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# Is there a reason behind the way the scoring sections on a dart board are positioned?

Question #129021. Asked by Johnsnow. (Jan 17 13 3:24 PM)

blantonrk

Actually the answer is fairly simple. The numbers were originally arranged so that two players, one starting at the 20 and the other the 19, could form various number combinations to play point games. Today we just use the triple twenty or bull until an out is reached. Most likely this idea of using combinations for scoring originated from the card game of cribbage, a favorite card game of the time.

What made the games fun and challenging was that each player had to form those combinations using only the numbers on the side of the board they started on!

How it is possible that two player using different numbers and opposite sides of the board can play the same exact point games is what the numbering system is all about!

To achieve this, the HIGH NUMBERS are cleverly arranged so that two halves of the board MIRROR each other in POINT VALUE. This can easily be seen as demonstrated below.

20+18+13=51 ---- 20+12+14=46

19+17+15=51 ---- 19+16+11=46

Then low numbers were interwoven between the high numbers to create the same mirrored scoring patterns.

9+5+20+1+4=39 ---- 8+7+19+3+2=39

Though the 20 and 19 are the basis from which all combinations start the 10 and 6 do not enter into any combinations. In the game of cribbage 2 cards are always discarded.

Exactly how combinations were made or scoring went is not known, however the numbering arrangement clearly demonstrates that the combinations were formed by shooting specific numbers in order, one player starting at the 20 and the other the 19, and that each player had equal opportunity to match it.

It is of interest to note that both the 18 and 17 have the lowest penalty for missing - 5 points- not the 20 or 19 as one would think if low numbers were to penalize poor shots. More likely low numbers were outs or used to complete specific combinations.

To further demonstrate the influence of cribbage on our numbering system and probable manner of play one only has to look to the left side of the board. It is not coincidence that all combinations start with either the 20 or 19 and that when you shoot the leg 20-5-12-9-14-11-8-16-7-19 it totals 121 the winning score of cribbage!

Folklore states that at a carnival in 1896 a game of darts was played that advertised "players are to shoot numbers in order and drunks will have no chance".

 Jan 17 13, 3:47 PM
looney_tunes

"From the 1800 to 1900?s, different versions of the game existed with not much of a standard or any rules. Different dartboard numbering configurations were used during this time and it was only at the end of the 19th century that the game developed into its modern day version.

In 1896, a carpenter from Lancashire in England, by the name of Brian Gamlin, invented the dartboard numbering layout of today.

The numbering system of modern day dartboards, has the number 20 at the top, followed by the number 1 in a clockwise direction, then the number 18 etc. Brian Gamlins numbering sequence layout, was specifically created with the intention to penalize inaccuracy. Although many papers were written about the billions of different dartboard numbering sequences that could be devised with 20 numbers, it is widely accepted, that Brian Gamlins numbering sequence layout, is the closest to perfect randomness you will ever find. (Brian Gamlin died in 1903 before he could patent his idea)

Doubles and trebles were not part of the dartboard's make-up during this time. The highest score was the bullseye."

http://dartsinfoworld.com/history-of-darts/

http://www.100megsfree.com/thedartdog/why_are_the_numbers_on_a_dartboa.htm

 Jan 17 13, 5:13 PM