1. Analyse the form
Darts is very much a confidence game and - perhaps more so than any other sport - a run of solid recent form should be a significant indicator in guiding your betting.
Away from the glare of competition, most of the players at the top of the sport are of very similar ability. The divisions occur in how well players can translate their play from the practice board to the competition board. And confidence is one of the biggest factors in successfully achieving that.
It should also be considered how well a player can translate form in weekend tournaments, away from the cameras, to the main stage with thousands watching.
Mark Walsh and Justin Pipe are prime examples of players who have dominated 'floor tournaments' (non-televised events) for extended periods of their career but have not been able to successfully land a major title in front of the cameras.
2. Analyse the draw
There was a time not so long ago when being drawn on the opposite side of a tournament schedule to Phil Taylor was the very first thing to look for when considering backing someone other than The Power in the outright markets.
Now, with so many players raising their game to challenge Taylor, the tournament draw requires even more scrutiny.
Take the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts as a prime example. Form players Michael van Gerwen and Simon Whitlock were drawn in the same half of the schedule as Phil Taylor and 2010 winner Scott Waites. Leaving the bottom half of the draw wide open and allowing Raymond van Barneveld to win his first Major title for five years.
It's certainly not the be all and end all, but a favourable draw can be a significant factor in who lifts the trophy come the end of the week. Make that your first point of reference before deciding whom to back for a title.
3. Betting In-Play
If you're going to bet In-Play on the darts then you either need to be quick or do your trading in the advertisement breaks.
A leg or even a match can swing in favour of one player or the other within the space of a few seconds.
Three missed darts at a double, a 180 or a big checkout can turn the betting on its head, so if you want to trade during the action you need to be quick and do so with conviction.
4. Know your players
Unlike some sports - football, rugby, boxing, for example - a big lead in a darts match does not allow a player to sit back and see out the game.
There's no equivalent of taking the ball into the corner to waste a bit of time in darts, you've got to hit that winning double to get over the line, and for some players a winning double can prove problematic.
When playing with such fine margins, tension can play a big part, so make a note - mentally or physically - of players who become a little nervy when the winning line approaches, and be prepared to lay them at short prices.
Equally, some players can be naturally slow starters in matches, before picking up the pace when they get into a rhythm. If you fancy a player to win a match, but know he can be a slow starter then you could get a much bigger price betting In-Play than you would pre-match.
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