Out charts ( for the average darter ):
The basis for this strategy is to aim for a number that will give a favorable result if you hit it and at the same time will leave you in a good situation if you happen to stray a little from your target. This strategy can help compensate for a lesser skill level and is critical for competing at higher levels where your opponent isn’t likely to miss the D20 finish with 3 darts in their hand. You need every opportunity the board can give you. Quite often players put themselves into a situation where if they miss the triple, they won’t have a shot at a double finish. The best they can hope for is a chance to fix it up for their next turn and that’s IF there is a next turn.
Let’s start with some ground rules:
- All Doubles and Triples are exactly the same size. The fact that players have “favorites” is a mind game that is based on their confidence to hit it. Practice will increase your confidence in hitting them all.
- Leaving an even number for your next turn is not always an advantage (unless you’re at 40 or less). Some numbers have advantages that are based on neighbouring numbers and possible combinations. It often has little to do with whether the number is odd or even. For example, I’d rather be at 107 than 106.
- The bullseye is actually a fairly large area of the board and is much larger than the triple space
- It’s necessary to learn the finishes starting with the lower numbers
- The main difference between a “bad” double and a “good” double is that if you hit a single, a “good” double will still leave you on an even number.
- When you have one dart in your hand, there is no such thing as a “bad” double. Any double is better than not having one at all.
- The fact that D16 breaks down evenly 5 times is no real advantage when you’re down to your last 3 darts (D16-D8-D4-D2-D1)
D20 and D12 are just as good as D16 when you’re on your last 3 darts:
D20 breaks down evenly 3 times (D20-D10-D5)
D12 breaks down evenly 3 times (D12-D6-D3)
Using your first dart to leave D18, D14 or D10 is perfectly acceptable when you’re on your last turn:
D18 breaks down evenly 2 times (D18-D9)
D14 breaks down evenly 2 times (D14-D7)
D10 breaks down evenly 2 times (D10-D5)
To understand the philosophy behind the following strategy, it’s important to realize what your personal odds are in favor of hitting the triple that you so desperately need in order to leave yourself a double out. If you hit a Triple every time you shoot for it, you should probably stop reading this and get yourself on a plane headed to England.
For the rest of us, let’s assume that T20 is the number that you typically aim at for the majority of the game. If you’re hitting a T20 at least once every turn, then you’re a pretty good player. Even so, your chance of hitting that triple is only 1-in-3 or 33%. Consider the darter that’s hitting the T20 once every 2 turns (16%) or every 3 turns (11%) or…etc.
Now consider where that dart ends up if not in the T20 that you were aiming at. Most likely it ends up in the S20 although it often strays to the S5 or S1. Landing in the T5 or T1 is the next most likely scenario, depending on your skill level.
Are you willing to risk giving up ANY chance at a double if you miss the triple?
A good example is that your opponent is on a double and you have 64 points with 2 darts in hand. If you shoot for the T16 and only hit S16 you will be left with 48 and 1 dart. All you can do is lower your score and wish for another turn. The strategic alternative is to shoot for the T14. If you hit the triple then you’re left with D11. If you hit S14 then you’re left with DB. Agreed, these aren’t the most desirable doubles but at least you’ve increased your chances for getting a shot at one. Using this strategy is like having a backup parachute; it’s really nice to have it if you need it.
Consider finishing 80. T16-D16 is popular but if you hit a single you’re left with 64. T20-D10 is the better way to go. If you hit a single 20 you’re left with 60.
Which would you rather be shooting for with only 2 darts in your hand?
Another great example is 101 with 3 darts in hand. A lot of people will go for T17 to leave 50 which is still a 2 dart finish (unless you’re feeling especially cocky like Daryl Viscount on my Monday night team). T17-DB is the 2 dart solution for 101. With 3 darts, you should never do this because if you hit a single 2, you’re left with 99 and no way to finish. The safer alternative is to go for T20. The only number that will prevent you from a second chance is the D1. Watch for this one on your typical out charts. It’s mathematically correct but strategically inferior.
Don’t forget about your personal odds of hitting a triple. Remember that the odds are against you (we won’t even mention the additional game winning pressure of hitting a particular triple!).
The bottom line is that you will get more shots at doubling out and earn the respect of better players by knowing what to shoot for. Even if you don’t hit it every time, the fact that you’re using every ounce of opportunity in your favour shows that you shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Textual source: http://ricksmith.ca/Darts/dartsouts.htm