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Dart News

How To Play The Dart Game Battleship


This game is quite complicated but a whole lot of fun. It can be played with a minimum of two players or up to as many as a few teams. You’ll need to keep a pad and pen handy in addition to the scoreboard. The main aim of the game is to sink all your opponents’ ships before they sink yours!

You begin by each throwing one dart at the bullseye, the closest will begin. The scoreboard is then divided into the number of columns needed. (If two players, then two columns will be needed.) Each of the participants names or darting aliases depending on how creative you are, are written in order across the top of the columns. Four ships are drawn in each of the participant’s columns with one of the following numbers in each ship; 2, 3, 4, 5. Each number will represent the amount of positions the ship occupies on the board and will also indicate the number of darts required to sink that specific ship.

Before you can start the game, both participants must pretend to hide their ships on the board. They hide their ships by writing down on a piece of paper the specific positioning of each of their ships without disclosing the ships positions to the opponents. All of your ships positions on the board must be specified clearly on your sheet of paper and may not cross each other or be placed on top of each other. The ships must also be positioned in sequential segments of the board and can under no circumstance be broken up.

Ships positioning can be placed one of two ways, you can place them in a circular manner, this is when the ships fragments measure around the same ring of the board. The different rings of the board, double, large, triple, small. You can also utilise the outer and inner bullseyes in the other placement format. So as an example you may place your 3 ship on Double-5, Double-20, and Double-1.

You may also place your ships straight down a number or straight line from the Double ring inwards all the way to the bullseye. This is where the game may differentiate between players and styles. You may want to use the bullseye both outer and inner as one fragment or alternatively you can use them as two separate fragments. So for instance if you were using them as one you might have a 3 boat starting in the Outer Bullseye and moving across Small-9 and finishing in triple-9. Alternatively, if you are using the bullseye as a whole entity and not two separate parts you might end up with a 4 boat starting in Small-19, Bullseye, Small-1, and finishing in Triple-1. Either of these differing styles can be used depending on how skilled the dart players are playing the game.

Once all this has been accomplished and both players have their hidden sheets and darts are at a ready. Play can begin. Players then take turns throwing there three darts and trying to locate the positioning of their opponents battleships and sink them. This is done buy throwing your dart at different segments of the board and until they receive notice buy the other player a ‘hit’ has occurred and then they must try and locate where the rest of the ship is located. Whenever someone throws a dart at the board during their turn the opposing player must specify whether the dart has accumulated a ‘hit’ or ‘missed’ their ships. No other information regarding the size or placement of that ship is to be given away. However if all the fragments of the ship have been struck by an awesome darter, they must be made aware that the ship has been sunk, so as they can move on to a different target. The player that had their ship sunk must then cross out on the scoreboard which one of their ships was sunk. Once all your opponents ships are sunk you are the ultimate darter, make them bow down to your superior darting and intuition.

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How To Play The Dart Game Blind Killers

Blind Killers is an awesome game, it’s a variation of the original kills that has been designed to be played with at least 3 people. However the sky’s the limit. It’s one of only few games to be able to play with an odd number of people. Its also a game of luck, memory and honesty so play amongst friends.

The names of the participants are placed on the left-hand side of the scoreboard in any order. As a general rule the player who gets eliminated first gets to throw first in the following game. For the original game all participants throw one dart and the closest to the bullseye throws first.

You will need to put three marks next to each players name; these will indicate how many lives that each participant has remaining. The style of play is inherently identical to the standard Killers’ game excluding the fact that none of the opponents will know what the other opponent’s numbers are. So here’s a brief run through of play if you don’t already know how to play Killers.

All the numbers from 1 right through to 20 are placed on little bits of paper and placed in a tub or hat. All participants then take a slip and remember the number on their slip because that number will be theirs for the whole game. However you do not need to throw at your double to start with because you would obviously give away your number. So instead you need to throw any bull to begin. Inner or outer is fine. The game then clearly relies on honesty and sound memory. Every player must remember to watch their own number intently and remember how many lives they have remaining. Once your third life is taken, you’re required to take a seat and watch someone claim the blind Killer’s title. You can also alter the game depending on what skill level everyone is. You can obviously use doubles and triples for better players and the thin and thick parts of the wedges for average to not so good players. There is obviously no real strategy to this enjoyable game it’s really pure luck. However you can pick up physical tells of them if you hit their number so watch carefully and enjoy. Obviously the way to win is to be the last one left with any lives. Then take a bow and start bragging about how good your darting is.

