If you’ve ever seen a pro dart player throw darts, or just someone who’s experienced, they make it look really easy. Every time they throw the dart it’s smooth, fluid motion and they’re almost always on target.
But when you’re just starting out, that’s usually far from the case. No matter how hard you try, it just seems like you can’t aim your darts correctly. You might land on the rim of the dart board, even though you were aiming for the bullseye. Or you might even completely miss the board.
Aiming a dart might seem easy and doable at first glance, but there’s actually a lot of technique involved. Aiming plays an important role in playing darts and it isn’t just about pointing the dart where you want it to go.
In this guide, I’m going to break down how to aim darts, so you can finally enjoy playing darts, and perfect your dart throwing technique.
Let’s look at some tips you can use to develop your aiming skills. Make sure you have the right stance before you begin.
Grip, Aim and Throw
How to grip a dart
- Use at least three fingers to hold the barrel of the dart. The barrel is the part of the dart that’s raised. Using more fingers will provide more control and regulation of the dart. Use your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Finger coordination is an important aspect of releasing the dart. Darts with shorter barrels will require fewer fingers while those with long barrels will require more fingers. For a more stable grip, you can hold the end of your barrel with your ring finger.
- Your grip should be stable, firm and relaxed. Your grip should not put pressure on the muscles of your finger. Do not grip the dart so tightly that your fingers turn white. That will make it harder to release the dart. Keep in mind that dart is not a game of force but a game of touch. Your grip should be just tight enough that the dart doesn’t slip and you can maintain control when speeding up for the throw. When in doubt go for a grip that is loose rather than firm.
- Try not to fist your hand. The fingers that are not included in your grip like the pinkie should stay comfortable and spread apart. Make you’re the muscles in the extra fingers are relaxed and easy to shift around.
How to aim darts
- Know your dominant eye and hand. You need a good amount of hand-eye coordination to aim darts. It’s therefore important that you know which eye and hand are your dominants. If you don’t know which eye is dominant then try throwing three darts with each eye closed in turns. The eye that you struggle keeping shut is your dominant eye. Your dominant hand is the hand you use most frequently to do thing.
- Raise the dart to eye level. Swing your dominant hand forward while gripping the dart. Keep your shoulder still as you raise the dart to eye level, just to the side of your eye. Leading with your dominant eye will help you naturally gain confidence as you throw. Make sure your elbow is pointing at the dart board. Align your shoulders, elbows and hand at a 90 degree angle, with your elbow slightly up.
- Find a line of sight. Like mentioned previously, you can use your dominant hand to keep your aim. Other people use the small finger of the throwing hand to line up properly. Some use the tip of the dart to aim. A good line of sight will help you line up your shots consistently.
- Lead in with your elbow. Start by being aware of where your elbow is pointing. The most recommended position is your elbow being slightly raised and pointing directly at the dart board. The elbow is the first thing that moves when you start to throw, making it a huge pivot in the whole moving action. Make sure to use it to its full advantage.
- Tilt the tip of the dart slightly upwards. Keep the sharp end of the dart tilted slightly upwards towards the dart board. The main objective of your aim should be to make the dart land on the board.
- Aim directly at your target. Try not to aim to the right or left of your target. That can lead to technical and mental problems the longer you throw. It will also lead to poor throws. Aim directly at what your target is even if you miss it the first time.
How to throw darts
- Use your hands and wrist for the throw. Pulling your hand slightly back as you throw, use your wrist, hand and elbow for speed. Keep your elbow raised slightly when you throw the dart helping the dart move upwards. Making your hand the only thing that is moving during your throw.
- Snap your wrist as you release the dart. Let your wrist snap forward and not downward as you release the dart. This will increase acceleration of the dart and result in accurate and consistent throws.
- Follow through at the end of the throw. Once you’ve released the dart, let your arm continue in a throwing motion hovering in the air for as minute before you drop in down. This will help maintain good form at the end of your throw.
How to Aim Darts Like a Pro
If you follow the steps above, you’ll start improving your dart accuracy in no time. For those of you who are a bit more visual, I love this video from Winmau Darts that breaks down how to aim and throw darts for beginners.
This video, combined with my tips above and some darts accuracy training is the perfect recipe for becoming a more accurate dart thrower. And remember, it’s not about how to throw a bullseye every time. It’s about learning to control your throws so you can make the darts land where you want them to on the dart board.
More resources on how to throw darts: