With 3 darts and 104 left, where do you throw you 1st dart?
— Darts Checkout Assistant (@DartsCheckout) March 19, 2018
The results of this poll are very surprising. The top two results, T18 & T20, are actually the two worst options. With 104 left, it’s not about what you’re trying to hit but what happens if you miss. With both T18 and T20, a stray dart into the Single 1 (or Single 5) will leave you with two darts in hand and no chance for a checkout. A path of T18-S18-D16 has the added danger of the second dart joining the first in the Treble 18 for a painful bust.
A better option would be to start with Treble 19, Single 15 to leave Double 16. A miss into Single 7 leaves you with another attempt at Treble 19 to leave Tops. A miss to the right, into a Single 3, is a bit more difficult, requiring a Treble 17 for a Double Bull finish.
The best option is to start with a Treble 16, Single 16 to leave Double 20. An inadvertent Treble 16 with the second dart is no problem at all – just a Double 4 to win. Missing the first dart on either side of the 16 will still leave you with a two dart finish that doesn’t require a Double Bull. Four sixteens, Double Top, safety on both sides…that sounds like the smart way to go, right?
Occasionally, when I point out the dangers of a stray dart, the person I’m talking to will state that they’re not going to miss, which is the right attitude I guess. Unfortunately, even Michael van Gerwin misses the 20 completely with over 5% of his throws at Treble 20. Some top pros miss the 20 over 10% of the time. The average dart player probably misses 20-30% of the time. If there’s a way you can miss and still have a chance to win, isn’t that the smart play?
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