How To Play 501 Darts?

People who watch dart championships or are learning darts have heard about 501 darts. Mostly beginners, who don’t know the rules of playing 501 darts, so finally here is the complete guideline on How To Play 501 Darts that is how to get started.


How To Play 501 Darts:

501 darts is the most played darts game. As a matter of fact, it’s one of many games with 501 points that dart players play. Beginners are suggested to start with 501 darts once they’ve crossed all the basic dart games. So, let’s dive into it and find out how to play 501 darts.

How to Start the Match:

You can start with the good old-fashioned “tossing a coin”. But a very darts-oriented tradition is to hit the board, both the opponent takes turns and whoever hits closest to the bull’s eye gets the first hit. 

What is Doubling-in:

Starting 501 darts it’s not just that simple. Just tossing the coin only decides who gets to throw their darts first. Regardless if you’re playing individually or in teams. The rules apply in both scenarios. 

In doubling-in, the team needs to hit one of the double sections in the outer ring. Or They can either hit the bull’s eye or the doubles 20 in order to open their score. For the bull’s eye, you need to hit only once. Or you can hit the 20s as these two are the highest-scoring targets with 40 to 50 points. You can start as high as 50 or you can hit the outer ring and start with whatever next score you hit. 

What is Doubling-out:

Well, the reason that makes 501 spicy and tricky at the same time is the very score. While doubling out, you must attain a zero without scoring even a single extra number. That is where you need to apply a strategy. Score very tactfully and smartly so that when it comes to clearing the account, you could have a smooth exit. Simply put in example; If you need 41 points to clean and you’re left with two darts scoring 30 and 10 or 20 and 20 you will still need 1 point. And since you’re out of your darts limit and there is no single point scored. In another scenario, if you’ve hit 40 points, on the board, only double 1 available has a value of two points, which means exceeding the required limit. In both scenarios, you get busted. 

Doubling in can be removed but doubling out is a universally applied rule that players do not back out usually. For doubling-in, there is already a way of opening or starting the game. You can toss a coin or throw the darts and open the match, however, the complexity of the score builds tension and suspense in the game, which is why doubling-out remains an important rule of the game. 

501 Darts Rules

501 is the set target of the game. And the players are supposed to chase the target in reverse order. So instead of running after the score, you’re killing it. The players get three darts for each turn. Once the game is on, both opponents take turns to score. The best way to play the game is by tactfully planning the score. Your target is not to score the highest but to also score smartly so when it’s time to exit the game, you’re not stuck with poor or impossible choices. 

For beginners, your numeric skills will serve you well, but like chess, darts need strategy and planning ahead of moves. 

Other Games with 501 points 

For the very same game, rules might vary depending upon when and where you are playing the game. According to the international book of the law, for example, You cannot consume any alcoholic drinks while playing international tournaments, there’s also a well-defined dress code that specifically forbids wearing jeans. But playing darts in pubs, clubs or in living you can alter these rules. However, for 501 darts, It is a norm in international competitions to remove the doubling-in rule so the game could start quickly. However, while playing in your living room or club, the very rule can cause frustration and cause leg-pulling of the opponent if they fail to open the game without scoring. 

Final words:

In case there are teams playing and there’s an uneven number of players in one of the teams, the issue is resolved by the concept of a “dummy” player. A player is assigned to the team with fewer players and depending upon the expertise of the team, a score is assigned to the dummy. With each round when the team completes its turn, the dummy’s score is also added to the team’s score. 

501 darts is one of the most interesting and most popular games with 501 points so every beginner is advised to play it once and also read the above guideline on how to play 501 darts. The game is usually considered a beginners game but the rules can be twisted and that is why it’s a game in the international arena as well. Just like chess, 501 darts is more of a game of anticipation, planning, focus, and aiming.


  • What are the rules of 501 darts?

The basic rule of 501 darts is that the scoring starts from 501 points. To participate you must know the basic rules, if you don’t know read the complete above written guide on how to play 501 darts. From 501, the first team or player plays then the turn of the second player comes. The Score of each player is removed from the dartboard and the first team touching zero becomes the winning team.

  • How do you keep score in 501 darts?

The zero of 501 darts is 501 sore. Then each team is given 3 darts to play. Their score is subtracted from 501 to reach zero in reverse order. 

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