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Dart Archives - GloverSports.com

Darts – The Ultimate Guide

Dart

The Definitive Guide to Mastering Darts


This is the ultimate guide to the beautiful game of Darts.

In this guide, we'll cover everything from different types of games to advanced strategies for beating your friends.

So whether you're a seasoned veteran or just starting out, we're sure you find some new information below.

So, without further ado let's get started.

Dart Games

Chapters

CHAPTER 1:
Fundamentals - Counting dart scores


Before we get going we are going to cover the very fundamentals of dart: How to score (in the game of darts...)

If you're already familiar with terminology such as "the 01 games" and how to play cricket, please skip ahead but if you're not totally sure of those, keep reading this chapter.

So, without further ado, how do you count scores in darts?

Scoring depends on the game, but most of the fundamentals which we are going to teach you will apply to most games you will play. The most popular games are the 01 games and Cricket. 

Dart Fundamentals

The Darts Scoreboard


If there is one thing you need to know as a dart player, it is how to score. Before we go into this, we can tell you that there are two ways you can do this.

Dart

In case you're wondering: This is a dartboard

You can use your mental arithmetic skills, or you can use a calculator. There is no right and wrong way, as long as you are accurately capturing scores.

If you have a cabinet for your dartboard, then you probably have a scoreboard laid out. Use chalk to write in any numbers.

If you do not have a scoreboard, a pencil and some paper will do just fine.

Some tips before we start:

  • Leave your darts in the board until your turn has been scored. 
  • Do not be afraid to check your (or anybody else’s working).
  • Keep the scoreboard visible for all players.
  • Write the scores clearly and concisely.
  • Use a calculator if your math skills are rusty.

​Scoring the 01 games


Scoring 01 games is easy. All you have to do is subtract your three-dart score from your total score.

To start the game, write the starting number at the top of your scoreboard (or sheet of paper). For a 501 game, you would write 501 at the top. This is your starting total.

You need to have two columns for each player playing. One column has their total score (starting at 501), and the other will have the score for their turn. 

We've listed an example of how to score below, with the total score on the left and the round score on the right.

Total Score

Round Score

501

180

321

72

249

and so forth...

When a player takes their turn, tally up the score for the three darts and write it in the turn column. Subtract this from the total score and write the new total score in the score column. Easy as pie.

Doubling out

Don’t forget that you need to double out in a 01 game. Try to leave yourself on a double. For example, if you leave yourself on 20, you can go out with double 10. As soon as someone reaches zero by doubling out, they win the game.

Busting

Now, I know that I said that you should mark your score at the end of your turn, but you should also be keeping track of your score as you throw each dart. This is important for two reasons.

The first reason is so that you know when you have left yourself on a double and you can throw at that double. The second is to stop yourself from busting out.

If at any time during your turn you leave yourself on 1 point or less, then you have busted out. You cannot double out if you leave yourself on 1, and you certainly cannot double out if you leave yourself on less than one.

If you bust out at any time, your turn is over, and your score reverts to what it was at the start of your turn.

(We recommend not busting out if you can help it...)

Scoring in Darts Cricket


Cricket scores a little differently to the 01 games. If you have a dart scoreboard, then you probably have a cricket scoreboard set up. If you do not, it is easy to do so.

Darts cricket

You don't need all that equipment to play cricket in darts...

Cricket scores with the numbers: 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and the bull.

Take a sheet of paper and write these numbers in a column down the middle. Mark two columns on either side for each player or each team.

Hitting a number three times closes that number. When a team hits one of the numbers, mark a slash beside that number. When they hit it a second time, mark an opposite slash to form an ‘x.’ When they hit it a third time, circle the x. The number is now closed.

When a number is closed, a team can score on it until the other team also closes it. When a team scores on a closed number, mark that score down on the outside column for each team. Add additional scores to keep a running total.

Wrapping it up

You need to keep score if you want to play darts. Practicing your mental arithmetic is a great way to improve your brain function and get to know which numbers you need to hit to score out.

Practice makes perfect. 

​Universal Dart Rules


Okay, here’s the deal. Darts is fun, right? But what could be more fun than rules? Am I right?

Scared or surprised face

Raise your hand if you don't think rules are FUN!

Ahem, anyway, there are some darts rules which you need to follow. Not only to keep you in line with other players but also to allow you to play the game as it is supposed to be played, and that will make the game more fun. I assure you.

You probably know some of the basic rules, but there are probably some rules of which you are not aware. I am going to cover everything you need to ensure that you never put a foot wrong.

In no particular order, here are the dart rules you must know.

Rule 1

Every player gets 3 darts per turn. Unless the game states otherwise, 3 darts per turn is standard. No more, no less. When in doubt: 3 darts per turn.

Rule 2

Remove your own darts. Don’t be lazy. If you threw them, you need to go get them. This also ensures that your opponent does not change your score.

Rule 3

Remember the fallen. More specifically, remember that fallen darts are scored as zero. If a dart bounces out, does not make the board, or misses the board completely, it scores zero. Once you have thrown a dart, you cannot re-throw it.

Rule 4

If you ‘drop it like it’s hot,’ then you can pick it up and throw it. A thrown dart cannot be thrown again, but a dropped dart can be thrown.

Rule 5

Don’t cross the line. The throwing line has been measured and marked. Stand with your foot on or behind it, but do not cross the line when throwing.

Rule 6

Score your darts before you remove them. People make mistakes. How many times have I forgotten my score after removing my darts? So many that it is embarrassing. Check your score, mark your score, and then remove your darts.

Rule 7

Once you have thrown your darts, do not touch them until the end of your turn. You can throw one and then go examine its position, but you cannot touch any thrown dart until your turn is over. Throw all three, score all three, remove all three.

Rule 8

Don’t be a “insert your word of choice here”. Darts is fun and civil. Respect your opponent and respect everyone else involved. Shake hands before and after a match. Remind yourself that you are going to get lucky and unlucky. Darts is all about sportsmanship.

Rule 9

Decide who gets to go first. The best way to do this? Have each player throw a dart and the closest to the bull goes first. From then on, alternate play or have the loser of the previous game start the next.

Rule 10

Order! Order! If you are playing with more than two players, decide the order before you start to play. Each player can throw a dart, and the order depends on the order of closest to the bull. You can pull names from a hat. You play go alphabetically. It does not matter the order, only that you agree on it before you start playing.

Rule 11

Respect the scorekeeper. This could be you, any of the players, or a separate person entirely. Do not hassle them or ask for advice. The opposite is also true. The scorekeeper should not distract any of the players.

Rule 12

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. When someone is throwing at the board, stay at least a few feet away from them. No one should be near the dartboard or in the throwing area.

Rule 13

When you have won the game, you have won the game. If you double out and still have a dart or two left, you do not need to throw them. Go collect the dart(s) in the board and start a new game.

Rule 14

The most important rule of all: have fun! There, I said it, and I will not take it back. If you follow the first thirteen rules, you will play the game as it should be played, but 13 rules seems a little unlucky. Rule 14 takes care of everything else. Remember why you are playing. Celebrate your successes and laugh at your bad luck.

Follow the rules, and you cannot lose (well, you will lose, but you know what I mean). Following the rules ensures that everyone is playing the same game and no one has an advantage. Play together and have as much fun as you can. 

CHAPTER 2:
7 Popular Dart Games


Darts is a simple game. You throw three arrows at a board, tally your score and subtract that from your total.

Make sure that you hit exactly zero and do so with a double and you are done. Easy as pie.

That is all there is to it. Or is it?

The game of darts which you see on TV is only one of many variations. Let’s take a look at some of the most common variations, starting with the game most of us already know. 

Dart Games

Legs


The aim of the game is to hit the highest score possible on each turn. 

On each turn, players get to throw three darts. 

Each player (and you can have as many as you like) begins with three legs (three chalk marks on the scoreboard). 

The first player throws their three darts and tallies their score. The next player must beat or tie that score with their three darts or lose a leg. Each subsequent player must match or beat the player who threw before them.

If a player throws a cumulative score of 48, then the next player must throw 48 or higher. If they throw 44, then they lose a leg. The next player must now match 44 or beat it. 

When you lose three legs, you are out. The last player in the game is the winner.

This is merely a picture to remind you we're talking about legs

How to play Legs

# of players: any number.
Who goes first: each player throws a dart, the closest player to the bull starts. 
How to score points: total the score of your three darts. 
Variants: no variations. 
Level of players: beginner+
Strategies to win the game: It’s simple: aim for the trebles. Also, if you only have to beat a low score, play it safe and aims for part of the board that are not “hit or miss”. So, instead of going for the “5-20-1” area on the top of the board, aim for the “11-14-9” section on the left of the board.

Cricket


Cricket is an exciting game which lets you play with a lot of strategies. The aim is to close a number and then score points on it before your opponent closes it.

The only numbers in play for Cricket are 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, and the bulls. Each player gets to throw three darts on their turn.

To close a number, you have to hit that number 3 times. Hit a single, and you hit the number once. Hit a double, and you hit it twice. Hit a treble, and you hit it thrice.

This means that you can close a number with three singles, a single and a double, or a treble. Once it has been hit three times, it is closed. You can close numbers in any order.

Once a number is closed, you can begin to score points, if it is still open for the other player or team. If you have closed the number and your opponent has not, then any time you hit that number, you score points.

You score the numerical value of any single, double, or treble. If you have closed 20 and your opponent has not, you would score 20 for a single, 40 for a double, and 60 for a treble. Once your opponent closes the number, no more points can be scored.

The bull counts as 2 hits and the outer bull as 1 hit.

Once all the numbers have been closed by both players, the player with the highest score wins.

Darts cricket

Yes, this dude's back!

How to play cricket

# of players: 2 players or 2 teams
Who goes first: throw one dart each at the bull. The closest player goes first.
How to score points: close a number and hit it while your opponent has not yet closed it.
Variants: you can play without points if you want a friendlier experience. You can choose to move from 20 to 15 and then the bull in order, for more challenge. You can also add more numbers to lengthen the game (like 14 and 13, etc.).
Level of players: beginner and above

Strategies to win the game:

  • Hitting a treble will close a number and allow you to start scoring immediately
  • There is an advantage to throwing first
  • Close a number quickly if your opponent is scoring in it. 

​Around the World


The aim in this game is to work your way around the dartboard in numerical order. Any number of players can play this game. Each player has to work their way around the board from 1 to 20.

On your turn, you get to throw three darts.

If you are on number 1, you must hit any part of 1 to move on. You can hit the single, double, or treble. Once you do, you move onto number 2. The aim is to hit every number in the least amount of darts.

The first person to hit the 20 is the winner.

Dart World

Are you starting to see a pattern in the icons? 

How to play around the World

# of players: any number.
Who goes first: each player throws a dart. The closest player to the bull goes first.
How to score points: no scoring. First player out wins.
Variants: You can add doubles and trebles. Each player must hit a single, double, and treble in each number before moving on. You can add the bull in at the end. After hitting the 20, a player must hit the bull to go out. You can also add the bull to the start. A player must hit the bull before moving onto number 1.
Level of players: beginner and above

Strategies to win the game:

  • This is a great game for practicing your aim.
  • It is also great for practicing darts in single player and count how quickly you can go round the board.

​Shanghai


Shanghai consists of seven innings. On inning 1, you can only throw at the 1. On the second inning, you can only throw at the 2, and so on.

Each turn consists of three darts.

