Recommended Online Bookmakers for Darts Betting
Today, professional darts is riding a wave of popularity not seen since the 1980s. Far from being a niche sport, arenas are now filled across the UK and Europe as (often raucous) fans flock to see events like Premier League Darts and the World Darts Championships. The increased frequency of high-profile tournaments has seen the popularity of darts betting explode in recent years, with more betting markets and ways to bet than ever before. The table below shows some of the best UK bookmakers for betting on darts:
Best Betting Site for Darts Odds
As with most professional sports, bookmakers will vary in their odds assessments, sometimes significantly so, for major tournaments. The table below shows the odds (top six players only) for the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship, which will take place from 13th December 2018 through to the final on 1st January 2019.
|Bookmaker||Michael Van Gerwen||Gary Anderson||Rob Cross|
Eyes will inevitably be drawn towards the odds for Michael Van Gerwen who has arguably been the world’s best darts player for several years now. Paddy Power, Mr Green and Betfair all have the best odds for the Dutchman, with a £20 stake returning £4 more in profit than Sky Bet. But, crucially, Paddy Power sport and Betfair Sports have the best or joint-best odds for four of the remaining five players on the table, including the standout price for the 2018 PDC World Champion, Rob Cross.
Verdict: Paddy Power/Betfair
Best Site for Darts Betting Markets
All of the bookies on our recommended list are well known for offering a wide range of darts betting markets. Aside from the outright markets for a specific tournament, punters will often bet on markets within an individual match or group together a series of bets through a darts coupon. Typically, more markets become available for the bigger tournaments, so at certain times of the year choice can vary and sometimes be limited. However, Paddy Power tends to cover every type of betting market, such as correct score, set betting and leg betting, as well as coming up with niche markets like 170 checkout and nine dart finishes.
Verdict: Paddy Power
Best Site for In-Play Darts Betting and Live Streaming
This one is a toss-up between Sky Bet and Betfair, who have both given their customers access to live streaming of darts. On occasion, simply having a funded account with the bookmaker will help you access the coverage for free, although at times you may have to place a small bet (usually less than £1) to qualify.
Sky Bet gets the nod here, however, simply due to the fact its live betting operation is second to none. For example, the mobile app allows for personalised in-play features, sending notifications when significant events occur. There is also the added incentive of receiving enhanced in-play odds through the Sky Boost feature.
Verdict: Sky Bet
Best Site for Darts Betting Promotions & Offers
While Sky Bet’s boosted odds feature is a big plus point, Betfair has some excellent promotions that can benefit those who bet on darts. The first promotion is ACCA Boost, which can be used on darts and all other sports. Essentially, it gives a percentage increase on stakes, rising exponentially with each extra leg. For example, if you placed a winning five leg accumulator on darts, you would receive a payout boost of 15%.
The second Betfair darts promotion is called ACCA Edge, something increasingly popular with punters. Effectively, it offers an insurance policy of a full refund on your bet if one leg lets you down in an accumulator bet in return for slightly lower odds. The reason this has become popular with punters is that Betfair returns the stake as cash and not as a free bet.
Popular Types of Darts Bets Explained
|Outright Result Betting||a bet on the winner of a specific tournament or match.|
|Win, Place and Each-Way Betting||a bet covering a player to win/and or place in the tournament. Most bookies offer two places – winner and runner-up.|
|Accumulators and Multiples||a bet with more than one selection, the odds are multiplied but all must be successful to win.|
|Handicap Betting||a bet that a player will win the match when starting with a theoretical deficit of sets or legs.|
|180 Maximums||a bet that there will be over or under a specific number of ‘180’ scores during a match.|
|Checkout Markets||a bet on the number of darts it takes for player to complete a leg.|
|Spread Betting||a bet based on the accuracy of the prediction, rather than a win or lose outcome.|
|9 Dart Finish||a bet that a player will complete a leg (501 points) using just nine throws.|
|Highest 3 Dart Average||a bet on which player will have the highest scoring average with three darts.|
|Correct Score||a bet on the correct score of the match (in sets) or set (in legs).|
|Winning Margin||A bet on the margin of difference between the players score, usually in sets.|
Darts Betting Tips
Darts is an interesting sport for tips and tipsters, because, relatively speaking, external influences do not change from tournament to tournament. By and large, the rules, conditions, home advantage, climate etc. are all the same. So unlike, say, football, these elements do not need to be factored into your betting selection.
However, that certainly does not mean you shouldn’t read darts tips or do your own research. For example, there are around 250 players currently listed with odds for the PDC World Championship from all major bookmakers (not all will qualify though). It would be nearly impossible to have a detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses across such a large pool of players, so consulting experts or doing dedicated research yourself is essential.
OLBG gets plenty of traffic for darts tips, with both experts and fellow punters sharing their opinion on upcoming tournaments. Harry’s Tips, which is a Twitter account with over 30,000 followers, is also highly respected by darts gamblers. There is also a wealth of information, although not strictly related to betting, in darts podcasts, with Darts World Magazine’s free podcast among the most useful. Don’t forget, darts is all about rhythm, so you can actually learn a lot from the practice sessions or warm ups.
