Darts may not be universally popular worldwide but in the UK, it is one of the most-watched sports on TV and all online bookmakers offer odds and markets on a huge range of tournaments which are staged across various locations.
Top 10 UK Darts Betting Bookies
Many well-known and recognisable players regularly compete in a range of tournaments on the BDO and PDC tours.
Fans enjoy following the progress of their bets throughout the tournament with the sport always full of drama and potential rivalries which never fail to get viewers talking. Ostensibly, darts is one of the simplest sports to perfect but players have honed their craft for many years and their dedication to these events is part of the reason fans continue to absorb every single moment.
Darts Betting Odds
The majority of darts betting tips found online will often be displayed in accumulator form as some of the odds available can be quite short. The match is priced up with each player’s respective chances reflected in their odds with a high number of one-sided encounters expected by the bookmakers. It is not uncommon to see odds such as 1/7 or 2/9 on players who are perceived to have the advantage.
Most of the UK online betting websites will display their darts betting markets prominently during a tournament and the odds are most commonly found in fractional format.
Single bets on a 1/4 shot will not return much of a profit unless you are betting with incredibly high stakes. £20 on this will return £25 including stake. It’s easy to see why bettors form accumulators when there are enough fixtures taking place.
Occasionally in the latter stages of events, players will be closely matched and odds of 7/4 and 5/6 can be unearthed. This provides a more competitive betting market.
Darts Betting Tips
Similar to betting on tennis or boxing, darts is all about the individual player performance. Punters are putting their faith in a player being at their best and this can often be a risk. If there are any doubts over their mind-set, it is best to avoid betting on them.
Darts betting markets can be affected by a player’s recent form but they rarely take into account, a players schedule or travel arrangements and these can be big influencers.
If a player has been competing in tournaments across the USA and South America and is back in action in the UK just a couple of days later, jet lag is likely to affect their performance. Tight travelling schedules can be a hindrance.
Here at BettingTop10, our advice would be to follow as many of the top players on social media as possible as they will often give clues about their schedules and levels of exhaustion. Naturally, a darts players will aim to compete in as many competitions as possible but alas, this soon catches up with them.
Most tournaments offer decent sized prizes for qualifying and simply turning up to compete in the first round which often proves to be enticing enough to lure exhausted players to turn up with below par performances extremely common.
Money can often be made on backing the outsider against the bigger names, particularly during busy periods and unexpected results do occur surprisingly often in darts. Don’t be afraid of backing the upset.
Types of Darts Bet
Outside of the standard ‘Player A to win’ outright bets, there are an enormous amount of possible wagers available for each and every tournament. Betting sites will typically price up ante-post outright markets many months in advance with the majority of them forming once the draw has been made (usually within seven days of the event getting underway).
During tournaments, players will each start on a score of 501 and throw three darts at a time. The total score is subtracted from 501 and the first player to reach zero will win the leg. Players may only finish on a double. There are a specified number of legs in each set (commonly three) and each game will be played in the form of ‘Best of ….’ Or ‘First to…’ sets.
Correct Score is an extremely popular way of betting as big returns can be landed using this system. This is ideal for one-sided events. If the 1/8 isn’t palatable, odds of 4/1 or 5/1 are often available on the favourite to win 5-0 or 7-0. Many darts bettors combine a couple of these scores to increase their chances of landing the spoils. All possible scores will be listed on darts betting sites and these will shorten/increase once the match gets underway.
Shrewd punters enjoy taking advantage of the handicap markets in order to find more value. Once again, this is handy way of combating one sided matches. Every single online bookmaker will offer handicap markets on each match within a tournament and they are likely to be displayed as: -2.5 / +2.5 Sets. Backing the favourite on a handicap of -2.5 will require a dominant performance and to end the contest with a clear victory. If ‘Player A’ wins 5-1, this will cover the handicap however a narrow 3-2 success will result in a loss of stake.
Take the players winning score – (e.g 5) and subtract the handicap (e.g 2.5) from that amount. If the amount left is still higher than the oppositions score, this will be a winning bet.
For +2.5, punters are predicting that a game will be much closer than has been anticipated by the bookmaker. If an underdog pushes a player all the way and only loses 3-2, this would land the +2.5 handicap.
The best way of racking up a high score is to land all three darts in the ‘Treble 20’ bed. Big hitters do tend to accumulate plenty of these throughout a match and it can be a great way of getting involved without having to select a winner. Some players have a tendency to look elsewhere on the board and have a penchant for treble 18s and 19s so it’s often wise to back the opposition to outscore them on the 180s.
Each player will be priced up according to their chances of hitting the most 180s. 180 handicap markets are also available with a large number of online bookmakers.
A checkout is the score with which a player wraps up any particular leg. For example if ‘Player A’ is left with a score of 118 and succeeds, that will be become his highest checkout for the match until he supersedes it. Some players have a tendency to land the big numbers whilst weaker players may tend to fall short. Bookmakers offer the chance for punters to predict whether the highest checkout will be Over/Under a set number (Usually around 140).
Annual Darts Events and Tournaments
There are a huge number of events taking place each year and that amount has continued to increase as the popularity of the sport has risen. There are two governing bodies – BDO and PDC which host separate competitions throughout the calendar with very few players crossing over during their careers.
The PDC host the highest profile events including the annual end-of-year extravaganza held at Alexandra Palace in North London. The William Hill World Darts Championship is extremely popular and is televised throughout the Christmas/New Year period in the UK. Darts betting is extremely popular at this time of year as casual fans renew their acquaintance with the sport for three weeks. This is considered to be the pinnacle of darts with the world champion taking home a prize in excess of £350,000. Huge attendances including many office Christmas parties make the event a lively and thoroughly entertaining experience packed full of drama on stage.
Other notable events on the PDC circuit include the World Grand Prix in Dublin, the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton and the ever-popular World Matchplay which is hosted by the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool. One of the newer additions is the Premier League of Darts which is staged between February and May over a series of Thursday evenings at various arenas around the UK and Ireland.
In 2017 it branched out and added Rotterdam and Berlin to its schedule. This sees the best ten players (as deemed by the PDC over a two year period) compete in a round-robin format with the bottom two relegated and the top two competing in a final at the beginning of May.
The BDO host their World Championship at Lakeside which gets underway a week after the conclusion of the PDC event of the same name. The BDO World Trophy and World Masters are other key events on the calendar.
A Winning Strategy for Betting on Darts
Darts is a game reliant on statistics and here at BettingTop10 we always recommend paying attention to these. We also advise shopping around for the best odds as different online betting sites will offer enhancements on a range of markets and matches.
As well as checking previous results, at BettingTop10 we recommend making sure your chosen player isn’t suffering from fatigue (as mentioned earlier), watching each players style is always advisable.
Phil Taylor revolutionised the game of darts and the now retired multiple world-champion leaves behind a great legacy. Towards the end of his career, there was a noticeable change in his style. Instead of powering home 180s, he tended to move down the board and opt for the treble 19 bed. This meant that opposing Taylor on the various 180s markets was a terrific way of making money.
Little nuances like this are picked up from watching a player closely and working out how they approach each match. Check each player’s record as an underdog/favourite and see how they cope or thrive on the pressure. This could be key to unearthing some value.
Finally, betting in-play is a great way of making money on darts. Most matches will be available in-play and although pre-match tips may suggest ‘Player A’ will win easily, momentum can be easily lost or shifted. If one of the competitors misses an easy opportunity for a checkout, it may result in a loss of confidence. Work out which players are likely to struggle holding a lead and who is a specialist at getting the job done.