There are two things you need to play a game of darts. You need a set of darts and a dartboard, everything else is optional but you will also require a well-lit space in which to play.
There are different styles of dartboard and darts available but the most popular are bristle dartboards and steel tip darts. If you want to play darts like the players in the PDC on television, this means buying a set of steel tip darts and a bristle dartboard.
One of the coming mistakes beginners make when playing darts, is having their bristle dartboard set up in the wrong way. If you fail to set up your dartboard correctly, everything else will suffer because every time you play on a dartboard elsewhere, it will feel different to your own and that’s not good when practicing.
Before attaching the dartboard to the wall, make sure you are using a space where the floor is flat. If the floor slopes away from the dartboard, this means the measurements at which you are throwing will be wrong. Furthermore, you should never set up a dartboard where there are windows or valuable items.
This first thing you must be aware of when setting up a dartboard correctly, are the measurements. There are three main measurements to look out for when setting up a bristle dartboard.
Firstly, the dartboard must be the correct height off the floor. The official measurement for a bristle dartboard is 5 ft 8 inches high (173 cm) from the floor to the bullseye (the center of the board).
Therefore, the mounting bracket should be positioned so the dartboard is in this position relation to the ground and you should think about this when attaching the bracket to the dart board and the wall.
When attaching the dartboard to the wall, make sure it is flush against the wall and not leaning forward in any way. If the dartboard is leaning forward, this will make the measurements inaccurate and you will find the dartboard wobbles when you throw darts. It must be flat and secure, so it doesn’t move or fall forward.
The second measurement you need to check is from the front of the dartboard to the oche, which is where you will be throwing your darts. The simple way to do this is to purchase a dart mat, which has the measurement already printed on it.
All you need to do is lay the dart mat down on the floor, with the end level with the face of the dartboard.
The other good thing about a dart mat is that it protects the floor and this is important when using steel tip darts. Everyone suffers from a bounce out now and then and if you don’t want holes in the floor from your steel tip darts, you are advised to buy a dart mat.
If you do not want to buy a dart mat, simply measure from the front of the dartboard, along the floor to a length of 7 ft 9¼ inches (237 cm) and mark a line.
Finally, to check this is correct, take a measurement using a tape measure from the bullseye down to the oche. This measurement should read 9 ft 7 and 3/8 inches (193 cm) and if it does, you are now ready to play darts.
Keep in mind, these measurements are for a bristle dartboard and steel tip darts, for any other form of darts they may be different.
If your dartboard isn't correctly mounted you should do it now. You will see a huge difference in your darts games.