One pastime that can be enjoyed by people of nearly all ages is the game of darts. It's very easy to play darts, and not very expensive to get a dart set if you don't already have one. With a simple dartboard and a few sets of darts, you can play a number of different games.
First, decide on the type of dart set you'd like to get. You can choose metal-tipped darts or plastic-tipped. Metal-tipped darts obviously pose more of a safety hazard, so aren't a good idea if children will be playing. However, if only adults will play, you may prefer metal-tipped, as plastic tips break easily and have to be replaced. Once you've made that decision, you can buy your dart set. You can choose a plain dartboard to hang on the wall, one that's mounted inside a cabinet with chalkboards for score keeping and storage for your darts, or even an electronic version.
Now you're ready to set up your dartboard. To play darts, the center of the dartboard should hang 5 feet 8 inches above the floor. Mark a throwing line 7 feet 9 1/4 inches from the dartboard. If your space does not allow for this, try to get as close as possible. If you are using metal-tipped darts, you may want to hang the dartboard in the middle of a larger backing board, like cork board. This will prevent any darts that miss the board from damaging your wall.
One of the more popular games to play is 301. Each player starts with the score of 301. The dartboard is sectioned into pie-shaped wedges, with each wedge assigned a point value. There are also two rings on the dartboard. The outer ring counts as two times the normal score of the wedge, and the inner ring counts a three times the normal score. The bullseye is typically divided into outer and inner parts, with the outer scoring 25 points and the inner 50 points. Each player throws three darts, adds up his score, and subtracts that from his running balance. The first player to reach 0 by exact count is the winner. Some variations require the player to hit a double scoring section last, but this is optional.
Learning how to play darts can make even the dreariest of days a little more fun inside. If you're good enough, you can also enter amateur or even professional tournaments and play darts for profit as well as fun!