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Dartboards or Dart Boards

by Laurie Byrne
Deadeye Darts
February 22, 2009

It’s difficult to find out which is the correct spelling let alone their history. One thing is for sure bristle dartboards were never made from pig or boars skin. Never quite sure where this originated from, but I remember as a small child back in the 1950’s my father soaking a dartboard overnight to return it to its original state. Next morning the board was removed from the water and put out to dry, as the board dried it virtually fell to pieces, ruined. He was sure that his father or someone had told him that was what you did to restore your dartboard. So on the next Saturday he was up at the local sports store where he originally purchased the board looking for, I think, a refund.

It was explained to him that the bristles on the dartboard were actually sisal and it was not to be placed in water under any circumstances. To this day I’m not sure if my father believed the shop assistant but we left with a new board which he had to pay for.

I don’t think anyone really knows where the dartboard or darts for that matter originated from. I’ve read that the boards were made from the bottoms of wind cases to log ends of the elm tree. The log end of a tree sounds the most logical source for the earlier dartboard and it would made sense that you would need to soak it to stop it from drying out, cracking and becoming too hard.

From what I can ascertain the dart board as we know it was made of plasticine which needed to be smoothed with a hot iron after each leg. Apparently this procedure gave off a rather unpleasant odour. In 1932 an English company Nodor – from No ODouR patented the first sisal dartboard as we know it. Nodor still holds the patent and manufactures in my opinion the best dart boards in the world.

Sisal is actually come from a cactus of the Sisalana family. The highest quality sisal is grown in Africa but is also grown commercially in South Africa, India and China. Sisal’s main use apart from dartboards is rope and carpet making.
The leaves of the plant are harvested and stripped of their exterior skin. The leaves are then bleached and combed. Sorters then feed a machine which pulls the sisal into a bundle 15cm in diameter. The bundle is then tightly bound with paper and cut into biscuits. The biscuits are placed within a frame and compressed into one tight circle. Warm glue is then spooned from a heated tub and spread evenly over the compressed sisal ready for the backboard placement. The wooden backboard is then slid into position and pressed onto the surface. The outer steel band is joined, and the dartboards are stacked to allow the glue to dry.

Screen printing then adds the colours to the face of the dart board, green, red and black are added in three separate processes. The black printing reveals a reconisable dart board ready for the hardware fitting. The inner and outer are punched into place first, then the wire spider is placed face down ready for the board to be pressed on. A special assembly holds both in alignment during this operation. A final press from the front ensures the wire is flat and secure.

All that remains now is to add the adjustable number ring. Protective gloves are used whilst fixing the number ring into place. The entire dart board manufacturing process is now complete.

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Dart Coaching in Victoria

Perhaps many will be surprised to learn that there are fully accredited dart coaches available throughout Victoria. In fact coaching is available to all dart players around the country since Australia led the world in 1989 by becoming the first country to introduce a National Darts Coaching Program.

Accredited DFA Dart Coaches do not charge for their services, although when visiting remote areas, reimbursement of fuel costs by the host league is usual. Those who coach do so because of their love for the sport and a desire to increase enjoyment and success others obtain from playing darts.

Coaching courses for both level “O" and Level “1" DFA Coaching Accreditation are held each year here in Victoria, usually at the Southern Dart League in Clayton.

Level “O" is an introduction to the basics of coaching and runs for approximately six hours. The course is available to players from 18 years of age.

Level “1" is more comprehensive course, is darts specific and is held over two weekends. The Level 1 course is structured to assist you in the coaching of players from novice to intermediate level of ability.

Police checks are required in line with all such positions and for those intending to travel and stay away with juniors overnight at any time a Working with Children Card will also need to be applied for. Application forms can be obtained from your Post Office.

There is no charge for a police check being a “volunteer" coach, but you will need to present a passport photo with your application.

