How to Play 501 Darts

By eHow Contributor
Learn to play 501 darts.
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If you catch professional dart tournaments in person or on TV, you'll find the game played most often is 501 darts. It may take some time to get up to the professional level, but recreational darters can still have a good time playing this popular dart game. Brush up on your math skills and enjoy 501 with your friends.

Step 1

Decide if you are playing a singles match or with two teams of two.

Step 2

Divide the score sheet into two halves, one for each team. Label each side with the players' names or initials, so you can keep track of which score belongs to which team.

Step 3

Each team starts with 501 points. The object is to work your way down to zero.

Step 4

The first player throws three darts and adds up his score. Subtract that number from 501 and mark it on the score sheet.

Step 5

The first player removes the darts, and the next player throws. If playing four players, the turns alternate between teams.

Step 6

A player must end the game on a double. If you have 32 points left, you hit the double 16 to get out. The narrow outer ring of the dartboard is the doubles ring. (The narrow inner ring is worth triple points.) The highest double you can get out on is the center bulls eye, which is 50 points.

Step 7

Darts that miss the double ring and land on another number must be counted into your score. If you have 40 points, you need a double 20. If your dart lands in the single 20 section, you must subtract 20 points from your score. With 20 points left, you now need a double 10 to end the game.

Step 8

If you hit a number larger than the number of points you have left, you've "busted." Your point total then returns to what you had at the start of your turn.

Step 9

If your score leaves you with 1 point, you have also busted. You cannot double out on a 1, so you are back to your points at the start of the turn.

Step 10

The first player to double out wins the game. In recreational play, the team that lost the match gets to start first on the next game.