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Whilst there might not be that many transferable skills from poker to darts (or vice versa) the two have more in common than you’d first think…

1) Trebles for show, cash for dough

I’m sure you know the phrase ‘trebles for show cash for dough’ and its application to darts. So how does that relate to poker? Well you can hit all the 180s you want and sure the crowd will cheer but it doesn’t happen that often – that’ll be the occasional poker tournament win and brag then – but those who do well and win legs, sets and tournaments in darts are those who can hit the doubles. In poker that’s your cash game pros, who week in, week out, grind out a living.

2) Shaking hands are not a good thing

One of the most widely known poker tells is shaking hands. You can bet your bottom dollar (and some do) that the player with the shaking hands man has a monster and has given away the strength of their hand. In darts if you’ve got a shaking hand you’re going to as accurate as a weather forecast.

3) An established system for player to progress up the ranks

Whilst darts might have a richer history of established ranking system the TV tournaments are not the only ones that take place as plenty of smaller tournaments take part up and down the country every week. In live poker you’ve got the same thing, there’s the WPT National Tour, the WPT 500 and then there’s the WPT proper, then you’ve got your high rollers and finally your Alpha 8 tournaments for the top dogs.

4) Two’s a crowd, but every now and then it makes for a refreshing change

Like poker, darts is best played as an individual pursuit, but that doesn’t stop there being team events in both arenas, like the World Cup of Darts. In poker of course there’s been the Poker Nations Cup. Given the different format it can make for exciting viewing as you’re not used to seeing it.

5) Play the player

In poker we often hear people say, “play the player, not the cards,” and that can be extrapolated to darts as well. Often you’ll see a tungsten titan deliberately play slowly so as to disrupt his opponent who likes to play fast. In short find a weakness in your opponent and exploit it.

6) Both are a lot of fun to play

If you can play the game in a pub then it’s got to be fun, right!

7) You get out what you put in

The amount of practice and work put in by those at the top echelon of both darts and poker is staggering. Marvin Rettenmaier didn’t become a world class player overnight, he put in countless hours of study, playing time and reviewing his game to get to where he is today. And Phil Taylor doesn’t simply roll out of bed and win darts tournaments. He puts in hour after hour on the oche to hone his skills. There are no short cuts, practice makes perfect.

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