301: the most popular dart game

Number of players
2-8
Recommended age
12+
Competition type
1 vs.1, Two teams
Playing time
10
-25 min
Difficulty
Normal
Cost or investment

Brief description of the game

301 is a dart game in which all players start with 301 points and win the first one who manages to leave his score exactly ZERO points.
How to play 301 dart game
Table of contents

How to play “301”
(and 501, 701, 901, 1001…)

Things you need to know before starting to play

icon players

Number of players

The 301 is a game of darts for 1 vs 1 or team vs team competition.

If you’re playing in teams

Form two balanced teams, taking into account the experience and skills of each player. 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3 can work fine. We think more players is too much.

icon objects

What you need to play

A standard dartboard -with sectors and rings- and three darts are required.

Icono dardos
Diana de dardos
dartboard height icon

Dartboard height

1,73 m

The official rules stipulate that the center of the dartboard must be 1.73 m from the ground.

Ideally, the center of the target should be at the level of the thrower’s eyes. Obviously, not everyone measures the same, and you cannot change the height of the target for each throw. So a decision must be made.

If you are going to play at home, and you can select the height of the dartboard, we recommend you to do this: measure how high the eyes of each player are from the ground and then average it out. This will make the game fairer for everyone.

How far are darts thrown?

Dart throwing icon

Launching distance

2,73 m

If the target is 1.73m from the release then the distance from the throw line to the dartboard should be 2.37 meters.

Goal of the game

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How do you win at 301?

Each player —or each team— starts with 301 points and his goal is, subtracting the points scored after each throw, to be the first to leave his score exactly ZERO points.

301 rules: playing a game

The rules we’re about to explain are part of the official rules used in international championships organized by the World Darts Federation, only the ones we consider necessary and sufficient for playing and having fun with friends or family.

Who’s first?

It is decided by flipping a coin

Dart throwing icon

One turn = 3 darts

It is decided by flipping a coin

Each player may throw three darts in turn, one at a time. Normally, all three are thrown, except when reaching the end of the game, as we will see later.

darts icon

Darts out of play

If a dart goes out and is not stuck in the target, the throw is not repeated. This dart is not counted.

darts icon

Bounced darts

If a dart rebounds after hitting the dartboard and falls to the ground, the throw is not repeated. This dart is not counted.

darts icon

Darts falling before counting

If a dart rebounds after hitting the dartboard and falls to the ground, the throw is not repeated. This dart is not counted.

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Updating the scoreboard

After the third dart has been thrown, the number of points for the darts stuck in the dartboard must be counted. Points are subtracted from the player’s or team’s total score. How many points are scored? This is explained in detail and with examples below.

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Negative scoring

If, when subtracting the score obtained, the result is lower than zero, these points do not count and the previous score is maintained.

For example, if a player scores 30 points and his three darts add up to 50 points, subtracting them results in a negative result of -20 points, so his score will remain at 30 points.

darts icon

Throwing only one or two darts

Throwing all three darts is not mandatory. If after the first throw the score is already ZERO, the game is over.

turns icon

Nest turn

Now it is turn for the other player —or a player from the other team, who in turn will alternate between them—. And so on until the game is over.

Game over. Who wins?

icon winner

And the winner is…

The game is over when a player —or team— manages to leave his score exactly ZERO points, becoming the winner. Congratulations!

Scoring system in “301” with examples

Knowing the dartboard

Dartboard sectors

The dartboard is divided into wedge-shaped sectors. Each sector is associated with a score. In this picture we have marked sector 4 in blue. If a dart lands in that sector it will add 4 points, unless it also coincides with one of the rings.

Diana de dardos con sector sombreado

Double ring

The large circumference in red and green colors is called the ring of doubles. In 301 dart game if a dart lands in the doubles ring it multiplies the sector score by 2.

Corona de dobles de la diana

Triple ring

The outer circumference in red and green colors is called the treble ring. In 301 dart game if a dart lands in the treble ring it multiplies the sector score by 3.

Corona de triples de la diana de dardos

The center of the dartboard.

The center of the target is divided in two areas. We have a red circle right in the center —inner bullseye— and a small green crown surrounding it —outer bullseye—. In dart game 301, 50 points are scored if the dart lands on the inner bullseye and 25 if it lands on the outer bullseye.

