When you first see the scoreboard, castle darts looks long, complicated, and confusing, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Castle darts is a simple elimination-style game that gets more fun when you have a few people. Just like in the times of castles and kingdoms, you may need to form alliances to take down your enemy, and there will be betrayal.
The scoring does take some setting up, but it will be worth it, I promise. Let’s learn castle darts!
Castle Darts Rules
To play castle darts, each player is given a number on the board. The number must be unique to each player. You can determine the number for each player by having them throw a dart at the board with their off-hand. Wherever it lands, is their number
Once all players have been assigned a number, play can begin.
Each round, the players get 3 darts to try to hit their number, and “build” their castle. If they are able to hit their number the marker will mark a check in one of their castle bricks. Doubles count as two bricks and triples count as three. So it is possible to score 9 bricks in one round (three triples)
At any time, a player may decide to knock down an opponent’s castle by landing their dart in the opponent’s number. If a dart lands in an opponent’s number, a check is removed from their castle. The same rules for doubles and triples apply.
The first player to build out all 15 blocks of their castles is the winner. If you have many players you can continue to determine 2nd and 3rd place if you wish.
Scoring Castle Darts
The hardest part about castle darts is setting up the scoreboard. You will need to draw a 15 square pyramid for each player. This will act as the player’s “castle”. The “castle” will have a five square base and one square top. It should look like this
Once you have a castle drawn for each player you can write a players name above each of the castles. Once the first round to assign numbers is complete. You will also write their number beside their name.
Once gameplay has begun, you will wait for the player to throw all three of their darts, then tally up their score. You then check off one box for every point they scored, starting in the lower left of their castle. (I just use a dash rather than a check, as long as the box is clearly marked)
If any of the darts lands in another player’s number, you will need to sum that separately and remove any checks from the corresponding castle.
Once a player fills all 15 boxes of their castle, the game is over and that player is the winner.
If you don’t mind changing up the rules a bit, you can draw the pyramid below to act as a castle. It adds one extra brick, but it is way quicker and easier to draw
Castle Tips & Strategies
Teaming up on better players is the key to longer, more balanced games. This is the fun of Castle.
A player’s score can not drop below zero. Don’t waste your darts trying to take out opponents with no bricks.
If you are planning to take out a better players castle, don’t wait too long. Remember, it is possible to score up to 9 points per round. If they are good at triples, try to keep them below 6, or gang up on them and knock them back down to zero.
If you can aim well with your off hand, try to get a starting number away from your opponents. This will ensure no stray darts take out your bricks.
Castle Darts Variations
I do not know of any Castle variations, but I would love to hear any ideas you have.