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Pool and darts are the most common activities found in American recreational rooms. Most people are familiar with at least the rudimentary rules of each because of their pervasiveness in public bars.
Darts is always a game of mathematics, while pool relies more heavily on developed skills and techniques that need to be polished over time. While both have their appeal, it’s important to understand their unique differences before furnishing your game room.
Darts and Pool: The Basics
Before jumping into the differences, let’s start by taking a look at each of the two games separately.
What Is Darts?
Darts is a game that requires you to stand a certain distance from a round dartboard hung on a wall that is separated into numerical sections. You’ll throw a small pointed object, or the dart, at the board to score points. The particularities of the scoring will depend on the game you choose to play.
Dartboards come in a variety of colors and themes. They’re easily matched to any décor and can be hidden away in small cabinets when not in use.
There are competitive dart players, and dart competitions can be found in your community. However, it is better known for its ease of use while drinking with friends than it is for its use of complex skill sets.
The weight of the dart can vary, but every dart in your dart set will generally be the same weight. Their weights vary wildly based on preference.
What Is Pool?
Pool is a cue sport, which means one player’s move will signal how the next player responds. It is played on a table with pockets for the balls to roll into at equal intervals around the table. Each move builds off of the last, so strategy is an important element of the game.
There are a variety of ways to play pool. Which method you choose will affect how points are scored, which balls are off-limits, and what the end goal of the game will be.
Pool can be played competitively, and competition can be fierce. It is a sport in its own right with huge championship tournaments occurring across the nation that start in small pool halls scattered in almost every neighborhood.
While pool is a common sight in bars, it isn’t as common in homes. The price of playing can be cumbersome, and pool sticks, chalk, balls, and the fixtures to store all of this can be prohibitively expensive.
Darts vs. Pool: What Are the Differences?
With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at the differences between the two games.
Darts is a game that is simple to understand.
Darts is a product of simple math. You aim the dart, you throw the dart, and you receive points based on where it sticks into the dartboard. Some skill is required to throw the dart in a straight line, but it is not a complex game.
It is a quick game that doesn’t require much in-depth thinking. It is easy to play passively while engaging in other activities.
Pool is a complex game that requires strategy.
A proper pool table will occupy 11 x 14 feet of your space. You’ll also have to leave ample room around the table, so you don’t hit walls or furnishings with the sticks. Contorting yourself into the exact position you require to make your next move is common, and your space will need to accommodate that.
There are many ways to play pool, including straight pool, 8-ball, 9-ball, and a variety of other options. When you’re bored with one way of playing, there are plenty more to choose from.
You’ll need to learn various rules depending on your chosen game. You’ll also need to develop skills in aiming, shooting, breaking, ball control, and defensive strategies.
The material that balls are made of and the sticks you’ll need can vary wildly in price, so playing pool is an investment. If you’re acclimated to the feel of one stick but are forced to use another, your skill level will drop because your equipment has changed.
Which of the Two Should You Add to Your Rec Room?
Darts take up a lot less room than a pool table. A pool table is a real estate commitment while darts are easily moved to accommodate televisions and seating. If your space is limited, opt for darts.
A set of darts and a dartboard are also a lot cheaper to buy than pool tables and all of the accessories you’ll need to play a proper game of pool. If you’re looking for cheap fun, darts will get you playing without breaking the bank.
That said, if you want to play a competitive game that will inspire you to travel to events, pool is the way to go. While darts is played competitively, it doesn’t have nearly the same kind of following that pool does.
Pool is noisy, so there will be time constraints on times you can play. The balls click against each other, and starting the game is a maelstrom of clacking. Darts can be played almost silently, so if you want to play games while others are slumbering, darts is the way to go.
The lack of developed techniques needed for darts is better for a house with kids, as children will quickly grasp the concept of the game. If you have little ones, choosing darts over pool might be good.
That’s because pool is complicated, and better suited for a group of people willing to engross themselves in the game. Darts is better for social interaction, as it allows players to walk away while it isn’t their turn.
With that in mind, if you’re looking for a place to congregate with a close group of friends over an activity, pool is right for you. If you want to socialize and converse while walking around the room, darts is a better option.
Both darts and pool are a fun group activity, and both provide a means of participating in a competition in your leisure time.
Pool is less accessible but more engrossing. Darts is affordable but isn’t as versatile. The space you have available for recreation as well as your desired engrossment level are important considerations.
Make room for both if you can.