With roots dating back to the late 1800s, darts has been around for quite some time. In the past, the game was watched by relatively small crowds at local venues. However, in the last decade or so, professional darts has undergone a significant metamorphosis. It has seen a huge increase in popularity, resulting in global TV coverage and more and more punters choosing to get bets down on the game. Darts betting strategies looks at ways to maximise value when putting down wagers.
Darts has gone from a popular pub game to what you could call a fully functioning sport over a relatively short period of time. Some people, of course, would argue darts is a pub game, and not really a sport at all. Whatever your opinion, players nowadays play for huge cash prizes, while at the same time the game has become a popular choice for the sports betting crowd. And you will find that all good online bookmakers will offer many great opportunities for darts betting.
Maximising your profit
The game of darts is a precision sport. Players compete at throwing darts from a distance of seven feet, nine and a quarter inches. If this sounds easy, it’s not. To win tournaments – and take the big cash prizes – players must be able to repeatedly hit targets less than one-inch square while notching up 501 points in as few throws as possible. The resulting unpredictability of the game is what makes it so fiercely competitive. Not to mention a tempting target for bettors and tipsters alike, looking to get some value out of it.
Darts betting itself could be considered one of the simpler gambling pastimes. There are only two players in each match, and outright betting markets are usually topped by a handful of familiar names. This, however, ignores the fact that there are is an absolute abundance of darts betting markets available. To see just how much variety there is, you can read more about them here How To Bet on Darts with Outright, Side and Live Markets.
Once you have chosen your dart’s betting market however, the biggest mistake you can make, as with any sport, is to wager money with no knowledge of the game. Diving into the world of wagering without a systematic approach will bring nothing but problems. When putting down bets, ‘just having a feeling’ isn’t going to win you money in the long run. That said, the best way to approach darts betting is not very different to any other sport. With a little time and effort spent gaining an understanding of basic darts betting strategies, there’s no reason you can’t make a tidy profit. So, let’s have a look at a few…
Winning darts betting strategies – check out player’s form
Form is a huge factor in any sport. And it’s crucial in a one-on-one sport so reliant on mental strength and confidence, in which psychology plays a major role. A player’s form can fluctuate over a hectic season. But a little research to find out what shape players are in allows you to make greatly improved betting decisions. Armed with this knowledge, even head-to-head match markets featuring the very best players can still be a lucrative betting option.
Looking at the recent and more distant past are both equally important when checking a players form. Check players’ performances over the last 4 or 5 games first, to see who’s hot and who’s not right now. When doing so, bear in mind the calibre of their previous opponents compared with their upcoming opponent. Next up, look at how they have played over the course of the season, and decide if they are in a lull of form or a peak. Players will often be somewhere in between, in which case you can switch to current and head-to-head form. And when deciding on darts betting strategies, look at how players perform in particular tournaments or formats.
The form and confidence of a player once your chosen event has started is also essential. Lower ranked players often hit a patch of form over a weekend tournament, while higher ranked and more experienced players may be using it to trial new techniques, even new darts. So don’t be afraid to back an underdog. Just because a big name player has short odds, it doesn’t mean they’re certain to win. They may remain at 1.50 to win the match simply because people will follow the money. And being a sport of fine margins, the underdog often prevails.
Win and Checkout Percentages
Pre-game or tournament markets obviously tend to favour throwers who have racked up the most tournament wins, accumulated the most prize money during the season (very tidy sums in modern darts), or purely because they are sat atop the official PDC rankings. Top names like Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price inevitably list as favourites in most head-to-heads. But what about more evenly matched contests?
When wagering on in-play darts matches, winning and checkout percentages are also top stats to consider for any darts betting strategies. A player’s checkout percentage tells you the percentage of his (or her) darts that successfully find the double when aiming to check out. So obviously a higher percentage means a quicker checkout. By finding players who have a healthy recent winning and checkout percentage, you have a good idea of a player’s form. And in lower ranking players, who may have even defeated a top rated player or two, it’s a good way of finding potential value in better priced players when looking at potential match winners.
look at the draw
Assessing the tournament draw is an essential element when devising your darts betting strategies. You will need an idea of how the tournament will probably pan out. If you’re betting on a player to go all the way and lift the silverware, for example, the top two or three players on the oddsboard may be close to one another in the draw. In this situation, only one of them is going to make it through to the final. And correctly predicting which one can be difficult.
There are markets which trim the risk a little, however. The To Win Quarter of a Draw market, for example, holds some pretty good value. Generally there will be a couple of outright favourites for a tournament. In this scenario, there are two competitive quarters of the draw which offer value on punts for players to win that particular quarter. It doesn’t need to be a player who has enough to go on and beat one of the favourites in the later stages. The value is in the quarter betting.
