Below is a basic guide for beginners to the sport of darts. There are a number of different versions of the sport and also a number of different dartboards which are used around the world. Here you can find details of the most commonly played version - 501 - used in all PDC events on a standard dartboard.
Standard height from the floor to the bullseye on the dartboard is 5 feet 8 inches, while the oche ( distance between the front of the board and the toe line ) should measure 7 feet 9.25inches.
How to play 501 darts
Basic Rules: In a game of 501 the object is for one player or a team to be the first to reach zero from starting total of 501. In simple terms, after three darts are thrown, the throwing player subtracts the total scored from his current total until he reaches zero.
Winning the game
In order to reach zero each player must finish by throwing a double i.e. if player one has 36 remaining he must hit double 18 to win, while if player two has 45 remaining he must hit single 5, double 20 to win - or a another combination of scores provided the final dart scores on a double. Some versions of the game require a 'double start' whereby players must begin the game with a double as well as 'checking out' on a double.
Other versions of 501
The Sky Poker World Grand Prix uses the 'double in, double out' rule. Games can be played to a 'Best of' format whereby a player or team winning three legs in a 'Best of Five Leg' competition wins the match. Other tournaments will be played in 'Set' format, whereby players must win a set by winning the Best of Five legs, before claiming the match in the Best of Five Sets. The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) are responsible for the development of the rules and also for the Anti-Doping Programme in conjunction with UK Sport.
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