Darts is, in many ways, about as simple a game as there is to play. You throw things with a sharp point at a board, earning points if they remain stuck in the board at the end of the play. The board, meanwhile, is broken down into sections that have different points associated with them, whilst hitting in a very specific part of the section will give you either double or treble the points. In the middle of the board are two circles that promise either 25 or 50 points depending on which if them you hit, with the points you score being taken off your overall total from the start of the game.
That, in a nutshell, is darts. Bookmakers, of course, don’t necessarily like games that are easy to understand. They want you to be able to place wagers on different aspects of what it is that you’re watching, which is why it is that there are many different options for you to place your bet on. One such option is the ability to place a wager on a 170 checkout, but does it occur often enough for it to be worthwhile? Not only that, but what even is a 170 checkout? They are the sort of questions that you might want to ask before heading to your bookie of choice to place a bet.
What Is A 170 Checkout?
First things first, then, and a look at what a 170 checkout actually is. When it comes to professional darts, the majority of matches see both players start with 501 points, requiring them to score points by hitting the dartboard, which will see the points scored removed from the total. If you hit 150, for example, you would see your total drop from 501 to 351. When you get towards the end of the game, you need to be able to finish on a double in order to win the leg. If you have 40 left, say, then you’ll need to get a double-20 in order to win that particularly leg of the contest.
The reason 170 is important is that it is the first score that a player can have and be able to win the leg from one visit to the oche. That is to say, it is possible to score 170 with just three darts, thereby winning the leg. The reason why that is the case is that there is one exception to the rule of needing to finish on a double, which is that you can finish by hitting the bullseye. If you’re trying to get a 170 to finish your go at the oche and win the leg, here is what you would need to score:
- Treble 20 (60)
- Treble 20 (60)
- Bull (50)
That will give you 60, 60 and 50, which obviously adds up to 170 and is the figure required to win the leg from the position that you were in. This checkout is known as a Big Fish and is considered extremely difficult, on account of the fact that it requires you to hit a bullseye in order to finish off the leg.
Betting On 170 Finishes
When you’re looking to place a wager on a game of darts, you’ll be given numerous different options on what you want to bet on. The method of victory is often one of the things that you can place a bet on, including by 170 checkout. A match that is played over the rules of best-of-five will require a player to win three legs in order to be successful.
That allows plenty of chances for a 170 finish to occur and the more legs that are played, the more likely a 170 finish will be. That is just basic maths, considering the fact that players obviously have more chance of getting a 170 finish the more games that they play.
The types of bets you’ll be offered around 170 checkouts include the following:
- Will a player score a 170 during the tournament?
- Will a player get a 170 during the match?
- Will a tournament have a 170 by anyone?
- Will a specific match have a 170?
How Often Do They Happen?
If you’re going to place a wager on a darts match and are considering betting on the 170 finish, you’ll almost certainly want to know how often a 170 checkout actually takes place. The fact that a 170 checkout is considered to be the holy grail of finishes in the world of darts probably tells you all you need to know. In 2020, for example, there had been just 166 checkouts from 170 by the 30th of November. They were achieved by 113 players, with the Players’ Championship being responsible for 61 of the 170 checkouts. The next closest tournament was the Challenge Tour with 21.
The rarity of the 170 finish is what makes it so special when they happen. In 2019, for example, Michael Smith opened up his account with a 170 finish, only for Gerwyn Price to respond with one himself in the following leg. It shows darts players at the top of their game, able to cope with the pressure of the situation and also hone in their darts throwing well enough to effectively showboat at the business end of proceedings. It is considered rude to finish on a 170 because of the fact that it ends on the bull rather than a double, but that doesn’t stop players from doing it when they can.
The good news for punters is that there is a lot of information out there about darts players as well as individual tournaments. If you’re thinking of placing a bet on a 170 checkout then you might want to have a look to see how many games are likely to be played across the tournament in question. You can also have a look at how a specific player tends to get on when attempting the big finish in a match with 170 points on the board and three darts in their hand. Use the stats to help you as best you can because it will put you in a better position before placing a bet.