A dartboard is an excellent addition to any home or commercial lot - everyone loves to throw some darts, and people of all skill levels can join in on the fun. That being said, the traditional 01 dart games can sometimes become repetitive and less enjoyable if you’re playing someone who’s of a different skill level to you.
For this reason, we’ve decided to bring together ten of the best fun dart games to make your dartboard played with again. All you need is a dartboard, three darts, and at least two players! You can adapt these games into one player games as well, if you prefer to practice alone.
Around the Clock
The name of the game is to be the first player to hit all of the numbers around the board in order. You cannot move onto the next number until you have hit the current number you’re on. Hitting the double or treble of the number counts, for example, if you were on three, you can move on if you hit 3, double 3, or treble 3.
Each player takes it in turns after they throw their three darts. This means that in one turn, you have the potential to move three spaces if you hit accurately every time. The winner is the player who gets back up to the top of the board first. For an added challenge, make it a rule that you have to hit the bullseye to cement your win.
Cricket is a fun game to play in teams of two, although it can be played 1v1. To win, all you need to do is hit the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and bullseye three times. Once you hit them three times, that number is closed for your team. Hitting the double counts for two hits, and the treble for three.
For instance, if you hit treble 17, that number is closed right away. If you hit double 17, you need to hit a single to close it. You can keep the game nice and simple like this if you prefer, however, adding points will create a new layer to the game.
Points are obtained when you close a number and continue hitting it. You get as many points as the space you land on is worth - for example, landing on 20 would give you 20 points. You can continue winning points until the opposition closes that number as well. Then neither of you can gain points from that number.
Winning constitutes the player or team who manages to close all of their numbers first and who owns the most points. If one team has closed all of the numbers but is losing on points, they need to keep throwing to gain a higher point count than the opposing team before they close their numbers.
Chase the Dragon
Chase the Dragon is a game made to improve your accuracy for your traditional 01 games of darts. This quick game calls for the player to hit the trebles of the numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, and bull. These are the most commonly used trebles for combination shots for 01 games.
The winner simply hits all of these numbers in order. You take it in turns to throw three darts each, and you can only move on once you’ve hit the treble of the number that you’re on. To increase the length of the game, you can complete the sequence three times. This game is called the Three-Headed Dragon.
Shanghai is a term used in darts to describe when a player hits a single, double, and treble of one number in a single turn. This is a great game to play if you have a larger group of players. You use the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 segments and all take turns to throw three darts at the segment that you’re on to accumulate points.
Begin with the first segment (which is number one). If you hit the single you get one point, the double is two points, and the treble is three. Count up how many points you get from each segment and write them down to keep track.
Continue until you have finished all seven segments. The winner will be the player who has the most points at the end of the game. You can also win by scoring a shanghai in one single segment as well (which is a single, double, and treble).
This is another quick game that many dart teams play to warm up before a match. Each player takes it in turns to throw three darts to get the highest score that they can. Once everyone has thrown, the person with the lowest score is eliminated. Continue the game until there is only one victor.
Gotcha is another simple and quick game that works well where the players a head to head, and there are a larger number of players. Choose a random number of points to win the game and you all have to play until one person reaches the exact number.
The number could be anywhere from 200 to infinity, depending on how long you want the game to last. Take it in turns to score the same amount of points as the number you throw. If you go bust and score a number higher than the winning number, go back to the last number before your bust and wait your turn.
You can kill your opponents by scoring their current points total in one single throw, which will reset their score back to zero. This will give you an advantage, just make sure not to get killed yourself!
Noughts and Crosses
For Noughts and Crosses, you need two players or two teams of players. Draw a grid, just like one that you’d draw if you were to begin a game on traditional noughts and crosses, and write BULL in the middle square. In the other squares, write eight random segments that you can hit on a dartboard.
You should be left with something like this:
Now, take turns in throwing three darts to see who can hit all of the numbers in one row of your grid first. This game is exactly like traditional noughts and crosses, with an added dart twist!
This game is similar to around the clock and is best played in teams of 2 or 5. First, take it in turns to throw one dart at the bullseye to determine which order you’ll be going in. The closest player to the bullseye goes first and so on.
The first player tries to hit either a single, double, or treble 1. You can move onto number 2 if you hit anywhere in the segment above the treble section (the treble section itself is included in this). If you hit below this, it does not count.
Once the player successfully hits the 1, they can move onto the number 18 and continue this around the board. Each player gets three darts per go. If you throw your darts outside the doubles ring, or they bounce out, you cannot touch them for one go, giving you a disadvantage for your next turn.
If you throw a dart and it lands in the no-mans-land (aka the section of a segment between the bullseye and the treble section, as we mentioned before) that dart remains there until someone captures it. This dart is called a prisoner.
Once someone lands on the playable section of the same segment, they can capture that dart for themselves. This can be the person who lost it originally.
For example, if there was a prisoner dart in the no-mans-land of the number 16, you’d have to wait until you got up to the number 16 and throw your dart into either the single, double, or treble 16 slot.
Once you do this, you now have four darts, and the player who lost it has only two. If there are two prisoner darts in the same segment, you have to throw two darts into the playable area of the segment to capture both of them.
The winner is the person who works around the board and successfully hits the number 20 first. Remember, the more darts you have, the easier it will be to get ahead of your opponents!
Follow the Leader
Our final game can be played with any amount of players. Determine the order in which you’re playing and give each player 3 to 5 lives. The first player throws one dart into the board using their non-dominant hand. The second player has then got to throw one of their darts into the same section. They have three darts to do this in.
If they do not do this, they lose one life and you move onto the next player. If they hit the target, they can use their leftover darts to set a new one. Continue through the game until there is only one player left with any lives.
Finally, if you want to learn more quickly, check out our Review of Darts Scoring Apps - they are all free and can help you improve your game, and enjoy it more too. And if you start playing more darts, you must learn how to play cricket darts - since it's one of the most common games you will play, especially in the pub!
I’m Lia and I love playing games. I started this site to share things with friends and they encouraged me to post more and now I’m trying to share things with the world – indoor and outdoor sports, and board and bar games. I write about things like Bocce, Croquet, Billiards, Darts and other fun ways to enjoy time with your friends and family!