Aiming darts may seem like a simple task. But it is actually a skill that requires precision, patience, and practice. To consistently hit your target, whether for playing darts casually or competitively, you must learn how to aim a dart.
Being able to control and direct the flight of your darts can make all the difference in your game, giving you a competitive edge and improving your accuracy.
From proper stance to aiming technique, this article will provide you an overview of how to aim a dart and score higher with every throw.
So let’s get started and learn the tips and techniques to help take your dart aiming to the next level.
Why is Proper Aiming Important in a Dart game?
Proper aiming significantly impacts your score. If you do not aim correctly, you may hit a different section of the board, leading to fewer points or even a complete miss.
Moreover, the consistent aim can help you develop muscle memory, which is crucial for accurate throws.
Let’s know more about why proper aiming is essential and how it can take you closer to winning:
1. Aids in hitting high-scoring area
Correct aiming can help you hit the dartboard’s high-scoring areas more often, maximizing your scoring potential.
Also, knowing where to aim, depending on the skill level, helps to score better. It isn’t always about aiming for the highest scoring area.
Sometimes, you might need to accurately hit the area you choose not to worsen the score or finish the game with a double.
2. Reduces bounce-outs
Aiming properly can also help to reduce bounce-outs, which occur when the dart hits the wire.
Yes, it might happen because of the low quality of the dartboard or dart or putting less pressure while throwing.
But aiming from the wrong angle might be why that keeps happening even after getting the best dartboard, darts, or putting optimal pressure. Changing the positioning and the angle while aiming can solve this.
3. Consistent aim develops muscle memory
Developing muscle memory is an important part of improving aiming skills when you aim consistently and practice your technique regularly, your brain and body learn how to repeat that movement pattern.
This muscle memory allows you to aim better and throw accurately and consistently, even under pressure or in high-stress situations.
Aiming properly and developing muscle memory can improve your overall performance and increase your chances of success.
4. Helps to improve your throwing technique
A better throw is an overall combination of using the correct grip, stance, proper aiming, suitable throwing motion, pressure, etc.
All these together help you to develop a consistent and accurate throwing technique. Correct aiming plays a vital role in that.
How to Aim Darts: A Step-by-Step Guide
The proper aiming technique is a vital component of success. You need to pay close attention to details.
Let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to aim a dart.
1. Determining your dominant eye: A crucial first step
What is the dominant eye?
The dominant eye is the one that your brain prefers to use when it processes visual information. It works better than your other eye, mainly when focusing on a target.
So, it is natural to use it while targeting without realizing it. But the dominance difference in eyes varies from person to person.
Why is finding your dominant eye important for darts?
The first step in aiming darts is to identify your dominant eye. As it processes visual information better than the other, using your dominant eye when lining up your shot can help you aim more precisely. It can increase the chances of hitting the target.
How to find the dominant eye?
Most right-handed people are right-eye dominant and vice versa. Knowing which one is the dominant eye for those with eye problems might be obvious.
While for some, it might be a bit different too. Follow the introductions below to find it.
- Make a triangle with thumbs and index fingers, leaving a small opening in the middle.
- Look through the opening with both eyes, keeping the bullseye at the center.
- Now, close your left eye.
- If the bullseye stays in the center, the right eye is the dominant eye, and vice versa.
2. Choosing the right target
Once you have identified your dominant eye, the next step is to choose your target. Choosing the right target in darts is a deciding factor for overall performance, and score.
By considering your skill level, experience, and the scoring system, you can determine the best targets to aim for. Targeting the bullseye or the highest-scoring area isn’t always the answer.
For example, in 501, the most common game played worldwide, the double bullseye gets 50 points at a time. Whereas triple 20 is worth 60 points. So, if you are better at aiming, obviously triple 20 is mostly suggested to be your go-to. But you need to keep ‘bust’ in mind as well.
As you exactly need 0, finishing with double to win, it’s essential that you calculate all the scoring before targeting. The highest you can hit is triple 20 thrice and finish with a double 1 to win. If you miss the double 1, that will cause a bust. So, choose strategically.
Where should a beginner aim in darts?
It depends on the scoring system. For the most popular game 501, beginners should choose between 8 to 16 segments. In comparison, average players should try going for triple 19.
You might think that targeting the highest is always good. But that can make things worse. Because the stakes for targeting 20 is higher too, as it has 1 and 5 beside it.
So, if complete beginners try to hit triple 20, it might make them lose the possibility of more points.
3. Proper dart stance: How to stand for better aiming?
Your stance or the whole body position while standing, is a vital factor while aiming darts. First, you must be behind the oche or throw line. It’s generally 2.37 meters far from the dartboard’s face. It will be 2.44 meters for soft-tip or electronic dartboards.
Most common dart throwing stances are the side stance, forward stance and angled stance. But there is no right stance for all. It can vary from person to person. Focus more on your comfort than what others are succeeding with.
