • Players are assigned a designated number by throwing a dart with their non-dominant hand at the dartboard and given a set number of “lives” (usually six lives, but that number is up to the group of players).
  • After designating numbers, players will take turns throwing three darts each round, shooting for the double of their assigned number.
  • Once a player hits the double of their assigned number, they become “killers.”
  • After achieving the status of “killer,” players will aim for the doubles of the assigned numbers of opponents. Hitting the double area of opponents’ numbers will result in that opponent losing a “life.”
  • If a player hits their own double area, they will lose a life and the remainder of their turn.
  • The winner is determined by which player still has a “life” on the scoreboard after all other players have been “killed.”

There are many variations that you can make to the game to increase (or decrease) the degree of difficulty of Killer darts. You can:

  • “Handicap” players of higher skill by requiring them to hit the triple area of the dartboard to achieve “killer” status, as well as to “kill” other players.
  • Play “blind killer,” where the owner keeps the designated numbers secret. Doubles are not required in this variation to become “killers,” and everyone is given that status from the start.
  • Use the bullseye as a “killer” eraser. If a player hits the bullseye, they can erase another player’s “killer” status. This is extremely fun to do in a large group or with teams.

In addition to the variations on Killer darts, there are some keen strategies that you can employ to become the ultimate “Killer.” These include:

  • Create a silent alliance with another player to eliminate strong shooters early in gameplay.
  • When shooting for your designated number, attempt to secure a number close to a strong-throwing player. They’ll be less likely to aim for your number when it is right next to theirs and aim for shots that are further away from their own number.

Scoring in Killer Darts

Scoring Killer darts is not complicated, but it can get confusing if progress is not recorded. A straightforward way to keep track of designated numbers, “killer” status, and the number of lives is to follow a chart similar to this:

PlayerDesignated NumberKiller StausLives (6)
120KIIII
28 III
310KII
415 IIII

Final Thoughts

Killer darts can be an excellent game for bigger groups of players. Not only can you increase your shooting aim and accuracy, but you become the ultimate dart “killer” in the process!

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.