Only the number corresponding to the inning is scored. If you are on inning 1, a single 1 counts as 1 point, a double as 2 points, and a treble as 3 points. Any darts thrown outside of the 1 do not count.

On inning 2 the 2 is scored as normal and any darts thrown outside of the 2 are not scored. This continues with the corresponding numbers up to the seventh inning.

There are 2 ways to win. If you have the most points after the seventh inning, you win the game. If you hit a Shanghai, you also win. A Shanghai is when you hit a single, double, and treble in the same inning.

So, if you are on inning 1 and hit the single, double, and treble, you automatically win the game.

Shanghai

The tallest building in Shanghai is the generically named "Shanghai Tower" standing at 2,073 feet

How to play Shanghai:

# of players: any number.
Who goes first: each player throws a dart. Closest to the bull starts.
How to score points: singles, doubles, and trebles are scored as they normally would be.
Variants: darts can count as 1 point for any single, 2 for any double, and 3 for any treble, no matter the current inning.
Level of players: beginner+
Strategies to win the game: if you have the chance of a Shanghai, go for it. 

​Killer


To begin, each player throws a dart at the board with their non-throwing hand. Only these numbers are in play. 

Write each player's name on the scoreboard. Beside their name, write their number and mark three lines to denote three lives. 

On each turn, you get to throw three darts. 

You must first become a killer. To do so, you need to hit the double of your number. 

Once you are a killer, you can kill other people. To do this, you must hit their double. Every time you do, you erase a life from beside their name. 

Once a player has lost all three lives, they are out. The last player remaining is the winner.

serial-killer

"Please don't try this at home"

How to play killer

# of players: 3+
Who goes first: each player throws a dart. The closest player to the bull goes first. 
How to score points: only doubles are scored. 
Variants: no variants. 
Level of players: Intermediate and above
Strategies to win the game: do not hit your own double once you are a killer. Team up on stronger players. 

​The 01 Games (301 and 501)


That’s the short description of the 01 games. It is the most common variation of darts and the variation which you will see on TV. This is also the most common variation for tournament play.

It is by far the most well-known dart games and the one most people pick up when starting.

However, it is not necessarily that suited for beginners. Having to “double-in” and “double-out” can be hard, and if you’ve just gotten a dartboard there are other games we recommend instead (such as cricket, legs, and shanghai).

(These are also much better party games).

So with that out of the way, here’s how to play the 01 games as well as strategy on how to win the game.
01 Dice

The 01 dart games, represented by the elusive 0 dice

The person to reach zero first is the winner of that game (or leg). Three legs usually equal a set. Win two or three sets to win the match (you can agree on the number before you play). 

You have to reach exactly zero. Go under zero, and you are reset to the total you had before you started throwing your set of three darts. Reach 1 point, and you have to reset too (you cannot go out on a double if you only have 1 point).

The bullseye counts as 50 points; the outer bull is 25 points.

# of players: 2 or 4
Who goes first: each player throws one dart; closest to the bull starts.
How to score points: In 301, you must 'double in' before points can be scored. In 501, all scores count.
Variants: you can start with different total scores (e.g., 701, 1001, 1501).
Level of players: Intermediate and above
Strategies to win the game: Go for high scores when your total is high (e.g., treble 20s). Think about the double you leave yourself on. If you are left with 32 points, you are aiming for double 16. If you miss the double and hit the 16, you are left with 16 points. You can now aim for double 8. If you leave yourself on an odd number, there is usually no double to go out on (though you can go out on the bull (50 points)). 

​Halve-It


This game is more challenging and not well suited for beginners. In competitive play, it is more suited to professionals.

Each turn consists of three darts. There are only certain numbers in play: 20, 16, double 7, 14, treble 10, and the bullseye. The numbers are played in that order.

On the first turn, players are aiming for the 20. This can include the single, double, and treble. The play then moves onto 16 and so on. Each player gets three darts for each number.

Points are cumulative. If on your first turn, you hit three single 20s, you would score 60 points. If at any time, you miss with all three darts on your turn, your score is halved. If you hit 60 points on your first turn and missed the 16 with all three darts on your next, your score would now be 30.

"Half a lemon sounds good, thanks"

How to play Halve-it

# of players: any number.
Who goes first: each player throws a dart at the board. The player closest to the bull starts.
How to score points: hit the numbers in play (20, 16, D7, 14, T10, Bull).
Variants: use an easier selection of numbers for beginners.
Level of players: expert
Strategies to win the game: play as often as possible and practice hitting the areas in play. 

CHAPTER 3:
How to Grip a Dart


When it comes to darts, there really is no right and wrong way to grip the dart. Whatever feels most comfortable and gives you the greatest accuracy is the correct grip for you.

Having said that, there are some things which you can do which may improve that comfort and accuracy. There are times where you do not know what will work until you try it.

We are here to share some advice on your grip and how to get the most accurate throw.

Without further ado, let’s get to grips, ahem, with grip. 

holding a dart

​Hold "Tip Up"


Take a dart in your hand and hold it as if you are going to throw it at the dartboard. Is the tip pointing up? It should be.

If you were to take a dart and hold it horizontally with the ground, the tip would point directly forwards. When throwing it towards the board, the dart should point towards the board but also slight upward.

A downward facing dart is not going to be accurate.

One tip we can give you is to check the position of the tip at the time of release. At the moment you let your dart go, is the tip pointing up as opposed to down?

Things will start to look up when you dart is pointing up. 

​Your Hold


When you hold the dart, are you thinking about how you hold it?

A dart should not be held too tightly or too loosely. Think about holding a chip in your hand. Try that next time you are holding a dart. Too loose and the chip falls to the floor. Too tight and you crack the chip. Either way, the chip is useless for dipping.

Have a relaxed yet firm grip of your dart. 

​Open Your Fingers


When you are holding your dart, are your fingers curled into your palm?

Most of us will hold a dart between our thumb and two fingers. What happens to the other two fingers?

If your fingers are curled into your palm, you are not going to get the best throw. Your free fingers should be open and loose. Imagine holding a cup of tea in a posh restaurant. You want your pinky and other finger sticking out freely.

Open fingers mean more relaxed muscles which will result in a more open, free, and fluid throw.

This type of grip will also help you to keep the dart pointed up. 

​Gravity


Don't worry. You don't need to involve Mr. Newton (or an apple)

Where is your dart’s center of gravity?

Take a dart in the palm of your hand. Feel where the center is. You can also try and balance the dart on a fingertip (if you have the skills).

You should be gripping your dart around the center of gravity. Under no circumstances should you be gripping the dart on the shaft or be touching the flight.

There is no magical spot to grip the dart so experiment with your hand position. The center of gravity is a great place to start. 

​Let’s Throw


It takes a lot of practice and time to master the correct throw. Follow our tips but do not be afraid to experiment with your hand position.

The best grip is the one which feels the most comfortable and gives you the best scores. 

CHAPTER 4:
How to improve your throwing stance


How much can your throwing stance influence your game?

Well, the answer is a lot.

And, if you can stand it, I have some tips for you. If you can stand it! Okay, I’m done.

Your stance aligns you when it comes time to throw your darts. If you stand straight, then you are going to throw straight. A consistent stance means a consistent throw. Here are our top tips for achieving the perfect stance. 

​Find Your Center


Finding inner peace helps as well, but start by finding your physical center

Consistency is important. The best place to start is by lining yourself up with the dartboard and finding your center.

Should be easy, right? Just find the center of the throw line and place your foot there. Well, how many bar workers do you think care about centering the throw line exactly? My guess is not many.

When it comes to a professional setup, you can be sure that the throw line is going to be centered, but not so much at a bar or a friend’s house.

Move to the throw line and find the center visually. Where is the spot that lines up with the center of the board? Memorize or mark that spot.

Now, when you step up to the throw line, you can place your foot on the center spot. 

​Find Your Stance


How do you stand and throw your darts?

You may see a lot of beginners stand with both toes pointing forward on the throw line. This stance is not going to do you any favors.

The best way to stand is with your throwing side pointed towards the board.

If you are right-handed, then stand with your right foot on the throw line and pointed towards the board.

Your other foot should be behind and facing sideways. This keeps your body aligned and minimizes any movement when you are throwing your dart.

Keep your feet shoulder width apart, and you are good to go. Or, good to throw. 

​Find Your Angle


The 90 degree angle is great for darts

You have your stance, and you have your center. Next, you need to find your angle.

Most darts professionals agree that standing with a sideways stance is best.

Your torso should be at 90 degrees to the board. When your throwing arm is pointing at the board, your torso should be facing sideways.

This may take some practice, and you may find that you are standing somewhere between a 45-90 degree angle. Start with what feels most comfortable and try and work towards the 90-degree angle. 

​Find Your Balance


sliding

How not to find your balance

You are probably not going to fall over when you are playing darts (unless you have had one too many beers), but your balance is still critical.

You want to distribute your weight evenly between both feet.

Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Your front foot should be flat on the floor. You can lift the heel of your trailing foot if it provides you with more balance.

It is important to find balance in your stance so that you do not move when you are throwing your dart.

A good way to think about it is the 80:20 rule. 80% of your weight should be in your front foot. The front foot bears the weight, and the back foot steers the ship.

You can lean slightly on your front foot as you throw but be careful not to lean too much. 

​Find Your Inner Calm


We knew this ying-yang icon would come in handy sometime

When you throw, you need to be calm. A common mistake is moving your body too much when you throw your dart.

The motion should flow through your shoulder, and you should not find yourself lunging. Your shoulders should remain steady, and your spine should always be straight.

Where is the motion coming from? Your arm above the elbow. This is the part of your body which should be moving. The remainder should stay still and calm (a little movement is fine).

Never lunge. That extra thrust is not going to add anything to your throw and will usually take away some of your accuracy. 

​Find Yourself Complete


Follow our simple steps, and you will be throwing more accurately than you ever have before.

It does not take much to gain a great throwing stance.

Strive for consistency, and you will only improve.

CHAPTER 5:
Advances strategies: Throwing consistently


What is the most important part of your game? Accuracy is a big part of it, but accuracy is only part of something bigger.

With great accuracy comes great consistency.

Consistency is what we strive for, and this is not only in our accuracy. We also strive for consistency with our outs, our stance, out grip, our throw, and so much more.

When you are focused on accuracy, you are focused on improving your entire game.

So, without further ado, what can we do to improve consistency?

​It Starts With The Grip


If you cannot hold the dart correctly and consistently, then you are not going to be able to throw it consistently.

When you are thinking about gripping the dart, you want to be gripping it in the same way, every time.

Here are our top tips for gaining a consistent grip.

  • Hold the dart between your thumb and first two fingers like you would with a pencil.
  • Have a relaxed yet firm grasp. Think about holding a potato chip.
  • The thumb is for support; the fingers are for guiding the dart.
  • Keep your other fingers loose and not curled into your palm.
  • Find the ridge on your dart where you grip it and strive to grip it at the same point each time.

​Take A Stance


Now that you have the grip mastered, you need to master a consistent stance. If your stance changes, then the same grip is not going to matter.

So, what can you do?

Here are our top stance tips.

  1. The throwing foot of your dominant hand should be forward in your stance.
  2. Your feet should be between 45-90 degrees in relation to the direction you are throwing in.
  3. Your weight should be mostly on your front foot.
  4. You can raise your back foot slightly for balance.
  5. The weight should shift to your front foot during your throw.
  6. You should not jerk forward when you throw.
  7. The main movement will be from your elbow down.
  8. Lock your knees and only bend them slightly if needed. 

