Darts Betting

While throwing darts has become a popular game to play when enjoying a pint with your friends at a pub, the game has a strong following, especially at high levels of competition. The game Darts has origins dating back to 19th Century England, where the original dart boards were the rings of a segment of a tree trunk.

The earliest darts were actually arrow stubs and crossbow bolts, but thankfully they have evolved since then. Like with most pub games, betting on darts has no clear origin, but these days it has become a popular sport to be on, particularly at European-based sports books.

Darts Betting
The basics of darts bettingWhat is darts betting?The how-to’s of betting on dartsThe odds of darts bettingBetting on darts futuresWhere to watch darts
The basics of darts betting

The basics of darts betting

Darts is a past-time known best for bar-goers looking for a fun game while throwing back a cold one. However, the game has a large following, especially at professional levels of competition. What once was a dive-bar activity has not become a beloved enterprise amongst sports and entertainment betting. Darts has gained notoriety across Europe, and its popularity is gaining momentum in the US with televised coverage.

The game of darts originated back in 19th century England, where components of the game weren't quite so glamorous. Instead of the perfectly circular wheels with rich red and deep black colours, the board was simply comprised of rings on a tree.

Instead of the little darts that you see today, players back then would throw arrow stubs and crossbow bolts at the tree trunk. While the components of the game have evolved greatly, the fun of it has remained the same. While the details of early pub games remain a little lost in history, the game was beloved back then as it is today. Even more so, the game is a popular betting sport in current times, especially amongst those who place bets through European sportsbooks.

The basics of darts betting
What is darts betting?

What is darts betting?

Knowing that the sport came into fruition so long ago, it can only be assumed that betting on darts began centuries ago. When darts became an official sport at the turn of the 18th century, betting on the sport gained wide notoriety. Flash forward to today, and betting on darts is widespread and still gaining favor.

In the 1970s, the first official World Championship of Darts was held. Today, the game has evolved into tournaments being held weekly. As the sport continues to gain popularity, betters can place their wagers on online bookmakers. While it is available, it must be noted that it doesn't have as much popularity as football and baseball, so there are smaller offerings in sportsbooks.

The good news for fans of the sport is that darts is changing at a rapid pace. The good news for darts fans is that there is a rise in popularity of the sport thanks to broadcasts and the internet streaming darts events. In addition, as online and mobile sports betting continues to rise in popularity, so will the sport’s following increase too.

What is darts betting?
The how-to’s of betting on darts

The how-to’s of betting on darts

To bet on darts matches, the player must have general knowledge of the game rules. For example, no random person can bet on darts and expect to win even a penny. The scoring system for darts is a bit complex, and the number of sets per match takes getting used to, as the number can fluctuate depending on the tournament rules.

So, how can a player wager on the game? In the simplest sense, bettors can place wagers on the winner of the match, similar to that of moneyline betting in other sports. As with other sports, this is the easiest bet to place, and other bets only get more complicated.

Another way a player can bet on the match is by betting on each leg winner. If they know the rules of the game well, they can also bet on the 180s. This consists of betting on the first 180 or the highest total 180s of the match. Those who wish to go big or go home can bet on the tournament winner, which is also available in tennis or golf.

Professional darts competitions and leagues put two opponents head-to-head to battle it out in a leg-based or set-based match. The most common scoring format is the 501-scoring system. Players aim to lower their score from 501 to 0 before their opponent does by throwing and hitting the corresponding number on the dartboard. The first player to do so wins the leg. When a player wins enough legs, they win the set.

There are a few options when it comes to depositing. One of these is via debit or credit card, and while it may be the simplest, it also comes with the drawback of having a bank fee or deposit limit. Nowadays, most sportsbooks also accept cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. The pros about this option are that it's safe, anonymous, requires no added fees, and allows the instant withdrawal of funds.

The how-to’s of betting on darts
The odds of darts betting

The odds of darts betting

Darts is a one-on-one match-up, so the odds are determined similar to that of tennis. In simplest terms, one player is considered better than the other player by the oddsmakers and the betting market.

