SA singles champ Thurlough Lottering let’s fly on 301 strategy.

Get in there!

Throw a double, any double. Find a number you like and have had success hitting in the past. Don’t worry about how many points you’ll get for that number. A double one is always better than three near misses at the double twenty! When you get in quickly you put the pressure on your opponent to follow your lead.

Don’t bust!

Make sure to shoot for numbers that have the lowest probability of making you bust. For example, if you have 48 left, consider throwing eight to leave a 40. Most people will shoot for 16 and double-16 to get out on 48, but if you hit a triple 16 you bust that round. By shooting for eight and accidentally hitting a triple eight will leave you still alive with a double 12 out.

Don’t think!

A game of 301 can be stressful if you let it get to you. Relax and think about the last time you hit that double. Was it a game winner? How did it feel when you threw it? Use positive association to get yourself back to that place. Concentrate only on your double and let your winning darts fly.

Get out!

Know your outs as you throw. This game can be over very quick. Great players will shoot for an out after throwing just three darts. It’s important to know how quickly you can get out. Google “darts 301 out chart” and memorise the number sequences for 170 and under. Then subtract on the fly and recalculate your options after each throw.

Pro tips

– It’s easier to control left/right aim than up/down.

– The left hand side of the board has the best scoring opportunities e.g. the 14-11-8-16 segment will yield consistent scores.

– The 15-10 segment on the bottom right of the board has the highest value for adjacent numbers.

– If even numbers are required then either the 18-4 or 8-16 sectors should be targeted.

– For odd numbers the large area at the bottom of the board 7-19-3-17 should ensure success.