Electronic Dartboard 101: The Ultimate Starting Guide

Did you know that over 17 million Americans participate in dart throwing games every year? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, electronic dartboards offer a modern twist to this classic game, providing hours of entertainment and friendly competition.

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know about electronic dartboards, from why you should choose them to the essential features to consider, setting up and gameplay instructions, maintenance and care tips, popular games, and community and competitive play. So let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of electronic dartboards!

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Key Takeaways

  • Electronic dartboards offer a modern twist to traditional dart games, providing hours of entertainment.
  • With over 17 million participants in the United States alone, dart throwing games are immensely popular.
  • This guide will cover various topics, including why to choose electronic dartboards, different types available, essential features to consider, setting up and gameplay instructions, maintenance and care tips, popular games, and community and competitive play.
  • Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this guide will provide valuable insights and recommendations to enhance your electronic dartboard machine experience.
  • Electronic dartboards offer features like automatic scoring, game variations, safety features, and the ability to play with soft-tip darts, making them accessible to players of all skill levels.

Discover other dartboard options.

Although electronic dartboards are pretty popular, there are actually six different types of dartboards available, each with varying degrees of popularity. If you’re interested in exploring these alternatives before moving on, click the link to enhance your knowledge and dive deeper into our site’s learning resources.

What Is An Electronic Dart board?

An electronic dartboard machine is a modern twist on the classic game of darts. Instead of throwing sharp, metal-tipped darts at a traditional sisal fiber or cork board, players use soft-tipped darts and aim at a board that’s equipped with electronic sensors. These sensors detect where the darts land and automatically calculate and display the scores.

This technology makes the game easier to manage, especially for casual play or in environments like bars or arcades, where keeping track of scores manually can be a hassle. Plus, many electronic dartboards come with a variety of game modes and options, making it a versatile choice for dart enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Why Choose an Electronic Dartboard?

When it comes to dartboard games, electronic dartboards offer numerous advantages and benefits over traditional dartboards. These modern gaming devices are designed to enhance the playing experience and cater to players of all skill levels. Let’s explore the benefits of electronic dartboards an d why they are becoming increasingly popular in the gaming community.

  • Automatic Scoring: One of the key benefits of electronic dartboards is their automatic scoring system. No more manual calculations or disputes over scorekeeping. Electronic dartboards instantly calculate and display scores, making the game more efficient and accurate.
  • Game Variations: Electronic dartboards provide a wide range of game variations to choose from. Whether you prefer the classic 501 or enjoy the challenge of Cricket, electronic dartboards offer versatility and countless options to keep the gameplay exciting.
  • Multiplayer Options: With electronic dartboards, you can easily engage in multiplayer games. They often support multiple players simultaneously, allowing friends and family to join in the fun. Compete against each other or form teams for a thrilling multiplayer experience.
  • Safety Features: Electronic dartboards are designed with safety in mind. Unlike traditional dartboards with sharp metal tips, electronic dartboards utilize soft-tip darts. This reduces the risk of accidents and makes them suitable for players of all ages, including children.
  • Soft-Tip Darts: Electronic dartboards require the use of soft-tip darts, which are safer and more convenient to use compared to steel-tip darts. Soft-tip darts are more forgiving and less likely to damage the dartboard or walls, allowing for a worry-free playing experience.

These are just a few of the many reasons why choosing an electronic dartboard can significantly improve your gaming sessions. However, if you want to dive deeper into the pros and cons and understand whether electronic dartboards are any good, follow the link that will take you to my comprehensive article.

Types of Electronic Dartboards

When it comes to electronic dartboards, there are various types and models available in the market, catering to different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the options can help you make an informed decision. Let’s explore the different types of electronic dartboards and their features.

Display Options

Electronic dartboards come with different display options, with LED and LCD being the most common. LED displays provide clear visibility and are often brighter, making it easier to read scores and game information. LCD displays, on the other hand, offer more advanced features such as graphical representations of players and game statistics.

Game Modes

Electronic dartboards offer a variety of game modes to keep players entertained. From classic games like 501 and Cricket to unique variations, there’s something for everyone. Some dartboards even include special modes for team play or practice sessions, allowing players to improve their skills and compete against friends or virtual opponents.

Voice Prompts and Interactive Features

Many electronic dartboards come equipped with voice prompts, providing verbal cues and instructions during gameplay. This feature is especially helpful for beginners who are learning the rules and scoring. Additionally, some dartboards offer interactive features, such as animated graphics or sound effects, which add excitement and engagement to the playing experience.

Electronic dartboard with scoreboard
Electronic dartboard with scoreboard

Entry-Level, Mid-Range, and High-End Options

Electronic dartboards are available in different price ranges, catering to various budgets and skill levels. Entry-level models are affordable and offer basic features, making them suitable for casual players and beginners. Mid-range options provide additional functionalities and improved durability. High-end models are designed for serious players and professionals, offering advanced features, enhanced accuracy, and durability for intense competition.

