What is a 9 dart finish?

Written by
Cole Hoskins

In a new blog series, Shot Darts aims to explain to new fans of the sport what certain terminologies are to help gain a better understanding of the great game of darts.

Global coverage of darts hit unprecedented heights when Michael Smith hit a nine-darter in the 2023 PDC World Championship final – becoming just the second man to do so in the history of the sport in a televised final.

So what exactly is a nine darter?

In simple terms, a 9 dart finish is a perfect leg of darts while competing in the dart game 501. The minimum number of darts possible to win a leg of 501 is 9 darts, hence a 9 dart finish. Many people also refer to a 9dart finish as “nine darter” and it can also be called a “nine dart leg.”

Now, you may wonder, “How do I throw a 9 darter?” There is more than just one way to accomplish a 9 dart finish; in fact, there are 3,944 different ways you can throw a 9 darter! However, The most common way is throwing a 180 in both your first and second set of throws. This is accomplished by hitting the treble 20 with your first six darts. Following the two 180’s, the player would throw a 141 with their final three darts. A player commonly throws a 141 to cap off a 9 dart finish by hitting the treble 20, treble 19, and a double 12.

Although there are many difficult throws in darts, the elusive9 dart finish is extremely difficult even for world champions. To highlight the difficulty of the 9 dart finish, as of January 2023, only 72 nine dart finishes have been thrown in televised matches by only 32 different players.

Whether you are new to darts or have been playing for years, we can all agree that a 9 dart finish is one of the most prestigious accomplishments in our sport. With that being said, it is time to step up to the oche and get practicing so you, too, can accomplish this great feat!

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