Glossary of darts terms

Glossary of darts terms

This is a glossary of terminology used in the game of darts. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z References


Annie's room (or Annie's house)
The number 1.[1][2]
Another term for darts.
Another term for darts.
Refers to a player who throws very quick smooth darts, like an archer's arrow (also known as a 'Derek'). Contrast "Floater".
Average score achieved every three darts thrown. See also PPD.


Baby ton
A score of 95, usually by scoring five 19s.
Bag of nuts
A score of 45, named after the prize offered at a fairground.[1]
The part of a dart you grip, right behind the point.
The double-3.
A darter with random and sporadic throwing ability.
A section of a number, usually referring to a double or triple.
Bounce out
When a dart bounces back off the board, usually after hitting a wire.
Breakfast (or bed 'n' breakfast)
A score of 26, made up of a single-5, single-20, single-1 in a game of x01. This is a common score in darts because players aiming for the 20 sector (which contains the highest scoring area on the board) will often accidentally hit the 1 and the 5 sectors, which are located on either side of the 20. The term comes from the typical price of a bed-and-breakfast in times gone by: 2 shillings and sixpence, or "two and six". (See also chips)
Bucket (or bag) of nails
Landing all three darts in the 1. This is also known as "The Eric Bristow", who once scored three 1s in televised tournament.
A throw when darts land wildly all over the board.
Bull calf
The number 33.[1]
See diddle for the middle.
Bullseye (or bull)
The centre of the board. (see also: single-bull and double-bull)
The art of throwing on your knees.
Hitting more than you needed in an x01 game. The darts do not count and the player begins his next turn on his prior score.


In a game of cricket this refers to high scores based on the number of darts scored. For example a triple-20, single-20, single-20 would be called a C-5 because "5 darts" were scored with three darts.
Carpentry darts
Darts thrown such that they miss the board entirely and hit a wooden frame which is holding the board to the wall. (See also: masonry darts)
Champagne breakfast
Hitting triple 20, triple 1 and triple 5 in three darts. (See also breakfast)
Chips (or fish and chips)
A score of 26. (See also: breakfast)
A player who just "chucks" the darts at the board, doesn't aim or care.
Circle it
When a player scores a single digit (less than 10) with three darts, his team-mates would shout out "Circle it!" to the scorekeeper to highlight the terrible throw. A variation on this tradition is to draw a fish around the score, often leading to aquarium-related jokes being aimed at particularly poor or unlucky players. (See also: fish)
The dartboard itself, usually in the context of round the clock.
The center of the board. This comes from the cork in the end of a keg where it is tapped. The ends of kegs were used for targets in the game's early days.
Aiming for an alternate treble, usually 19, when a previously thrown dart is blocking the treble 20.
Two distinct game variations. The American game is known by many different names, such as "Mickey Mouse", outside North America, where cricket refers to a different game, which is often called "Australian Cricket".[3]


Daddy's bed, daddy's, daddy
See right church, wrong pew
Dairylea darts
A throw that is 'spread' around the board, named after the cheese spread Dairylea.
The triple-6, so called due to '666', and the fact that it is often hit in error when going for triple-13 or triple-10.
When the dart lands on the other side of the wire of the area aimed for. Then yelling an expletive.
Destiny bull
When it is inevitable that bull will be hit. For the whole day after whoever achieves this must be referred to as 'bull'.
Diddle for the middle
A throw of a single dart to determine who throws first in the game by means of being closer to the bullseye. Also known as a "bull-off", "middle for middle" and "out for bull".
The thin outer ring of the board. In standard x01 games, a double counts for two times the number hit.
On dartboards configured with a bullseye consisting of two concentric circles, double-bull refers to the inner circle, which is commonly red and worth 50 points. (See also: bullseye and single-bull)
Double in
A variant of x01 in which a double is needed to start the game.
Double top
The double-20.
Double trouble
Not being able to hit the double needed to win the game.
The lower portion of the board, usually in reference to the 19s in a game of x01.


Easy in
See straight in.
Eddie shuffle (The)
The art of adjusting ones stance or position along the oche in an attempt to circumnavigate a troublesome 'blocking' dart. Also referred to as The Milk Float.


