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Smart Darts - 501 Finishes

Updated on March 19, 2014

I was told there would be no math...

Although getting used to playing the various games of darts tends to come naturally, once you reach a level of confidence in your game it is a benefit to also learn the proper strategies and nuances that go along with it. This lens will focus on just a few of the challenging numbers that any "01" game presents when it comes to checking out for the win, as examples of smart decision making at the line.

158 Left Trip 20, Trip 20, Double 19. Even if the Trip 19 is your best number, that will leave 101 if you approach it that way. In addition, it would require a Trip 17, Double Bull to finish. Smart darts say stick to the 20's and bring it down.

156 Left Trip 20, Trip 20, Double 18. Again 19s would be poor judgment as a Trip 19 would leave you 99, which you can't take out with 2 darts.

152 Left Trip 20, Trip 20, Double 16. This time if you're a shooter that loves the 19s, Trip 19, Trip19 Double 19 would make for a fist pumping checkout.

150 Left Trip 20, Trip 18, Double 18 or Trip 19, Trip19, Double 18. Both work well however I prefer the 20s and 18s as they are in the same neighborhood.

61 Left Always start with T15. If you hit T15, the out is D8. if you miss, there is always another ooption with your two remaining darts. If hit S10, the out is S19, D16. If you hit T10, the out is S15, D8. If you hit S15,the out is S14, D16 and if you hit T2, the out is S15 D20. If you miss T15 and hit S2, the out is S19, D20.

Catch 40 - A GREAT Practice Routine

To really start getting familiar with your numbers as well as improve your game, I recommend Catch 40 - a practice routine concocted by three time World Champion John Part.

The routine involves taking 40 outs - beginning with 61 and ending at 100 - in six darts or less. Keeping score is simple. If you take the out in two darts award yourself three points. Take it out in three darts and give yourself two points. If it takes you four, five or six darts to take it out you get one point. No points are awarded for using more than six darts.

Start with 61 left, and move your way up until you take out 100. A perfect score is 120 points. You should chart your scores and use them as goals, trying to beat your highest score each time. This is a great tool not only for practicing, but also for learning the best approach to taking out each number you are faced with.

101 Double In/Double out is a fun game, and goes very quickly. In addition you will begin to learn your checkouts from 101 down, challenge yourself on taking out your opponent using as little darts as possible and become comfortable with your approach to different scenarios.

Once you really get going with it, try the perfect 101 game - double bull, one, double bull!

This is also a great practice game. Try to take out each game of 101 in less darts than the previous round.

Tired Of Plain Out Charts?

Darts Out Charts
Darts Out Charts

One thing to consider when setting up your dartboard is an out chart poster. Many dart players have their checkouts memorized and understand the strategy from experience. Novice and beginner players however can learn faster and keep matches moving more quickly by referring to an out chart.

At 16 inches wide by 20 inches tall and printed in full color, these out charts are decorative as well as readable from the throw line. Checkouts from 52 to 170, both two and three dart options listed. Be the first to be unique with these one of a kind darts out charts!

Know Your Trips

Knowing your triples makes for an easy decision for two dart checkouts right in the same neighborhood

Trip 20 = 60 * 60 Left, Single 20, Double 20

Trip 18 = 54 * 54 Left, Single 18, Double 18

Trip 16 = 48 * 48 Left, Single 16, Double 16

Darts Worth Watching - Watch the pro's leave themselves smart checkouts

The 2008 World MatchPlay Final - Phil Taylor v James Wade - was spectacular. Watching this clip not only takes your breath away with the great darts, but note their decisions on what to leave themselves for a shot at the double and the win.

James Wade 9 Darter

Later on the same year, Wade hits the out.

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