Darts is a sport, which can be played in Grand Theft Auto IV and its episodes at the Steinway Beer Garden in Dukes or at Lucky Winkles in Algonquin. These places serve as both drinking and darts venues. Darts is available on dates, while socialising with friends, and when alone. To win, the player must be the first to reach 0 points, as described below, from an original score of 301. The highest amount you can score in a round is 180.
When playing darts for the first time, the game will display information on how to play the game (instructions slightly edited for better explanation):
- Score points by throwing darts within the 20 numbered sections [numbered 1 to 20].
- This is the number shown on the outer rim. [Referring to the numbers near the edge of the dart board, which are base points.]
- Hitting one of the large portions of a [black or white] section scores you single points.
- Hitting within the outer [red and green] band scores you double points for that dart.
- The middle band [the inner red and green band] scores you triple points.
- The bullseye is the circle in the center of the board. The outer ring scores 25, the inner circle (the bull) scores 50.
- The object of the game is to reduce your score to exactly zero, before your opponent does.
- But remember, the winning dart must hit a double or the bull[by targeting an outer band or inner circle that will cancel out the remaining score]! Not "doubling out" results in your score being reset to the previous score, and your turn ending [also known simply as a "bust"]! [Another unspoken rule is that if the player manages to reduce their score to 1, they will evidently be incapable of closing their game with a double, also leading to a "bust".]
During aiming, the player's crosshair will tremble violently, making aiming slightly difficult. By pressing a specific command, the player can momentarily improve accuracy, indicated by a steadier and more focused crosshair.
Scoring a 180 with three darts is a requisite for the "One Hundred And Eighty" achievement for GTA IV.
When playing darts, a general rule of thumb is to initially aim for a large reduction of the player's score during the first run, focusing on reducing the score by a maximum of 180 by aiming for the inner band of the "20" section, giving the player a 60 point reduction for each shot. If the player has a score low enough to be canceled out with less than three darts but is odd, the player must attain an odd score from one dart shot, then aim for a double, as double scores are invariably even. Put it simply, basic math must also be applied when playing the game. It is possible to win a game in six darts or two turns at the board. On the first turn, score three triple twenties (180) reducing the score to 121. On the second turn, hit a triple twenty with the first dart (60), an eleven with the second, and finally finish with a bull (50). Note, the first two darts can be thrown in any order but the third must be a bull.
An alternate way to win in 6 moves is to hit 3 triple 20s (60 each, 180 total), then on your next turn, hit another triple 20 for 60 points, then a triple 7 (21), and then a double 20 (40). Much simpler than having to hit a bullseye.
If you get 140 with your first 3 darts, leaving you with 161 to get, you can still check out, but you will need a bullseye to finish. Hit triple 20, then triple 17 (51), then the bullseye.
- The fletching of the darts feature characteristics related to the characters playing darts, including:
- Niko Bellic: Colors of the flag of Serbia.
- Roman Bellic: Game art of the unnamed bikini-clad woman from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, reflecting his love for women.
- Little Jacob: A marijuana leaf, reflecting his avid use of marijuana.
- Patrick McReary: A caricature of a drunk, pants-less Irish man (similar to that of the Lucky Winkles' logo).
- Unnamed opponent (if the player don't play with a friend), girlfriends: The flag of Scotland, likely referencing Rockstar North.