Originating in the public houses of the United Kingdom, darts is a game that has managed to stay popular continuously through the decades. Although not as physically demanding as some team games, darts nevertheless requires some skill to play well. An easy game to learn, a harder game to master, darts has evolved from something played by pub drinkers to an internationally recognised competitive sport.
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Beginning the Game
Darts can be played with a minimum of two players or can be played in two teams comprising of as many people as you like as long as there are equal numbers on each team. Once the teams are decided, each player can have several practice throws to warm up before the official game begins. To decide which team begins the game, one player from each team takes a turn to throw a single dart and the dart that lands nearest to the bull’s eye in the centre of the board goes first. The teams alternate in turns so that a player throws her three darts after a player from the opposing team has thrown and retrieved his darts.
The most popular darts game is called "301" and this is the game that many people mean when they refer to a game of darts. The idea is to bring your teams score down from 301 to 0 by hitting as many points on each turn as possible. The darts board is made up of sections numbered 1 to 20 which are divided into segments to represent different scores. The outer ring is known as the double ring and landing a dart here will double its worth. For example if you have landed in the double ring of the 9 section your score will be 18. The same principle applies to the narrow inner segment known as the triple ring. The outer bull’s eye is worth 25 points whilst the centre circle or bull’s eye, is worth 50 points. The larger segments making up the majority of the board represent the number of the section and are known as single point throws. Before either team can score, a team player from each side must hit a double in the outer ring. From that moment on each throw will subtract points. The closer to 0 you get the harder it becomes as you must finish at exactly 0 by either hitting the bull’s eye or throwing a double to win the game. Each tournament is made up of three games of "301." The winning team is the majority winner over the three games.
Although a fairly easy game to learn, there are still a few ways that a player may lose points during his turn. The first one is by crossing the line behind from which players throw, which is known as the Oche. If a player crosses this line during her turn then her points do not count and she cannot throw again until it is her next turn. A dart’s score also will not be counted if it does not stay in the board for more than 5 seconds. Other darts thrown in this turn will still be counted though. Finally, if a player misses the board sections altogether and only manages to hit the surround of the board, he will not score any points.
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