Popular Brands and Offerings

When it comes to electronic dartboards, several well-known brands dominate the market. For example, Arachnid is a popular brand known for its range of dartboards suitable for players of all levels. Viper and Fat Cat are also reputable brands that offer a variety of electronic dartboards with different features and price points.

BrandModelDisplayGame ModesVoice PromptsInteractive Features
ArachnidCricket Pro 800LCD39YesNo
ViperIon Illuminated DartboardLED43YesYes
Fat CatMercury Electronic DartboardLED25NoYes
Comparison of popular electronic dartboards and their features

As seen in the table above, different brands offer unique features and capabilities in their electronic dartboards. When choosing the right dartboard for your needs, consider factors such as display preference, game modes, voice prompts, and interactive features, as well as your budget and skill level.

Essential Features to Consider

When choosing an electronic dartboard, there are several key features that you should consider to ensure you make the right choice. These features play a crucial role in determining the quality, functionality, and overall enjoyment of your dartboard experience. To help you make an informed decision, I have compiled a list of essential features that you should prioritize:

  1. Dartboard Size and Shape: Consider the size and shape of the dartboard, as it should fit well in your playing space and align with your preferred throwing distance.
  2. Durability: Look for a dartboard that is built to last, with sturdy materials and a robust construction that can withstand hours of gameplay.
  3. Scoring Accuracy: Accuracy is paramount in dartboard play, so choose a board that offers precise scoring and eliminates any discrepancies.
  4. Customizable Settings: Opt for an electronic dartboard machine that allows you to customize game settings and adjust various parameters to match your playing style and preferences.
  5. Sound Effects: Some dartboards come with built-in sound effects, which can enhance the gameplay experience by adding excitement and immersion.
  6. Additional Accessories: Consider the availability of additional accessories such as extra dart sets, spare tips, and mounting hardware, which can enhance your overall dartboard setup.

It’s important to note that these features may carry different levels of importance for each individual. Therefore, I recommend assessing your own priorities and preferences to determine which features are most essential to you. Prioritize those that align with your gameplay needs and preferences to ensure a more satisfying dartboard experience.

Setting Up Your Electronic Dartboard

Setting up an electronic dartboard is an important step towards enjoying hours of darting fun. Follow these simple steps to install your electronic dartboard:

  1. Choose the right location: Find a suitable wall space where you can mount the electronic dartboard. Make sure there is enough room for players to stand and throw darts comfortably.
  2. Mount the dartboard: Use a measuring tape to ensure proper height and distance from the throwing line. The standard height for mounting electronic dartboards is 5 feet 8 inches from the floor to the center of the bullseye. The throwing line should be 7 feet 9.25 inches from the face of the dartboard. Before you mount the dartboard to the wall, I always recommend installing a dart board wall protector. This will protect both wall and darts from damage when you miss the target by accident.
  3. Connect power sources: Most electronic dartboards need to be plugged into a power outlet. Locate a nearby socket and connect the power cord securely. Ensure that there are no obstructions that could accidentally disconnect the dartboard.
  4. Calibrate the scoring system: Before playing your first game, it’s essential to calibrate the scoring system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to access the calibration menu and adjust settings if necessary.
  5. Position the dartboard: Tilt the board slightly forward to minimize bounce-outs. You may also consider securing the board to the wall with screws or brackets for added stability.
  6. Make necessary adjustments: Test a few throws to ensure proper gameplay. If needed, make adjustments to the height or distance of the dartboard to achieve optimal performance and accuracy.

By following these simple steps, you can set up your electronic dartboard machine with ease and start enjoying exciting dart games in no time.

If you require visual assistance, refer to the diagram below:

Bullseye5 feet 8 inches 
Throwing Line 7 feet 9.25 inches

Getting Started with Gameplay

Now that you have your electronic dartboard set up and ready to go, it’s time to start playing! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the gameplay basics is essential to enjoy this classic pub game in the comfort of your own home.

To start off, let’s go over the fundamentals of throwing technique and the electronic dart board rules.

When throwing a dart, aim for the specific target area on the dartboard. Hold the dart with a relaxed grip, align your dominant eye with the target, and smoothly release the dart, following through with your arm to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Regarding the rules of the game, electronic dartboards offer a wide variety of options and game variations. Here are three popular game variations to get you started:

  1. 301: In this game, each player starts with a score of 301 and takes turns throwing three darts to subtract their scores. The goal is to reach exactly zero by hitting the target areas and subtracting the corresponding points. The final dart must land in a double or the bullseye to win.
  2. Cricket: Cricket is a strategic game that involves hitting specific numbers on the dartboard, including 15 through 20 and the bullseye. Players take turns throwing three darts, aiming to score points by hitting these numbers. The first player to close all numbers and have a higher total score wins.
  3. Around the Clock: This game is a great way to practice accuracy and consistency. Start by aiming at the number 1 on the dartboard and progress in a clockwise direction, hitting each number with three darts. The first player to hit every number and the bullseye wins.

