Darts is a sport many people will have played themselves before diving into the exciting world of darts betting.
Dart boards can be found in pubs and bars across the United Kingdom and the pastime of watching darts on TV has really taken off over the past 20 years.
More and more people are betting on darts and that’s no surprise if you look at the increased entertainment factor fans get from following ‘the arrows’.
In this guide, we will show you how best to bet on darts, as well as introduce you to the biggest tournaments and legends of the game. If you want to learn how to bet on darts then this is the guide for you!
Darts is a popular game where two players take it in turns to throw their darts into a cork board. The board is divided up into scoring zones from 1-20. There are also rings on the outside and middle of the board, which are the double and triple zones respectively. This means a dart can score as little as no points (if the player misses the board) or 60 points if they hit a ‘triple 20’.
The aim of the darts is to whittle down your starting tally to zero — and players are required to finish on a ‘double’ or the bullseye. In professional darts, both players will start with 501 points and take it in turn to drive that number down, throwing three darts in each turn.
You will often see players throw for the triple 20 zone, in order to get the maximum score per dart. But others will move to triple 19 (57 points) in order to move their points total off an odd number. That’s because you must finish ‘on a double’.
If you hit your last double to ‘check out’ at zero, you win the leg. There are a set number of legs in darts, which changes depending on the tournament. Matches can also be split into sets, so a player may have to win three legs to earn a set, and three sets to win the match. This is important to know when betting on darts, because you can bet on the number of legs in a match, or the correct score on sets.
Darts has been played for centuries but was only fully regulated when the BDO was formed in 1973 and the first World Championships five years later. The PDC became a breakaway tour which proved attractive to some players as it was professional, rather than the BDO’s amateur status.
Each year the PDC and the BDO host their own World Championships, usually around December and January. But there are plenty of tournaments throughout the year to keep darts betting fans entertained!
There are a number of darts betting markets that are popular with players. Below, we take a look at the most regularly used bets in darts.
Match betting is the staple of darts betting. In it, you bet on the winner of a specific match – simple as that. You can also put your money on the correct set score or the different legs of the match. For example, you can bet on whether there will be a 180 (the maximum number of points with three darts) in the first leg of the match.
One form of darts betting is the outright winner. In outright betting, you bet on the winner of a tournament – for example the winner of the World Championship. There are also player specific markets, like betting on whether Michael van Gerwen has a Nine Dart Finish in the tournament.
Another outright bet is to back a certain player to win their quarter of the draw. This is for punters who don’t want to back on a darts player to win the competition, but believe they will progress a certain number of rounds into it. This is a big bet at the World Championships, where the draw opens up a hoard of prospective meetings between the top players. For example, you may back Michael van Gerwen to win his quarter of the draw but combine that with a bet on Gary Anderson winning the championship.
In darts, there’s plenty of over/under betting, like betting on the total number of sets in a match. Let’s say that a darts match is played to best of five sets. The minimum number of sets then is three and the maximum five. If you bet on “Over 4.5” total sets, you win if the match is played to five (or hypothetically more) sets. In other words, you win if the match ends 3-2 to one of the players. If the match ends in four or three sets, you lose your bet.
It’s also possible to bet with a set handicap. If, in a best of five set match, you bet on Van Gerwen to win with a -2.5 handicap, it means that he must win the match 3-0 for you to get your money.
King of the Oche is another interesting bet type. In it, you bet on one of the players to be the match winner, have the highest checkout (final dart to end a leg) and the most 180s. This bet usually comes with high odds and is a great way to bet on a heavy favourite if you’re not tempted by their low Match Bet odds.
Another kind of bet is the number of 180s in a match, which is a straight-forward bet on how many maximums you think will be thrown. Sometimes there is an over/under market for this bet, which would read something like: +4.5 180s in the match.
Biggest darts tournaments
The biggest darts tournament is certainly the World Championships, which take place in December and January each year. The ‘Worlds’ attract players from across the globe and takes place at the Alexandra Palace in London. Darts fans can bet on who will win the World Championship almost all year round, with Unibet having a market on this long-term tournament bet.
Another big tournament is the Premier League of Darts, which is a 16-week tournament consisting of the top-ranked players in the world (and a few wildcards!). The tournament, which takes place between February and May, takes in some of the biggest arenas in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, with thousands of fans following all the action.
Other major championships include the World Grand Prix, World Matchplay and the Grand Slam of Darts. The UK Open is another massive competition which started in 2003, while the European Championship aims to draw in some of the biggest names in the European darts scene.
There are also some prestigious non-ranking darts tournaments that players battle hard to win. They include The Masters, which features the top-16 players in the World, and the World Series of Darts. The beauty of the World Series of Darts is that it takes place across the globe over a number of tournaments. From Germany to Singapore, Australia to Shanghai, the World Series of Darts eventually finishes in one huge Finals torments — much like the Premier League of Darts.
The beauty of darts is that there is a tournament almost every week. Whether it be in the UK or Asia, there’s always something to watch and bet on when following this fantastic sport.
Dart live streaming
Darts is an excellent live stream sport to bet on. In fact, darts on TV is one of the biggest reasons the game is so popular these days. There are thousands of fans who pack out arenas each week to watch darts live — but millions follow from the comfort of their sofas.
Darts live stream services are available with Unibet TV alongside our in-play betting odds. It means you don’t miss any of the action when betting on the games. And don't forget Unibet is a key partner of darts, including exciting collaborations with the PDC!
Darts betting live
Another exciting addition to darts live streaming is the option to bet live during matches. Here at Unibet we make sure players are provided with the latest in-play betting odds as they fluctuate throughout matches. It means you can bet on Michael van Gerwen at various stages of a match against, for example, James Wade. Van Gerwen may be 1.50 to win the match before the first darts is thrown — but were Wade to win the opening two legs then MVG’s price could climb to 2.00, making it a tempting live-odds bet for some players.
The beauty of in-play betting alongside the live streams is that you’re in command of when you bet and can make the best decision for you.