Aim And Throw: Your Guide To Dart Boards


A huge percentage of the world’s population is familiar with the internationally-famous sport of darts. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a game played by all ages, professional or amateurs. It’s a simple throwing game played to test the mind and abilities of the player.

However, not everyone is familiar with how the dart board works. What’s with all those wedges and uneven number distribution? Why do people always aim for the bullseye? All dart board-related questions will be answered here.

Introducing Dart Boards

flaming dartboards

Without any question, a dart board is clearly the target in all dart games. It’s that round board that players look hard into and then “stab” multiple times with darts.

The standard dart board looks like the target in archery--- it is also round in shape, has multiple “levels,” and built with a small bullseye at the center. The diameter of a tournament dart board is around 15.5 inches, while the center of the bullseye is located 173 centimeters from the ground and 237 centimeters from the player.

Below are some of the basic information about dart boards:



Dart boards, especially those which are considered high quality, are made of compressed sisal fibers. Some are created using soft wood, compressed paper, and even plastic with holes.

There are also boards that are made of coiled paper or cork, but they don’t cost that much and are not considered as top quality as the one made from sisal fibers.

Brief History

Dartboards History

Historians believe that the gameplay of darts have been around as early as the Middle Ages, when warriors would use overturned barrels as a dart board and small spears as darts. However, the earliest recorded game of darts--- or at least looked like it--- happened sometime in 1819.

“Puff and Dart” was an inn/pub game similar to darts. It appeared in two journals dating back in 1819, and its mechanics were simple: use a blow gun (or blow pipe) to shoot a dart at a certain target. So, in simple terms, it’s a game of blow guns--- but with a definite (and non-living) target.

In the late 1870s, a throwing game called “Dart and Target” became a popular parlor game. It is very similar to the game of darts that we know now--- with the dart being a straight stick with a pin and paper guide on each end, and a dart board/target made of soft wood and painted with concentric circles and bullseye. Same as the “Puff and Dart,” this game didn’t last for long, but will serve as a basis for the modern darts of today.

Understanding Dartboards

dart board

A traditional dart board consists of 20 randomly-placed numbers, 20 wedges known as segments, and two small rings at the center, known as the bullseye.


dartboard numbers

Why are they random?

Nobody’s really certain about the reason of dart boards’ random numbers (clockwise: 20-1-18-4-13-6-10-15-2-17-3-19-7-16-8-11-14-9-12-5). Some mathematicians, however, believe that this random distribution is “flat” to avoid having parts with many high points.

Segments and Rings

segment rings

For better understanding, the 20 segments of a dart board are the pie-like, wedge pieces around it. They are, basically, the “slices” of two bigger rings in the dart board.

These bigger rings, one in the middle (just before the bullseye) and one slightly larger outside it, denote different scores for players.



The bullseye does not only consist of one small circle on the center--- it actually refers to the two small circles in the middle part of the dart board.

Like the two bigger rings, these bullseye also has certain point values:

Now you know why most players target the center.

How To Play

play dart

Playing darts may appear so easy, but it’s actually more challenging than you think it is.

Here are some simple, no-sweat tips to aim and throw that dart:

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