How to Play Killer Darts: Rules, Tips, and Variations

Killer Darts is an entertaining and dynamic darts variation that is ideal for trying to change up your matches. Killer is a casual darts game that everyone can try, and it’s also suitable for bigger audiences because it moves quickly and maintains a fun sense of light-hearted suspense throughout.

It can be played in several forms. In general, the rules of the game are similar to those of the basketball game H.O.R.S.E. In that sense, Killer is a competitive elimination game in which you attempt to eliminate your opponents from the game rather than beating them by achieving a specific result.

Killer’s rules are deceptively basic, but they promote a remarkable amount of dart-based tactics and strategy. 

What is Killer Darts?

Each player starts by attempting to double his or her number. When a player does this, he is referred to as a “killer,” and a K is added to his name on the scoreboard. When a player becomes a killer, they can start shooting for the doubles of their opponents’ numbers.

Each player has three lives, and if a killer hits an opponent’s double, the player loses one of his lives. If a killer accidentally kills his or her own double, the Killer losses one life.

Throwing three doubles may also be used to destroy an enemy in a single extraordinary three-dart turn. The game continues until only one person has any remaining lives.


  • Dartboard Position: The bullseye at the very center of the dartboard should be exactly 5 ft 8 inches from the ground.
  • Throwing Line: The average throwing distance from the front of the dartboard is 7 ft 9.25 in. If you’re playing with people of varying ability levels, you can step closer or farther away as required.

Number of Players

For Killer Darts, the number of players for any one game can be anywhere from 3 to 20. However, the games works best with about 5 to 8 players.

How to Play Killer Darts

Selecting Numbers

All of the players take a turn throwing a dart at the dartboard. The players must use their non-dominant hand for this initial throw – left-handed players use their right hand to throw the dart, and right-handed players use their left hand. 

Whatever number each player hits during this throw becomes their number for the game. There can be no two players with the same number, so if a player hits a number that has already been allocated to someone else during this process, he or she must throw another dart.

Once everyone has been assigned a number, they can resume using their dominant hand for the remainder of the game. The game’s second stage is to become a killer, since you must first become a killer before you can defeat the other players.

Double-In on Your Number

You must hit the double section of your number with a dart to become a killer. So if your number is 13, you must hit a Double 13 to be considered a killer, in what is called a “double-in”. You could also make it a rule that you must hit your double three times before reaching killer status, if all of the players have a high skill level.

Try to Hit Other’s Numbers

It’s time to move on to the third phase of play once you’ve proven yourself to be a killer. The third part of the game is where the actual excitement begins, as well as the killing, and getting killer status as quickly as possible gives you a leg up.

The killers will have three chances to score against the other players by landing a dart in their respective doubles during each round. One of the victim’s lives is deducted from the scoreboard when a double is struck. However, be a bit cautious during this phase because if you accidentally hit your own double you will also lose a life.

Non-killers also have three chances to hit their doubles to win the killer status, even while others have already become killers. The game is over once only one player has lives left on the scoreboard.

How to Keep Score

The scoring method is easy. Every player’s name or initials will be listed down the board’s left side, in any order. You can write their dartboard number right next to their name. Once you’ve checked the players and numbers, draw a demarcating line straight down the scoreboard.

On the other side of the dividing line, draw three small marks like “|||” or “///” beside each name to indicate the number of lives they have left. Erase one mark every time someone loses a life.

How to Win

Once a player becomes a killer by getting their own double, you put a K next to that player’s name. When a killer takes an opponent’s life, it is deducted from the opposing player’s life supply on the board. The last player to have lives remaining on the board is the winner.

Can You Kill Yourself?

What happens if I land a dart on my own number while playing Killer? Regrettably, this means you’ll have to lose a life! It is undeniably something that will make the game more challenging, especially if the other participants’ numbers are close to yours. For example, if an opponents number borders yours, be very careful to aim to the opposite side of your number.

Tips and Tricks


Killer Darts as a variation lends itself to different modes and tactics. It can be used to achieve a strategic advantage on any of your opponents due to its highly combative play style when playing in a bigger group or potentially coming up against an exceptionally skilled player.

It would help to create alliances with the less experienced players to remove the most dangerous threat as soon as possible. This is a dangerous strategy because if you happen to annoy the assassin, they would just target a certain player and destroy the coalition one by one.

During the first part of the game, if you have good aim with your off-hand, you should aim away from other players. When the scoring process starts, you’ll therefore be less likely to hit your own number accidentally. Killing players whose allocated numbers are adjacent to your own is a no-no. You would effectively be doing your opponent’s dirty work if you mistake theirs and strike your own instead.

Avoid Hitting Bullseye 

If you’re assured in your group’s skill level, avoid reaching the bullseye during the game’s first step. Since few players will be talented enough to hit it three times, a bullseye makes the game more complex and long. It can turn a fun, fast experience into a tedious grind.


If you want to make your own house rules for Killer Darts, definitely try it. There are hundreds of dart game variations worldwide to fit player tastes, skill levels, and enjoyment levels.

Blind Killer

Blind Killer is a common variation on normal Killer. Playing blind killer is about the same way as you can play a regular killer game, only that when people start the game they don’t know anyone else’s board number. At the beginning round where people are throwing for numbers, when no one else is looking, each player throws for a number and writes it down on a sheet of paper.

Write the numbers on the scoreboard in place of the team names until each player has a specific number. Play the game in any order, but don’t tell any other players your number. This version is ideal for creating a sense of mystery among the players.

5-Point Killer

A 5-point killer is a bit more complex, but it’s potentially much more fun. Players don’t have lives in this version; instead, they have scores. Points can go up and down, but lives can just go down.

At the start of the game, each player has no points. They must reach five points to become murderers. 

You do this by landing darts in your number, just like in the “Double in” of the classic Killer. You will score varying numbers of points for landing a single (1 point), double (2 points), or treble (3 points), so they don’t only have to be doubles.

This game can also be played with six points. Mainly because ‘KILLER’ has six letters, and you are spelling it out. However you play, the rules are the same, so choose whatever number of points you want. The winner in all iterations of the game is the “last one alive,” or the person who has not been disqualified.


Killer darts is a well-known and, above all, an incredibly fun game that three or more people can play. While the games can be challenging for complete beginners, they are a decent practice game. As the adage goes, “the more, the merrier,” so bring your friends along!