Darts Betting Sites & Offers
Darts is rapidly back on the rise as one of our favourite betting sports. With live coverage available on the BBC and Sky Sports as well as streaming now from several bookies there is more opportunity than ever to bet on the game of arrows. In fact most events are now sponsored by bookmakers and betting sites so you can categorically guarantee some high value darts betting offers around top events.
Whether it’s the Premier League of Darts that runs from February until the end of May each year, the PDC World Championships or BDO World Championships in late December, early January or any of the other tournaments year round we will find you an offer to add value to your bets. With Betfred, Coral, William Hill, Unibet, BetVictor and others among the list of sponsors there will be no shortage of great promotions.
Major Darts Tournaments and Events
Darts Free Bet, Insurance, Bonus & Acca Offers
Unibet are massive sponsors of darts and currently sponsor the Premier League. They are more than reliable for an offer or two around any tournaments, but especially those they have their name on.
One of their best deals is their in play free bet club, here if you place five bets of £10 or more in play during the week, evens+, (on tennis, basktball, cricket and football as well as darts) you will get a £10 free bet (valid 7 days). Read more on our dedicated page.
Betfair regularly run double winnings offers for darts. For example you might get double the winnings on your bet on stakes up to £25 (extra winnings as free bets) for correct score bets should there be a 180 in the final leg of any match.
Another common deal is money back on losing bets if there is a certain score checkout in the game. Betfair are also known for having some of the best darts odds around, so even if they don't have an offer you will still find a lot of value with them.
Paddy Power vary their darts offers a lot but one thing you can be sure of is that there will be a darts promotion running.
In the past, for the Premier League for example, Paddy Power have paid out instantly on match bets if your player went three legs up at any stage, with no maximum stake limits. Paddy Power also often run draw money back and max checkout refund deals.
Not always the basic odds but probably more reliable for promotions than their competitors for darts.
Darts is the perfect sport for placing multiples with often several matches in on evening. The 10Bet all sports accumulator bonus offers are brilliant for this purpose.
Place a 3+ multiple and if all the legs win get a bonus from 2% tiered to 50% with cash winnings up to 5,000 quid in cash.
Mix and match any sports or markets you like, as long as the price of each pick is 1/2 or greater. Cashed out bets will not get the bonus and you cannot use a free bet to claim the bonus.
Best Darts Betting Sites and Bookies
UnibetA big sponsor of darts tournaments. This is a gigantic bookmaker with live streaming and more market range than most others. A good solid option for darts bettors.
LadbrokesLadbrokes are so big they cannot be ignored for any sports. They run the best price boosts around for all levels of darts and must be visited before you place a bet.
BetVictorFrequent sponsors of the sport this is the place to go if you want a very good depth of market and odds prices to match. Not so hot on the offers but make up for it with pricing.
BetfredThis old school bookmaker knows its darts better than most. A very good all-rounder for a reliable range of betting lines and the occasional good promotion.
CoralWorth a look for their enhanced odds and free bet offers especially. If you back the bigger players and matches Coral are almost certain to have an offer to increase the value.
William HillCan you really ignore William Hill, I’m not sure darts would have survived without their early sponsorship. Excellent site for depth, news, results and darts features.
QuinnBetQuinnbet are fairly new but they have a focus on the good old traditional British sports like darts. Cashback offers are a favourite of this online bookmaker.
888 SportA great option for the more regular darts punter. If you place lots of bets, especially in play, then 888 are a fantastic site for giving you profit boost enhancements.
BetfairI have never seen a major darts event go past without a decent promotion from Betfair, usually double odds/winnings deals. Betfair have the best exchange too.
Paddy PowerWouldn’t be my first port of call but one for the list. Basic odds can be poor but then they will run at least one high value offer that will often outweigh this.
About Darts, History, How To Play & Rules
When you write about sports, it’s common to be able to look at them and consider the amount of technical skill involved. With the vast majority of sports, they are commonly played by non-experts, with football, cricket and tennis being examples of sports that you can watch amateurs enjoying every sunny weekend. Yet no sport feels quite as accessible to the everyman as darts. We’ve all season pictures of hugely overweight players being declared world champions and many will have wondered whether they’d be able to make darts their sport, if only they could find the time. That attitude is aided and abetted by the fact that dartboards line the walls of pubs up and down the country.
