In the article about proper darts stance, we discussed how stance is not just where you put your feet but rather the position of your entire body.
The one thing we did not go into great detail about is where to put your throwing arm. This is because before you can position the arm you first have to know what you are shooting for. So, how do you aim a dart?
To aim a dart you must bring it up to your dominant eye and make a direct line of sight between your eye, the dart, and your target before throwing.
This may require you to adjust your stance or reposition yourself along the oche depending on your target or the location of other darts in the dartboard.
Let’s take a look at the steps required for improving your aim with darts.
Find Your Dominant Eye
What Is A Dominant Eye
Most of us have two eyes. But not all things are created equal. It is easy to notice you may have one arm stronger than the other but when it comes to eyes the differences are not so apparent.
Your dominant eye (also known as ocular dominance) is simply the one that your brain prefers visual input from. For some people with eye problems, it may be obvious which eye is dominant but because your eyes work in tandem it can sometimes be tricky to work out.
It is important to know most (but not all) people have a dominant eye, and the amount of dominance varies from person to person.
For the majority of people, if you are left-handed you are left eye dominant and you are right-handed you are right eye dominant. So you may already be using your dominant eye without knowing it.
Why Does It Matter For Darts
Even though you have two eyes, your dominant eye is relied on for accurate positional information. When doing any activity that requires precise aiming, your dominant eye helps to more accurately determine the position of the target.
In darts it becomes even more important as part of the throwing process is to bring the dart up to your face.
When you raise the dart you should be positioning it in front of your dominant eye. This will increase your ability to properly judge your shot.
How To Find Your Dominant Eye for Darts
There are a few simple tests you can do to find your dominant eye for darts while standing at the oche.
Standing at the line and facing the board, put your hands out in front of you touching your index fingers and thumbs to form a triangle.
Now hold your arms up so you can see the bullseye through the hole that you made with your hands.
While looking at the bullseye, slowly bring your hands to your face, the whole time making sure to focus on the bull.
Once your hands get up to your face, you will find they are not in the middle, but rather in front of your left or right eye. This is your dominant eye.
Another test you can try is to extend your finger in front of you and point to an object in the distance. Then close one of your eyes.
If your finger appears to have moved far from the object then the closed eye is your dominant eye. If your finger is still pointed at the object, the open eye is your dominant eye.
I prefer the first test as the dominance of my one eye is very slight. Often times when doing the pointing test my finger moves a similar amount with each eye.
When throwing darts you should get used to bringing the dart up to and aiming primarily with your dominant eye.
This does not mean you should close your other eye. It is still needed for depth perception. It just means that your dominant eye should be leading the way.
Find your target
Once you approach the board it is important to know what you are going to be shooting at.
You should be planning this and eyeing your target as you are walking up as it will affect where you will be standing on the oche.
As you move left and right along the oche to find your key position your eyes should always be fixated on the target. Don’t just look at the board. You should be focused on the actual segment you are going to be aiming for.
You should not just walk up to the line and throw. Don’t be afraid to move, readjust your position or even step back for a moment to take things in.
Get Into Your Dart Stance
Now that we know your dominant eye and you know where you want to shoot, its time to get in position.
If you have read our article on proper dart stance, you’ll know you should be well balanced and positioned in such a way that eye and dart line up with the target. This is called your line of sight.
If you have not read the article, you may want to go back and check it out to make sure you are getting the most out of your darts stance.
Depending on your throwing arm/dominant eye combination, you may need to readjust your stance to ensure balance and a proper line of site.
Try not to veer too far away from what feels comfortable.
Getting Your Arm Into Position
Bring the dart up to your face in front of your dominant eye. Once you have the dart up you need to consider the position of your arm.
Because most of your throw takes place at the elbow, the position of your upper arm is one of the biggest factors into where your dart is going to go.
Generally, you want your elbow pointed towards your target with the upper arm as parallel to the ground as possible.
Use A Marker For Your Line Of Sight
When finding your line of sight with the board you have to decide where on the dart or your hand you are going to use as a reference. You can line up your knuckle, the tip of your dart or an extended pinky depending on your grip.
What you want to do is position your arm and hand in such a way that the marker you choose lines up directly with the target you are aiming at.
The important thing is to find what works best and being consistent with it. Changing your marker for your line of site with change your throw and shift where the dart will land.
Aim The Tip Of The Dart Up
Finally, before throwing the dart, you want to make sure the tip of the dart is pointed slightly upward. This will ensure a proper trajectory when thrown.
How much you should tilt the dart is dependent on a number of things like how heavy your dart is and how hard your throw is.
Determining the actual angle of your dart is something that we will adjust over time. The important thing we are looking for here is just to make sure it is not pointed down.
Now you are are ready to throw your dart.
26 CommentsLeave a Reply
I have played darts for over 30 years, but in the last 2 years, I have noticed that when I draw the dart back to throw it, it goes above my eye and not below or level. This has caused me to be extremely low in confidence, lose my county spot, and to be considering quitting, because I cannot find out how to bring it down. Please help
First, I’m willing to bet the length of you arm has not changed.
