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I have gathered together a list of common dartboard games and rules for you to enjoy. They include the common ’01 games, Cricket played widely in America and Asia, Shanghai, Prisoner and Half-it to name just a few. I have also added a few of my own. The Grand National, a game that can be played at any playing standard and one of my favourites and additive 180 around the Clock! This game can be used just to improve your accuracy by setting yourself a points target or played with several people. I leave you to explore the rest.
The PDF Dartboard Games download on this page now also includes rules and games played on Regional Dartboards along with their board and throwing distance setup details.
The Board should hang securely from a wall so that the height of the centre bull is 5'8" or 1.73m from the floor.
The throwing distances can vary from anything from 7ft to 8'6" but the standard game is played from 7'9 ¼" 2.37m from the face of the board measured horizontally. For soft tip boards the throwing distance is usually longer i.e. 8’ or 2.43m
The toe-line or Oche shall be clearly marked and should be at least 18" long. The toe line can be just a painted line on the ground or a securely raised line indicator such as a piece of wood or metal. The latter is preferable as the thrower as firm edge to rest his/her foot against.
Players can use any darts as long as the overall length of 30.5cms. (12") nor weigh more than 50 grams is exceeded. The dart should consist of a needle shaped point, which shall be fixed to a barrel. At the rear of the barrel shall be an attached flighted shaft / stem, which may consist of up to five separate pieces. (IE: a flight, a flight securing device(s), a flight protector, and a stem.) For soft tip darts used on soft tip boards most rules state that no dart heavier than 18 grams can be used otherwise the board can be damaged. Some soft tip boards can take heavier darts up to 24 grams but with heavier darts you do tend to break more tips.
The order of play is either determined by a toss of a coin or by each player throwing for the centre bull the nearest being the player that throws first. The rules here can vary depending on the league you may be playing in; the local rules should be observed at all times.
When throwing for the bull, if the first thrower hits the centre bull or outer bull the dart is usually removed before the second player throws. If the second player hits the same as the first player then the bulling-up procedure starts again. If the first player's dart does not hit either the centre bull or outer bull then the dart remains in the board until the second player throws. If the first player's dart is obstructing the bull the second player may request the marker / ref to straighten the dart. (See local rules)
Once the order of play as been determined the winner will start leg one and odd legs after that. The looser will start leg two and even legs thereafter.
A throw consists three darts except were the game is finished in less.
Darts cannot be re-thrown this includes darts that miss the board and darts that bounce of the board wiring system. Only darts that have their points touching the scoring area of the board score.
A player may be told, if he asks, what number they scored, or what number he requires for the game, by the score announcer, but not how to get it.
If the number required for the game is exceeded in the course of a throw, throw ceases, and no account is taken of the score obtained during that throw.
The inner bull (50) counts as double of (25) the outer bull.
The game is to score 701, 501 or 301 as previously agreed.
Generally each player’s score must start and finish a game with a double (The outer narrow ring of the board). Competition games, however, are usually played with a straight start (no compulsory double) but with a compulsory double to finish.
The first throw is deducted from the player's start number e.g. 501 and then from the subsequent reduced total. The scorer should show both the score obtain for the throw and the reducing total remaining.
For fast practise games play 301. For league and competition 501 and for pairs 701. In fact any agreed starting number can be used but usually the number should end 01 the reason for this is so a player must hit another part of the board other than the 20’s segment in order to win a game.
The object of this popular game is to be the first player to hit every number on the board from 1-20. The numbers must be hit in order, and players alternate after three throws. If a player cannot pass a certain number, he must hit it in order to advance to the next number on the board.
Many people play around the clock to help improve their accuracy on the board. Around the clock is also a good game for beginners to play as it focuses on different individual targets. But here is a variation which I call 180! Around the clock.
First of all this warm up game or practice game is not about scoring 180’s it is about practising trebles around the board. The practice game can also be played as a game against an opponent or on your own.
If you are playing this game by yourself I suggest you set yourself a target i.e. 60 points. This means you only need to hit three singles in each number to achieve this target number. If you are a regular player set this target higher I suggest 75 – 80. Alternatively keep a running total of your scores and aim to better the score the next time you play. You will be surprised how this basic game will improve your overall game and become an additive as you try to improve your score.