Now, You Can Throw

If your stance is consistent and your throw is too, that goes a long way towards maintaining a consistent throw.

Before you throw, you want to make sure that your arm is set up to throw the dart. I know that you want some more tips, so here they are.

  • Your upper arm should be raised; it can be parallel to the floor.
  • Your dart should line up with your face.
  • You should be able to look through the dart to the board.
  • Take your time.
  • Line up your dart and aim for a specific target. 

​Throwing the dart


Once you have your arm in position, it is time to throw the dart. A lot of consistency has gone into getting us to this point, so it is only fair that I am consistent too. Here are some more top tips.

  • The movement of the throw should be from the forearm and wrist.
  • Movement in your upper arm and shoulders should be minimal.
  • Release the dart smoothly.
  • You do not need to release with a lot of force.
  • Keep your body steady.
  • Release with a fluid motion.
  • Move your forearm quickly to generate enough force.
  • Flick your wrist in tandem with your forearm movement.

You have set up your arm and achieved consistent motion. The only thing to do now is concentrate on the follow-through. And, we are going to follow through with some more tips.

  • Make sure to follow through.
  • Make sure to follow through (it was so important that we had to mention it twice).
  • Extend your arm after release.
  • Follow the natural movement of your arm.

That’s It!

A few simple tips and you can achieve consistency in your throw and, dare we say it, greatness.

Take the time to master consistency on each of the areas. They are the building blocks of a consistent throw.

One last tip for you.

Practice, practice, and practice.

CHAPTER 6:
Advances strategies: Learn to double out


Doubling out is one of the most important aspects of darts.

In a regular competition, you will be playing 501; a game where you have to double out.

If you get the chance to play 301, then you will have to double in as well as double out.

With all ’01’ games, you need to double out (unless you are playing by different rules).

A great skill to have as a dart player is the ability to know which numbers to hit to leave yourself on the best double. 

​Don’t Wing It


Mmmm fried wings

It can be tempting to go for the treble 20 when you have a high score and then worry about the double later, but this can give you less chance of getting on a double.

For example, if you are on 94 points, it can be tempting to hit a treble 20 and then double 17. This would be a fine way to go out, but if you miss the double 17 and hit the single, you are in a little more trouble and cannot go out on your next dart.

If instead, you went for treble 18, then you would leave yourself on double 20. In this example, you have another out if you hit the single 20. You can now go for double 10.

​Leave A Safety Net


Not this kind of safety net

One of the key things in darts is leaving yourself a safety net.

You always want to leave yourself on a double which leaves you on a double if you hit the single of that number (that sounds confusing). This means always leaving yourself on an even-numbered double.

Of course, it can be tempting to leave yourself on your favorite double, but you should be practicing all doubles just in case.

The ultimate double to leave yourself on is double 16 (32 points).

If you hit the single 16, you leave yourself on double 8, then double 4 if you hit the single 8, double 2 if you hit the single 4, and double 1 if you hit the single 2.

​When To Think About An Out


fire-exit

Always have an out

When you reach 170 points, you can go out with three darts.

Almost every number below that can be gotten out in three darts (or less), so that is when you should be thinking about your out.

If you have 170 points or less, you should be thinking about your out.

The more you play, the more you will memorize the common outs.

The other thing you can do is have an out sheet by the dartboard (or just go ahead and memorize all the possible combinations). 

Darts out sheet

CHAPTER 7:
The mental game: How to minimize nerves


With any game, especially those on the grand stage, there are nerves. With a game like darts, with the involved accuracy, you can get moments of nerves and tension as you try to hit that small area of the board.

Miss, and you give your opponent a chance to win. Even worse, you leave yourself on a harder out.

Nerves get the best of us at some point in our lives. Darts is no exception. So, what can you do about it?

Never fear, we are here to help you. All games are mental, to an extent. Master the mental game, and you will master the physical game.

Here are our top tips for achieving darts greatness. 

​Tension


Insert Image

You have three darts in your hand. You have one double to hit. You have everything to lose.

Are we making it sound dramatic enough?

"No please make it even more dramatic!"

You may not think it now, but when you are on the throwing line in this exact situation, then you are going to feel tense. So, what do you do?

When your knees are feeling weak, and your hands are shaking, it is not your body which is giving you trouble; it is your mind. And, just so that you do not feel bad, the professionals suffer from it just as much as the novice player (often more so).

So, what is the difference between a pro and an amateur?

The answer is their mental game. Follow these simple professional tips, and your mind will master your body. 

​Just Play


What is worrying about losing going to do for you? Are you suddenly going to become a better player when you worry? The answer is no. Are you going to become a worse player? The answer is yes.

In short, stop worrying and just play.

When you just play, you stick to your game. It does not matter if you are on the cusp of destroying your opponent or on the cusp of a loss. If you play your game how you usually play it, you are going to play your best. 

​Control The Negativity


Negative thoughts have a way of creeping into our minds without us being able to stop them — kind of like that one Uncle who always turns up at Christmas.

Well, we may not be able to stop them, but we can usher them out (easier said than done when it comes to the uncle).

If a negative thought is stuck in your mind, then take a little time to remove it. Stop playing, take a deep breath, and say ‘stop.’ You can do this internally or say it out loud. Then, get back to our first tip and ‘Just Play.’

​Meditate


If you have seen the movie Happy Gilmore, then you know about the Happy Place. If you have not, then I am about to explain it to you.

Your happy place is the place you love being the most. Think of where you are your happiest. Close your eyes and imagine yourself being there. Immerse yourself in that place.

When you are there in your mind, squeeze the fleshy part of skin between your thumb and forefinger. Stay in your happy place for as long as you want.

Now, when you get into a ‘bad place’ in your darts game, go to your happy place. Close your eyes if you have the time or squeeze the flesh part on your hand to remind yourself.

It may sound like hocus locus but, trust me, it works. 

​Positive Association


This technique has been used by sports professionals for years.

When you have some spare time, imagine playing a game of darts. Think about the perfect game. See where the darts are going. Envision yourself throwing those darts and the darts hitting the spot. Think back over all the times you have hit the perfect shot.

Now, when you step up to the throwing line, think about your shot and how perfect it is going to be.

You are not going to hit the perfect shot every time, but confidence will do wonders for your game. 

​Never Give Up


It may sound like a cliche, but it is true.

You may find yourself well behind in a game. It can be easy to throw in the towel. The best tip we can give is never to give up.

You are not going to make an amazing comeback every time but you will occasionally.

It is amazing how often people get distracted by the person chasing them and are thrown off their game.

The better you can play when you’re behind, the more pressure it puts on your opponent. The more pressure, the more likely they will slip up. All it takes is a small gain for it to begin to snowball.

You should also be careful when you are in the lead. Never give up in that situation too. Do not think you have it in the bag. Always play as if your life depended on it. 

​Follow, Follow, Follow


Our tips are simple. They are easy to follow and can be done with minimal effort on your part.

Take the time for yourself and practice the mental game the next time you are playing solo.

A little mental preparation can do a lot more for you than throwing a few thousand darts at the board.

Good luck out there. 

Best Steel Tip Darts

Best Steel Tip Darts Review

The best darts players in the world use the best darts in the world. It does not matter which dart board you use; your aim is not going to be improved by it alone.

You may have boards which hold the darts better or give you more room in the trebles for darts to sit, but it is the darts which will determine how good you can become.

The best darts in the world have tips sharp enough to penetrate a sisal fiber (or any other type of dart board) without damaging it. They have flights which will help to keep your darts accurate. They are durable and comfortable. They will become an extension of your hand.

We are looking at the best steel tip darts which we could find. These darts can be used with all sisal fiberboards, some electronic dart boards, and others. These are the darts which we found to give the highest accuracy and improve overall scores (and ease the burden on your backboard...)

Below the table is our list, starting with our number one. 

1

Viper Blitz 95% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts with Storage/Travel Case, 22 Grams

Why we like it:

These are professional darts. Novices are going to find a lot to like about these darts, and professionals are going to see an improvement in their game when they use these darts.


Summary:

We love these darts, especially the rotating flights on impact. When you throw your dart, and it hits the board, the flights will continue to spin the dart, making it dig in deeper or spin past any wiring or other darts it may have come into contact with. This results in fewer bounce outs and a more consistent score. Over time, your scores will naturally be higher without you having to change your game at all.

Talking of rotating, the locking holes on the shafts allow you to rotate the shaft onto the barrel for a tight fit which will not come loose when your darts are thrown. A shaft and barrel which are not tight can cause the dart to move in the air. With a locked dart, you are ensured of a perfect flight every time.

The grips also add to your consistency and accuracy when the darts are in flight. The knurled vends and deep grooves allow your fingers to find the same position on the dart every time you throw it. By throwing the dart from the same place each time, you are throwing with consistency and can improve your accuracy over time. These darts are going to improve your scores. 

Key Features

95% Tungsten

5% Nickel barrels

Choice of weight

Knurled grips

Locking holes

Aluminum case

Pros

Grips give better consistency and accuracy

Barrels fit tightly

Carry case protects darts and flights

Darts spin on impact to prevent bounce outs

Excellent balance

Slim profile

Cons

Expensive

2

CUESOUL 30 Grams Tungsten Steel Tip Darts Set 95% Tungsten with Luxury Case

Why we like it:

These are great darts for novices and professionals. They are sleek and slim, giving more grouping for higher scores. They are also heavier than most darts, but still, have a lot of control and accuracy.


Summary:

If you like heavier darts, then these are the ones for you. They may take a little getting used to if you are not used to throwing heavier darts but they can do wonders for your accuracy, and they prevent many bounce outs. With 95% Tungsten, you know that you are getting a quality barrel which is going to hold up over time.

The eleven hand-painted grooved rings in the barrel not only look great but give a lot of functionality. They provide great balance which translates into a more even flight, and they also add consistency to your throws. As you throw, time and time again, your fingers will lock onto a specific part of the barrel allowing you to throw from the same position, again and again, hitting the board with more accuracy.

The barrels are center-weighted. This means that you get a better and more consistent flight when you release the dart. The darts are also easier to control, even with the extra weight. We like that this darts set comes with a lot of extras. You get six shafts, three flights, three bonus alloy flights, a point sharpener, and a dart tool for tightening. All of these are then stored in a neat aluminum case which will protect everything. 

Key Features

95% Tungsten

Knurled and grooved grip

Anodized aluminum shaft

Choice of weight

Extra shafts, tips, and flights included

Pros

Slim profile promotes better dart grouping

Bands and grooves help with grip stability

Aluminum shafts are durable and tough

Flights increase speed and accuracy

Point sharpener for fixing points

Carry case to protect darts

Cons

Flights could be better quality

3

CUESOUL Swift Series 24g Super Slim Tungsten Steel Tip Darts Set

Why we like it:

We like how accessible these darts are. They are for novices and professionals alike. When you throw the darts, you will not only like how they feel, but you will also be surprised by the quality of the flight and your improved scores.


Summary:

These are great looking darts. From the Tungsten barrels to the eye-catching flights, these darts look professional. They act professionally too. The barrels are 98% Tungsten making them sturdy and durable. The grooved Tungsten barrel also means better grip.


