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How to Play Looper Darts (Loop/Looper/Loopy Darts)

How to Play Looper Darts

Looper darts goes by many names including loop, looper, and loopy darts but whatever the name, the game rules, and objectives are exactly the same. Before getting into this article, it’s worth saying that I refer to the game as “loop” and it’s also one of my favorite dart games!

Looper darts can be a great game for beginners but unlike many other games, it’s also very well suited to experienced and even professional players (not that I expect any of them to be reading this). 

It’s one of my favorite games so in this article I’ll go through the rules, strategies, and basic tips to show you how to play looper darts. 

Number of Players

2 – 8 players

Looper Darts is best played with 3 or more players. 

Looper Darts Rules and Scoring

Every player in the game will start with 3 – 5 lives.

To keep score of this game, all the players’ names will be written down in a column to the left. Each player will have 3 to 5 checks by their name to represent their lives. Once they lose all of their lives, they will be eliminated from the game.

When playing this game, each player will be aiming at the same segment in a “following the leader” style.

Everyone will be aiming for the same segment, which means they can land on either inner or outer sections. If a player misses the segment they are aiming at, they will lose a life. 

The reason it’s called Looper darts is that the numbered rings are also in play. This literally means the loop on 8, 10, 6, etc… Are all in play. If you manage to hit one of these loops, there’s a good chance you’ll go on to win the game! 

More on a strategy to maximize these loops later. 

Unlike other dart games, you won’t be keeping score of singles, doubles, and trebles. Instead, you will be focused on not losing any remaining lives so you can stay in the game until the end.

How to Play Looper Darts

If you’re looking for a fun and challenging dart game, you should give Looper Darts a try. Follow the instructions below to learn how you can play:

  1. Players can flip a coin or throw a dart at the bullseye on the board to decide who gets to go first.
  2. The 1st player will then throw a dart with their off hand and the segment that it lands on will be the segment that each player aims at.
  3. Each player will have three darts. Their goal is to aim the first dart in the determined segment. They have the option to use all of the darts or stop after a certain amount of throws.
  4. If the player doesn’t land any of their 3 darts on the segment, they will lose one of their lives. However, if they land on the segment, they can use their next dart to determine the next target.
  5. Each player will get a turn to aim at the segment and possibly create a new target. However, if all of the players in the match miss the segment the target setter will have a choice. They can either sit out of this round or decide to play.
  6. If the target setter decides to play, they must land a dart on the segment before they get an opportunity to create a new target. If they miss the segment, they will lose a life.
  7. When a player lands on the segment with the third dart, they will be allowed to pull all of their darts from the board and aim for a new target. 
  8. The first player to lose all of their lives is out of the game. Looper Darts will continue until there is only one player left standing. 

Looper Darts Example Game

One of the best ways to understand how a dart game works is to look at an example. Check out the example below for a more detailed look at how Looper Darts works.

  1. There are 3 players in this match and they have decided to play with 3 lives. 
  2. Player A throws with their off-hand and the dart lands on a single 12.
  3. Player B throws and lands on a treble 12 with their first dart. They throw their second dart and land on a double 18. This means that 18 is the new target. Player B decides to not throw their third dart.
  4. Player C throws but misses all three targets. One of their lives is erased from the scoreboard.
  5. Player A steps up but misses all three targets as well. They lose a life on the scoreboard. 
  6. Now, player B can decide if they want to play or sit out. They decide to play. They miss their first dart. However, they come back with their second dart landing right on the double 18. Aiming for a new target, they land on a single 14.
  7. Player C misses their first two darts. However, they get lucky and land a double 14 on their third dart. They don’t lose any lives. Player C now clears all of their darts from the board so they can create a new target. Aiming at the board, Player C lands the dart on a single 20.
  8. Player A throws their darts but misses all three. They lose another life and are now down to one life.
  9. Player B aims their darts and hits a treble 20. They aim to create a new target and land the dart on single 19.
  10. Player C throws but misses all three darts. They lose another life and are now down to one life.
  11. In the next round, all three players miss their targets. This puts Players A and C out of the game, and Player B is the winner.

Looper Darts Tips & Strategies

Looper darts is one of my go-to practice games for large groups, while it’s suited to all skill levels, experienced players are likely to enjoy this game the most.

The reason being that having the numbered “loops” in play on the outer ring really makes games interesting. So, let’s look at some strategies for looper:

The first strategy is to maximize every single dart. A missed number will put you under immediate pressure and impact your ability to then put up a challenging number for your opponent. Let’s look at an example scenario when your opponent leaves you a single 20 (large segment).

Scenario 1

You miss with the first shot, hit the large 20, with your second shot, and then throw your final dart for the bullseye but miss and leave a small 11 for the next player to hit. 

Scenario 2

You hit the large 20 with your first dart, you now have one “free” dart to throw for a loop but miss. You throw your final dart for the bullseye and hit an outside bull leaving 25 for the next player to hit. 

Scenario 3

You intentionally miss the 20 with your first two darts (pro move) and hit the big 20 with your third dart. You now have two “free” darts to throw for a loop of your choice.

For fun, let’s say your first dart lands on the inside loop of 18 – good shot. All remaining players now need to try and hit that loop before a new number can be put up and this is not easy. 

Hopefully, the above scenarios give you an idea of the strategies you can employ in looper darts. My best tips would include:

  • Never throw a last dart at a double or loop, if you miss you’ll lose a life and need to go for the original number again. 
  • Unless you are extremely confident, don’t intentionally miss the first two darts to try and hit it with your last (leaving you two free darts to put up a loop if you can). In some situations, this can work if you are a skilled player but treat this carefully. 
  • Play to your opponent’s weaknesses. If they can’t throw accurately on the left side of the board, keep trying to put up trebles on this side to make it hard for them. 

Final Thoughts

Looper darts is a very underrated and unfairly unpopular game. I don’t think it’s that people don’t like it but rather they have just never heard of it, especially when it has three names! 

While it can definitely be an interesting and easy to play darts game for beginners, you’d be surprised by how many league players will also play looper darts for fun. Therefore, regardless of your skill level, I’d definitely recommend giving looper darts a try.