Remember doubles are considered a poor throw in this game should you hit only score 1 point for these should you hit one.
If you play the 180 as a game against friends then you can add an extra dimension to it.
180 can be play with 2 or move players but this extra dimension can spice the game up a bit more.*
* If a player fails to score on a number in a round of three darts then their score becomes frozen and they proceed no further. Other players continue until 20 or until they miss a number and become frozen. The highest total wins.
The object of this game is to hit the treble segments from 10-20 then the outer bull and bull in that order. This is a very simple and fast game. The trebles that are use are the trebles most hit for combination out shots in a game of 501 therefore it helps also with your accuracy with these common trebles. The winner of the game is the first to hit all twelve scoring areas in order.
Other standard rules apply three darts each player and throw consist of throwing all three darts if needed, players take it in turn to throw.
Variations of this game is the three headed Dragon. Here a game is won when you have completed the basic Dragon three times. It extends the game giving more opportunity to come back at a player that may have an early lead.
This game is played on a traditional standard dart board.
The objective shall be to 'own' or 'close' certain numbers on the board, and to achieve the highest point score. The player or team to do so first, shall be the winner.
Cricket shall be played using the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15 and both the inner and outer bull.
Each player or team shall take turns in throwing. (Three darts in succession shall constitute a 'turn'.)
To close an inning, the player or team must score three of a number. This can be accomplished with three singles, a single and a double, or a triple.
Once a player or team scores three of a number, it is 'owned' by that player or team and they can score on this number 'runs' until the opposing player or team have 'closed' it and no further scoring can be accomplished on that number by either player or team.
To close the bulls eye, the outer bull counts as a single, and the inner bull counts as a double.
Numbers can be 'owned' or 'closed' in any order desired by the individual player/team. Calling your shot is not required.
For the purpose of 'owning' a number, the double and triple ring shall count as 2 or 3, respectively. Three marks will close an inning.
After a number is 'owned' by a team, the double and triple ring shall count as 2 or 3 times the numerical values, respectively.
It shall be the responsibility of the player to verify his score before removing his darts from the board. The score remains as written if one or more darts has been removed from the board. In accordance with the inherent "strategy" involved in the Cricket game, no alterations in score shall be allowed, after the fact.
There are several variations of the game of Cricket. The game played mainly in America is as popular as 501 in the UK. The English version of Cricket is totally different than the one played in America. Dart players in the UK may recognise the American version but may know it as something else. ‘It’s just not cricket!’ as some may say in the UK.
Like the traditional bat and ball game, this game as a batter and a bowler. The batter starts with 11 wickets and the object of this game is to score runs before you are bowled out.
The game is for a minimum number of two players but can be played in teams.
To determine who bats and who bowls a thrower from each side throws a single dart for the bull. The nearest to the bull decides if they wish to bat or bowl first.
The bowler throws first and his / her target is to hit the inner or outer bull, the ‘wicket’. The inner bull is worth two wickets and the outer, one. The object of the bowler is to bowl out the batter by hitting a total of 11 wickets. At this stage the batter can no longer score.
The batter scores points or runs on every throw over 40 if he or she scores less than 40 the score is not counted. Should the batter hit an inner or outer bull in the process of batting he or she will lose a wicket / s to that value.
The bowler throws first followed by the batter and they each take it in turn until the bowler has hit all 11 wickets. At this point the batters total runs are recorded.
Normally the game is played over two innings i.e. both sides bat and bowl twice. The winner of the combined innings is the side that scores the most.
Like all good games there are many variations, here are a few:
You can apply any of the following rules to make the game easier or harder
Batters score counts on every throw and doesn’t have to score over 40 to be recorded.
Bowler Bounce outs or missing the board - can be recorded as 50 runs to the batting team.
Batter Bounce outs or missing the board – can be recorded as a lost wicket.
Bowler throws for the bull and the dart lands outside the treble ring the number hit is recorded as a wide and the number hit is given as runs to the batting side.
The batters scoring target is reduced to the area of the board that covers the double, large single and treble. If a dart is thrown into the small single it either does not count or a wicket is lost.
