The first round is played in a first to 10 legs match, where the match must be won by 2 clear legs. If the leading player is not 2 legs clear after they win their 10th leg, they need to keep playing until one of the players is clear. At 12-12 the match goes into sudden death, where the player who wins the next leg wins the game.
The second round is played in a first to 13 legs between the 16 players who won the first round. The players are paired and then have to play in the first to 13 legs match, and the first player to 13 legs needs a 2 leg advantage to win the game. The match keeps going if the leader has not won by 2 clear legs until the match is tied at 15-15, and then it goes to sudden death.
The 8 winners of the second round proceed to the quarter finals, where they have to play in a first to 16 legs match, where they need to win by a 2 leg advantage and in case of a tie, the match goes into sudden death at 18-18.
The semi-finals are played in a match where the first player to win 17 legs and be 2 legs clear of their opponent wins. If the scores are still tied at 19-19, the match goes into sudden death.
The finals are played in a first to 18 legs match, which has the same criteria as the other rounds where the victor needs to be 2 legs clear, and if the scores tie at 20-20, the match goes into sudden death.
As well as being a prestigious tournament that all players want to try and win to climb up the world rankings, there are some extensive cash prizes for the finalists and those who advance further in the competition. The prize pool was raised in 2022 to £800,000 with £200,000 going to the champion.
There are prizes awarded to all of the contestants who play. In 2021 the prize pool was £700,000 with £150,000 going to the winner, £70,000 going to the finalists, £50,000 going to the semi-finalists, £25,000 going to the quarter finalists, £16,000 to those who reach the last 16 and £10,000 who enter the competition.
How to Bet on the World Matchplay
The World Matchplay is one of the most adrenaline pumping darts tournaments. Not only is it played in the beautiful Empress Ballroom, but it also features some of the best darts players in the world. Played over nine days, it offers darts fans a huge amount of action. Fans enjoy watching the competition for the high level of technique on display and they also enjoy following their favourite players.
Punters can also place a number of wagers on games to make the matches even more exciting. There are standard bets that can be placed and also some more exotic bets that can be found for punters who want to spice things up.
Bets can be placed even before the competition starts. Fans who may want to place wagers on their favourite players or back the favourites going into the competition can find odds on all contenders in advance of the tournament. There are 32 darts players who have a chance of winning the competition, meaning that the odds on each of them will be quite long. Even wagers placed on the favourites will have generous odds, making this quite a feasible bet to place.
Outrights can be found for which player will win the competition, but there also may be bets for which players will reach the semi-finals. These bets may also be found after the competition has started but the odds will change after the first matches are played.
To Win Bets
Bets can be placed on a player to win a match. These are the simplest bet and only require the bettors to predict which player they think will win. Odds will be offered for both players, and punters can place a bet on either player to win. These bets come at short odds as there are only 2 possible outcomes, but usually there is one favourite that has slightly shorter odds. Despite this, it can be a safer bet to place as it only requires the selected darts player to win, no matter how many legs it takes.
If the odds offered on the to win bets are not high enough for some punters, they may choose to try and place a spread bet. What this does is put a handicap on one of the players, which is either positive or negative. A negative handicap on a darts player such as -2.5 will mean the player needs to win the match by at least 3 legs. A positive handicap of the same value will mean a player needs to either win the match or not lose by more than 3 legs.
This can be a tricky bet to place, and the reason why +2.5 and -2.5 were chosen as an example, is because if one of the darts players reaches the limit, but is not 2 legs clear, then the bet is already over. A -2.5 spread will mean a darts player will have to reach the limit, such as 10 legs in the first round, 2 legs clear of their opponent. If the match ties at 9-9, the bet has already been lost.
On the other hand, a bet on a darts player with a spread of +2.5 will mean they only have to reach 9-9 in the same round for the bet to win. Even if the player goes on to lose the match in the next few legs, with the spread they will always be ahead.
The negative spreads make the odds on a darts player significantly longer, but come at greater risk. The positive spreads reduce the odds on a player, but they are easier to win.
Number of Legs (Totals)
If a bet is available on the number of legs in a match, this means punters can predict how many legs they think the round will be concluded in. This bet will highly depend on the round, as the number of legs needed to win a match are increased after each round. Bettors may find some good odds if they place bets on matches to finish in a relatively low or high number of legs. In the finals, where the game is played to a first to 18 legs, a bet on the match to finish with over 34 legs for example is quite high and can offer huge odds. A bet for the match to finish with under that amount is more reasonable and may not offer as much.
To take advantage of the bet, punters can try to look for previous head to head results between the two players, and their previous results in the competition, if it is a later round. The statistics may help determine whether the darts players are evenly matched, and therefore have a higher chance of both winning a large number of legs, or whether the game may finish with one darts player easily winning without losing many legs.
Game props in darts can be some of the most fun bets if they are available. These bets may relate to the final outcome, such as a darts player to go down by 4-0 and then come around and win the game, or they may involve a more general detail such as will there be a nine dart finish in the match. In general, prop bets can be a huge amount of fun and offer extremely long odds as they are so difficult to predict.