What's a Dartboard? Understanding Its Structure and Purpose

A dartboard is a crucial component of the game of darts, serving as the target players aim for when throwing their darts. Its design, structure, and scoring system are integral to the gameplay, and understanding these aspects can enhance your appreciation and skill in the game. In this post, we'll explore what a dartboard is, its standard features, and how it contributes to the game of darts.

What is a Dartboard?

A dartboard is a circular board used as the target in the game of darts. It is typically made from compressed sisal fibers, but some dartboards are made of cork or coiled paper. The standard dartboard used in most official games and tournaments is known as the "clock" or "standard" dartboard.

Structure of a Dartboard

A standard dartboard measures 18 inches (45.72 cm) in diameter and is divided into 20 numbered sections, or segments, arranged in a non-sequential order. Here are the key components of a dartboard:

  1. Numbers and Segments: The dartboard features the numbers 1 through 20, arranged in a specific pattern to create a balanced scoring challenge.
  2. Bullseye:
    • Inner Bullseye: The small circle at the center of the board, worth 50 points.
    • Outer Bullseye: The ring surrounding the inner bullseye, worth 25 points.
  3. Treble Ring: A narrow band located halfway between the bullseye and the edge of the board. Hitting this ring scores three times the segment's number.
  4. Double Ring: The outermost narrow band on the board. Hitting this ring scores double the segment's number.
  5. Single Segments: The larger areas between the double and treble rings, scoring the face value of the number.

How a Dartboard Works

When playing darts, players take turns throwing darts at the dartboard, aiming to score points based on where their darts land. The dartboard's design, with its various scoring zones, adds complexity and strategy to the game. Here's a brief overview of how scoring works:

  • Hitting the Bullseye: The bullseye is a prime target, with the inner bullseye scoring 50 points and the outer bullseye scoring 25 points.
  • Hitting the Treble Ring: This ring offers the highest possible scores for a single throw, with points being tripled.
  • Hitting the Double Ring: This ring is crucial for finishing games, especially in formats like "501" where players must end on a double.

Types of Dartboards

While the standard sisal dartboard is the most common, there are other types of dartboards available:

  1. Electronic Dartboards: These boards feature electronic scoring and are often used in casual play. They can include various game modes and sound effects.
  2. Magnetic Dartboards: Designed for children or beginners, these boards use magnetic darts, making them safer.
  3. Bristle Dartboards: Made from sisal fibers, these boards are self-healing, meaning the holes left by darts close up after removal, prolonging the board's life.

Setting Up a Dartboard

To ensure a fair and standard game, a dartboard must be set up correctly:

  • Height: The bullseye should be 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) from the floor.
  • Throw Line (Oche): Players must stand behind a line (oche) 7 feet 9.25 inches (2.37 meters) from the front of the dartboard.


A dartboard is much more than just a target; it's a finely crafted instrument that brings strategy, skill, and excitement to the game of darts. Whether you're a casual player or a serious competitor, understanding the dartboard's structure and purpose is essential to improving your game and enjoying this timeless activity. So next time you play, you'll have a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of the dartboard and how it enhances the game of darts.


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