Bulls and Blasts: Simple Dartboard Games and rules for All

Darts, a classic pub game that has stood the test of time, offers more than just a casual way to pass the hours. It’s a game of skill, precision, and strategy. But you don’t need to be a professional to enjoy the thrill of hitting the bullseye. In this article, we’ll explore the best simple dartboard games that are perfect for players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, these games will not only bring you joy but also improve your dart-throwing abilities.

Dartboard games and rules

Classic Games for All Skill Levels

301/501: Countdown to Victory

One of the most fundamental dart games, 301 (or its variant 501) is a countdown-style game where players start with a set number of points and aim to reach zero. Each throw subtracts the points scored from the total. But here’s the catch: you must finish on a double!

How to Play:

  1. Both players start with 301 points (or 501, depending on the variant).
  2. Players take turns throwing three darts per round.
  3. The score of each round is deducted from the total points.
  4. To win, you must land on zero exactly by hitting a double.

Tips for Success:

  • Focus on doubles early to ensure a winning shot.
  • Plan your strategy to finish on a double you’re comfortable with.

Cricket: The Strategic Number Game

Cricket is all about strategy and control. The goal is to “close” numbers by hitting them three times and scoring points. But beware, your opponent can “open” the numbers back up!

How to Play:

  1. Numbers 15 through 20 and the bullseye are the focus.
  2. A player must hit a number three times to “close” it.
  3. The player who closes a number first can score points by hitting it.
  4. The game continues until all players have closed all numbers and bullseye.

Improving Your Game:

  • Prioritize closing numbers that your opponent hasn’t closed yet.
  • Aim for the bullseye to gather points and hinder your opponent’s progress.

Around the Clock: A Test of Accuracy

If you’re looking to improve your accuracy, Around the Clock is the game for you. The objective is to hit every number on the dartboard in sequential order.

How to Play:

  1. Start with the number 1 and work your way around the board.
  2. Hit the target number with one dart to progress to the next.
  3. Continue until you’ve successfully hit all numbers and the bullseye.

Becoming a Pro:

  • Begin with larger target numbers to build confidence.
  • Practice consistently to enhance your dart-throwing precision.

Target-Oriented Games

Bullseye Blast: Hitting the Center Mark

Bullseye Blast is a game that revolves around hitting the bullseye, the ultimate sign of precision in darts. This game is perfect for improving your accuracy and focus.

How to Play:

  1. Players take turns throwing three darts each round.
  2. Points are awarded based on proximity to the bullseye.
  3. Players aim to score the highest points within a set number of rounds.

Hitting the Mark:

  • Practice your throwing stance to consistently hit the bullseye.
  • Adjust your grip and throwing motion for improved accuracy.

High/Low: Aiming for Extremes

In High/Low, players aim for the highest and lowest numbers on the dartboard. It’s a game of extremes that demands control and adaptability.

How to Play:

  1. Decide on the highest and lowest numbers before starting.
  2. Players take turns throwing three darts per round.
  3. Points are awarded based on the value of the hit.

Mastering Highs and Lows:

  • Study your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to devise a winning strategy.
  • Adjust your throw’s power to hit the desired high or low number accurately.

Challenging Spin-Offs

Killer: Knocking Out Numbers

Killer is a thrilling elimination-style game where players take turns hitting specific numbers to avoid being “killed.” It’s a game that tests your nerves and accuracy.

How to Play:

  1. Each player takes turns throwing one dart per round.
  2. Players aim for the numbers designated as “lives.”
  3. The last player with “lives” remaining wins the game.

Thriving as a Killer:

  • Target your opponents’ strong numbers to eliminate them strategically.
  • Stay calm under pressure to maintain your “lives.”

Baseball: Darts Meets America’s Pastime

Baseball is a creative spin on the traditional dartboard game, emulating the innings and gameplay of a baseball game.

How to Play:

  1. Numbers on the dartboard represent bases and home runs.
  2. Players take turns throwing darts to complete innings and score runs.
  3. Strategic throws replicate the excitement of baseball.

Pitching Perfectly:

  • Develop a consistent throw for each base to maximize your runs.
  • Aim for the “home run” to score big points and secure victory.

Shanghai: Hitting the Mark

Shanghai is a game that focuses on a single number in each round. Players aim to score the highest points possible on that number.

