PDC Premier League Darts

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Top-level darts every week – that’s PDC Premier League Darts. Who are the best of all time and how best to bet on this competition?

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

If you enjoy watching top darts from the comfort of your armchair or sofa and you love betting on darts, you can have four months of joy during the PDC Premier League Darts. Only the PDC’s very best players play in the Premier League of Darts. It used to be Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld. Now it’s Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton and Gary Anderson. We would like to tell you about the set-up, history, betting markets and top matches of the PDC Premier League of Darts.

Format – PDC Premier League Darts

Some PDC tournaments like the World Series of Darts can be quite complicated. The PDC Premier League Darts is actually not too bad once you know the set-up. The best four darters on the PDC Order of Merit always compete. These are the darters who won the most money in the two previous years, which is basically the ranking system for competitive darts.

Order of Merit and wildcards

In addition, four wildcards will be handed out by the PDC. Those wildcards go to players who are not in the top 4 of the Order of Merit, but who have left a strong impression in the previous year. In 2022, for example, these included Michael Smith, Gary Anderson, Jonny Clayton and Joe Cullen – numbers 5, 6, 8 and 11 on the Order of Merit. Anderson was a two-time winner, Clayton won many tournaments in 2021 and Michael Smith was a losing finalist of the 2022 World Cup.

16 playing weeks and play-offs

Just after the PDC World Darts Championship, the Premier League Darts begins, which is usually in February. For 16 weeks, every Thursday night, the eight participants play a mini-tournament: four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a final. Each week at a different venue: often in England but also in the Netherlands, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Germany.

Each week the schedule of the tournament is also different, so that everyone can play against each other and have equal chances. Players get 5 points for the overall win, 3 points as a losing finalist and 2 points if you are stranded in the semi-finals. All matches are a best-of-11 legs, so you have to win six legs.

At the end, there is thus a ranking of numbers 1-8. The best four then play play-offs: number 1 against 3 and 2 against 4 in a best-of-19 legs. The winners of these will play the decisive final in a best-of-21.

History – PDC Premier League Darts

The tournament was launched on Sky Sports in early 2005. The idea was to be able to show top darts on television more often and thus generate more attention and revenue. In the beginning, seven players played the Premier League of Darts every fortnight, mainly in small English venues. It proved a success, as the prize pool quickly went up from £150,000 in 2005 to £405,000 in 2009.

The first tournament, which included Roland Scholten, featured matches of 12 legs anyway. As a result, in the group stage, matches were sometimes drawn 6-6. In 2006, a best-of-15 was introduced, so 8 legs were won. In those early years, the best six players of the ranking played with two wildcard players. Later it went to 10 players (four best plus six wildcards) and since 2022 it is eight players again (four to four).

From England to Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands

In the beginning, the venues for the group stage were only English. In time, they were joined by other British countries such as Wales and Scotland, as well as neighbouring Ireland. The venue for the final night was different the first five times, until Wembley served as the battleground three times. From 2012-2019, the play-offs were further afield in London at The O2 Arena. After Coventry and Milton Keynes, in 2022 they played the play-offs on the European mainland for the first time, in Berlin. In recent years, Ahoy in Rotterdam has also been a playing venue.

Statistics – PDC Premier League Darts

In the first years of the tournament, Phil Taylor was still supreme at the PDC. Not surprisingly, he dominated Premier League Darts for many years. The Power won the first four editions from 2005-2008 with an unbeaten run of 44 matches. In 2009, Mervyn King ended Taylor’s hegemony, but lost to James Wade in the final. In 2010 and 2012, Phil Taylor would go on to grab his fifth and sixth final wins.

From Phil Taylor to Raymond van Barneveld to Michael van Gerwen

Between 2006 and 2013, Raymond van Barneveld was in the semi-finals six times, but stranded each time. In 2011, he lost to final winner Gary Anderson and in 2013 to Phil Taylor. In 2013, however, Taylor did not win the tournament as he lost the final to debutant Michael van Gerwen. A year later, Barney would finally pick up his win, in the final against Mighty Mike.

After another win by Anderson, the Michael van Gerwen era finally dawned. The living legend from Brabant won the Premier League of Darts four times in a row between 2016-2019. After wins for Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton, van Gerwen put himself permanently alongside Phil Taylor in 2022.