When you throw the darts, they will leave your hands in a balanced and stable manner, flying towards the board without moving away from where you threw them. The flights are high-quality too and will keep your dart on a true path as it flies towards the board. When it hits the board, the steel tips will dig in and hold, preventing bounce outs.

You get three extra flights with this set, along with three extra shafts. A sharpening tool and a flight saver will keep your darts in tip-top shape for a long time, and the carry case will protect them, no matter where you go.

Key Features

Choice of color

Choice of weights

98% Tungsten

Unique design

Extras included

Long-lasting

Pros

Better grip gives a more consistent flight

Extras mean that you can repair damage

Stable and balanced

Eye-catching and beautiful

Carry case protects darts

Cons

Expensive

Plastic shafts

4

Fat Cat Predator 80% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts with Storage/Travel Case, 23 Grams

Why we like it:

You have lots of extra flights and shafts. These darts are built to last but, should something happen to the darts; you have all the tools at your disposal to fix them.


Summary:

We love the flights on these darts. With the wolf image, you can look, and feel, as if you mean business. The 80% Tungsten and 20% nickel in the barrels give you a balanced and consistent shot. The grooves in the barrel further this by giving you a consistent grip before you release each dart. The profile of each dart is slim, giving you better grouping and higher scores.

When you lock the shaft to the barrel, you ensure that they are not going to come loose and shake as the dart is thrown. Even bounce outs which hit the floor are not going to dislodge the shafts from the barrel. 

Key Features

80% Tungsten

20% Nickel

Knurled barrels

Locking holes

Includes additional flights

23 grams

Pros

Thinner profile means better grouping

Easy storage and transport with carrying case

Shafts can be tightened, so they do not loosen

Better grip means better control over the flight

Balanced

Affordable

Cons

No color choice

5

CC-Exquisite Professional Steel Tip Darts Set - 6 x 22g Brass Barrels with 12 Flights Standard/Slim, 12 Aluminum Shafts 35/48mm, 12 O-Rings, Dart Tool, Dart Sharpener and Case

Why we like it:

These are great darts for beginners. If you do not yet know what darts works best for you, then this is a great set for you to be able to try out a lot of combinations before moving up to a more professional set.


Summary:

This is a darts set for those who do not yet know what darts are for them. With this darts set, you can switch out multiple flights, shafts, barrels, and points to find the perfect setup for you. You can switch between heavy and light darts or long and short darts. Everything is customizable until you get the darts which are giving you the best performance possible.

The flights come in different designs and also different shapes. The combinations are almost endless (but, of course, they do have their limits). We like the addition of rubber o-rings to help keep the shafts in place when you attach them to the barrels. We also love that you have a dart sharpener to keep your darts sharp and a multi-tool to take the darts apart and put them back together again — a great set of darts or experimenting with. 

Key Features

Six darts

Combinations of barrel, flight, and shaft

Durable

22 grams

Pros

High-quality

Finds that perfect combination

Dart sharpener to keep darts sharp

Multi-use tool for putting darts together

Cons

Not high-quality darts

6

IgnatGames Steel Tip Darts Set - 20g Professional Darts with Aluminum Shafts, Rubber O'Rings, Standard and Slim Flights + Dart Sharpener + Innovative Case + Darts Guide

Why we like it:

This is an excellent set for beginner or intermediate players. You will learn a lot from the book, and the darts have enough quality for you to improve your game through practice.


Summary:

​You get two sets of darts when you buy this set, so already you have enough for two players to play. The darts have been expertly crafted to bring you a great compromise between value and professionalism. The points are impact resistant, being able to stick in the dartboard with reduced bounce outs and protection against damage. The dart sharpener will also help to keep the tips sharp and improve on the piercing ability of the darts.

The innovative carry case has a magnetic closure and cushioning on the inside to protect and cradle your darts. You also get a free book with your purchase which will detail different ways you can play and tips for improving your game.

Key Features

20 gram

Dart sharpener

Comes with case

Rubber o-rings

Book included

Pros

Sharp darts mean fewer bounce outs

The book helps to reinforce your play

Lifetime warranty

Custom box protects darts

Great for beginners

Affordable

Cons

Not high-quality

7

Whimlets Professional Steel Tip Darts Set with 12 Dart Flights and 12 Aluminum Shafts, 6 x 20 Grams Brass Barrels, Dart Tool and Sharpener, Gift Case

Why we like it:

We love this set as a gift for anyone who is just starting out with darts. Pair it with a board for a complete set or to accompany a board which comes with beginner darts.


Summary:

This set is perfect for beginners. You get two sets of darts, so you are ready to play with a friend as soon as they arrive. You also get everything you need to keep your darts in excellent condition. The multi-tool, shaped like a mini dartboard is cute and useful, the sharpening stone will have your darts sharp in only a couple of minutes, the extra flights allow you to customize your set, and the carry case holds your darts perfectly.

We like the addition of a free ebook (anything free is great, in our opinion). Playing darts is a great way to learn, but a little nudge in the right direction (like you will get from the book) can only make you a better player. 

Key Features

Includes 6 darts

Unbreakable barrels

Includes dart sharpener

Carry case included

Free Ebook

Pros

Perfect grip gives a better shot

Affordable

12 flights for a customized dart

Case protects the darts in transit

Ebook teaches you darts games and tips

Great as a gift

Cons

Darts are not high-quality

8

RAYNA GAMES Professional Steel Tip Darts Set with GlFT Accessories Case - Throwing Darts with Adjustable Length - 6 Brass Barrels 20 Grams + 12 Aluminum Shafts 2 Sizes + 12 Flights + Dart Sharpener

Why we like it:

Great for beginner and intermediate players who are looking for some customization. Would also make an excellent gift for a dart player who is starting out.


Summary:

This is a great set if you like to customize your darts. You get six unbreakable brass barrels which can be combined with twelve distinct flights, twelve shafts, and o-rings to keep everything together. Everything is then contained inside a neat carry case for easy transportation and protection.

The weight of each barrel is balanced finely. When you hold the darts in your hands, they will just feel right. They have the kind of quality feel that you expect from a more expensive dart. The flights also give you great stability; stability which you would again expect from a much more expensive dart set. 

Key Features

6 barrels

12 shafts

12 flights

12 o-rings

Sharpener

Free Ebook

Pros

Professional guidance has given a truer flight

Sharp tip reduces bounce outs

Professional flights increase accuracy

Burling on grip enhances release of dart

Lots of customization available

Cons

No weight choices

Flights could be designed better

9

UZOPI 15 Packs Steel Tip Darts 18 Grams with Dart Sharpener and 3 Extra Flights, Aluminum Shafts & Brass Barrels, Levels in Every Rec Room, Man Cave, Bar and Game Room

Why we like it:

This is a perfect set for a large group of people. Get four of your friends together, and you will have a design for everyone. The darts are affordable but still give you enough quality for an exciting tournament or competition.


Summary:

This is a great darts set for a group of friends or a family. The barrels and shafts all look the same with the flights being the difference between them. With such a varied design on the flights, you are sure to find a dart set which everyone likes.

When you are putting the darts together, you will notice an o-ring which sits between the shaft and the barrel. This o-ring helps to keep the darts together so that there is no wobble when you throw them. There is enough knurling on each shaft to give you an excellent grip, translating to a great release. The flights have also been designed to improve the speed of your dart through the air while maintaining accuracy and decreasing the drag

Key Features

For all skill levels

Stable flight

15 darts included

Bonus flights

Dart sharpener

Pros

Can be used in a large group of friends

Flights enhance speed and reduce drag

Bonus flights can replace damaged flights

Dart sharpener keeps darts sharp

Sharp darts reduce bounce outs

Variety of looks and styles

Cons

Darts could be better quality

10

Wolftop 12 Pack Steel Tip Darts 23 Grams with Aluminum Shafts and 4 Style Flights, Extra Dart Sharpener Included

Why we like it:

We like that you can use this set to play in large groups or tournaments. The set is also affordable enough to buy the set for yourself and have backups to your main set.


Summary:

This is a great set for groups of friends or a family. The four distinct colors make it easy to organize a tournament and keep track of who is scoring. The darts come with a strong steel barrel, durable aluminum shafts, and stylish colored flights. There is also a dart sharpener included to keep your darts in sharpened condition and prevent bounce outs.

Each dart is a balanced 23 grams and has grooves on the barrel to give you a better grip and more consistent release, leading to higher and more consistent scores. 

Key Features

12 darts

Steel barrels

23 grams

Grooved grips

Storage jar

Pros

Great for groups

Grooved grips give a better release

Four colors for tournament play

Safe storage and transport

Dart sharpener helps avoid bounce outs

Cons

Could be higher quality

11

Ohuhu 12 Pcs Tip Darts with National Flag Flights (4 Styles) - Stainless Steel Needle Tip Dart with 3 Free PVC Dart Rods

Why we like it:

Great for beginners and groups. If you are organizing a large tournament, you can order the 24-pack and have enough darts for everyone to get a set. The flag flights make it a great set if you want to show your national pride.


Summary:

If you are from one of the countries featured on the flights or have friends from one of the countries, then this would make a great gift (for you or another). We like how these darts look and love the option to choose either the 12-pack or the 24-pack.


Being 17 grams, these darts are also great for beginners. The darts are easier to throw and stick in the board well. Over time, that will lead to more success for beginners before they move up to more professional darts.

Key Features

12 or 24 pack

Flag flights

Stainless steel tips

Copper-Covered barrels

17 grams

Skid-proof grain

Pros

Better grip gives better release

Flag flights are whimsical and fun

Lighter dart is great for beginners

Extra rods to repair broken ones

Affordable

Cons

Could be higher quality

Limited replacement flights

Can I use steel tip darts for an electronic board?

The short answer is no, you cannot. You should instead use soft tip darts for an electronic dartboard.

Best Soft Tip Darts

Best soft tip darts Review

When it comes to playing darts, there is nothing more important than the board and the darts.

One thing which you need to know when you are choosing your darts is whether you need steel-tipped darts or soft-tipped darts.

If you are using an electronic dartboard, then you need to use soft-tipped darts. There are some electronic dart boards which can be used with steel-tipped darts, but steel-tipped darts can also damage an electronic board.

Soft-tipped darts have plastic points instead of steel ones. They are specifically designed to fit into the holes of an electronic dart board. They may be crafted from plastic but do not let that fool you, as the same engineering goes into them as with steel-tipped darts.

We are here to bring you some of the best soft tip darts on the market. There are so many out there that it is hard to know where to begin. We have narrowed our list down to the top eleven.

So keep reading...

1

Viper Jaguar 80% Tungsten Soft Tip Darts with Storage/Travel Case, Fine Knurling, 18 Grams

Why we like it:

Great darts for everyone. It does not matter if you are a beginner or a pro, you will find something from these darts.


Summary:

You have a choice of three barrel styles when you are choosing your darts, coarse knurling, medium knurling, and fine knurling, depending on the type of grip you like on your darts. Each of the three models will give you excellent grip which will transfer into a more balanced throw with the dart going where you want it to.


The Tungsten barrels are slim but strong. That slim profile means that you get a better grouping of darts on the board and more chance of those bigger scores. The slim flights give the darts great stability through the air, helping the darts to hit exact-ly where you want them to.

When you are putting the darts together (and you get a lot of extra parts included), the locking holes allow you to put the darts together tightly for a more secure fit. There are darts out there which need to be retightened after every shot but not these. The tool you need to tighten the darts is also included.

