Once it was a sport that was played almost exclusively in pubs and working men’s clubs across the UK and it received very little in terms of TV coverage. But, in the 1970’s and 1980’s some big personalities got involved in a game which is now very much in the mainstream.
Today’s darts players can therefore thank the likes of Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson and Bobby George for making darts more accessible. In the modern day, a night at the darts is a great experience for spectators while tens of thousands also tune in as tournaments are broadcast live.
This is also an excellent sport with plenty of options from a betting point of view so here’s a little more information on the great game of darts.
Main Event to Bet on
The biggest event on the darting calendar is the PDC World Championship. This traditionally starts in the middle of December each year and the final takes place on or around January 1st. Naturally, this is the one they all want to win and players will aim to get into top shape and form ahead of the big tournament.
Darts has had a world championship every year since 1978 and that was around the time that TV started to take the sport seriously and show it on a regular basis. Things progressed from that point until 1993 when a notorious split in the game took place, leaving the sport with two separate governing bodies.
The PDC – Professional Darts Corporation – now have the biggest and best players in the game and their version of the World Championship is the one that every serious player wants to win. Meanwhile, the British Darts Organisation (BDO) still runs alongside the PDC and has its own version of the World Championships which are held in January every year.
Outside of the main World Championship, the PDC also hosts the biggest darts tournaments across the calendar. One of these is the Premier League which is held across several weeks and features the best throwers from the previous year.
This competition was first held in 2006 and in its current format, the Premier League has proved to be one of the most popular competitions on the circuit. Each player plays each other across those weeks before moving on to the knockout stages. It has taken the game into corners of the UK that don’t always get to see their favourite players and in 2017 the tournament will expand into Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Those are the major events within the sport but darts has become so popular that there are many high profile tournaments held across the world throughout the calendar year and there are always busy betting markets for each and every one of them.
Bookmakers will publish outright betting markets ahead of each tournament and in the case of an event as big as the PDC Worlds, these will be open several months in advance. As that tournament arrives, punters will be able to stake on the result of individual matches and these are the two most popular markets for darts betting.
Lots of side markets will be open too and, as with any sport which involves point scoring, a lot of these will revolve around numbers. Players can stake on the exact score in a match and / or the winning margin for either player.
Markets in relation to numbers of 180s (maximum score with three darts) are also on offer and you can bet on the overall total in each match and the total for each player.
Other popular side bets include staking on whether there will be a nine dart finish in the game in question. This is the fewest number of darts needed to win a leg and similarly, players can stake on whether they think a maximum 170 finish will come in.
Handicap betting is also available and darts is a great sport for those who like to bet in play but it’s naturally important to choose your bookmaker carefully as some will be better for this sport than others.
Here are some of the best bookmakers for betting on darts:
One of the reasons why so many punters like Bet365 is their live betting coverage but whether you’re betting in play or ante post, this is a great home for your bets. There is so much emphasis on those live markets that it’s easy to overlook the fact that this bookmaker has great prices no matter when you want to stake.
Bet365 are frequently out on their own with the best prices for darts and are rarely, if ever, out of touch with the rest of the market. In any sport, they provide one of the widest sets of side markets beyond the straight result and that’s the case here too.
Choosing an established brand can be a good move for betting on any sport and William Hill have been around for decades. That helps to build trust so you can expect fair play and good service when you sign up.
However, Hills know that they have to back up that familiar name with strong benefits and players will certainly get that here. Odds for any darts match are always competitive but William Hill add to that value by frequently bringing out regular promotions that could bring price boosts or free bets for the major tournaments.
Ladbrokes are quite heavily involved in darts sponsorship and when one of their own tournaments comes around, we can expect to see a lot of offers and promos come in. These could start with enhanced odds deals for new customers and continue with price boots for the duration of the tournament.
Of course, there is the trusted brand element too and when you combine all these factors they make Ladbrokes a popular home for serious darts bettors.
Coral really score as a darts betting provider because of the range of promotions that they offer to both new and existing players. Like Ladbrokes, they may get involved with enhanced odds deals when the bigger tournaments such as the PDC World Championships come along but there are generic acca insurances, bet clubs and other promos along the way.
Prices are strong, as you would expect, but it’s the offers that put Coral firmly on this list.
Of the newer companies to come on board in the last few months, Sun Bets have really emerged as one of the best homes for darts bettors. That’s simply because of their prices and when you consider a number of darts events across the calendar, they are frequently out on their own with the longest odds.
The choice of side bets is a strong one too but Sun Bets’ real advantage for darts betting are those excellent prices.
Top prices are important at MarathonBet as well and there is little to choose between them and Sun Bets in terms of the best darts odds for all tourmaments. Side betting is maybe not quite so extensive but for anyone just looking to focus on result and outright tournament markets, this could be a perfect home.
Sometimes it’s tempting to look away from the bookmakers that aren’t appearing on the main odds comparison sites but there are certainly some good reasons to look beyond that list. EnergyBet were first launched in 2016 and have been producing strong prices for a range of sports ever since.
Darts is a particularly strong area and they also have an extensive set of side markets that make them another good option for this particular sport.
Darts is a growing sport and all bookmakers have something to offer for all of the major tournaments but we feel that these bookies are right up there with the best. It’s all about finding a good balance between offers and promotions together with strong prices and a wide range of markets and all of these operators offer a sound mix of all those elements.