Depending on how long you’ve been playing darts for, you’ll either be used to a standard bristle dartboard or electronic dartboard with the same design (number 20 at the top of the board with doubles and trebles).
While you could be forgiven for assuming this is the only type of dartboard on the market, you might be surprised to know that there are a number of different dartboard variations. In this article, we are therefore going to tackle the common question that many beginner dart players come across which is:
What are the different types of dartboards?
The Standard Sisal Dartboard
The standard dartboard design used by most dart players is called the Old London Dartboard style or Clock Dartboard. Its most distinct feature is the inclusion of treble and double rings, with two bullseyes in the centre. Around the scoring area is the number ring, which is out of bounds.
In 1932, a manufacturing company called “NODOR” started using sisal fiber for dartboards while retaining the Old London design. Since then, sisal has been used for competition-quality boards due to their low maintenance and high durability. With sisal, the darts are unlikely to bounce out and will stay on the board.
Like other prominent dartboards, the standard dartboard uses a certain numbering system. The sequencing is as follows:
20, 1, 18, 4, 13, 6, 10, 15, 2, 17, 3, 19, 7, 16, 8, 11, 14, 9, 12, 5.
This sequence minimizes lucky shots and rewards good aim. All the 20 scoring sections and the bullseyes are cramped into a circle that measures 18-inch across in diameter.
There are other kinds of boards that existed (and still exist) before the Old London dartboard design was invented. Other dartboard variations are still used on regional casual games. Here are ten other different types of dartboards.
10 Different Dartboard Variations
1. Ipswich Board (London Five)
The Ipswich Board or the London Five makes calculating scores easier than other boards. Its numbering system only consists of 5, 10, 15, and 20. All of these are distributed around the board in an alternating matter. Just like the standard board, the Ipswich uses both double bullseyes, as well as a treble and double rings.
2. Yorkshire Board
What’s interesting about the Yorkshire Board is that it precedes the London Clock. However, it doesn’t have a treble ring and a double bullseye. Although the bullseye is still worth 50 points, it is smaller than any standard bullseye right now. Unfortunately, Yorkshire’s popularity has come to an end when boards with treble became the “standard” by the late 1920s.
3. Nodor Lincoln Board
Nodor’s Lincoln-style dartboard is very similar to that of a Yorkshire board. It has no trebles, small bullseye, and standard numbering sequence around the scoring area. Lincoln boards don’t have another color, only the Lincolnshire all-black face is used as design.
Most players think that it’s quite difficult to aim with this board. But compared to Yorkshire or even the standard board, Lincoln has a bigger playing field.
4. Electronic Board
This type of dartboard is relatively new and is often for people who like to play dart games online. Just set up the app that comes with it, and you’re ready to play. Electronic dartboards work when the dart touches a sensor, which activates the included software and tallies the score automatically. Although convenient, this type of board is only available for soft-tip dart players.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is the most common board used in the states and is one of the key reasons why you don’t see more American players on the professional darts circuit (which is dominated by English and European players).
5. Manchester Log-end Dartboard
At one glance, you might mistake the Manchester Log-end board with the Lincoln board. Both use an all-black face design and don’t have a treble. However, one spottable difference is the bullseye: Manchester Log-end used two bullseyes. This board’s playing field is not that big (only 10 inches in diameter) and has a different number system.
4, 20, 1, 16, 6, 17, 8, 12, 9, 14, 5, 19, 2, 15, 3, 18, 7, 11, 10, 13
This is the most difficult board that you can practise on and it’s coincidentally the board where I first learned to play the game. The doubles on this board are incredibly narrow so you need to hone your accuracy in order to be any good when playing on this board. Just check out the video below to see how narrow the doubles really are…
6. Irish Black Dartboard
Just like Manchester Log-end and Lincoln, the Irish Black Dartboard doesn’t have a treble and uses an all-black face. What differentiates this board from the two previously mentioned variants is that it follows the standard size. While Lincoln uses a 15 inches diameter, the Irish Black has 13 inches diameter.
Non-regional players would often mistake the Lincoln, Manchester Log-end, and Irish Black dartboards as the same. And that’s quite forgivable, especially due to how similar these three boards look.
7. The Grimsby
The Grimsby dartboard is known for its 28 scoring segments and the eight circles outside its playing area. These eight circles are located at the top, bottom, left, and right corners (two circles each.) It is believed that these circles start and end the game when hit.
Grimsby boards are quite old, it doesn’t feature the treble ring and the dual bullseye. But with the 28 scoring segments, hitting the target is quite difficult.
8. Kent Dartboard
Another unique dartboard variant: the Kent Dartboard was discovered by the miners of Kent County. It was not too different from the then-popular Yorkshire board. However, it was able to catch the eyes of dart players due to its removable numbers. You can customize your numbering system (which is a cool Kent feature, if you don’t mind playing with the treble ring.)
What makes the Tunbridge dartboard unique is that its doubles ring serves as the treble. And below those trebles, there are triangle segments that represent the doubles. If you miss your aim for the treble, you will get a double instead. Hence, there’s a big regret in missing your aim.
10. Harrows Quadro 240
If you and your friends want a more challenging game of darts, the Harrows Quadro 240 dartboard got your back. This dartboard has three rings, which represent a treble, double, a treble, and a quadro. Due to this another layer of complexity, players can finish the game with more combinations.
What Are the Different Types of Dartboards Based On Material
There are different dartboards based on the materials as well. Depending on your budget or available dart setup, one board is better than the other. Materials affect the durability and price, so you might want to add more to your budget if you want a board that can last for years.
- Paper Dartboard – made with paper and only used for casual playing. The dart marks are permanent, so this board can only last for a few games.
- Wooden Dartboard – when made properly, wooden dartboards can be a durable and expensive option. Unfortunately, you might need to get a good pair of darts as well, if you want to avoid bounce-outs.
- Plastic Dartboard – not the most durable, but one of the cheapest. Plastic dartboards are only recommended for a quick game, or if you’re using darts with plastic tips.
- Cork Dartboard – can be considered as an upgrade of paper dartboards. This kind of board is often used by beginners and kids. You might want to consider using soft-tip darts for this one.