Tag: how to throw bullseye
PART I of the series… “Why to never apply to become an About.com Guide”
The Objective of 501:
501 is one of the most popular darts games. It is played one player versus one other player for competitive matches, but if you are in a bar, there is no reason not to allow any number of players. The goal of the game is to reduce your score from 501 down to zero. The first person to achieve a score of zero is the winner. Not one, not negative one; the final score has to be exactly zero. All three darts are shot toward the dart board per round. The larger your score, the more points you can deduct from your score.
Starting the Game:
Deciding who goes first can be as simple as flipping a coin, but most dart games begin with a little contest of “closest dart to the bullseye.” The person who throws their dart closest to the bullseye will go first. If both players score a bullseye, the darts should be thrown again.
A standard dart board should be used for 501. There is a bullseye, an inner ring, and an outer ring. Each sliver of the dart board is assigned a point value as listed around the outer edge. These are the clearly defined scoring sections.
Darts that hit the bullseye are worth 50 points, and the outer bulleye is worth 25 points. The open spaces within each sliver of a scoring section are worth the point value assigned around the edge. The inner ring is the “triples” scoring section and the outer ring is the “doubles” scoring section. All darts that land in either section shall double or triple the applicable assigned score. For example, a dart that lands in the triples ring of the scoring section of 19 shall score a total of 57. Here is how a complete scoring round would work if you started with a score of 501 and three darts were thrown and they landed in triple 20, double 15, and single 8: The total for that round would be 60 (triple 20) + 30 (double 15) +8 (single 8 ) = 98, then you should subtract 98 from 501 which would be 403.
Throwing a “double” on the last throw of 501 is usually required. This means that if you have a score of 40, you can end the game by “doubling out” and hitting the double 20 section. If you throw a number that is greater than the points remaining, you just busted. A bust means the entire round doesn’t count and you remain at your previous score. It is possible to play the game without the requirement to “double” out of the game.
The pros actually memorize the specific combinations of dart throws that can clear the board once the score gets to 170 (for games that are played with the double requirement). At a score of 170 the game can end by throwing a triple 20, another triple 20, and then the inner bullseye (60 + 60 + 50). Once below 171 the game can be finished in one round except if you start with scores of 169, 168, 166, 165, 163, 162, and 159.
While 501 is the most popular version of this type of scoring method, you can also play 301, 401, 701, or pretty much any number you feel like playing. 501 happens to be the most common starting number. If you are short on time, or less skilled, feel free to start at 301.
The Perfect Game:
The perfect game of 501 is probably about as rare as a bowler knocking down a 300. It’s possible for the dart thrower to accomplish a total of exactly 501 using just three rounds of play.