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How To Play Darts Like Luke Littler

How To Play Darts Like Luke Littler

Alex Moss |

How To Play Darts Like Luke Littler?

Luke Littler Premier League Champion

A young man by the name of Luke Littler inspired a whole new generation of players following his exploits at the 2024 PDC World Darts Championship. Then at the age of just 16, the Warrington youngster lit up the Alexandra Palace on his debut with a run to the final, which drew in millions of viewers from all around the world that all wanted to watch this incredible teenage talent for themselves.

‘The Nuke’ has continued to rip up the record books in 2024, winning the Premier League Play-Offs along with multiple ProTour titles in his first season on the professional circuit. His success has left many darts fans and players, both new and old, now wanting to try and imitate his playing style and see if it works for them too. In this blog, Darts Corner will delve into all the factors that come into play including the darts he uses, the way he holds the dart, his practice routine, his mentality on the oche and much more so you will know exactly how to play darts like Luke Littler.

The Element of Individuality

Whilst this blog will focus more in-depth on Luke Littler’s own playing style and how he grips the dart, it is important to know that every player is unique and it is not a simple case of one style suiting everyone. A crucial part of throwing a dart is how you hold it in your hand, which is referred to as the grip, and it is worth experimenting with different grips to work out what is best for you.

Players of all levels will tinker with their grip as well as their equipment, including Littler, who experimented with his own technique during the 2024 Premier League season. On the Newcastle leg of the tour, Sky Sports pundit and commentator Wayne Mardle commented on how the teenager had changed his throw: “He’s changed the way he’s been throwing throughout his entire career. It’s up to him, and in my opinion it had no bearing on the result. The kid can play no matter how he throws.”

What kind of darts does Luke Littler use?

Luke Littler Darts

What darts does Luke Littler use? The 2024 PDC World Darts Championship finalist Luke Littler uses his signature darts made by Target. There are four key components that make up a dart: the point, barrel, shaft and flight. Check out ‘The Anatomy Of A Dart’ blog for a closer look at each part of the dart and the unique functions it can offer players.

Littler’s darts have been made to meet his own personal requirements, including the exact amount of grip he prefers on the barrels and the length of the barrel, whilst he has tinkered with his setup by adding longer points and an all-in-one flight and shaft system to them. His darts come in various different weights, such as 22g and 24g, and his preferred match weight of 23g.

‘The Nuke’ opts for a longer point (45mm) with his darts to help maximise his scoring power. When a dart with a longer point sits in the board it covers less of the target, so there is more room to fit one or two more darts in the same segment and hit the bigger scores. Littler also uses an integrated one-piece shaft and flight system with his darts, instead of the traditional separate shaft and flight setup which is connected together by the player before they play. An all-in-one system means the flight and shaft will not separate during matches and the stronger materials used makes them more durable and longer lasting for players.

Dart Weight

Luke Littler uses a 23g dart which is one of the most popular dart weights on the market. Many of Littler’s fellow professionals on the PDC circuit also use the same weight of dart, including Dirk van Duijvenbode, Damon Heta and Gerwyn Price. However, when it comes to choosing the weight of darts to play with, there is no right or wrong answer.

Players will often change the weight of darts they use to try and find an extra level in their game. Before the 2023 World Matchplay, Ryan Searle switched from a 32g dart to a 34g dart, whilst Stephen Bunting’s upturn in form in 2023 was helped by changing his darts weight from 12g to 18g. Read our ‘How To Choose The Best Darts Weight’ blog for more insight on the various weights of darts available and how they can impact your playing style.

Barrel Material

The darts Luke Littler uses are made of 90% tungsten, a very popular material used by many players of a wide range of abilities. Top players such as Gary Anderson, Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith also opt for a 90% tungsten dart. Tungsten is a heavy and dense material, which means the barrel of the dart can be made very thin whilst still keeping the required weight.

A slimmer dart is a favourable option for players as it means the dart will take up less room in the dartboard and make it easier to group the darts together in one target, such as the treble 20. Take a look at our ‘Darts Barrels And Materials’ guide to find out more about the various materials used to make dart barrels and how they can affect your game.

Flight Shape

Luke Littler uses a Shape flight (also known as a No. 6 flight) with his darts. These flights are a very similar shape to the Standard flight, which is the most commonly used flight, but are different in that they have slightly slanted sides to them.

This small change makes the dart travel faster through the air, and can be a great option for players that use standard flights but are looking to adjust the angle their darts stand in the board. For more information about the different darts flights available, read our ‘How To Choose A Darts Flight’ blog.

Shaft Length

The 2023 PDC world youth champion Luke Littler opts for an all-in-one flight and shaft system for his darts. Littler goes with a 26mm shaft length which he finds gives his darts the perfect balance, and is on the shorter end of the scale.

Also known as a stem, the shafts players use with their darts can influence how they travel through the air, and will also impact the overall length of the dart which will make a difference on the angle of how the dart lands in the board. The integrated flight and shaft setup Littler uses also means he does not have to worry about the flights popping out of his darts during play, as the flight and shaft are moulded together and will not separate.