When you are not using your darts, there is a durable case to store them in. The tough outer shell will protect the darts and extra parts with the soft inner shell cushioning the darts when they are in storage or transit. Six additional flights and twelve extra tips are included. 

Key Features

80% Tungsten

20% Nickel

Slim profile

Extra shafts, flights, and points

Includes dart tools

Pros

Locking holes hold darts together for improved stability

Drawstring pouch for travel protection

Knurled bands and grooves for better grip

Aluminum case to protect darts and accessories

Excellent balance

Cons

Expensive

2

Viper Diamond 90% Tungsten Soft Tip Darts with Storage/Travel Case, Black Rings, 16 Grams

Why we like it:

These are professional quality darts at a great price. Using these darts, you will notice a change in your game. You are going to get higher scores and hit those outs more than you did before.


Summary:

These darts look great. With three possible color schemes, you will find something which will match your own personal style while still fitting in the overall aesthetic. The darts are 90% Tungsten. This means that they are tough.


The inclusion of a tightening tool and tightening holes means that you can tighten the darts so that they will never come apart, no matter how many times you throw them. The barrels are strong and very slim. When you throw the darts, you can feel that quality and you get better grouping on the board. With these darts, you give yourself a better chance of getting that treble twenty.

The reinforced tips ensure that the darts are not going to be damaged when the dart is going into the hole. The Tungsten barrel gives you a lot of life (with spare shafts, tips, and flights) — the shaft locks in place, offering longer life. The flights are aerodynamic and give you an accurate shot every time. 

Key Features

90% Tungsten

10% Nickel

Slim profile

Extra flights and tips included

Tools included

Pros

Slim profile promotes better dart grouping

Bands and grooves help with grip stability

Locking holes gives a tighter fit

Protective case for storage and transit

Darts look great

Great balance

Cons

Flights can come out occasionally

3

Viper Sinister 95% Tungsten Soft Tip Darts, Contoured Barrel, 18 Grams

Why we like it:

We like that everyone will find something in these darts. They are not as high-quality as the darts further up our list, but they will give you improved accuracy on your shots and higher overall scores.


Summary:

With 95% Tungsten content, you know that you are getting strong and durable darts without them being too heavy or bulky. The slim design means that you are going to hit more treble twenties (and other groupings) without the darts bouncing out or being forced out.


The smooth, sleek barrels come in one of three choices, depending on how you like to hold the darts. The sleek barrels also give you excellent gripping points which lead to better control when you throw the darts.

We like the flights on these darts. They are specially designed to increase the speed of your darts and reduce the drag. This means a more accurate shot and consistent flight path. You will notice your scores improving. 

Key Features

95% Tungsten

3 barrel styles

Extra flights and points included

Tools included

Pros

Darts tighten with a tightening tool

Flights give better speed and less drag

Stable and balanced

Slim profile for tighter groupings

More consistent throws

Cons

May not fit larger hands

No color options

4

Arachnid Professional Series 90% Tungsten 18-Gram Soft Tip Dart Set For Use with Electronic Dartboards

Why we like it:

We like that these darts are accessible to anyone. They are not going to give professionals what they want, but they will elevate the game of everyone else.


Summary:

These darts look great. We like the flashy flights which come installed on the darts as standard and the extra flights which can be swapped in and out. This dart set comes in a neat travel and storage case which holds the darts, spare flights, shafts, points, and tightening tool.


The tightening device is especially important to get the shafts tight on the barrels so that they do not come loose during throws.

The tight darts, along with the balance, control, and slim profile mean that you get superior scores and grouping. Each dart is 18 grams and perfectly weighted. You will feel the difference when you compare the darts to the stock darts which come with your board. 

Key Features

90% Tungsten

Thin darts

Storage case

18-gram darts

Spare flights, shafts, and tips

Pros

Thinner profile means better grouping

Easy to store and transport

Balanced darts

Better control for better scores

Good grip for a better release

Affordable

Cons

Tips could be better

No color choices

5

Viper Sure Grip Soft Tip Darts, Black, 18 Grams

Why we like it:

These darts are great for beginners. What you have here is an affordable dart with a lot of great qualities. Beginners will get a lot of consistency and speed.


Summary:

These darts give you a lot of speed when you throw them. Starting with the rubber sleeve on the barrels, you get a lot of control and consistent hand placement. You will find that your hand goes back to the same position, time and time again.


This consistent hand grip leads to a consistent throw every time (and a reduced need for a dart backboard). The aerodynamic design of the darts, from the tip to the flight, gives you more speed and less drag when you throw them. A consistent and more aerodynamic throw gives you more chance of hitting your mark, and the slim design means the target can be hit by all three darts, grouping the darts for a higher overall score every time.

The darts are finished off with a flashy flight which will allow you to add some panache to your throws. The holographic design looks great in your hand and even better when flying through the air. 

Key Features

Color options

Size options

Nickel-plated barrels

Locking holes

Reinforced dart points

Rubberized barrel sleeves

Pros

Better grip gives a better release

Shafts lock for a more stable flight

Consistent hand placement

Slim profile for better grouping

Balanced

Affordable

Cons

Could use more spare tips

6

Viper Black Magic Soft Tip Darts, Coarse Knurling, 18 Grams

Why we like it:

These are great darts for beginners. The barrel will help to give consistent hand position while the flights will improve your speed and accuracy.


Summary:

The knurled bands on the alloy barrels are the best part of these darts, in our opinion. The ridges allow you to instinctively know where to put your hands through repeated handling of the darts. The more you play, the more consistent your play is going to be.


Throwing the darts from the same position each time is going to give you more consistent scores and the ability to correct yourself each time you play.

We also like the flights on these darts. Not only do they look great, but they are also designed to be aerodynamic, giving you throws with more speed and less drag every time. You are going to be hitting the board with force and accuracy. 

Key Features

18 grams

Brass barrels

Knurled bands

Locking holes

Reinforced tips

Pros

Locking holes for tightened shafts and barrels

Reinforced tips will not break easily

Slim profile for better grouping

Consistent hand placement

Affordable

Flights reduce drag

Cons

No color choices

7

CyeeLife 15 Packs-Soft tip Darts 18 Grams Professional -180 Tips-30 Flights(Standard&Slim)-15 Aluminum shafts(48mm) with Rubber Rings

Why we like it:

These darts are great for a large group of friends or family. If you want everyone to have their own set of darts, then this is a perfect choice for you.


Summary:

Are you organizing a tournament? Then, these darts are perfect for you. When you buy these darts, you get five sets of darts with plenty more tips, shafts, and flights to replace broken ones.


You also get great aftercare. If your tips are not sticking in your board, you can contact the manufacturer, and they will send out replacement tips until you get the ones which work.

These 18-gram darts look and feel professional. The darts are bright and feature grooves on the barrel to improve the consistency of your grip. 

Key Features

Includes 15 darts

Two barrel color choices

Includes spare tips and flights

Two sets of darts included

Pros

Affordable

Great for tournaments

New tips available

Long lasting

Large volume of darts

Cons

Darts are not of the  highest quality

8

Billiard Evolution Set of Twelve Brass 2ba 16gm Soft Tip Bar Darts, 100 Black Plastic Dart Tips, Dart Wrench

Why we like it:

These are great for large groups or tournaments. We would recommend these darts to beginners or children.


Summary:

You get four sets of darts with this purchase. We like that you have a dart wrench to attach the flights and tips securely. Once you have them tightened, you never have to worry about them coming out.


The flights are integrated which means that you do not have the option of swapping the flights for more professional ones, but it also means that you do not have to worry about the flights coming out when you throw them. The flights and tips are incredibly durable and will last you for a long time. Should the tips break, then you have a hundred spare ones to fix them up with.

These are not the highest-quality soft tip darts available but, for the price, they are excellent quality. The darts will stick in your electronic dart board well and hold in place. 

Key Features

12 darts included

100 replacement tips

Tools included

Four colors

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Pros

Darts can be tightened, so they do not come loose

Four sets of darts

Affordable

100 tips for longevity

Darts stick well

Cons

Flights are integrated

Lower quality

9

CyeeLife Soft tip Darts 18g Gold-60Tips-12Flights-12 Aluminum shafts with Rubber Rings-CL17 Style

Why we like it:

These are great darts for beginners who do not want to pay a lot of money for a professional set of darts until they have mastered some of their play. The darts are balanced and will last you a long time.


Summary:

When you buy these darts, you are buying into a commitment to getting darts with the right tips for your board. If you find that your darts are not sticking in the board or are hard to get out, then you can contact the aftercare team, and they will work with you to get your the correct tips for your scenario.

You get two sets of darts here, with a quality which exceeds the price you are paying. Brass darts are covered with a PVD coating to give you durability and balance. The shafts are removable and tightened with a tightening tool. The tips can be removed, and you have lots of replacement tips to replace them with. You can also remove and replace the flights if you wish to. 

Key Features

Brass darts

PVD coating

Replacement tips

After service team

18 grams

Pros

Rubber grips for more consistent throws

Two colors for head to head games

Replacement tips for longevity

Dedication to getting you the correct tip

Handmade for better quality control

Affordable

Cons

Darts could be better quality

10

Sametop Soft Tip Darts Set 12 Packs Darts 16 Grams with 5 Style Flights, Aluminum Shafts, Silver Steel Barrels, 100 Dart Tips and Darts Tool

Why we like it:

These are great darts for novice and intermediate players. They are not professional darts, but they do have a lot of quality.


Summary:

For an affordable price, you get darts which are high-quality. They may not be as professional as the best darts on our list, but the quality is far above what you would expect for the price.


You get four sets of darts in this set and five sets of flights. We like the anti-loosening o-ring between the barrel and the aluminum shaft. After multiple throws, even those which end up on the ground, the barrel will not come loose.

We also like that you get five sets of flights for four sets of darts. Not only do you have a spare in case one gets damaged, but you also give yourself and your friends options when it comes to choosing the flight you want. The same goes for the soft tips, not the choice but replacing them. If your tip should become damaged, a hundred spare ones are waiting. 

Key Features

Aluminum shafts

PVC rods

Knurling on shafts

16 gram

12 darts

15 flights

Pros

Unbreakable shafts mean you never have to replace them

Rubber o-ring keeps shaft tightened

Better grip improves accuracy

Stronger tip does not break on impact

Affordable

Cons

Not for sisal board

11

Wolftop 12 Pack Soft Tip Darts 17 Grams with Aluminum Shafts and 4 Style Flights + Extra 36 Pcs Dart Tips

Why we like it:

Great darts for beginners. The grip will help you to find hand placement and consistency. We would recommend these darts as a first set before you transition to higher-quality darts.


Summary:

You get four sets of darts with this set, making them perfect for a family or for organizing tournaments. We like the flights. The color scheme of each flight is different, with the same design throughout. The aluminum shafts improve the durability of your darts, being stronger than PVC rods.​


The barrels have lots of knurling and grooves to aid in your hand placement. Over time, you are going to find the same spot to put your hands, giving you better accuracy, consistency, and higher scores. If a dart tip should break or become damaged, there are lots more to replace them with.

Key Features

Aluminum shafts

12 pack

17 grams

Replacement tips included

Storage jar

Knurling on barrels

Pros

Unbreakable shafts

The coating on steel gives better balance

Knurling and grooves help with consistent throws

Lots of replacement tips

Affordable

Cons

Can bounce out at times

Best Electronic DartBoard

Best Electronic Dartboards Review

A dartboard can elevate any room (or any man cave) to the next level. Imagine inviting your friends over for a few beers and a game of arrows, or releasing your tension by throwing the darts at the board.