Remember, these are just a few examples of the many game variations available on electronic dartboards. Feel free to explore other creative games or popular options like 501, Shanghai, or Count Up.

Now that you have a basic understanding of gameplay, let’s dive into some tips and strategies to help you improve your accuracy and score higher.

Detail of the bullseye on an electronic dartboard
Detail of the bullseye on an electronic dartboard

To consistently hit your target and improve your game, it’s important to practice regularly. Focus on aiming for specific areas of the dartboard, such as the triple segments for maximum points, or the bullseye for those game-deciding shots. Slowly increase the distance from the dartboard as you become more comfortable and confident.

In addition to practice, pay attention to your stance, grip, and throwing rhythm. Experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you. And don’t forget to have fun! The more you enjoy the game, the more your skills will naturally improve.

Now that you’re equipped with the gameplay instructions and a few strategies, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Grab your darts, gather some friends or family, and let the dartboard games begin!

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care are essential for keeping your electronic dartboard in optimal condition. By following these basic tips, you can ensure that your dartboard continues to provide enjoyable gameplay for years to come. For more in-depth information about electronic dartboard maintenance, click here.

Cleaning the Dartboard Surface

To keep your electronic dartboard machine clean, gently wipe the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or solvents that can damage the surface or electronic components. If there are stubborn stains, lightly dampen the cloth with water or a mild cleaning solution. Be careful not to saturate the board, and always dry it thoroughly after cleaning.

Replacing Soft-Tip Darts

If you notice that the tips of your soft-tip darts are becoming worn or damaged, it’s important to replace them. Using darts with worn tips can affect the accuracy of your throws and potentially damage the dartboard. Be sure to use high-quality replacement tips that are compatible with your electronic dartboard model.

Ensuring Functionality of Electronic Components

Regularly check the electronic components of your dartboard to ensure proper functionality. Inspect the wiring connections, display panels, and buttons for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any issues, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or contact their customer support for assistance.

Preventing Damage

  • Avoid exposing your electronic dartboard to direct sunlight or extreme heat, as it can damage the surface and electronic components.
  • Avoid exposing the dartboard to excessive moisture or liquid spills, as it can cause electrical malfunctions and damage the electronics.
  • Handle the dartboard and darts with care, avoiding excessive force or impact that can harm the surface or electronic components.

Manufacturer Recommendations and Guidelines

Every electronic dartboard may have specific recommendations and guidelines provided by the manufacturer. It is important to familiarize yourself with these instructions to ensure that you are following the best practices for maintenance and care. These guidelines may include information on software updates, battery replacement, and other specific recommendations to extend the lifespan of your dartboard.

In this section, I will introduce you to some of the most popular games played on electronic dartboards. These games are not only entertaining but also a great way to challenge yourself and have friendly competitions with friends and family.

  1. 501: 501 is a classic game played on electronic dartboards. The objective of the game is to reach zero points by subtracting the scores from 501. Each player starts with 501 points and takes turns throwing three darts per round. The player must aim at the numbered sections on the dartboard to accumulate points. The key to winning is to strategically target high scores and score doubles or triples to lower your score faster. The first player to reach exactly zero wins the game.
  2. Shanghai: Shanghai is an exciting game that requires accuracy and strategy. The game consists of 7 rounds, each representing one section of the dartboard (numbers 1 to 7). In each round, players take turns throwing three darts at the corresponding section. The objective is to score as many points as possible in that round. However, the twist in this game is that if a player scores a Shanghai (single, double, and triple of the corresponding number) in any particular round, they automatically win the game.
  3. Count Up: Count Up is a game that challenges players to score as high as possible. Each player starts with a score of zero and throws three darts per round. The objective is to accumulate points by hitting different sections of the dartboard. The score after each round is added to the player’s total score. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. Count Up is a popular game for practicing accuracy and improving your overall dart skills.

To make these games more challenging or competitive, you can consider adding variations or rules such as requiring a double or triple to start subtracting points in 501 or setting a time limit in Shanghai. Additionally, electronic dartboards often come with special features and settings that can enhance gameplay for these specific games. Explore the options and possibilities to customize your gaming experience.

Lastly, hosting tournaments or friendly competitions with friends and family can add excitement and camaraderie to your dartboard experience. Create a friendly atmosphere, establish some ground rules, and enjoy the thrill of competing against each other. It’s a great way to bond, have fun, and improve your dart skills together.

