301 / 501
The “01” family of games are generally all played the same way with the exception of the starting score. The object of these games is to have a starting number (301, 501,) and subtract your turn’s score cumulatively until you reach zero exactly.
The game 301 is popular as a league game and is often played as a singles match (individuals competing rather than teams). Because the starting total is low this game is played primarily double start, double finish. Double start means that before you start subtracting from 301 points you must first score a dart in the outer double ring. Once this is done the very next dart can be thrown directly at the twenty wedges. The double finish means that to reduce the score to exactly zero the winning dart must land in a double segment ( Player A has 32 points left – double 16 is the winning shot)
Most electronic machines allow you to select the game and variation you wish to play. In league play straight start (not requiring a double) straight finish is common. More skilled players can select straight start with a double finish (requiring the winning game shot to be in a double segment). For the most skilled players, you can select the challenging game of double start, double finish. The game of 301 is popular as a league game and is often played as a team game.
The game 501 is the game played in most professional and amateur tournaments and in social settings at home and the neighborhood pub. The object is the same as in all “01” games; the first to reach zero exactly wins.
To begin this game one can immediately shoot at the highest number and start scoring as this game typically begins without the requirement of having to first score a doubled number. In order to finish, the score must be reduced to exactly to zero on a doubled number. This is commonly known as straight start, double finish.
Most electronic machines allow you to select the game and variation you wish to play. This game is almost always played with a straight start but may be played with a straight or doubled finish. This is popular as a league and tournament game and is quite often played as a team event.
Scoring 301 / 501 Games
Scoring for the traditional steel tip game is done by hand and written on a scoreboard or a score sheet. Scoring ‘01 games are easy and will quickly sharpen your math skills especially subtraction. All numbers are in play but the most targeted numbers are the twenty and nineteen, the highest numbers on the board that will bring down the score. After the first round is thrown, the total score of the three darts is generally written down towards the outside of the scoreboard or score sheet with the remaining totals for both players written towards the middle. All subsequent rounds of darts are marked in the same way.
Scoring on an electronic dartboard has the advantage of the programmed computer recording and doing the entire math for you.
Busting is when you exceed the total you have remaining, reach zero without landing on a double or leave one point left (not possible to end the game as there is no double to finish on) When this occurs, your turn is immediately over whether you have thrown one, two or three darts and your score returns to what it was before your turn started.