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How to Read a Dart Board: Secret of Optimal Scoring Skills

Written By: John Dart

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Ever looked at a dartboard and wondered How to Read a Dart Board? With the current setup of dart games gaining popularity in major tournaments, understanding a dartboard becomes crucial for any batting player. Many folks get puzzled by those numbers and sections. Luckily, understanding a dart board isn’t as tricky as it seems.

How to Read a Dart Board

Read Dart Board

Reading a dart board is easy! It has numbers 1-20 in a circle. Each number has thin and thick areas. Hitting different areas scores different points. For instance, while playing a game with consecutive bulls, the thin outer ring gives you double points! The center, called the bullseye, scores the most. Ready to dive into the option for percentage play?

Curious to know how? Let’s get right into it –

Key Takeaways

  • The dartboard features a bullseye, an inner ring (treble ring), and an outer ring (double ring).
  • Bullseye has two parts: Inner Bullseye (Double Bull) worth 50 points and Outer Bullseye worth 25 points.
  • The double ring scores double the section’s number while the treble ring triples it.
  • There are regional variations like the Yorkshire Board, Manchester Log-End, and others.

Anatomy Of A Dart Board

The dartboard is like a big circle with lots of smaller sections inside. Think of it as a pie with different slices. Each slice has a special meaning.

Explanation Of The Different Sections Of The Dart Board

  • Bullseye: This is the center of the board. It’s a tiny red dot and is worth the most points.
  • Inner Ring: This ring is crucial when considering a strategy for consecutive bulls. If your dart lands here, you get triple the points of the number it’s in.
  • Outer Ring: This is another thin circle but further out. Darts here get double the number’s points.

Description Of The Numbering System

In the current setup of dart games, numbers on a dartboard go from 1 to 20. They aren’t in order like 1, 2, 3… but are mixed up to make the game more challenging. As you play, remember to consider the option for percentage play. When you throw a dart, you aim for a number to get that many points. But with computerized scoring getting popular, the player doesn’t need to manually count the score, making the game faster and more accurate. So, practice your aim and enjoy the game!

How To Read Dart Board?

Reading a dartboard involves understanding its layout, the different sections, and how the scoring system works. But as the game’s rules get complex in major tournaments, having a clear grasp of standard scoring is vital.

How To Read Dart Board

Overall Layout

The dartboard is circular, and divided into 20 numbered sections. Each section represents a number from 1 to 20.


This is the center of the board.

  • Inner Bullseye (Double Bull): The very center, usually red. It’s worth 50 points.
  • Outer Bullseye: The green ring around the inner bullseye. It’s worth 25 points.

Double Ring

This is the outer thin ring. If your dart lands in this ring, your score is double the section’s number. For example, if you hit the double ring in the section labeled ’20’, you’d score 40 points.

Triple Ring

This is the inner thin ring. Landing your dart here triples the section’s number. So, hitting the triple ring in the section labeled ’20’ would give you 60 points.

How To Score Doubles And Trebles?

In darts, “doubles” and “trebles” refer to the thin outer and inner rings of the dartboard, respectively.

Hitting double (the outer ring) scores double the number of that section while hitting treble (the inner ring) scores triple the number.


  • If you hit the double section of the number “20”, you’d score 40 points.
  • Hitting the double section of the number “15” would give you 30 points.
  • The outermost ring is also known as the “double ring.”


  • If you hit the treble section of the number “20”, you’d score 60 points.
  • Hitting the treble section of the number “15” would give you 45 points.
  • The inner ring is also known as the “treble ring.”

Dartboard Variations

With major tournaments around the world, various dartboard variations cater to regional preferences. From the Standard Clock (or London) Board used in most professional tournaments to the Yorkshire Board which is similar to the standard but lacks the treble ring, these variations keep the game diverse.

Dartboard Variations

1. Standard Clock (or London) Board:

  • This is the most common board, used in professional tournaments.
  • It has numbers from 1 to 20 in a non-consecutive order around the board, with a bullseye in the center. The board also includes double and treble rings.

2. Yorkshire Board:

  • Similar to the standard board but lacks the treble ring.
  • Used historically in Northern England.

3. Manchester Log-End:

  • Made from the end grain of a log, traditionally elm.
  • No trebles and the doubles and bullseye are smaller than on standard boards.
  • Used mainly in the Greater Manchester area.

4. Tunbridge Wells (or Kent) Board:

  • Has no numbers, just rings and a bullseye.
  • Only the bullseye scores (usually 50 points), and the outer ring typically scores 25 points.

5. Ipswich Five Ring:

  • Used in parts of Suffolk and Essex.
  • Features only five concentric rings and a bullseye.
  • Different scoring system compared to the standard board.

