When looking into darts games – or darts practice games – there are typically two categories to consider:
- Fun practice games
- Skill-based practice games
Most players will look for dart practice games as a way to improve throwing accuracy, consistency, and overall skill within the game. Occasionally though, it’s beneficial to make use of a less competitive or easy-going game when playing with more than one player.
While Gotcha darts are a great game within this bracket, another good option is tic tac toe darts.
Tic tac toe darts is not surprisingly based on the well-known game… Tic tac toe. Much like the original game, tic tac toe darts are very easy to pick up for beginners and can also be enjoyed by the more experienced players.
In this article, we’ll run you through how to play tic tac toe darts and give some tips and strategies that you could look to use for an easy win!
What Is Tic Tac Toe Darts
I’m sure you are familiar with the popular game tic tac toe? The concept for tic tac toe is quite simple as players take turns placing an “O” or an “X” into a 3 x 3 x 3 square grid. The player that has three naughts or three crosses running horizontally, vertically, or diagonally is the winner.
This game can be played virtually anywhere but what then, is tic tac toe darts? Tic tac toe darts is a relatively simple game usually played by 2 players. The concept is the same and you want to hit numbers that resemble a grid in the traditional game and from a line from three numbers.
These numbers are not random and you’ll therefore need some accuracy and strategy in order to win tic tac toe darts. Below, I’ll run through all of the rules, scoring, and strategy needed for this game before demonstrating an example game.
How To Play Tic Tac Toe Darts
The concept for tic tac toe darts is one of strategy and skill. We’ll cover some useful strategies you can use from a “tic tac toe” viewpoint later in this article but from a darts perspective, having accuracy on trebles or being able to group your darts and hit three singles in a throw will significantly improve your chances of winning at this game.
To play tic tac toe darts, start by deciding who throws first. This can be done by either flipping a coin or by throwing a single dart at the bullseye with the closest player to throw first. Once decided, draw out three grids on a piece of paper or chalkboard.
Player 1 will have a grid, player 2 will have a grid, and there will be a third grid that is shared between the two players, this is known as the game grid. The individual player grids are used to mark the player’s scores (more on this later) and once a player has “closed” a grid – by hitting the number with three darts – they can then mark this on the shared game grid their X or O.
Number of Players for Tic Tac Toe Darts
Tic tac toe darts is a game for 2 players only.
Tic Tac Toe Darts Scoring
To keep score in tic tac toe, each player will have an individual grid laid out with each number in the 3 x 3 columns and rows:
12 | 20 | 18
11 | B | 6
7 | 3 | 2
12 | 20 | 18
11 | B | 6
7 | 3 | 2
There will then be the combined grid which will show the “X” and “O” once each number has been closed. This is known as the game grid.
12 | 20 | 18
11 | B | 6
7 | 3 | 2
To score in tic tac toe darts, players need to hit a chosen number three times in order to mark it with their “X” or “O”. if for example player 1 throws and hits the 20 twice and then the number 1 with their third dart, they will have a running total of 2 on the 20s but cannot mark it down.
If player 2 then throws all three darts into the 20 segments, they will have closed this number and be able to place their marker down on this square. The 20 segments will then be out of play for the remainder of the game.
In terms of scoring, a single part of the segment counts as 1, a double counts as 2, and a treble counts as 3. Therefore, if you hit treble 20 in this example, you’ll have closed the number and can place your marker down over the 20 on the grid.
For more advanced players, you could amend the scoring rules that singles do not count and the double and treble both only count as 1 mark when hit. This will help to extend games for more advanced players and make them more competitive.
Tic Tac Toe Darts Strategy
In most other articles on this site, I’ll usually give some tips and strategies that can be used to give you an edge over your opponent. Unfortunately, with tic tac toe darts that’s very difficult to do (especially for players with a similar skill level) as there really isn’t a darts-specific strategy that you could use.
Some sneaky I can provide to help are some useful resources for the actual game of tic tac toe.
The first tip to winning tic tac toe darts is to land your first dart in one of the corner sections. Provided the players don’t then follow it up with a dart in the center square, you should be able to then go on and win the game (provided you still hit the numbers you need).
When going second, you should always counteract your opponent by landing the center square (if they have hit a corner with their first shot) or by playing sensibly and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.
This is easier in darts than the actual game of tic tac toe because your opponent can miss a number and give you an easy opportunity whereas, in the standard game of tic tac toe, you can’t miss a turn.
Other than that, there is no scientific tip or strategy to guarantee a win. When throwing first try to win the corner to give yourself a good chance to win and when throwing second
Tic Tac Toe Darts Example Game
Below is an example game showing how the scoring could look. The first image is the start of the game where both players have a scoring grid and there is also one game grid. The game grid can only be marked with an “X” or “O” once both players have secured the number on their own grid.
The second image shows an example game that has been finished. As you can see, once each player has hit a number three times the player then owns this position and it can then be marked on the game board.
If you’re looking for a fun game that involves a bit of strategy combined with throwing accuracy, tic tac toe darts are definitely an ideal choice.
If you’ve got some accuracy and can always get to one of the corners first, you’ve got a good chance of going on to win the game.