Diana de dardos

Scoring examples in the “301” game

Example 1

Puntuación simple en el juego de dardos 301

Simple score in sector 12 = 12 points

Example 2

Otra puntuación simple en el juego de dardos 301

Also simple score in sector 12 = 12 points

Example 3

Puntuación doble en el juego de dardos 301

Double score in sector 12 = 24 points

Example 4

Puntuación triple en el juego de dardos 301

Triple score in sector 12 = 36 points

Example 5

Diana exterior en el juego de dardos 301

Outer bullseye = 25 points

Example 6

Diana interior en el juego de dardos 301

Inner bullseye = 50 points

Dartboard heatmap scoring

This image shows the points scored in each zone of the dartboard using a color scale ranging from turquoise blue —minimum score, 1 point— to garnet —maximum score, 60 points—.

Width of rings is distorted to fit the numbers, but the image perfectly fulfills its mission: to identify the hottest and coldest areas of the dartboard.

Mapa de calor de puntuaciones diana de dardos

Cmglee, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia

301 variants

DOUBLE START variant

In this variant, you do not start scoring until you hit the double ring. Only the points of the darts stuck after the first double count, not including it.

It is a very popular variant in bars and pubs, although it is not used in official championships.

DOUBLE CLOSING variant

It is a mandatory variant in official championships.

The dart that closes the game and brings the score to zero must land in the double ring. If a player scores 16 points, a simple score in sector 16 is not good for him, he must score in the double ring in sector 8.

You can also close the game with the 50 points from the inner bullseye.

If the result of a turn leaves the score at 1 then those points do not count and the score remains as it was before that turn.

501, 701, 901, 1001…

The games of darts 501, 701, 901 or 1001… are identical games to 301 in which the initial score instead of being 301 points is 501,701…

We recommend starting with 301 for occasional or novice players.

The higher the number, the longer the game will last.

icono compras

Don’t have a dartboard? We present you with the best ones.

Buying a dartboard can be as exciting as the game itself, but beware! You don’t want to end up with a dartboard that looks more like a sieve than a scoring board. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the perfect dartboard:

Types of Dartboards

Sisal Dartboards:

  • Advantages: They’re made of natural sisal fibers, which means they heal faster from dart holes. They’re favored by many professional players because of their durability and ability to self-repair.
  • Disadvantages: They can be a bit pricier than other options, but the quality is worth it.

Te recodamos la diana de sisal de la marca DARTPRO con un excelente relación calidad precio y que incluye 6 dardos profesionales.

Diana de sisal

With over 13.000 reviews on Amazon and a rating of 4.6. It’s a proven dartboard that you can have at home for less than $50.

You can check the current price and offers for this dartboard on Amazon here.


Bristle Dartboards:

  • Advantages: Similar to sisal, they’re made of natural bristles, offering a high-quality playing surface.
  • Disadvantages: They can also be a bit pricey, and the quality may vary depending on the brand.

In this case, we recommend the best-selling dartboard on Amazon, the WINMAU Blade 6 model.

Rated by over 7.800 people with a score of 4.9, its price is under $90. However, it doesn’t include darts.

You can check the current price and offers for this dartboard on Amazon here.

And if you don’t have darts, we recommend this pack, the best-seller on Amazon, with steel tips, aluminum shaft, and various accessories.


Electronic Dartboards:

  • Advantages: Perfect for casual players or those who don’t want to deal with holes. They automatically record the score and often offer a variety of games.
  • Disadvantages: Some purists may argue that they don’t offer the same feel as traditional dartboards, and sometimes they may not register darts correctly.

There are countless electronic dartboards on the market. It’s best to play it safe, and for that, the best option is to choose a highly rated and popular product. That product is the Fat Cat Mercury Electronic Dartboard, the best-selling one on Amazon.

Rated by over 1.700 people with a score of 4.3. The price? Just over $100.

You can check the current price and offers for this dartboard on Amazon here.


More information.

You can access the official rules used in international championships organized by the World Darts Federation here.


And that’s all, which is quite a lot.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day. And an even better night ;-)

logo loodens

LOODENS rating

 
A classic, eternal and universal skill game that everyone should play from time to time. With family or friends, it doesn’t matter, fun and competitive play is guaranteed. Absolutely recommended.

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