How To Throw Darts | Tips For Dart Throwing
In this article, we shall aim to teach you how to throw darts like a pro. We'll cover all the main tips for dart throwing such as grip, stance, throwing technique and release to help you develop a technique that best matches your playing style.
There are a few important factors to keep in mind when gripping a dart. How you hold your dart, how tight you grip it, and how many fingers you should use are all key components that will help you to perfect your dart grip.
How to hold a dart
While holding your dart, it is important to hold the dart at a point of control that is not too relaxed, yet firm enough to allow you the accuracy required to hit your target.
Gripping the dart too tightly is one of the most common errors when learning how to throw darts, so it is key that you find a point you are comfortable with. If you find your muscles tensing up during your grip, you're probably holding your dart too tightly.
It is always better to start relaxed and tighten up your grip to find the correct amount of tension.
How many fingers should you hold your dart with?
There are multiple ways of holding your dart. You shall want to use at least two fingers, with many players opting to use three, and some even four.
While more fingers shall grant you more control over the dart initially, it can make releasing your dart more difficult.
Holding a dart with three fingers (thumb and two fingers):
The most common method of holding a dart is using three fingers, consisting of your thumb along with your pointer and middle finger.
Your thumb should be used to determine the center of gravity and is the finger used as the support during your dart throw.
The remaining two fingers, your pointer, and middle finger are the fingers that shall be guiding the dart.
Holding a dart with four fingers (thumb and three fingers):
Some players prefer the four-finger technique, using three fingers and a thumb instead of two.
While this is generally down to personal preference, the length of the barrel on your dart is also a factor worth considering.
A thicker, longer barrel may be easier to hold and maintain accuracy by using four fingers, while a shorter barrel may only require three.
Realistically it comes down to what you feel most comfortable with. We recommend giving multiple techniques a try to find the grip that is most comfortable for you, and overall allows you to maintain the best accuracy.
Maintaining a proper stance is an equally important part of learning how to throw darts correctly.
A great way to pick this up is to watch the stance of the pros during a live game. Take note of the placement of their feet, along with how their line of sight matches the target they are aiming for, and the dart itself.
A golden rule for beginners is to follow the "Right Foot Forward" stance (or left foot for you lefties).
The weight should be shifted on to your dominant foot, while your back foot should be used for support, maintaining a solid posture.
You may find yourself having your back heel raised, but otherwise, your feet should remain firmly planted in this position, helping to prevent any movement.
Should I learn forward when throwing darts?
You are welcome to learn towards the board while throwing your dart.
However, it is worth noting that the further forward you lean, the more unbalanced your throw can be.
If you do find a preference in learning forward when throwing your darts, you must keep this lean consistent throughout your throws.
More importantly, you should always be certain that your front foot does not pass the throw line.
Aim & Release
You've found your preferred grip and perfected your stance - it's time to aim your dart and release it at your target.
It may seem a simple concept, but there are a few notes you should keep in mind while getting ready to throw your dart.
You should begin by raising your dart to eye level, with the dart to the side of your eye line.
The tip of your dart should always be pointing slightly upwards, as allowing your dart tip to plummet downwards or to the side can drastically damage your aim.
Your elbow should be pointing towards the dart board, and your shoulder kept still, with your arm and shoulder forming a 90-degree angle.
The tip of your dart should then be well aligned with the center of the board (the bullseye). If you are aiming at either side of this, you are almost certain to find yourself having a poor throw.
Bonus Tip: For most people, the dominant eye matches the side of their dominant hand. So if you are right-handed, there's a very good chance that your right eye is your dominant eye.
This isn't the case for everybody, so if you are unsure of your dominant eye, you can throw a round of darts - each with one eye closed.
Whichever eye you struggle to keep closed is your dominant eye, and the eye you that should be used for your coordination.
Throwing Your Dart
At this point, you should be ready to release your dart. When throwing your dart, you need to make sure you are throwing it using your hand and your wrist, with your shoulder kept still.
In general, your body should be kept still, with the only movement coming from your arm. At most, you may find that your elbow raises upon throwing your dart. This is generally natural and can happen due to the force of your throw.
While you should allow your hand to snap forward upon throwing your dart, be sure that it does not snap in a downward direction, as your dart shall follow this movement, and land lower than the target aimed for.
Snapping your wrist forward allows for increased acceleration of your dart, and generally assists in providing a more accurate throw.
The Follow Through
Upon releasing the dart, you should let your arm 'follow through', with your arm continuing the motion of the release and your fingers now pointing towards the target, or towards the ground.
You should keep your arm in the air for just a few seconds, helping to maintain good form.
Final Tips & FAQs
Getting The Correct Equipment
If you are serious about playing darts as a serious hobby, then learning how to throw darts is only the beginning.
It is important that over time, you acquire the correct equipment for your playing style.
If you have a local darts store, head on down and the staff will likely be more than happy to have a chat and guide you in the right direction.
You can also see our guide on purchasing a dart board if you are looking for a tournament standard board to practice on.
My darts always fly to the left of the target, what am I doing wrong?
If you find this happening a lot, you should check your stance. Start at your feet and work your way up to the positioning of your dart.
Try not to stress, as with enough practice your stance will start to occur naturally.
Darts is a game of skill, that ultimately requires regular practice. While we can point you in the right direction to help you master the basics, it is down to you to master the techniques that best work for you and help you to achieve your maximum potential.
The best advice we can give is to practice, consistently.
It can be frustrating learning all these various techniques and perfecting your throw, but with the right amount of practice, you are sure to have your technique nailed down in no time, at which point everything you have learned will just come naturally.
Don't be afraid to practice in public games down your local bar, or to invite a group of friends over for a fun tournament between yourselves.
Joining a league is also a great way to get yourself playing regularly against people of all different skill levels.