World Darts Championship: The essential betting guide

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The World Darts Championship is the biggest event of the year in darts, where the best players in the world gather for the right to be called the best in the world heading into the new year, with a massive prize for the winner to boot. In this guide to the World Darts Championship, we will provide tips on how to bet on darts, relive the history of the event, and preview the event, which should be one of the best ever.

World Darts Championship History

world darts 180 score

The World Darts Championship is an annual event organized by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), that takes place at the end of the year, and is completed in the beginning of the new year, to crown that year's World Darts Champion. The event takes place in London, England, and features the best darts players in the world, all vying for a massive prize pool and the right to be called the best in the world.

This great event was established in 1994, and was known as the World Darts Championship at the time, back when the PDC was known as the World Darts Council. When the WDC broke away from the British Darts Organization, the WDC was forced to change its name, and the World Darts Championship carried on, although players can now choose whether they want to enter the PDC or BDO's world championship tournament, while being restricted from doing both in the same year.

It should be noted that the World Darts Championship was not always the grand spectacle that it is now, especially from a financial perspective. For many years, the BDOs World Darts Championship had a higher prize pool and grand prize for the winner, which made it seem like a risky decision for players who decided to take part in the PDC edition of the competition instead. However, the prize pool and grand prizes have since been grown in the PDC World Darts Championship, to where there is now not much of a contest at all between the two competitions, both in terms of the ability on display and the money on the line at each tournament.

The first final of the PDC World Darts Championship saw England's Dennis Priestley defeat Phil Taylor by a massive 6-1 margin, for a grand prize that was just £16,000 at the time. Since then, the event and the prizes have grown, with the 2018 winner poised to take home £400,000 for winning the tournament.

Also changing since the first World Darts Championship has been the stature of Phil Taylor. The loser of the first World Darts Championship final, Taylor has since gone on to dominate the competition, as he has won a jaw-dropping 14 of the 24 titles that have been given out at this event. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Taylor has appeared in 18 of the 24 final matches that have been contested at the World Darts Championship, meaning that he has been in three out of every four World Darts Championship finals that have ever been held. With this being his last World Darts Championships before he gets set to retire, everyone will be asking whether or not he can grab one last title on his way out the door.

To put into perspective just how impressive Taylor's run of dominance has been, a quick comparison between him and his other competitors over the years should tell the story. No other player in the history of the World Darts Championship has won more than two titles in the event, with four players having reached that mark in their careers (Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis, and John Part). Of the ten titles that have not been won by Taylor in the history of the competition, four of those came from defeating Taylor in the final.

Taylor, by the way, has five of the top ten single match scoring averages in the history of the tournament, which explains just how dominant he has been during his time at the top of the competition. Later in this guide, we will take a look at how some bookmakers are finding a way to reward players who back Phil Taylor to win the World Darts Championship in exchange for those backers starting to play at their respective sites.

World Darts Championship Contenders

Michael van Gerwen darts world championship

Well, it goes without saying that Phil Taylor is at the top of the list of the strongest contenders to win the World Darts Championship. The now 57-year-old has been the best player in the world for a very long time, but the emotions that go along with retiring from something you have been at the top of for so long have to be enormous, and it will be interesting to see if he is able to keep his nerve under what much be a tidal wave of feelings as he prepares to say goodbye to the World Darts Championship for good.

The actual favorite to win the competition this year is Michael van Gerwen. This Dutch Dynamo has been at the top of the darts world for a long time, just like Taylor, but has already said that this will not be his final run at a world championship. Van Gerwen is the defending champion, having defeated Gary Anderson in last year's championship match. In addition to his 2017 World Darts Championship win, van Gerwen also took down the Grand Slam of Darts, Premier League, European Championship, and Players Championship over the last calendar year, proving that he is the world's number one player for a reason.

