So we are all now playing darts online until we get out of the lockdown and the pubs can reopen, when that will be no one for sure can say, but us darts players continue to make the most of our time at home and have been playing darts by the millions, playing players from all across the globe in this great sport.
So the most common questions that i see get asked across various Facebook groups and twitter feed's are what camera should i use, what site can i use, do i have to pay.
Well i'm going to talk about my own set up and experiences, now these might not be for you but i can assure you if something can be done on a small budget i will find a way.
So what camera do i use, well i use my Android phone and i use the iVCam app from the Google Play Store.
Link - https://www.e2esoft.com/ivcam/
Cost, its FREE to use
Then on my laptop device i connect the app to my laptop this now makes my phone a webcam, so step one complete.
The iVCam app is a product that is free to use but can also be upgraded if required, there is also various features it comes with where you can increase resolution and exposure etc as well as flit the camera angles.
All in all this is the best webcam app i have come across to use with mobile devices and if you cant afford a go-pro or another type of camera this is the best next option for you.
How do i mount my camera well i brought a very cheap phone holder off eBay
It cost me about £3 with shipping and does the job as i have it connected to my table which is under by dart board and my phone is sturdy enough on it to show my board, now one tip is to make sure the camera position does not block your view of the board as you throw, but to make sure that the camera shows enough of the board to start with.
There are plenty to use that is for sure, some have been around for years and some ave only just come onto the market since we hot the lockdown. If you have been a regular reader of my blogs you will know we played darts online many years back before it become popular we use to use a piece of software called DartNo1 and you had to download it and then make sure a certain port on your router was open to connect to your opponent but now its so easy to connect to your opponents.
The best i have used to play vs another player LIVE online is,
lidarts.org - https://lidarts.org/
LiDarts has it all, you can play using webcams which are automatically brought into your game providing you have it connected, games can be arranged quickly as you can send out a public challenge, you can build up a friends list of teammates and players you can trust and enjoy playing games with. You can play 101-1001 and standard start or double in. You can also play Cricket the North American version of the game but this is still very much a work in progress part of the site, with the 01 side been the more played games on here.
The stats after a game are good and what you would expect and i know the devs behind the scenes are looking at ways to improve the way these can be better presented but currently it shows all you need it to.
The interaction with your opponent over a webcam is brilliant you can have their board on main show or half and half with your own its up to you and your preference.
Nakka is a go to for most players now but a few things that nakka lets its self down on i feel is that you wait a long time for a game to connect, the latest updates allowing webcams is a massive improvement for nakka but after months of playing both i now find myself drawn more to lidarts for a online game.
Now lets not forget there are other sites as well, lidarts is just my personal preference, you can also use
Webcam Darts Association
plus more links which can be found at https://www.dartsinstoke.co.uk/darts-training
But as far as the software for you to use its totally your preference what you go with but there are plenty of free sites to use.
Something i have talked about before in regards to when you play in the pub or at a competition and the same goes for when online.
Something i have noticed when playing players from Europe who's English is not the best the common phrase to use is "Good Darts" use this before the match, and i have had it said at the end of the match as well.
Try to remember that if you are having a chat with them after a match and they dont speak much English then it will be lost on them.
During your online match try and keep the amount of chit chat to a minimum and also any distractions to a minimum, i have played players recently where they have had someone else in the room with them and been chatting to them which as a player playing them with headphones in can be distracting also loud music is another, when we are in the pub their are distractions for sure but now online think about your opponent before you have some heavy dance music on in the background we just want to play darts.
When you have thrown before you enter your score announce the score its just decent to do so, also if your opponent asks to see the darts before you take them out, move your camera closer to show them, but providing you have set the camera up close and correct to the board you should not need to.
Apart from this its just the same as you would if you were playing vs someone be polite and respectful towards your opponent.
So to sum up you can get started playing darts online very quickly and at very little cost, yes this way of playing will require 2 devices which can not be easy for most to get but if you can pick up a old tablet as long as the camera works you can use that it does not have to be an up to date tablet or new as long as it connects to the internet and PlayStore you will be ok.
As i have stated the above is just my set up and it works for me for you it might be different but its what we can make work during this time.
Till we chat again stay safe and enjoy your darts and as always mind the oche folks !