GAMES for Play & Practice
501---The game of 501 is the most traditional game played today, with longer formats being added to extend the challenge to the top players. To begin the game, each player starts with 501 points. The object of the game is to score as many points as possible per turn, with three darts, and subtract each of your turns score from 501. Players alternate turns. To win the game, a player must finish by hitting a double to win. Example: A player has 32 points remaining, and must hit a double 16 to win. If the player misses with the first dart and hits a single 16, the player then requires 16 points to win and will need a double 8 to finish the game. The game score can go no lower than 2 points, as double 1 is the lowest scoring double that can be used to win a game.
301---The game of 301 is less than traditional these days due to the challenge of needing to hit a double before you can start scoring. However, 301 was the game played at one of the most prestigious tournaments in the United States, the North American Open, which would draw hundreds of players in the singles event from all over the world. To begin this game, the same concept applies as when playing 501, however, the player starts with only 301 points, and the player is also required to hit a double of any number on the board to begin subtracting their score from 301. The double can be hit with any of the three darts per turn even if prior single numbers were hit. Any numbers hit before a double is hit are null and they do not count. Example: the player is throwing for a double 16 to start the game and hits a single 8 with their first dart, single 7 with their second dart, and a double 16 with their third dart. The player would then subtract 32 points for the double 16 hit from their starting score of 301 points for their turn. Subsequent turns would continue to subtract from their score until they get to 50 points or less, where a double is required to win the game. Again, the game score can go no lower than 2 points, as double 1 is the lowest scoring double that can be used to win a game.
Cricket---The game of cricket grew into prominence in the late eighties and continues today. The object of this game is that each player must hit three of each number for the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and bulls-eye. The outer bull counts as one bull and the center bull counts as two bulls. Doubles and triples on the board count as two and three of each number. Hitting three of each number effectively “closes” a number to keep your opponent from scoring points on any of the numbers you have not closed. Players can score points on any number that their opponent has not closed as long as that player has already hit three of those numbers and “closed” that number themselves. The player that has closed all the numbers and has the higher amount of points is the winner. There is a high level of strategy involved in this game, as your opponent’s shots can dictate what your next shot will be. It is always important to stay aggressive, keep control of the match and to keep control of your lead. Once you lose the lead, you start to take defensive shots and mentally put pressure on yourself to make bigger shots to get the advantage in the game.
Marking the game, or keeping score of the match, requires more than subtraction. The board is shown below with some numbers marked and some scores added for reference. The mark “O” is for one number hit. The mark “X” is for two numbers hit. The mark “X” with a circle around it is for three numbers hit, or the number is closed. The mark of just a circle can also be used when a player hits 3 or more of one number per turn to close a number. In the example shown below, Player One has closed the 20s and scored 60 points, as well as hitting two 18s. Player Two has closed the 19s and scored 57 points for score. In order for Player One to stay the aggressor and keep the lead in the game, that player should close the 19s, which will keep Player Two from obtaining any further score on that number.
Halve It---This game goes by a few other names, but for the sake of reference and to avoid confusion, we opted to use this name. The game involves all the cricket numbers, but also employs a few more, along with doubles, triples, and three in a bed to make it a little more interesting. Each player starts with 40 points. Same rules are used, but the number sequence is changed. The sequence in this variation is 12, 13, 14, any triple, 15, 16, 17, any double, 18, 19, three in a bed, and bulls-eye. You only need to hit at least one of each per turn to be able to score points and you will throw three darts per turn at each one. If you miss any of the numbers, triples, doubles, or bulls-eye in your turn, your cumulative score is cut in half. If you hit any of the numbers, triples, doubles, or bulls-eye, these total points per turn are added to your score. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.
Bob's 27---One of the bests practice games for your doubles that I have ever come across thanks to the brilliance of darting legend, Bob Anderson. The object of the game is to hit at least one double each turn of three darts in order to maintain your score. You start with 27 points and begin the game throwing three darts at double one. For each double one you hit, you will add two points to your score. For example: If you only hit one double one after three darts, your score will be 29. Then you will move on to double two, double three, etc. Each double you hit will add that score to your cumulative score. However, if you throw three darts at a particular double and do not hit one at all, you then have to subtract the score of that double from your cumulative score. For example: You have hit one double one, and two double two's, and on your third turn, you missed the double three. Your score would have been 27-2=29 for the double one hit, 29+8=37 for the double two hit, however, since you missed the double three, your score is now 37-6=31. You continue around the board as long as you accumulate score. If you run out of score to use, the game is over. A perfect score is 1437. The highest score posted was 955. My personal best was 419. Some of these practice games and high scores come from a dart forum website called Dartplayer.net (formerly known as SEWA-Darts.com). On the practice rankings section, there is a spreadsheet listed with everyones cumulative scores from the practice games. However, you have to be a member of the site to view them. Some of the best players in the world have posted their scores there, including such notables as Canada's John Part, England's Bob Anderson, and Australia's Tony David, just to name a few.
Round the World---The player begins with the number one and throws sequentially through the number twenty and the bulls-eye. The object of the game is to hit as many of each number per turn of three darts. Triples count as triples, doubles count as doubles, and singles count as singles. Scores are accumulated until every player has thrown at all numbers on the board. The game is also referred to as “Round the Clock” or “Around the World.” Highest score posted is 134.
100 at 20's---Pretty self explanatory. You shoot 100 darts at the 20's. A perfect score is 300. Highest score ever posted is 208.
Cricket Count Up---This game is used more as a practice game or a warm-up game for players, and it involves taking one turn at each cricket number to see how many of these numbers you can hit per turn with three darts. Your score is cumulative until you end with the bulls-eye. Triples count as three, doubles as two, and singles as one. The highest score obtainable would be 60. Highest score posted is 50.
50 at Bulls---This one is also pretty self explantory. You shoot 50 darts at the bullseye. Singles count as singles, doubles count as doubles. A perfect score is 100. Highest score ever posted is 69.