Despite the hours you’ve spent trying to better your aim, you just can’t seem to get ahead of your friends and opponents in darts. These tricks might help you get an edge for your next game.
1. Don’t Go Big
Many professional dart players typically finish a game quickly because they aim for large numbers. They’ll hit the triple 20 and earn a ton of points in their three-throw turn. However, someone who has less skill can seriously hurt their point average by trying to do the same.
This is because the design of the board is specifically made to punish you if you don’t hit a large number. Next to the 20, for example, are low numbers. If you miss the 20 even by a few centimeters, you’re going to end up scoring a small number. This can put you way behind everyone else.
Instead, you should try to aim for the 19. While it does rest next to smaller numbers as well, those numbers are still larger than those that rest around 20. You won’t hurt yourself as badly if you miss the 19 and land on seven, for example.
When playing against other amateurs, you can allow them to make the rookie mistake of trying to hit the larger numbers each time. You can slowly accrue your points by going for mid-range numbers. Now and then, you might even be able to score a 19.
2. Aim for Powers of Two
When playing 501 or 301, the best way that you can help yourself get down to zero is by leaving yourself with a number that has a power of two. It’s easier to reach zero with even numbers than it is with odd ones.
Powers of two also have even more number combinations that you can work to reach zero more efficiently. When your opponents are struggling to reach zero when they’re on a three or nine, you can quickly move past them by going for powers of two. They’ll need to use at least two darts, whereas you might only need to use one.
3. Understand the Rules
One tip that many professionals give to those who aren’t as good of players is to understand the rules. You need to know how to score and what might actually disqualify you from a round. For example, putting your foot past the mark on the floor could penalize you by ending your turn then and there. This can widen the gap between you and your opponent.
With so many different dart games available, you should also be sure that you know the rules of the one that you’re playing. The triple or double rings might work differently in each game mode. You could end up wasting your time by applying the rules of another game mode to the one you’re actually playing.
For those who are beginning, the rules that you should study the most are those for Cricket and for 501/301. These are the two most popular game modes that are played professionally.
4. Understand Scoring
Professionals also suggest that players learn how scoring in a game works. This is important for numerous reasons. First, it helps you understand how close you are to winning. You can’t strategize if you don’t know how scoring works.
It can also help ensure that you know you’re not being hoodwinked by someone who is keeping score. They might make a mistake, and you might miss out on some crucial points. Before you enter a match, you should be able to keep a scoring sheet yourself.
Along with the scoring, you need to understand how it works. Depending on the game mode, you should know how much the double and triple rings count toward your score. It’s also important to know how you actually score. This might be as simple as simply hitting a number with your dart.
However, for certain game modes, it might be more difficult in that. You might not be able to score until you’ve earned a certain number of points first. For example, in English Cricket Darts, you have to earn 40 points before you actually score points that can be totaled up.
5. Find Your Technique
There are lots of ways to throw a dart. Finding the technique that best works for you is critical to winning a game of darts. Professionals suggest that you should try out different techniques to see which one best improves your game.
Once you find that technique, however, you need to hone it. That means you have to practice. A lot. Professional dart players spend a lot of time improving their technique by forming muscle memory. If they can find the right kind of stance, throwing power, and finger pressure on the darts, they can improve their precision.
An extra tip is to record yourself throwing your darts. It’s impossible to see how you hold yourself otherwise. With the video, you can see how you stand and throw. Then you can make the necessary adjustments to improve your throwing.
6. Aim Higher
Darts don’t typically travel in a straight line. Even if you throw fast and hard, there’s always a bit of an arc to the movement of the dart. Because of this, you need to make sure that you’re aiming the right way. Compensating for the arc is a great trick to help you win a game of darts.
This typically means you need to aim higher than what you’re going for. Because of the arc, the dart will always land a few centimeters or even inches lower than what you’re aiming for.
To help yourself aim higher, you should begin by choosing your darts. Each dart will have a different arc based on its design and quality. You need to understand its arc first. Once you have a feel for it, you can start to compensate.
Try aiming a few centimeters above the target and throw the dart. With careful practice, you’ll be able to understand how to compensate for the arc and throw more accurately.
7. Understand Your Strengths
Each player has their own playstyle. Some love to go for the bullseye, while others focus on scoring doubles. Play a few matches on your own and see what you can hit the best.
If you hit one side of the board more accurately than the other, incorporate that into your play style. Play to your strengths and hone those skills in order to win.
Tips from the Pros — Raymond Van Barneveld
1. What’s the best way to improve your aim in darts?
Practice regularly and focus on maintaining a consistent throwing motion. Also, try to find a comfortable grip and stance that works for you.
2. How important is the follow-through when throwing darts?
Follow-through is crucial for a consistent and accurate throw. It helps maintain balance and ensures the dart travels along the intended trajectory.
3. What’s the most effective way to score points in a game of cricket?
Focus on closing numbers (15-20 and the bullseye) by hitting each number three times, and then aim for high-scoring triples to rack up points while your opponent is still trying to close their numbers.
4. How can you avoid bouncing darts off the board?
Make sure your darts are in good condition, with sharp tips and well-secured flights. Also, try to throw with a smooth, controlled motion to minimize the chances of bounce-outs.
5. Is it better to aim for the bullseye or triple 20 when playing 501?
Triple 20 is generally a better target since it scores 60 points, compared to 50 points for the bullseye. However, aiming for the bullseye can be a useful strategy in certain situations.