I, personally, have a difficult time making myself practice. I get ‘bored’ quickly so I have come up with the following as a practice routine. Naturally, for the newer player, there is no substitute for ‘pounding the board’ for hours (and, yes, I did this for years when I started) but am now at the point where I rely on league (2 nights a week) and tournaments to stay sharp.

This is a routine that should only take a short time-maybe 20-30 minutes or so-but should be repeated often during a several hour period of time. I have tried to develop it so it will help out for tournament play. At first, take as much time as you may want with any routine until you feel comfortable with each of them……later, only allow yourself a few ‘warm up’ darts before starting your routine. This will simulate tournament conditions.

First, throw a few turns at the 20, 19, Bull, i.e. targets that you feel you use frequently to just ‘loosen up your arm’.

Next we’ll ‘practice’ Cricket. I call this routine “28” but you can use any number depending on your skill level. As you get better, the number you will use will go up, but for the beginner, start with a lower number, such as 14 or 21. Here is how it’s played—

Throw 3 darts at each cricket number, in order, counting the marks you hit on each number and continue the count until you get to the Bull. Your total number of marks is your final score….and THAT is the score you want to beat next time. You are, in essence, playing against yourself. Example-your first three dart are thrown at the 20 and you hit 3 singles…you score is ‘3’. Then you throw three darts at the 19 and hit a triple and a single 19. Now your score is ‘7’, i.e. the 3 mark from the 20 and the 4 mark from the 19.

Continue through the cricket numbers, in order, finishing with three darts at the Bull.  Remember, you only get three darts at each number. I try to hit, at least, 4 marks each time, thus the number “28’ but everyone should set their own goals.

This is a good routine to measure your accomplishments at hitting the Cricket numbers. Strategy is a whole different topic that will be addressed later.


Here strategy is not as important as in Cricket. Just get to zero before your opponent!
However, you can’t get to zero without that ever elusive DOUBLE! So, here we want to concentrate on doubles. I call this game ‘27’ (my birthday is on the 27th) but you can start with any number you like AS LONG AS IT IS AN ODD NUMBER! The weaker the player, the higher the number you would want to start with. Perhaps 51..or 71……whatever you feel comfortable with. Remember, this is supposed to be FUN and helpful to your game.

Here is how I play “27”. The only numbers that count in this routine are the doubles….EVERY ONE OF THEM! And in this routine you will throw at them all, in order….BUT you only get three darts at each one!

  Ready to play? Here we go….I would start with a score of 27. My first three darts are thrown at the Double 1. If I don’t hit any, I have to subtract 2 from my score (the value of the double I just missed). If I hit one dart in the double 1, then I add 2 to my score, If I hit two out of the three darts in the double 1 then I add 4 to my score. So, you can earn as many points each turn as the double you hit, but can only lose the value of the double once – even if all three darts are missed.

Let’s say I start with 27 and hit one Double 1, then one Double 2, miss all three darts at the Double 3, and hit two out of three darts at the Double 4……what is my score????
Answer- one dart in the double 1 makes my score 29-(I get 2 points)
             one dart in the double 2 makes my score 33-(I get 4 points)
             zero darts in the Double 3-makes my score 27 (I lose 6 points-the value of the
                               double I just missed)
             two darts in the Double 4 makes my score 43! (I get to add 8 points twice-
                                the value of each dart I hit in my target.)

And just continue around the board…at EVERY double….only three darts each turn.
Keep a running total score depending on the doubles you hit and miss...your score should always be an odd number as you are starting out with an odd number and adding and/or subtracting an even number (the value of a double) every time. This means, if you miss a lot, you may go into the negative numbers, but that is OK….just keep playing and try to get back into the positive numbers. The ‘bigger’ doubles are yet to be thrown! Just don’t give up! If you find yourself going into the negative numbers often, start with a higher odd number! The last target is the Bull and it counts the same as every other Double on the board. (No, two single bulls DO NOT equal a Double Bull!) Your final score is the score you want to beat next time you play this routine.

This is a good routine to make the player practice EVERY double! Sure, you prefer some doubles over others, but you’ll need every one at some time or another. Let’s say you’re playing a 501 game and you have 18 left. Your first dart hits the 9 so you’re thinking, “OK, single 1, double 4 for the game.” But your next dart hits the triple 1 leaving you 6! This wasn’t your plan, but if you’ve practiced every double, you can mentally adjust and take a shot at it. If you haven’t thrown a dart at the double 3 in 6 months, you may wish you had used this practice routine.


