Darts Maths

Darts Maths

Alex Moss |

Darts & Maths: How To Improve Numeracy Skills

Playing darts regularly can help improve your mental arithmetic and is a great way to make maths fun for children. Studies have found that darts is a useful way to work on many cognitive skills, such as your addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The counting side of darts was brought to the forefront during the 2024 PDC World Darts Championship, as finalist Luke Littler showcased his quick ability to add and subtract his scores during each throw. Then aged just 16, Littler’s run to the final at Alexandra Palace inspired lots of children to take up darts themselves.

Darts can help to improve numeracy skills and this blog will walk you through the various scoring segments of a dartboard, working out your darts average, and the best darts maths games you can get children to play in the classroom or at home.

The Dartboard Explained

Dartboard Explained

A traditional dartboard has sections for all of the numbers from 1-20 and the bullseye and outer bullseye in the center. For anyone new to darts, it is important to know this before trying to use it for teaching numeracy, like a darts maths game for example.

The dartboard numbers are arranged in a specific way to reduce the element of chance and ‘lucky shots’ and to punish bad shots. For example, the 20 and 1 sections are positioned next to each other on the board. Darts is a game of precision, so the more accurate you are the better chance you have of hitting the big scores. 

Each section, numbered from 1-20, is split into four scoring segments. Working from the outside of the board and in you have a double segment, then a single segment, a treble segment and lastly another single segment. If you hit one of the single segments on the 20 section it is worth 20 points. A double 20 segment will give you 40 points and a treble 20 segment is worth 60 points – the highest score you can hit with one dart. For the bullseye section, the outer bullseye is worth 25 points and the bullseye itself gives you 50 points.

Improve Numeracy: Which Skills & How?

There are several numeracy skills that are used when it comes to playing a game of darts. Using a dartboard is a fun way to teach maths and to improve numeracy skills. Addition is used to give you the total score of each dart thrown, whilst subtraction helps you if you are playing a game of 501 or 301 to work out what score you have left after your last score has been taken away.

Players will use multiplication when they hit a double or treble segment, as they need to work out what they have scored with each dart. Division can also be a skill needed in darts, particularly at the end of a game when you are working out how to get down to zero points. To complete a leg of darts you have to finish on a double, and there can be various combinations to complete each checkout using different numbers and segments of the board.

Knowing your dartboard maths can also help you work out your percentages and averages more quickly too. These are two indicators to judge how good a player is at scoring and hitting checkouts. One of the activities to improve numeracy skills for children could be to work out the doubles percentage or three-dart average after you have played a game of darts.

Teaching Averages

Dart averages can be used to help children learn about averages and another way for how to improve counting skills. Averages are used as a guide or an indication for the performance of a player in a game of darts. It is also used to compare players, even if they are not playing against each other, as you can see which player has the higher average.

To work out a darts average, take the total points scored by a player and divide it by the number of darts thrown to achieve this score. For example, if you score 501 in 15 darts the calculation would be 501 divided by 15, which is 33.40. This is your one-dart average, so to find out the three-dart average (which is referred to more frequently when darts is on television), multiply 33.40 by three. The three-dart average will be 100.20 for the player in that leg.

The Best Darts Maths Games

One of the best darts maths games that can be used to teach mental maths is the traditional ’01 game. A game of 501 or 301 for example is probably the easiest game to play with young children, as it can be played individually or by having teams put together to try and get their score down to zero.

Playing a maths darts game in teams would help children avoid losing attention and also encourage them to work as a team, by working together to add up their scores and discover scores they need to get on their next throw. At the end of the game, you could then ask the children to work out the other team’s final average, which is another way for how to improve numeracy whilst playing darts.

Read our ‘Darts Games To Play’ blog for a comprehensive list of games that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and levels. If you are using these games for young children, it is worth reading the rules first to decide if supervision is required and if it is a game that can help teach maths as a dartboard maths game.

To finish a game of 501 or 301 you will need to finish on a double. The Designa Checkouts Carpet Mat is a great way to learn all of your finishes as it lists them on the mat, so you can quickly see what segments of the board you need to hit to win the game. The Unicorn Checkouts Chart is another popular option, especially when you are on the go, as it fits nicely in your wallet or pocket and gives you a route for three and two-dart finishes.

The Ruthless Checkouts Dart Flights has some of the more popular checkouts printed on the flights, while the Mission Checkout Beer Mats is a cool addition to a darts setup at home and has the best ways to finish the various checkouts you might end up on in a game.

Safety When Playing Darts With Children

Magnetic Darts

The safest options for introducing young children to the game are either soft tip darts or magnetic darts, but it also depends on the child’s age and is up to whoever is supervising them to decide. Read our 'Darts For Kids' blog for more useful information on when and how to introduce the game of darts to children.

Our kids darts collection has more information and guidance and a range of products that would be great to get youngsters started in playing the game. Darts is the ideal game to help with hand-eye co-ordination and improving your maths, so can be a great choice to introduce at home or at school.

Make Maths Fun!

Bringing darts into the home can improve numeracy skills and is also a fun game for children to play. It can keep them engaged for a long time and they might not even realize they are learning maths whilst they are playing!

Darts can also encourage teamwork and help children who might struggle with the subject of maths and find it dull and not very interesting. If you are introducing darts to young children, it is important to ensure they are playing fairly and safely.

Take a look at Darts Corner’s blog section for the latest darts news and how-to guides for all of your darting needs. Our 'Learning To Play Darts With Children' blog has some helpful advice on how to introduce darts to young kids who have not played the game before.

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