While darts is a game of finesse, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, and consistency, there is one aspect of the game that many players hate or struggle with and that is darts math!
There are some darts practice games that do not require much mental arithmetic like around the clock darts but for the majority of practice and competition games, you’ll need to have some understanding of darts math. You might therefore wonder, are darts players good at maths?
Dart players are very good at basic math and their skill comes through repetition and memorizing of number combinations between 1 – 501. Dart players are not necessarily skilled at complex math but their addition and subtraction for 1 – 3 digit numbers are instantaneously fast and mostly accurate.
If you have aspirations of becoming a great darts player, it’s important to note that being good at maths is not a skill you need to already possess but it is something you will need to work on and develop through practice and number combination memorization.
Are Darts Players Good at Maths
Yes, most dart players are good at maths. But, this is more about repetition and memorization than it is math. But maths is a central part of the game.
The average dart player has to have a basic understanding of and have a certain comfort level with arithmetic in order to calculate scores. But that doesn’t mean they’re stellar mathematicians about to embark on the path of Pythagoras.
The maths are not difficult and, after many years of experience, the same calculations occur in repetition. So, it becomes more about memorizing the calculations than having to do a fresh calculation with random numbers.
Do You Have to Be Good at Maths to Play Darts
Yes, to play darts, you should have a decent grasp of maths. At the very least, you shouldn’t have an aversion to certain mathematical concepts. That means you will have to be comfortable with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Plus, if statistics interest you, you’ll also want to know how to calculate averages like MPR and 3 dart averages as well as how percentages work.
So, although you don’t have to be a genius at maths, you should be comfortable with numbers. It’s easy and uncomplicated once you get the hang of it.
Can Playing Darts Improve Your Maths
If you’re one of those people who have an aversion to maths, playing darts might alleviate your frustrations. It can help you improve your ability to do maths and has the capacity to remove any preconceived aversion you have to it.
So, practice and repetition are more tantamount than knowing the ins and outs of maths. But, you should have a certain amount of comfort with maths. This means memorization will become more applicable because scoring will involve the same numbers over and over again.
How Can I Improve My Maths Darts
Although the math will become easier over time, you have to get used to it to start. First, you want to review sets of numbers that total 100. Do these until you reach 50 + 50. For example:
1 + 99
2 + 98
3 + 97
You also want to review the sets that total 101:
1 + 100
2 + 99
3 + 98
When you do this, you should be able to access these with ease as opposing numbers when you reach ones that are higher in value and are double digits, depending on scoring of 100 or 101:
27 + 73 = 100
27 + 74 = 101
You’ll also need to learn how to calculate trebles for each number. In the above example, a score of 27 can be hit with a treble 9 but 74 is not possible with a single dart. A better calculation would therefore be:
27 (treble 9) + 54 (treble 18) + 20 (double 10 checkout).
The aim should be to learn the math that will give you the quickest possible checkout for each number. For a score of 101, the quickest finish would be 51 (treble 17) followed by a checkout of 50 (bullseye).
learning the basic combinations will therefore need to be followed by learning the trebles and finishes. When playing 501, you’ll mainly be hitting the same numbers as you aim for the treble 20 and overtime, you’ll find it easier to subtract your scoring during each throw.
The difficulty, and starting point, should therefore be to follow the steps above when starting as finishing will be much more difficult if you don’t know the different options between 1 – 101 (though 170 is a possible finish but most people reading this are unlikely to have the skill to check out a score of 100+ with 3 darts).
If you also intend to play cricket, then you’ll have to calculate the value of triples, 15 to 20. This will involve 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, and 60.
Try to memorize the multiples involved in singles, doubles, and triples. These reflect the concentric rings on the entire dartboard that work in toward the outer bullseye (always valued at 25) and center bullseye (always valued at 50). For instance:
Singles (outermost ring) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Doubles 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
Triples 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57 60
Remember that there are three finishes you can hit, the highest you can go is 170 or 180. But, also note that you can’t score 169, 168, 166, 165, 163, 162 and 159 with only three darts. These are the “bogey numbers” and most advanced dart players will avoid these at all costs because you can’t checkout on these numbers.
Something you might want to make use of is a checkout chart for quick reference during play. You can get an out chart to go with a dartboard backboard here
So, it’s better to learn the value of everything on the dartboard. It shouldn’t take too long or become too involved. Don’t use a calculator and add the three darts after they land on the board. If you have to at first, write down the numbers and add them up with a pen and paper.
Also, remember to subtract backward with each digit. This will help you become incredibly proficient with scoring. It will become second nature and automatic the more you do it.
If all else fails or you don’t know anyone who knows dart scoring, you can always consult people online for help. Post onto an online message board, contact a dartboard manufacturer or watch videos of professionals playing and scoring.
Applying Learning Styles
When learning something new, we often use a combination of methods to understand any given concept. But, some people are one-way learners and can only absorb new information through a particular method, or learning style.
- Visual – if you learn through diagrams, pictures and graphs, then there are many places where you can find multiplication tables and diagrams of dartboards. Spend some time studying and looking at these things to commit them to memory. You could also draw out a dartboard and memorize numbers that way.
- Auditory – if your ears are your learning strength, then look for videos or audio recordings of pro dart players giving instruction about the maths. Listen to a recording once, then listen to it over and over again until you memorize the material.
- Reading/Writing – you could be one of those people who have to read instructions and then write things out. If this is the case, you could take notes from video or audio. Likewise, you could make a trip to the local library to read up on dart playing and scoring.
- Kinesthetic – some people learn by doing without any foreknowledge. Grab a friend or hire a mentor who’s knowledgeable about darts maths. Play over and over until the maths lodge into your memory.
But, regardless of your learning style, there are several darts apps you can download for your smart devices. There are also darts maths calculators you can find online or through smart device apps.
If you are very bad at basic math, you can also download basic maths apps or brain-training maths games to expand your darts calculation practice.
Benefits of Understanding Darts Maths
I wanted to round up this article by stating that dart players are not naturally good at math and over the years, I’ve been able to calculate my scores quite quickly simply because I hit the same numbers over and over again.
Dart players spend countless hours practicing and eventually, it gets to the point where they are hitting the same shots with such regularity that the math becomes automatic and second nature and fortunately, this is something anyone can develop with enough practice.
The benefits that come with understanding dart math apply to players of any level because hesitating with your throw while working out the math will impact your accuracy and consistency. Even worse, getting the math wrong can be the difference between hitting a game-winning checkout or incorrectly busting due to poor calculations.
A fluid and smooth throw is essential for accuracy and hesitating while you work out your math can be just as impactful to your throw as jerking body movements. Therefore, having a fluid understanding of dart math can ultimately lead to a more fluid and consistent dart throw.
Maths is something that a lot of people dislike greatly, hate could even be a common phrase used to describe feelings toward math. Unfortunately, darts math is an important part of the game, and to become a better player, it’s essential that you improve your mental calculations.
Most dart players are not good at maths in general but they are exceptionally good at math that is relevant to darts, mainly addition, subtraction, and multiplication. This comes with months/years of practice though and is not something you can pick up immediately.
The good news is of course that you can improve your darts math through practice, memorizing different out shots and 3 dart combinations and as a worst-case scenario you can just rely on an electronic scoreboard to help you!