In this final part of the darts practice routine mini-series, we take a look at some advanced practice routines that are not for the faint-hearted.
Once you can manage the previous routines without too much drama or frustration, you might be ready to tackle these bad boys.
The routines described below are a step up from the previous ones, and they represent the pinnacle of finishing/doubles practice. If you can handle these, then you are ready for the big-time.
A word of caution is necessary here. As described in earlier in this mini- series, your ego MUST be placed to one side when taking on these practice routines. If you don’t, they will invariably end in frustration, anger and abject defeat. And that is the polar opposite to what you are trying to achieve.
Leave the ego outside the practice room door!!
2/3 Darts in Each Double
This routine is not only great for doubles practice, but also for grouping (which is very important in the scoring phase of the game). The idea is to go around the board in order from D1 to D20, and then the bullseye.
Along the way, you have to put 2 out of three darts in each double before moving on. There are no penalties with this game (unless you choose to add them), and if you fail to put 2/3 in a double, you keep throwing at it until you do. Then, and only then do you move onto the next one.
This may seem a bit daunting at first, especially for newer players, but persevere with this one because you will be surprised at how well it comes together. Once you start hitting them, your confidence soars, and you realize that you CAN do it.
You will be putting 2/3 in the doubles with regularity, and it will lift your entire game. Suddenly, you are following a dart in the T20 with another one; It will change your game forever.
Around the Board without Missing
This is a practice routine that the great John Part introduced to the world. John is a three-time World Champion and is widely recognized as being one of the greatest players of all time. He can certainly lay claim to be the greatest player ever from North America.
This is a very difficult routine that should only be attempted by advanced players. If you are able to complete this practice session, you are one heck of a player that everyone else should be looking out for.
Here’s how it works:
Starting on D1, you have to go around the board, hitting every double along the way. Adding the bullseye at the end is optional. Just reaching D20 in this game is an achievement in itself, so adding the bullseye is a personal choice.
You have to hit one or more doubles on each and every turn. If you miss with all 3 darts, the game is lost, and you have to start again at D1.
There are no awards for hitting three doubles in three darts, you just keep on going.
Let’s say you start and hit D1 with the first dart. The second dart is thrown at D2. It misses, so you throw again at D2, which misses again.
Because you hit a double on that turn (D1), you continue with the game. You throw at D2. If you get it, you move onto D3, D4 and so on. Every double has to be hit just one time before moving on to the next one.
As soon as you miss with all 3 darts, the game is over, and you go back to D1.
As previously stated, this is an incredibly difficult game to complete. When you get near the end, the adrenaline starts to flow, and the same tensions you get in match-play begin to emerge. You know you are so close, and one mistake can cost you the game.
When you get as far as D18 and miss, the frustrations and disappointments are very real, especially as you know you have to go right back to D1 and start again.
A good adaptation of this game would be to approach it in the same manner as the Warm Up routine, which you can find HERE:
This is a very difficult routine, and you will be going back to the start on many, many occasions. This means that you will be getting lot's of practice on D1, D2, and D3!!
Rather than starting there, you can modify this routine so that the early darts are thrown at the doubles you use the most. This means that you will be getting lot's of practice on the most meaningful doubles.
In this example, you would be getting plenty of practice at D20, D10, D5 etc, and D18 and D16 would come early in the routine as well, thus ensuring that you get plenty of pressurized practice at the most useful doubles on the dartboard.
Using this adaptation, the routine would end on D11, with the bullseye an optional extra if you wanted to add it onto the end.
I would suggest that the bullseye is not mandatory, and if you miss it then so be it. Just completing this routine is a major accomplishment that only the very best can manage, and you should be rightly proud of yourself if you can do it.
This routine can be adapted to allow for some errors, but that is covered in the routine described in a previous post called Painting by Numbers. If you haven’t already seen it, you can find it HERE:
If you want to adapt this one, perhaps you could narrow the field down somewhat by only having to hit a certain number of doubles on each session.
For instance, you could have a session where you have to go from D1 to D5. Once you do that, move onto the next set of five etc. Whichever way you decide to go with this, it is a fantastic practice routine to have in your armory, especially for advanced tournament players.
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Fast Vinny’s 121-150
Dutch professional player Vincent van der Vort has a couple of great routines he shared with the world. Naturally, these are difficult and advanced routines, but if you can get them down your game will improve exponentially.
In this routine, Vincent starts on 121 and gives himself 9 darts to get it. If he gets it, he moves on to 122 and so on, all the way up to 150.
Here’s the kicker – If he misses the finish within the allocated 9 darts he goes all the way back down to 121 and starts all over again.
For newer players, or anyone that finds this routine outside of their capabilities, there is nothing wrong with increasing the amount of darts you need to be competitive with it.
One way you can make it more manageable would be to add the ability to lock down a number if you finish it in 3 darts. This means that you cannot go back below this number once you have taken it out, and it gives you a springboard to complete the routine.
Ultimately, your goal should be to reach the stage where you can tackle this routine and give it your best efforts to complete it with 9 darts or less. Good luck!!
Fast Vinny’s 40 down to 2
Another tough routine that Vincent practices regularly is to go for the following sequence of shots:
40, 36, 32, 24, 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, 2.
Here’s how it works:
You have 3 darts at each finish. Starting at 40, you have to go all the way down the sequence, hitting every double within the 3 darts. If you miss you go back to 40 and start again.
Once you can do this on a fairly regular basis, you can drop the number of darts down to two. If you can do this, then you are at a professional level, and you will be playing in the elite circles of the game.
Even though I have added a good number of practice routines in this mini-series, there are many, many more you can choose from. Do a search online and you will find lots of suggestions for your practice. If none of these work for you, then make up your own!
I hope you have enjoyed this mini-series on darts finishing routines. I am always interested in your progress, so please leave any comments or questions below.
Good luck and best wishes!!
All of the above routines and much, much more can be found in Darts Finishing Mastery: How to Master the Art of Finishing. Every finish from 2-170 is covered in great detail, leaving no stone turned. It's a vital book that should be in every darts players library. Click on the picture below for details on how you can grab a copy: