Dart games have been enjoyed by many people all across the world. Many of them are simple played with the most uncomplicated equipment: just a dartboard and some darts. Over the years, however, professional bodies have been formed to regulate professional dart games.
The British Darts Organization (BDO) is the main professional body. It outlines the basic rules to be followed for most dart games. It also outlines different feats, like the popular white horse. But before we learn what white horse is, let us look at a few dart game rules as outlined by the BDO.
One of the most obvious rules applied in a darts game is the use of dartboards. There are many categories of dartboards. The most common design of dartboard is the ‘trebles’ or ‘clock’ board. When it comes to material, any goes. However, the most common kind are plastic and bristle materials.
A normal board is circular with 20 segments that are randomly numbered from 1-20. There is a small black circle at the center that is known as the “bullseye”. The bullseye is surrounded by a red ring known as the 25-ring or the ‘outer bullseye’. Two other rings fan out from the bullseye, with the treble ring located half the way from the center, and a double ring at the edge of the inner circle. When playing the game, if a dart lands on a numbered segment within the treble ring, for instance, 16, then the player has scored a “treble 16”.
In a normal game, the dartboard is placed with the center of the bullseye being at least 68 inches from the ground. Players are allowed to stand on a raised block that can be 21 inches in height. This block is called an oche and it is placed 93¼ inches from the face of the board. However, for casual games, a mark can be drawn on the ground the same distance from the board for a player to stand in.
Each darter has 3 darts. The normal dart has a barrel, a shaft, and a pointed end.
To start a game, each player aims a dart at the bullseye. The one who lands a dart closest to the bullseye starts the game. Random selection or a coin toss is also a permissible way to start a game.
Each player gets three chances to throw a dart at the boar. If the dart misses the board or bounces and falls off, the player does not get a score. A dart that sticks in the board scores points for the player depending on the position within the board it stuck into.
Feats in Dart Games
Dart games also have feats, or rewards that one gets when they shoot a dart during a game. While some feats are general, oftentimes the type of feat awarded depends on the dart game being played. Let us look at some game-specific feats.
To play 301, a player needs to hit a double before scores are counted. If the player throws a double, that dart and any that follows it will count. The outer ring counts as a double and the inner ring counts as triple the score.
To get the score, you subtract the count of each dart from 301. For a player to win, they have to reduce their score to zero, and the final dart thrown will have to be a double.
If a player scores more than the score required, their turn of three darts is not taken into account. Their score remains the same as it was before the turn. For example, if 20 is the exact score and a player scores 21, their score will remain 20. If the player hits another 20, it also does not count. If the player hits 19, the throw also does not count.
This game is played similarly to 301. The only difference is that a double is not necessary to start scoring. As with 301, the scores are subtracted from 501 and the same rules of scoring a double are followed. 501 and up is used in professional matches and is the simplest game to play. The goal of the game is to reduce the score to an exact zero and the player to reach it first wins.
Feats in ’01 Games
Several feats are awarded in both 301 and 501. When a player hits three bullseye in one round, they are said to have scored a hat trick. This is the highest feat in any of the ’01 games. A player who scores 180 in one round is said to have a ‘Ton 80’, and one who scores 150 points is said to have scored a ‘Ton 50’. A ‘Lo Ton’ refers to scoring between 100 and 150 points in a round.
There are a variety of cricket games to be played in darts. However, they have some traits in common. For one, cricket games only use the numbers 15 to 20 on the board, and also the inner and outer bullseye. The goal of each cricket game is to score three points per hit for a total of three hits. A player gets a full three points if they hit the treble area of 17, for example. They get two points if they hit the double area, and one point if they hit the single area.
The catch in cricket games is that a player has to close a number first before they start scoring points on it. A player ‘closes’ a number by hitting it three times. After that, they can score by hitting it in subsequent rounds, and opponents cannot score if they hit it. A cricket game is won if a player closes all the numbers from 15 to 20, and has the highest score all-round.
Several feats are possible in cricket games. They are mainly determined by how the darts hit the bed of a boar. Each number on the boar occupies 4 beds. There is an outer double and an outer single, and there is an inner single and a triple.
A black hat is scored when a player hits the double area of a bullseye three times. Round marks are feats where a player scores the game with all the number of rounds. 9 is the most number of rounds possible, and 5 the least. 3 in a bed is a feat where all three throws hit the same bed on the board e.g. all darts hit the inner double.
White Horse in Darts
A white horse in darts is achieved when a player hits three different triple beds that no other player in their team had hit before. It competes with 3 in a Bed in impressiveness. It is such a good play that people are awarded pins for scoring it. This is because you need to be pretty accurate and fast to hit numbers before anyone else does.
The key to getting the coveted White Horse in darts is practice. Know the rules of the game, especially cricket games. Practice and fine-tune your throw, and maybe you will be the next person with a White Horse pin.