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How to Play Prisoner Darts

Joshua Wicks

Last updated Jul 29, 2022
My goal is to help others learn about the game and to help them improve their skills.

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prisoner darts

Prisoner Darts is a simple game that can be enjoyed with your family or friends. The game follows some strategies that should be learned before you start to play. Otherwise, the match may go wrong. That will disgust you. To avoid this unpleasant experience, we have explained the rules of the prisoner darts game, how to play the game with the example and how you can win the game in this article. Hope you will enjoy it. 

How to play Prisoner Darts 

Number of players

Any number of players can participate in this game. Actually, it is designed for large groups. The more players, the better. 

Objective of the game 

The game goes as the aiming starts from 1 and continues hitting the numbers clockwise. Players can win by scoring at 20 before the others or by capturing the opponents’ all darts. 

General rules

At first, the players determine the order of who will go first. The order is determined by the closest shot to the bullseye. 

The game starts hitting 1 and then continues clockwise until the player reaches 20. So the player has to go as 1, 18,4, 13 and so on. The scoring counts only some specific segments. The playable areas are thinner triple ring, larger single area and thinner double ring.

The others are not included in the play. If any player lands their dart on the excluded regions, it becomes a prisoner. He can not use that dart for the next turn. So he has to play with lesser darts than the others. 

The prisoner dart can be seized by other players. To capture it, the player has to hit the same number the prisoner dart lands on. He can use it for the rest of the game. 

The winner is determined by scoring 1 through 20 first, hitting the numbers clockwise. 

How to play 

Players are numbered in their order. Each of them gets three darts at the beginning. In the first round, every player should go for 1. They can hit the larger single, triple ring or double ring. The player who hits the target area should go for the following number. But if he fails, he can not move further. 

Players may miss the dartboard entirely. In that case, he will play without that dart on the next round until it is retrieved after that.

Suppose player 3 gets his dart stuck in the smaller single of 17 and the dart is a prisoner there. If you are the next, you may hit the playable areas of 17 to seize the prisoner, in another way to get an extra dart. Or you can move on to your next target to reach 20 first. 

There is no need to keep tracking scores after every round. But you should keep tracking the progression of the numbers 

1, 18, 4, 13, 6, 10, 15, 2, 17, 3, 19, 7, 16, 8, 11, 14, 9, 12, 5 and 20. 

Seems familiar? Ok, the progression of numbers is similar to the game Around the World. You can also learn this game from our article. 

How to seize a prisoner 

Before we explain how to seize a prisoner or set free a prisoner in another term, we would like to explain how your darts may be regarded as prisoners.

Suppose, in round 3, your target is to score on 15. Your first dart land on the double ring. So you can go for 2 now. Your second dart hits the larger single. Your last dart lands on the smaller single area of 3. As it is not included for scoring, it gets stuck in prison. You can not pull it off from there. It is a prisoner now. 

The other player can get the dart if he throws one of his darts on the playable areas of 3. He can claim that dart to use for extra throws. If two prisoner darts are in the same number, two darts should be thrown to seize them. Players can get them both by throwing a single dart.  

How to set free a prisoner stuck in the bullseye? 

The dart stuck in bulls can be imprisoned in two different ways. You can set it free by hitting any triple ring, double ring or the space in between. In another way, you have to hit the bulls with your dart to capture that. 

How to win ( Tips and the strategy)

Any extra throw in this game will let you a step ahead to become the winner. If you are good enough at targeting the prisoners, you may end the match having 4, 5, 6 or 7 darts. But if you are a beginner, it would be wise to move forward, aiming at the numbers one by one. If you find trouble aiming at the thinner double and triple rings go for the larger segments. Missing any of your darts will cause you fewer throws. That won’t help you.  

Final words 

Though the prisoner darts game looks simple, it requires some strategic moves to win. To win the game, you should know the details of this game that we have explained in this article. Moreover, you will need the best darts so that you can aim with the most accuracy and perfect trajectory in every throw. 

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