If you are tired of playing the same two or three dart games, I might have something for you. Killer is an exciting and dynamic variation of darts that is perfect for players looking to add some variety to their play sessions.

Killer is a fun game that every darts aficionado should learn. It is one of the unique games that works well with an odd number of players. Killer is also perfect for larger groups of players since it tends to play rather quickly and there is an exciting level of light-hearted tension throughout.

There are various ways to play Killer darts. Generally speaking; however, the game resembles the hoops game of HORSE. In that regard, Killer darts is a competitive elimination variant in which you try to knock out your opponents from play, as opposed to beating them by reaching a particular score.

The rules of Killer are deceptively simple, but they encourage a surprising amount of tactics and strategy. Let’s get down to business though and learn how to play Killer.

Quick Look At Killer Darts
Number of players 3 to unlimited (for more players use teams)
Determined in the opening round All numbers on the board and the bullseye.
Goal Hit your double three times to become a killer, then eliminate other players by hitting their number.

Killer Darts Rules

Three main phases make up a standard game of Killer.

The first phase is composed of determining what “your number” will be. This is the number that other players will have to hit to eliminate you.

Every player takes one shot at the dartboard. This preliminary throw must be made using the player’s non-dominant hand. So left-handed players throw with their right hand, and right-handed players do so using their weaker left hand.

The number hit by each player during this phase is henceforth assigned to him or her.

No two players are to be assigned the same number. If during this phase, a player hits a number already assigned to someone else, he or she must throw again.

After each player has been assigned a distinct number, players will switch back to their natural hand for the remainder of the game.

The second phase of gameplay is to become a killer. It is the goal of everyone to become a killer as you must become a killer before you can start to eliminate other players.

To become a killer you must hit the double section of “your number.” Depending on the skill level of the players, you may want to make it the rules to hit your double three times before becoming a killer.

Once you become a killer, it is time for you to move on to the 3rd phase of play. Note it is possible to eliminate another player before they become a killer so earning killer status as soon as possible gives you an advantage.

During the third phase of the game is where the real fun starts and the killing begins.

During each round, the killers will have three attempts to score against the other players by hitting their respective doubles.

When a double is hit, one of the victims lives is removed from the board. You should use caution after achieving killer status as landing in your own double will also result in one of your lives being taken.

Even after some players reach the third phase, non-killer players still have three attempts to hit their doubles in order to gain the killer status themselves.

The game ends when only one player remains with lives on the board.

How To Score Killer Darts

You will list each players name or initial down the left side of the board in any order. Directly beside their name, you will also mark their number. Once the players and numbers are confirmed, you can then draw a dividing line straight down the board.

On the other side of the dividing line, you will draw three little 1’s beside each player’s name signifying their lives remaining. Make sure there is enough space between each life that you can erase with ease.

Now you are ready to start actual play. When a player becomes a killer, you will mark a K beside there name to indicate the fact.

Each time a killer takes a life you remove it from the other player’s life supply on the board. The last player with a life/lives on the board wins.

Killer Darts Variations

If what you just read is not how you play killer, that is normal. There are dozens of variations of this game from all around the world to fit player preferences and skill levels and enjoyability.

When playing in larger groups, where differences in player skill are more likely to become an issue, it is common practice to handicap the more skilled players by making them score triples to become Killer and score against other players.

You can play with six lives. This is especially useful if the average skill level of your group is high and you want to extend the game to last longer.

You can play killer in pairs or even groups of threes. These variants typically take much longer to complete and should only be used if you are looking for a lengthy challenge.

For added challenge and extended play, you can play a game where there is only one killer at a time. The other players try to obtain killer status by hitting the killers double (once or 3 times it’s up to you)

The blind killer is another popular variation where you do not know which number belongs to who. This works best when you have quite a few people. Shoot when no one is looking, write your number on a paper then when everyone is done (and there are no doubles), transfer the numbers to the board. In this variation, everyone starts off a killer.

Tips For Killer Darts

  • Because of its highly combative nature, Killer lends itself to various forms of strategy, which can be used to gain a competitive edge over some of your opponents.
  • In larger groups, if you find yourself playing against a particularly skilled and ruthless killer, it could be beneficial to form alliances amongst the less experienced players in a concerted attempt to eliminate the most dangerous threat early. However, this is a risky move because if you manage to upset the killer, he or she might decide to single out a given player and methodically eliminate the alliance one by one.
  • If you have good aim with your off hand, you can aim away from other players numbers. When the killing phase begins, you will be less likely to hit your own number by accident.
  • Avoid killing players with assigned numbers that are adjacent to your own. If you miss their number and hit your own instead, you will be effectively doing your opponent’s dirty work.
  • Avoid hitting the bulls-eye during the first phase of the game unless you are confident in your play group’s skill level. A bulls-eye raises the difficulty of the game and can turn a fun, quick activity into a frustrating slog since few players will be skilled enough to eliminate you during the killing phase.

Do you play killer differently? We’d love to hear your variation. Let us know in the comments below.

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