This list will teach you all the darts terminology that you need to know to become an expert in the game. Many common darts phrases, such as bed and breakfast (a score of 26), originate in the UK. But these darts sayings are well known in the darts industry across the globe.
Archers are dart players that throw darts fast and smoothly.
- Basil Brush
A darts player will do a basil brush when they fail to score throughout an entire match. This situation may also be referred to as being brushed.
- Big Fish
Dart players achieve a big fish when they win a leg with a score of 170. There is only one way to score 170, and that’s with two triple 20s and an inner bull.
Big fish is not to be confused with baby fish. This is when a player ends a game on 130 by throwing a triple 20, a single 20, and an inner bull.
2021 PDC World Darts Championship winner Gerwyn Price recently won his Premier League Darts match with a big fish.
- Black Dog
You might hear the double bull being called the black dog.
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- Bounce Out
A bounce out occurs when the dart hits the metal on the dartboard, bounces out, and falls to the ground.
- Bucket or Bag of Nails
This is when all three darts land on the 1 on the board. This is a very bad throw as the 1 is right next to the 20. Eric Bristow infamously scored a bag of nails in a televised broadcast. However, he did experience dartitis, a psychological condition that affects players from throwing a dart.
A bullseye is an iconic score in darts, meaning the player has hit the center of the board with their dart. Commentators usually shout out “Bullseye!” in a nod to the player.
A darts player can go bust if they score more points than they need to win. No score is counted and the player’s next turn starts on their previous score.
You certainly don’t want to be known as a ‘chucker’. This is someone that carelessly throws their darts at the board without aiming for a specific section.
- Double Trouble
This is when a player can’t score the double they need to win the match.
Playing a fogle means you purposely throw darts in a haphazard way in the hope that it irritates the player you’re up against.
- Game On
This phrase signals that it’s the start of the match. When this phrase is called, all players and the crowd should go silent.
- Game Shot
This is the winning shot in a game of darts.
- Last Dart Dave
A last dart Dave is a player that hits the intended target on their last dart.
- Legs and Sets
A leg is a single game of darts. Five legs usually make up one set. Multiple sets will be played to determine a winner. For example, in the World Darts Championship, 11 sets are played in the semi-finals and 13 sets in the final.
A madhouse is when a double 1 is needed to win the game. Trying to achieve this score often drives players mad, hence the name.
- Match Dart
A match dart is when the player wins a match by throwing a dart at a double.
- Mugs Away
The term mug refers to a loser or a fool. When the phrase is used in darts, it means the loser of the last game gets to throw first in the next match.
- One Hundred and Eighty
Probably, the most well-known darts phrase that even non-darts fans will know. When a player throws all three darts in the triple 20, the commentator shouts “One hundred and eighty!” to announce their score.
- Out for Bull
An out for bull is used to decide who will start the game. Both players throw a dart and the player closest to the bullseye gets to go first. This darts terminology may also be referred to as:
- Perfect finish
You’ll earn yourself a perfect finish when you end the game on a score of 170. This is achieved by throwing three darts that land in triple 20, triple 20, and double bull.
- Perfect game
A perfect game means the player wins the game with the least amount of darts possible. In a game of 501, this is just nine darts.
- Perfect score
A perfect score is a score of 180 – the highest score possible with three darts.
You could experience popcorn if your darts land so close to each other on the board that the flights pop out.
You’ll often hear the darts terminology PPD or points per dart. It is used to determine how skillful you are at playing darts. A 501 game is usually used to calculate your average score per dart. A good PPD is:
- Beginner player – between 30 and 40 points
- Average player – between 40 and 50 points
- League players – between 60 and 80 points
- Professional players – 80 points and over
- Robin Hood
A Robin Hood is when a dart flies straight into the back of a dart that’s already on the board. It counts as a throw but no points are scored. It’s pretty difficult to get a Robin Hood and the chances of them happening are just 1 in 3,000.
Rob Cross, the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship winner, would say otherwise, though. He managed a triple Robin Hood as part of a sports bet in 2018.
Scoring a Shanghai means the darts player has got a dart in all three sections of the same number. There will be one dart in the single, one dart in the double, and one dart in the triple.
A slop may also be referred to as a slop splash or sloppy dart. A slop occurs when a player misses what they were aiming for on the board but still scores.
- Three in a Bed
The darts terminology three in a bed is usually used when a player manages to get all of their darts in the same part of the board. For example, three double 20s or three single 10s.
A woody means the player has failed to throw the dart into the scoring section of the dartboard.
There’s a lot of darts terminology that you may not have heard of before. These phrases are the ones you really need to know if you plan on getting serious about the game.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand even more darts terms – are there any we missed? Let us know.
Sue has been playing darts since her 20’s when she played in weekly tournaments and she enjoys writing about darts. She’s also a great teacher, and she enjoys helping others learn how to play the game well. When Sue isn’t throwing darts, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
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