There are several factors involved in Dart Strategy. These include the playing ability of both you and your opponents, the game being played (501, 301, or cricket) and whether your opponent is "on a double".

The objective is to win the game. When playing opposition with similar or slightly better skills using a smart strategy could be the difference between winning or losing.


Only you know your skill level. If you are a beginner and you find that darts tend to land over a fairly wide area, then there are two areas of the board that will yield more moderate but consistent scores -

As your darts improve you should concentrate on 20's or 19's (even 2 out of 3 darts will give a score in the 40's which is better than 3 darts in the 14-11 or 15-10 sectors).

501 and 301 Strategy

In order to win you must hit a double first. We want to maximize our chances by selecting easier or preferred doubles. In addition we want to plan our set-up shots to get to these doubles quicker.

Whenever possible try to finish on one of the preferred "even" doubles.

When "doubling in" in a game of 301 it essential to hit a double quick (any double). For this reason people often aim at the sides of the boards. As a general rule dart players find it easier to control left-right direction than up-down control.

Having chosen our preferred doubles we need to maximize the chances of getting to them. As you play more you will learn that there are many number combinations that you can give yourself extra chances by making different shot selections. The following is a list of some of the more obvious examples as well as a couple which only apply to more advanced players.

Score Target Strategy
35 Aim for 3/19 3-D16; 19-D8 or 7-D14. Avoid T19!
46 Aim for 6/10 6-D20; T6-D14; 10-D18 or T10-D
48 Aim for 16/8 8-D8 or 16-D16. Avoid T16!
50 Aim for Bull Go for it! 1 dart to fix any miss.
50 Aim for 10 T10-D10; 10-D20
64 Aim for 16 T16-D8; 16-16-D16; T8-D20 or (8+16)-D20
70 Aim for 10/15 T10-D20; 10-20-D20; or 15-15-D20
86 Aim for 18's T18-D16 or 18-18-Bull
110 Aim for T20 T20-Bull Go for it!
110 Aim for Bull Bull-20-D20; 25-T15-D20
119 Aim for 19 first 19-T20-D20; Avoid 20-99(no finish!)
120 Aim for 20's T20-20-D20 or 20-T20-D20
126 Aim for 19's T19-19-Bull; 19-T19-Bull; Avoid 20-106(no finish!)
170 Aim for T20! T20-T20-Bull, perfection!

As you can see even I am in two minds on some set-up shots and will only make a choice depending on my opponents score and how I feel I am playing.

There are many variations on the above. I have compiled an Out Chart based on my own personal preferences. (Go to OUT CHART). Feel free to experiment with you own set-up shots and finishes. By counting, thinking about why you aim for particular numbers and by practicing you will be able to save a couple of darts off every leg and improve your PPD average.


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