Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why 501/301 vs. 500/300

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I thought the answer was going to be complicated but in truth it isn’t and the “01” games, as they are often referred to by the dart arts, got its start from another game. The game of Cribbage played on olod English pubs, a card game, that scores from the value in the cards and scored by the peg holes in a “Crib board.” 

It is the crib board that hints at the “01” aspect rather than just picking an even number like 300 or 500, etc. There are thirty holes on each side of the crib board … wait for it … plus one extra hole per side called the “Home” making the score sixty-one.

I quote, “In the early days of modern darts the score, to enable scores to be fairly recorded, was defined as 'five times round' the crib board, that is a total of 300 (60 x 5) plus 1 - 301. At every stage of play the players could see where they were in terms of score by looking at the crib board.”

Then chalking was introduced and to change the already established rule of the “01” games was not needed because, as you know, history and heritage often keep things the same such as, “If it works, don’t change it” attitude. 

“When chalking was introduced and as more people began to play, later versions of the game were anything - 01, (601, 701, 1001, 1,000,001 etc) but this is how it all started. Also, if the - 01 wasn't there it would make darts terribly boring as good players would just keep hitting 20s. With the - 01 it means that players have to move away from the 20 bed - at least for a short while - in order to win the game.”

This is why I use golf, a common well-known game to everyone, as an analogy to playing dart “01” games where the long game is to bring the score down as quick as possible to at least 170 or less, then the short game is working to get the “double-out” in the least amount of throw darts as humanly possible. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Patrick Chaplin: Darts History> as the inspiration for this post.

Note: the above hat tip link takes you to a site that has a lot of historical information about the dart arts. Interesting stuff to say the least, soooo, “Game On!”

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