Should I go for 19 instead of 20?
Hi,
  Is it better for novice players to go for 19s instead of 20s? I play in a recreational dart league and my average is in the low to mid 40s. It seems like whenever I go for 20s, I end up hitting a 1 or 5, so I shoot for 19s instead. Is that a bad idea for long term growth? I could not find any mention of people going for 19s instead of 20s anywhere in this message board.  Thanks!  :)
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The pros do it all the time as their go-to cover shot. They do mainly try to hit the T-20 area, but are sometimes blocked when a dart lands with the flights or barrel covering much of that area, so they go for the wide open 19 bed, trying to hit the T-19.

Think of it this way, if a pro, or any player hits five 20's, they score 100 points and if they do the same in the 19 bed, they score 95 points. So they are only losing 5 points in total score and if more comfortable hitting 19's, then by all means, go for it.

As your game improves and you get more consistent with the top of the board, then attempt more 20's shots.
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Hi, 

take a look at this.

And search the web for Harm Nieuwstadt. He has answered your question with Winmau in a scientific way Big Grin
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It does also have a benefit of being on the same height as the double 16, so just a step to the left should give you a familiar feeling when you try for the boring old 32 finish.

I used to live in the 19's when I was a kid, I think I also used to aim for the treble 7 - knowing if I missed I'd get a nice big juicy 16 or 19... of course once I was zinging perfect darts but only scoring 7or 21, I moved over to aim for treble 19's
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I know many players who prefer 19's all the time. Common thing here in czech rep. It may feel odd if you watch all pros throwing mainly at 20's, but it's not that unusual. On the other hand, I haven't ever seen anyone whose prefered numbers would be 18's, 17's or anything else unles they're some poor players who better throw at 14's as there's now 1's and 3's around...

I wouldn't worry about 19's. I used to throw primarily at them too many years ago. I had a feeling though that throwing at the lower part of dartboard affected my doubles, so I better changed that to 20's. It could've been just a feeling though...
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I was wondering about this the other day and what people have said pretty much backs what I was thinking...

When looking over my stats the other day I realised I had a higher average over a hundred darts at 19 than I had at the 20 bed despite the majority of practice being devoted to high scores (20/T20).

So if I was playing a match/game or on a team, then from a statistical standpoint it would be solid tactics to aim for 19s over 20s.

I presume actually hitting what yr aiming for and seeing yr score coming down is only going to be better for yr confidence and hence yr overall game too...

Its all theory for me until I find someone to play regularly anyway! Lol

Happy Sundays all.
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If you fancy digging down a bit further, then you might find this link interesting:
http://www.stat.cmu.edu/~ryantibs/darts/

Quick version........ a statistician called  Ryan Tibshirani often played darts with one of his student friends at Stanford University. The friend was much better than Ryan who had the familiar problem of hitting 1s and 5s rather than the 20 he was aiming at. 'Just for fun' he decided to use statistics to decide where on the dartboard he should aim to maximise his scoring.

His results support the idea that '19 is a better target for poor players' but go much, much further and show that 'the optimum aiming point' follows a complex path around the board as the player's ability increases.

Ability can be measured by throwing 50 darts at the bull, recording the results and feeding them into a formula to obtain a personal 'deviation score'. This score can then be used to generate a personal 'Heat Map' showing the 'hottest' (white) areas to aim at for your current ability.

Its all good fun, especially if you enjoy maths, science or just tinkering.

You don't really need any mathematical skill. The link given above points to the original research paper (hard, even if you are into maths) and several 'simplified' articles which anyone can follow. It also shows where you can down load a 'Heat Map' to match your current ability.


This shows my efforts on the test and the matching Heat Map a few weeks after I started to play darts last year:

   

Basically, it shows that I was so bad that even throwing at 19 was too ambitious and that I should be aiming just above T7



The map below shows circles to represent 'deviation' based on your performance. The larger the circle, the less accurate you are and the more likely it is that your darts will miss your intended target.
It is obvious that the 20 represents the maximum reward BUT also imposes the greatest penalty.
The Heat Map is designed to show how reward v penalty changes as you aim at different targets and allows each player to select the optimum scoring area to match their ability.
   


Having spent quite a lot of time exploring this........ I'm still not totally convinced. I can't argue with the maths but I think that there are far more variables involved here and the danger of 'paralysis by analysis' is always present.

