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codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Welcome to The Darts!

The game of darts needs little introduction. You've either played or seen darts at a local pub or maybe friend or relative's house, or maybe you've even played on the mean streets of San Andreas!.
At its core, you are basically throwing pointy objects at an acceptable playing surface. And whats more fun than throwing pointy things?

With the basic equipment (darts & a dartboard, and a marked (preferably raised) toe line or oche as the English say [pronounced hockey without the h]) there are various games that can be played. Most traditional and common is 501. The 5 can be substituted with higher or lower numbers based on skill level or people playing, for example in our league we play teams of 5, 1001. Lower skill or new players may consider a game of 301 so it doesn't take forever. 501 is the basis for professional play and thus is what I will be focusing on here. But feel free to discuss your Cricket or how you smashed your mates playing Killer!

There are two types of equipment sets you can go with, each being popular in different parts of the world. In Asia and growing in popularity in America as well, soft tip is preferred. That is, soft tip, generally lighter darts as opposed to steel tip, and a plastic board filled with holes as opposed to sisal boards that are used with steel tip. The great thing about soft tip is the boards are electronic, so they take off score automatically without the need to do the maths. Target, a leading darts & accessories manufacturer, has even recently released an online, camera-equipped board that will let you play with anyone else with such a board around the world. However, despite this coolness, I still prefer steel tip and again, such is the standard for the major professional leagues.



Steel or soft, your board will be divided into 20 number sections as seen above, with a bullseye in the middle. The larger outer part of the bull counts for 25 points, and the main bullseye in the very middle is 50. The middle ring that passes through each number section is the triple section, or treble as the English call it and is one of my pet peeves, why call it a treble? We're not talking about music. Most of your time will be spent going for these sections, especially under the 20 as a triple 20 accounts for the largest single dart score possible, being of course 60, making the largest overall score for a 3 dart visit 180. The outermost ring is the double, naturally resulting in double the points for that particular number. These are also the most crucial, as in darts, the game is to reduce your score from x01 to 0, and the final amount must be taken out on the double. 32 and 40 are the most favored, especially the 32 as hitting a single 16 will still leave you the double 8 right next door, and in turn the 4, the 2 (but you dont want that double 1!). But say if you had 34 for example, miss to the inside of the double and you have single 17. Then you need to waste another dart fixing it to get even to try another double. 170 is the highest checkout possible, T20, T20, bullseye. Known as "taking out the big fish" on TV. A leg of 501 can be started and finished in only 9 darts, and in theory there are hundreds of ways to do this. But usually, players will score 180, 180, 141 or 180, 177, 144 (easier finish not having to go at 3 different sections). Current PDC World #1 Michael van Gerwen nearly did this twice back to back, and has done it twice in one match.

Sisal boards will wear, so you should turn the board based on how much you use it so the less frequented areas can take a pounding while the last used section of the 20 can heal. I practice daily so I turn mine at least once a week. Cheap boards have thicker wire which makes the game more difficult as bounce outs are more common. Spend the extra cash to get a professional board with thin wires, each company has a different name for the spider of this type, tri wire, diamond wire, etc. The Professional Darts Corporation has an agreement with Unicorn to use their boards, currently the Eclipse pictured above. I haven't heard a lot of good about them though in terms of longevity, whereas many players swear by Winmau's Blade line. The Blade 5 was my first board, I beat it to bits in a year and have recently gone to the One80 Gladiator III. At the very least, I think it looks much nicer. Here in Eastern Canada I can pick up the B5 for 89.99 most anywhere, so its not worth cheaping out that 20 or 30 bucks and going with a thick wire, stapled board if you are going to spend any time at it at all.

Now that you have your board, it is to be secured to your wall such that the middle of the bullseye stands 5'8" from the floor. From the front of the board, your oche should be 7'9.25" away, as per PDC regulation. Some people will just put a strip of tape or something across the floor, but in any kind of competition there will generally always be a raised oche that you cant (and shouldn't) put your toe past. Everyone has a different throwing stance, but many will put their front leaning foot sideways against the oche and lean in to get closer to the board, this is perfectly legal. I just use a piece of wood with double sided tape to secure to my floor and it works great.

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codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Equipment


The darts themselves is where you can tumble down that collectors rabbit hole if you want to waste money. I have been playing for about a year and a half, and I have 4 sets now which cost over 200 combined. Target recently released a new edition of their Elysium line which cost about $4-500 CAD if you were able to get your hands on a set. A good set of darts though by no means has to be fancy or expensive, and you will notice that many pro players use very plain styles. A good set can be had for little more than 20-30 bucks, but endorsements and fancy etchings can really ratchet up the prices. For new players there will be a feel out period, finding your grip style and then determining which style of dart and what weight suits you best. I started with 25g, but have moved down to 23 and 22g and most pros use in the 21-23 range, with some 20-25g outliers. Over 25 is seldom to be seen in the pros, but I know many people who prefer 28s and even higher. If you are lucky, you will have a local store, pub or other source at your disposal where you can try a few sets. If not, you may have to just look for something you think you like and try it out. There are many inexpensive online resources for purchasing darts, which are, how do you say, indispensable? to us on this side of the pond because local prices are often insane. Like with any purchase, make sure you do your research and you dont get swindled into paying huge markups in store.

No one can tell you how to grip your dart! Do what feels natural, and work on your form from there. Generally, your arm should come up parallel with the floor, then aim, release/follow through. "You should have a target every time you throw".

