If you’re looking for a fun and simple game that’s ideal for beginners or larger groups of players then high/low darts could be the ideal game.
High/low darts have a very basic concept that means players either need to score higher or lower than the previous player, depending on which ruleset you are following (high/low are two separate games).
In this article, I’ll cover all the rules, scoring, tips, and strategies for high/low darts, and don’t worry – it’s one of the easiest dart games you can learn!
Number of Players
2 or more players
High/ low darts are a great game for multiple players. You need to have at least 2 players for a round of high/ low darts, but more is merrier.
High/Low Darts Rules and Scoring
Players’ names will be written in a column down the left side of the scoreboard. Each player will have three lines beside their name to represent their lives for each round.
High and low darts are actually two separate games with the same rules and scoring. Always write which one you are planning on playing so everyone is on the same page. Whether you are playing high or low depends on if you are aiming to land higher or lower than the target score. For low darts, the outer bullseye is worth -25 and the middle is worth -50.
If a player fails to hit the targets, they will either receive zero points when playing high darts or 25 points when playing low darts. Players will lose a life anytime they fail to land a score that is higher or lower than the target score. Once they lose three lives, they are out of the game. The last player standing wins.
How To Play High/Low Darts Game
Let’s take a look at how to play high darts:
The first player will take two darts and throw them at the board at the exact same time. The sum of the numbers they hit will be the target score that other players will now have to beat.
The following players will all get to use three darts on their turn, which they will throw one at a time. Their goal is to land these three darts and score higher than the previous target. If they do not score higher, they will lose a life.
The new score (whether it was higher or not) is the new total that the next player will aim at.
The game will continue in this pattern until there is only one player left.
Low darts is exactly the same as high darts, except players will be trying to land a score that is lower than the previous player.
Note that a player cannot intentionally miss the board with a dart in order to get a lower score than the opponent. This is why missing the board in low darts results in a score of +25.
High/Low Darts Example Game
This is an example game of high darts that’s played with 3 players.
- Player A has 2 darts in their hand. They throw both darts at once to determine a target score. The darts land on single 5 and single 10. The target score will start off as 15.
- Player B now has 3 darts. Their darts land on single 10, single 13, and double 5. The new target score is 33.
- Player C throws and lands on single 16, double 18, and double 20. The new target score is 92.
- Player A throws and lands single 14, single 19, and single 20. The new target score is 53. They didn’t score higher than the previous score, so Player A loses their first life.
- Player B throws and lands a single 3, double 10, and single 19. The new target score is 42. This was not higher than the previous, so Player B loses a life.
- Player C throws and lands on single 10, double 12, and double 14. The new target score is 62.
- Player A throws and lands a single 14, double 16, and treble 20. The new target score is 106.
- Player B throws and lands a single 18 and middle bullseye. However, they miss one of their darts which counts for zero points. The new score is 68 and they lose a second life.
- Player C throws, they land double 20, treble 20, and the outer bullseye. The new target score is 125.
- Player A throws and lands single 19, single 20, and double 20. The new target score is 79, but it’s not enough to beat the last score so they lose their second life.
- Player B throws. They land a double 3, single 12, and single 16. This is only 34 points. They lose their last life and are out of the game.
- Player C throws and lands a double 10, single 18, and treble 20. The new score is 98.
- Player A misses their first dart but lands the next two on single 19 and double 20. That was only 59 points, so they lose their last life. Player C wins the game.
High/Low Darts Tips
Due to the very simple and specific rules of high/low darts (score more or less than the player before you), it’s difficult to get a specific winning strategy.
One thing I would recommend for a fairer game is to mix up the order of players each game. If the best player is always setting the score for the worst player, then no one will have much fun with this game.
A variation you could also use is to only allow scoring on trebles or doubles. This will significantly increase the difficulty of the game and make it more challenging for experienced players – which most will definitely appreciate!
Hopefully, you’ve read through and found high/low darts to be a relatively straightforward and simple game to grasp. The objective is mainly to score more or fewer points than the player before you.
There aren’t too many tips or strategies for this game so I’d mainly recommend high/low darts to larger groups as you’ll benefit more from the shorter format games. Fewer players can still enjoy it though if you’re just looking for a simple and easy to pick up game.