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Darts has been played in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years, and can be traced back even as far as Henry VIII, who is said to have to received a darts board from his wife Anne Boleyn in 1530. However, it was not until the late 19th century that it became popular with everyday people, and began to appear in pubs across the country. In 1906, the first paper flight was patented in the UK, and darts equipment improved from this period up until the first world war.

Despite its popularity, the first national body for darts, the National Darts Association, wasn’t formed until 1954, and the rules weren’t codified until three years later. In the 1970s, another darts body was set up, the British Darts Organisation, and matches and tournaments began to be shown on TV in the 1980s. In the 1990s the famous split occurred, where a rival darts organisation – the World Darts Council – was set up by people not happy with the way the sport was going. Today, there continues to be separate competitions hosted by the two bodies.

Over the last 15 years, darts has become more popular than ever before, helped by investment from TV networks like Sky Sports, as well as by the emergence of major darts superstars like Phil “The Power” Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld. This has led to more and more people watching the sport, and has increased the number of bets placed on it. Today, darts betting is one of the most popular ways to bet on sport in the world, and every major betting site has a variety of different darts markets.

What ways are there to bet on darts?

There are a number of different ways you can bet on darts matches. As it is such a popular sport when it comes to betting, darts betting sites go out of their way to make sure that customers have as much choice as possible when it comes to placing their bets. Different betting websites will have different markets for darts betting, but there are a few that will be included on almost every site. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common darts bets out there.

  • Outright winner

The most common and most popular darts bets are, like with most other sports, those for the outright winner, which usually relates to who will win the final of whichever tournament you’re betting on. This is usually a safe bet for most people, and so while it might not have great odds for the big names, you can stand to make yourself some money regardless.

  • Match winner

As well as betting on the winner of the tournament or event overall, you can also bet on who you think will be the winner of an individual match. In the earlier rounds of tournaments, when big names are paired with newcomers or smaller players, this can be a fairly safe bet with low odds, but as the tournament progresses and the matches become harder to call, it can be a good way to make profit on your free bet.

  • Maximum checkout

You can also bet on what you think the highest checkout will be across the whole tournament. Checkout means the number required by a player to win the game, or checkout, and as it is hard to guess, usually has great odds.

  • Live betting

Like with other sports such as american football, rugby, and tennis, you can also take part in live darts betting. This means placing bets online as the match is taking place, with the odds changing depending on the events occurring within the match. This is a great way to get good odds, as you can place bets on swings and comebacks, which can often yield good returns. You can also make more specific bets when live betting, including on the next turn, next checkout, or next set.

How can you get free darts bets?

In order to introduce customers to darts betting online, lots of online betting companies will offer new customers free bets. These usually work by requiring that you place a bet first using your own money, or that you deposit a set amount into your account once you’ve signed up. Then, your free bet will be granted. Usually there are restrictions placed on free bets, sometimes related to how much you must spend before you can withdraw your winnings, but nevertheless free darts betting is a great way to get started, and can be very profitable.

In general, there are three steps that you need to follow in order to place your free darts bet:

1. Choose your bookmaker

Different bookmakers and betting sites have different free bet promotions, so the first thing to do is to choose which of them you think represents the best offer. You will have to weigh up the differences between the minimum wager requirements and how much of a free bet the company is offering. At Best Deal Casinos, we make this easy for you, with a table outlining the information for each free bet offer, so all you have to do is choose the one that best suits you, and simply click the link to be taken to the website – it couldn’t be easier.

2. Register

Online betting shops require you to register as a customer before you can receive your free bet and start playing. This is usually a very simple process, and just requires you to enter some basic personal information and confirm that you are of the required age; you will also need to enter your payment information so that you can deposit funds into your account, and withdraw your winnings when you strike it big! Keep in mind that some online betting sites will require you to enter a promotional code at this stage in order to claim your free bet, so don’t forget to copy and paste it from the table above.

