goal setting
sports science

How Darts Channels the Casino Spirit

Posted: 31.01.19 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category


photo by Santcomm CC BY-SA 3.0  : Darts has more in common with the casino than you think!

How Darts Channels the Casino Spirit

We all know that darts is a sport of skill, but casino games and card games can be just as skilful, and in fact the two worlds have much more in common than you might think. Both offer simple games that take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. Both are as much about playing your opponents as playing the game. And most excitingly of all, both offer huge prize money for the best of the best.

So let’s take a look at a few comparisons between darts and the casino. There are many correlations between the two worlds. Let’s start with the games themselves.

Easy games to learn

At its heart, darts is very easy to learn. The rules are simple and essentially, all you have to do is throw three darts and hit the board in the right place. The same is true of most casino games. Once you’ve learned the winning hands in poker, or how to play roulette, a casino classic that was named after the French word for “little wheel”, you can start to play straight away. Of course it is much easier to hit an individual number on the dartboard, than it is on the roulette wheel, but you can still win well in both games by playing the doubles and trebles.

Practice makes perfect

That said, with both types of game there is much more to it than just the basics, and it can take a lifetime to learn the different tactics and strategies in play. Practice makes perfect, whether you are putting in the hours at the oche, or studying the odds of different outcomes at the poker table. Natural talent is a big part of both worlds, but to be the best, and beat the best, you have to be prepared to put in the effort to constantly hone your game.

Mastering the psychology

Whether you are trying to disrupt the rhythm of your darts opponent, or attempting to read the body language of your fellow poker players, there’s a huge amount of psychology and mind games involved in securing a win. Not only do you need to get into the head of your opponent and work out what makes them tick, you also have to keep your own urges under control. It can be tempting to go for glory, whether that’s an ill-advised third treble in a crowded bed, or going all in on a bluff with nothing in your hand, but you need to know when to be aggressive and when to keep your powder dry.

Rolling with the punches

However much you practice, and however well you observe and learn from your opponents, there will always be times in the game when you just don’t get the breaks. Those agonising moments when the dart clips the wire and lands the wrong side, or the roulette ball drops into the slot right next to your number. To succeed in either arena, you have to take these tough breaks on the chin and move on. As soon as you let them get to you, and you start to feel that the gods are against you, your well-rehearsed skills and strategies will go out of the window, along with any chance you had of coming away as a winner.

Great Rewards

photo by Sven Mandel CC BY-SA 4.0    Rob Cross was £400,000 richer after winning the PDC World Darts Championship

One big thing that both games have in common is huge prize money for the very best of the best. When Rob Cross beat Phil Taylor 7-2 in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship, at Alexander Palace in 2018, he walked away with a cool £400,000 from a prize pot of over £1.8 million. The ten best players in Europe share £825,000 in prize money in Premier League Darts. And poker can be even more lucrative, with 2018 World Series of Poker winner, John Cynn, taking home a life changing $8.8 million from a massive prize pot of $74 million.

Great fun

Perhaps the most important thing that casino games and darts have in common is that they are both great fun, whatever level you play them at. Former World Darts Number One, Michael van Gerwen, even played a few hands at the WSOP to relax before the US Darts Masters in Las Vegas last year, swapping world dominance for a little novice action.

You don’t have to be a world champion to get a kick out of playing. You can throw a few darts in the pub at lunchtime, or have your mates round for a Friday night poker game, and everyone will enjoy themselves. That’s why these games are so popular to play, to watch and to win!


Posts by Month

Main Index