How to Play Tic Tac Toe Darts (Refreshing, Simple, and Fun)

How to Play Tic Tac Toe Darts (Refreshing, Simple, and Fun)

7 minutes read
Aug 21st, 2023

Have you ever heard of the tic tac toe darts? Yes, it exists. If you’re a fan of the tic tac toe original game, then you’ll love this. In this blog, we’ll show you how to play tic tac toe darts so you can try it out with your friends tonight.



  • How to Play Tic Tac Toe Darts

How to Play Tic Tac Toe Darts

This game is ideal for 2 players and you can expect the setup and gameplay to be quite simple.

Set up the Tic Tac Toe Darts Game

You don’t need anything more than a setup for a normal darts game, including:

For the grids, you can draw them on a board or on paper: one for you, one for your opponent to keep track of your scoring, and one main grid for the actual gameplay. Above each of the two individual grids, write down the player’s name and the assigned symbol (O and X).

After that, in each grid, you write down the number corresponding to the number in the same position on the dartboard. So, that would be:

  • 12, 20, and 18 for the first row
  • 11, Bullseye, and 6 for the second row
  • 7, 3, and 2 for the third row

Each grid will look something like the table below:


Determine Who Goes First

There are numerous ways to decide this. Rock-paper-scissor might be the easiest option. Alternatively, you and your opponent can take a turn to throw at the dartboard. Whoever hit the closest to the bullseye will go first.

Hit the Right Target on The Dartboard

Each player will take turns throwing 3 darts to the dartboard. Only the sections that have the same numbers as those in the grids count. The others don’t.

So that means you can only throw at the 12, 20, 18, 11, the bullseye, 6, 7, 3, and 2 on the dartboard (let’s call these qualified sections).

Close the Numbers You Want on Your Grid

If you hit a single on a qualified section on the dartboard, you’ll get 1 strike on the corresponding number on your grid. Likewise, if you hit a double section, you’ll get 2 strikes. And if you hit a triple section, you’ll get 3 strikes.

For example, in one turn, you hit a single 20, a triple 20, and a single 12. So, you’ll get 4 strikes for the number 20 and 1 strike for the number 12 on your grid.

When you get 3 strikes (or more) on a number on your grid, you will “close” that number on your grid. As soon as this happens, you will leave your mark (X or O) on the main grid – in the section that has the same number as your grid. And that number becomes irrelevant (or out of play) for the rest of the game. The same rules apply to your opponent.

Let’s have another example, you hit a single 5, a double 20, and a triple 18 in the first turn. So, you’ll get:

  • 2 strikes on the number 20
  • 3 strikes on the number 18 on your grid
  • Note: the number 5 doesn’t count (since this number isn’t on your grid)

Since you get 3 strikes on the number 18, you close this number on your grid, and you get to mark (O or X) on the number 18 on the main grid. At this point, the number 18 on the dartboard does not count anymore.

In the second turn, you hit a double 20 again, a single 5 again, and a double 8. So now, you get:

  • 4 strikes on the number 20 on your grid (2 strikes this turn, 2 from the first turn).

Since you get more than 3 strikes on the number 20, you get to mark (O or X) on the number 20 on the main grid. The number 20 on the dartboard is out of play.

Win by Having 3 Marks in a Row on the Main Grid

The final objective is to get 3 marks (O or X) vertically, horizontally, or diagonally in a row. The first player who achieves this wins the game. This is very much the same as the traditional tic tac toe game on paper.

If you need a demonstration, watch this video below:

Variations to Tic Tac Toe Darts

A game of tic tac toe darts can be quite short, especially with excellent-aim players. Image your opponent hits a triple 20, a triple 12, and triple 18 on the dartboard in the first turn. Game over!

To avoid this, you can play “best of 3 or best of 5” or have some added rules or variations. There are many possibilities to add as long as the two players agree and the rules fit their skills.

You can change the rule from 3 strikes to 9 strikes to be able to close a number and leave a mark on the main grid. You can add a rule where you have to hit a single, a double, and also a triple on a qualified section on the dartboard to close a number. Or you have to double in first.


Now, you know how to play tic tac toe darts. It’s quite similar to the traditional tic tac toe game. In order to mark your O or X, you have to throw your darts at the right target on the dartboard. Let’s try it out now with your friends!

Read more about other popular darts games.

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