Mainly referenced as a “pub game”, darts has generated itself a pretty exciting following with a variety of things to bet on. Darts matches are usually in sets, made up of games broken down into what are called “legs”. To win a set, you could have to be the first to win 3 legs. To win the entire match, you may have to be the first to win 3 sets. Games can be played 1 on 1, or in teams. You take turns, throw 3 darts per turn, and a typical darts game is either 501. Both players start with this score and work their way down. The object is to land on exactly 0. The dartboard has its point totals written all around the dartboard. If your first shot lands on 20, now your score is down to 481. If your second shot lands on a “double” 20, you receive 40 points, lowering your score to 441.
To win the game, your winning shot must land on a double. So if you have 40 points remaining, you must hit the double 20 to seal the deal. If you hit a single 20, leaving yourself with 20, you must now hit a double 10. If your final shot brings your score down to 1, below 0, or 0 but was not on a double, your score turns to what it was before that shot.
Another common variation is 301 where the rules are the same except for one change. Unlike 501, Your first score must be on a double. So if you’re new to darts and missed the board the first 5 shots you took and then finally hit a single 20, your score remains at 301.
You can select which competitors you think will win the entire tournament. Depending on how great each player is considered will determine what kind of payout you get on them. The superstar returning champion is going to pay something that may be hard to tell if it is worth betting. Look for guys who are up and coming stars that aren’t getting much attention. The payout on them is probably really high because they are underrated. You can also select who you think will make it to the latter stages of the tournament including the finals. Since this task is easier, the payout will be less.
The Individual Matches
The simplest bet you can make on a match is on who will win the match. The player likeliest to win the match is called the favorite, while their opponent is the underdog. Betting the favorite will pay less than the original wager, while the underdog will pay more. Betting the outright winner of a contest is also known as betting the moneyline. Here’s what a line would look like:
Player X -250
Player Q +185
Here you see the favorite is priced at -250 indicating the bet pays below even money since this candidate is heavily expected to win. The underdog is +185 because every dollar you bet will pay $1.85 when it wins since they are expected to lose.
Betting the Spread and Total in Darts
When you bet the spread, the payout is an equal -110 for both the favorite and the underdog. It’s harder to win betting the favorite on the spread. That is why it pays better than the moneyline. Conversely, the underdog will have an easier time winning on the spread, so it pays less than the moneyline. If you think the favorite will dominate, you may take the favorite to win the set by -1.5 legs. That means you have to beat your opponent by at least 2 legs to win the set, and your bet. To adjust this, you can buy or sell points. If he wins the set in a decisive 5th round, and wins 3-2, you lose. Your player must win this set either 3-0 or 3-1. If you have the underdog, you can win by either winning the set, or by winning 2 legs since you only lose the bet if you lose by at least 2 legs.
Also known as the “total”, the over/under does not concern who wins. You are betting on the length of a leg or a set. If the first set is listed at 3.5 legs, that means you would want to bet the under if you think the match is likely to go only 3 legs. If you think the competitors are more balanced, you may take the over expecting things to be close.
Betting the Correct Score
This allows the bettor to choose what he thinks the winning score will be in each set. For example, you could pick Player A to defeat Player B in the first set by a score of 3-2 Legs. Then you could pick Player B to defeat Player A in the second set by a score of 3-0 Legs.
Regardless of who wins a tournament, anyone could post the highest three-dart average. You track this bet by calculating who averaged the most points per turn of 3 shots taken. So if I went 15 rounds and scored 5000 points, 5000 divided by 15 means 333 is my 3 dart average.
The 170 Checkout
Every sport or game seems to have some type of “grand daddy” achievement. For darts, that would be the 170 checkout. 170 is the most number of points you can “checkout” from to win a leg. You do so by hitting the triple 20 twice for 60 each, followed by the double bullseye for 50. To bet on this, you pick as many players as you think that will record a 170 checkout during an event.