How to Grip and Hold a Dart: The Basics

The way you grip a dart and your overall body posture are both crucial aspects of dart throwing. And even if you know how to handle a dart correctly, you’ll have trouble hitting your target if other parts of your throw are off. This article is here to help, and we’ll go into detail about every aspect of your darts grip.

Darts are designed differently to suit the needs of different players. But, regardless of what kind of dart you use, you’ll need to figure out how to grip and hold the dart properly. Other dimensions of your throw, such as how you position your arms and legs, may have an impact on your grip and overall scoring ability. This guide will help you to improve your dart skills.

Where Should You Stand?

People constantly overlook their throwing stance, but it is one of the first facets to care of to develop a competent darts game. First, draw an imaginary line from the dart’s bullseye to the throwing line. Mark the middle of the oche, or toeline, in your mind and make sure you always start throwing your dart from the same place.

Standing in such a way that the two feet are shoulder width apart is a good idea. Put the same foot forward as your throwing hand. Your front foot can support more weight than your back foot, so lean forward a little. This increases balance and accuracy, but leaning too far forward could result in wild throws as well as back injuries. See our article on how to perfect your dart stance for more information.

Steel Tip Darts

Steel tip darts are heavy. Usually they weigh 20-30 grams, which makes for more accurate, weighted throws. Made from a mixture of iron and copper, they also rarely break or bend, so you can throw them harder. This power will help the dart last longer. Durability ensures that you get your money’s worth out of your purchase. 

Also, there’s the idea of tradition; there are some dart players, primarily seasoned veterans, who would suggest that you aren’t truly playing darts unless you’re using steel-tip darts.

Soft Tip Darts

Soft tip darts are made of soft molded rubber, as the name suggests, making them the obvious alternative for player and spectator safety. Soft-tips are unlikely to hurt anyone unless they are caught squarely in the eye.

Several dart players have had painful visits to the emergency department to get stitches for injuries sustained as a result of off-target dart throws. Plastic soft-tips could be suitable in your case and can provide you with peace of mind if you intend on playing in a home with small children or pets.

The same is true if you’re playing with peers that aren’t great throwers. You can significantly reduce the chance of injuries by using flexible plastic tip darts.

Basic Techniques

Knowing only the scoring rules and strategies for the game of darts does not necessarily correlate with skill or winning a game. Learning the skills and techniques of handling, gripping, and throwing the darts will be infinitely more valuable. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind.

Tip of the Dart Up

The tip of the dart, also known as the point, is the part of the dart that penetrates the board, so it must be angled correctly to ensure a successful throw. It should be pointed upwards, at least a few degrees above horizontal. 

A downward-pointing dart is very difficult to throw correctly because the dart leaves your hand wobbly and pointing in the wrong direction. It also just feels wrong holding it that way. This may seem like common sense, but many beginners forget it. Keep an eye on your dart as it leaves your hand and make sure the tip is pointed up.

Soft Grip

You might think that gripping the dart as tightly as possible can result in a more accurate throw, but that’s entirely incorrect. The game of darts is more fun and also easier when you’re relaxed and feeling comfortable in your throw. 

How can you relax if you’re clutching the dart so hard that you can’t throw it smoothly? To throw darts well, you need an accurate touch, which stems from a comfortable grip. If you watch darts on television, you’ll see some of the best players ever barely touch their darts when throwing.

Smooth Throw 

When throwing the dart, only use smooth, controlled motions. There’s no need to be powerful and jerky. A trick like practicing with a soft tip dartboard can help you to soften your throw, because you’re more aware of the fragility of the board and darts, and you don’t want to break either. 

Steel tip darts require a higher level of personal judgment. In general, throwing a dart does not require a lot of muscle. It is more important to be under control and smooth throughout your throwing motion.

Types of Dart Grips

A consistent dart grip is something you should take the time to figure out what works best for you. Finding the proper grip for you and your darts style will make a massive difference in your game.

Take a week or two to figure out your grip, and then stick with it. When checking grips, make sure to always use the same darts – different shafts and flights can drastically alter the throw. Often note that there is no right or wrong grip, so play around with it! Here are a few grips to experiment with:

One Finger and Thumb

This is one of the rarer grips you will see, although even some professionals do use it. It does allow for a smoother release because it uses minimal points of contact with the dart. However, it is also harder to aim with.

