The English like to believe they invented darts, and whilst there is some evidence linking them with the modern game, the idea that people haven’t been throwing things at targets and wagering on the outcome for thousands upon thousands of years is just plain silly. Of course the English claim to have “discovered” Australia despite there already being people living there. Of course all good games need to be codified, made uniform, and perhaps to that the English can lay far firmer claim, and these days plenty of people beyond England like to play and bet on darts, as the PDC World Cup Of Darts proves.
Henry VIII, one of the more colorful monarchs the English have produced, we are told had something to do with the origins of darts, per se, ordering his archers to practice every day and once bored of this rather unnecessary repetition the archers began throwing the arrows instead of using their bows, allowing them to take the practice sessions inside during the winter months. The game proved popular with one and all, the Mayflower carrying a set less than seventy years later on its historic voyage across the Atlantic, although whether the pilgrims bet on darts is another matter entirely.
Naturally it was in the 19th century that the game coalesced around a single form, Brian Gamlin created the numbering system we know today, and by the turn of the century the darts of folded paper and metal barrels were in use, however there was a problem. The game was hugely popular in pubs across England, but UK gambling laws dictated that no games of chance could be played in their confines, and the authorities felt darts fell into this category. Indeed one of the only reason people can bet on darts these days is because one man decided to challenge that ruling, and back it up in court.
The rather wonderfully named Foot Anakin was taken to court in 1908 for allowing people to play darts in his pub, and to challenge the ruling that darts was a game of chance he had a board erected in the court room, threw three twenties and challenged anyone else amongst the courtroom to do the same. A clerk accepted the challenge on the court’s behalf and promptly failed, giving the judge ample latitude to dismiss the case and open up darts, and betting on darts, to the wider drinking community beginning a happy relationship that would last until well into the 20th century.
Drinking, Celebrities And Sky Sports
During the early days of television coverage it was clear darts did itself no favors in terms of public relations. Large men in garish shirts drinking enough to drown small elephants whilst sweating profusely and concentrating so hard veins stood out on their foreheads, as a rowdy crowd screamed, shouted and chanted behind them like a barely tamed beast on a dodgy leash made it quite a spectacle but not an attractive one. If weight and alcohol content had been gravitas you could have bet on darts to be the second biggest sport in the world by now, but the 1970s tainted many things, darts included.
It was in no small part to distance itself from this past that in 1992 the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) was formed in the UK splitting away from the old BDO and taking with it the cream of the darts world. Both organizations continue to operate are benefiting from the larger appeal the more clean cut game of today enjoys, with even celebrities like Stephen Fry admitting to loving the sport, and who would have bet on darts being one of his little foibles? More TV coverage and better sponsorship deals are expanding the world of darts, and right now the PDC are staging their world cup of darts in Germany.
With coverage on Sky Sports this headline topping event has brought together teams from thirty two nations to do battle over this coveted trophy, but if you like to bet on sports in the UK and are planning on placing a bet on the darts, who should you be backing in this international competition now underway in Frankfurt, Germany? Well there’s plenty of good players to choose from so lets just quickly run down the odds and see where your hard-earned cash should be splashed if you want to see a return on your investment and an increase in your bank roll.
Want To Bet On Darts? Here’s Who To Back…..
The Republic Of Ireland are, along with Spain, the 100/1 outsiders of the top teams, and whilst they could get lucky, they’d have to get very, very lucky indeed, and you can bet on darts players in the Republic are none too pleased that the Northern Irish are being given a far more generous 40/1 putting them squarely between those with no hope and those with very little hope, although I’m gambling news that Austria sitting at 33/1 isn’t a surprise to anyone who has ever seen them play, decent enough but under pressure? Not so much.
The Australians, a nation with a great pub history behind it, are getting 22/1 at Betway, which could make them a very attractive each way bet, and with both Belgium and Wales sitting just ahead at 20/1, and might I say rather unfairly so, they’ve every hope of reaching the final. That said they will have to get past the Scots to do it, and at 4/1 they’re looking for one of those two top spots, and are especially looking forward to their game with England who are 2/1 but have been known to blow it when it counts, and it’ll all count at the PDC World Cup Of Darts if you want that 50,000GBP prize money.
The team with the best odds at the moment are the Dutch. The Netherlands has produced numerous great players and right now they’re on top form which explains the 11/8 or 6/4 you can find if you wish to bet on darts and choose the favorite. They will be the team to beat and both the English and Scotland know it, and in the stress and pressure of those big rivalry games it could be the Australians that pick up some places, so watch for the boys from down under when the arrows start to fly, there’s an antipodean surprise awaiting more than one opposing team this year in the PDC World Cup Of Darts.
PDC World of Darts
- Netherlands: 11/8
- England: 2/1
- Scotland: 4/1