In this post I’ll be covering how to throw darts and the basic skills necessary for beginners to get started. Darts is a game which involves one or more players throwing small projectiles, known as darts, at a dartboard. Playing the game is generally perceived as easy. However, anyone who has attempted to play darts to a high level will know this analysis is not the case. Many questions may arise like “How do I get better?” or along the same lines and we will go over how to play darts and how to get better.
How to Throw Darts – Important Things to Know
Darts is an extremely simple game that involves the player throwing at a stationary target. However, if you are just beginning even this seemingly basic task may seem difficult. The throw can be broken down into 3 categories, they are stance, grip, and throw. If you can find a way to master all three you will be world-class in no time!
Your stance is how you stand when you approach the throwing line. This is called an “Oche”, in darts. It may seem at the start, that this is not important, and you should focus just on how to throw. But this isn’t a good idea. If you work out how to stand properly it will help you out more in the long-term.
So, think about how you are currently standing at the board and how you see professionals standing at a board. Are you standing similarly to them? As with all things in darts the stance can be a very personal thing and over time playing you will adapt and find what works for you. However, one thing you must NEVER do is stand straight to the board with both feet point forward. This is known as a “Box Stance”. Essentially, it provides no balance when you are throwing, and you will begin to rock as you throw.
A standard way to stand would be with your body to the side and your foot at a ninety-degree angle to the board. This allows you to get as close to the board as possible. If you try this and find it uncomfortable you may prefer a straight-on stance this involves your dominant foot pointing towards the board.
Then with you back foot in all circumstances will act as a base. This foot must be planted to the ground and stop you from rocking. A tip from this is that when you are in your throwing stance a friend should be able to lightly push you and you shouldn’t move. A big mistake that many beginners make with this is that they only place the toes on the floor with their back foot. This does not work despite feeling more comfortable. It simply does not provide a solid base for the throw. Your whole back foot should be planted on the ground.
The grip is another very personal yet important factor. An obvious fact here is you are not throwing a javelin. You do not need to hold the dart in your fist, most throwing grips require either three or four fingers. In rare circumstances you might find players who use all five fingers. A good starting point is to hold the dart-like you hold a pen. The more you throw and the more you feel comfortable with a dart in your hand the grip will evolve.
When gripping the dart make sure you are not putting too much pressure on it. You want to hold the dart tight enough that you do not drop it, but loose enough that it comes out your hand quickly and easily.
The throw is the most important of all things in darts. This is once again not as easy as it may seem. For starters, you will want to work out what your dominant eye is.
Like you hand or feet where one is more dominant than the other, you tend to have one eye that is more dominant than the other. It is important you know which eye this is as it will be the eye you end up doing the aiming with.
Note: The dominant eye does not necessarily match your dominant hand or foot. Therefore, it is important you work out which of your eyes is more dominant.
To work out which eye is more dominant there is a small test. Pull a dart up to the front of your right eye and then if you close your right eye and the dart moves in your vision, then you are a right eye, dominant player. This test works the same with the left eye.
Now once you are in your stance you want to begin by pulling the dart up to your face, wherever feels comfortable at first is fine. This will change over time, and if you are just starting out look directly at the bullseye. Now, remove the dart from your hand and get back in position this time when you look at the bullseye from your throwing position quickly move your arm and hand to point at the bullseye. This is the basis for how to throw, you can then try doing this with a dart in your hand.
A good rule of thumb is that at the end of every throw of the dart your fingers should be left pointing right at where you threw the dart.
Try and make your throw as relaxed as possible. Do not force the extension of the elbow as this can lead to injury. Never throw the dart with too much force as this can cause issues with your wrist and arm.
That is the basics of how to play darts. Once you have mastered the Stance, Grip, and Throw you can begin to practice with various games and get better.