When you first come across the game of darts, either playing it or watching live PDC games, you’ll soon notice a ton (see what I did there) of darts terms and sayings that seem to make no sense.
I’ve researched almost every single dart term or phrase and compiled this glossary below. For ease of viewing, I’ve split this article into two parts. T
he first part will be the most common and popular darting terms – I’ve selected 13 of these – and the second part will be a full A – Z glossary of almost every dart term out there.
If there’s a term or phrase you don’t understand in darts, this is the place to find it.
Dart Terms and Slang (Darts Glossary)
Most Common and Essential Dart Terms
Average – Average scored by three darts thrown or over a leg, set, and game of darts. (See ways to calculate averages here)
Barrel – The part of a dart that players hold/grip. These usually come as tungsten but can also be brass, nickel, or steel.
Bull or Bullseye – The bull is the center part of the dartboard. It comprises two sections, the outer bull (colored green) and the inner bull (colored red). The outer bull is worth 25 points while the inner bull is worth 50.
Bust – A bust in darts is when a player’s score is reduced to zero without being a checkout. An example being if you have 19 remaining, but hit a score of 20 meaning no checkout is possible.
Bounce-Out – A bounce-out occurs when a dart hits a wire or another dart and bounces out of the board. Bounce-outs do not count towards your score.
Check-Out – Check-out is when you hit the exact amount of points that you need to win the game.
Cover Shot – A cover shot in darts is where your intended target is blocked by a dart so you switch to a different number. The most popular cover shot is treble 19 when treble 20 is blocked.
Double – The outer ring of the dartboard is worth double points for the corresponding number. A double is used to check-out in a game of X01.
Leg – In darts, a leg means a single game in a set or match.
Maximum – A maximum in darts is a score of 180.
Oche – Pronounced ‘ockey’, the oche is the throw line in darts. In a professional game, the oche is also a platform leading up to the board.
Set – A set in darts is used to track legs. A typical game of X01 darts will be made up of legs, sets, and game.
Treble (or Triple) – The inner ring on a dartboard is worth three times the score of the corresponding single.
Darts A – Z Full Glossary of Terms
Aces – Hitting a Double one in an X01 game.
Arrows – Another term used to describe darts. Primarily used in the UK as a replacement word for darts.
Archer – Someone that throws fast, smooth, and accurate darts.
Baby Ton – A baby ton is used to describe a score of 95 in one throw. This is scored by hitting five 19s in a throw or a treble 20, single 20, and treble 5.
Baby Fish – A 130 checkout. Scored by hitting treble 20, single 20, and Bull.
Bag of Nails or a Bucket of Nails – Means a very poor throw when a player hits three single 1s in a throw. .
Bag of Nuts – Bag O’ Nuts means scoring 45 points in a single round. Named after a prize offered at a fairground
Bail Out – Usually referred to when a player hits a treble with their third dart after scoring a low score with the first two darts. An example is usually single 1, single 1, treble 20.
Basement – Basement refers to the bottom of the board and hitting a double 3.
Bed – A bed is a particular section of the dartboard, usually used in the context of a double or treble bed. A popular saying is three darts in a bed for a 180 score.
Big Fish – A 170 checkout, the maximum checkout you can finish.
Black Eye or a Back Hat – A Black Eye or a Black Hat happens when somebody hits a double bullseye with all three darts in a single round.
Bombs – Bombs are heavy, thick, and relatively old-fashioned darts. These are not really used in the modern game.
Break – Breaking a player’s throw is when you win the leg against the darts (throw second).
Bulls Out – A game of darts that is won by hitting the inner bull is called a Bulls Out
Business Trip – A Business Trip in a game of Cricket is called scoring three single marks in a single round.
Carolina Leaner – A player who leans as far over the oche as possible to gain an advantage.
Chalking – Chalking or Chalker is the person that scores a game of darts. Chalking means keeping track of the score on a chalkboard.
Champagne Breakfast – A Champagne Breakfast is where you hit treble 20, treble 5, and treble 1.
Chips – Scoring 26 points by hitting a single 20, a single 5, and a single 1 in a round.
Chucker – A chucker is a player that throws their dart with no aim or accuracy. It can occasionally be used to reference someone who plays darts.