This is THE double game---Double On and Double Out----- The best way, I think, to practice this game is to play “Perpetual 301”. Simply double on and play the 301 game down as usual….when you get to a finish, the double you hit to end the game is also the beginning double of your next game. For instance, you have 56 left. You throw single 16, single 20 (missing a shot a double 20) and then hit the double 10. That double 10 is your start for the next game and you now have 281 left, Keep playing and try to leave yourself different finishes so you practice different combination outs.

Good luck and Enjoy. I hope this helps ………………..

STACY  SUGGESTS...   Keep your mind in tune...
                    brain teasers...
Read out loud the text inside the triangle below.

More than likely you said, "A bird in the bush," and........
if this IS what YOU said, then you failed to see
that the word THE is repeated twice!
Sorry, look again.

Next, let's play with some words.
What do you see?

In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It's all very physiological too, because it visualize the concept that good can't exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil ).
Now, what do you see?
You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?
What do you see here?
This one is quite tricky!
The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.
What do you see?
You probably read the word ME in brown, but.......
when you look through ME
you will see

Test Your Brain
This is really cool. The second one is amazing so please read all the way though.
Count every " F" in the following text:
WRONG, THERE ARE 6 -- no joke.
Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.
The brain cannot process "OF".

Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!

Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.
Three is normal, four is quite rare.

More Brain Stuff . . .
From Cambridge University.

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty ?uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig ?to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ?ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ?ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll ?raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ?lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas ?tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if
you can raed tihs psas it on ?!!

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
1.  You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2.  You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3.  You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of  three.
4.  You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you
5.  Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6.  You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7.  Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8.  Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.  
10.  You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11.  You start tilting your head sideways to smile.  : )
12.  You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13..  Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15.  You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

                                        MORE PRACTICE ROUTINES

    OK………..we all know that it’s much more fun to practice with others so we will travel down that road now. The best practice is that you can take on is that when you are preparing for a specific competition. This is my opinion, anyway, as you will have a specific ‘format’ in mind and concentrate on that particular element of the game.

    At this point I would like to share a practice routine Tony Thompson, Pat Carrigan, Joe Henneghan, Dick Rehm (pronounced ‘Ream’) and several others joined in with me in preparation for the Las Vegas Open and is, I believe, good practice for all ADO tournaments. It is a well-rounded basic practice routine that adds just a little bit of structure just for fun. This routine forces players to play both the competitive games, i.e. cricket and 501, rather than only one game……301 is thrown in for ‘Double Practice’.

     The format is constructed in sets of 5 games. The first person to win 3 games wins that set. Playing rules are pretty straight forward….coin toss to determine who’s option it is to throw first for the ‘Bull’. Winner of the ‘Bull’ selects the first game to be played and goes first.
     Players will ‘bull up’ before each game because the winner of the ‘Bull’ will pick which game will be played next and start the game. The first three games must include all three games—501, Cricket and 301. This way, even if someone wins 3 games straight, the players will still have played all three games. Should the set go to the 4th game, one of the games will be played again (winner of the ‘Bull’ selects which one) and if a 5th game is played only the game played 4th cannot be played again. It’s actually quite simple, but it adds a bit of structure to the routine. When we have several players practicing, we pair off, play a set and switch around so the ‘winners’ play the other ‘winners’. This doesn’t mean the ‘non-winner’ gets any less practice. They will just play another ‘non-winner’. Everyone continues to play for as long as they can last. And, yes, endurance SHOULD be pushed and tested here. If anyone is fortunate enough to make it into the staged rounds, some big tournaments…and all PDC tournaments will use extended formats, i.e, best of 11, 13 or 15 sets under TV light generating a lot of heat on stage! It can definitely be physically draining. BE PREPARED!

      For a competition such as the U.S. Open, scheduled to be played this May in Conn. in place of last year’s World Series of Darts, I try to organize practices that are geared specifically towards that competition. This can be an incredibly important aspect! For example, last year, in preparation for the World Series of Darts, I practiced throwing ‘low dart’ games –only scoring the number of darts thrown- with several others in order to prepare for the Friday night madness. And it paid off….I qualified in with a 13 dart game…making me the only woman to make it past the initial phase of the competition.

    Since the format this year in Conn. begins with a best of 3 games, best of 5 sets format, ALL 501, that is the format we’re using to practice now. And I strongly suggest everyone get practicing NOW so we (the U.S.) can really make a great showing this year!
Good Luck to all………….see you in Conn. In May!