What Is Darts?
Darts is a sport where players compete against each other by throwing small darts at a circular target on a wall. At the centre of the board is a black or red circle known as the Bullseye. The board consists of 20 black and white segments each numbered one through to twenty. Running through these segments and circling the Bullseye is the Treble Ring (At the edge of the board) and the Double Ring (Between the Bullseye and Treble Ring).
In an ordinary game of darts, players or teams start with 501 points and are tasked with being the first to reach zero points by throwing darts. For every three darts thrown, the player or team subtracts the total score made from their points until someone reaches zero.
According to the PDC, players must throw a double to reach zero and some professional dart games, such as the World Grand Prix, follow the “double in, double out” rule where players are required to throw a double to start the game.
Some games, such as the World Matchplay and UK Open Event, follow the “Best Of” rules in which the player or team that wins three out of five Best Of Five Leg competitions wins the overall game. Other games, however, follow the “Set” rule where players or teams must win a set of games.
There are two main darts organisations in the UK; the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Both run televised championships throughout the year and feature some of the world’s top players.
The BDO was founded in 1973 and is the older of the two organisations. The BDO is a member of the World Darts Federation (WDF) and runs the BDO World Championship as well as the World Masters and various Open tournaments.
The PDC was founded in 1992 when a group of players split from the BDO in search of bigger prize money. Together, they formed the PDC which also organises tournaments and other events including the PDC World Championship, Premier League, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts, World Matchplay, UK Open, and more.
Why Did The Organisations Split?
When it was first founded, the BDO’s tournaments were generally shown on the BBC in the UK. However, during the 1980s and 90s, the organisation lost sponsors and television coverage, leading to the split. When the PDC did split from the BDO, the organisation named themselves the World Darts Council (WDC) before they were taken to court in 1992 where it was forced to drop its claim as a world governing body and renamed to the PDC.
The PDC sought out a younger audience and frequently worked with politicians, musicians, and athletes to promote their events. What’s more, the PDC is known for being avant-garde, allowing players to begin matches with their own theme music. The BDO, meanwhile, is regarded as being more traditional of the two organisations.
The Best Darts Players
The best darts players are designated by the Darts World Rankings, a system which ranks players based on their performance. Unfortunately, both the BDO and PDC have their own systems which they use for their own tournaments.
PDC’s World Rankings
The PDC ranks its best players based on the amount of prize money they’ve over the last two years. Currently, the top five players are:
Michael van Gerwen
Famous For: Becoming the youngest winner of the PDC World Championship at the age of 24
Famous For: His nickname ‘Snakebite’ and for winning the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship
Famous For: Winning the 2018 and 2019 Grand Slam of Darts tournament, nicknamed The Iceman
Famous For: Winning the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship on his debut
Famous For: Winning the PDC World Youth Championship in 2013
WDF World Rankings
The WDF bases its rankings on a point system which is calculated on a rolling one-year basis. Whenever a new tournament is played, the previous year’s results are removed and replaced by scores from the latest tournament. The five best players are:
Famous For: Winning the 2019 BDO World Trophy
Famous For: Winning the 2015 World Darts Championship
Famous For: Being a runner-up in the 2018 BDO World Trophy
Famous For: Winning the 2020 BDO World Darts Championship
Famous For: Being a runner-up in the 2018 World Darts Championship
Upcoming Darts Events 2020
Dart tournaments are held annually and vary depending on the organisation. There are several major tournaments, as well as dozens of smaller competitions you can enjoy but may find it difficult to wager on. If you’re interested in betting on the major tournaments, you should look out for the following events:
- The Masters
- UK Open
- World Darts Championship
- Players Championship
- The Premier League
- World Matchplay
- World Cup of Darts
- World Grand Prix
- World Series of Darts
- European Championship
- Grand Slam of Darts
With the above events and more throughout the year, it can be difficult keeping up with everything. So, to help you out, we’ve decided to put together a small calendar of the most important darts events coming up each month.
