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Darts Scoring System

Abhijit Naik Nov 24, 2018
Scoring happens to be one of the most confusing, yet crucial aspects of the game of darts. Being well-versed with its basics can help you put a perfect 'Ton 80' on the scoreboard.
If you hit the bullseye in a game of darts, you score 50 points, but that's not the maximum you can score from a single shot. The dartboard is divided into 20 segments, numbered from 1 to 20 in a specific order. A large pie being cut into 20 pieces is what a dartboard actually looks like.
The specific order in which these segments are numbered is as follows: 20, 1, 18, 4, 13, 6, 10, 15, 2, 17, 3, 19, 7, 16, 8, 11, 14, 9, 12, and 5; with number 20 at the top (12 o'clock) and number 3 at the bottom (6 o'clock) of the board.
Other than these segments, the dartboard also features two concentric circles. The inner circle is referred to as the 'Triple Ring', while the outer circle is referred to as the 'Double Ring'.
At the center lies the 'Bullseye', which is again divided into two sections: the Outer Bull, marked in green, and the Inner Bull, marked in red. When it comes to scoring, all these markings have a crucial role to play.

Darts Scoring Explained

Dartboard Layout and Scoring

Each of the segments on the dartboard have a particular number assigned to it. This number represents the points you can score if you hit this segment. For instance, if you hit the segment assigned the number 1, you score one point. If you hit the segment assigned the number 2, you score 2 points.
Similarly, a hit at segment 5 earns you 5 points, segment 10 earns you 10 points, and so on till 20 points, which you earn if you hit the segment marked 20. But these are not the final points. Along with the segment that you have hit, even the region marked by concentric circles is taken into consideration while calculating your score.
If your dart hits the region within the double ring, the points you score get doubled. For instance, if you hit the dart at the segment marked 10 and inside the double ring, you earn a total of 20 points (10×2). Similarly, if your dart hits the region within the triple ring, your score gets tripled.
For instance, if you hit the dart at the segment marked number 10 and inside the triple ring, you earn 30 points (10×3). In case of bullseye, hitting the outer bull earns you 25 points, whereas hitting the inner bull earns you 50 points.
But as we said earlier, this 50 is not the perfect score. If you hit the segment marked number 20 within the triple ring, your points get tripled, which means you score a total of 60 points (20×3) in one shot. If you hit all three shots for 60 points, you score a Ton-80, i.e., 180 points―the highest you score in a game of darts.

The '01 Up' Format

Coming back to the basics, almost all the matches start with '01 Up' format, wherein each player starts with a score ending with '01' (501, 601, 801, etc.). The objective of the game is to come down to zero; whoever does that, wins the game.
Each player gets three shots at the dartboard. The score gained from these three shots is deducted from the score at the beginning. The darts that don't hit the dartboard, or the ones that bounce off, are not taken into consideration.

Why 'Odd' Score in the Beginning?

The catch here is the ending, wherein you are supposed to come down to a score of an exact zero, that too with the last dart hitting either the double ring area or inner bull. Though this can be easily done when the score is some even figure (divisible by 2), it is a tough job when the score is odd (not divisible by 2).
For instance, a score of 18 can be brought to 0 by hitting a 9 double, but if the score is 19, then first the player has to come down to even score by hitting a triple summing up to odd figure, and then come down to zero with doubles. Games starting with the score of 301 are also similar, except that the player has to hit a double to start the game.
Scoring in a game of darts can get quite confusing at times, and there come instances wherein a simple mistake costs the player the entire game. Proper understanding of rules and getting well-versed with some simple tips can help you avoid any goof up.
Considering that you start the game with an odd score, it is better off to come in the even zone as quickly as possible and, more importantly, stay there to win the game.