Darts Scoring Explained: A Comprehensive Guide

Scoring a game of Darts becomes crucial when there is a competition involved. Scoring might seem complicated and intricate, but it’s not that hard to learn and memorize. Despite there being several versions of darts you can play, scoring is pretty standardized for all of them.

The 01 Games, especially 501, is the most common form of Darts that everyone plays. It is the type of darts you see played on tv during international tournaments. Cricket is another popular form.

In this article, we explain the dartboard face and the significance of the numbers on the board. We also explain the different regions such as the single area, double ring, triple ring, and bullseye. In the later section, we highlight some of the additional rules.

The Dartboard

Before we begin with the scoring methodology, we need to know how to properly set up the dartboard. The center of the dartboard should be 173 centimeters above the ground. The throw line needs to be 237 centimeters away from the dartboard’s face. Each player gets three throws in a single turn.

When you are aiming at the dartboard, you need to step behind the “throw line” (also known as Oche). Stepping on the line or ahead of it will lead to disqualification of your throw.

A standard dartboard depicts numbers from 1 to 20 on its surface. These numbers are in a shuffled position on the board, the reason for which is to penalize misses and make the game more difficult.

The smaller numbers surround the greater numbers. For example, the number 19 has 7 and 3 on its left and right sides, respectively.

When you throw your darts and they land on the board, you earn the points depending on the number that your dart lands upon. For example, if you dart lands on the number 20, you earn 20 points. However, there are exceptions when the dart lands on the bullseye, treble, and double sections on the dartboard.

Double Ring

The outermost circle (typically alternating green and red colors) on the dartboard, right below the numbering sequence, is what’s known as the Double Ring. Landing your dart in a section within the double ring will earn you twice the points. 

For example, if your dart lands on the double 15, you earn 30 points, if it lands on the double 8, you score 16 points, and so on.

Triple Ring

The circle in the middle of bullseye and double ring area is the Triple Ring (also alternating red and green colors). Aiming and landing on the triple ring will earn you three times the value of the number. It is also called “treble” the number.

For example, if your dart lands on the treble 8 sections, you score 24 points. If it lands on the treble 15, you get 45 points, and so on.

Single Area

Apart from the Double Ring and the Triple Ring, the rest of the dartboard is the Single region. You earn the points based on the number on which the dart lands. For example, if you hit a 7, you get 7 points.

The single area on a standard dartboard is generally depicted with black and white colors instead of the red and green colors of the double ring and triple ring.

The Bullseye

The center of the dartboard (red in color) is called the bullseye. This is often the favorite region on the dartboard for many players. It is difficult to aim at bullseye, and it requires the perfect coordination of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist of the throwing arm.

The bullseye also holds the maximum score points on the dartboard. It can be further categorized into outer bullseye and inner bullseye.

Outer Bullseye

The bullseye’s green outer ring is called the outer bullseye or iris, or outer bull. Landing your dart on the outer bullseye earns you 25 points.

Inner Bullseye

The innermost red/black circle of the bullseye is known as the inner bullseye. Landing your dart on the inner bullseye earns you 50 points. It is also known as bull, double bull, or inner bully.

Other Rules

In between the sections of the dartboard, you will notice wires. These are called spiders. When a dart arrow hits a spider, it can bounce off. You fail to earn any points in such scenarios. Also, if you hit in the area outside the outermost wire, you still do not score any points for that.

A dart must remain on the board till the players go ahead and collect it to count as a point (except when using an electronic dartboard). Often the darts fail to hang onto the dartboard. If they fall off immediately after an impact and do not get counted during score-keeping. However, for an electric dartboard, the darts rarely stick on the board. Hence, the points are counted in such cases.

In a single turn, each player gets to throw three darts. The maximum score possible in every turn is 180. It happens when all three darts hit the treble-20 one after the other.

You score points when the tip of the dart touches the board’s surface and sticks to the board. When the dart impacts the board at a certain angle, the point is taken into consideration. If the dart hits the side and stays put by the two darts aimed earlier, it is still counted as a point. The score point implies the point at which the dart’s tip touches.

Recording Your Score

In order to record the scores, you will need to know basic multiplication, addition, and subtraction. After three throws, the scores are added and then subtracted from the team’s/player’s total. This yields the current score.

There are scenarios when you earn no points even when the dart lands on the target. For example, in a turn of three throws, when the third dart hits the board with no contact on it, it is not counted. For example, if it’s stuck in between the first two darts.

If a player collects the dart before the scorekeeper can record the score, points are not awarded. Also, the player gets no points if the dart falls off after hitting the board. The dart’s tip needs to stick on the board until the time the scorekeeper records the points.

For a particular dart game like Cricket, the score recording is slightly different because the players only aim for numbers from 15 to 20.


It is imperative to identify the different regions on a dartboard and understand the significance of the numbers and their scores.

The game of Darts gets boring when the player only aims at the bullseye, and the game gets more interesting when the proper scoring rules are followed. In a game of 501 or 301, where the ultimate goal is to reduce the score to zero, you need to use strategy and math in order to win.

You get to strategize and aim for numbers that will help you achieve the perfect zero. It would involve a combination of hits in the double ring, triple ring, and single area.

Knowing the anatomy of the dartboard and understanding scoring rules will help your darts game significantly.