Brief Overview Of Different Types Of Dartboards

Bristle DartboardSisal fibers     The most common type for professional play. Self-healing and used in tournaments like the PDC.
Electronic DartboardPlastic with electronic scoring             Uses soft-tip darts. Scores automatically. Great for casual players and bars.
Coiled Paper DartboardCoiled paper More affordable but wears out quickly. Suitable for occasional play and kids.
Cork DartboardNatural or composite corkOften used in casual settings. Not as durable as bristle boards.
Magnetic DartboardMagnetic surface      Uses magnetic darts. Safe for kids and casual play. No sharp points.
Wooden DartboardElm or poplar              Traditional boards. Require regular soaking to maintain. Not as common today.

Common Mistakes When Reading A Dartboard

When reading a dartboard, common mistakes include:

1. Misreading the segments: 

Mistakes can occur when players are unfamiliar with the current setup or dartboard they are using. It’s crucial to know your board well, especially if you’re gearing up for major tournaments.

2. Double and Triple Rings: 

Mistaking the outer ring (doubles) for the inner ring (triples) and vice versa.

Common Mistakes When Reading A Dartboard

3. Bullseye confusion: 

Not differentiating between the outer bull (25 points) and the inner bull or “double bull” (50 points).

4. Not Checking The Dart’s Full Position: 

A dart’s flight might cover the actual segment it landed on, leading to misreads.

5. Assuming A Miss:

If a dart lands outside the main scoring area, it doesn’t mean it’s always a miss. The thin outer ring is the double-scoring area.

6. Incorrect Score Tallying: 

Not adding up scores correctly due to misreads or mental calculation errors.

Tips On How To Avoid These Mistakes

In the absence of specifics, here are some general tips to avoid common mistakes in various areas:

Planning And Organization

Before embarking on a project or task, take the time to plan. This includes setting clear objectives, outlining steps, and allocating resources. Organizations can prevent many errors that arise from oversight or miscommunication.


Always review your work. Whether you’re writing, calculating, or designing, going over your work can help you spot errors you might’ve missed the first time.

Seek Feedback

Get a second pair of eyes on your project or task. Others can often spot mistakes that you may have missed.

Rest And Breaks

Fatigue can lead to mistakes. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and take regular breaks during work to refresh yourself.

Continuous Learning

Make an effort to learn from your mistakes. When something goes wrong, analyze what happened and think about how you can avoid repeating it in the future.

Practice Tips For Reading The Dart Board

Reading the dartboard effectively is vital for consistent play and improving your darts game. Here are some practice tips for reading the dartboard:

Understand The Layout

Before you can read the dartboard in the heat of a game, ensure you understand the layout. Know where each number is and its relation to the double, triple, and bullseye sections.

Focus On Your Target

Before throwing, take a moment to clearly focus on your intended target. The sharper your focus, the better your chances of hitting the mark.

Consistent Stance

Your body position plays a significant role in your line of sight to the board. Ensure you adopt a consistent and comfortable stance each time you throw.

Regular Eye Checks

If you find you’re squinting or struggling to see the board clearly, it might be time for an eye test. Even minor vision issues can throw off your game.

Practice Different Segments

Don’t just focus on the popular targets like triple 20. Practice aiming for all segments to become familiar with the entire board.

Suggestions For Exercises To Improve Dart Board Reading Skills

Improving dartboard reading skills involves familiarizing oneself with the board’s layout, numbers, and different scoring sections. This will help with targeting specific areas on the board more effectively.

Suggestions For Exercises To Improve Dart Board Reading Skills

1. Segment Familiarization

  • Single Segments: Start by throwing darts at each number from 1 to 20 in sequence.
  • Double Segments: Practice hitting the double ring for each number from 1 to 20.
  • Triple Segments: Target the triple ring for each number from 1 to 20.

2. Around The Clock

  • Throw darts at each number in order, from 1 to 20. Progress to the next number only when you hit the previous one. Once you’re proficient at this, do the same but with doubles, and then triples.

3. Chase The Dragon

  • Try to hit every double, starting from 1 and ending at the bullseye, in sequence.

4. Finishers

  • Set a target checkout score, e.g., 40 (double 20). Once successful, move on to 41, 42, and so on. This drill helps familiarize yourself with possible finishing combinations.


What Is The Bullseye On A Dartboard?

The bullseye is the center of the dartboard. It’s divided into two sections: the outer bullseye (also called “single bull”) scores 25 points, and the inner bullseye (or “double bull”) scores 50 points.

What Are Some Common Dart Games And Their Rules?

Some common dart games are ‘501’, ‘301’, and ‘Cricket’. Each game has unique rules, mostly revolving around scoring a certain number of points or hitting specific sections of the board.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to read dartboard is fun and easier than you might think! We learned about the different parts of the dartboard and the numbers on it.

Remember, doubles and trebles can change your score a lot. There are different types of dartboards, so always check which one you’re using.

Don’t forget the mistakes that beginners might make and practice a lot to get better.

About the author

Written By

John Dart

John Dart

Introducing the powerhouse behind Dartboard Hub! Leading the charge is John Dart, our 54-year-old Principal Author, and a true dart virtuoso. With a string of victories in competitive dart games, John brings unparalleled expertise to the table, ensuring top-notch insights for players of all levels. John’s journey is a testament to his exceptional skill and expertise in the world of darts.

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