Teams can nominate batters and bowlers.
I am sure there are more variations of this great game and if you have your own version why not send me the detail for inclusion?
Darts: Three each
Players toss a coin to begin the game. The player that wins the toss is the "hare," and his opponent is the hound in pursuit. The hare must travel clockwise around the board starting at 20.
The hare wins by returning to 20 before the hound catches up with him. The hound usually starts from either 12 or 5, depending on the preference of the players. The hound wins by overtaking the hare.
Darts: Three each
To start the game select any six numbers scoring number that feature on the dartboard. These can be single numbers i.e. 20,19,18,17, Double 17, Double 9, Treble 7, Triple 11, Bullesye or Outer-Bullseye or as in the example below the Bullseye and Outer-Bullseye can be used as one scoring area.
Write the selected numbers / scoring segments in a column adding a further line ‘Total’ at the bottom. Now add a further columns, one each, to represent each player. An example is shown below. It is probably best you draw out a grid as this will help when it comes to scoring the game.
|25 or Bullseye|
The player throwing first must aim at first listed number in this example ‘20’ for each dart hitting SINGLE 20 he scores that amount, for example: if the player throws triple 20, 20, 20 he scores 40 points and this amount is placed in throw 1 under the players name. Player two then has their shot and so on.
In the next round the players throw for the next number / target list, in this example Single 15. However if player fails to hit and score anything on 15 then the score they have accumulated is halved. If the player scores 15 the score achieved is added to the score in the first round and written next to throe two (Single 15). After all players have thrown the six selected numbers, the player with the highest score left is the winner.
(The chart is only a guide any numbers can be chosen for the game.)
Many of the pub punters had a small flutter on the gee gees and a few drinks to go with it. The dart board was being occupied but only by punters that could play reasonable well. So I thought with a big gathering that we had it would be a good idea to gain a few more coverts to a wonderful sport of darts.
This game is based on the house race the Grand National and over the years it’s developed a bit so here are the basic rules that I suggest are played by a novice player followed by a revised version for the more experienced dart thrower.
The Grand National is probably the World's most known house race. The race twice around the circuit jumping fences. The first home the winner! The trouble is most full!
The basic darts game based on the Grand National is very easy to play and a varying degree of difficulty can be added. The basic game for the novice ‘new’ to darts follows this very basic format.
Each player has 3 darts and the object is to travel around the dartboard anticlockwise starting at 20, then 5 and then 12 etc. Each segment is known as a hurdle. The novice game you must hit at least one segment with each turn (3 darts) i.e. start at 20 you must be hit if not you full at the hurdle and are out of the game. Hitting 20 you move to the next segment and so on first around and back to 20 wins!
The rules here for the novice are very simple and after a few drinks you won’t be surprised to see a few full during the race.
For a competent dart player this will be a very easy and probably not that inspiring as I would expect each segment to be hit with a single dart. So here is a slightly harder version.
For the more experience player the Grand National is played in the following way. Again the object is to travel anticlockwise around the board twice but this time you start at the large 5 segment (the light segment) of the board you then have to move around the board hitting each alternative large segment number i.e. 5 then 9 followed by 11 unit you reach 1. The second time around the board you must hit the small segment of the 5 and the small segments of each alternative number and then a final Bull / 25 that represents the finishing post. The players here also have three lives but you can vary this to suit the ability of the players. Here a life is lost if you miss the segment with a single dart. The winner is the first to travel round the board twice or the furthest travelled.
Killer is a good game when you have a crowd of people wanting to use the board at the same time. There are a couple of variations to this game but basically the rules are the same.
Firstly each player draws lots i.e. a number between 1 - 20. This is done by first writing the numbers down on individual pieces of paper and then the numbers are drawn blindly.
The names of each player are recorded on the chalk board along with their number. Each player is then given between 3 & 5 lives. The object of this game is for each thrower to first hit their own number’s double three times to gain status of KILLER. Once they have achieved this they then can throw for their opponent’s number doubles in any order they wish. Every time a KILLER status player hits opponents double they lose a life.