Yet, as anyone who has ever played darts to even a rudimentary degree will tell you, that attitude does the sport a huge disservice. Just because some of the people who have succeeded at it to the highest level don’t exactly look like elite sportsmen and women doesn’t mean that there isn’t a huge amount of technical expertise involved in the playing of it. There’s a funny thing about football that someone once said; that the very best kids at football at your school, who ran rings around everyone, would look entirely incompetent when up against professionals. The same is true of darts players, with the best pub champions unlikely to actually be able to hold their own on the professional stage. Here we look at how the sport came into existence, what’s involved in it and some of the biggest competitions you can play.
History Of Darts
If you’ve read any of the other pieces that we’ve written on this site about the history of various other sports, it probably won’t surprise you all that much to learn that the exact origins of darts isn’t really know. There are plenty of theories floating around, yet the truth of the beginning of the existence of darts remains as elusive as three treble twenties to an amateur player. What is known for certain is that the game was an English invention, almost certainly come up with during the reign of King Henry VIII. According to legend, King Henry wanted his archers to keep their eye-in all-year-round as far as their aim was concerned, making sure that they were always ready for battle.
One version of the game’s history has it that some bored archers decided to throw their arrows rather than fire them with the bows. The famed English weather didn’t take long to set in, meaning that the ‘game’ was moved indoors. Another version has it that the throwing of darts became an indoor practice as the winter months closed in, given that it was difficult to practice outside in the snow and freezing cold. Whatever the truth behind the reason for the move indoors, the arrows were shortened in order to cope with the lack of space that being indoors ensured. Targets were still needed, so the bottom of beer and ale casks took on the job. Don’t forget, the bottom of a wine barrel is known as a ‘but’, which comes from the French word ‘butte’ that means ‘target’.
Not all publicans were delighted by the bottoms being taken off their barrels, so at some point tree stumps began to be used. Somewhat inevitably when it comes to talking about something competitive, the rings within the tree stumps began to be used as marker points. The more the arrows went into the stump, the more that it started to degrade and create the patterns that would form the basis of the modern day dartboard. It’s believed that Henry VIII loved this new game of skill and Anne Boleyn gave him an ornate darts set as a present. It didn’t help her cause, but it did help to popularise the game. Changes continued to impact the game over the centuries that followed, culminating in a man named Brian Gamlin inventing the dartboard layout that we know and love in 1896, though it didn’t have Doubles and Trebles on it.
There were two major events that occurred to give darts more prominence at the turn of the twentieth century. The first occurred in 1908 when a publican from Leeds was taken to court after allowing people to play darts in his pub despite it being outlawed along with other ‘games of chance’. He argued it was a game of skill and won when he threw three treble twenties and no one else in the court could. Then, in 1924, the National Darts Association was formed in London. The organisation standardised the game’s regulations and three years later the now defunct News of the World paper held the world’s first official darts competition. One thousand people entered, but the popularity of the sport grew and grew to the point that more than two hundred and eighty thousand entered it in 1938! Countless more developments occurred over the following years, ensuring that darts was officially an established sport.
How To Play Darts And Rules
There are two main variations of how darts is played as a game, though the rules and way that it plays out remain pretty much the same. The dartboard is laid out with a centre circle, called the bullseye, and another circle outside of that. From the centre, segments move towards the edge of the board and each represents a number. Halfway through the board is a ring that runs right the way around it, which is the Triple, and at the edge of the board is another ring that’s the Double. The board is hung up on a way so the bullseye is five foot and eight inches off the ground and players stand at the Oche, which should be seven foot and nine inches away from the board. Players take it in turn to throw three consecutive darts at the board. If the dart lands outside of the wire, which outlines the various points of the board, or the dart fails to remain in the board for some reason, then you score zero points.
The rest of the scoring works as follows: If a dart lands in the segment of a number and sticks then you score the amount of points related to that segment. If you land in the small ‘Double’ section for the number then you score double the amount of points of the related segment. Equally, a throw that lands in the ‘Treble’ section will score you triple the number of associated points. Should the dart land in the bullseye then you get fifty points, whilst the ring surrounding the bull is worth twenty-five. In competitive games players begin with an amount of points – usually 501, though another, shorter and slightly easier, version of darts sees players begin with 301 points – and reduce the amount of points against their name every time they score. The most you’ll be able to score with one three-dart throw is one hundred and eighty, which is comprised of three Triple twenties. In order to win the game, a player must score a double with their last throw and end on exactly zero.
