We still have a few weeks until the UK gets its horses and greyhounds back on track while the Unibet Premier League hopes for a return to action even later, on 12 June. So, outside of online casino games and poker there is little left to bet on for some time yet.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) have eased the pain somewhat by introducing the ‘Unibet PDC Home Tour’ which is a competition that can be played without the contestants facing-off in person. You heard right. Restrictions over gatherings and non-essential travel means this competition is happening inside player’s homes with each dartsmith throwing their darts at the board in turn from inside of their own homes. Darts has always been a hugely popular betting medium and while the PDC Home Tour betting does not match SKY televised events for turnover, it has certainly kept darts punters stimulated and further ‘play from home’ competitions are sure to follow.
Would you like to know how to bet on darts? Here’s our complete guide to darts betting…
There are a number of major televised tournaments providing some top notch darts betting throughout the calendar year and most have an identical format, there are a few exceptions particularly in match duration. However one thing that is common in the majority of them is that both players start at 501 and have three darts each to get to zero and win a leg. In order to win aleg the player must get to exactly zero with their final dart being a double or bullseye.
There are numbers 1-20 on the dart board and each of them havethree scoring sections. The largest section of any number is the ‘single’, then there is a much smaller ‘double’ section and a smaller yet ‘treble’ section. If we take 18 as an example, hitting these areas are worth 18, 36 and 54 points respectively. The centre ring of the table is the ‘bullseye’ worth 50 points, around that is another ring which is worth 25 points.
Legs or Sets
Some tournaments are played in a simple ‘number of legs’ format with the winner of each game progressing to the next round until justone unbeaten player remains. The biggest tournament of the year is the World Darts Championships which takes place between mid-December and the very start of January. Here the winner of each match is decided by the number of sets won. To win a set a player must be the first to win three legs.
There are also a few competitions which use a league system, the Unibet Premier League held week-on-week between February and May being the most notable of these. What’s unusual about the games here is the ability for games to end in a draw which adds a new dimension to betting on this sport.
Key stats in darts
The most successful players in darts are those who have both the highest three-dart averages (as they throw three darts on every visit to the board) and the highest check out percentages. The most consistent players combining both elements are the ones who go deep in competitions and win the top tournaments. Naturally players aim to score treble 20 or treble 19 as often as possible to gain the highest score counting down from 501. Then when it comes to check out, the players who strike a double with the fewest darts are the ones who win most often. Double 16 and double-20 are the most popular.
Handicap and other betting markets
Like many other sports handicap betting is very popular indarts. But there are many other bet options such as simple ‘match winner’, ‘highest check-out’ and ‘highest number of 180s’. Furthermore you can usually bet on the same player to achieve two of these feats and all three. Unibet and Paddy Power are amongst the best places to shop for these types of bets.
The ‘match winner’ market is self-explanatory, the ‘highest check-out’ is the player who gets to zero (with a double finish) and wins a leg from having the highest number remaining. Incidentally the highest possible check out is 170 (Treble 20, Treble 20, Bullseye). Hopefully the ‘highest number of 180s’ is also self-explanatory.
Outright tournament winner markets
Like in other sports, a very popular market is the outright tournament winner. One other extra element is the each-way market which is usually 1/3 the odds 1-2. So this means you can 1/3 of odds about your stake if the player you back makes the final but finishes runner up.
Dutchman Michael van Gerwen (MVG) is the World Number 1 and has been the dominant force in darts since the retirement of Phil Taylor. MVG rarely starts bigger than 6/4 in any major tournament and he has won over 30 majors in his relatively short career. But he has not been prolific at the World Championships with Peter Wright talking the title in January 2021, Rob Cross in 2018 and Gary Anderson in 2015 and 2016. This handful have won most of the key tournaments over the past few years and its unwise to back any player who does not reside in the top-12 to won a major televised competition.