Speaking of Anderson, the Scotsman won the previous two World Darts Championships before van Gerwen took last year's competition. Seeded third in the draw, he faces a potential dream matchup in the quarterfinals between himself and the sixth seeded Taylor, with the chance to knock Taylor out of the World Darts Championship once and for all. While Anderson has had a nasty habit of finishing behind van Gerwen in big matches, it is possible that he finally gets his revenge this year.

Peter Wright has yet to win many competitions of note during his career, with the 2017 UK Open serving as his biggest championship. However, he is the second seed in the World Darts Championship, and deservedly so, as he is rated highly for his ability to throw with consistency. If he is able to get to the semifinals, he would face a potential matchup with either Taylor or Anderson for the right to face van Gerwen for the world championship. What a gauntlet that is.

Betting On Darts

Darts betting is growing in popularity year in and year out, thanks to the overall boom in sports betting around the world. What is great about betting on darts is that players are backing competitors based on their precision and consistency, whereas other sports are about sheer physicality. With such small margins for error in the world of darts, there are ways to find value all over the place if you know what to look for.

Just like in any other sport, darts betting involves a few different factors, with recent form being high up on the list. In darts, the smallest distance can be the difference between an accurate throw and an embarrassing miss, so it stands to reason that a player who is consistently hitting their spots will be a good player to back. At a level like the World Darts Championship, though, you can be sure that most players will be on elite form, which will require you to dig even deeper to find the right plays.

Darts Odds

When it comes to darts betting odds, one must first take a look at the different types of darts betting markets available before they can dig into the odds themselves. Knowing your markets before doing anything else can be the difference between a fun and profitable time, and being just as confused as you were before you got started, which is never enjoyable.

The most common type of darts odds come from the 1×2 betting market. This market is the most common of all darts betting markets, as it is for players who want to wager on who will win the match in question. Bettors have to lay down a little extra cash to back the favorite in a match using the 1×2 market, while underdog backers can lay down a smaller amount to win the same amount. How much money you need to risk to make your desired profit depends on the player you are backing and the odds for the match in question.

Darts betting odds can also encompass leg handicap markets. In a leg handicap, rather than just wagering on which player you think will win a given match, you are wagering on the number of legs won during the match, plus or minus a predetermined number of legs. If you wager on an underdog in a leg handicap scenario, the predetermined handicap number will be added to your player's total number of legs won, whereas that number would be subtracted from your total if you backed the favorite. Whichever side has the highest number of legs won after the handicap has been applied is the winner for the purposes of wagering in this betting market.

Players can also bet on darts betting odds concerning the total number of legs contested in a match. In totals markets, a predetermined number of legs will be posted by a bookmaker for a given match, and it is up to the bettor to decide whether they think the total number of legs played in that match will be over or under that number. This is where knowing the history between two players can come in handy, as seeing how competitive matches between players have been can inform you as to how competitive they will be in the future, factoring in recent form as well.

Finally, the other major darts betting market is the outright winner market. This acts as a form of futures betting, where a bettor can wager on who they think will win a tournament either before the tournament begins or after it has already started. Given that a player has to win a number of matches to be good for a payout on one of these wagers, it is possible to earn sizeable payouts by backing players to win outright markets instead of wagering on single matches, although there is more risk involved as there can only be one winner of each tournament.

How To Bet On Darts

set of darts

World Darts Championship bettors might be less experienced than those who bet on darts year round, as higher profile sporting events can attract more recreational bettors. There is no shame in this whatsoever, as everyone is free to play at their own pace and level of frequency. In this section of our World Darts Championship guide, we will give you a few tips on how to bet on darts, so you know what to look for and how to make the most of your World Darts Championship betting experience.

The first thing to remember when betting on darts, or any sport, is that the favorite is not always the best bet available. Some people say that the goal of any sportsbook is to create even action on both sides to ensure a profit on the vig laid down on every bet placed, while others say that the bookmakers are simply setting lines set to maximize their profitability without regard to keeping the action even. Either way, betting on favorites at all times in any competition, let alone one where every player is at a high level such as the World Darts Championship, is asking for trouble.

