How to Play Killer Darts [Rules, Tips, Tricks]

Killer darts is a very famous and, most importantly, very fun game that can be played by two or more players. The games can be a little tough for complete beginners, though, but it makes for a good practice game. Well, the more the marrier, goes the old saying.

How to play killer darts: To play killer darts, each player is awarded a number on the dartboard that represents them. To become a killer, the player needs to hit the doubles area of their number. Only then can they eliminate other players. Each player has three lives, and one life is taken when their number’s double is hit.

Does it sound like a darts game that you will be interested in learning and playing?

If so, continue reading below. 

I share more insightful information, tips, tricks, some great ideas about variations of this game, and so much more.


Rules of killer darts

Each player starts by throwing a dart with their non-dominant hand. The number they hit will be their number until the game ends.

It is not allowed for two players to have the same number. If somebody hits a number that a player has already claimed before them, they can just throw again until their dart lands on an unoccupied number.

So far, so good. But the next stage of the game is to become a killer. So how do you do that, and why do you want to do it?

Well, when you become a killer, you can eliminate all of your opponents, which is the requirement to win the game.

To become a killer, you have to hit the double of your number. If you hit the double with your non-dominant hand in the beginning phase of the game, you are automatically moved to a killer status.

You eliminate your opponents by hitting the double on their number. One hit on the double takes away one of their lives. Usually, each player has three lives to begin with, which means that three doubles and that player is out of the game.

However, if you happen to hit your own double after you have achieved a killer status, you will eliminate one of your own lives. (This means that you can actually eliminate yourself.)

The aim of the game is to eliminate all of your opponents and be the last player standing. When a player loses all of their three lives, they are eliminated.

Who goes first in a game of killer darts?

The order of players can be arranged by having each player throw a dart at the bull. The player whose dart is closest to the bull goes first, and the player whose dart is farthest from the bull last.

With that being said, after the first game has ended, it is customary that the first player to be eliminated goes first, the second to be eliminated goes second, and so on with the winner throwing last. (This is a way to put the better players at a slight disadvantage.)

How long is a game of killer darts?

A game of killer darts lasts between 10 to 30 minutes depending on the number of players, their skill level, and experience.

Generally speaking, a game of killer darts lasts about 20 minutes on average.

What is the throwing distance when playing killer darts?

A game of killer darts is played by using a dartboard hanged according to the standard throwing measurements, which are as follows:

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

Can a game of killer darts end in a tie?

A game of killer darts cannot end in a tie. 

The only way a tie may be achieved is if all the players decide not to finish their game and just so happen to have the same amount of lives left.

How to keep the score in a game of killer darts?

The names of each player are written down on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.

The number that was hit during the beginning of the game is then written down next to each player’s name on the scoreboard.

Next, to each name, the three lives they have are marked down using three tally lines.

When a player loses a life, one tally line is erased.

When a player achieves the killer status, a small “K” is written next to their name. This indicates that they have achieved killer status, and now they can start eliminating other players.

What do you need to play killer darts?

The game of killer darts is very easy and does not require any special equipment or accessories.

You need at least three darts, two players, a dartboard, and means of keeping the score.

On what kind of dartboard can you play killer darts

Killer darts can be played on any standard sized dartboard.

However, keep in mind that the different types of dartboards play a little different. They take a different kind of darts, including different throwing distances.

If you will be joining a local league, it is recommended to use a comparable dartboard so that you can play and practice on the right type of dartboard that you will be playing in the league.

Strategy principles of killer darts

Killer darts is a simple game that does not have too much strategy to it. The more consistently accurate player will usually win all other things being equal. 

There are a few tips and tricks that can give you an edge. So let’s take a look.

Depending on how many players you are playing with, it is always good to aim for a number that does not stay next to another player’s claimed number. The reason for that is because you could get accidentally hit by a dart that was intended for another person.

If a few players have their claimed numbers next to each other, they are an easy target and will attract unwanted attention.

Another thing to consider is never to go with some of the more popular numbers that people practice to hit, like the 20 or 19 (You might want to avoid the numbers between 20 and 15 if you are playing with a cricket player).

And lastly, be careful who you target. This is a game of balance and has almost a diplomacy feel to it. You do not want to target the same player too much, and you do not want to stand out too much either.

On the other hand, just because a player is better, this does not mean they will automatically win all the time—especially when playing against more than one person. 

Let me explain.

Weaker players do tend to focus on the strongest player of the group. This can quickly turn out to be a 2 vs. 1 or 3 vs. one situation where the stronger player is constantly being attacked by the rest of the players.

This is why killer darts is usually best played by people of equal skill. Otherwise, it can feel a little unfair.

For What Dart Players Is Blind Killer Darts Best For?

Killer darts is an excellent darts game that is fun and easy and can make for some exciting times.

Other than that, this darts game is excellent for practicing doubles (or triples depending on the rules used) and can be very helpful for people that are struggling to double-out while playing ’01 games.

Overall it can be played by darts players of all skill levels. However, if the players are not of equal skill, some kind of handicap should put in place. For more information, continue reading below.

If you are interested in discovering some of the best easiest dart games, make sure to go through my article on Easy dart games.

Variations of Killer Darts

There are a few different variations and minor adjustments that one can do to the rules of killer darts.

  • You can change the number of lives players have.
  • You can have players choose the number that will represent them on the dartboard instead of having to throw their darts in the beginning.
  • You can change which section of the dartboard will promote somebody to a killer status and will eliminate them. For example, to eliminate a weaker play, you may need to hit their triple instead. And to eliminate a more experienced player, you can hit the bigger wedges of their number.
  • You can make all the wedges on the dartboard be playable and take away a corresponding number of lives. For example, the single areas will deduct one live, the doubles, two lives, and the tripes, three lives.

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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