Guide to Darts Betting

Introduction to Darts

Darts is a game that requires skill and accuracy, and while the beginnings of the sport lie with medieval soldiers, darts betting most likely also started with those same soldiers betting on who’s best.

Betting on darts is a popular choice in sportsbooks, with many darts betting odds on offer. When you start betting on darts, you need to know about the sport; and this guide will take you through the basics.


Main Rules

darts betting

A darts game is between two players, or teams, who take it in turns to throw three steel-tip darts at a dartboard. Points are scored by hitting specific segments of the board that are each worth a different amount.

The length of play is determined by the type of game being played, with the standard 501 game being the most popular. The World Cup of Darts is won with a 501 game, played to a straight knockout.

Understanding the rules is the best place to start with darts; betting requires that you know the player as well as the game, after all. There are strict rules regarding the height of the dartboard and the distance between it and the toe line (also known as the ‘oche’) where the player stands.

A Standard 501 game aims to reach zero from a starting total of 501, with the first player or team to reach zero to be the winning one. But, the game only really starts once a player has doubled in by hitting one of the thin outer rings or the bullseye right in the centre of the board; that is when the scores start being taken off the 501 initial value.

The order of play is usually dependent on a coin toss; or a throw at the bullseye, with the player who landed closest to the bullseye, or the winner of the coin toss, going first. The players’ trade-off after that, with each player throwing three darts (this is known as a leg).

However, the PDC World Championship is played in sets, where a player must score the highest in five legs to win the set. A set normally consists of three legs or any other odd number, as determined by the rules, so make sure to know which rules are being played before you place a wager.

Main Competitions

The most popular darts betting opportunities involve the main competitions and big events. One of the best darts betting tips we can offer is to shop around for the best odds.

Since most sportsbooks price regular events in advance, with the most prominent competitions done well in advance, this is possible.

With so many sportsbooks offering many betting markets and good darts betting odds, we encourage you to take advantage of upcoming dart events and competitions.


Professional Darts Corporation

In 1992, the Professional Darts Corporation and British Darts Organisation separated over a disagreement on how championships were run. The PDC has since organized some of the biggest darts betting events, including the PDC World Cup of Darts and Masters, the Premier League, and the PDC World Championship.

Most of the events are individual competitions, with the exception being the World Cup of Darts. With the biggest names in darts battling it out, World Cup darts odds are closely watched by many bettors.

British Darts Organisation

As the home of darts betting favourites like Phil Taylor and Eric Bristow, the British Darts Organisation went into liquidation at the end of 2020.

The BDO is now owned by the United Kingdom Darts Association, which means that amateur darts events have been stalled. This is not the end of the World Professional Darts Championship, but it may take some time for it to get up and running.

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The best darts betting sites can be found in the linked article about the most trusted sportsbooks for darts betting.

These sportsbooks don’t always provide virtual darts betting, but it’s available in most of them.

The linked article also goes into more depth about bet types and strategies and what factors are important when placing a wager.

Darts Facts and History

Darts bets

It all started about 700 years ago, with bored soldiers whiling away their time by throwing anything sharp they could lay their hands on at empty wine casks. Of course, it became a competition to see who was best – and so began darts betting.

Darts has since evolved, with even King Henry VIII playing it, but World War II made it popular in America. Yet again, bored soldiers are to blame for its popularity.

The shape of the dartboard today mirrors the original cross sectioned tree trunks that were used hundreds of years ago, with radial cracks and growth rings mimicked by the layout.

The seemingly random points on the circumference are pretty ingenious. Separating higher scores between low scores encourages accuracy from players.

Darts has always been a game of skill, but the English courts didn’t view it that way till 1908. A pub owner in Leeds had to defend his decision to allow customers to play darts; games of chance were illegal at the time, and darts were considered just that.

His defence was that this was a game of skill and not chance, and to prove it, he brought a dartboard and the pub’s best player to court. Once the court clerk failed to match three darts in the 20 segments, they decided that this was a game of skill.

After that, there were many highlights, but the next major milestone was in 1992 when the British Darts Organisation parted ways with several players. The Professional Darts Corporation was born from this split over the way national championships are run.

With both organizations working towards improving the sport, there were many competitions, including a World Championship. Unfortunately, darts is not one of the 37 Olympic sports yet.


The popularity of darts betting has gone through some rocky times, but as with all games that require skill, a smart bettor can turn that to their advantage. With a disciplined betting strategy and knowledge of the game, the format, and the player’s form, this is a sport that can be enjoyable to watch and bet on.

If you already enjoy watching or playing darts, wagering on matches can be even more entertaining. Remember to start with the more straightforward bets if you’re new to betting on darts.

Start with small wagers as you learn more about this fascinating historical sport that began with bored soldiers looking for some entertainment.


What are the most profitable markets in darts betting?

The most significant events in darts betting are the PDC World Championship, and the World Cup of Darts, with odds being posted several months before the event. Most 180 markets offer good odds, as this is the maximum score that a thrower can score, having to hit the 20 each time.

How to bet on darts?

Find a site that offers darts betting, which gives you what you need regarding banking options, promotions, and payout time; after that, read a sportsbook review to see if you can trust it. Finally, if it’s legal where you live, register with that site.

What is the oche?

It’s the throw line or toe line that no part of the player’s foot can go past when throwing at the dartboard.

Is betting on darts legal?

Darts betting is legal in most locations; the easiest way to check if it’s legal where you live is to check the sportsbooks license or look up sports betting laws.

Betting expert Elica Martinova
Certified Betting Expert
Elica Martinova
Ellie is in charge of writing, editing, and publishing reviews in Bulgarian, English, and German. She has a long track record as a journalist and is passionate about writing. Also, she is quite experienced when it comes to bookmakers as well.