The popular game and now recognised sport of darts descends from the French game 'Fléchettes', meaning small arrows. The short dart, made from wood and turkey feathers for flights, was thrown at a small concentric wooden target; the nearer the middle, the more you scored.
The modern game developed quickly in the late 19th century when travelling fairground showpeople used a variety of dartboards to test pundits' throwing accuracy. Billed as no skill required, it soon became apparent that skill indeed was required to win.
Various fairground boards made their way to English pubs and taverns, and UK Regional Dartboards were developed, some of which are still used today. However, the popular game was developed, and pub teams were formed to compete against one another.
Over the years, dartboards have changed and developed. Pub leagues, county tournaments and international events have taken the humble pastime game into a recognised sport.
One of the biggest questions asked is who created the numbering system used on the modern standard dartboard, designed to reward good throwing accuracy and penalise the poor. The question is unlikely to be fully answered. Still, many articles refer to Brian Gamlin, a Carpenter from Bury, Lancashire, which was first published in a UK tabloid Newspaper several decades ago when trying to answer a reader's question. The posed question received a reply from an ex-pat based in Germany. However, the paper failed to investigate the response as any responsible historian would do and published the unverified answer. But despite extensive modern-day research, no evidence can be found that Brian existed. The likelier person is Thomas William Buckle, a wire maker from Yorkshire, England. Thomas also made dartboards and the Yorkshire dartboard, which was a forerunner of the standard 'London' dartboard we see today.
Darts has always been a sport that has been bet upon. Whether for a pint or small money wager or money racer, it is ideal for anyone with a small bit of knowledge to place a meaningful bet.
Today, many punters can overlook slot sites with big win potential, which many dart fans and, indeed, some players play upon.
If you're a fan of darts or are considering getting into it, read on to see why darts betting stands out compared to other popular sports.
The simplicity of darts is one of the most significant hallmarks that sets it apart from other sports. Although many games can be played on a standard dartboard, most competition darts play the format of 501. The objective is simple for the player: to reduce 501 to zero. The first player to do so wins.
A standard game, or leg as it is known, starts with 501 points. Most games have a straight start with a double finish, or the centre bullseye can also finish a game/leg. In the Professional Dart Corporation (PDC) World Grand Prix, a player must start and finish on a double, making the game more challenging.
Matches are either played in match play format, meaning a race to a number, pre-set legs, or set play, as in the World Darts Championships.
Dart rules are relatively straightforward. Unlike other sports, cricket, football or tennis, there are no seemingly endless lists of rules to follow, and even gamblers new to the sport will find it easy to follow along.
Apart from darts, there are many individual sports, including popular ones like golf, tennis, and boxing. This individuality is one of the things that makes these sports unique, and they all attract wagers from millions of gamblers worldwide.
Unlike team sports like football, rugby, and cricket, darts come down to two players going head-to-head in a battle of skill (and occasionally a little luck). As such, darts are a much safer option when placing bets.
Having just two people influence the outcome of a game rather than an entire team can make predicting a winner easier, although, as any fan will tell you, a game can change quite quickly.
Proof of this can be seen in the bookmakers' chosen favourite is often the winner. It should be noted that these favourites aren't selected at random but based on their play history, current form, and ranking in present and past tournaments.
Sports with huge international followings, like football, are among the most popular to bet on. One of the reasons for this is that they offer year-round competitions for punters to place wagers on. Darts is no different.
Unlike Football, Baseball, Basketball, American Football, and even Rugby, which are played mainly during summer or winter months, darts tournaments are generally not specific to a rigged time scale, and usually, there are major events to bet upon every month. However, the biggest darts tournaments, such as the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) World Championships, Matchplay, Grand Prix, World Cup, and Premier League, are scheduled events many are not.
Sky Sports have in the past stated that darts are the second most watched sport on Sky. Second only to the national sport of football.
Another way that darts differ from more popular sports betting options is the atmosphere of the fans and onlookers during a game. While football teams are spurred on by the raucous cheering of fans and golf pros need calm and quiet, darts finds itself uniquely in the middle of these two extremes.
Depending on the player, darts can be silent events (at least while the player is throwing) or lively atmospheres with rowdy fans whom the player actively encourages to cheer loudly.
Based on the atmosphere a player is comfortable playing in and the conditions they are playing under, games can change as these pros navigate their comfort zones—leading to exciting competitions and even more exciting bets.
Like any other sport, darts are subject to certain conditions. However, the conditions that dart players are subject to differ significantly from the weather and pitch conditions that affect sports like football and cricket.
One of the most formidable conditions that professional dart players need to contend with is the length of a game. Depending on the current score, players could be forced to engage in more legs (a single game played as part of a match) than they bargained for.
While this adds excitement for fans watching and bettors praying for a big win, additional legs could be a benefit or a nightmare for the players, like the 2018 World Matchplay match between Gary Anderson and Mensur Suljović that went to 40 legs! Fortunately, these lengthy matches have become part of the game's history.
Matches in the World Matchplay required a player to win by two clear legs, meaning they had to break the throw of their opponent and hold their own. But Like Wimbledon Tennis, the event rules have changed, and a sudden death leg is played if the match is not won within the normal span of the match.
Longer formatted matches tend to favour the better and more experienced player, while short formats can see more upsets.
There is no denying that some similarities exist between the various sports available for punters to bet on. When it comes to darts, however, the sport has as many unique factors as it shares with other sports. These make betting on darts a unique experience that brings a new level of excitement, thrill, and entertainment to anyone placing a wager on the outcome of an upcoming match.