Review of Play Better Darts eBook

Review of “Play Better Darts” – A Guide to the Art of 501

I just got my copy of Bill Spears’ book, “Play Better Darts and Win More Often“.

Brilliant! This is an unusual book that covers the key to winning at darts – more specifically, 01 games. There is nothing in it about how to stand at the oche, how to release the dart or how high to hang a dart board. I have links to that all over, but this book covers a much overlooked discipline in the game of darts – closing the deal.

This is a book about what to shoot and when. The author wisely leaves the “how-to” throw darts stuff to others.

Who this Book is NOT for:

  • Cricket-only players

Cricket is hugely popular in America but the Pros play 501. If you’re not playing ’01 then you’re missing out on the most popular darts game in the world.

  • Beginners

If you’re new to darts, this knowledge won’t matter to you yet. Keep practicing.

  • 01 players who routinely play the double 16-8-4-2-1 roulette

You can read this book now but you have to improve past this stage

  • Players still struggling to hit what they want

If you still consider yourself lucky when you hit 1 out of 3 darts where you were aiming, you need to work on your technique first.

  • Phil Taylor and friends

Pros all know this stuff from 1000’s of games played. This book lets you get inside their heads.

Who Needs this Book Most?

  • 20-grinders who only adjust with around 100 left

Top players start thinking about their outs in the 300s

  • Advanced 01 players who are coming up short in finishes.

If you can think of quite a few games you’ve lost saying “aw, man, I was on double 20”

  • Mathematically-challenged players from the two above

If doing head-math in any way distracts you from your next shot, you need this book.

  • Anyone who plays the game and seriously wants to improve.

The Layout

Rather than normal chapters, the book is broken up into “Winning Tips”. This may seem odd but the Tips have special meaning and it actually makes it easier to refer to ideas later in the book.

When you read Winning Tip #1, you might be tempted to roll your eyes and say “Well, That’s obvious”, but as you read the rest of the tips, you’ll understand why very few players actually do it.

The book is delivered as an ebook and every page lets you jump forward, backwards or

back to the index.

Main points

  • Memorizing Outs is less important than understanding Targets.
  • The number you need to get good at to win 501 – it’s NOT triple 20.
  • Knowing when AND WHY shooting for 180 is wrong – even when starting in the 300 range
  • Know the numbers you should never leave for both 3 and 2 dart finishes.
  • Having an “Outs Chart” on the wall is no substitute for understanding how outs are created and taken out.


With so many examples to work through, this book will help change your thinking as you play. If you keep going through it, your brain will start to automatically warn you when you are in danger of leaving a bad number, “Warning! 99 up ahead. Approach with caution.”

This book is a must have for any serious 01 player. You cannot move up to top levels without making this knowledge a part of you.
I know a few dart friends that will get a copy for Xmas. The only thing that worries me is that I might have to start paying for my Sunday beers.

More information on the Double Outs book.