You are in a bar, throwing some darts, and all of a sudden, you hear the famous ‘’why are the numbers on the dartboard lined that way?’
Wait for a minute, when you come to think of it, what is their meaning? Whether you are a darts professional or a beginner, this question is bound to be asked at some point in your dart gaming days.
If you want to wow your fellow players with interesting trivia about the numbers on the dartboard, keep on reading. We have everything you should know about this topic to help you understand the matter even better.
Rewind To The 1300s: Origin of Darts
To understand the numbers on the darts, we need to go back in time. Well, we have to go back further in time than you anticipated. To be exact, middle ages are where it all began.
There are a lot of speculations when we speak about the origin of this game.
You would not believe how many tales we have heard so far, but one thing is undoubted. The set of darts grows roots from the early 14 century England.
The darts we know and love today were invented by the carpenter Brian Gamlin from Lancashire. But, we will talk about him soon in our next section.
Usually, when you want to know about the nature of darts, you would hear two versions. The first one was that darts originated in medieval England around the 1300s.
The second version revolves around darts being a leisure game in the military pastime. Soldiers would gather around in trenches and do a little competing match of their own.
They would throw spearheads at the bottom of wine casks. This was not only considered as a game but also as a sort of practice. They got a chance to practice throwing skills and their aim outside of the battlefield. Little did the soldiers know that they were creating one of the most popular games for future generations.
Now, since they wanted to upgrade the throwing skills, they replace the upturned wine casks for cross-section tree trunks.
The trunk's natural structure allowed the soldiers to focus more since not they were aiming at a specific target. The various sections on the trunk served as a test for their throwing ability.
As they kept throwing spears and sharp objects, the wood began to crack and to develop several other sections.
The trunk's growth rings and cracks offered a first-hand template for the upcoming development of the dartboard.
According To Brian
Now we are going back to the mentioned Brian and his creations.
Brian Gamlin was a carpenter from Lancashire who lived in the North West England region in the 19th century. Presumably, he was the creator of the final version of the dartboard we know today.
Because of his job nature, he was familiar with woodcutting and decided to create a side job. He began with manufacturing Poplar and Elm tree dartboards.
Since wood is known for its quick decay, our fellow Brian had a lot of work. People wanted more and more while darts became one of the most famous pub games.
We cannot be exact about the particular reason behind his interest in developing darts, but whatever was going on in his mind, it sure is impressive.
You better sit down because the logic behind the numbers in the dartboard is going to amaze you.
When darts first appeared, people of Brian’s time wondered if you need a particular knowledge of playing, or you have to be so damn lucky? It was important for Brian to determine the logic behind the numbers and make a clear distinction between the predicaments.
He created the number system that increases accuracy and reduces the chance to take a lucky shot. As you can see, high scoring numbers are placed on the opposite side of the lower ones.
So one is on the other side of the 5, 12 is either side of 18 and so on. In this way, you get ‘’punished’’ for bad throwing.
Let’s say you want to shoot for the big 20; if your throwing is weak, you end up either on 5 or 1.
Now, if you are interested in the mathematical explanation behind it, here it is.
Brian makes probability even by making sure that no number is singled out. His sequence flattens the further distribution of scoring numbers.
When a player throws the dart, the number they are trying to hit is just as likely to score as any other number on the board.
The flatness of the distribution can be determined by calculating the sum of the squares of a set of consecutive integers.
By distributing in this way, Brian created a distribution curve valuing in 20,478. If the number were sequenced in ascending order, then the curve would be 24,350. Here is a helpful link explanation if you want to inform more about the mathematical logistics behind the dartboard.
Gamlin created the numerical system with a lot of thought and did not leave anything to chance.
Question of Identity
Lastly, we would like to mention another honorable fellow by the name Thomas William Buckle. He was a wire worker who was believed to come up with the standard sequence used today.
He was credited for inventing the Yorkshire version of the board that is almost identical to the standard board, but it missed the trebles and doubles section.
It is still unknown to this day, which gentleman was the one who created the final version. The lack of a death certificate of Gamlin makes us think twice about his identity.
Finally, if you plan a little road trip, you would notice that not all counties have the same version and designers. It just shows that the game of darts still goes under changes even after a few years. Some are created to increase the lucky shots, and for some, you would need some practice.
We hope we answered your question about numbers on the dartboard and successfully informed you on the topic of the darts' numerical side.
Go on and share your knowledge with your pub friends over a game of darts.