Point Length

Luke Littler uses much longer points with his darts at around 45mm, whilst the most popular point lengths used by players tend to be in the 32mm and 36mm range. The teenager’s theory behind the decision to use longer points is that when the dart sits in the board there will be more room to group his darts together.

A smaller point means the barrel of the dart is closer to the surface of the dartboard, but a longer point creates a larger gap between the barrel and the board. This slight tweak to Littler’s setup helps him when it comes to the scoring phase of the game, as he has more of the treble segment to aim at with his second and third dart.

How exactly does Luke Littler throw his darts?

Luke Littler Darts

The way Luke Littler throws his darts, like many players, is always evolving. There are many intricacies when it comes to throwing darts and a player will not have the same action or technique from the first time they ever pick up a dart to when they call time on their career. Some players will experiment with various different elements of their throw including how they grip the dart and the pace of their throw.

During the 2024 Premier League Darts season, darts fans noticed Littler had adapted his throwing action. Sky Sports pundit and commentator Wayne Mardle commented on the teenager’s slight tweak to his throw when he said: “Luke now brings the dart back, sets it, then throws. It is now not one motion and this will give him a bit of time to move around the board and maybe give him that little bit of time from the 60 to the double 10 and not feel like he has to pause because he’s rushing. Maybe he saw it as a weakness and wants to put it right straight away.”

Littler has a very natural throw, bringing the dart back towards him and then in a forward motion releasing the dart with a flick of the wrist. A video emerged of ‘The Nuke’ throwing at a magnetic dartboard as a toddler and some of the parts of his throwing action today can be spotted. He has both of his eyes firmly locked on the target and his arm is extended out after he throws each dart.

Read our ‘How To Throw A Dart’ guide for all the information you need on the foundations of dart throwing.

How Luke Littler grips his dart

How to grip a dart like Luke Littler? Luke Littler opts for a 4-finger grip with his darts which sees him use four fingers (thumb, index, middle and ring fingers) to hold the dart. It is a grip style used by many players, from professionals to beginners, as it offers an extra level of control over how the dart travels to the board.

Littler positions his thumb and index fingers at the back of the barrel and front of the shaft, with his middle finger on the front of the barrel and the point of the dart lies on his ring finger. It is a grip style specific to him, but it could be something to try out in your next practice session to see if it works for you.

Check out ‘The Best Darts For All Grip Types’ blog for a closer look at all of the different dart grips and how they work for certain playing styles.

@pdceurope 🤩 My Throw with the sensational Luke Littler 🏆💥 #pdcdarts #darts #dartschallenge #dartscommunity ♬ Originalton - PDC EUROPE

Keeping it cool on the oche

One of Luke Littler’s biggest assets, aside from his natural talent, is his mentality which helps him keep cool on the oche. The professional darts tour is a high-pressure environment as players compete for huge amounts of prize money and often in front of noisy crowds in large arenas. Yet Littler exudes a level of calmness beyond his years and very rarely appears to let the occasion get the better of him.

‘The Nuke’ strives to keep a high level of focus during matches and to not let his emotions take over, something he learnt during his run to the final of the 2024 PDC World Darts Championship. Ahead of playing Luke Humphries in the final, he said: “I’ve just got to stay focused throughout the game. I learnt that when I played Andrew Gilding (in the second round). When I went 2-0 up I let all my emotions out, and I came back after the break and lost the (third) set 3-0. So from now on, if I do go two or three sets clear, I will just compose myself, because that’s not the finish line.”

Exceptional muscle memory

Improving at darts involves consistent practice to develop your muscle memory, and over time your accuracy and consistency will improve. Whilst still only a teenager, Luke Littler has been throwing darts since he was a toddler and has spent a significant amount of time perfecting his technique. Take a look at our ‘How To Practice Darts’ blog for some helpful advice on how best to hone your darting skills.

Littler’s ability to quickly count up his scores is another kind of muscle memory, with his mental arithmetic seen as an advantage to his game as he can almost instantly navigate his way around a dartboard to the specific targets he requires. In an interview with BBC Sport, he said: “I was terrible at maths myself. But it’s just the longer you practice, the quicker you get to know checkouts, scoring and finishing up and laying up your shots and you know what to go for. So the more you play, the more you get used to it.”

Experiment like Luke Littler!

Luke Littler Darts

The phrase “generational talent” has been used to describe Luke Littler and already he is forging a legacy in the world of darts. After becoming the youngest player to play in the PDC World Darts Championship final, ‘The Nuke’ has continued to rip up the record books with an impressive debut season in the Premier League, finishing top of the table and winning the play-offs at The O2 in front of 14,000 fans.

The idiosyncrasies of how Littler plays darts may not apply to everyone, but emulating his style and seeing what works for you is a good way to experiment with your own game. Experimenting with your darts, as well as how you grip and throw them, is ultimately the only way to find out what works for each individual player.

Have you got the darts bug? Browse the entire range of steel tip darts at Darts Corner and see if you can discover your A-game now!

Pictures: PDC

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