In a game of 501, the object is for one player or team to be the first to reach zero from a starting total of 501. In simple terms, after three darts are thrown, the throwing player subtracts the total scored from his current total until he reaches zero. In order to reach zero a player must finish by throwing at a double.
Some versions of the game require a ‘double start’ where the players must begin each leg by hitting a double & ‘checking out’ on a double. The PDC’s World Grand Prix tournament held in Dublin uses this format.
Games can be played to a ‘Best Of’ format, where a player or team winning 3 legs in a ‘Best of Five Legs’ competition wins the match. The PDC’s World Matchplay & UK Open events use the ‘Best Of’ Legs format. Other tournaments are played in ‘Set’ format, where the players or team must win a set by winning ‘Best of 5’ Legs before claiming a set & the match in the ‘Best of 5 Sets’ format. The image below shows the PDC World Championship, Last 16, first to 4 sets scoreboard used on Sky Sports.
The scoring segments on a dartboard are easy to make out. The value of each section is marked by the wired numbers around the edge of the board circled in Blue.
The large Black or White segments in each section highlighted in Yellow if hit are worth single of the section.
The treble segment highlighted in Red is worth triple the value of the section when hit.
The double segment highlighted in Green is worth double the value of the section. Hitting a double is permitted at any time during a game but must be hit in order to win a leg.