While there are many different variations of darts, the official rules are most commonly used. A lot of people play darts in the United States, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom (which was the first country to officially accept darts as a competitive sport. There are two large organizations in the darts world- the BDO (British Darts Organization) and the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation). Both of these are important in the game, and have been instrumental to getting darts shown on television.
Over history, many reports of people that had played darts exists- there is a rumor that soldiers during war used to throw small arrows at tree trunks; these tree trunks eventually split leaving sections to aim at. Although this is not certain, most people feel that the way the numbering works on a dart board was invented by Brian Gamlin in 1896 in order to make sure players would try and score highly.
Many dart boards are made of sisal fibers or boar bristles, some cheap quality ones may use coiled paper or rubber. A standard board is cut up into twenty different sections, with each section being worth a different number of points. Players obviously try and aim for the highest scoring sections in order to rack up a higher score than their opponents.
Many people play darts; its rules are fairly simple to comprehend. Most games are played between two players (although more may play if it is not played competitively) and each player is given three throws per turn. Players start from a decided score (usually 301 or 501) and the first player to reach zero wins. Players must reach exactly zero- should they get points that takes them below zero it will not count, their score will be reset and they will have to try again.
Other variations of dart include "Round the Clock", "Jumpers", "Killer" and "Cricket". All of these have different rules than the standard version; some are more complicated, some less so. While these are all played for fun and amusement around the world, it is usually the official version used for tournaments.
There are two official darts World Championships per year- one organized by the BDO and one by the PDC. There are also many other tournaments, such as Grand Slams, World Grand Prix and the International Darts League. Some of the best players to play darts are Phil Taylor (thirteen world championships), Trina Guliver (seven world championships and Eric Bristow/Raymond van Barneveld (five world championships each). Most darts players have unique nicknames of their own, for example Phil Taylor is called "The Power".
Whether you're looking to have some fun or to play a competitive game with your friends, you can be assured that if you play darts it will satisfy either objective. If you have some spare time on your hands, you should watch others play darts on television, as competitions are often exciting to watch.