Darts has one of the lowest barriers to entry in all of the sports world. All you need to get going on your path to mastery is a dart board, a few darts, and the willingness to practice, practice, practice. 

You will also have to learn a handful of concepts and terms that are commonly used by both dart beginners and dart pros.

If you are new to the game you might hear the term “double” a lot. Let’s look at doubles and why they are important.

What Is A Double In Darts?

When playing darts, the term double refers to the thin section of the dartboard made up of the outer ring. Doubles, as the name so suggests, count for twice the number hit.

For example, if you hit the double section of the 16 with one of your darts, your score for that dart would not be 16, but rather 16 times 2, or 32.

The center red dot of the bullseye is often referred to as a “double bull” and counts as a score of 50.

Why Are Doubles So Important In Darts?

Doubles are important in darts because to finish a game of 501, you must land your final dart on a double to win the game.

This means you can be hundreds of points ahead of your opponent, but if you are not able to hit the double to get out, they will have the opportunity to catch up.

When the legendary Phil Taylor retired in 2018, a seismic shift took place in the world of professional darts. Taylor’s greatest rival Michael van Gerwen was poised to take over the professional circuit and establish his dominance over the competition.

After all, this was the guy who was able to hit over 46% of his trebles consistently over several months and in the highest stakes competitions the sport has to offer.

However, something quite peculiar took place. Michael’s competition began to close the gap and nip at his heels. Why? Because MvG began to miss his doubles. At the same time, accuracy rates on these doubles began to increase across the board for all players on the circuit. As a result, Michael Van Gerwen did not dominate the 2018 season as everyone expected.

The lesson to be learned here is that even if you are one of the best players in the world, you won’t win unless you can hit your doubles. 

Ways To Practice Doubles

The ability to hit your doubles is essential to mastering the game, so the more you practice hitting your doubles the better you will perform across the board, and the more legs you will be able to close.

Repetition is your best friend when it comes to improving at darts. Here are the most common ways to practice hitting your doubles.

It is important to practice your doubles

Bob’s 27

This game is one of the most popular practice games to improve your doubles. Bob’s 27 has you starting with a score of 27 and tasks you with making your way around the board by hitting ONLY doubles. So you start your three darts trying to hit double 1, then double 2, then double 3, etc. 

For every double you hit, you add the score to your 27. So, your score will go from 27 to 29, then 29 to 33, and so on.

However, if you miss with your darts you must subtract that double amount from your score. You keep going until you make it all the way around the board, or your score drops down to zero.

Doubles Lock

Doubles lock is another fantastic doubles practice game that tests your concentration and accuracy on doubles.

To start practicing with doubles lock you take three throws per double, going from 20 to 1. Hitting a double allows you to move to the next target.

Hitting all 3 darts on a double allows you to lock it out of rotation. However, if you fail to hit your double with all 3 of your darts, you must start over again.

Keep going until you have locked out all of the doubles on the dartboard

Remember to stay focused and stay persistent.