Before you go out and buy one, we should talk about your options. There are many dartboards on the market but have you thought about an electronic dartboard?

They may seem like relics of the past, but modern electronic dartboards have improved technologically by leaps and bounds. The best ones can now keep score in a variety of games while maintaining the accuracy and feel of a traditional dartboard.

We have sifted through the muck to bring you some of the best ones out there. Ready to go? Then, let’s get started with our number one choice. 

1

Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard with NylonTough Segments for Improved Durability and Playability and Micro-thin Segment Dividers for ReducedBounce-outs

Why we like it:

This is an excellent dartboard to liven any party. Get a large group of friends together and play one of 39 games. Listen to those poor players being heckled, and join in with the cheers when a 180 is thrown.


Summary:

This really is a nice dartboard. You will be the envy of your friends with this fantastic piece of technology. The dartboard can track up to eight players across 39 games and 179 variations. From classic dart games such as 301 and 501 to more obscure games like Football and Shove A Penny, you have enough here to keep the most avid dart fan entertained.

The technology of the board itself has been improved. The holes are better designed to keep your darts in place and reduce bounce back. The segments between the holes are also smaller . This prevents the darts hitting sections where they will bounce when they should stick. The NylonTough segments will also hold up over time to keep you playing for years.

One particularly interesting feature is the heckler options. With three levels, you can add some heckles to your games (when you or your friend’s play is poor) and some cheers (when you hit some top scores). 

Key Features

39 built-in games and 179 variations

NylonTough segments

Thin segment dividers

Up to 8 players

Automatic dart averaging

Heckler feature

Pros

Darts will not bounce out easily

Tough and long-lasting

Tracks scores for a variety of games

Gives dart averages to help you track your performance

Ranks players and stores information

Cons

Harder to set up than other electronic dartboards

Expensive

2

Viper 800 Electronic Dartboard, Extended Scoreboard For Spanish Cricket, Regulation Size for Tournament Play, Locking Segment Holes For Reduced Bounce Outs, Team Multiplayer for 16 Players

Why we like it:

We like that there is the option to track up to 16 players. If you are looking for the perfect dartboard for a party or a gathering, then look no further.


Summary:

With so many games at your disposal and options to cycle through, it can be easy to get lost in the multitude of variables. Viper has kept the user interface simple enough to be used by anyone. There are a few buttons to navigate but a few seconds to read them and you will see how obvious your choices are. After that, there will be no stopping you.

One of the critical features of this dartboard, and one which we especially like, is the color scheme and display. The red, black, and silver are not representative of the traditional dartboard colors, but that is not a bad thing. This electronic dartboard has a futuristic look which will fit well into a modern man cave. The option to display the included darts (or your own personalized darts) is also a great idea.

The LCD at the bottom of the unit finishes off the futuristic look. There is a lot of space for displaying stats but do not let that fool you. The display remains uncluttered (even when there are 16 players) and clear (you can see the numbers from as far back as your throw line). 

Key Features

Regulation size dartboard

Thin partitions for reduced bounce out

57 games and 302 variations

LCD score and statistic display

Stylish red, silver, and black color scheme

Darts included

Pros

Up to 16 player scores accommodated on each game

Reduced partitions mean darts will not bounce out easily

Will look great in your room

Dart holsters to store and display you darts

Easy and intuitive interface

Cons

Need to go online for instructions

Darts can be tough to get out of the board

3

Viper Neptune Electronic Dartboard, Classic Cabinet Door Style, Target Test Tough Segments For Lasting Durability, Extended Spanish Cricket Scoreboard For 4 Players

Why we like it:

We like this electronic dartboard for large groups and parties but, more than that, we love how easy it is to get playing. With the option to select games with a few handy shortcut buttons, you will be sipping your beer and throwing your darts in no time.


Summary:

We like dartboards which come with (or in) a cabinet. You do not want your man cave to become too cluttered, especially if you have a lot hanging on your walls. This dartboard with cabinet will allow you to close up your dartboard after you are done playing or leave it open to showcase the silver, black, and red color scheme.

This is another tremendous electronic dartboard for large groups. You have a number of games and varieties at your disposal, and enough power to track up to 16 players at one time. The LCD will show four scores at a time and in enough detail to be seen from behind the throw line.


The board also features one of the most simple control interfaces which we have encountered. The buttons are simple to understand, and you will be able to pick up and play with this board without having to look up the instructions in the manual. 

Key Features

Cabinet Dartboard

Dart holders

Bright LCD

57 games and 307 options

Thin partitions

Commercial-grade nylon construction

Pros

Cabinet allows for dart storage and board protection

Missed dart catch ring protects your wall

Regulation size board for a smooth transition

Thin nylon construction reduces bounce outs

Includes darts and adaptor

Cons

Heavier and needs more support

Expensive

4

Fat Cat Electronx Electronic Dartboard, Built In Cabinet, Solo Play With Cyber Player, Dual Screen Scoreboard Display, Extended Catch Ring For Missed Darts, Classic Door Look Matches Traditional Décor

Why we like it:

We like this dartboard for large groups. This board with cabinet gives you a cheaper option than others on our list while still having a number of options to keep you occupied for hours.


Summary:

One of the top reasons for buying this dartboard is for the solo play. Yes, you can have up to 8 players playing at one time, but the cyber play feature is great for practicing. Instead of throwing your darts over and over in a non-game situation, you get the option to play against the dartboard computer on one of five difficulty levels.

When your friends do come over, you will have the option of 38 games with 167 options. When you get playing, the LCD is easy to see from a distance and will show at a glance where each of the 8 players stands.


The interface is also easy to use. There are no cluttered buttons, and space is handled well. There are options to change the result of a dart should one bounce out and not be tracked by the board or eliminate a score if a variable was out of the computer’s control. 

Key Features

Cabinet dartboard

38 games and 167 options

Cyber play with multiple skill levels

6 darts included with storage options

Adaptor included

Pros

The sturdy cabinet can store up to four sets of darts

Up to 8 players can play simultaneously

LCD is easy to read and understand

Spare tips included to replace damaged ones

Ultra-thin partitions reduce bounce outs

Cyber play option helps improve your skill when playing solo

Cons

Cabinet not as luxurious as others

Fewer game options

5

INNOCHEER Safety Darts and Kids Dart Board Set - 16 Inch Rubber Dart Board with 9 Soft Tip Darts for Children and Adults, Office and Family Time (New Black)

Why we like it:

This is an excellent dartboard for kids or adults starting out. Hang it up quickly, grab a beer and a few buddies, and get playing.


Summary:

The best way to get kids interested in a sport is to get them playing when they are young. This dartboard is perfect for that. The dartboard is easy to use, with darts sticking in the holes and holding firm, but also easy to remove when you have thrown your arrows. This dartboard may be simple, but you should not let that fool you. The board is great for kids but also makes a perfect addition to a man cave or office. You do not have to spend much money on this board, and you still get to have a ton of fun.

The only downside is that you are going to have to track your own score. This is excellent news for children who need to work on their math skills and, let’s face it, adults too. As long as you know how to play a game, you can have as many friends around as you like and track your own scores. One of the features of this board is that you are not limited to 8 or 16 friends at one time. If you want to play a game with fifty people, you can do that.

This board may not have all the bells and whistles of the other boards on the list, but it will still get the job done. It will also protect your furniture, walls, pets, and other humans. 

Key Features

Full-size 16-inch dart board

Can be mounted on a tabletop or wall

Nine soft rubber-tip darts included

Light and unobtrusive

Color-coded doubles, triples, and bull

Safe for children

Pros

Can be installed almost anywhere

Rubber darts are safe for children

Darts are easily removed from the board after throws

Helps children to improve coordination and accuracy

Rubber tips protect walls and furniture

Cons

Does not track score

Not electronic

6

Fat Cat 727 Electronic Dartboard, Easy To Use Button Interface, Automatic Voice Feedback, Included Darts And Built In Storage, Mulitplayer For Up To 8 Players, 43 Games 201 Options

Why we like it:

We like this dartboard for older children. It has enough features to keep teenagers busy and provides enough quality to keep them interested.


Summary:

This is a great starter electronic dartboard if you are not sure about how much you are going to play. There are 43 games to try, and you can play your own games without the scoring feature if you wish. With the board being so inexpensive, it is a great present for children or a cheap addition to your man cave if you are not going to be playing a lot of darts.

The soft-tip darts come with 24 extra tips. Over time, tips will break (either through wear or accidents). The included replacement tips will ensure that you are never left without enough darts to throw at the board.

The segments are robust and forged from polymer compounds. The holes are tight enough to keep the darts lodged while the partitions are thin enough to prevent bounce outs. The same is true for the spider. It has been kept thin to minimize the risk of the darts bouncing from the board only to land on the floor. 

Key Features

Up to 8 players

43 games and 201 options

Includes soft-tip darts

13” target face

Comes with 24 extra tips

Manual included

Pros

Soft-tip dart protect the board, walls, furniture, and people

The electronic board will track scores of up to 8 people

Enough games and options to keep you occupied for hours

Easy to set up and use

Intuitive interface for quick starts

Cons

Requires batteries

Lower quality than other electronic dartboards

Can I use steel tipped darts on an electronic board?

The short answer is no, you cannot use steel tipped darts on an electronic dart board.

Best Dartboard Cabinet

Best Dart Cabinets Review

We love to play darts. The thing about darts is that it is an easy game for anyone to start playing. Even those who have never played before can pick up some darts and hit the board with them.

They may not hit that treble twenty (intentionally) for a long time, but they will hit the board. Once you master the game, there is nothing better than that first treble twenty or high checkout.

It does not matter if you are a darts amateur or a professional, a cabinet for your dartboard makes sense. The main reasons are:

  • A dart cabinet will offer you some protection to the surrounding area of your dartboard
  • It will cover your dartboard when not in use
  • Will give you a way to track scores without a separate chalkboard or piece of paper

We have done the research and found the best dartboard cabinets out there.

These boards not only limit the need for a dart backboard, but they look good too. Let’s start with our number one choice, which you'll find just below our top three picks.

1

Dart World 49126 Early American Dart Cabinet Kit

Why we like it:

We like this tournament-quality cabinet and board. The darts could use an upgrade, but you are going to get everything which you want from a cabinet kit with this one. Setup is easy, and you are ready to play instantly.


Summary:

The best thing about this cabinet is that it comes with everything you need to get a game of darts started. While most cabinets will only include the cabinet, this cabinet kit comes with a dartboard, two sets of darts, the cabinet itself, and a throw line. Once you have the cabinet hung at the correct height, you can place the throw line the right distance from the board, and you are ready to play.

This dart cabinet looks great. The solid pine gives an amazing aesthetic which will fit with any room. The grain of the wood gives you a professional look which other dartboard cabinets do not.


When you open it, not only do you get a professional dartboard with two sets of darts includ-ed but you also get a scoring area which is high-quality. There is also an out chart which will tell you which individual dart scores you need to make the most common outs. This is handy for beginners until they learn the common combinations.

This is a great dartboard cabinet for everyone and deserves the top spot on our list — the qualities are apparent in every part of this kit. 

