best dart board

Best Dart Board - Top Rated Bristle And Electronic - All Reviewed


What's All The Fuss About?

Well, I'll tell you.........

Darts has got to be one of the most gut-busting, side-splitting get-together games ever invented. 

That's why you need the best dart board available - one that fits your needs to a T. Much like that winning dart that fits plumb inside of the bulls-eye.

It’s the type of game that everyone can play and for some reason, no one gets snarky when they lose. 

I mean, it’s not like golf. I watched my sweet husband pitch an entire set of $2,000 Arnold Palmer clubs off of the Bourne Bridge on our way home from vacation at Cape Cod, MA back in 1978.

That’s right. He just pulled the car over, got out, very quietly opened the trunk and tossed ‘em.

But I digress.

More and more of you are opting for home-play, rather than out and about at a bar or social club somewhere.

It makes lots of sense because most of the electronic dart boards have from 8-16 player capability.

This makes for such a lively exchange and we here at Game Room Heaven can’t push this sport hard enough!

Now, what type of board you play on depends on your preferences but we are great proponents of the new electronic style dart board.

At the same time, you can’t deny the good ‘ol bristle boards, either. 

So, just some words of caution: Don’t buy something cheap, just for the sake of price.

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We say this about all of the products we’ve introduced on this site. 

Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

If you’re going to invest in something that’s going to take a beating (and believe me, even the best dart board will take a beating), then let it be something that can withstand the punishment.

We think you'll agree that if you buy something really cheap, it will end up falling out of the sky dead within just a few short months.

And you’ll end up buying another one waaaay before it’s time.

The cheaper the board, the sooner you'll buy a replacement.

On the other hand, you probably don't need to spend $$thousands$$ on bells and whistles you don’t need.

Unless you are hosting the national championships in your family room, you do not need a high-priced, pimped-out, commercial dart board.

You should always buy based on the value you get for your investment.

Just remember that the old phrase "You get what you pay for." is still very true.

But, as it turns out, you can get the best dart board for the money. The nice part is that we've done the work for you.

All you have to do is choose and click!


Best Dart Board – Our Definitive Top Picks 2016

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BRISTLE DART BOARDS

DMI ESPN World Series of Darts Licensed Staple-Free Bristle Dart Board

Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Built to specs of American Dart Organization/British Dart Organization

· Cutting-edge, tournament grade bristle dart board

· Made of attractive top-of-the-line sisal

· Ultra-ultra thin spider reduces bounce-outs

· Number ring is adjustable

· Powder-coated number wiring – improves field of vision for accuracy

· Regulation size measures 18 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches wide

· 1 year warranty

· Staple-free construction

· ESPN logo

· Best Dart Board!


Features

User-Friendly

Price

· High-quality tournament grade bristle board and wood cabinet

· Chalkboards are dual-score

· Includes two sets of weighted steel tip darts

· Stylishly carved elements and design

· Dimensions: 24.75W x 25.5W x 5D inches

· Built by American Heritage Billiards, well-known for game room furniture and accessories

· Best Dart Board!


Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Quality American craftsmanship

· Bar & shield cabinet, made of western pine and brass hinges

· Premium tournament quality bristle dart board

· Includes two sets of rally brass darts

· Diamond plated lexan oche (throw line)

· Comes ready to play – right out of the box

· Best Dart Board!



Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Arachnid is the originator of electronic dart games

· Tournament grade electronic dart board

· Regulation 15.5" target range

· 39 games/179 variations (7 Cricket Games)

· Nylon solid segments and “square” holes enhance board endurance

· Razor thin spider greatly decrease dreaded bounce-outs

· 3 level heckler feature for give-and-take game play – HILARIOUS!

· Accommodates up to 8 players with 4-player oversized LED scoring capability

· Best Dart Board!

VIDEO REVIEW-Arachnid CricketPro 800!


Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dart Board With Arcade Style Cabinet

Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Arachnid is the originator of electronic dart games

· Gorgeous cherry finish/Arcade design

· Plenty of storage space in the cabinet

· Measurement 84"h x 12 1/2"d x 23 1/2"w assembled

· Tournament grade electronic dart board

· Regulation 15.5" target range

· 39 games/179 variations (7 Cricket Games)

· Nylon solid segments and “square” holes enhance board endurance

· Razor thin spider greatly decrease dreaded bounce-outs

· 3 level heckler feature for give-and-take game play – HILARIOUS!

· Accommodates up to 8 players with 4-player oversized LED scoring capability

· Best Dart Board!


Arachnid Cricket Pro 750 Electronic Dart Board

Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Arachnid is the originator of electronic dart games

· Tournament grade electronic dart board

· Regulation 15.5" target range

· 36 games/175 variations (7 cricket games)

· Nylon solid segments enhance board endurance

· Razor thin spider greatly decrease dreaded bounce-outs

· Up to 8 players with 4-player tricolor LED cricket display

· Accommodates up to 8 players with 4-player tri-color LED cricket display

· Includes a handicap component that equalizes the playing field for all skill levels

· Solo-play option allows play against the system for some solid practice

· Best Dart Board!


Viper X-Treme Electronic Soft Tip Dart Board

Features

User-Friendly

Price

· Regulation 15.5-inch target area

· Only board on the market that uses LED scoring display built into door

· Includes 2 sets of darts and extra soft tips

· Features 48 games/266 options

· Accommodates up to 16 players

· Cabinet is made out of black molded plastic with faux wood finish

· Display has scrolling screen

· Handicap option for each player

· Missed dart detector

· Bounce-out button

· 1-year warranty

· Best Dart Board!


The History Of Darts

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Hope and Anchor dart club | 20 Waterloo Street (now Macbeth Street), Hammersmith, London, UK. ca 1925. NB publican Charles Fletcher (seated front row center) with elm board

Many historians believe that the game of darts started during the Middle Ages.

Pitching arrows and dart-like projectiles in battle evidently didn’t stop there.

It's been said that soldiers who were trying to fill their boredom void between attacks would throw their leftover arrows at a wine cask cover.

It has also been indicated that archers-in-training would have to practice by throwing their arrows first, before being allowed to shoot.

The DMI ESPN World Series of Darts Licensed Staple-Free Bristle Dart Board is a great piece and will serve amateurs as well as starter darters who are amateur wannabees.

Not long after, people started tossing at the cross-section of a sizeable log, using the age cracks as a scoring layout.

Because the game became popular as an indoor pastime, the arrows were shortened and the game became even more prominent.

The game continued its popularity and spread globally throughout the peak of the British Empire.

The Harley-Davidson® 61995 Bar and Shield Dart Board Cabinet is a great piece and will serve amateurs as well as starter darters who are amateur wannabees.

At one time, it was said that the game of darts came over with the Mayflower, however, in later years those rumors were unproven.

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It's true that immigrants probably brought their rendition of the sport, it has been implied that Native Americans had been entertaining themselves with a form of darts long before contact with British and Irish settlers.

Late 19th century poisoned darts. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Brooklyn Museum, NYC

The game actually became a popular pub game after World War II, when veterans returned from Britain.

Through the years, darts have become fairly regulated with its rules, equipment and countless game variations.

The game has progressed throughout its tenure.

By the late 1920s, the dart board finally had a bull’s eye, wired-off sections and definitive numbers.

Several years later, a material called sisal fiber had replaced the old wooden boards.

The Viper X-Treme Electronic Soft Tip Dart Board is a user-friendly way to transition to the electronic board. Tons of options.

In the early 1900s, the game of darts was in jeopardy of dying out in England.

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Darts was considered a game of “chance” and the law did not allow these games in licensed pubs.

In 1908, Foot Anakin, owner of a popular bar, challenged the law.

He took the matter to court.

Anakin brought a dart board and called for a game with the clerk.

Anakin threw three darts for three 20s.

The clerk then tossed three darts.

The first two missed and the last one hit the number 7.

Anakin scored again with three double 20s.

The judge abruptly stopped play and asked Anakin if he would repeat that.

Anakin responded with three more double 20s.

The magistrate had been persuaded. Darts had been demonstrated to be a game of skill, not of chance.

