If you’ve never played before, darts can seem like a complicated, challenging sport to get to grips with. Yet as these 5 fun and easy dart games prove, that’s simply not the case.
Whether you’ve just bought your first dartboard and are looking for an interesting way to learn the basics, or whether you’re simply looking for a unique way to keep your dart-playing pals entertained the next time they come over to hang out, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in this guide to the easiest and most enjoyable darts games for all occasions.
5 of the Best Easy Dart Games
Around the Clock
Players: 1 or more
Best for: Kids, beginners, and solo practice sessions.
Why it’s fun: It’s quick, it’s simple, and, it’s incredibly easy to keep score in. Best of all, there’s a million different variations to keep things interesting, and you can even invent your own.
Aim of the game: Work your way around the board in sequence from one to bullseye as quickly as possible.
Some people call it ‘Around the Clock.’ Others call it ‘Around the World,’ or simply ‘Around the Board.’
Whatever they call it, there’s one thing most darts fans can agree on:
It’s just about the easiest game in the world to play, making it just as ideal for introducing your kids to the sport as it is for beginners to practice their skills.
And if you’ve been playing for a while and find it just a little too easy? You can create your own fun challenges such as playing in reverse, only counting points when you land on a double or triple, or perhaps playing odds or evens only.
RELATED: If you want to learn more, check out our guide on how to play Around the Clock darts game.
Players: 2- 8 (divided into two teams)
Best for: Kids and adult casual players
Why it’s fun: It’s all of the fun of America’s favorite pastime and the skill of darts rolled into one unique game. Plus, the fact that you can play it in teams makes it a great game to break out at parties or weekend hangouts with friends.
Aim of the game: Play through nine innings with each team collecting as many points as possible per inning. At the end of the ninth inning, the team with the most points wins.
Playing Baseball Darts:
- Divide into teams of between 1 – 4 players per team
- For each ‘inning,’ all of the players from one team throw first, followed by all of the players from the second team.
- On each turn, players aim for the number on the board corresponding to the number of that inning. For example, players aim for number one on the board in the first inning, number two in the second inning, and so on.
- Singles count as one point.
- Doubles count as two points.
- Triples count as three points.
- Missing the relevant section for that inning means you get no points.
- Each team’s points are totaled up at the end of each inning.
- Their total points for each inning are then added up at the end of the game.
- The team with the most points wins.
Though there is a version of baseball darts that is played on a specially designed board (often found on the back of most reversible dartboards), that version can get pretty complicated pretty quickly and, to be honest, is nowhere near as much fun as this traditional classic.
Though baseball is definitely better suited as a game for parties and social gatherings, it can also be a great solo game to help you improve your skills.
RELATED: Read our full guide on how to play Baseball darts.
Follow the Leader
Players: Two or more
Best for: Adults and experienced players
Why it’s fun: The game kicks off with one player throwing using their non-dominant hand, which can lead to a lot of hilarity. Plus, it’s a great way to have a little friendly competition with your buddies as you battle to become the last player standing.
Aim of the game: Be the last player standing with all of your three lives intact.
How to Play Follow the Leader:
- The first player uses their non-dominant hand (ie, right-hand players throw with their left hand and vice versa) to throw a single dart at the board.
- The next player then has three darts and must land at least one of them in the part of the board as that first dart.
- If the player is successful, they set a new target for the next player and so on.
- Darts must land in the same section to count. For example, a single 20 is not the same as a double 20.
- If the player misses, they lose a life.
- If a player loses all three lives, they’re out of the game.
Follow the Leader is a great game for those times when you have a lot of people all wanting to get involved. However, keep in mind that since half the fun is throwing that first dart with your non-dominant hand, there is some risk of a dart going awry. As such, we don’t recommend playing this game with young kids around unless you’re using a set of high-quality, soft-tip darts.
Players: Two players, or two teams of multiple players
Best for: All ages and abilities
Why it’s fun: It’s such a simple, straight-forward game, so you spend less time explaining the rules to everyone and more time clocking up those points. Plus, the fact that at any moment one player could end the whole game with a shanghai lends it a sense of exciting unpredictability.
Aim of the game: Score the most points after 20 rounds, or win the game outright by scoring a shanghai
Playing Shanghai Darts:
- Players have three darts per throw
- Each player takes turns in throwing their at the number on the board which corresponds with the number of that round.
- In round one, players throw at the number two on the board, in round two, they throw at number two, and so on.
- Points are awarded as follows
- Single – 1 point
- Double – 2 points
- Triple – 3 points
- At the end of Round 20, the player or team with the most points wins the game, unless a shanghai has been scored first.
- A shanghai is scored when a player hits a single, double, and triple in a single round.
- The single, double, and triple can be scored in any order, but it has to be on the relevant number for that round.
- If a player scores a shanghai, they automatically win and the game is over, regardless as to who had the most points at that stage.
A quick word of warning:
If you’re going to play Shanghai, be prepared to get seriously addicted to it very quickly. Since it’s so simple, no single game ever takes too long to play, but by the time it’s over, you’ll have had so much fun that you’ll be eager to go again. If you’re anything like us, you’ll also love what a game-changer the shanghai wildcard can be. You can be 20 points down with seemingly no way of winning, but score a single, double, and treble in any order and suddenly you’ve snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
RELATED: Read our full guide on Shanghai darts rules for more hints and tips.
Players: Two or more
Best for: Adults and experienced players
Why it’s fun: It’s a fast, rapid-fire game with a decidedly devious twist!
How to play Tic-Tac-Toe Darts:
- Each player throws a single dart with their non-dominant hand
- The number they hit becomes their target number for the whole game
- Each time a player hits their target number, they earn ‘bricks’ to build their castle
- A single earns one brick
- A double earns two bricks
- A triple earns three bricks
- The first person to ‘build a castle’ with 15 bricks wins the game
- As an added twist, hitting your opponent’s target number will knock a brick off their castle
- The same scoring applies for knocking bricks off as it does for scoring them (ie, single section knocks one brick off, double knocks off two bricks and so on.)
Though we’re always wary of recommending any game that involves non-dominant hand-throwing as an option for kids, one way to make castle safer for your young ones is simply to ignore that part of the game. Have your young ones throw their dart with their strongest hand, and they too will be able to enjoy one of the most entertaining darts games around.
Final Thought: Finding Fun and easy Darts Games to Play Solo
With the exception of around the clock and baseball, we’ve filled today’s guide with easy darts games that require two or more players because, let’s be honest, playing darts is always more fun if you’ve got company.
Still, if you find yourself at a loose end and your friends are all busy, there’s so many other fun and easy solo darts games you could get into. Check out our ultimate 27 dartboard games guide for more ideas.
High 12, Straight 101, 28, and even a solo version of the classic 301 darts game are all ideal games if you don’t have anyone to enjoy a quick game with. What’s more, they’re also a perfect way to sharpen your skills so that the next time you do get together with your buddies to play one of these top five games, you’ll have an even better chance of winning.