Darts Bets

Darts Bets

The omnipresence of darts now means that betting opportunities are rife, as the lucrative tournaments taking place almost weekly attract bookmakers and punters alike. The regular Tour events mean that tournament betting odds are regularly available, while at the bigger events, particularly the World Championships and the Premier League, match odds and a range of other markets are also available.

In recent years the bookmakers have continued to add many more specific tournament and match bets, ranging from customers selecting who will make up the final of a tournament, to the number of 180s that will be scored during a game.

The following are some of the more common markets bookmakers will offer on darts that will be available for all the big tournaments, as well as a handful of specials that provide a number of in-game betting opportunities.

Outright Betting

The simplest and most common of all bets, the outright betting market merely entails choosing a tournament winner. For most darts tournament this is a straightforward option, though in the Premier League there is the option to bet on the outright winner of the league, the end of season finals that the league’s top four compete in, or both.

Because the field is generally quite sizeable, there are very few occasions on which a player is priced shorter than evens. Moreover, there are almost always two or three real contenders for every tournament. This means that picking an outright winner in darts will almost always lead to a very reasonable win, with odds of between evens and 10/1 quite common, although the brilliance of Van Gerwen has seen him priced odds-on at times.

One thing always worth checking when betting on darts tournaments is the bracket. From the World Championships and the World Matchplay to the weekly PDC Tour and Players’ Championship events, all tournaments follow a bracket. That means every player’s course from the first round to the final is charted, and all of their potential opponents can be mapped out.

If your pick happens to be playing a host of very tough players, their odds will be longer but their task will be much tougher. On the other hand, you may be able to find some good value if you spot a player has an easy draw before the bookies and your fellow punters have wised up.

Match Odds

Just like outright odds, but specific to only one match, the match odds asks punters to pick a winner in any given game. The most competitive odds will be in games where the two players are quite evenly matched, while betting on the clear favourite in a single game will give you shorter odds than almost any other darts bet.

As darts games are often unpredictable and can change rapidly, particularly when matches are played in sets, in-play match odds provide extra excitement as they fluctuate very quickly. One minute a player can be all set to win but a few missed doubles can suddenly see them become the outsider in the betting.

If the match odds do not seem worth putting money on, for example in a very unevenly matched contest, or you wish to make as much as possible from a player you are sure will win, correct score and handicap markets are also available.

Guessing the correct score rather than simply betting on a player to win will increase the potential winnings, while giving a player a handicap to overcome also lengthens the odds. Handicaps are particularly good for betting on a player who is almost certain to win.

Betting on MVG to beat Jamie Caven at the 2016 World Matchplay did not get punters much in the way of odds, but applying a -9 handicap, the largest handicap available, would have been successful as Van Gerwen overcame it and won 10-0. Handicaps and correct scores also provide a thrill as no bet can be confirmed to have won up until the very end, making every leg played potentially vital.

Name the Finalists

Rather than simply naming the winner, customers are asked to name the two players who will reach the final. The first and second seeds are always in different halves of the draw and are therefore the most likely final line-up, but having to name both finalists lengthens the odds. Again, this is a bet where knowledge of the draw is crucial.

180s

180s, or maximums, may be a rare achievement for most of us, but professionals are used to banging them in all the time. Bookmakers always offer markets on 180s, whether it is the number scored during a match or during a tournament, or by a player across the course of either.

Some players who are not often tournament favourites are also prolific 180 scorers, with Dave Chisnall and Kyle Anderson prime examples. Those players often command longer odds than the bigger names but also a very good chance of hitting enough maximums to satisfy customers. For the most 180s market, it is better to bet on a player who will go all the way, and therefore be able to add to his tally in every round.

To Reach the Final

Rather than going all out and betting on a player to win the title, punters can bet on a player just reaching the final. The bet is particularly good when it comes to players who have the quality or good form to beat those around them but not necessarily win the final.

Peter Wright, who has never won a major title but is in the world’s top five, is a good choice for this sort of market. Regular favourites such as Taylor or Van Gerwen are expected to reach the final of every tournament they take part in, meaning their odds are normally very short.

This bet is a good alternative to an each way bet. An each way wager will pay out at half the odds for a losing finalist but necessitates a bet on the player to win too. Where you fancy someone to do well but just can’t see them lifting the trophy, a bet on them to reach the final will offer better value.

Winning Nationality

To expand the chances of winning, rather than naming a single player, a punter can guess the nationality of the winning player. Given that 21 of the 22 PDC World Championships have been won by an Englishman, a Scot or a Dutchman, unsurprisingly the shortest odds for winning nationality are English, Scottish and Dutch for every tournament.

England will have particularly short odds as they normally provide most of the players in the field. At the time of writing 14 of the world’s top 15 players are from the aforementioned nations, so sometimes the best bet is to go for a nation like Belgium, home of world number 14 Kim Huybrechts, or Austria, represented by world number 16 Mensur Suljovic, who could boast a winning player but are not expected to.

In truth though, this market is more of a novelty bet, although it can be a decent way to take on Van Gerwen, for example by opting for an English winner and thus hedging your bets.

Other Darts Bets

The preceding were a selection of the most common markets offered by bookmakers. However, punters are always looking for new and innovative ways to bet on darts, and there are a number of specials that may be offered from time to time, particularly during the World Championships. Here are just a handful of the more niche markets that could be available to customers looking to make an extra profit:

Vs the Field

This market asks customers to place the outsiders in any given tournament against the favourite. To expand the chances of winning but shorten the odds, punters could pit the big three or four against the field. Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis are the world’s top four, so a Big Four vs the Field bet would ask whether the winner will be one of the top four seeds or those trying to usurp them.

One can also put on a given nationality or region vs the field bet. England, Scotland and the Netherlands are the most common nationality-based bets, as most of the world’s best players hail from those three nations.

170 Checkout

The customer places a bet on a 170, the highest checkout possible, either being hit or not hit during a game. As 170 finishes are rare, longer odds are offered on one being hit.

Nine Dart Finish

The nine-dart leg is darting perfection, equivalent to a 147 break in snooker or winning a tennis match 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. While the perfect leg is extremely rare, more are being scored every year on the PDC Tour. Only seven players have hit World Championships nine-darters since 1994, so the odds are usually longer at Alexandra Palace.

The presence of prolific scorers such as Michael van Gerwen or Phil Taylor usually shortens the odds, but the potential winnings for correctly calling a nine dart leg are always much higher than any other bet, bar an outsider going all the way.

Winning Half/Half Winners/Quarter Winners

As mentioned before, the fact darts tournaments are played in brackets means a player’s route to the final can be clearly charted. Some bookmakers will offer odds on a certain player winning their half or quarter of the draw. Reaching the final would denote a half winner, while all four semi-finalists would have won their respective quarters. Some bookmakers will offer odds on the half or quarter of the draw the winner will come from.

Highest 3 Dart Average

The punter is asked to name the player who will record the highest average, or the average three-dart score recorded during the course of the tournament.

Specials

There are a wide range of available specials bets that bookmakers may offer, especially for the big tournaments. The highest checkout of the tournament can be the subject of betting, as well as the identity of the player who hits the highest finish.

Bets can be offered on each session of play also, such as the session in which the most 180s will be hit, while simpler specials include betting on the top four seeds to all make the semi-finals, as happened at the 2016 World Matchplay.