3. Make a deposit and claim your free bet!

In order to claim your free bet, the site may require you to deposit funds into your account. In most cases, the amount you deposit will determine the total amount of your free bet, which is called matching. Here it is up to you how much you deposit, but if you are new to betting on darts, try starting with a smaller amount, and slowly increase it with each new free bet offer as you gain more experience and become more confident with your betting.

And that’s it – three simple steps to getting your free darts betting funds! Take a look at our table above if you’re ready to get started with your betting, but if you feel like you need some more advice on how best to use your free bets or you’d like some darts betting tips, then keep on reading!

How can you use your free darts bet?

You should be aware that there may be some restrictions placed on how you can use your free darts bet. These restrictions are placed by the bookmakers to ensure that customers don’t take advantage of free bet promotions, but you can still work around them in order to maximise your free bet profits. The restrictions on free bet offers can vary between bookmakers, but there are generally six things that you need to know about using your free darts bet.

1. Your bet can expire

Free bet offers don’t last forever, and customers should be aware that often free bets come with a time limit. This is usually somewhere between one week and one month (30 days), but to be sure that you don’t waste your free bet, it’s best to place it as soon as you’ve signed up.

2. There can be minimum odds restrictions

Some online betting sites make it so that free bets can only be placed on selections with odds above a certain threshold. Again, this varies between bookmakers, so check the terms and conditions of each for more information.

3. The stake is not included in the return

Unlike regular bets, the stake is not included in the return with free bets. This means that you will only get the winnings you make on your free bet should your selection prove correct.

4. There may be restrictions on where it can be used

Sometimes bookmakers will require you to place your free bet on certain sports, or certain markets within those sports. However, depending on the bookmaker, free bets can sometimes also be used in other areas, like games or virtual sports.

5. Check which bet types you are allowed to go for

Your free bet may also only be able to be used on certain types of bet. This usually means only on single selections or accumulators, but sometimes different bookmakers will select a certain bet type for specific free bet offers.

6. Watch out for rollover requirements

Some online betting companies will implement a rollover requirement when giving out free bets. This means that may need to bet your free bet or deposit bonus multiple times before you can cash out and withdraw your winnings. Each extra time you are required to bet reduces the chance of you leaving with any cash, so free bet offers without rollover requirements are preferred by most customers.

Three top darts betting tips

If you’re a newcomer to the world of online darts betting, it can be a a bit confusing. So, to help you make the most of your free bets, we’ve put together a list of three top darts betting tips and tricks, which should stand you in good stead when you place your first free online bet.

1. Do your research

Unlike larger sports like football and rugby, darts does not get the same kind of all-round news coverage. This means that while the major events are on TV and are covered in the news, smaller competitions and tournaments are sometimes not reported on in the mainstream media. However, as darts works on a ‘tour’ basis, whereby players accrue points playing smaller competitions before larger events, these less well known games can really have a bearing on who wins and loses, and therefore are crucial to placing good bets. This means it pays to do your research before betting, including by reading darts news websites like http://www.pdc.tv/news and http://www.sportinglife.com/darts, both of which have lots of good information and comment about what’s going on in the world of darts.

2. Don’t just focus on the larger events

Darts betting is focused on the major events in the sport’s calendar, like the PDC World Championship, The Masters, and the Premier League. However, there is also good value to be found when betting on smaller competitions, like the tour events, qualifying games, and the Players Championship. While these might not have the same pull as the more well known competitions, they can sometimes offer great betting opportunities, and can be a good way to use your free darts bet.

3. Go for smaller markets

Lots of people choose to bet on popular markets, like outright winner or match winner. However, there are lots of smaller markets that can sometimes offer better odds and more chances of winning. These include maximum checkout, the number of 180s, and live markets like next set and next checkout.

You’re ready to start betting

Now that you’ve read through our guide to betting on darts, you’re ready to claim your first free bet and start making money! Check out our table of free bets and links at the top of the page, find one that’s right for you, and get started!

Please check out other sports suitable for betting, including Football, Golf, Greyhounds & Handball.