PDC Tournaments, February 2020:
The Unibet Masters
January 31 – February 1, 2020
Marshall Arena (Arena MK), Milton Keynes
The Unibet Premier League
February 6 – May 14, 2020
Players Championship 1 – 6
February 8 – February 23, 2020
Belgian Darts Championship
February 28 – March 1, 2020
Expo Hasselt, Belgium
BDO Tournaments, February 2020:
February 7 – February 8, 2020
Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe Hotel, Canada
February 14 – February 16, 2020
Normandy Hotel, Renfrew, Scotland
February 21 – February 23, 2020
CISWO, Fife, Scotland
The Different Darts Bets
If you’re looking to wager on darts games, you may find that sports betting websites such as Paddy Power use strange terminology that may not make sense. So to help you get started, we thought we’d explain some of the most common bets you can make on darts:
When browsing the possible bets you can make on darts games, you’ll find several encouraging you to bet on who you believe will make the first 180, the most 180s, and the total 180s in a game or event. When someone mentions a 180, it refers to three treble 20 dart throws which scores a player 180 points. These bets basically allow you to wager on who you believe will score 180 first, who will score the most 180 points, and how many 180s will be thrown during the entire game.
Another common dart bet you can make is who will a leg, referring to a single round of darts. Some bets will ask you to wager on who you believe will win leg 13, meaning which player you believe will win round 13. It’s as simple as that.
One bet we’ve found at several betting sites refers to the 9 Dark Finish in which players score a perfect 501 points. This can be extremely rare but many betting sites allow you to wager on whether or not a game or tournament will feature a 9 Dark Finish.
When you see this term, it generally means to wager on which player or team you believe will win the tournament.
This bet is self-explanatory as you simply need to wager on who you believe will win a specific round.
A checkout in darts refers to the final three darts a player can throw to win a game when they have 180 points or less. Betting sites may allow you to wager on the highest match checkout. Bookmakers usually state what they believe will be the highest checkout and you will need to bet on whether or not you agree. You can also bet on which player you believe will have the highest checkout of the game.
Darts Betting Tips: Placing A Bet Online
You no longer need to visit a betting shop to wager on darts events and games – you can do it from the comfort of your own home on your computer, laptop or smartphone device. To place a wager on darts, all you need to do is:
- Register with an online bookmaker that offers darts and the best betting odds
- Select the darts event you’re looking to wager on and consider the options
- Select the bet you’d like to make, decide on a stake and click ‘confirm’ or ‘place bet’
Once you’ve done this, you’ll simply have to wait for the event to roll on to find out whether or not you’ve won the bet.
Unsure how betting odds work or are you looking to find the best online sportsbook? Check out our helpful guide here.
Our 10 Darts Betting Tips
If you’re new to betting on dart games, you’re in luck as we’ve put together a list of ten tips that we believe will help get you started.
Tip #1: Player Rankings
Before you start wagering on everything, we suggest you take a look at the players participating in an event and research them. Search for the players in both the PDC and BDO’s player rankings to find out how often they win. Once you’ve done that, make your wager.
Tip #2: Start Slow
When you do start placing wagers on darts games and events, we suggest you start with small wagers on easier bets. Try to predict the outright winner of specific rounds or the overall winner of an event before trying other bets.
Tip #3: Watch Games
If you’re new to darts or have only just discovered a newfound interest in the sport, we suggest you spend some time watching matches, particularly previous games or events featuring players you like or want to wager on. It’s a great way of discovering how a player plays and what their weaknesses may be.
Tip #4: Don’t Overspend
Like all gambling, betting on darts can be a fun and sometimes social experience. However, it’s important to give yourself a budget and force yourself to stick with it to prevent you from overspending and losing on too much money if you find yourself a little unlucky.
Tip #5: Play Darts
Finally, we suggest that as an avid darts bettor that you learn the rules and terminology. Aside from watching games and events, one of the best ways to learn this is by playing the game yourself! So why not give the game a try yourself, you may understand it better after!
Tip #6: Claim Bonuses
Many online betting sites regularly offer bonuses and promotions which can boost winnings. So when it comes to making a bet you’re sure you will win, trying wagering with one of these promotions so you can boost your earnings.
Tip #7: Check Odds
You shouldn’t feel forced to stay with a single bookmaker. One of the best things you can do while wagering, and this applies to all sports bets, is to regularly check the odds across various websites to ensure you get the best out of the experience.
Tip #8: Check Predictions
Many websites and dart hobbyists like sharing predictions of what will happen in a game of darts and it can be a good idea to read through some of these predictions before making your bet to ensure you make the right choice.
Tip #9: Big Players
Similarly to our first darts betting tip, we suggest that all new players stick with the big darts players and wager on players who have a history of winning. This may help you win your first few bets! Once you’re more accustomed to the rules and gameplay, then start taking risks.
Tip #10: Have Fun
Like always, the best darts betting tip we can give you is to ensure you have fun. Gambling should never be a frustrating experience and if you ever find yourself feeling angry or upset, take a break. Just learn to enjoy the sport and the betting experience.