Key Features

Solid pine

Tournament quality

Includes two sets of darts

Throwing line included

Pros

Strong and durable

The cabinet is easy to hang

Comes with dart game instructions

Dartboard and darts included for instant play

The scoreboard in the cabinet for tracking games

Cons

Expensive

2

Imperial Officially Licensed NFL Merchandise: Dart Cabinet Set with Steel Tip Bristle Dartboard and Darts, Green Bay Packers

Why we like it:

We love that you can customize this cabinet with the logo of your favorite team. If you love the NFL and you love darts, then this is a marriage made in heaven.


Summary:

If you are an NFL fan, then this is the dartboard cabinet for you. You can choose to customize the cabinet with your favorite NFL team logo. The logo will be displayed on the outside of the cabinet, the insides of the doors, and the flights of the darts. Prove you are a super-fan with merchandise that your friends will on yet have.

We like that the cabinet has been crafted from pine. The pine is not only sturdy and durable, but it also looks great with a unique wood grain which makes every cabinet one of a kind. On the inside, you will find a generous scoring area with enough room for four players to play simultaneously. You will also get a professional-grade dartboard and logo embellished darts.

A great dartboard and cabinet to show your support for your NFL team. 

Key Features

NFL Licensed

Dartboard included

Includes NFL logo darts

23 1/4” x 22” x 4”

Solid pine

Pros

You can customize the set with the NFL logo of your choice

Has everything you need for an instant game

Professional-quality dartboard

Pine is tough and durable

A scoring area inside for tracking games

Easy to hang

Cons

Expensive

Darts could be better quality

3

Barrington Webster Bristle Dartboard Cabinet Set: Professional Hanging Classic Sisal Dartboard with Self Healing Bristles and Accessories - 6 Steel Tip Darts

Why we like it:

If you are looking for something a little different, then you have found it. The deep stain of the wood gives you something which other cabinets do not while still giving you a professional dartboard.


Summary:

This is a unique-looking dartboard which will become a focal point in any room. The solid wood is stained to give a darker look which brings out the grain of the wood. The dartboard is extremely easy to install and comes with all the hardware that you need to get this cabinet up and on the wall in minutes. Darts are included, along with a marker to keep score. The dartboard is regulation size and professional quality.

The cabinet set has been inspired by the dartboards you see in old pubs. It has a lot of character. It may look old, but it has been constructed with a modern design which will ensure it holds up over time — an excellent dartboard for organizing tournaments with your friends and family. 

Key Features

18” dartboard

Staple-free bullseye

Darts included

Professional look

Pros

Self-healing dartboard for longevity

Mounting hardware for easy installation

A rustic design which looks unlike any other

Hinges prevent doors from slamming

Cons

May not match every color scheme

Darts could be better quality

4

Hathaway Outlaw Free Dartboard and Cabinet Set, Cherry Finish

Why we like it:

We like the look of this cabinet. From the dark-cherry stain on the outside to the green velour backdrop on the inside, this is a great looking board.


Summary:

We love the look of this dartboard cabinet. The dark-cherry stain gives a vintage look without it looking old. The stainless steel hinges are particularly welcome. They ensure that the cabinet opens and closes smoothly without the doors slamming on the cabinet.


On the inside of each door, you will find a scoring area with enough room for four scores to be tracked simultaneously. You also have two sets of steel-tipped darts to get you started straight away.

This cabinet has a classic feel which will allow you to have some classic games of darts. The board is long-lasting, and the surround has been crafted with enough quality to outlast the board. 

Key Features

Solid wood

Dark cherry finish

Sisal dartboard

Darts included

Dry erase scoreboards

22.5” x 22” x 3.75”

Pros

Sisal dartboard prevents bounce outs

Green velour for a vintage backdrop

Dartboard is durable and long-lasting

Stainless steel hinges will last

Cons

Whiteboard marker could be better quality

5

Viper Metropolitan Solid Wood Cabinet & Sisal/Bristle Dartboard Ready-to-Play Bundle: Deluxe Set (Dead On Dartboard and Darts), Espresso Finish

Why we like it:

We like the darts and the board. The darts are high-quality, and the board is composed of sisal fibers. The bull is staple-free, and the darts feature grips which give you better throwing stability.


Summary:

This cabinet comes with everything you need to get a game of darts started. The cabinet is easy to install and features bronze hinges which not only look great but work well too. The board is composed of sisal fibers which will close up when darts are removed to close any holes created. We like that you have a choice of four finishes, making it a better choice if you are trying to match your color scheme.

The included darts are of a higher quality than you get with most dartboard cabinets. You will need to buy a second pair, potentially, but you will not need to worry about upgrading this pair. 

Key Features

Solid pine

Available in four finishes

Staple-free bullseye

Sisal-fiber board

18” board

Includes one set of darts

Pros

Sisal fibers self-heal

Darts are higher quality than others included with cabinets

4 finishes allow for better customization

Bronze hinges are high quality

Dry erase board allows you to track scores

Cons

Scoreboards could be higher quality

Only one set of darts

Needs a better quality marker

6

Solid Wood Dartboard Cabinet Set with Bristle Dartboard and 6 Steel Tip Darts (Mahogany)

Why we like it:

We like the look of this cabinet. You have a choice of two finishes, and both will fit into any room of your house.


Summary:

This solid wood cabinet comes in a choice of two finishes. Both finishes look great and will ele-vate the look of any room. The solid wood is New Zealand pine. With this quality of wood, you know that the cabinet is going to last for a long time.


The bronze hinges add to this longevity and being self-closing hinges; they are going to protect the wood and limit any slamming noises when you beat all of your friends at darts.

We like the generous scoring area which you get with this board. You have enough room for four players to play simultaneously. You also have six darts included so that you can get a two-player or four-player game started without having to buy any extra accessories. 

Key Features

New Zealand pine

Dry erase scoreboard

18” dartboard

Movable outer ring

Bronze hinges

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Pros

Hinges are self-closing to prevent slamming

Padded felt backboard looks great

Scoring area for up to four players

Six darts included for instant play

Affordable

Cons

Dry erase board could be higher quality

7

Viper Hideaway Cabinet & Steel-Tip Dartboard Ready-to-Play Bundle, Reversible Standard and Baseball Game Options with Two Sets of Steel-Tip Darts and Chalk Scoreboards, Black Matte Finish

Why we like it:

This is a great starter kit for amateurs and children. The board is not as high-quality as the others on our list, but you will get enough play out of it to be worth the price you pay.


Summary:

This dartboard comes in a matte black finish which will fit into any room. The cabinet is also skinny, even when closed, and will be unobtrusive wherever you choose to install it. We like the chalkboard scoreboards on the inside, chalk being our preference to dry erase. The board is also reversible for use with baseball darts if you have them or want to buy them, opening you up to more options when playing.

The cabinet comes with everything you need to start playing. You get the cabinet, dartboard, two sets of darts, and all the hardware to mount the cabinet on your wall. 

Key Features

Matte black finish

Thin profile

Two-sided scoreboard

Two sets of darts included

Comes with mounting hardware

Pros

Affordable

Board can be flipped for use with baseball darts

Thin profile makes it great for installation anywhere

Black finish matches any color scheme

Easy to mount

Cons

Dartboard not as high-quality as others

Can I use these cabinet for my electronic dartboard?

The short answer is no, you cannot. Electronic dartboards take up more space and will not fit these cabinets.

Best Dartboard

Best Dart Backboards Review

How many of us have dreamed of becoming professional darts players? Come on, hands up; I know I have. Was it that first 180 that you luckily threw? Or the great finish ending with the bull?

Once you have thought about it for a few minutes (like I did), you calm down a little and push the thought of a professional darts career to the back of your mind.

I am here to pull that thought back to the forefront. If you want to be a professional darts player, you need a professional dart board. Wait, who am I kidding? You should get a professional dart board whether you want to be a professional darts player or not.

A great board is a perfect way for you and your friends to spend a few hours with a few beers. A dart board is inexpensive, easy to install, and provides hours of fun. We have found some of the best ones out there.

We have our top-3 picks below, and after that, we have extensive reviews starting with a truly professional dart board.

1

Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard with Increased Scoring Area and Improved Dart Deflection for Reduced Bounce-Outs

Why we like it:

This is a professional dart board. If you want the best of the best, then look no further. We would recommend using this board when practicing for tournaments or for setting up your own competition with your friends.


Summary:

This is as good a dart board as you are going to get. With double-core technology, you are going to suffer from fewer bounce outs.


The outer core has lower compression which means that the surface tension is reduced and point penetration is increased. The inner core has higher compression to increase the resistance, hold the darts, and improve the durability of the board.

The wires on the board are also a big factor in making this one of the best out there. The wires have a smaller footprint, meaning that there is a larger scoring area, and they are sharper than they have ever been before. When you dart hits the wire, the angle of the dart will not be deflected as much as it is with other dartboards and will have more chance of sticking into the board. The reduced width of the wires means that you have a larger scoring area, especially important with the doubles and trebles.

Attaching this board to your wall is also extremely easy. The triple-wheel lock system means that the board is easy to level, rotate, and then lock in place for your game. 

Key Features

Dual-core technology

14% thinner wires

Triple wheel lock and level system

Durable

Professional-grade

BDO endorsed

Pros

Reduced bounce out of darts

Thinner wires mean larger scoring areas

Secures to almost any surface

Improved dart deflection

Better scoring potential

Cons

Expensive

2

Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboard with Staple-Free Bullseye for Higher Scores and Fewer Bounce-Outs

Why we like it:

This is another board for those who are wanting to be great darts players. The best thing about this board is its durability. You can practice for hours and move the numbers to get a completely fresh board.


Summary:

This is an extremely good dartboard. It is tournament grade and has been endorsed by the British Darts Organization. There are a few things which we really like about this board, but the two which stick out are the self-healing fibers and the removable outer ring.

The self-healing sisal fibers mean that the darts penetrate between the fibers and the pulled out, the fibers are so densely packed that they return to their original positions. Over time, the threads are not going to be damaged like other surfaces and are going to retain their shape and tightness.

We also like the removable outer ring. If you play a lot of darts, you will notice that there are areas of your board which take more damage than others (namely the 20 and the bull, unless your aim is as bad as mine). After playing for some time, you can remove the number ring and rotate it so that the space for the 20 is fresh and undamaged. This prolongs the life of an already durable board. 

Key Features

Tournament quality

Staple-free bullseye

Endorsed by the BDO

Angled divider wires

Self-healing fibers

Pros

Fewer bounce outs than cheaper boards

Higher potential scores

Angled wires direct the darts towards the board

Durable

The ring can be removed to rotate the board

Cons

None

3

Unicorn Eclipse Pro Dart Board with Ultra Slim Segmentation – 30% Thinner Than Conventional Boards – For Increased Scoring and Reduced Bounce-Outs

Why we like it:

Great for anyone who wants to practice their darts game or have some friendly conversation with their friends.


Summary:

This dartboard has been endorsed by the PDC and many darts professionals and champions. This may not be the same board which those players use in the big events, but it is the same quality as those boards.


Unicorn has been a big name in the darts world for many years, so you know that you are getting great design and fantastic construction. This is not the best board in the world, but you know that you are going to get a board with enough quality that professionals are endorsing and practicing on it.

The thinner wires mean that you have larger scoring areas, giving even the worst darts players the best chance at making a good score. 

