At one time, darts was a niche betting interest, far less popular than its main indoor sports rival, snooker, which regularly drew audiences of millions for its world championship. But increased sponsorship money and the success of high-profile stars such as Phil Taylor, have helped to turn darts into a globally-popular sport.
It isn’t hard to see why darts has become one of the world’s fastest growing pastimes. It’s one of the most precise sports ever invented, yet among the hardest to master, with the slightest deviation in a single throw potentially disastrous. It can provide compelling drama, and as the audience for the sport has grown, bookmakers have responded to public demand and now offer a huge range of betting opportunities for darts fans.
A Thriving but Divided Sport
The rise of darts as a spectator sport has partly been a consequence of its divided nature. Increased sponsorship and a higher broadcasting profile were the results of the split in world darts that occurred in 1993, and the creation of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). The PDC heavily promoted its events and was able to offer better prize money and higher exposure for its stars, which inevitably attracted all of the best talents.
But although the PDC has been grabbing the headlines, the British Darts Organisation (BDO) is still going strong, though is less lucrative for players. Most of the better BDO players end up with the PDC eventually, but both organisations hold their own series of tournaments, with their respective World Championships drawing huge audiences.
Plenty of Tournaments for World Darts Betting Opportunities
One of the biggest problems for sports punters who want to try their hand at betting on a less mainstream sport is the lack of opportunity, but that is not a problem for darts punters. Admittedly, those who want to bet on BDO events will find their opportunities somewhat limited, as most BDO events, aside from the World Championship, are relatively low-profile.
But the PDC schedule is packed with tournaments and runs throughout most of the calendar year. Darts fans can bet on an array of PDC competitions, besides the World Championship, such as the World Grand Prix, the Premier League, World Matchplay and the Grand Slam of Darts. And as the sport’s popularity continues to rise around the world, there are regular events throughout Europe and Asia, offering multiple world darts betting opportunities.
Where Can I Watch Darts?
Unless you’re able to travel around Europe watching the darts live, the best way to catch the darts action is through television, and darts fans have been blessed in recent years with the amount of coverage that has become available. Services will vary according to your location, but multiple networks offer darts coverage, and you can also often watch darts through your favourite sportsbooks. Many of the best bookmakers will provide live streaming of darts events, although in most cases, you will be required to make a minimum stake bet on the event in question before you can view the live stream.
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Best Darts Betting Bookmakers
SKY television channels have long been associated with the PDC competitions, and as a result, the Skybet sportsbook can be a good place to start for darts punters, particularly when it comes to Premier League games. Paddy Power also have a reputation for competitive Premier League betting odds, while BetVictor and Betfair are also known to offer good coverage. But the days when darts betting was confined to a handful of sportsbooks are long gone, and it pays to shop around before making your darts bet.
With the Abundance of Darts Betting Sites Research Is Essential
There are numerous sites that offer facts and relevant information that can be useful for darts punters, including the official PDC and BDO websites, which will keep you up to date with essentials such as tournament dates, rules, and rankings.
The upsurge in popularity of the sport has led to a rapid proliferation of online darts resources, and it isn’t possible to cover them all here, so the darts punter is best advised to conduct a thorough search online and find the best darts betting sites for their needs.
As with any sport, it is important to know the strengths and weaknesses of all the major players, along with any rising stars, and when it comes to researching match betting, head to head records can give you plenty of clues, so a site that offers the facility to compare players head to head is always useful. In addition, it is a good idea to follow as many darts related social media accounts as possible, as these may give you crucial and time-sensitive nuggets of information that may enable you to get an edge over bookmakers and other punters.
It is possible to bet on darts in many different ways, and bookmakers have been particularly inventive in coming up with new markets. But the most popular betting method remains the Match Betting market, in which you simply have to bet on which player will win a game.
There are numerous factors to consider with this type of betting, including scoring averages, mental and physical freshness, tournament history, form, and head-to-head record, and as with most forms of betting, getting into the habit of drawing up your own odds for the market you are planning to bet in is a great discipline and learning tool.
Check out the Special Markets
As the Match Betting markets are the most popular, these will also be the markets with the fewest mistakes as bookmakers take extra care to get their darts betting odds correct first time. That’s why many punters move on from Match Betting to consider alternative markets.
One of the most interesting special markets for darts fans is the Most Maximums market. This refers to the number of maximum scores of 180 that each player will record during the match, and while there is obviously a link between winning the game and scoring the most 180s, it is often the case that the better player scores, the fewer maximums, which can mean that favourites in this market are overpriced and outsiders undervalued.
Hitting the narrow treble 20 section of the dartboard is incredibly difficult, and players have to be in top form to land regular trebles, so if the Match Betting favourite is slightly off their game, they may not be able to score too many 180s, even if they win the match. It is also the case that some players tend to go for more maximums than others, so it can pay to know which players favour the 180s rather than mixing up their treble 20s with their treble 19s.
In a two-horse race like a darts match, you will sometimes find the favourite at a very short price. This was particularly the case when Phil Taylor was at his peak. But although the favourite may be priced up very short Match Betting market, you may be able to get a bigger price by backing them in the Handicap market, or perhaps by backing their opponent. When you weigh up a handicap bet, it’s important to note which players may be slow starters as they can be caught out in short-form matches, while out of form favourites may still be the most likely winner but could struggle to cover a handicap.
For many years the Tournament Winner markets in PDC events were basically about Phil Taylor versus the rest, but his decline has opened up the field, as has the increasing number of talented players entering the sport, and most events are far more open these days, making the Tournament Betting markets an attractive betting option.
In Tournament Betting, it is vital to work out whether the draw favours your selection, and, particularly if it is a high-profile televised tournament, consider that player’s record in similar events. Performing in front of an international television audience at the World Championship brings a level of pressure that many players struggle to adjust to, and you should bear this in mind. And don’t be afraid to back more than one player in the Tournament Betting market, which can lead to bigger returns than backing one player each way.
Live Darts Betting
Darts is a fast-moving sport, which makes it ideal for Live Betting. A leg, set, or match can turn rapidly with a single throw, and the dramatically fluctuating prices can spell profit for the clued-in live punter. And many of the specialist betting markets described above are also available with Live Betting. But make sure that you are fully prepared before you embark on this type of betting. It is possible to lose a lot of money when betting In-Play, so you need a robust strategy, a sensible staking plan and a live feed of the action that isn’t too delayed.
Darts Is the Perfect Betting
In many ways, darts is an ideal betting medium. It involves a relatively small number of professional players, all of whom are in the sport for many years, and the rapid growth in popularity of the sport means that there are plentiful opportunities for those who want to bet on darts. It is also fun to watch, which makes it all the more enjoyable to bet on.