The game of darts can be a very entertaining pastime, often enjoyed in pubs and social clubs and played by millions of people at home. It can also be fiercely competitive and at a professional level is a big money sport, with the top players scooping prizes of hundreds of thousands for lifting the major tournaments such as the PDC World Darts Championship. If you enjoy the game and have been practising for a while, you might be wondering whether you are any good. Here we share some information on what is a good darts average and how you can become a better darts player.
What is a good darts average?
The best measure of how good you are at darts is your throwing average. This is the average of points scored when throwing three darts. To give you an indicator of how you are playing currently and what you might like to aspire to, here are a few stats:
- Beginners will probably find they have a darts average of between 30 and 40 points.
- A good average for non-professional players is between 60 and 80 points.
- To play professionally you’ll need a three-dart average of at least 80 points.
- The top players in the world have averages of over 100 points.
Can you calculate how good you are from your darts average alone?
The quick answer is no. A good darts average is one thing, but being able to win games and raise your game to outplay your opponents is what separates the good players from the excellent ones. Having a higher darts average than the next player means you have the potential to do well, but all players, even the great ones, will have bad rounds and bad days, which can affect their overall average.
Also, your average can be affected by the type of darts you are using, so for example, if you compare yourself to another player, bear in mind that those who play using soft tip darts tend to have around a 25% higher average than those who play with steel tip darts.
Are darts averages helpful to beginners?
When you first start playing darts it isn’t really helpful to obsess over darts averages as your game will be pretty inconsistent to begin with whilst you experiment with and perfect your throw, your stance and the equipment you use. It can take a lot of practice to find the weight and style of darts you are most comfortable with and the type of flight that best compliments your throw, so in the beginning it can be more beneficial to practise your aim, increase accuracy and be consistent in your scoring before you worry about the average points you are scoring each round.
What can you do to improve your game?
Once you consider yourself to be a more consistent player, the next step is to consider joining a local darts league. The more opponents you play and the more tournaments you take part in, the more practice you’ll get and the more you’ll learn about your own game. For example, you’ll learn how you cope under pressure and what the stress of an important match does to your game. You’ll also get used to playing other players and experience a wide variety of throwing styles and tactics, all of which will be useful to you as you build your own game.
It’s worthwhile remembering that to improve your game you might have to accept that your averages may deteriorate in the first instance, particularly if it’s your first time playing in a league or under competition rules. It’s normal for your darts average to be higher when you’re practising at home under relaxed conditions than when under the pressure of playing as part of a team.
This is the time to take on board all the advice you can to help perfect your throwing style.
Dart throwing tips
To help improve your accuracy, precision and consistency, here are a few dart throwing tips:
- Practice, practice, practice – there’s no substitute for regular practice when it comes to improving your game, but it also helps to have a purpose. For example, you could practise throwing a number of darts at treble 20 to see if you can become more accurate, or give yourself a number of darts to achieve a certain score and keep practising that until you can do it consistently.
- Play darts against people who are better than you – you can’t hope to improve your game if you are always the best player, so challenging those who you know are better than you will help you to raise your game. Study how they play and compare it to your own game to see if there are any takeaways you can implement into your own style of playing.
- Brush up on your stance – it isn’t just how you hold and throw the dart that matters, but also how you hold and position your body before, during and after the throw that can influence your accuracy. You need to experiment until you find a stance that is comfortable and relaxed, yet allows you to play at your best. Most of your weight will be on your front foot, but you’ll need to be careful not to allow your back foot to leave the ground as you throw, as this could cause instability.
- Experiment with different darts flights and shafts – it is only through trying different combinations of shaft lengths and darts flights that you can fine tune your game. Different lengths of shaft or size and shape of flight can affect speed and stability through the air, so practising with the various combinations to find what best suits your style, can help improve your throw and consistency.
- Get in the right mindset – darts is not only a game of skill, but also one of nerves and the best way to prepare yourself mentally is to be prepared! Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness can be useful to practise ahead of a match, whereas breathing exercises may help you to keep your calm in between rounds.
The last and most important tip is to have fun. After all, what is the point of playing darts if you don’t enjoy it? Following these top tips and being open to advice from those who have been playing longer, or at a higher level, than you could be the key to improving your own game.
DoubleTopDarts is an online retailer of darts and darts equipment, offering a wide range of products from the major manufacturers to suit all players from beginners to professionals. Their website features their products as well as helpful advice and tips for those looking to improve their game.