The game of darts was again permitted in pubs and the owners had Foot Anakin to thank.

The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dart Board With Arcade Style Cabinet is a gorgeous piece of furniture and will give your game room a taste of real style.

That Funky Numbering

As for how the crazy numbering system on the dart board came to be, there are conflicting stories.

Some give credit to Brian Gamlin, a British carpenter.

Others say it was Thomas William Buckle, a British wire worker.

Whoever it was, did it intentionally – to penalize poor aim and to reward skill.

Simple as that.

4 and 1 are on either side of 18, 1 and 5 are on either side of 20, 3 and 2 are on either side of 17. If you aim for the 20 sector, you’d better be on your game, otherwise you’ll end up in the 1 or the 5 slice.



All About Dart Boards

best dart board

Bristle

This is the most prevalent type of dart board used today. They became most popular due to the Dutch elm disease that shattered Britain’s wood supply in the 1970s. A material called sisal is used, with the edges pressed with metal bands. One of the main objectives when building the first sisal bard was the fact that when a dart was removed, there wasn’t a hole left in its place. The board mended itself for further play.

As we stated earlier, when shopping, make sure your choice meets the standards of competitive play. Crummy, cheap boards will literally fall apart while you watch and your buddies will start hanging around someone else’s house instead of yours. Wear and tear is inevitable for any bristle board so you’ll want a removable number hoop so you can rotate the worn parts of the board. As far as the wiring on the board, be sure to look for a “no staple” system.

The American Heritage Cavalier Bristle Dart Board Complete Set isn't just a stand-alone dart board. It sits in a trendy cabinet with scoring tables on either side.

Wires that are held down by staples (cheaper models) will cause more bounce-outs.

It’s definitely worth the extra moolah for a well-constructed “spider” (net metal divider that separates the numbers).

Some wiring structures are made with extra thin wire that is triangular in shape and will actually direct the dart into scoring position.

One last point – don’t get bristle confused with cork.

Bristle is not cork.

Cork is cork and it wears out fairly quickly.



best dart board

Electronic

To me, the electronic board was to the bristle board as the gas grill was to the good ‘ol charcoal barbecue.

How could they take something so awesome and try to change it?

Well, my friend, they did.

If you’ve never tried an electronic dart board, you need to. Right now.

We can say with all confidence that it will far surpass the bristle board’s popularity in a very short amount of time.

One of the great aspects of this board is that it can be set up for play in a league using the Internet and some nifty networking. Whaaaat?

A company named Arachnid invented the electronic board, along with the well-matched soft tipped darts.

So, throw a soft dart at one of the tens of thousands of holes in the board, and your score is immediately recorded.

The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dart Board will have your friends lined up at your door come Friday night.

Even if you’re a novice but think you may want to get really good someday, playing in a league will be a hefty goal.

Buy yourself a regulation sized board (15.5”), look for features like dart average so you can track your progress.

There is also a handicap component that equalizes the playing field so everyone feels welcome.

Some electronic boards also have a solo-play option that lets you play against the system for the ultimate practice time.

The Arachnid Cricket Pro 750 Electronic Dart Board is an earlier and therefore cheaper version of the Cricket Pro. Awesome choice for a real beginner.

Typically, these boards accommodate 8-16 players.

Make sure the scoring system is what you want and that it shows more than just 2 players’ scores at one time.

4 player scores is more realistic.

Lots of games are included, along with modifications or variations of these games.

Check that your board includes your favorites.

FYI, there is a crossover type of dart board, similar to bristle but has automatic scoring. Hard-tipped darts are used on these, so they tend to fall down dead sooner than not because of the wear and tear from the steel darts.



best dart board

Magnetic

We have not read anything about the magnetic dart board except to say they are mainly for children.

And why not? Why should grown-ups have all the fun?

The only advice we can give is to be sure to get something sturdy enough to stand up to the abuse it will take. 

You really don’t want a bunch of sad, crying kids standing around a dead dart board.

Wooden and Paper-Coiled 

Neither of these is very popular today but certainly have had gigs in the dart world through the years.

They can still be purchased but most dart players, both novice and champs alike, would rather have the bristle or the electronic setups that are widely favored today.



