How Do You Play English Darts

Dart enthusiasts, are you ready to step up to the oche and embark on an exciting journey into the world of playing English darts? Whether you’re a seasoned player or just getting started, this article is your ultimate guide to mastering the art of the dart game. From the classic 501 and 301-point matches to the intriguing English Cricket, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this captivating sport.

Discover how do you play English darts and score points, aim for the coveted double ring, and strategize your way to victory. So, grab your three darts, take your place at the dartboard, and let’s dive into the thrilling world of English darts, where precision, strategy, and a keen eye are your keys to success. Whether you’re the batter or the bowler, we’ve got you covered, so read on to sharpen your skills and become a darts champion!

How to set up the English dart game

  1. Hang the dartboard on the wall at a height of 5 feet 8 inches from the floor to the center of the bullseye.
  2. Draw a chalk line on the floor 7 feet 9.25 inches from the dartboard. This is the throw line.
  3. Place the score sheet on a table or chair near the dartboard.

What Number of Players Needed to Play English Cricket Darts

In English Cricket, players aim to score points by hitting specific numbers on the dartboard, typically 15 through 20 and the bullseye, while defending their numbers from their opponents. Two players or teams can participate, and the game’s competitiveness can be extended by increasing the required number of marks for bowlers to achieve.

The Basics of English Darts

English darts, like any sport, have a set of fundamental elements that form the foundation of the game. To play and enjoy this classic pub game, it’s crucial to grasp these basics. Let’s break down the essentials:

A. Aim and Objective of the Game:

At its core, English darts is a game of precision and strategy. The primary aim is to accumulate points by accurately throwing darts at the dartboard. However, the game becomes more intriguing when you understand the roles of the batter and the bowler.

B. Equipment Needed:

  • Dartboard: The standard dartboard is a circular, numbered target with various scoring sections. The numbers range from 1 to 20, arranged in a non-sequential order, and a bullseye at the center.
  • Darts: You’ll need a set of three darts. Darts come in various styles, weights, and materials, so choose ones that suit your preferences.

C. Setting up the Dartboard and Oche:

  • Dartboard Height: The standard height from the floor to the center of the bullseye (the “eye” of the bull) should be 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm).
  • Throwing Line (Oche): You’ll need a fixed throwing line, known as the oche (pronounced ‘ockey’). The regulation distance from the front of the oche to the face of the dartboard is 7 feet 9.25 inches (237 cm). For accuracy, ensure the oche is level with the dartboard.

Rules of the playing English Dart Game

Understanding the rules of English darts is essential for an enjoyable and competitive game. English darts, also known as “Cricket,” have a unique set of rules that differentiate it from traditional darts. Here’s a detailed overview:

A. The Roles of the Batter and the Bowler:

In English darts, two players take on distinct roles – the “batter” and the “bowler.”

  • Batter: The batter’s primary objective is to score points. To open their scoring, a batter must accumulate a minimum of 40 points. Once they achieve this, any points they score beyond 40 are added to their total. This means that if a player scores 75 with their three darts, they earn 35 points (75 – 40).
  • Bowler: The bowler’s role is defensive. Their goal is to prevent the batter from accumulating points by targeting the bullseye. In this context, “marks” refer to scoring on the bullseye. The outer ring of the bull counts as one mark, while the inner bull (bullseye) is worth two marks, similar to the rules of Cricket.

B. Scoring System:

Scoring in English darts is centered around the numbers on the dartboard, as well as the marks scored by the bowler. Here’s how the scoring works:

  • Scoring with Darts: To score points with darts, players aim to hit the numbered segments on the dartboard. The number they hit is the number of points they receive. For example, hitting the “20” segment gives you 20 points.
  • Scoring Marks: As mentioned, the bowler aims to score marks on the bullseye. The outer bull is worth one mark, and the inner bull (bullseye) is worth two marks.

C. How to Start Scoring as a Batter:

To begin accumulating points as a batter, you must achieve a minimum of 40 points. Until you reach this threshold, your points do not count. Afterward, you add the points earned with your darts to your total.

These fundamental rules set the stage for an exciting game of English darts. The batter’s goal is to build a substantial score, while the bowler’s role is to halt their progress by hitting marks on the bullseye. Once the bowler scores 10 marks, the roles switch, and the game continues with both players taking turns. The player with the highest score at the end emerges as the victor.

How to play the English dart game

The English dart game, commonly known as “Cricket,” is a two-player game that tests your accuracy and strategy. To play, one player begins as the batter, and the other starts as the bowler. Each player takes turns throwing three darts, with the batter going first.

The batter’s primary objective is to accumulate points. They must score a minimum of 40 points to open their scoring. Any points earned beyond 40 are added to their total score. For example, if a batter scores 75 with their three darts, they would have 35 points (75 – 40).

The bowler aims to prevent the batter from accumulating points by scoring marks on the bullseye. The outer bull counts as one mark, while the inner bull (bullseye) is worth two marks, similar to a regular Cricket game.

