How To Play 501 Darts

If you have ever come across any professional dart matches on television, there are high chances that they were playing the game of 501 darts. 501 darts is the most popular and played dart game across the world and it will likely be the first game you will learn as a beginner. You can see it being played in every pub, league, any establishment, or even at home with an organized play.

You will require learning it really well and this is okay because this is a very easy and fun game to play all by yourself, dual, or even in teams.

This article is a guide where you will get to know about the game, its basic rules, and some strategies that will be highly beneficial for beginners. 

Note: Every dart game has its own variations. But, the rules discussed here are the most popular  ones that you will find to be played. So, let's jump in!

What Are The Rules For Playing 501 Darts?

Rules are very simple for playing 501 darts. Either the teams or players will start with a score of 501 points. Every individual player will then throw their darts by taking alternative turns at the dartboard. Points scored will be removed from the total points, similarly, the opposing team or player will do. The first to reach a point of zero will win the game.

However, before starting to subtract your score, you should double in and for completing the whole game you need to double out. This will add strategy and skill to this game when it will come to planning your finish.

In the beginning, a coin is tossed usually to determine the order of start. Each of you can throw a dart alternatively at the board and whoever will have their dart closest to the bullseye will start first.

What Does Doubling In Mean?

Prior to starting to score, you will need to land a dart at first in one of any double sections placed around the board's outer ring. This is known as doubling in.

If you throw any dart before you even double-in, it does not get counted towards your individual progress. The bullseye is a spot on the dartboard that is also considered to be a double so, you can double-in on the bullseye as well.

If you need to double-in, the bullseye or the double 20 are the most desirable and popular targets as they are worth 50 and 40 points respectively which is the most number of points one can achieve. 

If an individual player or a player from a team has doubled in, the process of scoring begins. This particular dart and all of the following darts that will come from every player will count to reduce the score gradually.

How Can You Get Your Score Down?

 Once a player has doubled in, the objective is to score the most points possible in every round. This is usually done if you can shoot for the triple twenties because it is the highest-scoring target present on a dartboard.

The highest score obtained in a single round can be 180 points by aiming 3 darts at the triple twenties. There can be sometimes when you might want to aim your dart for any other target.

In a case, where a dart is blocking the triple twenty, you might need to aim for the triple nineteen instead, for an obstruction-free clearer shot. You might start to shoot at other targets as well if you find your score getting low when you find it tough to finish, and if you need to set up your double-out.

How Can You Win A Game Of 501 Darts?

For winning the game, you need to double out in the similar way you doubled in. it can be a little bit tricky while you double out. 

While you are doubling in, you are allowed to hit any target that is double on the board to start the game. While you are doubling out, you must hit precisely the zero points on the dartboard that will make you win the game.

It is very important for you to �not' hit surplus points than what is remaining with you, your turn will end and it will result in a complete bust. The bullseye is the highest possible target that you can double out on. It is worth 50 points! After this, it will be the double twenty which is worth 40 points.

How To Maintain A Score In 501 Darts?

Any one person is generally assigned to maintain the scoring in this game. This individual is known as the Chalker or marker. The scoreboard must be divided into two parts, with the help of the line in the middle. Each of the team's scores should be calculated on their respective side of the scoreboard.

After throwing three darts, the marker should add up the total number of darts on the dartboard and subtract it from the running total score on the scoreboard.

The marker should be very attentive and should know to play darts too. Besides keeping a score of the darts, they should keep an eye on everything that is happening in the game, for example, knowing how many points are left, what number has been hit, and tracking everyone's turn.

Tips For Playing 501 Darts

  • For beginners, you should double-in on the 11 or 6 sides. If your dart drops or you overthrow, there will be a good chance that it might hit directly the double below or above.
  • You can try to go for the triple fourteen if you are absolutely new to darts. 8, 12, 11, and 9 will be all around and it will add up quickly instead of landing three darts while you aim for the 20.
  • Always plan ahead if you are trying to double-out the magic number 32. A different option can be double 5, 10, and 20.
  • If you are stuck at an odd number and you want to double-out, aim for 3, 7, 17, or 19 (bottom of the dartboard). If you do not bust in between, you will be back with an even number.
  • If you volunteer to do the scoring, you will get a good jump start. You will get to learn the standard checkouts as you get better. Like this, you will be able to plan ahead and start changing your strategies.

I hope this guide has made 501 darts easy for you. Do not forget to incorporate the tips as well.