Too often people conflate complexity with higher engagement. In other words, many people look down upon games with simple rules because they believe that simplicity can result in boredom.
This could not be further from the truth, and the many games that can be played with just a few darts and a dartboard stand as proof.
So, in celebration of simplicity and fun, today I’m going to teach you how to play Count Up Darts, one of the simplest and most engaging dart games.
Count Up Darts
Count Up Darts is one of the simplest games you can play with a few darts and a friend or two. The rules are very simple and straightforward, making this darts variant ideal for beginners, and those looking to relax and have some lighthearted fun.
Count Up Darts can also serve as a fantastic warm-up session, or even as part of a complete practice routine because it builds both precision and accuracy through repetition.
Whenever I play Count Up Darts by myself, I enter a zen-like meditative state that lets me unwind.
Regardless of how many players are in your Count Up Darts game, you are going to want to know the rules.
Count Up Darts Rules
As I mentioned above, Count Up Darts has one of the simplest and most uncomplicated sets of rules in the world of darts.
It is basically a race to a predetermined score, or to the highest score after a set number of darts
There are only a couple of rules at play.
Whether you play by yourself or with friends, the goal of Count Up Darts is to score the highest number of points possible within the established point or round limit.
The player or players each take three throws per round.
The score is tallied at the end of each round and added to the cumulative score over the duration of the game.
The game ends at the end of the pre-established number of rounds (typically 8 rounds, or 24 throws), or when one of the players reaches the pre-established point threshold (typically 300).
Scoring Count Up Darts
Scoring a game of Count Up darts is also extremely simple. After each round, you just tally the player’s total score.
Doubles and triples count as their normal value.
For example, if a player hits a 13, a double 4, and a triple 6, that player’s total score for the round will be 39.
Hits on the bullseye count for 50 points, as usual.
Tips For Winning Count Up Darts
Like many other dart variants, you can pick up the rules of Count Up darts and start playing by yourself or with friends in a matter of minutes. However, mastering the game will come down to how good a player you are.
The key to succeeding at Count Up is to play to your strength as a dart player. Meaning you should aim for spots on the dartboard that are going to allow you to high the highest score possible in the shortest amount of time.
Remember that there are no checkouts in Count Up. You want to hit big numbers at all times. Therefore, if you are a beginner with very little control, you will be better off simply worrying about hitting the board.
On average, a dart thrown randomly at the dartboard will net you about 12 points. So don’t fret about hitting triple 20s if you don’t possess the skills to do so regularly.
If you feel comfortable with your control but still not confident in your ability to hit the triple 20 consistently, then your best chance to score high is to aim for the left of the bullseye, where you will find 14, 11, 8, 16, and 7. This will provide you with consistently high scores.
If you are deadly accurate and have ample precision and accuracy, then play to that strength. Aim for triples and doubles, and try to get the highest score possible per round. A triple 20 is a great target for obvious reasons but only go for that if you can consistently land it. Otherwise, a miss will net you a measly 1 or 5 points.
Count Up Variations
You can select a target score or a target number of rounds with the highest scorer being declared the winner after all rounds are done.
When you are playing to a target score you can opt to finish on that number exactly. Anything past the target is a bust and no darts count for the player that round. I strongly recommend playing like this as it gives the down player a second chance, or even more if the high player misses multiple times.
Whether you are playing solo, vs, or on a team, Count Up is a great game to practice your 180s or even teach new players. But it also has the potential to turn highly competitive, regardless of how simple it may seem.