The number 33.[1] Also may refer to flights, since early flights were made from feathers.
A score of nine or less, usually denoted by drawing a whale around the score on the scoreboard. (See also circle it and whale).
Fish and chips (or feed)
Hitting 20, 1, and 5 for 26. (see also breakfast)
A series of castaway darts thrown with no other purpose than to irritate opponents.
The "wings" at the end of a dart that help it fly straight and land point first. Also known as feathers.


Game on
Called by the referee to advise all players that the match has now started.
Game shot
Called by the referee to signify that the match winning double has been hit.
Hitting the double next to the being aimed for.
A loss without scoring, see shut out.
Greenpeace dart
The third dart thrown, when it manages to avoid scoring a FISH or a WHALE which was looking likely after the first two darts had been thrown. So called because the player is said to have "saved the fish" or "saved the whale".


A score of three bullseyes. Also known as the Alan Evans shot, who scored three bulleyes during a match on numerous occasions.
He doesn't want it
A cry from the crowd in recognition of the fact that one of the players is struggling to successfully complete a leg.
High ton
A score greater than 150.
Hot toddy
Refers to a player who throws well despite intoxication.


The actual playable area of a dart board (inside the doubles ring). Missing this area entirely is sometimes referred to as "off the island".
In Japanese it means "Strawberry Disease" but taken apart it, the word strawberry: "ichigo" can mean 1 (ichi) and 5(go). Japanese players use this term for when they aim at 20 but hit a 5 and a 1 along with the intended 20. It is equivalent to the English term breakfast.
Irish Ton
Two single 1s and a triple 1; ie: it would be worth 100 if it were five 20s instead of five 1s.



A game variant where a number of players "own" a number on the dartboard and compete to build up "lives" (by hitting that number) until a threshold is reached (usually 4 or 6) before attempting to "kill" other players by removing the lives they have built up (by hitting those other players' numbers) until a single player is left.[3]


One game of a match. Most professional matches are made up of a number of sets, each of which is split into legs.
Leg shot
Signifies that a player has completed (won) the "leg".
Usually refers to triple 20, as this portion of the board is commonly red in color and resembles an upper lip, but may refer to any red double or triple.


Mad house
The double-1. At least two explanations for the term have been proffered; because it can drive you crazy trying to hit one in a game of x01, or because it impossible to "get out" of the mad house - once a player has a score of 2 the only way to finish the game is by hitting a double-1.[2]
A dart that has landed off target but very close, the dart is used as guide.
Masonry darts
Darts thrown such that they miss the board entirely and hit the wall instead (i.e. even worse than carpentry darts).
A score of 180
Maximum check-out
A score of 170 to end a game (triple-20, triple-20, inner bull)
McQuiggins gold
An unorthodox finish to a game such as finishing 101 with (3,T20,D19), a cheeky (3,8,D20), perhaps even a 113 outshot with (17,T20,D18) or other less popular routes. Also referred to as Maverick play. This kind of play was popularised by Belgian Eric Clarys, who used bizarre ways of checking out on televised events.
Mickey Mouse
See cricket.
Middle for middle
See diddle for the middle.
A person who deliberately scores many more points than needed to win the game.
Mugs away
Loser of the previous game goes first in the next game.
A score of single-5, single-20, single-1 in a game of x01. Based on Murphy's Law. (See also: breakfast)


Another word for 1. See also: bucket of nails and ton of nails.
Nine darter
When a player completes a game of 501 in the minimum required nine-darts. This is a very rare event. There is usually a cash prize for professionals throwing a televised nine-darter.
When you finish with two singles of the same value.
No sense of humor
A traditional cry from opponents or spectators when a player deliberately switches to aiming at a different part of the board in order to avoid an embarrassing score such as a fish or a wanker's fifty.
Not old
A score of 37 (usually by hitting a 20, a 5 and a 12). The phrase is believed to have its origins in a Monty Python sketch (King Arthur & Dennis, in "Monty Python & the Holy Grail").


The line from behind which a player throws.
Out for bull
See diddle for the middle.
Called by the referee to announce that a player has scored a maximum.