So the only cause of this would be a change in body positioning. Your elbow is to high, you are leaning too far or your neck could be hunched.
Best first step is to grab your phone and film yourself from the side. It should help you figure out whats going on. I think just a slight repositioning of your dart stance may correct your problems.
I have a dominant left eye, but I am right handed. Suggestions?
There is nothing wrong with that you just have to find a throwing position that works for you. I am lefy-handed and right-eye dominant.
Phil Taylor is left-eyed dominant and throws with his right, and he is the best in the world. You can try watching some of his videos on youtube. In fact if you watch carefully I think a lot of players have a dominant eye opposite to their throwing arm. Its just something that is not discussed much.
How do you position yourself at the Oche? And how do you throw? Because i don‘t find it very easy to pull my right arm to my left eye… 🥴
When you say its not easy, is it uncomfortable? Really the change to move your aim from one eye to another is only about an inch.
I put a white dot on the back of my hand as a marker for my throw, is this against the rules, Leigh
Hi, I’m trying to improve my throw, but I find my darts tend to go left. I hit 7s a lot when playing 19s and 5s when on 20s. I’m right handed throw, right eye dominant. One thing, I struggle to get my forearm vertical as it is uncomfortable, feels unnatural and is a strain to do it, so I tend to throw at about 10-11 o’clock angle. Could this be the cause? Should I keep trying to get my arm vertical and hope I can adapt to the unnatural position? Have you any tips for me or others with this type of issue?
The angle of our arm will surely affect where is is going. Perhaps a different stance will help you reposition it to a more natural throw.
Recently I have started tensing up when I throw, this has caused me to start leaning forward and twist my upper body. As a result I have not been able to throw with any accuracy. I throw rigjt handed, right foot forward, right eye dominant. I have tried changing position, and more practice hoping to loosen up, but the only thing that helps is to either close my eyes and throw blind or turn my head away from the board. Any tips on how to get back on track?
I be looking to resolve the tensing up issue before trying to work around it. Try reading this article on Dartitis.
Hi there, really like your Dart help page
I’m trying to get more consistent, my darts at the 20 drift too much mainly into the 1s
I’m left handed right eye dominant and l like to either stand in the centre or the slightly left, I just can’t seem to get comfortable and settle and keep changing where I hold the dart etc and aim etc, any tips as I really like this game!😃
Hey i noticed you use a marker for aiming. Ive been playing darts for some time off and on and i know before i used the tip of my dart to aim but then i changed it to where i bring my dart up to my dominant eye but im looking through my dart to my target. Is this an acceptable way of aiming? When i bring my dart backwards i gain full vision of the board but when im aiming im just looking through my dart to the dart board. Ive heard of different ways of aiming and that i may be doing it inaccurately but i can still hit my target and doesnt feel wrong for me but i just want to be able to try something new if im doing it wrong or there may be a better way. Any input is welcome! Thank you!
Do what works for you.
I have been playing with a team for 20 years or so but I’m just not consistent when it comes to playing other teams. I can hit big scores and hit the double within a few darts but I just can’t get it right. What am I doing wrong
Try signing up for the 7-days to better darts program on our sidebar –>
Whenever i position my dart, in the line of sight, i see my darttip double. not like hazy but really like inches apart. Like one is pointing towards 9 and one pointing towards 4ish… really nasty this way to create some kind of accuracy. Is that normal? because i cant aim like that for the life me and darts are swaying around the board
Are you holding it in the middle? Find you dominant eye and hold it in from of that. If you are still seeing double try holding it even further from the weak eye.
I am right eye dominant, most of my darts land 1, triple 1 or 18, if I try 19 they go 3 or 17 sometimes even 2. How do I fix this, I have tried different stances and locations on the line.
This is very hard to diagnose online. I think you may be on the right track with modifying your stance. Try to find a coach even one or two sessions should correct it.
Thank You So Much for this article. I am right handed and left eye dominant. I have been throwing wrong for… well, ever… I recently (10 days ago) decided to fix my throw, but in so doing realized I had no idea how to aim correctly with a corrected arm position (my elbow was down, my arm extended, then threw with a backward stroke before throwing).
This article helped me to figure out how to correctly aim my dart from my new arm position.
Jim G in SC
Now I’m getting somewhere and the game is becoming more interesting than I ever thought. Thanks very much
I noticed that if I throw with my left hand I have no trouble getting a smooth hold on my dart and bringing it up to throw. But the hand is at an off angle which means the throw finishing with my Left hand is turned away from my target. using my right hand I noticed that when I throw I finish with my hand straight in line with my target. Gotta be thinking that should result in more accuracy. Problem is I have all kinds of trouble bringing the dart up to throw and I’m constantly turning my wrist as I release plus I don’t seem to be able to get a comfy grip with the right hand. What can I do to solve this problem?
I just found out I am left eye dominant after watching your video. I’m right handed and never thought about eye dominance before. So up until now I have been bringing my dart back to my non-dominant right eye. Do you have any suggestions as to how to modify ones stance so not be drawing the dart and forearm across your body. Is a simple turn of the head all that is required? Thank you so much.