The game of dart is among the most popular games that many people love playing in pubs, homes, or anywhere else just for fun. However, for you to enjoy this game, you need to know how to win darts. This game was discovered many years ago when British soldiers started to shoot arrows at tree trunks when practicing. After some time, they realized that when they cut the tree trunks and allowed them to dry, these trunks would form steady sections or cracks. These sections became the targeted scores when playing and out of this discovery, the game of darts became so popular throughout the world.
Since this game is not very easy for beginners, we have compiled a detailed guide on how to win darts. If you are just starting out, you will find everything you need to know from this guide from the basics. Below are the top 10 tips professional dart players recommended.
Top 10 Tips from Professional Dart Players
1. Understand the Rules
For you to become a professional or an expert dart player, you have to understand all the rules of this game. Therefore, it is important you start with the basics for you to succeed. Just like when you are playing other games, failure to adhere to the set rules can get you penalized or disqualified. Below are the most popular types of dart games you are likely to come across in different dart tournaments.
This game is among the most popular dart games that are usually played by friends in homes, pubs or places of work. When playing this game, every player throws a dart and gets a number. After that, the player is awarded 5 lives. In order to gain points and become a killer, each player is supposed to hit his or her number. Every hit has one point and once you have become a killer, the next thing you will need to do is to hit other player’s numbers in order to reduce their points. If your life is deducted to zero, you exit the game, and the last player who is left standing wins the game.
501 and 301 Games:
The rules of this game are very easy to understand. When starting, every player is awarded 501 points. The game is then played in turns where each player throws darts to subtract his or her points. If you are the first player to get zero, you become the winner. However, it requires some skills and proper understanding because it has some rules you must follow. After you have deducted your points, you will have to initiate the game by doubling in and doubling out. This is done before and after you have deducted your points. The rules of this game are as follows;
Doubling In – Before you start, this is the first rule you need to follow. The rule states that, as a player, you need to hit the double part of the outer ring or hit the bullseye spot to start the game. Once you do this, the double 20 and the bullseye will be your targets if you want to win.
How to Win the 501 Darts – After doubling in, you will need to score as many points as you can to deduct your points. The easiest way to achieve this is by shooting the double 20, the triple 20 segments’s or the bullseye.
Doubling out– When you are about to complete the game, you will need to double out. This can be a bit challenging because you have to target a segment of the board which gets your points to zero.
The 301 and the 501 games follow the same rules but in this case, the players start with 301 points.
Before you play this game, you are required to toss a coin in order to determine who will the first to start. Just like the 301 and 501 games, here you will also need to score as many points as you can. The cutline score for this game is usually 40 and if you score more than 40, the extra points will still be added to you. For example, if you score, 58, the extra 18 points will still be added to your score. The points are the runs while the opposing player is the bowler. In this game, the opposing player should hit the 25 rings plus the bullseye where he or she will get 2 points. Hitting the 25 rings will earn him or her 1 point and these points are referred to as wickets. Exchanging roles or innings happens when the bowler gets 10 wickets (points). In this game, every player should play 2 innings and the one with the highest scores becomes the winner.
Around the Clock:
This is another well-known that is commonly played in most pubs just for recreational purposes. The game requires the player to throw the darts in all sections in a clockwise style from 1-20. When playing, you cannot move on to the next part until you have hit the current part you are required to hit. Unlike the 501 games, this one is very easy to play since it does not have triple and double sections. However, you will need to have a score of 25 points and then hit the bullseye to win the game.
2. Invest in the Right Gears
If you really want to become a professional dart player, you need to invest in the best dart gears and tools. Some of the items you must have include;
- Quality Dartboard– A dartboard is among the most important items you must have when playing darts. However, you need to be careful when searching for the best dartboard because not all of them are durable. Therefore, you need to do thorough research to ensure that the one you have picked will give you the best value for your money. If you prefer electric dartboards, Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard will be a good choice. On the other hand, Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboards with Staple Free Bullseye will be a good choice for those searching for the best bristle board.
- Darts- You need to have at least 2 sets of quality darts for practicing. However, you need to ensure that the darts you have chosen are the best for the type of dartboard you are using to prevent damages. You also need to make a choice on whether you want to use soft tip darts or steel tip darts. WIN, MAX Darts Plastic Tip, Soft Tip Darts SET 12 Pcs 18 Gram are among the most reliable soft tip darts while IgnatGames Steel Tip Dart Set-Professional Darts with Aluminum Shafts, Rubber O’Rings are suitable for those searching for quality steel tip darts.