KILLERS can also commit SUICIDE. If they accidentally hit their own double once they have gained the status of KILLER they will also lose a life. Once all your lives have gone you are out - the winner being the only player left alive!
Blind Killer is slightly different. Firstly you draw your number but in this case it is not shown to anyone! The numbers 1 – 20 recorded on the chalk board. Then each player then takes it in turn to throw for any double and if one is hit it is recorded next to the chalked number. Once a double as been hit three times the person with that number is eliminated.
The winner of this game is the player that remains alive.
Good fun and good practise for hitting doubles.
The player selected to throw first must throw as many points as possible, this score is then written alongside his name.
The player next in line then must throw a higher score than the player throwing before him / her, if he / she fails to throw a higher score a ring is put around their score, once you have 3 rings next to your name, you drop out of the game.
Play continues in order until there is one player left in the game, this is the winner, remembering that you only have to beat the persons score who throws immediately before you. This game is also known under different names.
Yes as the game suggests this is a Loopy game in more ways than one!
This a game best played by several people. The object of this game is to follow the leader but you don’t just use the traditional scoring area of the dart board you also use the wire numbering system of the board as well!
Start by first throwing for the bull with a single dart, the nearest to the bull being the player who starts the game followed by the second nearest and so on, the furthest away being the last player to throw. The order of play is now established and the names of the players are recorded on the chalk board along with 3 – 5 lives to each player.
The first player throws for the board! This can be any part of the board and this includes the loops of the number wiring system and split numbers. If his first dart lands within any of these areas then the following player must first hit the same space with his three darts before throwing for another area otherwise he loses a life! If the player fails to establish a new target the previous target remains.
If the first player hits the big area of number 1 then with his first dart the second player must hit the same area before throwing for another sector. Hitting double one, treble one or the smaller inner area of one in this instant does not count; the large area must be hit.
If the following dart thrower hits the numbered sector then he can use the remaining to darts to establish a new target for the next player. The next scoring dart counts as the new target. If the player fails to score with the remaining darts he forfeits a life.
As the game entails the numbered wiring system comes into play so numbers 4, 6,8,10,14,16,18 & 20 all have loops!!! If a player throws a dart into the loop of number 6 then that becomes the target area. Also a number of numbers can be split ;11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 & 20. If a dart is thrown between the two 1’s of 11 this effectively splits the 11 and this becomes the new target area. The number 8 and 18 effectively have two loops these are known as the higher and lower loops. Each of these loops is effectively its own potential target area.
The only area you cannot score on is the area effectively between the edge of the normal board scoring area and the numbers. If you hit this area or your dart bounces out then you do not score.
The winner of this game is the player that remains alive!
The object of the game is to "close" all your numbers (20 down through 12, any three doubles, any three triples and bulls-eye). To close a number, you must hit three of that number.
The scoreboard is drawn with the numbers 20 through 12, doubles, trebles and bulls written in descending order down the centre of the board. The Bull eye is usually abbreviated with a B. Doubles with a D and Trebles with a T.
Each dart that lands in any of the games numbers count toward closing that number. The thin outer ring counts as two of that number or counts as one double. The thin inner ring counts as three of that number or counts as treble. Scoring for one dart is shown by placing a slash ( X ) next to the number scored. Scoring for two is shown by placing an additional X (X X) next to the number scored. Scoring for three is shown by placing a third X (XXX) next to the number to indicate it is closed. When three of a number is scored in any combination, it is closed.
The players each take a turn throwing one dart at bulls-eye, closet dart to the bulls eye gets to throw first. The first player throws three darts at any of the scoring numbers to try to close that number. The players then scores the darts that he has thrown and play alternates until one person closes all their numbers.
A more interesting version of ‘Mickey Mouse’ is played like standard American Cricket by scoring points on numbers that are not closed. You first have to hit each number three times and then you can score on it until your opponent closes the number. Here the highest score wins the game not the first to close all the numbers.
To be the first player to get "around the clock", that is to get at least one dart in each number from 1 through 20 in order.
Each player throws one dart at bullseye, closest to the bulls eye goes first, furthest from the bulls eye goes last. Each player gets three "lives" represented by three tally marks below their name. I don't know why the game 9 lives but you only get 3. Maybe it is because if you miss with three darts you lose a life and 3 x 3 = 9! If you know any different please let me know.