All of these procedures are very straight-forward and easily and quickly completed and should not deter anyone who feels they are suited to coaching from undertaking the course.

Costs of the courses do vary depending on the level you choose to train in. The Level 1 course is slightly more expensive but is till well under $100. Many dart leagues are more than happy to sponsor interested members and expand the effectiveness and integrity of their league. Governments Grants may also be available to cover or offset the costs associated with the coaching course.

Players gaining assistance from a dart coach will learn to put into place Home Practice Programs and obtain personal guidance in throwing style and mental attitude. Coached players may advance to a higher level of ability more quickly by smoothing out the highs and lows and making darts much more rewarding. Talk to your dart league about organising a coaching seminar or sponsorship to assist you in undertaking a coaching course.

For full details and to register your interest contact:

Victorian State Coaching Director: Brian Murr
Mobile: 0416 142 541

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How To Play The Dart Game Cricket

by Stephanie Byrne
Freelance Journalist
07 February 2009

Cricket is a dart game that is extremely popular throughout America and Central Europe. Cricket is a game that, unlike 501, requires strategy which often provides the opportunity for weaker players to beat stronger players. Due to this, some players adopt defensive strategies by attempting to block other players from scoring; while other players may attempt offensive strategies by making an effort to increase their score.

In Cricket, the dart scoreboard is drawn up with the numbers 20 through to 15 and the Bulls Eye in descending order down the centre of the dart scoreboard. The Bulls Eye is normally abbreviated with the letter “B" or “C" for cork, which is another term for the Bulls Eye.

The players each take a turn throwing one dart at Bulls Eye, the closest dart to the Bulls Eye is allowed to throw first. The first player throws three darts at any of the scoring numbers to try to close that number and/or score points. The player then scores the darts that they have thrown and play alternates until one person closes all their numbers and has more or equal points to the opponent.

The object of the dart game, Cricket, is to “close" all your numbers (being all those that appear on the dart scoreboard as specified above) and finish with more or equal points to your opponent. To “close" a number or the Bulls Eye, you must hit three of that number.

Each dart that lands in any of the games’ numbers count towards closing that number (therefore, any darts that hit 1 through to 14 are void). On the numbers, the thin outer ring counts as two of that number as is referred to as a ‘double’. The thin inner ring counts as three (thus, hitting one of these would close the number for you) and is referred to as a ‘triple’. The two larger sections of the number simply count for one, as with regular darts. For the Bulls Eye, the outer ring counts as one and is worth 25, while the inner circle counts as two and is worth 50.

Scoring for one dart is shown by placing a slash (\) next to the number scored, scoring for two is indicated by placing an ‘X’ next to the number scored and scoring for three is represented by placing a circle next to the number to indicate that it is closed. When three of a number is scored in any combination, it is closed.

After a number is closed, additional "markings" are converted into scores that are equal to the number. However, when a number is closed by all players, which is referred to as ‘All Closed’, then that number is then no longer available for accumulating scores. The winner is the one closes all the numbers first and has the highest score. If scores are even, the player who closes all numbers first wins.

This can make the game of Cricket very interesting as if you have your number 17 closed and your opponent has only thrown one dart in the 17; you are able to hit the 17 and your points will be added to your total score. Therefore, if you through a triple 17, you will have 51 added to your total score. If you opponent then throws a triple 17, it only counts as two to close the number, the third does not count as you have already closed the number 17. If a player has all of their numbers closed including the Bulls Eye but has fewer points than their opponent, than that player has not yet won the game. They must throw enough points to be even or ahead of the opponent. Therefore, if the only number the opponent has open is the Bulls Eye, then the player must throw extra Bulls Eyes to build up their score.

Obviously, different players have different strategies that they feel work best for them however, it is generally thought that the best strategy is to close the highest numbers first in descending order (thus, they are presented this way on the scoreboard for your convenience). This way, if you have managed to close all of the higher numbers, you are at an advantage to build up your score later in fewer darts if necessary. For example, if you closed the number 20 and also scored 20 points in your following round, your opponent would have to hit the number 19 twice or hit a ‘double 19’ (which is obviously much harder than hitting the single) just to make up the points and score 38 to get ahead of you.

