Check It Out! - Part 2 - Lower Check Outs

Now we'll look at shot options on some of the lower checkouts.

The most important finishes are those of 60 and below. They are the ones that are left most frequently, and fouled up most frequently. Of course, fat singles should pose no problem, but we all know how 'unlucky' they can be, especially under pressure.

You can reduce your pressure by allowing room for error (i.e. shooting for fatter areas).
"The main points to remember here are: a) work on percentages, and b) don't go where you can bust (if you can avoid it)."
As far as percentages are concerned, some of these shots may seem contradictory. For instance, I advise you to shoot S9 with 17 left (even though the triple will bust), but not the S9 with 25 left).

Without wishing to sound too scientific, every player's throw has its own characteristics. Every darter has their own style and action, and consequently, every dart reacts differently. It can help if you know exactly how your dart behaves.

Most players have a tendency to 'push' the dart when aiming at a fat single at the top of the board, which often results in the dart slipping sideways into the next segment. Therefore, a S9 can seem easier than a S1 (on certain shots). That may sound confusing, so I'll try to clarify that with statistics (and you can try this at home if you like).

Take 100 turns trying to take out17 and shooting your first dart at the S1. Then take 100 turns trying to take out 17 but shooting your first dart at S9. You will probably find that you bust more going for the S1. Likewise, try that routine with 25 left, shooting at S9 and then S5 first. See what happens.

The main points to remember here are: a) work on percentages, and b) don't go where you can bust (if you can avoid it).
By the way, the fact that I prefer tops (D20) to D16 is totally irrelevant here. Obviously, it's up to the individual to decide which shot feels most comfortable. We are inclined to shoot the way we were taught, like T16 - D20 is the only way for 88, but without necessarily condemning these as the wrong shots, there is nothing wrong with searching out alternatives. Particularly with the lower finishes, I am just providing a list of alternatives, percentage alternatives, and I believe in many cases, better alternatives.

We start then, at 5. Never be afraid of S3 - D1, instead of S1 - D2. D2 can be awfully intimidating at this stage, and more often than not, the second dart will land in the S2, forcing you to switch again. S3 gives you two darts at the same double. Skipping past a few numbers (the obvious ones), we arrive at.

15: S7 - D4 or S3 - D6 can be risky, with biggies either side of the single. Try S11 - D2, or S13 - D1. A S4, S13, or S6 doesn't hurt too bad, and you can pull the dart for S11 down into the 8 and still leave a shot.

17: I don't understand why so many darters find S1 - D8 the best way. With 20's one side and the 18's on the other, you're asking for it. So, S9 - D4, or even S13 - D2 is a safer call. If you stay clear of the 20, S5 - D6 will also work, and T5 doesn't result in a bust.

19: Most decide on S3 - D8, but occasionally find S19 (bust), or S17 (to leave D1). Again, don't be too concerned about leaving D1, but you may feel more comfortable with S11 - D4, or possibly S13 - D2.

21: The same as 17, the 20 bed can be a bit close for comfort. How about S13 - D4?

We'll skip 23 (plenty of alternatives on the 7-19-3-17 area), and come straight to my personal favorite.

25: If you fancy S17 - D4, you must avoid both the double (34) and triple (51). If you shoot for S9, the triple will bust you. That's why I always go for S5 - D10. T5 still leaves a double (and there's nothing wrong with D5).

29: Slightly unconventional, but S9 - D10, as the triple does no real damage.

31: Fifteen is the obvious dart, but as with 27, the 7-19-3 pick is a possibility. I'd look at S11- D10, which is slightly preferential to S15 - D8, as a double (22) does not bust.

41: S1, S5, or S9. For the novice, the bottom of the board (between 7 and 17) would be fine.

43: T19 may seem a problem, but you can drift either side of the single (S7 - D18 or S3 - D20) and leave a double. There is always S11 - D16 to consider.

45: Plenty of alternatives here: S13, S5, or S9.

47: Not critical either. You can go S15 - D16, S11 - D18, or S7 - D20. Once more, the seven gives the added luxury of wandering next door (19) and still having a dart to chuck at a double.

48: Obvious really, on 8's or 16's, but spare a thought for the S12 - D18 option.

49: S13 (leaving D18) or S9 (leaving D20) should get the nod over S17 - D16. Either way, if you hit the triple (T13 - D5 or T9 - D11), it's still no problem. It's the same with.

50: How many times have you picked T18 instead of the single? More times than you care to remember, no doubt. Therefore, S10 - D20, or S14 - D18.

51: S19 - D16 can cause problems, so S11 - D20, or S15 - D18.

52: S12 - D20 is better than S20 - D16, but S16 - D18 is also worth a try.

53: S17 - D18 and no real harm from the triple. A slip over to 3 still leaves DB. S13 - D20 can also work.

54: This can be an awkward one. 18's can be risky, but with only two darts in your hand, it's a good shot. Pull down into the 4 and you've got a dart at the cork. Normally though, S14 would be the target for your first dart.

55: S15 - D20 just edges out S19 - D18, purely because of the bust possibility.

56: Same here. S16 - D20 is ahead of S20 - D16.

57: This is pretty clear-cut with S17 - D20, although there are a few players that have a liking for SB - D16. That's okay, but DB leaves you a nasty little 7.

58 & 59: These are obvious as is.

60: I know you shouldn't go where you can bust, but 60 is the one finish with no suitable alternative.

Shoot well

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