If you have been playing darts for a while, you already know that darts averages are a big topic that is frequently discussed.
When I first got into darts, I remember how confused I was about darts averages and how they are calculated.
This is how to calculate darts averages:
Darts averages are calculated by subtracting the score left from 501 and dividing that number by the number of darts thrown. Another way to calculate darts averages is to divide 501 by the number of darts thrown and then multiply that number by 3.
If you are curious to find out more about how darts averages work and some other exciting information, continue reading below as I go into further detail about this topic.
Table of Contents:
How Do Darts Averages Work?
Darts averages are used as general guidance of how good a darts player actually is. Better and more experienced darts players tend to have higher darts averages, while new and amateur darts players will have very low darts averages.
Darts averages are calculated primarily during ’01 games (301, 501, 1001, etc.)
During official 501 games, the scorekeepers keep track of how many darts are thrown by each darts player, and their average is calculated based on their performance. As the game progresses, the darts average of each player will change and evolve depending on their performance and consistency.
The scorekeeper will also take into consideration the losing player’s remaining score because otherwise, their average will not be calculated properly.
This is why on some scoring sheets and sometimes on TV, you will see the number of darts each player has thrown up until that moment and their score they have left.
When calculating darts averages, every dart counts. This includes darts that are thrown at the doubles (when finishing the game).
If a player busts during their turn, only the darts that have been thrown count. This means that if the player busts on their first dart, only one dart will be counted instead of all three (seeing how they have thrown only one dart and not three).
Arguably a game of darts where both players maintain very high darts averages is also a lot more impressive and entertaining.
During the game, dart players are not expected to calculate their averages as it is simply not needed or even necessary to do so.
Usually, in tournament games, darts averages are kept as a running average across all legs played.
How to Properly Calculate Darts Averages
To calculate your darts average:
- Write down the score left.
- Subtract it from 501.
- Divide the result by the number of darts thrown.
- Multiply the resulting number by 3.
The formula for calculating darts averages is as follows:
((Score left – 501) / Number of darts thrown) * 3 = Darts average
How Does PDC Calculate Darts Averages?
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) calculates their averages by dividing the total points score by the number of darts thrown and then multiplying that number by three.
So, a 501 in 15 darts will result in a darts average of (501/15)*3 = 100.2.
How Does the BDO Calculate Darts Averages?
The British Darts Organisation (BDO) is pretty consistent at using one dart averages. This is why BDO darts averages may seem different and relatively low compared to the PDC darts averages.
BDO calculates darts averages by subtracting the score left from 501 and dividing that number by the number of darts thrown by each player.
So a 501 in 15 darts will result in a darts average of 501/15 = 33.4.
Although, it is worth mentioning that in some instances, this score can be multiplied by three as well (in a similar fashion to the PDC).
How Is the Losing Player’s Darts Average Calculated?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of how darts averages are calculated, you know that it is super easy to keep track of your darts average. After you finish your game of 501, simply divide 501 by the number of darts you have thrown and multiply it by three.
This is how averages are calculated even in real-life tournament games. But this applies to the player that actually reaches 501 by doubling out and wins the leg. So what happens with the player that loses the round? After all, they have never reached 501 points, right?
The losing player’s darts average is calculated by having their total points scored and dividing them by the number of darts they have thrown up until this point and multiplying that number by three.
For example: Player 1, doubles out and wins the leg with 17 darts thrown. Their darts average is 88.41. Player 2, however, had 100 points left and had thrown 15 darts. Player 2 has scored (501-100) 401 points so far with 15 darts, which gives us an average of 80.2 points.
Can the Losing Player Have a Higher Darts Average?
Technically speaking, a losing player can have a higher darts average than the winner. This is why a three dart average is not enough to tell us the whole picture in most cases.
Consider the following example:
|Player 1||Player 2|
|First Turn||T20, T20, T20||T20, T20, T20|
|Second Turn||T20, T20, T20||T20, T20, T20|
|Third Turn||T20, T19, D12||–|
I trust you know what a 9-dart finish is, and as you can see, Player 1 goes after and successfully pulls off a nine-darter, which gives them a darts average of 167 points. Player 2, at the same time, was going, hypothetically, after the same thing; however, they never got the chance to throw during their third turn, which leaves Player 2 with six treble 20s and a darts average of 180.
It is true, this may be a very rare and somewhat extreme example, but it is a good example of how the losing player can end up having a higher darts average, and in this case, the highest possible darts average of 180 points.
What Is a Good Average for Darts?
What a good darts average is will vary depending on one’s skill. But we could probably agree on some numbers despite that.
For the average darts player, a good average would be between 30 to 50 (or 50 to 30 darts thrown in order to finish a game of 501). Competitive darts players can usually finish a game of 501 within 15 to 18 darts, which is a darts average between 80 and 100. (See article: What is a good average for darts?)
The PDC boys can maintain darts averages of over 110 points over more than 20 legs. Just take a look at this exceptional match between Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis.
When Should You Stop Counting Your Darts Average?
It has come to my attention that in some leagues in the U.S., they will stop calculating darts averages at 140 or so. In other words, once you are left with 140 points (or lower), your darts average is no longer calculated until the next leg starts.
Although this is how they have decided to calculate the averages, it can be argued that this is not the correct way to do it as it does not give us the whole picture. That way, you can maintain higher darts average than what corresponds to your actual skill level.
Let me give you one example. Let’s imagine we have a darts player that scores 380 points in three turns. This gives us a darts average of 126.66, which is an outstanding average. You might be saying this player must be some kind of a pro player. He’s got 121 points left, so his darts average is no longer calculated. But then he goes on and fails to double out in his next five turns and only manages to double out after throwing 16 more darts.
So does he really deserve a darts average of 126.66? One could argue that during his first three rounds, he got lucky, which artificially inflated his averages. Whereas his real darts average should be 60.12.
There is no purpose in having artificially inflated darts average if a player cannot double out. And this is exactly one of the areas where many new darts players struggle. This is why you should not stop counting your darts averages at any point in the game, that is until you successfully double out and score 501 points.
This is why I am not for cutting averages like that.
The same principle can be turned the other way around. Why not count averages only once you get below 140 points? An average is an average, and it should take into account the full spectrum of your performance.
I frequently get asked one question.
Does average calculation include darts thrown when on a finish? Darts average calculation includes all darts throwing during the game of darts. This includes darts that are thrown in order to double out and finish the game of 501.
Every single dart counts.
Further Reading: How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice Darts?
What Are the Different Types of Darts Averages?
I am sure that now you have a deeper understanding of how darts averages work, but inevitably you will stumble upon a few different terms like MPR, PPR, PPD, etc. Below I explain the difference between these terms and what they mean.
What Is a 3 Dart Average?
A three dart average calculates the average points you score per each turn. A perfect nine-dart finish in a game of 501 will result in a three dart average of 167 points.
The highest possible three dart average, in general, is 180 points or three treble 20s (although a darts average cannot be maintained if you want to double out in a game of 501). And the lowest three dart average is 3 points or three single 1s.
What Is a 1 Dart Average?
The highest score that can be achieved with a single dart is 60 by hitting a treble 20. The lowest score that can be achieved with a single dart is 1 by hitting the single one. (Or, alternatively, 0, by missing all the scoring areas on the dartboard.)
What Is MPR Average?
Marks per round (MPR) is another type of darts average that is calculated in a very different manner compared to the standard darts average.
MPR is mostly used as a darts average in the game of cricket, but it can be applied to other darts games, including ’01 games.
The MPR ranges from 0 to 9 points.
Thus the highest possible MPR per three darts is 9, which is achieved by scoring three trebles or one treble with each dart. The number does not matter.
The highest MPR in cricket is 7.33, and the highest MPR in 501 is 8.66 points.
How Is MPR Calculated?
MPR is calculated as a three dart average for each throw. Instead of the score, the section of the numbers hit is taken into account. A single area is worth one point, a double area is worth two points, and a treble area is worth three points.
Thus hitting three trebles will grant you an MPR of 3×3 = 9 points.
What Is a Good MPR Average?
The MPR of an average darts player that plays relatively regularly—about once a week or so—is going to be between 1 to 2.
An MPR of 2 to 3 will correspond to very experienced darts players, and the competitive darts players will have an MPR of 3.5 and above.
What Is PPD Darts Average?
PPD stands for points per dart. This is the same as a one-dart average, and it is calculated the same way. PPD is calculated by subtracting the points left from 501 and dividing that number by the number of darts thrown.
What Is PPR Darts Average?
PPR stands for points per round. This is the same as a three-dart average. PPR is calculated by subtracting the points left from 501 and dividing that number by the number of darts thrown and multiplying the result by three.
How Does a Bust Affect Darts Averages?
Interestingly enough, busting may affect your darts averages differently depending on where you play.
Usually, a visit to the dartboard counts as three darts regardless if you bust on the first, second, or third. This is the standard system used by the majority of darts organizations.
However, there are certain places where only the darts are thrown will be counted.
Are Steel Tip Averages Higher Than Soft Tip?
Whenever talking about darts averages, it is important to specify what leagues we are talking about.
Soft tip darts and steel tip darts are fairly different. The dartboards are not exactly the same, and they do not play the same, either. Upon further inspection, you will find that soft tip darts averages are about 25% or so higher than those of steel tip darts averages.
Is Calculating Your Darts Average Important?
Every dart counts, including the ones used for doubling out, which is arguably one of the toughest parts of ’01 dart games for every beginner.
This is where some beginner darts players will notice how bad can missing a few doubles be for their darts averages. Their darts average during the game of 01 can be very high up until the point where they need to double out where their darts average can plummet to literally single digits sometimes.
In the beginning, you should not care that much about darts averages—at least not until you get pretty good at doubling out and finishing the game.
Consider the following.
If you do not count the darts used for doubling out, you will get an artificially inflated and unrealistically high darts average that will not be in accordance with your abilities. On the other hand, if it takes you multiple darts to double out, you will inevitably end up with a very low darts average that will serve the only purpose of destroying any motivation you may have left in yourself.
Calculating your darts average is important as it will allow you to track your progress. However, calculating your darts average should be done only by intermediate players that have mastered the game of darts and can double out consistently. Calculating darts averages for beginners can be more harmful than helpful.
Further Reading: How to Relax When Playing Darts?
Do Darts Averages Matter?
Darts averages are a good statistic to go by in order to keep track of how well you played. Notice the past tense—played.
I am stressing on this because a high darts average today does not mean a high darts average tomorrow. In fact, darts is one of those sports that the performance of players (including both amateurs and professionals) can vary greatly. It is not a rare thing for a player to average 110+ points during the first few legs of a tournament only to fall to 80 or less during the last legs.
The averages can be all over the place, and they do not always tell the whole story. In fact, these numbers, it can be argued, are inherently flawed when it comes to tournaments. Sandbagging is not something unheard of, and players can try to fit themselves into lower divisions as they may end up earning a higher payout.
This is why some leagues like the Webcam Darts Association (WDA) are trying to counter that by recording and keeping track of the averages of darts players over multiple matches.
Overall, darts averages do matter as long as they are calculated properly and not skewed. After all, higher darts averages, and better consistency in doubling out is what wins a game.
On the other hand, there is no point in having a high darts average if you are unable to finish a game by doubling out successfully. This is why on some tourneys in combination with the averages, you will also see the doubling out success rate of players.
Further Reading: Darts Tips From the Pros.
Darts Averages Table
Below I have created a darts averages table that shows you what is your darts average depending on how many darts you have thrown in order to finish a game of 501.
As expected, the least number of darts you need to double out in a game of 501, the higher your darts average.
|Darts Thrown||Darts Average (PPR)||Darts Average (PPD)|