Anyway, its a fun way to spend a few minutes/hours/days broadening your darts practice routine Big Grin
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Nothing wrong with it in my opinion if you are more comfortable down there. I look at it on misses the 3 is better than 1 and 7 is better than 5. I've also pondered just using the 15 and 10's cumulatively. Not as good on the trebles, but 3 in either is better than 20-5-1. Lots of hypothetical choicesSmile
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(03-11-2018, 10:30 AM)theblindPew Wrote: Hi, 

take a look at this.

And search the web for Harm Nieuwstadt. He has answered your question with Winmau in a scientific way Big Grin

That is interesting. I read about calculating the DDV and it says you can use it to establish which number to throw for, but it does not actually say how to use the DDV to determine which number to go for on the dart board.
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(03-11-2018, 02:07 PM)Mike Garbett Wrote: You don't really need any mathematical skill. The link given above points to the original research paper (hard, even if you are into maths) and several 'simplified' articles which anyone can follow. It also shows where you can down load a 'Heat Map' to match your current ability.


This shows my efforts on the test and the matching Heat Map a few weeks after I started to play darts last year:
I had no idea there was so much high level stats involves in this. LOL.

Where exactly did you plug your numbers in to get your heat score? I tried
stat.stanford.edu/~ryantibs/darts
but that link does not work.
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Plain and simple if you shoot 19's better, then shoot them, when your game advances try 20's again or stick with 19's, lots of 19 shooters out there
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For the classic perfect leg is being able to throw a treble 19 quite important. Wink
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(03-11-2018, 09:03 AM)whippet0 Wrote: Hi,
  Is it better for novice players to go for 19s instead of 20s? I play in a recreational dart league and my average is in the low to mid 40s. It seems like whenever I go for 20s, I end up hitting a 1 or 5, so I shoot for 19s instead. Is that a bad idea for long term growth? I could not find any mention of people going for 19s instead of 20s anywhere in this message board.  Thanks!  Smile

 Throw at what ever large # you find most comfortable & you score best, as it's better to score 3 x whatever # than a 20/5/1,& if you can get trebles it's a bonus + you get confident with scoring what you are throwing at then try the others including 20's
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whippet0 .............

Its a bit tricky.........................
He moved from Stanford where he did his PhD to Carnegie Mellon so stat.stanford.edu/~ryantibs/darts became stat.cmu.edu/~ryantibs/darts

The link for the 'plug your numbers in' bit is:
http://www.stat.cmu.edu/~ryantibs/darts/...pplet.html

BUT.......... as the name suggests it uses JAVA and quite a few modern internet browsers (Microsoft Edge, Firefox and probably others) no longer support this software. Apple also block Java so it won't run on my iPad or on my Android phone using Chrome.

It WILL still work on good old Internet Explorer if you have a copy installed on your computer. Not sure if they bundle it with new computers but you can still download it from the Microsoft website.
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(03-11-2018, 09:03 AM)whippet0 Wrote: Hi,
  Is it better for novice players to go for 19s instead of 20s? I play in a recreational dart league and my average is in the low to mid 40s. It seems like whenever I go for 20s, I end up hitting a 1 or 5, so I shoot for 19s instead. Is that a bad idea for long term growth? I could not find any mention of people going for 19s instead of 20s anywhere in this message board.  Thanks!  Smile

IMO if you're looking to maximise your scoring potential but your spread is really large (so consistently hitting 12-5-20-1-18 while aiming at the 20) then you should be looking at the 14-11 area.  T14 is 42 and T11 is 33, but misses around that area don't penalise you as severely as a herd of 1s or 5s.

In terms of long-term growth, my gut feeling is that if you're shooting at 19s exclusively then possibly it may be detrimental (notice I've hedged this a lot!). I am personally much more comfortable on the 19s than the 20s so the temptation has been there to just shoot at 19s.  However, a lot of setup shots go through or start at the 20s and I find that scoring on the 19s doesn't give me any range at all on the 20.  I also see this at league - we have a couple of good players who score exclusively on the 19s but when they have to set up an out that starts on the T20 am fairly confident that they're not going to manage it.

It's taken a long time but now I am probably as comfortable on the 20s than the 19s. This has helped me a lot because hitting a 19s cover shot for me is actually fairly natural and I have options on how to start a lot of outshots.
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