How to Play Nine Lives Darts?

How to Play Nine Lives Darts

Key Takeaways

  • Nine lives darts is a variation of around the clock darts (also known as around the world darts)
  • FUN FACT: The game is called 9 lives, however players only get 3 lives during the game 
  • The objective: To be the first player to hit every number on the dartboard, 1-20 in numerical order, followed by the bullseye or be the last player left with lives left in the game, wins
  • Players lose one of their three lives if they miss a number with all three darts as they go around the board
  • A player can only lose one life per round
  • Nine lives is a fun game to play, ideal for any number of players from two upwards

What is Nine Lives Darts?

You may be familiar with around the darts game around the clock, also called around the world. It is a race around the board style game and nine lives darts, is a popular variation.

The only difference between both games, is that players can get eliminated during nine lives.

It’s slightly confusing as to why it’s called nine lives, because players only get 3 lives during the game, but that’s for another time. 

What Is the Objective of Nine Lives Darts?

The objective, during the game of nine lives, is to:

  1. Don’t lose all of your lives – If a player loses all three of their lives, they are eliminated from the game
  2. Be the first player to hit every number on the board in order, from 1-20, followed by the bull – The bullseye wins the game
  3. Alternatively – the last player left in the with lives remaining wins the game of nine lives darts 

How to Play Nine Lives Darts?

If you have played around the world, the rules of the nine lives darts variation are very similar, except players lose a life when they miss a number.

If you haven’t played around the world, let me explain the rules of nine lives below.

The nine lives dart game rules are easy to understand, and it’s a very straight forward game to play:

  • Each player gets three darts per round
  • Players take it in turns to throw their three darts
  • The game starts at number 1 on the board and moves around every number in order according to the numbers on the board
  • Each player must hit their target number with at least one dart per round
  • If they hit the number with their first dart, they have two remaining darts to go for the next number in the round
  • If a player hits the next number with the second dart, they have one dart left for the next number
  • Players can only lose a life if they miss the original number they were on going into the round
  • Lives won’t be lost if they failed to hit the following numbers during the throw 
  • When a player loses all three lives, they are out of the game
  • When the player has thrown three darts each, the next round begins
  • If the number is hit on the third dart, players must wait until their turn comes around again.
  • The first player to hit the bullseye after making their way around the numbers on the board, wins the game
  • Every part of the number segments (small single, large single, double and triple) is in play during the game

How to Score Nine Lives Darts?

There isn’t really any scoring for nine lives you have to do. The entire numbered segment counts as one hit, and as there isn’t any value placed on doubles, singles or triples, no adding or subtracting has to be done. 

Players only need to know:

  1. What number they are on during the game
  2. How many lives they have remaining

Having said that, it can get a little confusing trying to keep a track of everyone’s position in the game.

To score nine lives darts on a scoreboard, you can:

  • List the names and the number of lives beside them down the left side of the scoreboard
  • When one of the lives is lost, mark it off the board
  • When someone has lost all of their lives, they are eliminated from the game. Cross out the player on the board
Score Nine Lives Darts

Tiebreakers in Nine Lives Darts

A tiebreaker turn will be needed if two or more players reach the bullseye with lives.

The game is decided by the players having alternated throws at the bull, and continues until one player hits the bull, and the other player misses during the dart throw.

Variations of the game

As I mentioned, nine lives is a popular variation of around the world, which has many variations.

As such, there are tonnes of different ways nine lives can be played, to make the game a little more challenging or to even the playing field.

One such variation is to change the amount of lives players have. To give players an incentive, and a route back into the game, you can add lives to reward certain throws.

For example:

  1. You can get a life added if you choose to stay on the numbered segment and hit the same number with all three throws
  2. If you shanghai the number (single, double and triple) you can either add a life to your own, or take a life away from every other player
  3. Players can be given a choice if they hit the number with the first or second dart: Either end the turn there or go for the ext number in order, however if they continue their turn and miss the target, a life is lost

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