Most darts will come with a set of shafts or stems, and flights, but you should stock up on these when you find a kind you like. Flights and shafts will tear and break, count on it. Also do not have to be expensive. I buy mainly from Darts Corner and seldom ever buy any sets that go over a buck a piece. Stems come in different lengths, most popular are short, tweenie/intermediate, and medium. If you go to the DC site you can see all the lengths, but these are most common. I went from short, to medium, to tweenie. This can change depending on the length of your dart. Flights come in various shapes, but you wont see a whole lot of pros using the odd shapes that differ from the norm. Though the most decorated champion in history has experimented with a few different kinds. One thing that has helped me greatly, was buying a flight punch for 11 bucks and the titanium slot rings. How this works is you punch a hole in the flight, insert a ring into this slot, and then place the flight with ring down into place and the ring holds the tip of the shaft together tightly. You will have far less breakage this way, and fewer robin hoods as well. A robin hood is when you manage to throw one dart right into another, in which case only the dart who's point touches the board counts for score. I still get a few robin hoods, passing a dart through the flight itself. Most people use nylon stems, but some prefer aluminum. Which, you would think, would help them last longer. But instead, when they bend (and they will), they are basically done. Whereas a plastic stem, especially when set up with the aforementioned rings, might bend but will snap back into place unless it totally breaks.

In the pros, score is taken down on a whiteboard, but in pubs and rec rooms people often use electronic scoreboards. These are insanely expensive for what are basically big calculators, so make use of the various apps available on android, iOS and even Windows if you can. I use Darts Scorer for Windows and its great as it announces your checkout, shows checkout combinations, tracks stats even across other Windows devices which is great for seeing how you are doing.

So there you have it, for ~$100 you can be up and running with a brand new game that can be enjoyed at home or at the pub. And if you get good enough, you can even make some cash! I've won a few hundred bucks in various tournaments in the last year, especially in the last few months. I only got my first set of darts in April '17, hit my first 180 shortly after, and am now a top player in my league. I recently very nearly made it into the last 16 of a 72 player tournament, but was left to rue missed darts at double. As darts legend Bobby George put it, scoring is for show, doubles for dough. There are also online leagues out there like the Webcam Darts Association and a few others, so you dont have to play alone if your friends aren't into The Darts.

I intend to discuss current PDC events here as well, and carry on from CBJSprague24's 2018 Premiere League thread. So congrats to MvG on a third world title! Looking forward to this years PL and hoping Raymond van Barneveld can redeem himself after a very disappointing show at his penultimate World Championship.

codo27 fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2019 around 17:38

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Good news, the Official World Championship begins tomorrow!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7M8hzmNdBU

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Thats awful. I dont even bother to follow the BDO at all.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



IF YOU LOVE THE DARTS, STAND UP

Good new OP. Here's mandatory video evidence as to why you should watch The Darts:

Walk-ons!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLDZ_7FkqSw

Nine dart legs!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGNZ3GqYrVY

CHANTS!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHCuqdkqCBw

FANCY DRESS!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qupp78-cF1M

Anderson/Dobey was absolutely fantastic dartistry. Then the Final, where MVG the Uncle Fester-lookin' machine did his thing and it felt very much at times like "THAT MAN HAS A FAMILY'. I don't think I've seen the crowd that mild for van Gerwen since I've been watching.

CBJSprague24 fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2019 around 16:27

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

People are tired of seeing him win. I was just mainly disappointed Gary didn't put up more of a fight. I was thinking all-time classic there. Smith got a bit cocky suggesting it could have been 5-0 for him, but I would look out for him in the future. Its very difficult though to hope to match the mettle of MvG.

Theres a lot of buzz around this Leighton Bennett who won the BDO Youth title earlier today. Kid phenom maybe, kid genius definitely not

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


While we're in full cocky mode: PYF Lakeside debut by an established PDC player

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOmdv_zwZ9c

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Wright listed as English. And boy was he ever copying Bristows throw. Should have kept looking half sensible. Something just rubs me wrong about a 50 odd Scotsman with a Mohawk and painted head dancing across the stage

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



HJB posted:

While we're in full cocky mode: PYF Lakeside debut by an established PDC player

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOmdv_zwZ9c

He looks like Helio Castroneves in a way.

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.



AOfuckingL

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Glen Durrant successfully completed his preparations for Q-School, the real examination starts Thursday.

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

I must say as much as I snicker at the BDO the guy really should have just been extended an invite in the way of a tour card.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



American Goons- Premier League The Darts returns to BBC America tomorrow, 11pm Eastern. They may Facebook live stream the event during the day (US time) tomorrow.

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

They still haven't caught up on the fact they're giving me pdctv for free. I'll take it.

Disappointing result for Barney today but it easily could have been a win, a whitewash even. Hopefully he can ring off a few W's. Don't want this to get sad.
People highly tout Smith but he thinks he's already there. You ain't MvG son. Sit down.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



The crowd wasn't feeling Gerwyn Price.

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Wait, what did I miss today? I only caught MvGs last 2 matches.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



codo27 posted:

Wait, what did I miss today? I only caught MvGs last 2 matches.

The first match shown on BBC America saw a player being booed mightily by the crowd. I thought it was Price.

codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Man, the PDC could really step up its game as far as advertising times for matches. Like I'm pretty sure PL nights are thursday, but the way they are posting on twitter right now it looks like it could be tonight? Who knows? Just most of their advertising in general fails to mention start times.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



Have you some The Darts: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPD..._video_explicit

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codo27
Apr 21, 2008

Seven minutes.
Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you.

Motherfuckers caught up on the fact that I was getting pdctv for free. Looks like I'm gonna have to shell out now.

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