And if a player currently in form has a favourable quarter of the draw, backing him for the tournament win with a view to ‘cashing out’ further down the line often reaps rewards. A cash out option allows you to settle your bet and take a percentage of the returns you would have won had it been successful. It’s also, therefore, a useful option if you think a bet is beginning to fail. Players often have a run of form taking them through to the final stages of a number of tournaments, but the win eludes them. This means they will have nice odds pre-tournament, with a profit to be had when cashing out around the quarter-final or semi-final stages.
Get to know players scoring habits
A common misconception is that the best players will nail the treble 20s more often than those lower down the rankings. This is not necessarily the case. Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, arguably the greatest – and without question the most successful – player to have ever picked up a dart, often opted for a 177, using the treble 19 after plugging a couple of treble 20s. When a player becomes comfortable with a favoured routine, 180s can become more of a rarity in their matches. This is obviously something to be aware of when placing bets on the various 180s markets, for example.
And while the repetition of hitting 180 after 180 is both a crowd pleaser and very camera friendly, finishes are where matches are won and lost. They are also how the most successful players lift themselves above the competition. Players like Raymond van Barneveld have made a career out of combination finishing, and can often turn a leg upside down with a skillful finish. Combination finishes are a thing of beauty in darts, some of which even the world’s best players can only manage on occasion. For example, finishing a 121 checkout requires a treble 19, a 14 and the bull, a difficult mix of targets, all in different segments of the board. When backing players in the Highest Checkout market, a proven track record of making these kinds of out-shot is crucial, as many players can be very one dimensional in their games.
Although finding stats can be a little tedious, they never lie. And this knowledge will give you a huge advantage when analysing the value in more technical markets such as Most 180s, Correct Score and Highest Checkout. Good bookmakers such as 888sport offering a range of options on these markets.
Three dart averages and Total 180s
The belief that players with a track record of notching up the most 180s will also have the highest three dart average is another misconception. Neither are they more likely to take the win in any given match up. Once more, knowing a little about individual players and their traits will help you predict markets with more certainty.
In the league stages of the 2019 Premier League, for example, Michael ‘Mighty Mike’ Gerwin recorded the lowest number of 180s amongst the eight players that played 16 matches. His best checkout was also the lowest – he is not a player known for high checkouts. He did, however, have the highest three dart average, and as a result an outstanding win record. That year, he beat Rob Cross 11- 5 in the final to take his 5th Premier League title. He is in fact the current world record holder for a televised match with an average of 123.40 thrown in the 2016 Premier League against Michael Smith.
The best online darts betting sites of course feature in-play betting markets. And a little knowledge can make them very profitable. To make live darts betting strategies pay, it is important to note that while a player is odds on to win a match, with a bet for the win likely to pay off, they are not so likely to make you a profit on prop bets such as such as those offered by Three Dart Average, Checkout or 180 markets. And of course, betting in-play gives gamblers the chance to first assess whether a chosen player’s stats are trustworthy, and indeed their form is good, before playing their selection at attractive odds.
Much like a player having the serve in tennis, a player who throws first in a leg of darts has the advantage when counting down from 501. With a three dart start, you don’t need to be a genius to see that the player who throws first is likely to reach a checkout first. Having throw in the first leg can, therefore, have a significant influence on the final match result.
And you don’t need to an expert on darts betting strategies to figure out that the player who throws first, is on paper at least, more likely to bring you a profit on various markets. So waiting until this information is available before betting on Match Winner, or the various Correct Score markets, for example, is a good idea for punters. Oddsmakers will often give players of a similar ranking similar odds, so making a winning call is difficult. Backing the player who holds the opening throw to get the win will therefore more often than not pay dividends.
Length of the match
Be sure to understand tournament formats. When betting on your chosen event, it pays well to know the overall tournament structure, and how many legs and sets are involved in matches at various stages. And remember, following your selected match live in-play is the ideal scenario. It gives you the chance to see how well a possible punt is throwing and change your darts betting strategy, if need be, on the fly. This is true even of the most basic of live darts betting, such as leg or match winner markets.
Many European Tour events, for example, occur over a weekend. This means the majority of matches are shorter format, being first to six legs. And the short format is a perfect opportunity to rake in some winnings from the underdog at a nice price. Let’s say he breaks his opponent’s throw in the first leg. From there, he takes the next game with throw to take a 2-0 lead. And from here, he now only needs to win four legs to his opponent’s six, so a profit is shaping up nicely. In this situation, you can find good value in the underdog. The same also applies to the early stages of many of the big tournaments, which are also shorter format.