Measurements

best dart board

The standard dartboard measurement is 18” diameter and has 20 numbered, round on one end triangular-shaped equal sections, as well as a bulls-eye.

Each section has a double ring on the outer scoring area and a triple ring on the inside.

These are scored as double and triple of the number, respectively.

The bulls-eye has an outer-ring, called the single bulls-eye, scoring 25 points and an inside ring, called the double bulls-eye, racking up 50 points.

The standard height from the floor to the actual bullseye is 5’, 8”

The distance between the front of the board and the toeline, or oche (pronounced “ockey”, as in hockey without the "h") is 7’, 9.25”



Regulatory

The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) - 

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The aim of the DRA is to be recognized as the regulatory body for the worldwide sport of Darts.

Their primary authority is to furnish and administer the rules and regulations that will promote the image and profile of the sport within professional, as well as amateur classes.

The DRA Rules Book is the foundation and specifies the requirements of conduct for players in DRA approved events.

Tournaments And Other News

There are many tournaments being held worldwide.

The Professional Darts Corporation has a most informative website that lists some of the most entertaining championships.

The PDC was originally formed as the World Darts Council in 1992 and now holds the spot for the leading professional body in the Dart world with over £7 million in prize money dispersed thus far throughout its global circuit.

Entertainment In The World Of Darting

Guinness Book Of World Records -

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The Guinness Book Of World records has recorded tons of world records having to do with the sport of Darts. 

Click here to see the madness!


And Then Watch This Ridiculously Amazing Event

The Skinny On Darts

Darts are comprised of barrels, with points made of plastic or steel, along with shafts and flights.

The flight helps to keep the dart on a straight trajectory and from straying when thrown.

Most darts come already assembled.

Each person has one set of 3 darts.

Each person throws 3 darts and then removes them before the next person throws.

Leaving darts in the board only causes damage when it’s the next person’s turn to throw.

Darts are typically sized to fit.

If your board includes one or two sets of darts, make sure they fit your hand comfortably.

Otherwise, save those for guests and visit your local sporting goods store and sample the different types and assizes before you buy.

There’s usually someone there that can help you choose just the right ones for your grip.

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Brass Darts

Brass is the least expensive material and very soft.

Being mass-produced, the lower grade and integrity will most likely cause them to wear down and need replacing sooner rather than later.

Nickel/Silver Darts

The nickel dart is much tougher than brass and therefore more reliable in terms of endurance.

They are still a good deal where your wallet is concerned, especially if you’re just starting out.

Keep in mind that there is really no silver used here.

No one knows the what the correlation is.

Nevertheless, this is a good starter dart.

Tungsten Darts

Tungsten is an exceptionally dense metal and is denser than brass and nickel/silver.

This robust metal breeds darts that can endure lots of wear and tear and feel more comfortable grip-wise.

And believe it or not, these darts are more likely to land in closer groups on the board more often than those made with softer metals.

The most typical compounds that go into a tungsten dart are tungsten, iron, copper and nickel, although the specific combination depends on the manufacturer’s machining process and the costs involved.

These darts cost more because extremely dense metal requires more manpower to manufacture an item.

There are four major “levels” of tungsten darts, each one dependent on its percentage of tungsten, ranging from 50% to 98%.

Always buy from an honest shopkeeper and throw up a bright red flag when you see discounted tungsten darts.

Be sure to look at the percentage of tungsten somewhere on the label.

The higher the number, the better the quality.

Lower numbers typically mean cheap, sub-par quality imports.

Keep in mind that you won’t be replacing true tungsten darts for a very long time.



To Shaft Or Not To Shaft

best dart board

A shaft holds the flight away from the center of the barrel.

Shafts serve to hold the flights away from the center of mass of the dart barrel.

The shaft acts as a type of lever, causing the flight to oppose any sideward fluctuation.

Plastic

The cheapest of the shafts, they come in various colors but break easily, especially when throwing tight groups.

Made of nylon and sometimes polycarbonate.

Composite

The next level up from plastic, the bases are made of plastic and the tops are made of aluminum or other metals.