- Dart Holder– A dart holder provides convenient storage for your darts and it is normally placed next to the dartboard. It also allows you to keep your darts organized in one place. Viper Dart Caddy Solid Wood Wall Mounted Dart Holder is among the top-rated dart holders on the market
- Dart Case– Another important accessory you will require is a dart case. This case provides excellent storage for your darts and it also protects them from wear and tear. Apart from that, it allows you to carry the darts easily and safely. Casemaster by GLD Products Classic Nylon Dart Carrying Case is among the most spacious options you should consider.
3. Have The Right Set-Up
After you have invested in the right tools and gears, you will now need to set up your dartboard. Having the correct setup will help you to win the darts more easily. Before you set up your dartboard, you need to ensure that the wall behind the dartboard cannot get damaged easily by the darts. Again, it should not damage the tips of your darts when they go astray.
When setting up the dartboard, you need to be aware of the correct height and other measurements. The height of the dartboard from the floor to the bullseye should be 5 feet and 8 inches. After this, you should mark the throwing line on the floor. In case you are using steel tip darts, the distance from the throwing line to the dartboard should be 7 feet and 9 ¼ inches, On the other hand, this distance should be 8 feet from the dartboard if you are using soft tip darts.
Again, you should ensure that you are 7 feet and 9.25 inches away from your competitors if you are using steel tip darts.
4. Understand the Scoring System
If your target is to become a professional dart player, you need to understand everything about the scoring system because this is the only way you will be able to score and win a match. The dartboard contains different sections which vary from 1 to 20. Each section has a certain score where the large sections of the dartboard are single score areas. This means that if you land on the 10 strips, you will have 10 points. In case the dart hits the outer ring of the dartboard, you get a double score which means that if you hit 10, you will get 20 points.
The middle ring carries a triple score which means that the number will be multiplied by three. There is also an outer bullseye which is worth 25 points but the actual bullseye gives you 50 points. Tracking your scores manually can be a bit difficult and for easier tracking, you should use a reliable dart scorer such as the Viper ProScorer Digital Dart Scorer.
5. Work on Your Stance
Stance refers to how you position your body when throwing darts. If you want to be accurate, you need to position your body properly. The three stances you should consider are;
- Forward Stance- The forward stance involves placing your dominant foot in front before your toe touches the throwing line. This gives you more stability when throwing darts.
- Side Stance- Here you are required to place the front foot near the line. Your eyes should coordinate with your arm to limit any movement. As a result, you are able to make accurate throws. When throwing, your back foot should be behind your front foot and the elbow of the other arm should be near your body.
- Angled Stance- The angled stance is a combination of the forward and side stances. It is suitable for professionals who are able to combine the two stances without any problem.
6. Improve your Accuracy
After understanding the different styles of playing the game, the next thing you need to do is to improve your aiming power and accuracy. You also need to understand the different styles of throwing darts so that you can choose your preferred style. After this, you need to learn how to reduce movements when playing to enhance your accuracy. For you to become an expert, you will have to develop a consistent action when you are in front of the board.
The other thing that you need to improve is your hand-to-eye coordination. This will help you to become a sharpshooter. You can practice this by playing games that involve throwing balls.
7. Practice your Playing Style
After you have identified your favorite style of playing darts, the next thing you need to do is to understand your strengths as well as your weakness. If there are some areas you feel that you need to improve, you should try to work on them. You can invite your friends to watch you when playing. Having someone around you when playing will help you to pay attention to your weak areas. Once you have become an expert in your style, now it is time to work on your accuracy. Identifying areas that you can hit easily can help you to improvise a winning strategy.
8. Repeat the Steps
Just like any other game, you need to practice more often if you really want to become a pro in this game. Ensure that you have everything you need to know at your fingertips. Sometimes it is good to practice alone to minimize the pressure that comes when you are playing with your friends. Also, try to play complete games so that you can understand the areas that require some improvements. Once you have practiced enough, you can now invite your friends for a challenge. Again, do not be afraid to try new techniques once you have perfected your style.
If you want to succeed in this game, patience is the key. Practicing may not be very easy which means that you need to do it consistently until you perfect your skills. Again, some days may be better than others but even if you lose, you should never give up. You have to keep improving your accuracy which may take some time. Therefore, you need to learn how to cope with the bad days. Always focus on the things you need to improve.
The major benefit of having a mat is that it allows you to determine the distance from the oche to the dartboard more easily. Apart from that, it protects your floor from any damages that might result when steel tip darts fall on the floor.
Most people think that playing darts is very difficult but this is not the case if you already know all the rules. However, becoming a professional dart player may require some time and a lot of practice. You also need to have the correct tools and gear if you want to succeed. This means that you need to have a quality dartboard, darts, and other accessories we have mentioned. If you have been thinking of starting to play this game, we hope that now you have all the information you have been looking for to get started. All those tips we have shared are recommendations from well-known professional dart players across the world.