Instead of backing the favorite at every turn, look for spots where the favorite in a match appears to be overrated, either by those tasked with ranking the players in the darts community, or by the bookmakers themselves. This will require some work on your end to determine who is showing weakness that should keep them from being a favorite in their matches, but that work can pay off to the tune of lucrative sums should you find an underdog with friendly enough odds to make a healthy profit on.

The principle of avoiding a favorites-only betting strategy is especially true when betting on 1×2 darts betting markets. With darts being a sport where so much can change based on the placement of a dart being centimeters to one direction or another, there is always room for an underdog to have their day if they are throwing with precision and consistency. The key then becomes to find which underdogs are going to do that on any given day, which is always the challenge.

Elsewhere, when betting on leg handicap markets, it is important to keep in mind a player's mentality. More specifically, how does each player handle themselves when they have a lead to work with, or find themselves behind in a match. Of course, knowing what a player's mental state is like is important no matter which darts betting markets you choose, but World Darts Championship betting can really swing based on this criteria.

For example, when a player gets behind in a match, the margin of error that they have to work with decreases rapidly, and they have to begin to play more aggressively to catch up to their opponent. For some players, those two elements combined can result in errant throws, which can lead to an even bigger deficit that eventually becomes insurmountable. Knowing a player's history to see if they fall into this trap often can be a great way to determine if a player is worth backing against a leg handicap.

Conversely, players who get out to a big lead may have the potential to ease up once they think they have a match well in hand. While that may not be the case given the prestige and big prizes that come with winning the World Darts Championship, it is at the very least possible for a player to take their foot off the proverbial gas pedal and lose focus, leading to poor throwing that can open the door for an opponent to make a big comeback. Doing your homework and making sure that a player you back with a leg handicap is one who closes out matches with consistent focus is another way to keep yourself on the right track with regards to decision making.

World Darts Championship bettors who take part in totals wagers would be advised to find some sort of balance between relying on data from past matches between players as well as going by recent form to determine whether they should make bets on the over or under for a given match. The key there is to not place too much weight on one set of data points over the other, as both are important to determining which side of the total you should be on.

Of course, this is all only scratching the surface in terms of the vast number of darts betting odds there are to choose from. Bettors can bet on things like the number of 180s there will be in a given match or tournament, whether or not a series will be finished in 9 darts, whether or not a player will reach the finals of the World Darts Championship, and countless other groups of betting odds that make wagering on darts as fun as it is.

The key then is to find a bookmaker that carries the darts betting markets that you have an interest in wagering on. Most sites will have the basic markets such as match winner and leg handicaps, but making sure that you can bet on the number of 180s in a match if that is what you are interested in doing is essential to you having a positive experience with the bookmaker of your choice, as not being able to bet on the things you want to kind of defeats the purpose of betting, doesn't it?

Darts Betting Odds

Odds for every World Darts Championship match, along with its individual markets and the outright winner market can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. With this in mind, it is key to take the time to determine which bookmaker site has the most favorable darts betting odds, to help you determine where you should do your World Darts Championship betting. While there may only be small variations between the odds at different bookmakers, those small differences add up when you make a large number of wagers over a long period of time, so finding the site with the best darts odds can be a big money saver down the road.

Using Oddschecker to determine which bookmaker has the best darts betting odds for the World Darts Championship is a great way to find a site that will work best for you. Oddschecker compares the markets for the darts matches of your choosing and compiles them all onto one screen, so you can see which site has the best odds for the matches and markets that you want to wager on. This makes it easier to find that information than having to manually go from website to website, and is a very useful tool not just for comparing darts betting odds, but for comparing betting odds in all sports.

Of course, it is important to note that different players will have different needs when it comes to darts betting odds, as some players will prefer to bet on different markets than others, and that no two bettors will have the same exact interests when it comes to what they are looking to wager on. When researching sites that have the best odds to determine the correct site for you, be sure to look at a number of different matches to get an appropriate sample size of odds for the things that you like to bet on, in order to satisfy your unique needs.