The player’s names are recorded on a chalk board or white board along with three X’s (XXX). Each player then takes a turn trying to hit each number from 1 through 20. The numbers must be hit in order or they do not count.
If a player misses with all three darts, one life is lost and an X removed from that player. When all three of a players lives are lost, that player is out of the game.
Draw a noughts and crosses board of nine spaces, three by three on a scoreboard or piece of paper. In the middle square write Bulls Eye and in the other eight squares write different one dart scoring numbers i.e. Treble 9, small fourteen (the small single scoring segment of fourteen) , double two etc (see example below).
|Treble 9||Small Thirteen||Treble 5|
|Double 1||Bulls Eye||Small 17|
|Large 6||Treble 7||Double 2|
The aim is for one player or team to complete a straight line of three. Every time a target is score is hit then then the initials / team name or X / O is placed in the scoring square replacing the figures. As with normal noughts and crosses players aim to hinder their opponents to prevent them getting three in a row.
|Large 6||Treble 7||
The game can be made easier by using single numbers in eight or all nine squares.
Darts: Three each
Each player should throw one dart at bulls-eye, closest to the bulls-eye goes first and the furthest going last.
The first player tries to hit one dart into each number, in order, starting with the number 1 but the scoring target is only from the triple ring the double ring. (triple and double included)
After the 1 is hit in any of the playable area, the next target is 18 and so on, clockwise around the board.
If the player's dart misses the board (outside the doubles ring) or bounces out, the dart is left in the board for one turn. The player throws only two darts the next turn and then may pull the lost dart for use in the next turn after that.
Now for the Prisoner part: If the player throws a dart into the area from the bullseye to the triples ring (bull and double bull included), the dart is left in the board and is a "Prisoner". A prisoner dart remains in the board until any player (including the player who threw the dart) hits the playable area of the same number (in the case of the bullseye, hitting another bullseye captures the prisoner). Once a player captures a "prisoner", the dart is his/hers to use for the rest of the game (unless it is lost in the same manner).
If there is more than one "prisoner" dart that may be captured, they may only be captured one at a time. For example, if there are two darts in the 18 between the bulls-eye and the triples ring, two darts must be thrown into the playable area of the 18 to capture them both.
After the first "prisoner" is captured, one player now has four darts to use while the player who lost the dart has only two. By the end of the game, you might be playing with 7 darts and none of them might actually be yours!
Play continues until one player has thrown a dart in every number from 1 through 20 in the target area. The first player to do this wins the game.
Sometimes this game is varied by nominating different numbers to eliminate players that do not score any points on them. Most frequently, these numbers are 5, 7, and 9 due to their difficulty
To commence the game each player throws one dart, the nearest to the Bullseye has first shot (the break).
The player breaking then must throw a number between 1 - 15 (inclusive) this is counted as a (red ball) if he cannot throw a number between 1 - 15 the next player has a turn.
If the player is successful in throwing a number between 1 - 15 he scores one point, he must then shoot for a coloured ball, numbered between 16 - Bullseye.
1 - 15 Red
This chart shows the points value of each number and their respective colours. After scoring a red ball (1 point) he must then nominate the number (colour) he is shooting for and throw that number, after hitting that number he must then throw another number between 1 - 15 (excluding the first dart scored). If he is successful he then nominates another colour and shoots for that colour. If the player hits another colour and not the one nominated, it is a four point penalty to his opponent, if he hits the blue, pink, black the penalty is the face value of that colour.
If a player is shooting for a red ball and hits a colour ball it is a four point penalty or face value of the colour hit.
If a player is shooting for a nominated colour and hits a red ball, it is counted as a miss and no penalty points are given.
Each time a red ball (1 - 15) is hit its removed from the scoreboard and no longer in the game. If a red ball is hit while going for a coloured bail it remains in the game. Each time a coloured ball is hit and there are still red balls remaining on the scoreboard, this ball stays in the game.
