How to Play Darts 301

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Darts 301 is a fun and competitive game that is a fast favorite of nearly everyone who plays it. Since the game is so equally-suited to pro player and non-pro, Darts 301 has become one of the most-played dart games by dartboard enthusiasts.

At Billiards Direct, we say that Darts 301 is “The Fastest Way To Play” because new players can start throwing fast and there are only a few rules to remember. “Few” rules doesn’t mean “no” rules, so there are a few things to keep in mind as you play Darts 301 .

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Each Player Shoots 3 Darts Per Turn

Playing Darts 301 is mostly a matter adding up a few numbers, so if you can do that, then you can play Darts 301.

Who Can Play 301 Darts?

Number of Players: 2 to 4 (for singles, 2 teams of 2)

Equipment: steel-tip darts or soft-tip darts, & a standard-size dartboard (18” diameter), or larger for new players

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Play 1 Player vs 1 Player or 1 Team vs 1 Team

Dartboard Setup For 301 Darts

To make sure you’ll be playing proper 301 Darts, it’s wise to first check the vertical position of the dartboard. The bullseye on the dart board should be approximately 5’8” from the floor.

The distance to throw from can be anywhere from 7’9” from the dartboard, to 7’ (new players). The dart throw line itself should be about 18” or larger.

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Hang Your Dartboard at Regulation Height and Distance

Dart throw lines are sometimes drawn, painted, or indicated by an item placed there. When you make your throws, be sure your toe is not over the line.

301 Darts Rules

Before the game begins, you have to see who can throw first, so you can either toss a coin, or you can throw darts to see which player (or team) is able to hit closest to the bullseye.

Basic 301 Dart Game Rules: each player starts out with 301 points, and they are given 3 throws per turn.

In Darts 301, each time a player hits a numbered space, their score is reduced by that space’s number.

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Add Up Your Points and Subtract Them from Your Score

Example:   If a player hit the numbers 3, 7, and 13 on their first turn, then they would subtract 23 points from their starting score of 301. This players new total is 278.

The math looks like this: 3+7+13 = 23, so 23 points are deducted from the player’s starting score of 301.

You may have deduced that the Single or Numbered-Spaces are worth their indicated number of points.

The rings on the dartboard also factor into the calculations, as follows:

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The Outer Ring of the Dartboard is Called the Doubles Ring

Outer Rings are worth twice the number of points (Doubles) as their indicated number. 

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The Inner Ring of the Dartboard is Called the Trebles Ring

Inner Rings are worth three times the number of points (Trebles) as their indicated number.

How To Win 301 Darts 

Wining 301 Darts means that a player’s score has reached zero. 

Generally in 301 Darts, the first player to reach the score of 0 is the winner, however, you have to hit exactly zero, which means if your turn scores more points to put you past zero, it won’t count, so you would then try again on your next turn to hit zero exactly, etc. 

Official Dart 301 rules for tournament play state “the player must reach zero to win”, AND they must hit a double with that last throw, otherwise, their turn is over.  For the purposes of friendly competition, many players choose not to enforce that specific rule, so it’s completely up to you.

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To Win 301 You Must “Double Out” to Reach a Score of EXACTLY Zero

Practice is the best way to improve how you play darts, so it’s helpful to play as much as you can, try to relax when you throw, have fun with it, and now that you know the 301 Darts rules, a game of darts hopefully will be an activity you want to play even more!

See Darts for sale in Billiards Direct's San Diego dart store, check out our selection of  Soft Tip Darts and Steel Tip Darts for sale, and be sure to Contact Us with any darts questions.

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