Perfect game
See nine darter.
Perfect score
See maximum.
Perfect finish
See maximum check-out.
When the darts land so close to each other, they knock their flights out.
Average "points per dart" thrown. See also average.



A dart, (often a T20) that "redeems" two previous poor efforts.
Right church, wrong pew (or right house, wrong bed)
Term for hitting a double or triple, but the wrong number. Also known as daddy's bed.
Robin Hood
Throwing a dart into the shaft of another making it stick, sometimes splitting the flight.
Round nine
Throwing three triples that close (before being closed by opponent) or point in one turn in cricket.
Round the clock
Any of a number of game variants where players compete to be the first to hit all the sectors on the board in an agreed order, usually numerical finishing with the 20,[3] although sometimes with the outer bull followed by the bull. In some versions hitting a double entitles the player to skip the next number, with a triple entitling the player to skip two numbers. Also commonly played by single players as a form of practice; also known as around the world.


A dart that is aimed for triple 20, but ends up in double 20.
Aiming for something and hitting something else that either marks or points.
A scoring method used in many tournaments.
The part of a dart behind the barrel when the flights are mounted.
Refers to hitting a single, double and triple of the same number. Players throw at each number on the board in turn, scoring points, with the first player to hit a Shanghai being declared the winner. It no player achieves a Shanghai, then the player with the most points wins.[3] In some variations Shanghai is not an automatic win, but is rewarded with bonus points.
A non-registered player who assumes a false identity in order to fill in for an absent player in a league game.
Shotgun blast
All three darts thrown at one time.
Shut out
When you lose a game without ever scoring in it.
On dartboards configured with a bullseye consisting of two concentric circles, single-bull refers to the outer circle, which is commonly green and worth 25 points. The inner circle is commonly red and worth 50 points. There is speculation to whether this is called the bullseye or indeed called the target. See also: bullseye and double-bull.
When you lose a game without ever scoring in it.
Darts that score, but not where you wanted them, also known as a scud.
The metal web that divides the dartboard into sections.
throwing two or more darts at the board at the same time.
Spray and pray
Darts thrown aimlessly.
The darts themselves.
Straight in
A game that requires no special shot to begin scoring (also "straight off").
Straight out
A game that requires no special shot to finish a game. i.e. Players on 15 can hit the S15 to win instead of going S7, D4.
Striking Iraq
Hitting a double bull when diddling for the middle – comes from the Gulf War, when Iraq was being bombed, as Iraq has lots of oil. (See striking oil).
Striking oil
Hitting a double bull when diddling for the middle. So called because of the black centre to the bullseye of some modern dart boards.


The centre of the board, though some call it the bullseye there is speculation to the real name.
That's darts
A widely used term by television commentators when something unexpected or extraordinary occurs during a game.
Three in a bed
Three darts in the same number, no matter double or triple.
Throw line
See oche.
Toe line
See oche.
Ton 80
Three darts in the triple 20 which score 180 points; only in x01 games. See maximum.
A score of 100 in a game of x01. Scores over 100 would be called a "ton-whatever" for example, a ton-thirty would be a score of 130.
Ton of nails
A score of 5 where all three darts fell in the 1 bed with 1 dart in the triple 1.
Top banana
Double 20. Usually exclaimed after hitting this bed to win a match.
Double 20.
Triple (or treble)
The thin inner ring of the board, it usually counts for three times the number hit.
Triple in, triple out
At the beginning and/or ending of a x01, you must hit the triple ring to start/end the game.
30 points


The upper half of the board



Wanker's fifty
Crude term for scoring 50 by hitting single 20, single 18 and single 12 with three darts, so called because often poor players achieve it when aiming for the triple 20.
Wet feet (or paddling)
Standing too close to the board, i.e that is, in front of the oche.
A score of three or less (i.e. averaging one or less per dart). Usually denoted by drawing a whale around the score on the scoreboard.
White horse
Scoring three triples in cricket without scoring
Darts that just miss where you aimed but on the other side of the spider.


Signifies a double out.




  1. ^ a b c d Chaplin, Patrick. "The language of darts". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b Chaplin, Patrick. "House of fun – double one". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Board of brilliant versatility". BBC Sport. 29 December 2003. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 

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