Experiment with different stances to find the most stable and comfortable one for you. Until then, try the stance below that balances the essentials for a better aim and throw:
- Keep your body straight and relaxed.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep the shoulders level and straight.
- Choose a comfortable angle between 45°-90° and align your torso and shoulders.
- Keep your dominant foot at the front. It should stay flat.
- You may lift the back foot slightly to balance.
4. Perfecting your dart grip
The next step is to hold the dart correctly with the appropriate grip. There are different types of grips. Like the 2-finger dart grip, 3-finger, 4-finger grip, etc.
The most common one is the 3-finger grip. It’s suitable for most players as it provides moderate control and ease of release.
– How to grip the dart? (3-finger grip)
- Use your thumb, index, and middle finger to hold the dart. First, place the thumb a bit behind the dart’s center of gravity.
- Then, put your index and middle finger on the barrel.
- Keep the other 2 fingers open and relaxed.
5. Positioning your arm, elbow, and wrist
Properly positioning your arm, elbow, and wrist when throwing a dart is vital to achieving better aim and accuracy.
You can follow the steps below to ensure that you set yourself up for accurate aiming:
- Your upper arm should be parallel to the ground.
- Keep your shoulder, elbow, and wrist aligned at the angle of 90°.
- The elbow should be slightly up and point at the dartboard.
6. Find a sight line
What is sight line or line of sight?
A sight line is an imaginary line that goes straight from your dominant eyes to your hand, the dart, and ends at your chosen target. The main purpose behind choosing a sight line is to keep your eyes on the target. Having a proper line of sight is essential to dart aiming. It helps to aim precisely.
Use a marker for sight line
It’s natural to find the sight line with practice and patience. You can start by using a marker to align properly. Keep the aiming marker at the same line as the target. You can use the dart tip itself as an aiming marker. Depending on the dart grip, you can also consider the thumb knuckles or even the pinky finger.
7. Keep your dart tip up
Holding the tip of your dart up can significantly improve your accuracy. It’s because darts go toward the board in a parabolic curve. So, if you point it straight, the dart will go downward. Thus, it must be kept slightly upwards to land it on the target. It basically helps you maintain a consistent throwing angle, which is important for precision.
8. Steady as you throw for successful and consistent aiming
When it comes to dart aiming, consistency is key. It’s crucial to avoid any unnecessary movements or jerks that can affect your aim. Focus on a smooth and consistent throwing motion. Keep your arm and body still throughout the throw, except for the necessary movement to release the dart.
Tips to Improve Dart Aiming
Improving your aiming in darts takes practice and patience. Apart from the step-by-step guide, you can follow a few basic tips to increase your chances of hitting the target. Here are some of them.
1. Set up the dartboard correctly
Before you start practicing your aiming, make sure that the dartboard is set up correctly. The bullseye should be 5 feet 8 inches from the ground. Make sure that the board is securely mounted and that the surrounding area is clear of any obstacles that may interfere with your throw.
If you don’t set up the dartboard correctly, it might build the wrong muscle memory. That will have a bad impact on your accuracy.
2. Analyze and understand your style
Knowing your own style of aiming is essential for improving your aiming skills. By studying the techniques of professional players like Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen, you can learn from their successes and apply their strategies to improve your game. But cloning their strategies isn’t the answer.
Instead, know their style, study it, and experiment with different aiming styles. And choose the one that suits you the best.
3. Start by aiming the central area above the bullseye
The central area of the dartboard is the easiest to hit. If you aim for the areas too above or down, you might even miss the board. Especially targeting a spot below the bullseye might cause this because of the dart’s parabolic curve. Once you successfully aim for the central area and get consistent, start aiming for the other areas of the board to increase your score.
1. Why do darts keep going left?
Mostly for right-handed players, the dart tends to go toward the left when the elbow isn’t up while throwing. Focusing on your grip and body position, especially keeping the elbow up when throwing solves this problem in most cases. However, dart’s quality, release point, etc. can be a reason for that too.
The standard distance to stand from a steel-tip dartboard is 7 feet 9, and 1/4 inches (2.37 meters), measured from the front of the board to the oche or throw line. Whereas for a soft tip or electronic dartboard it’s 8 feet (2.4384 meters).
3. How can I improve my darts’ accuracy?
You need to focus on the small details of your stance, grip, aim, throwing technique, release point, and follow-through to improve your accuracy. It requires the combination of these all along with consistent practice, persistence and patience.
Summing it up
Aiming darts properly requires a merge of physical and mental skills, including hand-eye coordination, focus, patience, and perseverance. To aim effectively, one needs to determine their dominant eye, choose the right target, find a comfortable grip, body position, sight line, throwing motion, etc. In addition, experiment with different techniques and strategies to find your best.
Mastering the art of aiming darts is an exciting journey, and each missed shot presents an opportunity to learn and improve. Whether for competitive play or fun with friends, learning how to aim darts is a worthwhile pursuit. So, grab your dart, practice your aim, and let the good times roll!
You might also like: