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An Introduction to Betting on Darts

Darts is a hugely popular sport that enjoyed a massive resurgence in recent years. It is a traditional pub game that many people enjoy playing in their local, and those who have tried their hand at darts will be able to recognise the exceptional skill level of the professionals in the top tiers.

For those who do not know the rules, darts is quite simple. Matches are played in a series of first to 11, 13, or more games (depending on which stage of a competition the match is played in), and players start with a score of 501 that they have to reduce to 0. Players have three throws in each shot and they play in alternating shots. The players must try and reach 0 as quickly as possible and have to score a double on their last throw, if they go below 0 then the shot will not count and they will have to wait for their next shot to try and reach 0 again. The first player to reach 0 wins the game and then in the following games the scores are reset and the players play again.

There have been some great darts players over the years including the likes of Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen and many more. Watching any of the top players is truly exciting as they demonstrate their prowess on each throw and games can take many twists and turns. When it comes to darts betting, there are many different options that punters can choose from, which gives them the chance to win with almost every throw.

Bet Types

To Win

The most straightforward bet is on which player will win the match. There will be odds offered on both of the players and punters pick they player that they think will win. The favourite will be easy to spot as they will have shorter odds than the other contestant. Even though the favourite will have shorter odds, these will still be quite competitive as darts games depend on many factors and sometimes there are surprising upsets, even in the biggest tournaments.


If a player is a strong favourite to win, then the odds offered may not be very attractive. Spread bets assign the favourite a game handicap and in exchange, offer longer odds. In first to 11 games matches, there may be spreads offered such as player A to win with a handicap of -2.5, -3.5, -4.5, -5.5 games and more. For example, if a bet on a player to win with a handicap of -2.5 means that they will need to win by a margin of at least 3 games. If they win the match 11-9 then they will not have covered the spread and the bet will not win.

Punters will also have the option to place a spread in favour of the underdog. With these bets the underdog is given a games advantage, such as +2.5 games. In this scenario, the punter needs the player to either win the game outright or not lose by more than 2 games. If player B wins 10 games, the bet is won as they cannot lose by more than 2 games. However, it is important to note that the advantage of +2.5 games will be added at the end of the fixture. What is meant by this is that if player B reaches 9 games, they will not win the bet automatically.


When these bets are available, punters will be able to place money on how many games they think will be played in the match. In the first to 11 game matches, players will need to win with an advantage of at least 2 games and they will go to sudden death if the scores are tied at 13-13. This means that a minimum of 11 games can be played in the fixture and the maximum is 27. The totals bets will offer punters a range of options between these limits, and they will be over/under bets on a specific value. There may be a bet such as over/under a total of 15.5 games, in which case a bet of over will mean that the game will need to end with a score of 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 and so on. A bet of under 15.5 games will mean the match needs to end with a score of 11-4-4, 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 or 11-0. There may be multiple ranges available, such as over/under 15.5, 16.5, 17.5, 18.5 and so on. The odds offered on each bet will reflect how likely the matches are to end with that amount of games. If a punter places a bet on the match to finish with a very high or very low number of games, then they will have far longer odds than placing a bet on the fixture to finish with "under a very high amount" or "over a very low amount of games''.


For some of the major events, such as tournament finals or matches between top players, there may be some prop bets available. These bets can be really fun and they offer even more chances to win. Generally, prop bets relate to certain in game events or overall match statistics. The bets that relate to the overall match may include correct score bets, will a player go down by X games and then make a comeback, will the game go into sudden death, will there be a game with a nine dart finish and so on. These are not bets that are easy to predict and some seem unlikely, like a player coming back from 5-0 in a first to 11 match, but the odds offered on these bets can be extremely long.

There are bets that are far more specific and relate to each game, such as how many 180s will be thrown in the game (where all three throws in the shot land on triple 20s), which player will throw more 180s in the game, how many 180s will one player throw in the game and so on. These bets are far more specific than the bets that relate to match statistics and often they come with extremely long odds.

Live Bet

As mentioned before, darts is a traditional pub game, and therefore it is often showed in pubs or sports bars with televisions. If a sports bettor happens to find themselves enjoying a particular match of darts, they would be able to place a bet during the game with the live betting option. Here, punters can place a bet on either of the players to win for example, at any point during the match. The bets will be offered with live odds, which means that they will be constantly updating to reflect the events in the match. If one player starts winning many games, the odds of them winning will drop. If they then lose a game or consecutive games, the odds on them will lengthen. Live bets also offer opportunities that are not available in pre-event betting. Often it is possible to bet on the next thing to happen. For example, you may be able to bet on the next player to throw a 180 of if there will be a bullseye in the next game. By keeping a careful on the action and the odds, you may spot some exciting opportunities.

How to Research Bets

Like any other sport, there is a lot of information available about darts player. Punters will be able to research statistics such as how many times have the two players faced each other, which player is more successful in the tournament they are playing in, which player has the better form and so on.

The more information you take into account when placing your bets, the better chances you have of success. Of course, anything can happen and there is no such thing as a bet that is guaranteed to win, but a bit of careful research can go a long way to securing some sizeable winnings.

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