Let’s say, for example, that you have thirty-six points left from your initial 501 with your last throw. In order to win, you’ll need to hit the Double on eighteen. Should you hit the Double on twenty then you’ll have gone into minus points, resulting in the points you have left being returned to thirty-six and your go being over. Should you hit the Double ten, however, your score will be reduced to sixteen and you’ll need to hit the Double eight in order to be victorious. Your remaining score will continue to dwindle as long as you don’t go into minus figures, or ‘go bust’ as it’s also known, going as low as two. If you then hit a single one then your score will remain as two as you must finish on a double in order to win.
Other Forms Of Darts
The above description is for the official, competitive version of darts but, as you’d expect from a game that is mainly played in pubs, there are countless variations to the sport that are played in a more ‘friendly’ manner. One such example is a game known as ‘Cricket’, which requires you to hit all of the numbers between fifteen and twenty as well as the bullseye three times. You can’t move on from one number to the next until you’ve hit it with three darts.
Another game is Shanghai, in which players move around the board and see how many points that they can score with three darts when only aiming for one number, with points only scored by hitting the number that the round is on. If you hit a Single, Double and then Treble within one point then you immediately win the game. This is similar to Around The Clock, which starts at one and makes its way around to twenty. If you hit the number you’re aiming for then you move onto the next one, continuing until you miss the number you’re on at the time. These are very much unofficial games, though, so expect ‘House Rules’ when you play.
There are also regional variations on darts, such as American darts, often fund in the eastern Unites States, although no professional organisations exist.
Major Darts Events and Competitions
Darts is a sport that is very much one for the ‘masses’, with thousands of people attending live events and treating them as a party and a celebration. That’s why there are a good number of events on the calendar. There was a split in darts between the British Darts Organisation and the Professional Darts Corporation in 1992, with the following being just a select example of the biggest tournaments from each:
- The World Championships – Staged at London’s Alexandra Palace every festive period, the World Championships is the biggest tournament in the sport and the first major of the year. It is a PDC event and has a conventional legs and sets format, requiring players to win three legs in order to make a set and a given number of sets to progress to the next stage.
- The World Professional Championship – The BDO’s equivalent to the World Championships is the World Professional Championship, which was the unified World Championship until 1994. It takes place annually at the Lakeside Country Club in Surrey. It first took place in 1978 and moved through numerous venues before settling at Lakeside in 1986.
- Premier League Darts – A relatively new addition to the PDC’s calendar, this is played out between the top four players in the world and four wildcards, meaning just eight players compete for the title every year. It’s a round-robin league format, in which every player players all of the others twice. The venue for the tournament moves every week for the fourteen weeks of the competition, meaning that audiences from around Britain get to see their heroes play.
- Winmau World Masters – A rule of thumb with regards to the two different corporations is that the more professional sounding ones are usually organised by the British Darts Organisation. That this one is named after a famous maker of dartboards probably tells you everything that you need to know on that front. Arguably the most prestigious tournament in darts, it takes place at Bridlington Spa and first occurred in 1974, making it one of the longest running tournaments in the sport.
- World Grand Prix – Every October, the best players from the PDC side of darts gather in Dublin to take part in the World Grand Prix. It is the only televised darts event to date that asks participants to both start and finish each of their legs on a Double. It then plays out in a standard Sets format.
- The BDO World Trophy – The final of the BDO’s Majors is the BDO World Trophy, which has been hosted in various venues across the UK since 2016. It takes place in May and was established in 2014.
Darts Key Facts & Figures
|Competition||Most Successful Man||Most Successful Woman|
|The World Championships||Phil Taylor||N/A|
|The World Professional Championship||Eric Bristow||Trina Gulliver|
|Premier League Darts||Phil Taylor||N/A|
|Winmau World Masters||Eric Bristow||Trina Gulliver|
|World Grand Prix||Phil Taylor||N/A|
|The BDO World Trophy||Peter Machin / Darryl Fitton / Geert de Vos / James Wilson||Lisa Ashton|
Darts is one of the more inclusive sports, with the BDO having tournaments for both men and women in much the same way as tennis does. Here’s a look at the winners from each side of the game in the above mentioned competitions.