Darts Betting Guide (Markets, Strategy, Players, Events)

Updated: 2458 Learning

Dive into our comprehensive darts betting guide, offering expert strategies, types of bets, and key factors to watch. Perfect for both beginners and seasoned bettors looking to sharpen their darts betting skills and increase their winning chances.

Darts Betting Guide (Markets, Strategy, Players, Events)
Matthew Edgar Darts Editor and WDF Professional

Former PDC Darts Professional, SkySports Darts Commentator and YouTuber with 6 tournament wins under his belt including the Iceland Open in 2023

Welcome to the OLBG.com guide to betting on darts. 

This article will provide information on the most popular types of darts bets, which darts markets you should focus on, which online bookmaker you should place your bets with, where all the best darts events can be found, links to a range of helpful darts information, and finally how you can get involved and win money through your darts knowledge.

We have covered everything you need to start betting on darts.

Darts Betting Guide Contents

  1. Darts betting for beginners
  2. Betting on Darts explained
  3. Darts betting markets explained
  4. Placing your bets on Darts
  5. The biggest mistakes you can make when betting on Darts
  6. Darts tournaments explained
  7. Darts tips and tipsters
  8. Darts glossary
  9. FAQ

Darts betting for beginners

If you are new to betting on darts, your first step should be to learn about the game's format. 

  • In a regular match of professional darts, two players take it in turns to throw three darts at a dartboard to score points. 
  • The aim in most of these games is to make it to 0, with the score for each leg usually starting at 501.
  • A dartboard is divided into 20 sections, numbered 1-20, with a bullseye ring in the middle. There are 25 for the outer bull and 50 for the inner bull. 
  • You must finish on a double to end a leg of darts and bring the score down to zero.
  • Matches between opponents are divided into legs and then sets. 

As an example, the PDC World Darts Championship Format looks like this: 

A player needs to win three legs to win a set. 

The deciding set needs to be won by two clear legs from the second round onwards. 

  • First Round: Best-of-five sets
  • Second Round: Best-of-five sets
  • Third Round: Best-of-seven sets
  • Fourth Round: Best-of-seven sets
  • Quarter-Finals: Best-of-nine sets
  • Semi-Finals: Best-of-11 sets
  • Final: Best-of-13 sets


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Betting on Darts explained

Betting successfully on Darts can be similar to most other sports when it comes to form. 

Usually a player who is in good form going into a tournament will tend to do well in that tournament.

In the same way you can always get consistent players in specific tournaments, be it because of the format or location or just their all round feel for their darts. 

It's good to check the averages that players have going into matches, as a better average means better form. 

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The top players in the world will be looking for a three dart average above 95, with the player with the highest dart average USUALLY ending up winning the game. 

Of course, that isn't always the case though. Similar to possession stats in football, there can be matches where a player has better finishing and ends up hitting more doubles than the other player and the average goes out of the window!

Where Can I get Darts Statistics?

Darts Statistics are important to look at when you're betting on specific matches or tournaments.

The Darts Database lets you see the amount of matches that have been played over a specific period of time, with the player's average over that period available too.

The OLBG Darts Blogs section covers the major tournaments and is packed with data and stats that will help your betting.  

It's important to use the stats to see how players have been looking in previous games, focusing on most wins, how many 180's they're throwing and how many doubles they are hitting.

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We've already touched on dart averages,  but averages are key stats to focus on when researching previous games played. 

Head to heads between players who you know will be coming up against each other in tournaments or league formats will also help give you a better understanding at what to bet on before the match starts.

Darts is a game of skill and the elite players are performing to such a high level that even the smallest increase of averages or better finishes will help you when it comes to placing a bet. 

Order of Merit

The Order of Merit, goes to the player with the highest prize money earned over a 2 year period. 

You need to be aware of this ranking as it is important when it comes to qualification for certain events. 

For example  the top 32 in the PDC Order of Merit qualify for the World Darts Championships automatically + the top 16 qualify for the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix.

Position - February 2024PlayerValue
1Luke Humphries£1,495,500
2Michael van Gerwen£1,132,250
3Michael Smith£1,106,250
4Nathan Aspinall£637,500
5Gerwyn Price£637,250

Darts betting markets explained

Darts betting consists of many markets:

  • Match Betting
  • Handicap Markets
  • Most 180s
  • Correct Score
  • Highest Checkout
  • Nine Dart Finish
  • Outright Markets
  • In Play Betting
  • Pre Match Darts Specials


Match Betting 

The straight-match betting market is similar to any other sport. In this market, the two players are against each other, and you choose which one will win. 

Most of these markets are based on picking either to win, but exceptions exist. 