The bowler’s target is to score 10 marks on the bullseye. Once they achieve this, the roles switch and the batter becomes the bowler. The game continues with both players taking turns. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

The batter’s goal is to score over 40, and the bowler aims to accumulate 10 marks on the bullseye. It’s a fun and strategic game that combines accuracy and tactics in the world of darts.

Playing Strategies for English Dart Game

To excel in English darts, you need more than just throwing darts at the board; you need a well-thought-out strategy. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, these strategies can enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of success.

A. Tips for Improving Your Accuracy:

  1. Consistent Stance: Find a comfortable and consistent stance that works for you. Your body position and balance are crucial for accuracy.
  2. Aim Small: Focus on smaller target areas, like the triple 20 or specific numbers to maximize your scoring potential.
  3. Grip and Release: Develop a consistent grip and release technique. Experiment with different grips to find what suits you best. A smooth, controlled release is key for accuracy.
  4. Practice Regularly: The more you practice, the more your muscle memory will improve. Regular practice sessions will help refine your aim.
  5. Stay Calm and Focused: Maintain your composure, especially under pressure. A clear mind and steady hand can make all the difference in a close match.

B. Defensive Strategies for the Bowler:

  1. Target the Bullseye: As the bowler, your primary goal is to stop the batter from scoring. Concentrate on hitting marks on the bullseye to reach the 10-mark target.
  2. Mix Up Your Strategy: Vary your shots between the outer bull and the inner bull to keep the batter guessing.
  3. Pressure Your Opponent: If the batter is close to the 40-point mark, focus on consistently scoring marks to prevent them from accumulating more points.

C. Offensive Strategies for the Batter:

  1. Focus on 40 Points: Your initial goal is to score a minimum of 40 points to start accumulating. Aim for high-value numbers like triple 20 to achieve this quickly.
  2. Extend Your Lead: Once you’ve crossed the 40-point threshold, every additional point you score adds to your total. Capitalize on this to extend your lead.
  3. Strategic Targeting: Consider targeting numbers that your opponent struggles with, making it harder for them to catch up.
  4. Consistency is Key: Maintain steady performance and avoid wild shots. A consistent batter can be tough to beat.

D. Importance of Consistency:

Consistency is a recurring theme in successful English darts play. It applies to both batter and bowler. As a batter, consistent scoring above 40 is vital for building a lead. For the bowler, maintaining a steady mark-hitting rate is crucial to halt the batter’s progress effectively.

By understanding and employing these strategies, you can elevate your English darts game and become a more competitive and skilled player. Keep in mind that practice and experience are the best teachers, so keep honing your skills and adapting your strategies to the ever-evolving challenges of the game. In the next section, we’ll delve into scoring examples to clarify how the scoring system works in practical situations.

Switching Roles of English Dart Game

One of the intriguing aspects of English darts is the dynamic interchange of roles between the batter and the bowler. This transition adds depth and strategy to the game and ensures that both players have a fair chance to shine. Here’s a closer look at how and when these roles switch:

A. Explaining the Transition:

  1. 10 Marks: The pivotal moment for role reversal occurs when the bowler scores 10 marks on the bullseye. These 10 marks indicate that the bowler has successfully halted the batter’s scoring and is now ready to become the batter.
  2. Mark Definition: It’s important to clarify what constitutes a “mark.” In English darts, the outer bull is worth one mark, while the inner bull (bullseye) counts as two marks. The bowler accumulates these marks to reach the 10-mark target.

B. When and How Roles Change:

  1. End of an Inning: Roles change after an “inning.” An inning is completed when both players have taken their turn as the batter and the bowler.
  2. Role Switch: After one inning, the batter becomes the bowler, and the bowler becomes the batter. This transition ensures a fair distribution of opportunities and keeps the game balanced.
  3. Continuation: The game continues with this switching of roles, allowing both players to engage in both offensive and defensive gameplay. This balance keeps the match competitive and engaging.

Understanding the timing of role switches is crucial for effective gameplay. It adds an element of strategy, as players must plan their moves to maximize their scoring when in the batter’s role and defend their opponent’s scoring when in the bowler’s role.


In the end, it is concluded that playing English darts, also known as “Cricket,” is an engaging experience that combines precision, strategy, and camaraderie. This guide has expertly navigated through the essentials of how to play darts, including the use of 3 darts, throwing with precision, and scoring as many points as possible by hitting specific targets on the scoreboard.

Understanding darts rules, the concept of wickets, and the dynamic role-switching aspect is crucial for success. As a player starts their journey in this exciting game, mastering the art of subtracting and aiming for the elusive double 8 is key. Whether for casual fun with friends or competitive settings, embrace the challenge, savor the journey, and may your darts always hit their mark. With these valuable insights, you’re well-prepared for an exciting English darts adventure.

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