How To Play Chase The Dragon Darts

Chase The Dragon Darts

Chase the Dragon is becoming more popular due to its relatively simple rule set yet high skill-ceiling.

The catch is you will be focusing mostly on triples. In fact, it is one of the only games that has such a strong focus on triples, making it the perfect match for more advanced players looking to advance their game.

Similar to Around the Clock, Chase The Dragon has players attempting to hit a sequential order of pre-determined targets to best their opponents.

If you are looking for a new and exciting way to improve your triples, let’s learn Chase the Dragon!

Quick Look At Chase The Dragon Darts
Number of players 1-Unlimited
Numbers in play 10-20, and the Bullseye
Goal Be the first player to hit the trebles of 10 to 20 in order, then both bulls

Chase The Dragon Darts Rules

Just like Around the Clock, when you gear up to play a round of Chase the Dragon you can turn off the part of your brain that worries about all that pesky math. Forget about adding, multiplying, and subtracting because Chase the Dragon is ALL about pure skill.

And boy, will you have to bring it!

The goal of the game is for each player to hit the trebles of each segment starting on 10 and ending on 20. Then the outer and inner bull before claiming his or her victory!

Trebles must be hit in a sequential order. For example, a player cannot hit a triple 14 without having hit a triple 13 first. If by chance, a player manages to hit a target out of sequential order, that dart is null, and the player must continue with the number they were supposed to hit.

The main difference between Chase the Dragon and a game of Around the Clock is that whereas in Around the Clock ONLY the numerical value counts, in Chase the Dragon the win-condition is intricately tied to hitting the trebles. This means that double and single scores are not valid.

Each player will have three darts per turn to score the corresponding triple.
If a valid triple is hit on the first or second throws, the player may use his or her leftover darts to score on the next number in the sequential order.

If a player is unable to hit the corresponding target with any of his or her darts, the turn is over, and the next player gets their turn.

The Chase is over when a player catches the dragon by hitting all the corresponding trebles and hitting the inner and outer bull respectively.

How To Score Chase The Dragon Darts

Because a typical game of Catch the Dragon is only played with two players (you can play with more), it is relatively easy to keep a tidy “score.”

Write down the name of both players on the top of the chalkboard.

Down the sides write down the numeric value of each treble, starting with number 10 and ending on number 20. Underneath, write down “Outer Bull” and “Bull’s Eye.”

Each time a player scores by hitting the appropriate target, make the corresponding mark under their name.

Just like in a game of Around The Clock, there is no score per se; what matters here is the chase and subsequent “catch” of the dragon.

The first player to hit each treble and bull in the sequence is the winner.

Chase The Dragon Darts Variations

  • My favorite variation is to give a player an additional three darts if a target is hit. Effectively making it so the game can be one in a single round.
  • If you are looking to extend the length of the game, you can always include all trebles on the board; starting with number 1 and ending on number 20.
  • If one player is considerably better than the other, you can consider a handicap by having the better player start at a lower number, and the other player/players start at the standard 10.

Full disclosure, if there is a larger skill gap between players, it can be somewhat frustrating for some. Chase the Dragon is a challenging game, and skilled players will always have a clear-cut advantage over less experienced players.

However, if you possess the skill, catching the Dragon, especially in a close game is so, so gratifying.


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  1. Can I suggest that the JDC Challenge is a great alternative to chasing the dragon, which only concentrates on trebles. The game provides a score that can be kept and compared, plus it utilities, as part of the challenge, trying to hit doubles with one throw. I have found that I am finishing games now that I used to miss such as going for 40 out, hitting the x1, and following up with x19.

    I started doing Bob`s 27 but wasn`t good enough to get all the way around the board each time, so scoring (the Measuring in S.M.A.R.T.) was littered with zeros. I change the rules to keep the score from 0 and do every segment, but there were a lot of negative scores so I further switched to “420” which always I’ve scored. Same as Bob`s 27 except start at zero and only count the scores.

    I am using a spreadsheet to record all my scores including all my 501 darts. I set a 30 dart limit. Finishing in 30 or less is a win, everything else is a loss. The 30 dart limit is suitable for my current level of skill but, should I improve I can lower that target (it used to be 36 darts) I am a first-year player, I`m 70 and live in France. My nearest public dartboard is a 40-minute drive away so practice is confined to the Special Headquarters for Excellence in Darts. S.H.E.D. I have enjoyed this week and have changed quite a lot in my technique and mental attitude. Thanks

    • In 501 I play against “Bob”. Bob gets 50 points a turn, and always closes ‘1’.

      .. so I’m essentially giving myself 33 darts. 😉

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