The match can result in a draw in certain formats, such as the Premier League, so the draw market is also an option for these matches. 

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Handicap Markets

In a Darts Match, the player must get a certain number of legs or sets to win. The Premier League is the best out of 14 legs, meaning that handicap markets in those games will be a minus number of legs against the usual score. 

So, a -3.5 handicap on an 8-3 game would put the winner at 4.5-3, therefore winning the bet.

Handicap betting plays a big part in live darts betting, with the handicap market offering much more value in terms of odds.

In the earlier rounds of Darts tournaments, like the PDC World Championship especially, you'll see higher seed players up against lower ranked opponents, meaning the odds are far lower and more bets are placed on handicap markets at better odds.

Most 180s

Usually, the most 180s market is on a straight match and lets you bet on either player to get the most 180s in the game. 

A 180 is the maximum score you can get in a single visit and happens when you hit three treble 20s at the oche.

There are also outright markets in specific tournaments that let you bet on the most 180s across the tournament, giving you a longer odds punt on which player will be successful with 180s in a tournament.

Correct Score

With correct score betting, you are trying to predict the final result regarding sets in the match. In some cases, you may find the ability to bet on legs, too, but I advise against this as it is infinitely more complex.

Highest Checkout

The highest checkout bet lets you choose which player will have the best checkout in the match. The highest checkout you can make in Darts is 170, and with the recent introduction of Bet Builders and Request A Bet, you can expect to see more bets with specific checkout scores.

Nine Dart Finish

A nine-dart finish is when a player checks out the 501 score in just nine darts. Usually, an outright market, with players such as Michael van Gerwen hitting nine darters more frequently than we've seen in the past, has recently seen the market available on certain games. 

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Tournament Outright Markets

In tournaments, you can bet on the outright winner and, at bigger odds, a bet to name both finalists. 

In Play Betting

The match odds will change as the game progresses. You can also place in-play bets such as a player to win the next or a particular leg.

The leading betting exchanges such as Betfair and Smarkets are a good outlet when betting in play. 

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Pre Match Darts Specials

The bigger online bookmakers typically offer some "specials such as those examples below.  

Luke Littler & Luke Humphries Both To Have a 100+ Checkout Each 

Michael Van Gerwen to hit five or more 180s in the third set.  

Now that you know what markets are available, you must choose which bookmaker to use to place your darts bets. 

Fortunately, we have a team of darts betting experts who have examined the offerings of 64 bookmakers in the UK comparing their output in darts wagering before presenting an insightful top 10 list of the leaders in this field. 

Many bookies especially during major tournaments will offer free bets and promotions to customers 

You can now find the perfect match for your darts betting needs.

Placing your bets on Darts

When it comes to placing any bets on darts you have three choices:

Use a bookmaker

The best online bookmakers will have the most markets and you can compare and contrast odds between them. 

You have a choice on whether to place bets via computer or a mobile betting app

Because the bookies are in competition with each other your should always be able to get the best odds on a player or tournament.  

The following guide goes into much more details to help you choose. 

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Use an exchange

Here you can place both back and lay bets, laying a bet giving you the opportunity to oppose a player who you feel will not win the game or the tournament. 

Lets take Luke Littler who is currently flying high in the darts world. 

He is on offer at 5.5 (9/2) not to win the Premier League of Darts in 2024. 

You could lay him with a stake of £10 and if any other player won you would have a winning  £10 bet. 

However if he won the competition and you had laid him not to win you would have to pay out £55. 

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Use a spread betting company

The two main spread betting companies are Spreadex and Sporting Index

In both cases, they offer markets where the more right you are, the more you win, and the more wrong you are, the more you lose. 

For example, Luke Littler may be at bookmaker odds of 3/1 to win a tournament, with a spread you have the opportunity to BUY Luke Little at 23 on a market that settles at 50 for the outright winner of a tournament.

This gives you a return of 27 times your stake if Littler wins the tournament much better than the bookie. 

However if Littler was to struggle and not make the top three then your buy of 23 would be settled at 0 (zero) and you would lose 23 times your stake !


The spread betting firms have expanded all their Darts betting and are always worth checking out as they offer some innovative markets and odds.

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The biggest mistakes you can make when betting on darts

  • Betting at the wrong odds

We saw above the choice of betting outlets for your wagers; you need to shop around.

  • Betting only big names 

Most of us could name the top five darts players in the UK. It is sorely tempting to follow the big names; however, do not forget the biggest shocks in darts' history.

  • Betting with the wrong bookmaker

Do not take 2/1 when 3/1 is on offer from a rival firm, be aware of any special offers or cashback when placing your bet.

