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Dartex

Dartex, the Thrilling New Card Game of Skill (1938) based on the traditional pub game where darts are thrown at a circular target.

Dartex, the Thrilling New Card Game of Skill, 1938

Right: front of the box, which is of poor quality and printed in blue on plain white card.

The game of ‘Dartex’ is based on the traditional pub game where darts are thrown at a circular target. The card game version contains a total of 52 cards (38 showing a dart board + 14 special cards) which act as the throws and, just as in the real game, good mental arithmetic is required. The game was published just before the Second World War, in September 1938, at a time when wartime economies were coming into effect. The publisher/manufacturer's name is not given.

There is speculation that the game of darts originated among soldiers throwing short arrows at the bottom of a cask or trunks of trees. As the wood dried, cracks would develop, creating "sections". Soon, regional standards emerged and many woodworkers supplemented bar tabs by fabricating dart boards for the local pubs.   Learn more in Wikipedia artlicle →

Above: Dartex, the Thrilling New Card Game of Skill, 52 cards, printed in black on plain white card, 1938.

Right: front page of the rules booklet, and the back of the cards, printed in red or blue on plain white, showing three darts and a dart board motif.

The rules state that: "For his first throw, every player must begin with a double, such a throw therefore being double, 3, 4, or double, 11, 12, etc. In place of a double, however, a player can use two cards of the same number, e.g., throws made up of 4, 4, 9, or 7, 7, 19, etc., in which case of the duplicated numbers count only as a double for scoring purposes and have no numerical value, e.g., 4, 4, 9, would be scored as a double 9, equals 18. ... The highest score possible for any one throw is treble, treble, bull, equals 450."

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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