How to Play Darts (for Beginners)

The ol’ pub game of darts is the sophisticated gentleman’s game of precision and gentility refined over many generations…no, just kidding. It’s just simply the best game you can possibly play over a pint. Or gin. Or rum. Or pretty much anything. It’s fun, global, and it gives you something to do when the booze makes you twitchy.

I love darts.

Or, I think I love darts. I mean, I used to play on a velcro dart board that I was awarded for selling enough salami and chocolates at my third grade school fundraiser. And that was fun. Until the little velcro dots fell off the plastic dabbers, which never really stuck to the board anyway. But I felt cool thinking I was playing something resembling darts.

The real thing has been too intimidating. People who play real darts play it FOR REAL. And they don’t tend to like when amateurs step on their turf. It’s like that guy in the bowling alley in 2010 who screamed in my face and tried to have me forcibly evicted because I was there with my preschooler mid-afternoon and took four photos of her rolling the ball with her teddy bear. I was distracting to his very professional practice game. When he got in my face, I looked him in the eyes and told him to go fuck himself. I swear he really considered hitting me in the face.

That’s the type of shit that has scared me away from learning real darts. My teddy bear, too.

But it’s time. My husband received a real dart board (with pokey darts and all) for his birthday, and while I can hit the damn wall circle, I have no idea how to score or even take turns.

Hence this post.

Com’on gang. Let’s learn how to play darts. Real darts.

Know Your Dartboard

We can get into fancy lingo in a bit, but for now, take a look at a typical dartboard here.

You can figure your points based on where your dart hits. The numbers encircling the board indicate how many points you get depending on which wedge you hit (value between 1 and 20). If you manage to land in the thin red or green rings, you get either double or triple those points. (The outer black ring gets you nothing!) Take a look below.

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