Simple Tips To Win At Darts

March 28, 2012 by staff 

Simple Tips To Win At Darts, Played well, darts is a graceful, fluid, effortless-looking sport. Put a dart in the hands of a good player and it looks like the easiest thing in the world.

Try it for yourself, however, and you’ll find out that it takes a great deal of skill to nail bullseyes – or the board itself, for that matter. Darts wobble, hit the wires, and bounce off the board for no clear reason. If you’re playing in public – the local pub, for instance — getting the basics down can be an embarrassing process. Save yourself some frustration: follow these pointers and you’ll be be, well not nailing bullseyes, but doing a fair share better than the amateurs around you.

Learn the lingo

A dart has four segments: the point — either sharp and metal, or soft and flexible, if you’re playing electronic darts — the barrel, which is the wider, metal section you hold, the long, narrow shaft, and the flight, which helps stabilize the dart’s trajectory. These days, the best-regarded darts usually have steel tips, tungsten barrels (the purer, the better), composite metal shafts, and acrylic flights.

That line on the floor? It’s called the “oche” – pronounced like you were in some sort of Guy Ritchie wintersports flick (“Ockey”). The origin of the word is unclear, attributed most often to a corruption of “hockey,” itself thought to refer to the furthest distance a player standing in front of the dartboard could spit. Wherever it comes from, keep your feet behind it. You wouldn’t want them to get spat on.

Oh, and that round thing on the wall? That’s a dartboard. Don’t stand in front of it. You probably knew that, though.

Set yourself up for success

Dartboard’s on the wall, you’re standing about ten feet away, and you’re ready to go, right? Not so fast. There’s a right way and a wrong way to set up your darts practice area. Get it right, and you’ll be developing habits that’ll transfer easily to any other properly configured darts venue. Which is what you want.

So grab a tape measure, and hang your dartboard so the center is five feet and eight inches from the floor. Next, measure exactly seven feet, nine-and-a-quarter inches along the floor away from the dartboard, and mark your oche there. Why isn’t it a nice round eight feet? Actually, it is, if you’re using soft-tip darts. But for traditional steel points, that’s just the way it is.

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