501Reach zero points by subtracting scores from 501Aim at numbered sections, score doubles or triples to lower score fasterFirst player to reach exactly zero
ShanghaiScore as many points as possible in each roundAim at designated section, score single, double, and triple for a ShanghaiPlayer scoring a Shanghai in any round automatically wins
Count UpAccumulate points by hitting different sectionsAim at various sections, score points according to numbers hitPlayer with the highest score at the end

Community and Competitive Play

In the world of electronic dartboards, there is a vibrant and thriving community of players who enjoy the competitive aspect of the game. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to test your skills or a beginner looking to connect with fellow dart enthusiasts, there are various opportunities available to engage in community and competitive play.

If you’re interested in joining a local dart league or club, there are often organized tournaments and events where players can gather and compete. These leagues provide a great opportunity to meet other players, learn from experienced individuals, and participate in friendly competitions.

To find local dartboard communities near you, consider reaching out to sports clubs, pubs, or game centers in your area. They may have dart leagues or know where you can connect with other players. Additionally, online forums, social media groups, and dedicated dartboard communities can be excellent sources to network with players and stay updated on upcoming events and competitions.

In the digital era, virtual competitions on electronic dartboards have also gained popularity. Online platforms offer the opportunity to compete with players from around the world, challenging your skills and engaging in competitive gameplay from the comfort of your own home.

In the world of professional dart play, there are renowned dart organizations and events that showcase the highest level of competitiveness. These organizations host tournaments with the best players in the world, providing a platform for aspiring dart players to witness and learn from the best.

Experienced competitive players share valuable insights and advice for those looking to take their dart skills to the next level. From strategy tips to mental preparation, being part of the electronic dartboard community can offer invaluable knowledge and support for players aiming to improve their game.


Throughout this guide, we have explored the world of electronic dartboards, delving into their features, setup, gameplay, and maintenance. It is evident that electronic dartboards offer a range of benefits over traditional dartboards. The automatic scoring, game variations, multiplayer options, and safety features make them a fantastic choice for players of all skill levels. Whether you are a casual player looking to have fun with friends or a serious competitor seeking to improve your skills, an electronic dartboard machine can elevate your playing experience.

When choosing an electronic dartboard, it is crucial to consider factors such as dartboard size, durability, scoring accuracy, customizable settings, and additional accessories. By understanding your preferences and needs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your playing style.

Before making a purchase, don’t hesitate to explore different options and consult reviews from trusted sources. Hearing from experts and experienced players can provide valuable insights and help you find the electronic dartboard that suits you best.

In conclusion, electronic dartboards offer exciting opportunities for entertainment and competition. By following the guidelines in this guide, you can set up your dartboard correctly, learn various game variations, and maintain it effectively. I hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge and motivation to embark on your electronic dartboard journey with confidence. So grab your darts, aim for the bullseye, and enjoy the thrilling world of electronic darts!

Boost Your Dart Skills!

After exploring electronic dartboards here, advance your expertise with my comprehensive dartboard guide. Uncover tactics and knowledge that turn beginners into skilled players.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some benefits of choosing an electronic dartboard over a traditional dartboard?

Electronic dartboards offer features such as automatic scoring, game variations, multiplayer options, safety features, and the ability to play with soft-tip darts. These features enhance the playing experience and make it more accessible to players of all skill levels.

What are the different types of electronic dartboards available in the market?

Electronic dartboards come with different display options, such as LED or LCD screens. They also offer various game modes, voice prompts, and interactive features. Entry-level, mid-range, and high-end electronic dartboards cater to different preferences and budgets.

What essential features should I consider when purchasing an electronic dartboard?

Some important factors to consider include dartboard size and shape, durability, scoring accuracy, customizable settings, sound effects, and the availability of additional accessories. Prioritize these features based on your preferences and playing needs.

How do I set up an electronic dartboard?

To set up an electronic dartboard, mount it securely, ensuring the correct height and distance from the throwing line. Connect the power source and calibrate the scoring system if required. Position the dartboard in a suitable location and make any necessary adjustments for optimal gameplay.

What are some popular games to play on an electronic dartboard?

Popular games on electronic dartboards include 501, Shanghai, and Count Up. Each game has its own rules and gameplay instructions. These games can be made more challenging or competitive with variations and strategies. Consider hosting tournaments or friendly competitions with friends and family.

How do I maintain and care for my electronic dartboard?

Maintenance and care for an electronic dartboard involve cleaning the surface, replacing soft-tip darts, and ensuring the functionality of the electronic components. Avoid liquid spills and excessive force to prevent damage. Follow any specific manufacturer recommendations or guidelines for optimal lifespan.

How can I participate in community and competitive play with an electronic dartboard?

Look for local dart leagues, clubs, or tournaments where you can connect with other players and participate in competitive gameplay. Join online forums or social media groups focused on dartboards and consider participating in virtual competitions. Seek out professional dart organizations or events for more opportunities.