Darts is a well-known game all around the world, and millions of people love to indulge in it while drinking with their buddies. The game is addicting and fun to play, the rules are simple, and after a few games, you are wondering where all the time went. Whether you play with your friends at a local bar, or in a tournament, winning is an exciting feeling. There is a sense of accomplishment about beating others and being the best among your colleagues or competitors. You have rightfully earned their respects and there is no greater feeling than that.
No matter how easy the rules of darts may sound to you, but it is not easy to ace this game. The premise sounds simple – you just have to hit the center, right? How hard can it be? Turns out, very hard. Being consistent with your scores is not an easy thing to do and even the professionals struggle with consistency.
However, you can improve your game by making some minor changes to your gameplay. Here is a list of things which will help you to master the game of darts.
Know the Rules
How can you win a game without knowing the rules? Luck maybe, but it is highly unlikely. You are not God’s favorite child, so you can’t win via luck every time. To master this or any other game, you must know its rules inside out. Once you learn the rules of darts, you can use them to your advantage, and of course, avoid any penalties.
For example, did you know that if you hit the bull’s eye in the last throw, you will win the game straight away. Knowledge is power – in life, and in darts.
Understand the Scoring System
This seems like a no brainer. If you want to master the game, you first have to understand how scoring works.
Most of the professional games start with each player having a total of 501 or 301 points. Each player has three darts and has to throw them simultaneously on his/her turn. The score is noted down from the board and is deducted from the players total score. The scoring is as follows:
- Bull’s eye has a total of 50.
- The outer ring will give you 25.
- If a dart hits in the double or treble ring, the respective score is doubled.
The first person to reach the null point is the winner of the game. If in the later stages of the game, the players score goes below 0 after subtracting their score from the total, it will result in a bust. This bust will reset their score to what it was before they threw the dart. Other rules that will result in a bust are if players score comes to 1 after subtracting it from their total or it comes 0 but violates the double out rule. (Double Out: Players must hit a double to make the score zero.)
Improve the Throw
For a game like darts, you need the perfect hand to eye coordination. Your hands should follow what your eye sees. It is easier said than done and it takes years of practice to master this art. What you can do is train more with proper technique. If you have the proper stance, grip, speed and momentum, your dart will go wherever you want it to.
Here are a few tips that will help you improve your throw and control your darts curvature.
- Stand in an inverted manner with your strong hand facing the dart board. Avoid facing it upright.
- Lift your elbow to your shoulder’s length. Your elbow will act as a lever while throwing.
- Use the pencil grip when holding the dart, neither too tight, nor too loose. Hold it from the center with the front tip facing little upwards.
- Aim higher than the point where you want to hit the board.
- Keep your body and shoulders steady and let go of the dart. Snap your wrist in the end to give it more speed.
- Follow through the motion of your arm to maintain the desired trajectory.
These little tips can help you increase your accuracy. A professional player can win a game of darts with a minimum of nine throws. Think of that as your limit and keep practicing until you can achieve the same feat. Shoot for the moon, and you may end up getting the stars.
Watch Out for your Mistakes
One of the most important things to do when playing darts is to analyze your gameplay and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. To this end, you can film yourself and see what you’re doing wrong. You can also ask a friend to watch you play and point out your mistakes.
Knowing your mistakes will help you use your strengths to your advantage. You should be so confident of your style that the dart should follow your intended path, even if it is going in the wrong direction, and you should be able to calculate its hit point. This way you can change its trajectory according to the need of the game.
Don’t Obsess on the Bully’s Eye
Also, make sure you practice hitting every point on the dart board and don’t emphasize too much on the center. It is important to get the bull’s eye, but it is not wise to practice only hitting the center. In the later stages of the game, you’ll be needing to hit the double ring at some point, and if you don’t know how to do it, your opponent will win.
Pro Tip: Aiming for the bullseye in the later stages is not safe, instead aim for the double ring. It has a wider area, so you have more chances of hitting it.
Get your Own Gear
If you really want to take your game to the next level, you need to practice playing it daily. It is not plausible for you or anyone to go the bar everyday just to play darts. Your girlfriend will start suspecting something is up, and who can blame her?
If you do want to give it a shot, it’s better to just buy one. Dart boards are not expensive and you can easily set one up at your home. All you need is an empty basement, room or garage and you’re good to go. Make sure you check in with your family before making such a decision though.
Dart boards and darts may not be expensive, but this project will take a lot of commitment and determination. So, make up your mind that you want to go all the way into this game, otherwise it will just be a waste of time and money.
Keep Things Quiet
You are going to need a calm and peaceful environment for the training sessions, so going to the bar is not a great option. It’s a lot of, but who can concentrate properly in a bar? Getting a personal board at home or going to a professional court will be a better option. Choose according to your budget and start practicing!
Which brings us to our next point…
Set up shop at home
Here is a list of things which you need to keep in mind while giving shape to your personal darts game room for real.
- The room must be large enough to accommodate international dimensions of the game and then some extra space for standing and moving around.
- Measure all distances carefully before hanging the board and marking the throw line.
- The dart board should be hung far from windows and doors.
- The flooring in this room should not be warped or twisted.
- It should be child proof, as they need to be kept away from playing arena. Darts are very sharp and can injure anyone, especially children, if they are not handled with care.
Once you have made your own personalized dart room, start practicing the game. It’ll be a slow process, you can’t perfect your game overnight, so give it time and keep your head high.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You probably know about this one, it is a no brainer. Is there anything in this world that can’t be mastered by the right amount of training and determination? Whether it is the field of sports, academics, arts, music or anything else that you can think of, it can be mastered over time with practice.
When you do something repeatedly over a period, your muscle memory becomes strong. The game of darts is all about muscle memory and if you can develop it, it’ll all be smooth sailing for you.
To get started on your training routine, try hitting each number on the board in the ascending or descending order. This will give you an even accuracy over the whole board. If you can’t hit a triple or double, start working on it. Note down how many darts you take to hit each number and analyze them. You can see your progress week by week.
Winning is addictive, and once you get used to the sweet taste of victory, you do not want to go back. An amateur can win one time, it takes real practice and determination to win consistently. This is something which luck or money can’t buy; you have to sweat in the arena to be good at it. Darts will not make you sweat, but you get the idea. So, whether you are training to make it big as a professional or just to beat your friends, buckle up, it is not going to be easy.