How to Play ‘Killer’ with darts: Basic rules and game overview

If you were ever looking for a game of darts that involves many people, Killer could be the perfect game for your group of friends.

Fortunately, this game doesn’t involve any harm to come to you or your pals despite the name!

The game is not too dissimilar to other variations of the game, such as HORSE in basketball or even KILLER played in pool. 

As it requires a group of people, the game is perfect for those with many people who are dart enthusiasts. Especially if your group includes those who don’t fancy watching two people slog it out in other darts games, like 301.

The goal is to be the last man standing at the end of the game. Simple enough.

Except the other competitors have the same goal and will be doing anything they can to prevent others from winning.

This ‘Killer’ darts game guide will detail everything that you will need to know to add ‘Killer’ into your go-to games whilst at the bar.

RELATED: 27 Fun Dartboard Games

What is ‘Killer’?

Killer Dart Game Info image

‘Killer’ is a game where everyone plays against each other – although there is nothing stopping players from teaming up. As it’s the last man standing, the game will see participants knocked out until there is one winner.

Number of Players Required: 3-20 can play, although best results it is best to play with 5-8 players.

Who Can Play It: Any age and ability, in fact playing with different skill levels can increase the fun.

Difficulty: Easy

Main Goal: Be the first to get to ‘KILLER’ and eliminate the other participants.

Why we love it: It’s a game that is perfect for big groups and is different every time that it’s played. It’s also a great opportunity for those of a Machiavellian disposition to plan their route to victory for those who are really keen.

Playing ‘Killer’ – What You’ll Need:

The Dartboard

A standard size dartboard which is 18’’ in diameter is perfect for this game.

As it’s unlikely that all participants will be of the same level try not to deviate in size of the dartboard. Doing so will increase or decrease the difficulty of the game.

This dartboard by TG Champion is a cost-effective example of what to look for.

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The Darts

Try to use a standard set of darts to ensure that competition is fair for everyone who is playing.

23 grams is generally considered to be the average weight of the darts. If you choose that weight then everyone should be comfortable with their throws.

These darts from Red Dragon fits the bill and also comes with all the accessories that are also needed.

As always switch these out for soft-tip darts if playing with younger children.

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Keeping score is vital as with so many people playing things can get confusing if progress isn’t recorded.

Make sure you have something available to write down what’s happening. Bars will usually have a chalkboard with chalk you can use. A pen and paper or a notes app on a phone are viable alternatives.

playing killer darts image

How to Set Up Your Game

Dartboard Position: The ‘bullseye’ should be 5ft 8’’ from the floor.

Throwing distance: Standard throwing length is 7ft 9in away from the front of the dartboard. If playing with different skill levels, move closer or further away as you see fit.

Throwing line: Mark the location that is 7ft 9in away from the dartboard with whatever you have to hand. This the oche.

‘Killer’ Rules and Gameplay

‘Killer’ can take a bit of time to set up in order for the game to be successful. Choose one person to be the scribe so they can write down information before play begins.

Starting the Game

The players who begin generally have a bit of an advantage over the others. Decide on a method to work out the order of participants.

We recommend having everyone involved throw one dart at the bullseye.

The person closest starts and the person furthest away goes last with everyone else’s positions decided in the same way.

To play, all participants need to decide what number they’re aiming at.

Again throw a dart at the board with your weaker hand. Make sure everyone has a different number before beginning.

Also, make sure that the person designated as a scribe makes a grid. Names go down the left-hand side, followed by their designated number.

Once everyone has a number and you have decided the order, it’s time to begin.

How to Play ‘Killer’

  • Players will have 3 darts to throw per go.
  • The aim is to hit their designated number with each throw.
  • Scoring works by spelling out ‘KILLER’ every time the player hits the correct number.
  • After gaining six letters to spell out ‘KILLER’, you can start eliminating other players.
  • Aim for the other participant’s numbers following the same scoring method but in reverse.
  • This will start removing letters from other players. Eliminate all the letters and the player who has no letters left loses.
  • The last person standing is the winner.

Scoring in ‘Killer’

An extra part of the game that is worth mentioning is exactly how the scoring works.

It is straightforward as you score one letter if you hit a single. Two letters if you hit a double. Three letters if you hit a triple.

The single is the part of the number that is black or cream in color. The double is the area in green or red at the top and the triple is the smallest segment in the middle.

Part of scoring that can be slightly complicated is when you need to get the exact score needed to complete spelling ‘KILLER’.

Thus, if you have ‘KILL’ spelled out and hit a triple this would leave you on ‘KILLE’.

This is because you need two more letters to complete the phrase. So add the two on to spell ‘KILLER’ and remove one to spell ‘KILLE’.

This is also true when eliminating players. If an opponent is on ‘KI’ and the player scores a triple this will leave them on ‘K’ following the same rule.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use this game to improve my darts ability?

Playing ‘Killer’ is definitely a fun way to get better at playing the more conventional games of darts.

The game encourages players to aim at parts of the dartboard that they may not usually throw at.

It also may encourage players to get better at aiming at the double and trebles. Being able to hit these increases chances of victory.

Why do players throw with their weaker hand when deciding their numbers?

It’s a handy rule that encourages a degree of randomness into the game.

More experienced players can aim at the number that is generally easier to hit. If throwing with their weaker hand it’s likely that each game people have different numbers.

Part of what makes this game so much fun is when players have numbers next to each other. This can lead to uneasy alliances or easy targets.

It is not the only method of deciding numbers, but it’s the way that we recommend to make the game more interesting.

What happens if I’m on ‘KILLER’ and I hit my own number?

Unfortunately, this means that you have to deduct letters from your own score!

It’s definitely something that can make the game harder. Especially if other participants have numbers which neighbor your own.

Try to avoid doing this if you can.

Alternative games to ‘Killer’

‘Killer’ is a game definitely recommended for larger groups.

If you find yourself with too few players it may be better to play dart games recommended for two players such as Baseball Darts such as Baseball Darts.

Conventional games such as 301 darts or 501 are for those who are especially keen on darts.

Or if you were looking for something less demanding then you could always play ‘Around the Clock’ darts.

Or, if you’re looking for a game that is slightly more complicated but just as fun you can look into starting up a game of ‘Cricket’ or ‘Shanghai’.

If you do decide to start up a game of ‘Killer’ with your pals, however, make sure that they know that any killing stays on the dartboard!

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