Darts, from Steve Leslie

July 26, 2008 |

dartsDarts is a very interesting and enjoyable game. It is like other games that on the surface appear very simple. However, proper study and mastery of this game can go very far in the advancement of the good speculator.

The sport of darts began during medieval times in England. It began as training in the martial arts. It was seen as an alternative to the use of arrows and archery to be used against its adversary. Henry VIII was an avid practicioner of the sport and through the aggressive expansion of the British Empire it eventually found its way to the United States and around the world.

Around 1900, darts began to become formalized as a legitimate sport with specific rules and regulations. The two most popular forms of the game are 301 and cricket. 301 is the most obvious. Each player starts with 301 points and aims to reduce his score to zero. He must initiate his scoring by hitting a double. Then his score is quickly reduced to zero. The game ends when the player's final score ends on zero exactly by "doubling out" or hitting a bullseye.

Cricket is a more intricate game requiring skill and strategy. It uses the numbers 15 through 20 and the bullseye and by progression of hitting points, doubles and triples, the winner emerges.

The beauty of darts is that everyone can participate, man, woman and child. It requires very limited space. Dart leagues are a great way of socializing and meeting new people. It is also a great pastime, to share a pint and discuss the news of the day.

Various skills must be incorporated to become a good dart player. Focus, attention to detail, and strategy are very important. A basic understanding of mathematics is involved. However there is a far deeper aspect to darts. This is the mental part. This is where the player must incorporate the mind along with the body to develop a balance. A zen-like peace. Once the dart thrower learns the technical aspect of the game, he must learn to release the physical part to allow the mind to take over. Relaxation techniques along with proper breathing are also valuable tools.

It is through this merger that the dart player finds success.

Edward Talisse remarks:

Daily Speculations has benefited from lessons in chess, checkers, surfing, baseball and other competitive pursuits. A comment about darts was overdue in my opinion. Like others, I fell in love with the sport during my university years and largely played in pub settings. It's a great way to meet new people and get the competitive juices flowing. There are many variations of dart games. For example, 501, 301 and Cricket are all played differently in the UK, Australia, France, Japan and the USA. I've played in competitions in each of these countries and am always surprised to learn about local variations. Preparation definitely counts. Also, I have found it pays to be aggressive. Go for the tough shots first and leave the easier ones for the close. Most players close the easier shots first and leave the difficult shots (like bull's eyes) to later in the match. Its the same with trading and investing. I think putting your upfront energy and effort into the most difficult tasks is the best strategy.





Speak your mind

3 Comments so far

  1. Joey Biden on July 26, 2008 12:11 pm


    "This new sport was soon taken up by the upper classes; Henry VIII is reported to have been an avid fan and was given an ornate set by Anne Boleyn. The game remained popular within the army, and as the British Empire spread so did the sport, most notably flourishing in America."


    "The sport of darts began as training in the martial arts, (well, the martial art of archery). Darts began in Medieval England. Historians surmise, because they don't know for certain, that those teaching archery shortening some arrows and having their students throw them at the bottom of an empty wine barrel.

    Around 1900 the rules and darts began to settle into what they are today…"

    ""301" is the most obvious. Each side begins with 301 points and throws their darts in an effort to reduce their score to zero."

    "Before points may count a player must first hit a double. The score is then quickly reduced toward zero. The real skill comes in at the end of the game when a player must throw a double or bull's eye that reduces the final score exactly to zero. Any series of three throws (one turn) that would reduce the score beyond zero do not count."


    "Cricket is a more intricate game requiring more throwing skill and strategy. It is played using primarily the numbers 15 through 20 and the bull's eyes."

  2. Jeff Watson on July 26, 2008 5:14 pm


    Since I always avoided darts, and wasn't motivated to try my hand, I never really watched the game being played. I knew absolutely zero about the game until I read this article.

    What size bets are made on a regular game in an average bar room setting? Do guys hustle darts like they do cards or billiards? Is there money in darts?


  3. steve leslie on July 26, 2008 10:43 pm

    I was exposed to Professional Darts several years ago through coverage on ESPN. I am not a historian of the game. I do practice it on the club level here in the states and the popularity is extensive and quite serious. As you know, gambling in Fla is illegal except in certain venues so I can only speculate if wagering and hustling occurs. However, I am confident that when people congregate in bars and pubs and begin to compete whether on a dart board, pool table or on the green felt, that money exchanges hands. I think that my friends across the pond, are more qualified than I to weigh in on this.

    That said, I reference these links:
    The World Professional Darts Championship began in 1978 and until 1993 held one event. After 1993 The British Darts Organization and Professional Darts Corporation held separate and competing events in January of each year. I note that Ladbrokes a British gambling company sponsors one and Lakeside a leisure and entertainment complex hosts the other.

    The PDC championship sponsored by Ladbrokes in 2008 was won by John Part and he was awarded L 100000.


    The BDO World Darts Championship has a first prize of L 85000 and is held by 2008 champion Mark Webster.


    Professional Darts are competed around the world and the Babe Ruth or Tiger Woods of Darts is Phil "The Power" Taylor from the U.K. he holds 13 World Titles and 45 other Major Tournament Wins. He is the most successful Darts competitor in history.


    Perhaps Joey Biden would care to expand on this.


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