Back to the IdiotRules for Darts

501 301 Cricket


The classic darts game, and competition game (yes, this is a televised sport),  is 501.

Taking three darts per turn you count down from 501 finishing with a 'double'. You score double the indicated amount by hitting the outer rim, but the inner bullseye also counts as a double (50). 

Tactics: If you have any competency you will  be aiming for the treble twenty scoring as quickly as possible and hoping for the magical 180: treble twenty, treble twenty, treble twenty. Once the score gets below 170 you can look for your 'finish'. A decent player will be looking to leave themselves 64 (16, 16, double 16), a missed 16 leaves double 8 (and then 4, then two until the horrors of double one). A good player will know all the permutations of scores so that they can keep throwing in flow as the scores count down.

Play 501 with the regulars of the Idiot

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A common alternative is 301, same game as above, but you have to start with a double as well as finish with a double.


Not the game with the bat and ball but an 'around the board' game allowing several players.

The scoreboard needs to show 20 down to 12 plus bullseye down the left, with a column for each player. To finish a number you must hit three of them which can be a single treble, a single and a double, or three singles. Once you have completed a number any further darts in that number score for you - until the number is closed. A number is closed off once all the players have finished it. The game usually finishes when one player has completed all the numbers and hit three bulls (inner counts as two, outer as one). If the leader is not winning at that point because another player has scored more, he or she can continue to score on the open numbers. Once he or she gets the lead it's over.


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