Odds for any match winner or tournament winner are estimated based on each player's apparent skills and abilities. Handicapping also works identically to any point spread or totals market. For example, succeeding in a match by -2.5 sets means the winning darts player must win by a minimum of three sets. Likewise, if the odds are +2.5, the underdog must win outright or lose by fewer than three sets.

There are many factors that can affect the odds of a one-on-one sport, like darts. These include past and recent performance, the success of the competition, and any injuries. As darts tournaments are played indoors, the weather will never affect the outcome of the game, unlike many betting sports.

Focus on the match-up

You can't just know which team is better or worse to make the best darts bets. You need to know each player's strengths and weaknesses, especially if they've already been matched with this opposing team. It's important to take note of their accuracy, recovery, and speed.

As with most sports, when it comes to betting on darts, it's important to know the rules and the intricacies of how the game is played. While you can understand the basics, including general records and rankings, you should be familiar with each player and know how they stand in the competition. This type of knowledge will help you get a leg up and win big.

Don’t bet on hype

Because darts aren’t as widely popular, it’s easy for a bettor to bandwagon on the wager of another better, believing that they must know the ins and outs if they’re betting on this sport. However, that’s not always the case. It’s important for bettors to gain their own knowledge of the game and the current match-up and not follow what the crowd may be speculating. Just because the crowd may be cheering one name does not mean that’s who will win the match.

Betting on match score

Anyone can predict the outright winner of a darts match; they just need a general knowledge of a player's past performance and current execution. That being said, betting limits exist, and to win big, it likely won't be done on a moneyline. So, betting on the match score brings in more value as it's more difficult.

The odds of darts betting
Betting on darts futures

Betting on darts futures

While you can bet on individual matches, you can also bet on futures. You may be wondering, what is that? Well, the name pretty much calls it what it is. Betting on a future means that you’re betting on an upcoming match and who you believe the winner will be.

In darts, there are three major professional competitions held annually: two PDC World Darts Championship held by World Professional Darts, and the other hosted by the British Darts Organization (BDO).

The PDC World Championship started back in 1994 and is held every December through January at London’s Alexandra Palace. The champion wins the Sid Waddell Trophy and 500,000 British pounds (about $645,500 USD).

Betting on the 9-Dart Finish

The nine-dart finish is said to be the perfect leg in darts. While professionals are highly talented, a 9-dart finish is an uncommon feat. What is it? It occurs when a player uses exactly nine darts - the fewest possible in a match - to check out from 501.

Betting on the Leg/Set Over/Under

Many American sports have an over/under bet; however, with darts, it's slightly different. Darts over/under bets depend on the number of legs or sets a player wins in a match. In a darts over/under, the player a bettor wagers on doesn't have to win the overall match for the bettor to win. They to win the appropriate number of sets or legs under the set wager.

Betting on a Leg/Set Handicap

A leg/set handicap is the darts version of a point spread bet. Here's the breakdown. One player has a set number of legs or sets added or subtracted from their final score. This number decides the bet, just like how spread points operate in football or basketball.

For example, if a player has a -1.5 handicap, they would need to win the match by at least two legs to cash in the bet. The bookmakers set a handicap or spread based on how much they assume a player will win by, and a bettor must wager based on whether they believe that set number is accurate or not.

Betting on darts futures
Where to watch darts

Where to watch darts

To watch professional darts in the U.S., head to BBC America for Premier League Darts or subscribe to DAZN or PDC TV for the PDC World Darts Championship.

As the game of darts proliferates globally, so does the capacity to bet and win big. Betting on darts will only continue to expand into new markets worldwide as bettors and fans comprehend more about the game and how its interworkings function. Betting on darts is relatively simple once bettors begin to learn how the game works, and it is only a matter of time before sportsbooks concentrate more on darts.

Key takeaways

  • Consider wagering on futures
  • Do your research before betting and don’t rely on fan hype
  • Keep an eye out for the three major events
  • Know the rules of darts inside and out
Where to watch darts