How to Play Knockout Darts?

How to Play Knockout Darts

Key Takeaways

  • The objective of knockout darts is to beat the score of the previous player
  • Players each have three lives
  • If a player loses all of their lives, they are knocked out of the game
  • It is a darts game which is very easy to learn and play, suitable for both beginners and experienced players
  • It is more fun playing with a large group of players, however you can play with as little as two players 

What is Knockout Darts?

As the name suggest, Knockout darts is a last player standing format, and it couldn’t be any simpler to play, which is ideal for beginners to get involved in. 

The concept is simple: Players lose a life if they fail to beat the score before them.

How to Play Knockout Darts?

To play knockout darts:

  • Each player in the game take turns throwing three darts at the board
  • The first player goes first and sets a score to beat 
  • The second player has to beat the first player’s score
  • The next player then has to outscore the player previous to them and so on 
  • Each of the players scores becomes the next high score to beat

What are the rules of knockout darts?

Knockout dart’s rules are as follows:

  1. Each player starts the game with three lives
  2. A player loses a life in the game if they fail to beat the score set by the player immediately before them
  3. Three strikes and the player is knocked out of the game
  4. The scores of each player do not accumulate in a game of knockout darts

The game continues in this fashion, with each player throwing to beat the previous score. All players must be eliminated from the game before one player is the clear winner

Scoring in Knockout Darts

The numbered segments on the dartboard represent the same points as they usually do when playing darts in traditional games, like for example 301 or 501:

  • Singles are worth 1x the segment number 
  • Doubles are worth 2x the value of the single
  • Triples are worth 3x the value of the single 

Create a scoresheet that has the player’s name and the number of lives they have remaining.

It should clearly display the number of strikes beside their name to make tracking easier of who’s wining and who’s losing.

how to score knockout darts

An Example of a Knockout Darts Game

For the below example, I will use three players, however you can play with any number of players.

  • Player 1 – Scores 85 points
  • Player 2 has 3 darts and needs to beat 85
  • Player 2 – throws 57 as the player receives a strike and now has two lives remaining
  • Player 3 has to score more points than the 57 scored by the second player
  • Player 3 – beats the score of the player with 102 points 
  • Because there are only 3 players, it is back to the player who went first in the game

You can see from the example above how a round of knockout game can play out. Depending on the amount of players in the game, it could be over in 10 minutes or last an hour.

Tips and Strategies for Knockout Darts

There really isn’t any tips or strategies I can advise you on. The game is a simple as it gets, you have a score to beat with three darts, however a couple of tips to bear in mind are:

  1. If you like fast-paced practice games, play with fewer players
  2. Don’t just settle to beat the score, aim for the highest score you can get – this will make it as hard as possible for the next player
  3. Try to mix up the order of play – Don’t have the best players throwing first and setting the target all the time, which will make it more difficult for the less advanced players

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