Key Features

Championship quality

Bristle board

Staple-free construction

Chalk included

High-technology wires

PDC endorsed

Pros

High visibility number ring

Fewer staples mean more scoring areas

Easier doubles and trebles

High-Quality design with fewer bounce outs

Durable and long-lasting

Cons

Hard to mount the board

Not as high-quality as other boards

4

Bristle Dart Board, Tournament Sized Indoor Hanging Number Target Game for Steel Tip Darts- Dartboard with Mounting Hardware by Hey! Play!

Why we like it:

Great for groups of friends or for families. This dartboard is a wonderful choice for anyone who is starting out and wants a dartboard which is going to give them a professional experience.


Summary:

The finest materials have been used to create a dartboard which will be perfect in any home. The bristles limit the number of bounce outs which you will encounter, and they fall back into place when your darts are removed to keep the dartboard in the best shape possible (and your backboard).

You will likely be using steel-tipped darts, but you can also use soft-tipped darts too. This is great if you are playing with children and do not want them using the steel-tipped ones.

The board is regulation size and has a thickness which will prevent your darts or the wall behind from being damaged. The spider wire is ultra-thin, and there are no staples in the bullseye. This means that you have more chance of hitting your doubles, trebles, and the bull, maximizing your score on each turn.

Key Features

High-quality

Bristle dartboard

Staple-free design

Regulation size

18” diameter

Pros

Affordable

Bristle construction self-heals

Easy to mount

Bristles mean fewer bounce outs

Includes necessary hardware to mount

Comes with game instructions

Cons

Not as professional as some other boards

Some bounce outs

5

Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set with Staple-Free Bullseye, Metal Radial Spider Wire, High-Grade Compressed Sisal Board with Rotating Number Ring, Includes 6 Steel Tip Darts

Why we like it:

This is an excellent dartboard for everyone and comes with darts. The durability means that you can have thousands of games with your friends without having to replace the board.


Summary:

This dartboard comes with all you need to get playing straight away. There are six darts included, and the board itself is easy to hang. It only takes a few minutes from getting your delivery to getting a game going.

The tightly-compressed sisal fibers hold the darts well and self-heal once the darts have been taken out. Over time, you will notice that the bristles start to wear, with the number of darts being thrown into them. This is easily remedied by removing the outer ring and rotating it, bringing fresh life to your board.

The bullseye is staple free, giving you more area to aim for. The wires have also been created to be as thin as possible to enlarge the already generous area, and the wires are angled to help the dart on its journey towards the board. 

Key Features

Regulation size

Sisal fiber construction

18” diameter

Movable number ring

2 sets of darts

Pros

Sisal fibers mean fewer bounce outs

Accommodates steel or soft tips

The moveable outer ring extends dartboard life

Self-healing prolongs the life of dartboard

Thin wires promote better scores

Included darts save you money

Cons

Included darts are not professional quality

Darts can bounce out

6

Viper Razorback Official Competition Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set with Staple-Free Razor Thin Metal Spider Wire for Increased Scoring, Reduced Bounce Outs; Self-Healing Premium-Grade Sisal Board

Why we like it:

This is a great board for anyone wanting to try out darts for the very first time. Adults and children will find something from this board, and it also has enough quality for friendly tournaments and competitions with your friends and family.


Summary:

This is a great dartboard for all levels of players. The board can accommodate steel tips or soft tips making it great for adult and kids, professionals and amateurs. The tightly compressed sisal fibers will hold your darts well, limiting the number of bounce outs, and self-heal when the darts are removed.


The staple-free bull also limits the number of bounce outs. The wires also have a smaller profile, almost negating any bounces off of the wires, and guiding them towards the scoring area due to the tight angles.

We like dartboards with removable outer rings, like this one. They really do help to prolong the life of your dartboard without you having to do any repair work. Just remove the ring when an area is looking worn and rotate it a number or two. By doing this, you can prolong the life of your board by an extra few years.

Key Features

Compressed sisal fibers

Staple-free spider

Removable outer ring

Steel tips or soft tips

18” diameter

Pros

Sisal fibers promote self-healing

Thin wires make for higher scores

Reduced bounce outs

Removable outer ring lengthens dartboard life

Affordable

For adults and children

Cons

There will be some bounce outs

Not professional or tournament quality

Is there automatic scoring on these boards?

No there is not. For that, you will need to get an electronic dartboard.

I'm afraid of damaging my wall - what can I do?

Glad you asked! There are two solutions that helps tremendously:

Best Dart Backboard

Best Dart Backboards Review

If you are anything like I am as a darts player, you probably have a thousand or so tiny holes in your wall by your dartboard.

The real trick is getting your darts in the same hole twice! If you have hung a dartboard on a wall, the chances are that it is a wall you have accepted will be damaged at some point, especially if you have children or amateurs playing (even the best players miss the board from time to time).

One option is to place a thin piece of wood or some cardboard behind the dartboard as a wall protector to stop the darts from piercing the wall. A more elegant solution is to invest in a dartboard backboard (also know as a dartboard surround). These boards will take the damage should you miss the board, holding the darts without damaging them.

Backboards do not need to cost a lot of money, but the money you do spend will pay for itself when you compare the cost of a wall repair. Here are some of our favorite backboards, and below, we'll dive into in-depth reviews starting with the number one. 

1

Dart-Stop 36 inch Black Octagon Pro Dart Board Back Board | Wall Protector | Dartboard Surround

Why we like it:

If you are looking for something which can cover a large area, protecting both your wall and your darts, then you have found it. We like the plush exterior which looks excellent, no matter how many darts have been thrown into it.


Summary:

This is one of the best dartboard backers which we have found. The board is large, a generous 36”, and is one of the best looking boards that we have seen. The board covers the surrounding wall area in a uniform and symmetrical way.


The engineered wood substrate is covered by a thick and plush fabric. This means that the wood is not damaged as much by the darts and when the darts are pulled out you do not see the holes. Spotty holes around your dartboard can look ugly and be off-putting.

The fabric and wood combination also reduces the bounce outs. This means fewer darts falling to the floor and either damaging the floor or damaging your darts. The backboard is easy to attach to almost any surface, including masonry and concrete, and comes with the mounting hardware. The mounting points are reinforced so they will hold up to multiple removals and fastenings. Your dartboard is then easy to mount to the backing board.

The pre-installed dartboard bracket means that your dartboard is hung at regulation height once you have the backboard on the wall. The hanging system means that your dartboard is held with exceptional stability and can still be rotated with ease when needed. The dartboard can be removed and rehung in seconds. 

Key Features

36”

Octagonal shape

Fabric finish

Ready to mount with screws and anchors included

3/4-inch engineered wood

1” overall thickness

Pros

Fabric finish does not show holes

Large area covered

Includes dartboard mount and there's no need to use shims when mounting dartboard

Strong and durable

Looks good as a backer

Cons

Expensive

Can be somewhat difficult to assemble

2

Dart-Stop 29 inch Burgundy Octagon Pro Dart Board Backboard | Wall Protector | Dartboard Surround

Why we like it:

We like how this backboard looks, both when it is first hung and after multiple missed darts. The plush fabric holds its look, making it the perfect backboard for matching with the style of your room.


Summary:

When you have hung this backboard on the wall, and the dartboard on the board, you will notice the symmetrical hang of both boards. This board will protect your wall and look good doing it.


The plush fabric finish on the thick wood means that there will be no visible holes once the darts are taken out. Wall protection is the number one priority, but that does not mean that a backboard should not look good while doing it.

We like how easy this backboard is to attach to the wall. The installation hardware is included, and the reinforced holes mean that you can install and remove the board many times over without reducing the structural integrity of the board. Once the dartboard has been mounted to the backboard, it is also effortless to rotate the dartboard. If you have a removable outer ring on your board, this is a handy thing to be able to do. 

Key Features

29”

Octagonal shape

Plush fabric finish

Pre-installed mounting bracket

1” overall thickness

Pros

Fabric finish means no holes on show

Ready to mount dartboard when backboard is hung

Includes hardware to attach board

No shims needed for the dartboard

Steel reinforced mounting points

Easy to mount backboard and dartboard

Cons

Expensive

3

Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Why we like it:

We love how easy this backboard is to install, and the amount of coverage that you get from it. If you are playing darts with children, then this will give you maximum coverage, especially below the board. Not only that, it will look good for many years.


Summary:

This backboard comes in a few pieces which are extremely easy to slot together (like a six-piece jigsaw puzzle). Once you have the pieces together, you can protect up to 8.2 square feet, making this one of the most protective backboards on the market.


The compression-fit pieces also fit snugly against the wall and your dartboard for a seamless fit. No extra hardware is needed once your dartboard is on the wall. Just put the pieces together and hang this backboard around the board.

The high-density foam catches and holds your darts as they are thrown against it. The rich black foam also hides the holes, as they blend on once the darts are removed. 

Key Features

Fits any standard 17.75-inch dartboard

8.2 square feet of protection

1-inch thick v-foam

Velvet finish

Compression fit pieces

Deep black color

Pros

Easy to assemble and mount

Looks great in any room

No additional hardware needed to mount

Reversible for added lifespan

Holes are not noticeable

Cons

Does not fit 18” dartboards

Color can fade over time

4

Viper EVA V-Foam Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Why we like it:

This is an excellent backboard for those who have become a little better at darts and are not missing as many shots. The board is smaller than others but does give you the option to rotate the board and better cover certain areas.


Summary:

This v-foam surround is easy to install and has a hanging bracket ready for you to hang your dartboard on. One thing which we like about this board, and something to think about during your installation, is the rotation of the board.


You can hang it as a square or rotate it to attach the board as a diamond. This gives you options as to where the larger areas of backboard are placed. Do you notice that the same doubles are being thrown at? Rotate the backboard, so that misses on those doubles are covered.

This backboard is excellent for all manner of dartboards. You can back a regular sisal dartboard or an electronic dartboard; the backboard will support dartboards of all sizes and shapes. The v-foam also looks great after many uses. The rich black helps to hide the holes in it, and you can flip the board to start again with a fresh backboard. 

Key Features

For sisal and electronic dartboards

Hanging bracket for dartboard included

High-density v-foam

28” x 28”

Pros

Backboard can be rotated to give a square or diamond surround

Holes do not show easily

The foam is light and needs limited mounting strength

The backboard is easy to attach to the wall

Foam is easily penetrated and holds darts well

Rich black matches any color scheme

Cons

Not as high quality as wood surrounds

Color may fade over time

5

Viper Defender Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Why we like it:

A great backboard which looks neat and is suited to more professional players. There is not a lot of coverage but still enough for those who do not miss the board as much or stay close when they do miss.


Summary:

This is a compression fit backboard which means that it fits around your dartboard without needing any hardware to attach it to the wall. The backboard comes in three pieces which are easy to put together (like a large jigsaw puzzle), and the surround is then placed over the dartboard and pushed against the wall (make sure that your dartboard is the correct size for this backboard).

You get five inches of protection around the entire board once you have installed the backboard. The high-density v-foam accepts the darts with ease and will hold them in place. Once you have removed the darts, the holes are barely noticeable. If you do find that the backboard is becoming worn, then you can flip it and breathe new life into the board.

Key Features

Fits 17.75” bristle dartboard

5” protection

1” thick

High-density v-foam

Reversible

Pros

V-foam is great at holding darts

Board can be reversed for double the life span

Easy to install and put together

Plush velvet finish

No additional tools or hardware needed

Cons

Not great for children

Does not fit other sizes of dartboard

Will this help no matter what type of dartboard I have?

The short answer is yes, these will help protect the wall. The slightly longer answer is:

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