When working your way down to a checkout, don’t forget the middle of the board. The bullseye offers both the highest Single and the highest Double score on the board.
We know there are quite a few 2 dart checkouts that end with Double Bull, like 110, 107, 104, 101 and, quite often, the 61-70 range, but there are also some interesting three dart checkouts that start with the Bullseye.
Let’s take a look at a few of them (with three darts in hand):
So why throw at the Bullseye instead of a Treble? Well, for starters, the total area of the Bullseye is about 3x the size of a Treble bed. Granted, the area of the Double Bull is only half the size of a Treble, but this still leaves you with a Single Bull that is more than 2.5x the size of a Treble. For every six darts that find part of the Bullseye, five of them will probably end up in the Single Bull.
This works well for 61 & 65 where a Single Bull will leave two darts at a Double.
From 66, a Double Bull will leave two darts at D8 or a Single Bull will leave you at 41, which is a manageable Single 9, Double 16. The danger is in missing the bull completely and possibly not getting below 61. (If you can get down to 60 or less with two darts remaining, you can finish with a Single and a Double.)
For the checkouts in the 80’s, the advantage of throwing at the bull is that a Single Bull will leave you with 60 or less. 82 is the best of these in that the Double Bull gets you 2 darts at Double 16, but a Single Bull still leaves a manageable 57. The disadvantage is that most of these turn a Treble-Double two dart checkout into a three dart checkout.
Throwing a Single Bull with a score of 91-95 leaves you with 66-70, which can be taken out with a Treble-Double or Single-Double Bull. For example, 91 can be taken out SB-T16-D9 or SB-S16-DB. There is a small risk here of having the Double Bull blocked by the first dart in the Single Bull. Hitting the Double Bull with the first dart leaves 41-45, which can be taken out with a Single-Double combination. Unfortunately, all of these turn potential two dart checkouts (Treble, Double) into three dart checkouts. It’s probably best to go the Treble-Double route.
122 and 125 work well with either a Single Bull or Double Bull first dart. Any bull and one Treble gets you to a Double. This seems better than having to hit two Trebles to reach a double.
132 and 135 also work with either a Single Bull or Double Bull first dart, but have a little added risk in possibly needing to finish with a Double Bull with a Single Bull already in the board.
It’s not a checkout, but keep the bullseye in mind when working your way down to 170. Throwing your third dart at bull instead of the 20’s with 195 or 192 is a smart move – a Single Bull will leave you on a checkout where a Single 20 will not.
To become more comfortable using the bull, try the Two Dart Options practice routine on our Practice page.
Questions? Comments? Tweet to @DartsCheckout