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301 Dart Game Rules

The dart game has a very similar form to archery. However, unlike archery, the implements used are small pointed objects called darts. The game is a favorite among several bar rooms, although common to households and offices, due to its portability and fun achieved through the game. Though it functions as recreation, it is also a competitive sport governed and organized by the World Dart Federation and Professional Dart Corporation. Anyone of any age range is allowed to play, the only requirement being accuracy. Children should however play under the supervision of an adult.

There are several variations of the dart game, one being the 301 dart game, 501 and 701 dart game, cricket, baseball, killer, and around the clock. The 301 dart game is much simpler compared to the other dart games, its rules are to understand, the plays are easy to make by a beginner. Even the professionals love to get a kick out of the game. So not to worry, after going through this article, you will be well-equipped with the knowledge needed to join in the fun.

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Objective of the game

According to the name, 301 points is set as the target score, whoever is able to reduce that score to zero with each throw first, is the winner. Thus, the bigger the number aimed per turn, the faster your score’ decreases to zero. This process is called check out.

Number of players

It is either played between two individuals or two teams, consisting of two players each.

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Equipment for the game

The main equipment for the game is the dartboard, an 18-inch diameter board is preferred. It is mostly used for tournaments and it provides a perfect usage for both beginners and experts alike.

Steel-tipped darts which are 12 inches in length, provide a perfect set for adults. Children, however, are advised to use those which are rather soft-tipped.

The last item is a scoreboard, for recording purposes. Although some dart games do come in a complete set; dartboard, darts, and scoreboard. This makes it easy for procurement.

Setting up of the game

The board should be positioned, such that the bull’s eye is 6 feet from the ground. The throwing distance of at least seven feet should be marked with a line or an actual object. This boundary should not be crossed during the game for fair play.

Rules/ How the game is played

The game is started by either participants or teams, by shooting at the bulls eye. You shoot one dart each and the player closest to the bulls eye gets the first turn. If, you both hit anywhere in the outer bull or you both hit anywhere in the inner bull then a re-throw is required. Who goes first to decide the starting of the game can be decided by a coin toss or a little gameplay of rock-paper-scissors, whichever that will suit you fancy. Once that is decided, the game can now begin, reducing the set score of 301 points should be the next task on hand. Now the fun can really begin.

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You accomplish this task by earning points each turn that gets subtracted from your starting score or 301. These points are earned by hitting the appropriate sections of the dartboard, there is a triple and double section for each number. If you hit the double section of a number you earn twice that number and if you hit the triple section of a number you earn three times that number, thus making it possible to finish a game of 301 in only six throws if you do it right. Pretty neat.

For example, you take your turn by hitting a double 20 that gives 40. Then you can hit two trebles of 20s that is 120 points. This will bring your total to 160, 120 plus 40 for the turn. This leaves you with a total of 141 points to deal with on the next turn. That is three throws all in all.

Once your score is down to 141 you can finish the game by first shooting a treble 20, followed by a treble 19, then finishing it off with a double 12. Six throws completed successfully and the game is over. Whether you have beginner’s luck or not, it is undeniably possible, as long as you practice.

An important thing to note is that you must finish a 301 game by reducing your score exactly to zero. If you reduce your score past zero it will be labeled a “bust” and your score will revert to what it was before you hit the bust. Let’s say your score is at 50, you hit a single 20, a single 20, followed by a single 12 missing the double 5. Your score will revert to 10, which is where it was before you had the bust. Another score that can earn you a bust is reducing your score down to only 1. It is impossible to get a double out with a score of 1 and most 301 games require a double out so your score will revert to what it was before you got a score of 1.

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The last thing to note is this last factor that can influence your score; your darts, if they fall off the dartboard. A dart must remain on the dartboard for at least five seconds after the final dart of your turn is thrown for it to count. And so if on throwing the dart, dart and it falls off the board before five seconds you lose those points. No re-throws in this situation. 

Winning the game

Reaching your target of zero will make you the winner. This is ensured greatly by hitting doubles or triples on the board. Getting these exact numbers is fascinating and thrill-seeking. Tactics and mental calculations will be needed at the fingertips. Thus to emerge victoriously, one would need to have a great sense of accuracy to make correct and concise aims.