To an unknowing observer, darts may seem like a simple game, but this could not be further from the truth. This game dates back many centuries and relies on a complex counting system that can seem daunting to learn at first.
Experienced darts players count so fast due to a combination of practice and a thorough knowledge of the rules in darts. Although they do not have to have a natural aptitude for math, this can certainly help as it will make perfecting the counting process easier.
If you are an aspiring darts player, do not be discouraged. Practice and study will help your dart counting skills. Keep reading to learn more about how the score is kept in darts as well as some strategies that can help you improve your counting methods.
How Do You Count in Darts?
Darts is a sport that has existed since medieval times and possibly before that, and over time it has developed a complex system of rules for how to count points.
The dartboard itself is numbered and is used as a reference for counting points. Dartboards consist of 20 segments that are numbered from 1 to 20, although not chronologically. There is a bullseye, and a ring around the bullseye called the 25 ring.
Players must aim carefully at these different sections of the board to receive points that will help them win the game. If they miss, their score may be harmed and they might lose as a result.
The Counting System
There are many different types of dart games that you can play, but all of them rely on the same basic counting system. Each player’s turn consists of throwing 3 darts and subtracting their total “score” based on values hit from a starting value. This starting value in tournament games is typically 501 or 301.
The goal for subtraction is to end up with exactly 0. This is difficult to accomplish, and players must use strategies to hit different areas that will result in exactly all their points being canceled out.
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What is Doubling Out?
Many darts games require players to “double out.” This means you must reduce a score by hitting two duplicate numbers that add up to the target number.
For example, if your score is 28, you will need to hit two 14s to “double out” and win the game.
How Do You Get Better at Counting in Darts?
If you are new to darts, you may spend so much time trying to calculate your score that you can lose some of the focus you would otherwise dedicate toward aiming and strategizing.
There are many ways that you can get better at counting so that your overall game improves.
This may seem intuitive, but the more that you practice your darts math, the easier the process will become. Try playing games with friends in a low-stress environment where you can focus on counting correctly without any time constraints.
Additionally, you might consider keeping a dartboard in your home and practicing this way. You can practice on your own time for however long you want and face little pressure as you work to improve your counting skills.
Use a Pen and Paper
Some darts games rely on electric counters. However, if you wish to do the counting mentally, it may be helpful to keep a pen and paper nearby which you can use to tally your score. This will keep you focused and give you something to refer back to so more of your mental energy can go toward your game.
If you do use a pen and paper, make sure that this is permitted by your league, if applicable. Some leagues may not allow this aid and you will have to find an alternative way to keep track.
Break Down the Math
Sometimes, scores may seem overwhelming because they are large numbers and difficult to subtract. However, if you break them up into small chunks, they become easier to work through quickly.
For instance, if you are subtracting 28, first subtract 20 from your score. Because 20 is a whole and even number, it is easier to subtract at a faster rate. Then remove 8 from the remaining amount. This process of breaking the numbers down should make the math much easier and therefore faster.
What are Some Common Darts Games to Help Practice Counting?
There are many different darts games. Each one is suited to various team sizes and time commitments, which means there can be a good fit for everyone. Some of the most common darts games include the following:
- Round the World
Each game may have slightly different rules, but they are all the same in that some level of complex counting and subtraction is required to win.
Do You Have to Be Good at Math to Play Darts?
An aptitude for math will certainly help an aspiring darts player, but many people can enjoy and succeed at darts without any extensive training in mathematics. Being good at math is an advantage, but it is by no means necessary to succeed.
The one skill that you will absolutely need to know how to do is subtract. Because this is a basic mathematical skill, most people should be able to play darts without too much training in mathematics.
The most important thing is that you are willing to learn the rules behind darts. As you get to know them and practice, the math will come easier to you.
If you really do not like to do the math, consider investing in an electronic scorer which will help make the process much easier and require minimal calculations on your part.
How Should You Practice Darts Math?
One of the best ways to practice darts math is by taking online quizzes, such as those offered by GoDartsPro. These free online resources will allow you to hone your mathematical abilities and make sure you have the multiplication and subtraction skills down before you start to play in person.
Another tactic is to continue to practice on your own and have another, more experienced dart player check your scores or give you feedback on your counting strategy.
You may also choose to make flashcards with standard dart scores, or dedicate a certain time of your day toward practice. Whatever you choose to do, consistency and repetition are key to improving your counting skills.
Darts is a very fun game filled with camaraderie and technique, and you should not let the complex counting system get in your way of having a good time.
If you are interested in playing darts, spend some time getting to know the scoring system and practicing your counting skills. This can be easiest to do if you know someone who is experienced, or you can make use of a wealth of online resources that will test your knowledge and challenge you.
It is also important to not get discouraged if the system takes a while to learn. Many darts players have spent years honing their games. With some dedication and practice, you will soon have the counting skills that you need to throw a winning game and join in on the fun of darts.