These perform really well, can endure a lot of abuse and will not vibrate loose as freely as solid aluminum.

Solid Aluminum

Solid aluminum shafts are more robust and enduring than plastic or composite.

They’re available in many colors and some are enhanced with etched spirals, flutes and stripes.

Be watchful, however, because they tend to vibrate loose when used with heavier darts.

Affixing rubber o-ring washers are suggested to keep this from happening.

On a positive note, they will most likely bend instead of breaking when clipped.

Just align it back in order for further use.

Spinning

An assortment of shaft designs are now available that allow the flight to move out of the way when clipped by another dart.

These shafts don’t enhance the dart’s glide but they will permit tight groups more often than not, by allowing the flights to settle up against one another.

Spinning shafts will also lessen the likelihood of torn flights and split shafts.



The Truth About Flights

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Positioned at the ends or back of the dart are the wings.

They serve to secure the dart during its flight.

Contrary to popular opinion, flights do not produce lift.

They turn away any motion from the center of the dart.

Hard Flights

Made of rigid polyester plastic that doesn’t tear as often as soft flights.

If they do rip, they become throwaways.

While they aren’t flexible, they will tend to pop off of the shaft if they clip another dart.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it decreases any deviation in its path and tight groups form with ease.

An opaque compound known as Melinex is now used, instead of the original clear plastic, making brighter colors and designs available. (AKA poly-flights)

Nylon Flights

Constructed of ripstop nylon fabric, these flights are said to be the most durable and are virtually tear-free.

You’ll need a looser fit, so the slots on the shaft will need to be pried open a bit to conform.

Available in bright colors and tons of printed designs.

Other styles such as Dimplex, have been etched with a texture of sorts.

Some darters like this because it makes for a stiffer glide and the added surface area gives it more stability.

The slots will need to be pried to insert these flights.

Soft Flights

Very popular at one time, soft flights are rarely used now and are extremely difficult to find.

These flights are constructed from a flexible plastic sheet that is pre-printed with an assortment of designs and then creased into shape.

A strong bonding agent holds the layers together.

Magically, if the flight is torn, just press the layers together and presto – the glue will repair the tear.

One more thing to note is that if a soft flight is hit by another dart, it will bend out of the way. (AKA reseal-flights)

FYI, want to enhance the life of your flights? Prevent them from splitting at the back center by using flight protectors. They don’t weight the dart down, nor do they affect the flight of the dart.

To Sum Up

You may have the best air hockey table and the best 50 inch TV to entertain with, but the best dart board will win you more friends every time!

Bottom line is that whatever you decide, having the best dart board right at your fingertips most assuredly outweighs having to go out to a bar or pub to play.

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Patrons are usually tipsy and game-play tends to be sub-par.

All this, as well as having to spend hard-earned money on drinks and eats makes for a pathetic night out.

And no one comes off looking good afterwards.


Now Picture This

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You invited all your partners-in-crime. It’s BYOB and you put out some simple snacks and dips.

There's pounding at the back door. Then someone yells "Game on!" 

​Oh ya.

Before you know it, four hours have passed and y’all are planning the next darting night.

And we can't emphasize this enough:

Wives and girlfriends are satisfied that y’all are not out carousing, and sometimes it can even turn into a day of barbecue with friends and family - and yes, even in-laws! 

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Everyone’s happy. 

That's a Bulls Eye!



Come on...........You know you want one!

Time To Decide!

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Although it is ultimately your decision, be cautious of which retailer you choose.

You never want to be disappointed with your purchase or the many facets of the buying process that go with it.

We are big fans of Amazon.com. Millions of people trust Amazon with their shopping needs every year.

Low prices, free shipping on tons of items, several convenient payment options, timely delivery, great customer support and hassle-free returns are just some of the benefits.


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Walda Woods

Walda Woods spent many years in the corporate world as a mid-level executive and now spends her time as a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Boston, MA, she currently lives in Topeka, KS to be near her family. She recently started a blog on game rooms, focusing on leisure time and the memories that friends and family can create. Her unique blend of personality, humor and values is sprinkled throughout this website and keeps her game room audience coming back for more.

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