This strategy obviously provides a weaker player to beat a stronger player however; this plan also has the capacity to backfire. Your opponent may quickly turn the tables if you have a few misfortunate throws and might not be so forgiving about all of those numbers that you closed and extra points that you managed to throw at his expense. Furthermore, if your opponent is much stronger than you, you may find that the time that you actually wasted your time by ensuring that you had enough time would have been better spent aiming for the Bulls Eye, as your opponent may hit the Bulls Eye quickly and end up beating you! A good indication of your opponents’ capability is if they do not seem phased about the number of points you have accumulated, feeling confident that they will be able to complete and win the game regardless (this is obviously demonstrated if your opponent is not throwing any points back).

There are several different variations of the dart game, Cricket; however the three main ones are described below:

This is a simplified version of the dart game, Cricket. The objective is to close all the numbers and the Bulls Eye as soon as possible. No points are given for a hit on a closed number at any time. Therefore, once a number is hit three times, you should move on to hit other targets. The winner is the one who registers all three hits on all numbers and the Bulls Eye first.

This is a reversed version of the dart game, Cricket, in scoring, most popularly being played with three players. Two of the players may join up against another player before they turn against each other for a fight.
After a number is closed, a hit for scoring is added to the opponent's scores. The highest accumulative score is the losing score. However, no score will be added to a player who has the number already closed. The winner is the one who has the lowest score and who has closed all the numbers first. If a player has closed all the numbers first but also has a higher score, they must keep on throwing to bring the opponents' scores over or equal to their score. Therefore, the best strategy is to close the numbers as soon as possible to block the other players from giving you points while increasing your opportunity to accumulate points for our opponent.

This game is much like the ‘No Score Cricket’ with an added twist. When a number is closed, the player has a chance to eliminate an opponent marking by hitting the same number again. However, if the opponent has the number closed as well, then no marks will be taken away from that player. The first player who closes all the numbers is the winner.
Cricket is a really fun dart game with many variations and strategies. Do you enjoy Cricket? What is your strategy for winning?

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How To Play The Dart Game 501

by Stephanie Byrne
Freelance Journalist
04 January 2009

The number of dart games is considerable, with new games or different variations of old games being created every day. However, 501 and Cricket are definitely the most popular, being played professionally and for recreational purposes throughout the world.

501 would have to be the most popular game internationally and it is believed to reveal darting talent like no other game. This is a classic game, which also offers the highest prize money in the world when playing professionally. 501 is also one of the simplest dart games to play. Starting with 501, your score is taken away from this total until you get down to 0. To finish the game you must double-out, this means that the finishing dart must land in a double ring (obviously corresponding to your score, which will need to be an even number of 40 or smaller). Although it is agreed upon that one must double-out in the game of 501, there is some contention regarding whether one must double-in or not. However, this being said, in actual tournaments, you are not required to double-in, only out. The only other way to finish the game is if you have 50 points outstanding and manage to hit a Bulls Eye.

In order to establish the fastest and most efficient way to complete a game of 501, our out shots calculators come in very handy. These business card sized guides outline how to hit every score up to 170 in three darts or less. Therefore, if you were playing 501 and followed the out shots calculator perfectly (not missing a shot) you would be able to complete the game in 9 darts. If you also manage this as an amateur, please feel free to contact us for sponsorship – you may want to start considering a professional career.

Youth players who are under 18 should generally prepare themselves to be able to finish the game of 501 in 18 darts or less to be in the running to win an international competition. As a woman player, 18 darts or less is the average on the international scene. Male players on the other hand, need to be capable of shooting 12 darts or less and very rarely do they ever get a second chance at the double.

Finishing a game of 501 is not always as easy as it may seem though, with many dart players struggling with the ‘bust rule’. The ‘bust rule’ means that if you score more than you need or just one less than you need than you are ‘bust’ and the score is voided for that turn. You would then start the next turn with the same score that you had before. A scenario that many players dread is to end up on the painful double one and keep missing it. The double one finish is often referred to as “Annie’s House" although no one is really able to explain why.

Despite the popularity of 501, home dart players generally desire more variation and thus, the myriad of other dart games and variations on the classic games, which will be explored in future posts.

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