How to Play High Low Darts Game?

How to Play High Low Darts Game

Key Takeaways

  • The high/low darts game can be played by any number of players, but no less than 2 players
  • Players usually start the game with 3 lives
  • In the high darts game, players must score higher than the set target
  • In the low game, players must score lower than the target score 
  • At the end of the game, the last player standing wins the game

What Is the High Low Dart Game?

The high and low dart game are technically two different games:

  1. High darts
  2. Low darts

However, they are played so similarly, with the same rules, that they are usually talked about together.

There is, however, a slight variation in the scoring and the objectives of the two games.

What Is the Objective of High and Low Darts?

During a game of high darts, the objective is to SCORE HIGHER than the target score set by the previous player.

The objective, during a game of low darts, is to SCORE LOWER than the score of the previous player.

How to Play High/Low Dart Game?

The general rules to play the high/low dart games:

  • Decide the playing order and who throws first – Closest to the bullseye is usually my preferred way of deciding
  • The first player throws two darts, with the one hand at the same time, to set the first target score of the game
  • Each player then has three darts per round, which they throw one at a time, as per usual
  • When the games start, all players get 3 lives
  • A player loses a life if they fail to beat the target score (either higher or lower depending on the game)
  • Regardless of whether the score is beat, whatever score the last player got, is the new target for the next player in the game

What are the Rules to Play the High Low Dart Game?

  1. Players must score higher than the target score with their three darts
  2. A life is lost if they fail to outscore the target set by the previous player
  3. When a player loses all three lives, they are out of the game

The rules of the low darts are much the same, except:

Players have to score LOWER than the target score.

How to Score High/low Darts Games?

The numbered segments on the dartboard, are worth the same amount of points as they are in traditional games of darts, like for example 501, in both games.

However, there is major difference in the scoring of the LOW DARTS GAME

  1. The outer bullseye is worth -25 points
  2. The inner bullseye is worth -50 points 

Creating a little scoreboard, displaying the players names and the amount of lives they have, is the easiest way of keeping track during the game. Especially if large numbers are playing.

How to score high low darts game

Missed Targets

If players misses the target in the HIGH game:

  • The one dart missed is worth a score of zero – and no points added to the score

If players miss the target in the LOW game:

  • The one dart missed is worth 25 points and added to the player’s score – This stops players missing on purpose

An Example of How to Play High/Low Darts 

An example of playing the High Game 

  • Player 1 sets the target of 57
  • Player 2 scores 62, which beats 57
  • 62 is the new target score
  • Player 3 scores 41 and loses a life
  • 41 is the new target score
  • Player 4 misses with the one dart (zero points) and scores a total of 18 from the other two darts
  • Player 4 loses a life and the new target score is 18 to beat

An example of playing the Low Game 

  • Player 1 sets the target of 78
  • Player 2 scores 43, which beats the target score because it is lower than 78
  • 43 is the new target score
  • Player 3 misses with a dart (25 points added to the score) and lands a total of 7 points from the other two darts
  • Player 3 hits 32 points (25 +7) which is lower than the 43 and keeps their lives intact
  • 32 is the new target score 
  • Player 4 throws 40 and loses a life 

Both games continue until the last player remains, and all other players have lost their lives in the games.

Tips and Strategies for High Low Dart Game

Don’t aim to JUST beat the target score

Regardless of the target score, you want to make it as hard as possible for the next payer – players should throw as high as possible, or as low as they can, during your turn.

If each player sets a hard score to beat, the players will quickly start losing lives.

Change the Player Order

If the most skilled players are always going first, the weaker players tend to struggle with holding onto their lives.

Changing the order of target setter, can make the game more fun and can help keep all players engaged for longer – Picking names from a hat can randomize things.

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