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!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dart Outs - Part I: Doubles Out

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

It is my way of the darts to figure outs where I have a D16 out figured regardless of the score remaining. 152, 149, 146, 143, 142, 137, 134, 131, 128, 125, 119, 112, 109, 108, 107, 106, 105, 104, 102, 101, 99, 92, 89, 86, 83, 80, 77, 74, 71, 65, 62 … are the scores that with three darts you will have an out of D16 or 32 point double out. 

When I was playing this weekend the question came out from a person I was playing as to what my goal was in hitting or aiming for a certain target, they couldn’t see my goal. I said that I figure out how to end up with a D16 shot whether with three darts, two darts or just one dart in my hands. I told him I wanted to have the D16 open at least for that last dart. 

I then explained that the dart arts competitions of ’01’ games was to leave an opportunity of outs like if I missed D16 by hitting a single 16 on the first dart it would leave me the D8 then D4 then D2 outs or that was my aim anyway. I wanted to set it up so I could get multiple opportunities to double out provided any misses I made could be fixed if the opponent was unlucky in doubling out. Does this make sense?

I told the player it is a bit like golf where the game was often won in the short game, i.e., getting on the green and putting in with the least stroke count. In say a 501 game you have the long game where you attempt to accumulate the most points with the least darts thrown to get to the short game that begins at 170 points, i.e., the first score that will allow an out with three darts. 

Simplistically speaking, if any of the above listed scores are left when your turn comes around then I know that I have a good chance at a D16 out and barring any real obstacles it leaves me outs even after the three are thrown as long as a miss doesn’t hit the scores bordering my targets, i.e., D16 to D8 to D4 to D2 to D1. Can you see it?

The key to the dart short game is the ability to figure out, on the fly (any one, two or three darts throws), what targets you need to go for to get that double out. If I need a T20 on the first dart but end up with a single 20 I need to figure out ‘on the fly’ what changes and targets I need with the two remaining darts and so forth down to that one dart left. This needs to happen for each successive three dart effort until I go out or lose to my opponent. Make sense? 

This is the short game in the ’01’ arena of the dart arts. Like putting, you have to read the green to reach and sink a put and in the dart arts you have to read the math to reach that infamous double out to win by sinking that one dart into the proper double score ring. You, as in golf, cannot ignore the long game either because the faster you get to a possible out the better your chances. 

In the long game the higher the score achieved for each three darts the less darts it takes to reach your short game, the double out chances, and then your accuracy, just like putting to the hole in golf, to hit that out with one to three darts maximum makes for a winning game. 

Now, how to get that mind game going is to practice the games and then immediately at the 170 point marker begin to figure out, IN YOUR HEAD, how to reach any out with three darts. How to you do that, figure it out best you can in practice using just your mind and then validate and verify your accuracy with a double out chart. Many dart cabinets have an out chart but don’t become dependent on those boards, ignore them until you need to validate and verify what you figured out in your mind. Look at it as a most excellent brain exercise to keep your mind flexible and strong as well. 

Make it part of your training regiment to be able to figure out in an instance what you need to get that winning out especially as each dart is sent to the board in case you hit the target or just miss it by ‘this much’. 

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