Darts Rules and Structure
In a darts game, known as a leg, two players play each other and try to score exactly 501 points, ending with either the bullseye or a double. The dart board is divided into 20 numbered sections, with points 1 to 20, the circle in the middle is the "inner bull" or "double bull", this bullseye awards 50 points, and there is a small ring around the circle called the "outer bull" or "single bull" that offers 25 points. The large numbered sections have two thin rings on the outer and inner portions of the board, the outer thin ring will offer double the value of the numbered section, while the inner thin ring offers triple.
Players throw alternating shots, consisting of three darts, the maximum points that a player can accrue in their shot is 180 points, which would need them to land three triple 20s.
The players start with 501 points, and all points they land in each throw will be deducted from the 501, the first player to reach 0 is the winner, although they have to be careful to finish their shot with a double. If a player lands too many points in the round, and their score goes under zero, then their shot will be forfeited and their score will be reset to the value it was at the start of the shot. This action is called going “bust”, and players who go bust will have to wait for their following shot to continue.
There are some combinations that darts players can use to win the game in the least amount of shots, these are called the "Nine Dart Finishes". With merely three shots, comprising nine darts being thrown at the board, players can win the leg in the fastest way possible, this is the darts equivalent of a maximum 147 break in snooker, or a 300 point bowling game.
The fastest way to achieve a nine dart finish is if the player can score triple 20s (60 points each) on all of the first six throws. This will mean they will have 141 points left in their final shot, this is also known as the outshot. Here are some of the most common combinations players have used to achieve the nine dart finish:
- Triple 20 (60), triple 19 (57) and double 12 (24)
- Triple 20 (60), triple 15 (45) and double 18 (36)
- Triple 17 (51), triple 18 (54) and double 18 (36)
Another combination is by scoring evenly across all three shots, for this method players will need to score three shots of 167 points each. This nine dart finish can be achieved with three shots of the following combination:
- Triple 20 (60), triple 19 (57) and bullseye (50)
The Structure of the Premier League Darts
The format of the Premier League Darts consists of a double robin-round between all the contestants. What this means is each player will play games against the other contestants twice, and they will rack up points on a scoreboard that will determine the winners. Each of the nights will consist of a quarter finals, semi-finals and a final played over the best of 11 legs. At the conclusion of each of the nights, the players will be given points according to how they fared in the mini-event, with the winner given a bonus:
- Night Winner - 5 points + £10,000 bonus
- Runner-Up - 3 points
- Semi-Finalists - 2 points
Each night the mini-events will be held in different venues around the UK and Ireland as well as in Germany.
At the end of May, the League concludes. The top four league finishers proceed to the Finals, where they play two semi-finals in a best of 19 legs, and a final between the two winners of the semi-finals. The finals are a best of 21 legs, which is the longest game in the entire Premier League Darts, these events are highly anticipated by fans and have sometimes even gone down to the last legs.
The excitement finally ends when the finals finish, and the winner of the finals is awarded the Premier League Darts title.
History of the Premier League Darts
The tournament was first launched in 2005 by the PDC, the first tournament originally comprised only seven contestants. With a prize pool of £150,000, the contestants battled it out in 11 different venues, and then proceeded to the playoffs and then the finals, which were the best of 31 legs. Phil Taylor, nicknamed "The Power" won the league and the final in the first competition, beating fellow Englishman Colin Lloyd 16-4 in the G-Mex Complex in Manchester.
The following events saw the change of sponsors, and the prize pool was raised each year. The number of contestants also varied through the years, and the location and size of the venues grew accordingly. In 2012, the finals were played in the 02 Arena, a venue almost double the size of the original finals venue with 20,000 seats.
By 2016, the popularity of the Premier League Darts had greatly expanded beyond the British Isles, and the competition now included a venue in Holland, the Rotterdam Ahoy. Since then the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany has been added, and in 2022, the Berlin based stadium will host the first final that is not in Britain. With new sponsors Cazoo, the 2022 will also break another record, with the prize pool finally going into seven figures at £1,000,000.
Records and Top Darts Players
Since its opening, the Premier League Darts has been the playing field of some of the greatest darts players. The current top players are
2005-08 - Phil Taylor
2009 - James Wade
2010 - Phil Taylor
2011 - Gary Anderson
2012 - Phil Taylor
2013 - Michael van Gerwen
2014 - Raymond van Barneveld
2015 - Gary Anderson
2016-19 - Michael van Gerwen
2020 - Glen Durrant
2021 - Jonny Clayton
Nine Dart Finishes:
2006, week 5 - Raymond van Barneveld
2010, week 12 - Raymond van Barneveld
2010, Final (Twice) - Phil Taylor
2012, week 2 - Phil Taylor
2012, semi final - Simon Whitlock
2017, week 11 - Adrian Lewis
2017, week 11 - Adrian Lewis
2020, week 4 - Michael Smith
2020, night 11 - Peter Wright
2021, night 3 - Jonny Clayton
2021, night 4 - Jose de Sousa
How to Bet on the Premier League Darts
The popularity of darts is huge in the UK, but it also has a growing fanbase around the world. With the popularity, it is only natural for fans to have favourite players who they want to watch and back at each event, and at mr.play you will find extensive betting markets allowing you to do just this.
We cover every game in the tournament, and you will also find live bets in case you want to get involved during the game. Our main markets include the Game Odds and Outrights. With Game Odds you will be able to place bets on the winners of each game, and the Outrights include a number of bets such as who will win the League, who will qualify for the Playoffs, who will win the Tournament and so on.
If you check through our markets, you may also find a number of props bets for the bigger events (such as the playoff rounds).
These are a great way of personalising your bet slip to find the perfect odds. If you do want to place some bets on darts, be sure to also check out any running promotions we may have, to hopefully bring you even more winnings.
It is important to remember that you should only ever gamble responsibly. This means that you should never bet with money that you can’t afford to lose. If you feel you need some help with responsible gambling then you can turn to organisations such as Gambleaware.co.uk for advice.