Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dart Outs - Part III: "170 Out Game!”

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

In the dart world of the "01" games the outs are the critical short game. The one who hits the out with the fewest darts wins. Learning all the outs is important. Most new players, dartist, need to know all the outs and that brings up the question, "What is the best, and quickest, way to know the outs?"

Some are blessed with an almost photographic like memory, few are math savants where numbers just appear but the majority really find memorizing outs difficult to just about impossible - frustrations run high.

I wonder at times how many casual players stay casual players simply because they can't grasp and work the outs under the stress of competition, and on the fly.

In my early dart period I just had a quick math-mind yet in my winter years find I need to find another path back to rapid out mastery.

When I did a search on how one goes about learning, memorizing, the outs all results speak to memorization and none speak (so far in my search) to the how of memorizing. Left to my own devices I feel I have found a way that will work for me.

I'm calling it my, "170 Out Game! (Any score starting at 170 means a dartist can achieve an out in three darts and if they miss a shot on the first throw can quickly determine if a 2 dart out is possible when subtracting that first throw to see if the score reaches 100 points or less.)“ 

I decided I would practice starting it like 501 but simply start at 170 because, as you know, you can't go out at any higher score.  

170 to 100 requires three dart minimum so I will look up the best three dart combo and then focus on the first, I.e., like T20.

If I miss, I work out the score through the math process like hitting 20 leaving 150. Since there is no 2dart out I then figure, look at chart again, how I can shoot the first score in an attempt to set up for the next round. 

150: T20, T18, D16 means if I can hit the first and second it leaves me a solid out in the next round/leg with only one dart.

If I throw, working my way down, and figure scores and as I work out outs along the way I find I am practicing my throw, my strategies and my tactics along with exercising my math brain and learning the outs of one, then two and finally three dart outs all at the same time.

I believe that the action + mental math process + practice playing 170 puts several learning processes into action so I can put away the chart, calculate the outs on the fly (dart by dart throws) so I can do it instantly in the game.

My goal of the fewest darts to the out and game over, I win. 

Something to remember, 170 to 130 always uses a T20 for the first dart of three dart outs except for two - 137 and 139 requires the first of three to be a T19 😜.

So, all first of three is a T20 except for 137 and 128 for scores between 170 and 130.

So, any score starting three dart outs below 130 needs the first dart to be something else, i.e., 127, 124, 120, 118 - 110, 108, 106, 103 - 101, 100, 98, 96, also start a three dart out until you go under 100 points and start with T20 - all others require T19, T18, or T17 with only a few needing other numbers that one can figure out with ease.

So, break the the chart, darts501.com chart is the one I like the best and used for this article, down into categories as follows and begin with the first until you have that memorized then follow up with the next and so on. Playing the 170 game while doing this will help the brain absorb the chart with fewer memorization requirements. 
  1. 170 - 130 points, first dart always T20.
  2. 137 and 139, first dart always T19.
  3. 170 to 101 (and 99), first dart, of three dart out, varies (T19, T18, T17): scores that start with T20; 127, 124, 120, 118 - 110, 108, 106, 103 - 101, 100, 98, 96.
  4. 100 to 60, two dart outs, easy to figure in head. 
  5. Other start darts use T19, T18, and T17 (first dart throw); between 100 points not T20 listed in parens here (100, 99, 96, 92, 90, 84, 80, 76, 68).
If you have the skills and the software, or use excel spreadsheet, you can create separate charts broken down in this manner to be used to help memorize. I have used this 170 out game a few times in the last few days and found that my darts, to reach outs faster once I reach 170 or less, has improved. The figuring out of the next three dart throws for those scores, especially if I still have to throw three darts to get out, that will follow on the next leg becomes easier. I especially have benefited, to start, using the chart on my iPhone lock screen because in my shirt pocket it takes only a moment to view and less time to use my brain to figure out the next throw regardless. 

I will amend this post or add a part IV post when I have vetted this process out and made any missed corrections. I feel good about it and hope this article assists others beginning the dart arts learn the outs. 

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