Some tournaments see longer formats in the early stages, however. With the World Matchplay, for example, they are first to ten legs. In these longer formats, talent will prevail. And as a result, we can comfortably back the favourites to chalk up some massive wins against lower ranked players. Backing a range of leg scores to materialise can also prove profitable. Read more about darts betting strategies for some of the various tournaments here Betting Tips PDC Home Tour to the Czech Premier League.
Darts betting strategies – each Way betting
The most popular darts betting markets, especially among novice punters, are outright Tournament Winner and Match Winner. In tournament and match betting, an each way (EW) bet can make sense if you have a selection in mind, but are maybe not 100% confident they will pay out. In terms of darts betting strategies, it’s a good way of minimising risk.
As with all sports, it is, in fact, two bets. One is for the player to win, the other is for the player to place. The win part is on your player to finish first. The place part is on your player to finish either first or in one of the ‘places’, e.g. 2nd, 3rd or 4th. When betting each way, because you double your bet, you have to double your stake. So if you put down £10 each way, you will stake £10 on the win and £10 on the place, for a total stake of £20. But the good part is, you receive a return on your bet in both cases.
The odds you get for the place part of your bet are known as place terms. These determine the pay out of your bet. Take, for example, a bet which is ‘EW 1/5, 3 places’. Your player needs to finish in the top 3 to win the place part of your bet, and the place terms are 1/5 the odds for the player to win. In this case, you receive the pay out on the place section, but the win part of your bet will be a loser. However, Should the player win you’ll receive the dividends on both the win and place portions of your bet.
A typical each way bet
Imagine a £20 each way bet on a player to win a tournament – EW 12-2 1/3, 2 places:
|Returns for the win part of the bet||(£20 × 6) + stake = £140|
|Returns for the place part of the bet||(£20 × 2) + stake = £60|
If the player goes on to lift the silverware, the total returns would be £140 + £60 = £200. If the player reaches the final but is beaten, the returns would still be £60. But if the player does not reach the final, the wager is lost.
Know the terms and conditions
With each way betting, be sure to check the terms and conditions before proceeding. The two main factors to be aware of are obviously the place terms and the number of places the bookie is paying down to. As a general rule for regular darts tournaments, your player will need to reach the final and the place portion of the bet will pay out at 1/3 of the standard win odds.
At the PDC World Championships, the most prestigious of the PDC majors, you may find offers where place terms are more profitable and pay to the semis. The terms for an each way bet in darts may be a little tighter than in other sports, but it is still a potentially lucrative option. You can look through the different offers available at online gambling sites in the UK.
Darts betting strategies – the accumulator
Another possible strategy to bear in mind when wagering on the Match Winner market is the accumulator bet. Betting on players with shorter odds, the potential return may not be worth the risk. However, while an each way bet can minimise risk, the accumulator can maximise profit. As far as betting strategies go, it’s very simple and easy to follow. You need to correctly predict the outcome of several games, and the bet pays out if all of your selections are good.
As the name suggests, an accumulator, or ‘acca’, stacks one winning wager on top of another, for some handsome high volume payouts. The winnings on each successful pick become the stake for the next match to come. This way, even though you may put down very little initially, by the time all bets are finished your stake can have generated a hefty profit. The risk involved with betting on accas is greater than that of betting on single matches, but the reward can far outweigh the risk.
A typical accumulator bet
Calculating accumulator odds is easy, just multiply each selection by the next. Imagine a £10 accumulator bet on four match winners. The odds on your selections are 1.70, 2.4, 2.00 and 1.90.
|Accumulator Odds||1.70 x 2.4 x 2.00 x 1.90 = 15.50|
Placing £10 on this accumulator will return you £155, for a profit of £145 (a return of £155 minus the stake of £10), far more than the payout produced by winning all four bets individually. The advantage of accumulator betting is that winnings are much higher. However, the disadvantage is that for it to be successful, each choice must come good. If not, your stake is gone – one losing selection and the entire bet is lost.
Managing your bankroll
In a sport that is determined by millimetres, there will always be an element of risk involved. However, using the darts betting strategies discussed above will allow you to squeeze as much profit as possible out of many markets. And don’t forget, bankroll management is an important part of the picture. If you’re not doing this, you may find yourself without funds to continue betting, or to do anything else for that matter. Develop a bankroll management strategy that allows you to stretch out your betting dollars, and be careful not to get carried away and start breaking your limits.
If you’re new to betting on darts, start slow and small. Understand the basics before parting with any cash, and then bet smaller sums on more basic bets. Once you have a better understanding of the game, you will know which markets to choose and when to increase your wagers. And when looking for betting action, use good bookmakers such as 888sport who offer live streams. You will be able to do all of your live darts betting and viewing in one place. And of course, vistit trusted online sportsbooks in the UK.