I am a big fan of Darts. It’s an easy game to play and a few years around I bought a board, some darts and for Christmas one of those surround LED light sets. I’ve affixed a sticker to mark where to throw.
When I practise I listen to either Lincs FM on my Alexa, a throwback to my time listening to that radio whilst living in Lincoln between 2003 and 2005 and try as best I can to throw into the Treble 20.
I’ve improved to the point that I have developed a bit of accuracy in my throw and have hit quite a few 180s and 140s, although I play in my room and not for any pub team. As with any normal amateur I am not that consistent, but there’s nothing better than when my throw gets temporarily reliable and I begin to throw good scores. I love the click of the darts in the treble!
Here are a few fun learning drills to help you practise.
Former World Champion Bob Anderson invented this game. You start with 27 points, throwing three darts at double 1 and if you hit the double you score the value of the double, e.g. 2 double 1s scores +4 points. If you miss 3 darts at the double you lose the target score, e.g. double 1 missed with all three darts you score -2 and you throw at it again.
The good thing about the drill is the higher the double you are aiming at, e.g. 12, the higher the risk and the higher the reward. You lose the game if you go below zero at any point. I made it to double 12 yesterday before busting.
41 and up
Finishing is the name of the game and we’ve all heard the saying “scoring for show, doubles for dough”. Peter “Snakebite” Wright practises starting at 41 upwards and getting out up to practising completing the 2 dart combinations that good players simply must finish more often than not. You can go up to 98 then complete 100, 101, 104 and 107, which can be taken out with 2 darts if you use the bullseye.
A good drill for the average to intermediate player is to hit those big numbers. Paul Nicholson recommends throwing 3 darts at each big number and to win you must hit 3 into 1, 2, right up to 20 without missing. If you miss you start again. Trust me you will feel the pressure if you get to above 10. One errant dart ruins everything, so this is harder than it looks and you will need to remain focused.
Learn your Checkouts
Darts math is essential knowledge. Can you tell me how you finish 122? I know it’s T18, T18, Bull or T18, T18, D7. There are little cards you can buy and study. I always use the combination that either leaves me a bull shot or easy clean up. For example, anything between 61 and 69 with 2 darts I’ll aim for the Treble that if I hit the single I leave a dart at the bull. With three darts I may aim for something else, e.g. 65 you can aim for outer bull for T20, whereas with two darts I’d aim for T15 D10. If as the second dart can tee up the double if you need it. Learn your combos!
Get a Darts App
I use Russ Bray’s darts app which contains a computer I can play against. It also logs averages and each of your friends can have an account so their play is tracked too and records of your matches kept. I use it on my iPad and it makes for fun games when you don’t want to count scores yourselves.