Taylor and Van Gerwen on top

The old GOAT and the new GOAT are practically equal in Premier League Darts statistics. Both Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen won the tournament six times, and both also lost two finals. Gary Anderson, with two wins, is just slightly better than one-time winners James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton.

Van Barneveld, Taylor and Adrian Lewis are the only players to have thrown a nine-darter twice, Michael van Gerwen never. Barney, with 14 editions and 211 matches, has also played the most often for now. Van Gerwen, incidentally, does dominate the records of averages: 18 averages of 100+ in a season, highest match average of 123.40 and four of the five highest tournament averages.

Betting markets – PDC Premier League

When betting on darts, there are often a number of odds (betting markets) to choose from. We highlight some of them.

Betting on PDC Premier League Darts – live betting

At 16 nights of top darts sportsmanship with seven matches each night featuring the world’s best eight darters. If we do the maths we come out at… 112 matches for live betting darts on at the bookmakers! Then a final night with three matches for one of the three tournaments of the Triple Crown (with the PDC World Darts Championship and World Matchplay). If you like live betting on darts, then the Premier League Darts is a great opportunity for months Thursday night excitement!

Betting on PDC Premier League Darts – 180 and statistics

Darts is an activity where having done well in maths at school pays off. You have to go from 501 points to 0 as fast as possible. That principle also ensures that darts can provide many different statistics par excellence. The most important ones that are often shown are the match average and the check-out (throwing doubles). Bookmakers usually also give you the chance to bet on these when betting on darts. Who throws the highest average, the highest checkout and who scores 180 most often?

Betting on PDC World Series of Darts – toto and handicap

Of course, we don’t forget the basics of betting on sport. Who wins the match, or toto result. Every week you have seven matches to bet on. Of course, if a player is much better than his opponent, you can also bet on a handicap for better odds. Then you predict that a player will win with, say, at least 2 or 3 legs difference. And of course think about the outright odds, such as the winner of the evening or the entire Premier League of Darts.

Historic matches – PDC Premier League Darts

2010 – Two nine-darters Phil Taylor vs James Wade

Without a doubt, the final of the 2010 Premier League Darts was the best match ever of the tournament. Not only because of the excitement, but also because of an unimaginable performance by Phil Taylor. At Wembley, The Power threw not one, but two nine darters in the final and also won it 10-8.

2016 – Highest ever average of Michael van Gerwen

On the fourth night of the PDC Premier League Darts 2016 in Aberdeen, Michael van Gerwen was in blood form. His poor opponent Michael Smith didn’t stand a chance. Because van Gerwen threw an average of no less than 123.40, which is still the world record. He even started the last leg with 129.22. Check out that fantastic match of Mighty Mike here.

2022 – Michael van Gerwen wins sixth title against Joe Cullen

The most recent edition put Michael van Gerwen alongside Phil Taylor with six wins. In the final, it came down to a decisive 21st leg against debutant Joe Cullen. The Englishman was allowed to start and got a matchdart. But he missed and Mighty Mike struck mercilessly. The match was later regarded as one of the best in recent years.


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  • What is the PDC Premier League Darts and its significance in the world of darts?

    The PDC Premier League Darts is a prestigious tournament that showcases the world’s best darts players competing against each other over several weeks. It holds importance as a premier showcase of talent and a fan-favorite event.

  • What is the “contender” concept in the Premier League Darts and how does it add excitement?

    The “contender” is a local player invited to compete for a night, injecting unpredictability and creating moments of magic, such as John Henderson’s draw against Michael van Gerwen in 2019.

  • How do the mid-season elimination and “Judgement Night” concept impact the dynamics of the Premier League Darts?

    “Judgement Night” adds intensity as one player is eliminated, changing the dynamics and influencing betting strategies for the remainder of the tournament.

  • Who are some of the most successful players in the history of the PDC Premier League Darts?

    Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen have established themselves as dominant figures in the tournament’s history, with numerous titles between them. Although Taylor is now retired, Van Gerwen still rakes in many turnament wins, or runner up positions.

  • How does the tournament format of the PDC Premier League Darts differ from other competitions?

    The Premier League Darts features a round-robin format where ten elite players compete over several weeks, followed by knockout rounds. This extended format ensures a consistent display of talent and excitement for fans.

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