Circle It – When a player scores less than 10 points in a throw, the scorer will be asked to “circle it” just to highlight to everyone what a bad throw it is.
Classic – Is scoring a 26 points by hitting a single 20, a single 5, and a single 1 in a round.
Clock – A term used to reference the dartboard. This term is primarily used in the game around the clock darts.
Cork – The center of the board – bullseye. This is because a cork was used for a bullseye in early dartboard manufacturing.
Cracked – Cracked is when you hit a single while aiming at a double.
Cricket Darts – Cricket darts is a popular darts game that is primarily played in North America and Asia.
Dartitis – Dartitis is a term in darts when a player loses the motor skills needed to accurately throw a dart. This is a recognized medical condition and is similar to the “yips” in golf.
Dead Eye – A Deadeye on a soft-tip dartboard is what is called the center hole in the bullseye.
Devil – A devil dart is hitting treble 6 to represent (666).
Diddle For The Middle – Also known as bull-off. Diddle for the middle is the throw when players start a game to determine who will throw first, closest to bull goes first.
Double Bull – Double bull in darts is called the most inner part of the bullseye (red).
Double In (DI) – A Double In is a variant of X01 by hitting the double area of a number to start.
Double Out (DO) – A Double Out is winning a game of X01 by hitting the double area of a number.
Double Top – Double Top is referred to as the double 20.
Double Trouble – Unable to hit the double in order to win the game
Downstairs – The lower portion of the dartboard, typically the 19s or 3s.
Easy In – An Easy In is when you start a game of X01 by not having to hit the double area of the number first. Same as straight in and is the default for X01 games.
Easy Out – An Easy Out is ending a game of X01 without having to hit the double area of a number. This is typically used for beginner players.
Fallout – A Fallout in darts is when you hit a decent score despite not aiming for it. As an example, you aim for the treble 20 but hit a treble 18. This is also known as a fluke shot.
Fat – The “Fat” is the largest area of a number that is found between the double and the triple.
Feathers – A way to describe dart flights. Flights used to be made with feathers so this is an outdated term but most players understand the reference.
Flatline – A Flatline in Cricket is called when you miss on all three darts.
Flight – A key component of a dart. The dart flight (wings) is placed on the end of a dart to provide aerodynamics and allow the dart to hit the dartboard tip first.
Game On – Called by the referee to signal silence from the crowd and to start the game.
Game Shot – A Game Shot in darts is called by the referee to indicate the winning shot.
Grouping – When darts land within close proximity of the target number. Good grouping is usually the sign of an accurate dart player.
Hail Mary – Hail Mary means that the third dart that scores a high triple when the previous two darts both scored low.
Hat Trick – A Hat Trick in darts is called hitting the bull with all three darts in a single round.
High Ton – A High Ton in is a score equal to or greater than 150 in a single throw.
Hot Toddy – A player that plays well despite being heavily intoxicated. (See also – can dart players drink alcohol)
Island – In darts, the island is the playable area of a dartboard.
Irish Ton – Hitting a score of single 1, single 1, and treble 1. If this were one segment over in the 20 bed, the score would be 100.
Iron Man – Referred to a player that finishes a game with consecutive doubles. As an example, double 20, double 20 to check-out a score of 80.
Leg Shot – A player that hit the checkout to win a leg.
Lipstick – In a game of darts lipstick usually means hitting the triple 20.
Low Ton – A Low Ton in Darts is scoring between 100 and 150 points in a round in a game of X01.
Madhouse – A Madhouse is another way to say hitting a Double one in a X01 game of darts. This is because going for this number can drive you crazy (any missed dart inside will result in a bust).
Marker – A dart that is used as a guide. Is usually referred to as a marker when it lands close to a double and offers a good guide for a follow-up dart.
Masonry Darts – When a player misses the board completely. This is considered worse than carpentry darts.
Match Dart – A dart thrown to win the match.
Maverick – A player that throws very unconventional darts. This could be someone left with a score of 60 and instead of taking a checkout of single 20, double 20, they instead throw treble 12, double 12.
Maximum – Maximum is another name for the triple 20 in darts.
