How to Play High Score Darts [Rules, Tips, Tricks]

Are you interested in a dart game that is as simple as they come? If you answered, “Yes.” Then you are in the right place.

High score darts is one of the simplest games that is suitable for players of all levels.

How to play high score darts? To play high score darts, each player throws three darts per turn and races to reach a predetermined target score. The most commonly used target score is 1000 points. The first player to achieve the target score wins the game of high score darts.

Below you will find more information, tips, and interesting ideas you can use to change up the game a little bit so you can keep things interesting. If you are curious to learn more, read on.


Rules of High Score Darts

The objective of high score darts is to be the first player to reach a specific score that has been predetermined.

The most common score that players try to reach is usually 1000 points. However, the players can agree with any score—it can be 180 points or 2800 points.

Of course, a higher score means a longer dart game.

Each player throws three darts per turn.

Hitting the single area is worth the number hit, the double area is worth two times the number hit and the triple area is worth three times the number that has been hit.

There are no other rules about this game. You do not have to double out or end up on exactly the same target score that was predetermined.

For example, if you are racing to 1000 points and you have 980 points, and you hit the triple 20, you will end up with 1040 points and with the game.

In other words, it this game is definitely more lenient than the ’01 games.

The rules are plain and simple—score as much points as you can, and be the first one to reach the high score.

Who Goes First in a Game of High Score Darts?

There are no established rules as to who goes first.

The standard way to determine the order of players is usually by having each player throw one dart at the bull. The player that hits closest to the bull is first, and the one who hits the farthest from the bull is last.

However, depending on the skill level of the player I am playing with, I would usually allow more inexperienced players to throw first as this gives them a better chance.

Let me illustrate that with a very simple example.

We have two extremely good players. And for the sake of the example, let’s assume they can throw 180s one hundred percent of the time. They are racing to 360 points.

  • P1 throws 180.
  • Then Player 2 throws 180;
  • Player 1 throws 180 and wins the game with 360 points.

The second player never gets to throw again, so they didn’t stand a chance—P1 will always win no matter what.

This is why when I play with more inexperienced players, I prefer to give the initial advantage of throwing first.

However, if you are playing with a player that is of equal skill it is recommended to take turns—one game you throw first the next game they throw first.

How Long Is a Game of High Score Darts?

A game of high darts usually lasts about 15 to 25 minutes. However, the more the players, and the higher the target score, the longer the game will last.

The skill level of the players will also affect how long the game will last.

What Is the Throwing Distance When Playing High Score Darts?

A game of knockout darts is played by using the standard throwing distances, which are as follows:

  • For a steel tip dartboard: 7′ 9 1/4″
  • For a soft tip dartboard: 8′

Can a Game of High Score Darts End in a Tie?

A game of high score darts cannot end in a tie—that is, unless both players give up somewhere in the middle of the game and just, so it happens that they have the same score.

How to Keep the Score in a Game of High Score Darts?

The names of the players are written in order across the top of the scoreboard. The scoreboard is then divided into two columns (or more if there are more than two players) where the score of the players after each turn is marked down.

All the players start with 0 points, and a running total is kept until one player reaches the predetermined score.

What Do You Need to Play High Score Darts?

This dart game is super simple and does not require you to have anything beyond a dartboard, a way to keep track of the score, and a set of darts— three darts at the very least, but ideally, you want to have three darts per player.

On What Kind of Dartboard Can You Play High Score Darts?

A game of high score darts can be played on any standard dartboard. This includes:

* for detailed info of the best dartboards in each category, make sure to click on the links above.

High score darts can be played on any dartboard, and the type of dartboard will not limit your ability to enjoy the game.

As a matter of fact, this game is frequently played by soft tip darts players.

Strategy Principles of High Score Darts

The game of high score darts is as simple as they come—it is a simple race to reach a specific score.

All you have to do is score the highest score possible each turn. This means that you should aim for the triple 20 and the triple 19.

I would invite new players not to worry or stress too much. A better, more experienced player who has more consistent throws will generally speaking, win.

After all, this is just a game, so nothing too important is at stake here. And getting too nervous can affect your play style and throwing consistency.

Read Next: How to Relax When Playing Darts?

For What Dart Players Is High Score Darts Best For?

High score darts is a great practice game for both new and more experienced dart players.

Since the only thing that matters here is achieving as high of a score as possible during each visit to the board, this game allows for a good practice of grouping and targeting some of the highest value areas on the board—namely, the triple 20 and the triple 19.

These areas are very important for anyone that is looking to move on to other games like 501, for example.

High score darts is also an excellent game to learn how to keep a running total and how to learn about calculating averages.

However, if you want to practice hitting all the numbers on the board and to improve your overall aim—this game is not going to be the best for that.

It is a super easy game suitable for both kids and adults.

Overall, I would recommend High score darts to new dart players that are just starting out and would like to get used to hitting some of the most important areas on the dartboard and other basic skills.

This game can help new players—and even more experienced players—to improve their consistency and aim, while easily keeping track of their averages. Since it is a very easy game, it is not frustrating, and it will not place any unnecessary strain and stress on the dart players.

What Are Some Variations of High Score Darts?

Since high score darts is one of the simplest games out there, some players may feel a need to add some twists to the game. 

Since there are not a lot of rules, this gives us a lot of freedom to modify the game and add some interesting twists to it.

  • You can limit the scoring areas to just the singles, doubles, or the triples.
  • You can limit the numbers that can be hit.
  • You can set different target scores for the different dart players—and effectively handicap better players.
  • You can introduce additional conditions to win the game like doubling out.
  • You can add additional rules as to which numbers need to be hit when or add certain conditions, which if not met, can subtract points from the score of the player.

Mike Stephenson

Mike Stephenson Hello, darts enthusiasts! My name is Mike, and I am the person behind I enjoy playing darts with my mates and generally having a good time. Here I share everything that I learn about darts.

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