The most important aspect of competitive darts is finishing. If you can’t hit the double, it doesn’t matter how good you are at hitting the treble 20 and scoring because you’ll never win a game!
While some games like around the board can be modified to include doubles for practice, 420 darts is a practice game specifically for working on doubles. It includes all doubles in order to improve your finishing and ultimately win more games.
Read on to learn how to play 420 darts, a practice routine guaranteed to improve your accuracy on doubles and ultimately, your finishing.
What is 420 Darts
This game is a way of sharpening your darts by aiming at a small target, in this case, just the doubles on the board are used and the target you aim to beat is 420, hence the name.
The game is useful to all who play the game, as it increases your ability to aim for specific targets, and in darts that is something you have to do on a regular basis if you want to achieve anything in the game.
How to Play 420 Darts
To play 420 darts is simply to aim for the doubles and count back your score from the target number of 420.
So the player aiming first throws 3 darts at double 1 and if they achieve this with any or all of their darts, then the score is taken from 420 and they then move on to double 2. You then follow all the doubles round the board to double 20 deducting the score as they go.
Once you surpass double 20, players then have a final chance to beat the 420 target by aiming for the bull with their last three darts.
There is no reason to panic if you fail to hit low numbers early in the game as the higher the doubles you throw for, the higher you can score to reduce your target score. When you consider there are well over 1000 points on offer from the doubles (not including the bull), then the target can be achieved by constant practice.
Example Game of 420 Darts
Player 1 has the first throw and so starts by aiming for double 1, they throw 3 darts but miss the double on all three darts, therefore they don’t score anything and he remains on 420.
Now player 2 takes their first throw at double 1 and hits the double with 2 of their darts, scoring them 4 points (2 + 2) and so their target score is 416 (420 – 4). The players continue around the board amassing points and reaching double 20 where they both now have reduced their target score to 60.
Player 1 throws 2 double 20s with their last 3 darts scoring them 80 points and so beating their target, while player 2 only achieves 1 double 20 scoring them 40 points and leaving them 20 points short.
However, with 3 darts allowed at the bull after completing all the doubles, player 2 scores with one of their darts at the bull scoring him 50 points and therefore like player 1 beating the 420 target.
What Is a Good Score in 420 Darts
The reason this darts game is called 420 (and I only learned this when adding up numbers myself) is that the doubles from 1 – 20 when added together total 420. Therefore, if you hit one double with every throw you’ll score 420 and have a final score of 0.
We can then use this number to determine a decent score for 420 darts. For casual players, hitting 50% of doubles within 3 darts is definitely a good thing to score for so if you make it to 210 and under for a final score, you can use this as a good benchmark.
This is skewed to larger numbers of course but we’re just using this as an average.
A good player should expect to hit a double with 1 of their 3 darts each throw so making it to 0 should be a good benchmark for a competitive player – especially when you also have the bullseye to throw for. Anything below 0 is going to be a good standard and means you can hit a double with more than 1 in 3 darts which is going to edge you towards a professional competitive standard.