Anatomy of a Dart
All darts have a point, a barrel, a shaft and a flight. The barrel is the main body of a dart and is manufactured in a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials. Shafts and flights are replaceable accessories which together provide aerodynamic stability. Both shafts and flights will wear out over time, depending on the amount of play, but replacements are widely available and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.
How to Play
Many different dart games can be played, but by far the most important and popular are 301, 501 and Cricket. In both 301 and 501, the basic principle is the subtraction of your score from the initial score of either 301 or 501 points, the winner being the first to reduce their score to exactly zero.
Basic rules and techniques:
- Each player has a turn consisting of three darts.
- The player stands behind the throw line.
- A throw is 3 darts.
- A 'bounce out' does not score.
- Stay relaxed and balanced.
- Use a steady and smooth action.
Since a double is required to finish in 301 and 501, you should try to create the easiest out shots by working your score toward specific numbers. This means knowing the combinations of scoring required to finish on the double (with softip darts, while playing 301 or 501, a double to end the game is not always required. So you may finish the game with a triple, double or single number).
BarrelBarrels are commonly available in a range of weights from 16 to 30 grams. Material, weight and style are barrel variables that impact your ability to consistently repeat your trajectories.
BDOIs the abbreviation for British Darts Organisation. Winmau dartboards are endorsed by the British Darts Organisation.
BedA bed is the section of a number shown on the face of the dartboard. 'Three in a bed' denotes that all three darts are in the same bed.
Bounce-OutWhen a dart hits the wire of a board or another dart and bounces out of the board. The Winmau Blade II achieves less than 0.1% bounce-outs. A bounce-out does not score in a steeltip game.
BrassEconomical and perfect for the beginner. However, they tend to be thicker in diameter.
BullseyeThe bullseye is the centre of a target. The score for a softip bullseye is a single amount, typically 50 points. The bullseye on a steeltip board may be either single (25) or double (50).
DartA dart is a small pointed missile, thrown in the game of darts. The dart should fly in a smooth arc. Various players have different throwing styles and it is sometimes necessary to change the length of the shaft to find the correct aerodynamic path.
DartboardA dartboard is a circular board marked with numbered segments, used as a target in the game of darts. Dartboards, or bristle dartboards, are hung on the wall so that the centre of the bullseye is exactly 5'8" (172.72cm) from the floor. Bristle dartboards can be used for either steeltip or softip play.
DoubletopThe double 20 on the dartboard.
FlightFlights are the 'feathers' of the dart and make the dart more aerodynamic.
Flight-ShapeFlights are available in various shapes and sizes. Smaller flights give less air resistance. Standard flights are typucally used for all weights of steeltip darts. Slim flights are most often used on softip darts. The lighter the dart, the smaller the flight needed to stabilise it when thrown.
Game-OnA call for silence at the start of the game.
LegA game in a match (typically 501) as 'the best of five legs', in which each leg is an entire game.
Nickel-SilverNickel-silver is a German silver that is similar to brass but slightly heavier, harder and stronge. It is also more costly than brass.
OcheOche is the line behind which the players stand when throwing. The throwing line, or oche, is 8' (243.84cm) for softip and 7'9¼" (236.85cm) for steeltip.
ShaftThe shaft is the portion of the dart that holds the flight.
SisalSisal comes from a Mexican plant, Agave Sisalana, with large fleshy leaves. The fibre made form this plant is used for cordage, ropes, dartboards, etc. Winmau dartboards are manufacturered from high quality sisal imported from Africa, which improves the lifespan of the product. Winmau converts the sisal into a super-dense form, which gives the board its quality build.
SoftipSoftip is the plastic point of a dart that is designed to slip into one of several hundred holes moulded into the face of the plastic board. Softip darts can also be used on a bristle dartboard.
Staple-FreeA staple free bullseye requires no fixings to hold it in place. Winmau's bulleye is specifically engineered to soften the bullseye area for longer life and to minimise bounce-outs.
TungstenTungsten darts are twice as heavy as brass or nickel-silver. They provide greater stability and tighter grouping. The best dart barrels are made out of high quality tungsten. Tungsten has a higher density than brass or nickel-silver, which gives the dart weight without bulk. Tungsten darts are made up of a mixture of tungsten and nickel-silver. The higher the percentage of tungsten, the slimmer the dart will be, resulting in increased high scoring chances.
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