Prisoner Darts, just like Prisoner Volleyball, is a wild race to the finish line. During this race, all players involved can easily find themselves at the mercy of their opponents. There are plenty of reversals and falling too far behind can make victory impossible.

This increasingly popular game is great for beginners and perfect for groups of all sizes. Although to be fair, the more players you bring along, the more fun you will have. Let’s learn how to play prisoner dart!

Prisoner Darts Rules

Prisoner Darts is a race around the dartboard, a variation of around the clock.

You can use any method to decide who goes first.

Each player starts at the number one and continues to the next number clockwise when they hit their target segment.

Only the triple, double, and single-segment between the two are in play. The Bullseye and the inner single ring are called the prison.

If a player misses the board completely or the dart bounces out, they will not be allowed to use that dart on their next turn. They can resume throwing it again on the turn after.

If a dart lands in the prison section it stays in the board. That player or any other player can now capture that dart on their turn by landing one of their own darts in the playable segment for that number (between the double and triple).

Once a dart is captured, it becomes that players to use for the remainder of the game, unless of course, it ends up back in prison.

If a dart lands in the bullseye, it can be captured by the next player that hits their proper scoring segment.

Players who lose prisoners to other players will have to continue the game with fewer darts per turn.

This means that if you are good at targeting prisoners, you can easily end up playing with 4, 5, 6, or even 7 darts per turn. The ability to capture prisoners consistently is what will help secure a win.

The first person that scores on every single number, 1 through 20, in order, is the winner.

It is important to remember the clockwise progression of numbers on the dartboard:

1, 18, 4, 13, 6, , 10, 15, 2, 17, 3, 19, 7, 16, 8, 11, 14, 9, 12, 5, 20.

Scoring A Game Of Prisoner Darts

Prisoner Darts is very easy to score. Because there are no checkouts are involved, no total to be counted, and no quick math is required to score the game. In fact, the only thing that needs tracking from round to round is which number each player last scored a valid throw.

Therefore, when played in small groups you can rely on everyone simply keeping mental tabs of their specific position on the board. However, with larger groups, we strongly suggest you mark everything on the board.

If you have room for it, writing names or initials across the top then mark the numbers down under their name on the scoreboard as each player gets to them.

If you have many players and can’t make it fit, you can mark the names down the left. There is a little less room for keeping track of the numbers and it may require some erasing, but it works just as well.

Prisoner Darts Tips & Strategies

Since the rules of Prisoner Darts are so simple, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this game lacked depth and strategy. However, the truth of the matter is that strategy will play a very important role in your success.

It goes without saying that the more accurate your throws, the smaller the chance of losing your darts to other players. The accuracy of your aim will also increase the chance that you will be able to capture a prisoner from the board.

You want to capture the prisoner in almost every situation, especially early on. The only exception I can think of is when someone is getting close to the end and you need to focus on catching up.

Just going fast and ignoring prisoners can get you a quick win but it does come with its risks. If you start losing darts near the end and some of your opponents have a half dozen shots, you may find yourself being overtaken just as quickly.

Prisoner Darts Variations

Because of the large target area, this game is well suited for beginners or casual players. There are a few variations you can use to make things more difficult or even combine a few if you like.

You can drop the single segment between the double and treble as a playable area and make it a prison as well. This makes the game better suited for high-level players and makes an amazingly fun way to practice doubles and trebles.

Two shots in a playable segment to release a prisoner makes things a little bit more difficult to get that extra dart.

Hitting the bull to release a prisoner in the bull. This makes it very high risk as any miss will result in your dart being captured as well.

Making this a team event with large groups can also be fun. Having teammates that can pick up the slack for less skilled players makes sure things keep moving.