World Darts Championship Latest Odds

As the World Darts Championship continues to inch nearer to its crowning of a 2018 world champion, it is important to keep an eye on the odds to win the competition, as well as the matches leading up to that final match. Keeping an eye on the odds of matches and tournaments as the event is going on is a great way to get an idea as to who is performing well, who bettors are losing faith in, and where money is being placed at various bookmakers.

Below is a list of World Darts Championship odds, to give you an idea as to where things stand at the current moment. The odds will vary from this point throughout the tournament, so it would be prudent to take a screenshot of these odds or put them into a spreadsheet to be able to compare them to the updated odds later in the tournament, to see if there are spots that present value later on in the tournament.

World Darts Championship Latest Results

As you place your bets on the World Darts Championship, having a place to keep track of those results is vital. Down below is a list of the World Darts Championship latest results, so you know where you stand both with relation to your wagers, as well as just from the perspective of the tournament itself, should you be looking to keep track of the results of certain players with potential future wagers in mind, which you can put into your own spreadsheet or other method of aggregating data.

Best World Darts Championship Betting Promos

William Hill World darts championship

As is the case with any form of sports betting, finding a good promo to take advantage of can be the difference between a good sports betting experience and a great sports betting experience. Having extra funds to play with or finding a boosted price for a market that you wanted to bet on anyway is an excellent way to stretch your bankroll just a little bit further, keeping the fun rolling even longer. The following World Darts Championship promos are the best we found, along with some of the better sports betting promos that exist as well.

With an event as big as the World Darts Championship, it is only natural that you are going to see a number of price boosts made available to players on outright winner markets. What this means is that bettors are going to see increased odds if they select the player that the bookmaker has boosted the price on to win the tournament. In the case of this year's World Darts Championships, that means plenty of price boosts on Phil Taylor to win the competition.

Coral is offering Taylor at a 10/1 price boost, while Betfair is offering Taylor at 8/1 odds with a money back offer if he fails to win the World Darts Championship. Both of these offers are great, in that they sharply increase the price for Taylor to win, and you then have the choice between the drastically increased 10/1 odds or the still very much increased 8/1 odds, with the added luxury of knowing that you will get your money back should Taylor fail to bring the title home.

Elsewhere, there are some rather impressive options available for money back offers on unique finishes to losing bets, that are a nice consolation if your selection fails to go the way that you had hoped. Paddy Power, for one, is offering players their money back on losing bets where the final checkout from the player that defeated your selection is 100 or more. Boyle Sports, in a similar vein, is refunding players whose selections lose when closed out by a bullseye. Both of those are tough ways to lose, so it's nice to have a little shoulder to cry on in the form of getting your money back should that happen to you.

No deposit bonuses are something that are more common in the online casino industry, specifically when it comes to slots. However, that genre of bonus has found a place in the World Darts Championship, as 10bet is offering players a £5 no deposit bonus to get new players at the site started. While this is, of course, not a life changing sum of money, it is a nice way to get started with a new site, without having to risk any of your own funds.

Be sure when picking a site with a darts betting promo that you want to take advantage of, to read the site's terms and conditions for that promo. While nothing fails to add to the exciting vibe of betting on sports quite like having to sit down and read some terms and conditions, doing so will help you make sure that you can take full advantage of the promotion you have your eye on, and will make your experience as a whole a much more positive one.

Also, remember that you do not need to choose a sports betting site based solely on the darts promos that they have available. Be sure to weigh the available welcome bonuses that each site has to offer as well, in addition to the available betting markets and quality of odds that we mentioned earlier in this guide. There are a lot of things to weigh when picking a sportsbook to start your account with. Remember to take your time and to weigh all of your options carefully and thoughtfully, so that when you are done you will be able to enjoy your darts betting as much as humanly possible.

Remember that there is a lot to think about when taking part in darts betting. If you make sure to take things one step at a time, do your homework, and manage your money carefully, there is no reason why you cannot be successful. Good luck, and enjoy the World Darts Championship.

World Darts Championship: The essential betting guide
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Updated on 20 December 2017

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