Darts Practice Part 4 – The World’s Best Practice Routine?

I hope you have enjoyed this mini-series on practice. So far, we have covered several different topics, some of which can be overlooked when setting up a practice regime that is designed to enhance your game.

The last post gave an interesting twist to the Warm Up routine and changed it into a challenging and exciting practice session that is suitable for all skill levels. If you haven’t seen it, you can find it HERE:

In this post I will add some more routines that fit the Darts Finishing University criteria:

  • It is scalable to grow as your skill improves
  • It is measurable, and allows you to track your progress
  • It allows you to “Drill Down” on whatever part of your game you want to work on.
  • It is interesting and enjoyable
  • It is challenging, but not so much that it puts you off.
  • It has intensity, and makes you try with each and every dart

Bob’s 29

This routine was originally invented by 1988 World Champion Bob Anderson. It is a fantastic practice routine that is as rewarding as it is frustrating. And it is extremely addictive.

You start with an odd number. I stated 29 in the title above, but it can be any number you feel comfortable with. If you are just starting out, then start on a higher number of 51 or even more. Once you beat it a few times, lower the starting number until you reach the 25-29 area. Then you will be hitting the doubles like a Pro!!

Here’s how it works:

You start with the odd number you allocated to yourself at the beginning. You then throw all 3 darts at each double in turn, starting at 1 and going all the way to 20 and then the bullseye (it must be the red bullseye, unless you are just starting out. If this is the case, then the bullseye can mean either green or red).

So, you start on D1. You add whatever you hit to the total score, so let’s say you hit one double 1 out of the 3 darts. You add 2 points to your score of 29 (or whatever you started out with), putting you on 31. If you hit two doubles you would add 4 points, or 6 if you hit all three.

If you miss with all 3 darts, you subtract the value of that double from your overall score. In this instance, you started with 29 points. You miss all 3 darts at D1, so you subtract 2 points from the total, leaving you on 27 points.

You then move on to D2 and repeat the process. If you hit one double out of the 3 darts, you add 4 points to your score, and if you hit 2 doubles you add 8 points, and 12 if you hit all 3. If you miss with all 3 darts, you subtract the value of the double from your score – in this case 4 points. Then you repeat the process on D3, D4, D5 and so on.

Now here’s the part which makes this game so addictive: If your score goes below zero you have lost the game. You are out and have to start again at D1.

You will be amazed at the number of times you get as far as D18, D19 or D20 – or even the bullseye – before losing the game.

It’s arguably the best practice routine for hitting doubles ever invented, and a lot of credit has to go to Bob Anderson for sharing it with the world.

When you first begin this practice routine, just being able to complete it will be an achievement in itself. But for reference purposes, and these are just my own humble opinions, a score in the 100+ range is a good average score. 200+ is a good, solid score, and 300+ is really getting up there as a very good score. If you can get over 400 you are doing extremely well, and anything above 600 is elite level.

Good luck with this routine. I think you will enjoy it, and it will become a challenge all of itself. Don’t despair if you are just starting out and struggling to finish the game. Raise the starting number and go from there. Lower it once you can complete it at the higher number. Once you reach 25-27, stick with it and see how high you can get with the scores.

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This is a great practice game where you give yourself a set amount of darts to hit 170. This routine will give you plenty of practice on different finishes, depending on what you leave yourself after each turn, and of course you get to throw at the big one every time you start. When you hit it, especially for the first time, the feeling is ethereal.

If you practice this solo, give yourself a set amount of darts to hit the finish. If you don’t get it within the specified number of darts, go back to 170 and start again.

If you are just starting out, give yourself 12, 15, or even 18 darts to get this finish. As your skill and confidence increases, lower the number of darts to 6-9. This will give you a lot of practice on many different finishing combinations, and when used in conjunction with Darts Finishing Mastery: How to Master the Art of Finishing, it will help immensely in learning the finishes and getting them ingrained in your head.

This is also a great game for practicing with other players. If there are two or even three of you, take it in turns to go for this finish. If there are two of you, you still have 9 darts to hit the finish (or 12 or more if you are both new to the game). Let’s say that you and a friend are practicing this routine:

You throw first at 170. You score 60 points. Your partner has to try to finish 110 with his 3 darts. He scores 54 points (20, 18, 16. If you are unsure why, get a copy of Darts Finishing Mastery: How to Master the Art of Finishing where EVERY finish from 2-170 is explained in great detail), to leave 56 after 6 darts. You then return to the board to take out 56 with either 2 or 3 darts. Your partner then starts the whole routine again, throwing at 170 with his first set of 3 darts.

Let’s say that you missed the 56 finish, leaving 20 after 9 darts. Because you only had 9 darts to complete the routine, then regardless of what score you left, your partner starts the whole routine again when he comes back to the board.

By practicing in this manner, it gives both of you the opportunity to throw for a big out-shot, as well as a good 1 or 2 dart finish, and more importantly, it gives both of you plenty of practice at setting up finishes for the next shot, which is hugely important.

If there are three of you playing, then each of you takes one throw each to finish 170. Once you successfully complete it, rotate who starts the routine so you each get to throw at different combinations and all three different components of this practice routine:

  • The big 170
  • The setup shot
  • Finishing from within the “Hot Zone” of 2-80

If there are more than three of you, then it is probably better to practice a different routine, of which there are plenty to choose from.

This is a great routine that should be a regular part of your practice. If you play in enough tournaments, you will see players of all standards practicing this game together all the time. It’s a great warm-up routine, it gets your arm going, and it gets you thinking about - and throwing for – the important doubles and finishes. Make sure this routine is a part of YOUR routine.

The above are two of the best practice routines available for hitting your doubles. As I have stated on many occasions, this is the most important part of the game, and it is where the bulk of your practice must be concentrated.

I hope you enjoy these challenging routines, and I will add some more next time.

Until then, I wish you all darting success….

All these practice routines and many more, as well as complete explanations of EVERY finish from 2-170 can be found in Darts Finishing Mastery: How to Master the Art of Finishing. Click on the picture below to find out more: