Hello all Shot Darts fans and customers, my name is Ken MacNeil I and am a new Player for Shot Darts. My article for the website this month is going to be about playing 501 using percentage outshots and why it is so important to know the board as best you can.
One of my strengths in the game that I'm very confident in is the fact that I know the numbers on the board very well and know all my outshots fluently. When I was younger I spent as much time with a pen and piece of paper as much as I actually practiced on the board. The main reason to know the board and the numbers to go for is the fact that you don't have to think about what to go for when you miss your target point. The moment you have to think about what you're doing in the middle of a match the more it takes away from your focus on what you are actually trying to achieve, which is to play a strong consistent match.
I always try to leave the wedges as much as possible on any out shot. The wedges are the even or odd numbers grouped together such as 8,16:6,10 and 17,3,19,7. The reason for going for these numbers on an outshot is because under a pressure situation it takes a lot of focus to hit a single number to set up a double. By leaving the wedges, it gives you that little more confidence to set up the double because a miss to either side will still leave you a nice double to finish the game on.
The best way to learn the board is sit down with a pen and piece of paper and write down your outshots and the way to take them out, but also memorize what you have to go for if you miss your initial dart. For example, say something like 64 you go for T16 with first dart. You should know if you miss the t16 and slip into the T8 that you have 40 left without thinking, which means you don't affect the rhythm of your throw. There are plenty of numbers in which to do this that I won't go into depth about, you figure them out the more you do this exercise.
Another way to play percentage darts is to play the outshots by staying with the first triple that you strike, for example let's say you have 140 outshot in front of you and you hit the first T20. The best thing to do is actually go back at the t20 on the 2nd dart, for the reason that you have the first dart to help focus better on the target, and that first dart could actually help the 2nd dart go in the triple. I tend to do this on a lot of outshots and again if you know the numbers it doesn't affect your rhythm. Practice different outshots with this technique and you'll see a difference in your game.
The last thing I want to say about knowing the numbers and outshots in the game is as soon as you are confident in knowing your outshots and numbers, the best thing to do is, while you are in a game and your opponent is shooting, work out what you are going to do when you get your shot. That way you are not thinking about it when it is your shot at the board. There is a lot more to this subject that I didn't dwell on such as playing percentage shots when at a score of 300 and higher. Yes there is a reason to do so and maybe I will go into it with more detail at a later time.
I'm going to talk about percentage shooting to leave yourself an outshot from over 300 and some things to think about on certain shots in the 200's. First of all the whole object of this game is to leave yourself a shot at a finish before your opponent, and if you always try to stay 3 darts ahead of yourself it will help you to leave the shots needed to win.
Ok let's begin with shots over 300 to set up the outshot needed. I will start by saying that all these set up shots require at least 2 triples to leave the outshot. I'll explain where your first dart should go and why. 309- triple 19 with 1st dart because at least if you miss the triple you can hit the next 2 T20's to leave an out. 308- triple 18 for same reason as 309. 307- triple 20 with first dart. 306- triple 19 with first dart because if you miss the first T19 and hit a single then a T19 T20 will leave the outshot. 305- not alot of players I see do this because it is a risky move, but if you go bull with first dart and leave a good marker on 25 then bull T20 leaves an outshot. 304- triple 20 with first dart and stay on that number. 303- triple 19 because as I said in first segment it is easier to stay with the same dart and on this shot a 7 count on the 19's leave an outshot. 302- triple 18 with first dart for the same reason; if you miss the first triple then T18 T20 leaves an outshot. 301- stay on the 20's Now remember this is a personal preference , it is not set in stone on how to shoot for your outshots , I just found through years of experience and practicing these routines with these outshots it gives you a better chance at winning the game. There may be people that disagree with my method on some of these shots, but like I said it is my personal preference and seems to have worked for me a few times.
I'll explain why it is so important to leave the outshot in these circumstances. The reason for this percentage shooting is because it gives you more of an opportunity not only to land on an outshot but also to force pressure on your opponents shot. The reason it forces pressure on your opponent is because if you are on an outshot like 170, 167,164 albeit a high number and a difficult shot to take out, it is still a possibility to finish if your opponent misses his shot. Whereas if you are on a bogey like 171 or any number you can't finish in 3 darts, then there is no pressure on the opponents shot and a relaxed score to set up is all he needs. This is why setting up your outshots is very crucial when playing high calibre darts. I'll now talk about my outshots for some of the 200 score marks to leave an outshot. I'll only talk about the ones that are notable to myself. With these setup shots, you don't even need a triple because hitting the 25 on last dart will leave you that all important outshot, well here goes. I'll just give the single numbers because if you hit a triple in any of these shots you'll be in finishing range. 234- S20 S19 bull 235- S20 S20 bull 234- S20 S19 bull 233- S19 S19 bull 232- s20 S20 bull 231- S20 S19 bull.
I hope you all enjoyed the 2nd segment of my "power in numbers article". Remember as I said these are my personal preference for these finishes and you may like to try it different but at least this can give you some variety in your practicing routines for outshots. My next segment I may talk about my personal practice routines that I like to work on for different aspects of my game.