When all (15) red balls are hit; you must then proceed in hitting the coloured balls in order of points (as shown on chart) as these balls get hit they are removed from the game. Each time a coloured ball is hit out of order a penalty of 4 points is given or face value. If a player throws a dart outside the (doubles) circle, and stays in the board it is counted as a miss and no penalty points are given.
If a player throws a dart and it falls from the board it is a 4 point penalty. Doubles and triples are counted as single numbers.
1st dart 7 Red ball 1 point
2nd dart 19 Blue ball 5 points
3rd dart 11 Red ball 1 point
4th dart 1 Red ball No points
On the 4th dart the player breaking throws 1 (one) this is thrown out of turn while throwing for a colour, there is no penalty for the miss shot, the numbers 7 & 1 1 are no longer in the game but the number 1 remains.
The player receives a total of 7 points and the next player begins his shot.
1st dart 12 Red ball 1 point
2nd dart 18 Brown ball 4 points
3rd dart 14 Red ball 1 point
4th dart 19 Blue ball -5 points
On the 4th dart the player throws 19 but nominated 17 (green ball) as the colour he was throwing for the numbers 12 & 14 are no longer in the game, the player receives 6 points for the numbers thrown correctly, 5 points are taken away for the penalty leaving a total of 1 point, it is then the next players turn.
The player who broke now has his second shot and throws these darts:
1st dart 9 Red ball 1 point
2nd dart 7 Dead ball No points
On the 2nd dart the player throws 7 this number is no longer in the game, he receives a total of 1 point for the number hit. There is no penalty for hitting the 7 because it is no longer in the game, the next player then has a turn... and throws these darts:
1st dart 6 Red ball 1 point
2nd dart 19 Blue ball 5 points
3rd dart 20 Pink ball -6 points
On the 3rd dart the player throws 20 while going for a red ball, he receives 6 points for the numbers hit, and loses 6 points for hitting the pink ball out of turn, (the six points being face value) he receives a total of 0 points, the number 6 is taken from the game and the next player takes a turn.
Play continues until all balls have been pocketed, or one player concedes.
The following describes a game that should take about 25 minutes “(A)”. The longer game “(B)” can take 55 minutes or more.
(A) To win a “Set” - the best of 6 service games. If the service game score reaches 3 - 3 then the ‘Set Tiebreak’ is played.
(B) To win a “set” - the first to 6 service games, provided the winning margin is at least 2 service games (i.e. 6 - 4 or 7 - 5). If the service game score reaches 6 - 6 then the ‘Set Tiebreak’ is played.
Each player throws a dart at the bullseye. The closest throws first and is the “server” for the first game (as well as the ‘Set Tiebreak’ if there is one).
On a whiteboard, write the players’ names as headings and leave a space underneath for “Score”, “Games” and “Tiebreak” (if you put a mark by the name who is currently “serving” it helps the memory!). On an electric scoreboard, use it as you would for a normal straight-in-double-out game with a tally of (A) 91, which is 15+30+40+1+2+3 (B) 114, which is 15+30+40+1+2+3+4+5+6+7.
If an “ace” or “double-fault” has not been thrown then the “server” tries to hit as many of the “target number” as possible: a treble scores three, a double scores two and the remainder of the segment scores one. The “server” counts up their score and declares it (the “target score”) and the “target number” to their opponent (the “receiver”).
The “receiver” then throws at the “target number” to try and beat the “target score”.
This continues until someone wins the point.
Once the point has been won the “play area” changes and the “server” starts again.
Once the service game has been won the players change roles from “server” to “receiver” and vice versa.
This is played on the 25 ring and bullseye and the aim is to hit as many as possible.
The “server” always throws first. If they hit a bullseye with their first dart then an “ace” has been thrown and the point is won.
The “server” counts up their score (a bullseye counts as two) and declares it (the “target score”) to their opponent (the “receiver”). The “receiver” now aims to beat the “target score”.
The winner of the service game is the first to score three points.
This is also played on the 25 ring and bullseye and the aim is to hit as many as possible. The “server” of the very first service game throws first.
With the exception of the first point, each player serves for two consecutive points. Everything else is exactly the same as in ‘Deuce Tiebreak’ above except that the winner of the “set” is the first to score
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