Darting 101: Ultimate Guide



The earliest dartboards were made from elm logs. Boards of compressed paper, or composition, are inexpensive and suitable for occasional use. However, a bristle dartboard, made from millions of fibers, recovers after each thrown dart, known as “self-healing” and withstands constant use in a tournament competition or home recreation room. The Accudart® bristle dartboard is used and endorsed by dart organizations throughout the world.  

The dartboard is divided into pie-shaped sections numbered 1 through 20, and the bullseye. There are also two narrow rings, the outer ring scores double the indicated number, and the inner ring scores triple the indicated number. There are two sections to the bullseye. The outer bull counts 25 while the inner bull counts as a double, or 50. 

The Steel-Tip dartboard is placed on the wall, so the center of the bullseye is exactly 5'8" from the floor. The throwing line, or toe line, is 7'9¼" from the face of the dartboard. A bristle dartboard can be used for either Steel-Tip or Soft-Tip play. 


The Soft-Tip dart was introduced in the 1970's and has become very popular. Soft-Tip dartboards are available with and without electronic scoring features. Both types of boards are made of durable hard plastic. The Soft-Tip dart has a plastic point, designed to slip into one of several holes molded into the face of the plastic dartboard.  

NOTE: Steel-Tip darts should NOT be thrown into a Soft-Tip dartboard because damage to the dartboard will result.  

Three principal differences between Soft-Tip and Steel-Tip games are as follows: 

  • The throwing line (or toe line) for the Soft-Tip is 8'0" and Steel-Tip is 7'9¼". 
  • The score for the Soft-Tip bullseye is a single amount, typically 50 points. Bullseye on a Steel-Tip dartboard may be either single (25) or double (50).
  • Electronic dartboards will keep score automatically, even if the dart drops out of the dartboard.
Dartboard setup




All darts have 4 basic parts: 

Point – Barrel – Shaft – Flight 

Points are the portion of the dart which penetrates the dartboard and can be either "Steel-Tip" or "Soft-Tip". Steel-Tip Points can be used on standard bristle dartboards whereas Soft-Tip Points are used on electronic dartboards.  

The Barrel is the main body of the dart and is made from a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials. The barrel is the "grip" portion of the dart. Shafts and Flights provide aerodynamic and stability qualities to the dart.  

Points, Shafts and Flights will wear out over time with usage, however all three are replaceable accessories. Each individual dart thrower can match their individual needs to "build" a unique dart for their throw style. Replacement parts are widely available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Accudart anatomy of a dart

Barrel Types 

Brass barrels are economical and good for beginner use. Brass is extremely consistent because each dart barrel has the same weight and balance.  

Nickel-Silver barrels are similar to Brass but are slightly heavier, harder and stronger. Nickel-Silver barrels have a silver-type finish and are corrosion-resistant while costing more than Brass. Nickel-Silver barrels are thinner but have the same consistency of weight and balance. 

Both Brass and Nickel-Silver barrels are large in circumference, and in darts big barrels create more air resistance. Thinner darts have less air resistance creating a more streamlined flight path. Brass and Nickel-Silver darts are also hard to "pack-in" to tight spaces when thrown at a dartboard. Double and triple scoring on a dartboard require darts to be thrown into tight spaces. Higher scores can be achieved by using thinner darts enabling tighter groupings. 

Nickel-Silver is better than Brass, but the best dart barrels are made of high-quality Tungsten. Tungsten is a higher density alloy which gives darts weight without bulk.  

Tungsten barrels provide consistency and weight without the large circumference. Tungsten barrels cost more than Brass and Nickel-Silver but are very thin, dense dart barrels allowing the dart thrower to achieve maximum scores. A quality set of Tungsten darts with matched weight and balance are the true player's choice in competitive play.  

Tungsten Superior 

TUNGSTEN is an incredibly heavy and dense material, packing more mass in every dart. 

Dart throwers aiming to advance their game choose thin tungsten-alloy barrels for premium consistency and accuracy. Tungsten barrels can sharpen anyone's game while providing the stabilizing weight of a heavier dart and tighter groupings needed on the dartboard for optimal scores. 


Dart weight and style 


Barrels are commonly available in a range of weights from 16 grams to 30 grams or more for a variety of throwing styles. A heavier dart overcomes air resistance more efficiently than a lighter dart and provides greater control because it is less susceptible to minor variations in throwing release. But, heavier darts with wide barrel diameters will block more of the dartboards scoring areas. Balance between a dart's weight and diameter is optimal. Tungsten's high-density provides thin diameters with heavier weight. Tungsten darts are superior to other darts for this reason.  


Combining grip elements and weight with shape and materials, creates dart "style".  

Dart performance is the top priority in dart throwing, however dart aesthetics are an integral part of the dart as well. Darts come with an array of grooves, knurls, contours, lengths, diameters and colors. Shown below are a few examples of the wide variety of darts available. 

Try different barrel designs, styles and weights and choose a combination that results in the best "feel" and optimal scoring. Remember, quality of craftsmanship is an indicator of performance ... 




Accudart offers a wide variety of shafts, flights and points to enhance the performance of any player's dart game.  


Threaded Shafts: Generally, there are three different thread sizes and three different length sizes available for shafts, all easily replaceable. Different combinations of shafts, flights and points will allow an individual to create the best dart for their needs. 


The lighter the dart, the smaller the flight needed to stabilize it when thrown. Smaller flights give less air resistance. Standard flights are typically used for medium weight darts (24-26g.) and heavy weight darts (27g. and higher). Slim flights are most often used on lightweight darts (14-23g.). Tomahawk flights are offered in Standard and Slim Shapes. Vortex, Pear and Arrowhead flights are offered for all dart weights. 

Dart flight shapes


A variety of point sizes, shapes and lengths can be used for both Steel-Tip and Soft-Tip play. However, never use Steel-Tip points on electronic Soft-Tip dartboards. Below are some safety points: 

  1. Thrown darts will occasionally bounce from the dartboard upon hitting a wire or other obstruction. Therefore, a safety zone should be established to the right and left of the dartboard and the dart thrower, as well as behind the dart thrower.
  2. Dartboards should be placed securely and properly on a wall. Dartboards should be placed a safe distance from windows and doorways. Dartboards should not be placed on doors or any position that would allow stray darts to fly past the dartboard. Accudart offers a full line of high-quality wood dartboard cabinets and wall protectors to help absorb stray darts.
  3. Darts should be carried in a protective wallet or case. When not in use, darts should be stored and secured from children's access. Accudart offers various styles of wallets and cases for convenient storage.
  4. Children should only be allowed to play darts with strict adult supervision.
  5. Players must not throw darts under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  6. Darts should be inspected frequently. Darts with damaged or defective parts should not be used until repaired or replaced.
  7. Never throw darts at anything other than a dartboard.

Accudart dartboard anatomy