Game of Dards - Understanding Eli

Friday, September 06, 2013

Game of Dards

No, this post is not about the Dard people. In fact, it wasn't until I set out to create this post that I even realised there were Dard people. No, this post is about a brand new game - I think it's new anyway - that my friends and I created one night. It features a mix of both darts and cards - hence Dards - and it's a tonne of fun. We're quite addicted to playing it at the moment, and I figured I'd share that fun by passing it along to any readers that happen to come by these parts. Perhaps after reading how to play the game, you can give it a try with your friends, and let me know in the comments below what you think, or perhaps even give me some ideas on how to improve things. Give it a shot, anyway and have fun!
Here's how to play.

The Board: 
First, picture the dart board as a 20 hour, non consecutively numbered, clock. The number 20 would be in the 12 o'clock position, and the 3 would be in the 6 o'clock spot. The clock doesn't matter, however. It's just a tool to help you visualise how the board is to be used beyond being shot at with the darts.

Scores are totalled, like in a real game of darts, by the total amount accumulated with 3 darts. The goal of each hand is to accumulate the most points as you possibly can - note that singles, doubles and triples on the dart board remain the same - with the winner of the game being the one who racks up the most points total.

The Cards:
Now, let's focus on the cards. These are used to determine what number on the dart board each person will be scoring on each turn. The numbers on the cards represent the number of 'paces' to move on the board - note that J is 11, Q is 12, and K is 13. The colors represent the direction you are to travel - red is clockwise, black is counter-clockwise. So, if we started the game on the 20 at the 12 o'clock position and picked a 2-of-hearts out of the deck, you'd move 2 spaces clockwise, landing on the 18. That would be number you shoot at for that particular turn. The next person in the game would pick a card and move however many required spaces, forwards or backwards, from the last number played, which in the example above would be the 18. Pretty simple so far right?

Actually playing the game is easy. There is no set number of people who can play but, in our opinion, it's best played with 3 people. No matter how many are playing however, the order of shooting is determined by tossing one dart closest to the bull. The closest goes first, with the furthest going last.

When playing with 2 players, we normally play what is referred to as 'Rapid Dards'. For this, all each person has to do is randomly select cards from the deck, and move to whatever number on the board that card represents. Then, shoot the 3 darts to see however many times you can hit that number - again, remember that doubles and triple spaces remain consistent with other games of darts. The game would be over when all 52 cards have been played, with the winner being the one with the most points accumulated.

With 3 people, we add a little more fun to the game by dealing out cards to each player, and do so for 3 rounds; 2 of 6 cards each, and 1 round of 5 cards to end it off. There will be one card leftover playing this way - we use it as a wild card, which will be explained later. This style of play adds a bit of strategy to the game, as each player will be able to choose whichever of their dealt cards they wish to play. For example, if the last number shot at was the 18, and you have a 2-of-clubs, you can lay that and move back to the 20 for your shots. The next person in line will then choose from their hand which card they wish to lay, and this continues until all cards in that round have been played. Then, you just move on to the next round until all 52 cards in the deck have been played. Again, the player with the most points at the end wins.

Additional Gameplay Items:
We've added some additional gameplay items to our brand of Dards. One thing we've done to add some more randomness to the game, is we total the points after each round. Whoever is the highest point-getter at round end starts the next round, followed by the next highest point-getter, and so on. What this means is that the playing order may change each round. We also generally start each round off at 0 points and just total each round at the end.

We've also included a double up ability to the game which can potentially provide more points to each player. This is achieved by laying consecutive numbers, like a 2 on a 2. So, if a player moved to the 18 from the 20 by laying a red 2, and you played a black 2 to get back to the 20, you'd be shooting for 20x2. The next player could then lay another 2, say a red one, and then shoot for 18x3. This could continue up to x4, as that is the total number of each number there is in a deck... unless you play with a wild card that is.

The wild card is a fun addition to the game as well. We generally pick the wild card right of the top of the game, as we know that one card has to be removed when playing with 3 people; 52 does not divide equally 3 ways. We also generally use this card to determine the starting point in the game, from the 12 o'clock position - like if it's a red 2, we start at 18 and go from there. Each of the 3 wild cards remaining can be used a multiplier at any time, and acts the same way as described above for consecutive numbers. You can also lay a wild card on already multiplied numbers - for example, if 2 6's are already played on top of each other, you can lay a wild card on it to triple whatever number you happen to be on, and the next player can follow that with either another wild card, or the original number that was doubled up, to continue the multiplier. The highest the multiplier can go using wilds is x7. Oh, and just to clarify, the movement for the wild card is always the face value, so if the wild card is 5, you move 5 spaces back or forward depending on the color of the card. This is always the case even if you are multiplying other card sets, like the 2 6's mentioned above.

And that's it. Fun times had by all. Give it a shot!

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