How to Play:

  1. Choose a number to be the “Shanghai” number for the round.
  2. Players take turns throwing three darts at that number.
  3. Points are awarded based on where the darts land.

Precision Pays Off:

  • Practice targeting specific areas of the chosen number for maximum points.
  • Experiment with different throwing techniques to optimize your accuracy.

Creative Variations

Mickey Mouse: Darting Artistry

Mickey Mouse combines the joy of darts with the challenge of creating the iconic character’s shape on the dartboard.

How to Play:

  1. Players take turns throwing darts to form Mickey Mouse’s outline.
  2. Aim for specific sections of the dartboard to complete the shape.

Crafty Accuracy:

  • Develop a steady hand and control to accurately shape Mickey Mouse.
  • Experiment with different dart sequences to find the most effective route.

X and O (Tic-Tac-Toe): Strategy on the Dartboard

X and O (Tic-Tac-Toe) is a clever merging of the classic game with darts, demanding both strategy and precision.

How to Play:

  1. Divide the dartboard into a Tic-Tac-Toe grid.
  2. Players take turns throwing darts to claim spaces.
  3. The first player to complete a row, column, or diagonal wins.

Winning Moves:

  • Analyze your opponent’s moves to anticipate their next move.
  • Aim for strategic spaces to block your opponent’s potential winning line.

Solo Dartboard Challenges

Dart Golf: Navigating the “Course”

Dart Golf challenges you to complete “holes” on the dartboard with the fewest darts possible, mimicking a golf game’s objective.

How to Play:

  1. Designate specific sections of the dartboard as “holes.”
  2. Players aim to reach each “hole” with the fewest darts.

Perfecting Your Swing:

  • Practice consistent throwing power to hit the designated “holes.”
  • Develop a strategy for navigating the dartboard “course” efficiently.

Dart Poker: A Hand of Darts

Dart Poker combines the thrill of poker with the precision of darts. Players aim to create poker hands with their dart throws.

How to Play:

  1. Players take turns throwing darts to build a poker hand.
  2. Darts in specific areas represent different poker cards.
  3. The best poker hand at the end of the game wins.

Calculated Risks:

  • Strategically choose areas of the dartboard to build a winning poker hand.
  • Consider bluffing to keep opponents guessing about your hand.

Party-Friendly Games

Dart Roulette: A Spin of Chance

Dart Roulette adds an element of chance to your dartboard experience, making it a fantastic game for social gatherings.

How to Play:

  1. Designate different areas of the dartboard with various outcomes.
  2. Players take turns throwing darts to determine the result.

Social Thrills:

  • Create a fun atmosphere by incorporating amusing or unexpected outcomes.
  • Encourage friendly competition and laughter among players.

Dizzy Bullseye: Spinning for Victory

Dizzy Bullseye is a lighthearted and entertaining game where players spin around before attempting to hit the bullseye.

How to Play:

  1. Players take turns spinning around a designated number of times.
  2. After spinning, players throw a dart at the bullseye.

Adding a Twist:

  • Find the right balance between spinning and accuracy for a successful shot.
  • Embrace the fun and laughter that comes with spinning and aiming.

Simple Dartboard games conclusion

Dartboard games offer a world of entertainment, camaraderie, and skill-building. From classic games like 301 to creative variations like Mickey Mouse and Dart Poker, there’s no shortage of fun to be had. Whether you’re aiming for the bullseye or strategizing for victory, these simple dartboard games cater to players of all levels. So gather your friends, set up the dartboard, and let the games begin. As you immerse yourself in these captivating games, you’ll discover a new level of enjoyment and expertise in the art of dart throwing.


Some popular dartboard games include 501, Cricket, and Around the World.

A: The objective of 501 is to be the first player to reach 501 points. Players start at 501 and subtract the points they score with each turn. The first player to reach zero points wins the game.

The objective of Cricket is to score points by “closing” all of the numbers on the board from 15 to 20, and the bullseye, before your opponents do. A player scores a point for each time they hit one of these numbers, and when all of the numbers have been closed, the player with the most points wins.

The objective of Around the World is to hit each number on the board, in order, from 1 to 20. The first player to do so wins the game.

The objective of Around the World is to hit each number on the board, in order, from 1 to 20. The first player to do so wins the game.

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