Using two fingers usually indicates a thumb and index finger grip, while resting the dart a tiny bit on your middle finger.

Two Fingers and Thumb

The two-finger and thumb grip is among the most prominent grips among players on both the professional and amateur circuits. While using this grip, keep the thumb a little behind the dart’s center of gravity.

This dart is called the pencil or pen grip, and as a dart has similar proportions, it is probably the most comfortable grip you would start with if you’re just beginning. The two fingers are your index finger and middle finger.

Three Fingers and Thumb

One of the concepts behind dart grips is that the more fingers you have connected to the dart when you throw, the more control over your aim you can have. While this is true, it is also harder to release more fingers from the dart, so this can cause more erratic throws or inconsistency.

Using the first three fingers as well as your thumb can also provide more power if you need, and if you find it comfortable then it is one of the more helpful grips.

Four Fingers and Thumb

Placing all of your fingers on the dart, as this grip does, may feel strange at first, particularly if you’re used to three or four finger grips. This grips provides the most precision and control over your aim, but is the hardest to release when throwing.

Regardless of the number of fingers you use, the grip you pick should be based on what helps you feel the most relaxed and produces the most consistently good results.

Choose the Best One for You

Finding the best dart grip for you is key to enhancing your game, and there are many to pick from. That’s why you should spend some time trying out all of the different dart grips before settling on the one that works best for you.

If you have free fingers that aren’t holding the dart, keep these in an open position; do not try to close them into your palm.

Once you’ve got a comfortable and successful grip, it’s best to stay with it. The more you use it, the more natural it will feel and the better you will become!

Dart Weights and Distribution Can Affect Your Hold

There are different weight distributions for almost all darts, though it’s a slight difference. Specifically, the centers of gravity of different darts are different.

Darts are split into four parts, to begin with. At the front of the dart is the tip, which is connected to the barrel, and then after that is the shaft. The final part is known as the flight, which is made of plastic, rubber, or polyester, and maintains the dart’s flight in the air.

The barrel is the part you’ll be most concerned about when it comes to your grip, as this is the only place you would ever hold a dart. There are three weight distributions for darts – front, back, and even distribution. The barrel would also have a different shape based on the weight distribution of the dart.

Front Weight Distribution

A barrel with front weight distribution means that the dart’s center of gravity is in the barrel’s front. The outline of the dart will also help you to figure it out – front weighted barrels are thicker at the front.

Back Weight Distribution

The center of the gravity of certain darts is in the back of the barrel. You’ll be able to see the difference between these and front weighted darts because these ones are thicker in the rear.

Even Weight Distribution

As the name implies, equally-weighted darts have the dart weight uniformly spread across the barrel. These barrels are usually uniform in thickness, although they sometimes might be slightly thicker in the middle.

Why Is Dart Weight Distribution Important?

Knowing the dart’s weight distribution is vital since various weight distributions force you to hold the dart in a certain way. For example, you would grip the barrel toward the front for front weighted darts, as that’s where the center of gravity is. 

For back weighted darts, you hold it toward the end of the barrel, and you should hold the dart in the center for an evenly weighted dart.

It is advised that beginners use front-weighted darts. These ones are easier to do well with for players without proper technique. Advanced players sometimes switch to back or evenly weighted darts to increase their consistency, but they require more skill to get right.

How to Figure Out Where to Grip

If you are using a dart for the first time, or playing with a friend and using their darts, then you might need to figure out exactly where to hold and grip it.

First, balance the dart on your index finger until it is level and can balance perfectly. Then, grip your thumb at that spot to hold the position. Turn your wrist right side up so the dart is now resting on your thumb. Then place the rest of your fingers on top of the dart, however many is most comfortable.


Several factors influence your dart throwing grip or hold. There are the number of fingers you use to hold it, as well as the dart weight distribution and specific barrel grip pattern. The intensity and placement of your fingers will both influence your grip and, as a result, your throw. Try to put some of these tips into practice for better and more consistent results.