How to finish a dart game.
Discussion of various out shots, percentage out shots and game ending shots and strategies
by Mike Sexton.
Thanks to the Scottsdale Dart League and the Arizona Dart League for permission to publish Mike Sexton’s “How to finish a dart game.” – A guide to various winning out shots. Read the first part below, or download the entire PDF, available at bottom of this page.
There has been much discussion in my 35 + years of dart playing about outs and
the various out strategies that come into play. The purpose of this paper is to discuss outshots, out strategies, the pros and cons of some out shots, and, in my humble opinion, which shot to employ at various stages in YOUR game or match.
The first part of this document will deal with the Steel Dart game only. I’ll get
into the differences in the Plastic Dart game later in this document. Steel Darts is the
original game of darts (OK there are others too) played by most players, in the early
years, and is what we’ll concentrate on in this portion of this document. We’ll start with
the high outs and work our way down. In the beginning I’ll only discuss the standard 3
dart and 2 dart outs that are prevalent on most out charts. For this discussion we will
assume that all *01 games (steel darts) must end with a double out finish. So let’s get
The biggest out in the game is 170. This 3 dart out is only attainable by hitting
Triple 20, Triple 20 and a Double Bull. The next possible out is 167. This requires a
Triple 20, Triple 19 and Double Bull. Next is a 164. This requires a Triple 20, Triple 18
and a Double Bull. Next is a 161. This requires a Triple 20, Triple 17 and a Double Bull.
The next big out is a 160. This requires a Triple 20, Triple 20 and a Double 20.
You’ll notice that 160 leaves behind the necessity of the Double Bull finish. The
170, 167, 164 and 161 all require the Double Bull finish as they are the only 3 darts that
will end the game with those scores remaining. There are still many situations in which a
Double Bull will be the shot to take, we’ll discuss those later in this text.
There is no out for a 159 with 3 darts. It is the only number below 160 not to
leave on purpose. Below 170 you DO NOT want to leave yourself with a 169, 168, 166,
165, 163 and 162 score. If you leave one of those numbers then you do not have an out
shot on your next turn. Think of it this way, if you don’t leave yourself an out shot, you
cannot end the game on your next turn. The very idea of knowing ones outs is to be able
to end the game in the best (quickest) possible fashion. Anyone can do this except for
those who do not know their outs.
Some situations will require a more dire shot at the win rather than the conventional out shot. The entire purpose for knowing ones outs is to be able to leave yourself the best shot possible while counting down. In order to be a better player you must have an understanding of regular subtraction. This is very basic mathematics. It is really easy with a little practice. If you chalk a match occasionally it will help you with both the math and the different strategies used by your dart playing peers.
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