Maximum Checkout – A maximum checkout in darts is a score of 170. This is hit by scoring treble 20, treble 20, bullseye.
Mugs Away – Mugs Away in darts means that the player who loses the game will begin the next game.
Nail – Another name for 1s.
Nish – When a player finishes with two singles of the same value, ie single 1, double 1.
One Hundred and Eighty – Called by the referee when a maximum is hit.
Perfect Game – When a player hits a nine-darter. The maximum finish you can achieve in a leg of darts.
Popcorn – When darts are grouped so closely that it “pops” the dart flight out.
PPD – The average “points per dart” thrown.
Rail – A rail is called the wiring which forms the beds on the dartboard.
Redeemer – A redeeming dart that makes up for two poor darts, usually a treble 20 being hit with the last dart.
Robin Hood – A Robin Hood in darts is when one dart lands in another darts flight/stem, usually splitting the flight in the process.
Round – A Round in darts is considered the player’s turn where they throw the three darts.
Round the Clock – A popular darts game where players throw in numerical order around the board.
Scud – A scud in darts is missing the intended number but still benefiting by hitting another number that’s either high in score or leaves you on a finish.
Seeding – A player’s position in a tournament, usually based on the probability of them winning the tournament. The number 1 seed is typically the tournament favorite.
Shaft – Shaft is called the part of the dart which holds the flight.
Shanghai – A Shanghai in darts is where you hit a single, treble, and double of the same number in one throw. Shanghai darts is also a popular darts game.
Single Out (SO) or Straight Out – An Easy Out is ending a game of X01 without having to hit the double area of a number.
Single In (SI) or Straight In – An Easy In is when you start a game of X01 by not having to hit the double area of the number first.
Shotgun Blast – Throwing all three darts at once, this is not allowed in regulation games.
Shut-Out – When a player loses a game without scoring a single point.
Slop – A Slop is a lucky throw. The dart missed what it was aimed to hit, however, it accidentally scored better on another target. This is similar to Scud in darts.
Small – Small is called the area of the number which is situated between the bull and the triple.
Spider Web – This is another name for the wiring of the dartboard.
Spray and Pray – Darts thrown aimlessly with the hope of getting a score.
Splitting the 11 – Splitting the 11 means to throw a dart and have it land between the digits of the number 11.
Steady – Steady in darts means to score 60 points in a single round. Players that hit this frequently are also known as steady players. You may also hear this in reference to a “steady ton”.
Sticks – Another name for the darts, similar to the arrows term mentioned earlier.
Straight Nine – In Cricket doing a Straight Nine means hitting the triple 18, the triple 19, and the triple 20.
That’s Darts – When something unexpected happens during a game, the response is usually “that’s darts”.
Three in a Bed – Three in a bed refers to when all three darts land in the same area of the same number. The most common example of three in a bed is hitting a 180, though it refers to any section of the board.
Throw Line – Throwline is the area from which you throw your darts. This is also referred to as toe line or oche.
Toe Line – Also known as the throw line or oche.
Ton – A top is scoring a hundred points in one round.
Ton 80 – Another name for a score of 180.
Ton + – Used to describe a score of 101 or more. A good example being a ton + finish needed to reference a checkout of 101 – 170.
Tops – Also referred to as double top, tops are a double 20 check-out.
Tough Darts – Tough darts are said when a player has a very good throw and was unlucky to miss the targeted number. Usually said on a closely missed double.
Trophy Darts – This is a compliment for a very good and accurate throwing.
Tungsten – Tungsten is a commonly used material on modern dart barrels. It’s lightweight but dense and tough allowing for a high-quality barrel to be manufactured.
Upstairs – The upper half of the dartboard is frequently called upstairs.
Velocity – The speed at which a dart is thrown.
Wet feet (or Paddling) – Wet feet in darts is when you are standing too close to the board and not behind the throw line.
White Horse – White horse in a game of cricket is when a player scores three trebles on three different numbers.
Wiring – Wiring means when a dart bounces off a wire.
I’m sure you can agree this is a pretty extensive list covering 120+ popular/common dart terms and slang. If you have any additions that you think I should include, please feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com) and I’ll make sure they get added to this list.