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General Rules of Darts

Like pool, the accepted rules of darts can change depending on where you are playing. Areas will have slight variations of the rules and it is recommended that you always check with the venue or your opponent to clarify the rules before playing. That said, the basic rules are pretty clear and recognised the world over and these are the rules for playing on a standard English dartboard with steel tipped darts.

  • A player may use any type of dart with a total weight of less than 55 grams.
  • The height of the dartboard should be 5 feet 8 inches from the centre of the bullseye to the floor.
  • The oche should be marked out exactly 7 feet 9 ¼ inches from the face of the dartboard.
  • The order of throw is determined by one throw of a dart at the bullseye by each player (or one player from each team). Closest to the bullseye has the option of going first or second. If the first thrower’s dart hits the bullseye, the next thrower has the option of removing the dart from the board. If the second thrower also hits the bullseye, both players throw at bullseye again with the throwing order reversed. If the dart is not removed from the board, and the second thrower hits the bullseye, the second player wins the bullseye.
  • The winner of the bullseye throw has the choice of which game will be played.
  • Players take turns throwing, alternating one player from each team. If a player throws out of turn, the darts are voided and playing order resumes, providing the error is noticed before the next player from the same team throws. If the error is noticed after the next player on the same team throws, the offending player will skip a turn in order to return to normal playing order.
  • Each player throws 1, 2 or 3 darts as needed in each turn.
  • If a player's foot crosses over the oche, a foul is called and all three darts thrown in that round do not count.
  • A player can lean as far over the oche as they want, providing no part of their foot crosses the oche.
  • Each dart is scored where the point enters the board.
  • The point where the dart enters the board is determined by the wires and not by the colours.
  • If a dart bounces out, or is knocked out of the board, the dart does not count and cannot be thrown again.
  • If a dart falls out of the board before it is scored or pulled out by the player, it does not count.
  • The score for each round of darts should be agreed between the player and the scorer (or opponent) and marked on the scoreboard before they are pulled from the dartboard.

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