Again, regardless if you find the best dart tips online or not, we would always recommend doing your own bit of research before betting. While external influences don’t impact the sport as much as others, players performances can still be impacted by factors like the length of the match or whether the crowd is partisan or not. A site like Darts Database collects results and statistics, providing an invaluable tool to help your hunt for profits.
Betting systems and paid for tipping services should always be treated with caution. Mostly, it depends on how frequently you wish to bet on darts. If, for example, you bet once a week and are happy to make a small profit over the course of a year, it might be worth signing up to a subscription. But if you only like to bet on the big events, it is perhaps more fun to use your instinct and a little research to guide your bets.
BDO vs PDC
Somewhat confusingly, there are two major organisations that oversee professional darts – the BDO (British Darts Organisation) and PDC (Professional Darts Corporation). The PDC was created after a split with the BDO in the early 1990s. Both organisations run separate world championship tournaments, the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship (BDO) and the World Darts Championship (PDO). The BDO host a women’s world championship, whereas the PDC does not.
While neither is officially more prestigious than the other, there is certainly a consensus that the PDC has better players and certainly has more mainstream media exposure. Indeed, the prize money for the various PDC events often dwarfs that of its BDO counterparts. There is no difference between the darts rules in the two organisations. Players from both organisations can meet in one annual tournament, the Grand Slam of Darts.
World Darts Championship (PDC)
First held in 1994, the PDC World Darts Championship is arguably the sport’s premier competition. The winner of the tournament, which is held over Christmas and New Year at Alexandra Palace, London, will receive £500,000 in 2019. Robb Cross is the current PDC world champion.
Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship (BDO)
The original darts world championship was first held in 1978 and now takes place in January each year. Formerly known as the Embassy and now simply called the Lakeside, it is the BDO’s most prestigious event. Glen Durant is the current champion, receiving £100,000 in prize money for winning the 2018 event.
UK Open (PDC)
Launched in 2003, the UK Open is an annual event now held in March. It is sometimes referred to as the FA Cup of Darts, due to its mix of professionals and qualifiers from regional heats across the UK. It is currently held at Butlin’s Resort, Minehead. Gary Anderson is the reigning champion, receiving £70,000 for winning in 2018.
World Grand Prix (PDC)
Held in Dublin, Ireland, since 1998, the World Grand Prix is an international tournament that takes place in October. Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor dominated the tournament in its early days, winning it an unprecedented 11 times. Daryl Gurney is the current champion, taking home prize money of £100,000 in 2017.
World Matchplay (PDC)
Like the World Darts Championship, the World Matchplay also had its inaugural event in 1994 and now meets at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, each July. Gary Anderson is the current champion, taking home a prize of £115,000 in 2018. Once again, Phil Taylor holds the record for most victories (16).
Grand Slam of Darts (PDC)
Launched in 2007, the Grand Slam of Darts is operated by PDC but also invites the best players from the BDO to compete. However, of the 11 tournaments held so far, 10 have been won by PDC players, with only Scott Waites (2010) winning for BDO. Michael Van Gerwen is the current champion.
Players Championship Finals (PDC)
Held each November since 2007, the Players Championship Finals features the top 32 players in the PDC rankings. It is now held in Butlin’s Resort, Minehead, with a current prize fund of £460,000. Michael Van Gerwen is the most recent champion, winning four of the last five tournaments.
European Championship (PDC)
One of the few major PDC tournaments to be held outside of the UK, the European Championship has been in various locations (dates vary) on the continent since the inaugural event in 2008. Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen have both won it four times a piece.
The Masters (PDC)
A special non-ranking event contested among the top 16 players in the PDC rankings. The Masters is held in January at the MK Arena, Milton Keynes. Michael Van Gerwen is the most recent winner, walking away with £60,000 in prize money in 2018.
Premier League Darts (PDC)
A weekly league competition that runs from February to May, the Premier League was established in 2005. It is held in a variety of different venues across the UK and Europe, with the league system culminating in a knockout tournament in May. Michael Van Gerwen is the current champion.
World Series of Darts (PDC)
Launched in 2013, the World Series of Darts is a range of different ‘Masters’ tournaments held in different countries across the globe. The events now culminate in a World Series of Darts Finals, with champion Michael Van Gerwen claiming the top place in all of them to date.
World Cup of Darts (PDC)
A team competition in which pairs of players represent their countries. The World Cup of Darts was first held in 2010 and now has a permanent venue in Germany. The Netherlands (Michael Van Gerwen and Raymond Van Barneveld) are the current champions.
Champions League of Darts (PDC)
Launched in 2016 as a showcase for the top eight players in darts, the Champions League is held in the UK (various venues) in September. The current champion is Austrian player Mensur Soljovic, who took home £100,000 in prize money in 2017.
As has been demonstrated, there is plenty of reason to shop around to find the best darts odds, promotions and betting markets. It might surprise some to learn just how many darts tournaments there are and how frequently they occur. This, coupled with plenty of television coverage, has made betting and darts perfect bedfellows.
We would certainly recommend doing a bit of research before betting, whether it’s looking up top darts tips or using your own statistics. The game has enough excellent players to be competitive, but also enough unknown quantities, given its growing global reach, that value bets can be found.
Above all, you should bet on darts with a quality bookmaker. Those on our recommended list consistently provide superb darts betting coverage and have a reputation for offering generous terms and promotions to players.