An electronic dartboard is a modern take on the classic dartboard. They’re great if you’re not good at math or are a little forgetful, as they automatically calculate your score.
Electronic dartboards can be used by anyone. But they are often recommended for children who are just starting out. This is because you can only use soft tip darts on them which are a safer option for youngsters. Casual players often prefer electronic dartboards too.
So now that we’ve introduced you to electronic dartboards let’s find out more about them, including the pros and cons so you can determine whether an electronic dartboard is right for you.
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What is an Electronic Dartboard?
Electronic dartboards are clever pieces of kit that use technology to keep a record of your score so you don’t have to.
They look very similar to standard dartboards, although they are slightly different size. The designs of electronic dartboards are starting to get more intricate and some striking colors are being used on them.
One of the things that make electronic dartboards different from standard dartboards is that they’re made from plastic or resin rather than bristle. This increases the durability of the board and reduces how often you have to replace it.
Can You Use Normal Darts on an Electronic Dartboard?
Most players use steel tip darts when playing darts on a traditional dartboard. You shouldn’t use steel tip darts on an electronic dartboard as they will damage the board.
Electronic dartboards have lots of holes built into them which soft tip darts slot effortlessly into. These holes are not suitable for the sharp point you’ll find on steel tip darts.
How Does an Electronic Dartboard Work?
You can usually run an electronic dartboard off your mains power or batteries. We suggest that you keep the board plugged in even when you’re using batteries. Otherwise, you risk the batteries dying and losing your game!
If you look at an electronic dartboard, you’ll see that there are lots of small holes on it. There’s hidden technology behind these holes, known as receptors.
When you throw a dart and it lands in one of these holes, the receptors work their magic. This includes calculating your score and sending an electronic signal with the number to the LCD screen.
Are Electronic Dartboards the Same Size as Normal Dartboards?
Electronic dartboards come in a variety of sizes but in general, the play area is usually very similar to a traditional dartboard though the double and triple usually have a larger surface area and are easier to hit.
For this reason, players who are accustomed to traditional boards will find the switch to electronic dartboards interesting as the doubles and trebles are easier to hit – although the darts are usually much lighter, so this negates some of the advantages.
Are Electronic Dartboards Expensive?
Electronic dartboards vary in price. On average, they sell for between $25 and $250. The more expensive the electronic dartboard is, the more features it usually has, such as Bluetooth or a built-in cabinet.
Cheaper boards aren’t always as receptive as more expensive ones. The problem with this is that it may not calculate your score accurately which can be frustrating, especially when you’re playing with other people.
What Are the Pros of an Electronic Dartboard?
- Soft tip darts are better for your walls and floors than steel tip darts.
- Automatically calculates your score so you can focus on your game rather than your math skills.
- Comes with built-in games.
- Often comes with a built-in cabinet so you can tidy it all away when you’ve finished playing.
- Fun and easy to play.
- The fancy lights and different color boards look good.
- Durable and long lifespan.
- No need to rehydrate or rotate your dartboard.
What Are the Cons of an Electronic Dartboard?
- More likely to break the tip of your darts as soft tip darts are made from plastic.
- Electronic dartboards usually run off mains power or batteries. A wire trailing down your wall can be annoying, as can changing lots of batteries.
- Soft tip darts are lighter than steel tip ones which can make throwing more difficult.
- Usually more expensive than a traditional dartboard.
- Different size to a traditional dartboard which can make it difficult to progress onto a normal board at a later date.
- Bounce outs are common.
- Not professional-friendly. If you dream of becoming a darts pro, it’s best to avoid an electronic dartboard.
- Risk of inaccurate scoring.
What Features Do Electronic Dartboards Come With?
You’ll find all sorts of features on an electronic dartboard, some of which you never thought you’d need.
Common electronic dartboard features include:
- Built-in games, such as 501, Scram Cricket, Killer, Round the Clock, and Darts Baseball
- Voice record feature that calls out your name when it’s your turn
- Player handicap option
- Game variable option
- Built-in cabinet with storage
- Built-in lights with multiple settings
- Soft tip darts are often included
- Digital scoreboard
- Multiplayer option
- iOS/Android compatibility
- Bluetooth compatibility
- Real-time multiplayer so you can play anyone anywhere in the world
How to Choose an Electronic Dartboard?
Now you’ve decided that an electronic dartboard is for you, you need to make sure that you choose one that suits your needs. We suggest reviewing the list of common features above and jotting down which ones are most important to you.
You won’t find all these features on every electronic dartboard – especially not the more budget-friendly options.
Next, set your budget and start shopping around. Always read reviews (good and bad) from other owners so you can get a feel for what the electronic dartboard is like.
We’ve also put together this handy list of the best cheap electronic dartboards to help you with your decision.
Who are Electronic Dartboards good for?
You’ll remember us saying that electronic dartboards are good for children who want to play darts and casual players. They’re also good for households where children are running around, as soft tip darts are much safer.
Electronic dartboards work well in places where there are a lot of players, such as in pubs and bars. The automatic scoring system and LED display should help to reduce arguments and keep everyone on track even when they’ve had a drink or two!
Electronic dartboards have changed the way that people play darts. They have even helped to introduce the game to much younger players. There are some disadvantages to using electronic dartboards, but there are plenty of benefits too. So, if you fancy playing on an electronic dartboard, we recommend that you give it a try and see how you get on.
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.
The easy way to keep track of your score is with our printable darts scoresheets. Easy to download and keep on your phone or computer or print straight off from our website. Pop your email address into the box and we'll send them straight to you.