  • Following only the favourites

Favourites win more than they lose; ask yourself if the odds for the favourite offer enough reward for the risk. 

  • Ignoring underdogs

Do the odds for an underdog offer an opportunity? Your biggest profits will come when backing an underdog; if you do not back any, you will never get a bigger win. 

  • Ignoring recent form

Like all sportspeople, darts players have slumps where their form tails off; on the other hand, they also have hot streaks where they seem unable to do anything wrong. 

Consider the well-being  of a player before a game or tournament: " are they in a good place" or lacking composure, focus, and confidence? 

  • Ignoring Value

All professional bettors know that if the odds do not offer betting value, they should not place the bet; however, if you can give the player a better chance than his odds indicate, you should place that bet.

  • Not being aware of head-to-head records

The head-to-head figures should be a guide; bookmakers will consider these when setting their odds. You also need to know the head-to-head records. 

  • Venue

Does the player thrive at the venue? Will he get vocal support from the crowd or be booed whenever he wins a leg? 

Darts tournaments explained

There are a whole host of Darts tournaments that take place on a yearly basis. 

Two professional Darts organisations run the sport. 

The World Darts Federation and the Professional Darts Council.  

Both organisations have their own rules, regulations and separate tournament events. 

The PDC events are regularly shown live on Sky Sports.

On OLBG we have dedicated blogs on tournaments, click any that are highlighted below. 

They are: 


Darts tips and tipsters

While honing your skills in darts betting you could also build a portfolio of darts betting tipsters from OLBG. 

With proven profitability and consistency, each darts tipster's records can be checked, although we highlight those with the best tipping record

You'll see which darts betting selections they are making, supported with reasoned and informative comments. 

During major tournaments OLBG also run standalone tournament tipping competitions with added prize money.  

Once you have the necessary knowledge please add your darts tips in the competition. 

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Darts glossary

Darts betting terms:

  • Arrows - Another term for darts
  • Break - Winning a leg when going second 
  • Bullseye - The Bull or Bullseye is the centre of the dartboard, divided by the outer green bull and the inner red bull. The outer bull is worth a score of 25 with the inner worth 50.
  • Checkout - Checkout is when you hit the exact score that is required to win the game. Checkout markets can be popular when it comes to Bet Builders as they will be high odds markets based on exact checkouts in particular legs.
  • Double Top - Double 20. 
  • Leg - One game in a match. 
  • Maximum -  A score of 180. 
  • Nine Darter- A nine-darter or nine dart finish is when a player checks out a leg in 9 darts. The first two visits to the board usually consist of 180s, then the final three to check out. 
  • Oche - Oche is the name of the line that the players throw their darts from.
  • Three in a bed - Three darts in the same number. 
  • Tungsten - Tungsten is a dense metal that can be used to make darts. You may hear commentators use the phrase "throwing the tungsten" in relation to throwing darts at the board.
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FAQ

  • Where can I bet on Darts?

    Betting online on darts is possible by using an online bookmaker. The best for betting on darts is bet365 with in-running betting, great odds and live streaming of some event, so you can bet and watch at the same time.

  • Can you Bet on 180's in Darts?

    A lot of bookmakers like bet365 will offer bets on the number of 180's that will be scored in matches or by a player in a match or a tournament. Some will also offer the chance for a maximum 170 check out too!

  • What is the best bet to make in darts?

    If you can predict the outright winner of a big tournament well in advance, you will be getting better odds than you would if betting on one player once the final arrives. Many darts bettors like to bet over or under the number of legs or sets in a match, to offset short odds in one-sided matches.

Responsible Gambling

When you are betting on darts or any other sport please do gamble responsibly. Please check out all the responsible gambling articles on OLBG.com including the two below. 

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Editorial Information

This darts betting article was created by OLBG Betting Expert Matt Edgar, whose industry expertise and knowledge offer bettors real insight into making profitable bets on the darts.

Matthew Edgar

Matthew Edgar

Darts editor and wdf professional

Matthew Edgar, born on August 28, 1986, is an English professional darts player currently targeting the WDF World championships at Lakeside in December 2024 and commentating on Darts for Sky Sports. Known for his practice sessions with former world championship runner-up Kevin Painter, Edgar began his sports career as a coach for Northampton Town before shifting to darts. Prior to his darts career, he trained in mixed martial arts and was a professional wrestler. Edgar also hosts a dedicated darts YouTube channel, "Edgar TV," where he interacts with followers and shares his professional competition experiences.

Follow Matthew as he targets Lakeside and the WDF World Championships in December 2024.

The editing and formatting of the article was undertaken by Nigel Skinner

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