Darts is a popular pub game that has been around for centuries. The game consists of throwing darts at a board with numbered segments, with the aim of hitting specific scoring sections. There are various games that can be played, including 301 and cricket. Electronic dartboards are also becoming popular, with automatic scoring systems.
The game of darts has been around for centuries. Some historians attribute the birth of the game to English soldiers in medieval times. Soldiers shortened their arrows from time to time and shot these shortened arrows at the bottom of a wine barrel or a large tree. It was essentially a drinking game in those days and remains a popular pub game to this day. Modern darts have a thin base, a pointed tip made of steel, and some sort of plastic or similar substance that acts as fins.
The dartboard itself consists of 20 segments, numbered 1 to 20, with one dartboard in the center of the board. Each issue also contains two small rectangular scoring sections on each segment. The smallest of the segments, closest to the target, scores triple points and the other rectangular segment scores double points. For example, if a player rolls an 8 but lands in the small segment closest to the target, triple scoring would bring the total to 24.
The dartboard must be set up so that the target is centered 5 feet 8 inches (1.72 meters) from the floor. Players throw darts at the board from a tape mark just under 8 feet (2.43 meters) away. In a game, each player will throw three darts at the board and then the next player will do the same. After each player has his turn, the darts will be removed for the next game round. As a general rule, a dart must stay stuck to the board for at least five seconds. If it falls off the board before that time, the player gets no points for that dart.
There are a number of dart games that can be played. Some of the more popular games are 301 and cricket. In 301, each player starts with 301 points and as the player throws each dart, they subtract that score from 301. For example, if a player throws a 15, a 12, and a 7, they can subtract 34 points from 301, giving them a total of 267. The first player to reach zero wins the game. However, a player must hit the exact number to get to zero and end the game. If, for example, a player has only one score of 6 left, he must roll a 6 or a combination of these (4 and 2) to get to zero. A dart thrown at 11, for example, would end the players turn and reset the score to 6.
In cricket, players only throw darts at numbers 15 to 20 and bullseye. While cricket has many varieties, one of the most popular cricket games is simply to hit each number three times to close that number. The player who closes all the numbers (15-20) and hits three bulleyes first wins the game.
Electronic dartboards have also become popular in pubs and homes. Here, players throw darts with plastic tips that stick to the board. The score is automatically and electronically displayed above the target, alleviating the need for the chalkboard usually nearby to keep score.