Richard Anderson runs On the Oche, the best known Darts tipping service in the net. Richard is a great connoisseur of this sport. He is in regular contact with many of the players on the circuit. He has even participated as a player in some tournaments. As of today (25 April 2014) On the Oche picks have provided a 21.6% yield in 1,077 bets. Their results are audited by The Secret Betting Club.
What was your first contact with the sports betting world?
That would have been a very, very long time ago! Before I started betting on darts I wasn’t really into betting too much. I would have the odd flutter on the Grand National and Cheltenham and on the football but that was just for fun and I was never a serious bettor. It was only when I started focusing on darts betting that my outlook on betting changed and I became serious about it.
Why did you specialize in Darts?
I played the game to a reasonable standard for a while back in the 90’s. During that time I was playing against many of the top players of the day and it became startlingly clear that the bookies odds were often a long, long way out from what they should be. That was the initial thing that got me interested and I have been focusing on darts betting ever since. I am a fan of darts first and foremost. I think you have to enjoy the sport you are betting on or you will not have the motivation to keep researching and keep finding new angles year in year out.
How long have you been working as a tipster?
I started OnTheOche in 2008. A friend of mine, Matt who runs Football Elite, suggested there was a gap in the market for a darts tipster and I thought I would give it a try. Been doing it ever since. I work full time as a headteacher of a primary school so Matt deals with 100% of the admin side of the service for me as I just wouldn’t have the time otherwise. This means I can then focus purely on the bets which I think works very well.
What are the best and the worst parts of being a tipster?
The results are probably the best and worst things. When you win it is a nice feeling knowing you have won people a good amount of money. Of course when you lose it is not nice knowing people have lost money on my say so. The thing I really don’t like about being a tipster, and I suspect it is magnified with it being darts, is that your reputation is reliant on the tiniest of margins. Literally a millimetre here and there is the difference between being heralded a genius or decried an idiot! Of course in the long run it all evens itself out but most subscribers do not stay around for the long run if the first 100 bets are not positive. So I find that kind of uncomfortable but there is not much you can do about it.
What is your method for finding value odds? What factors do you consider when you analyse darts players?
Form is very important for darts players. Players can very quickly get in blistering form or terrible slumps. It is hard to explain exactly why that is (if I knew I would never have lost my form and would probably be on the TV playing now!) but it happens. You have to really keep track of things to ensure you have a fairly accurate idea of a players current status – not their status 3 months ago the last time they played in a major event on the TV. You also have to know your players. For example, some players are naturals and can not pick up a dart for weeks and play just as well as ever when they start throwing again. Some players are not naturals though and have to really work on their game and need to have had a good few weeks of practice before a big event. If you know that a player like that has had a busy schedule lately or an injury or tough personal circumstances then there’s a good chance he wont have had the time to practice how he would have liked and he won’t be at his best for the next event. There’s a million and one angles you can take, I of course do not want to give away those here! The basic premise is though that it is vital to not just know a players form but also the player themselves and what they need to be at their best.
In your site you say that you have a regular contact with many players in the circuit. How does it help you to make your picks?
It helps principally in hearing about newer players to the tour – either youngsters or players from overseas – and their overall standard. If I can hear about a good young up and coming player or even an old timer coming back to his best before the general market has that is of course a big advantage. Also, bookmakers tend to price matches based on the popular stats sites. So if I can hear of a player whose results don’t look that good at face value but in reality their play was a better standard than their results suggest then you can be onto a good thing.
As many games are decided by millimetres, do you think the effect of luck is higher than in other sports?
In an individual game I would say yes, probably so. The difference between a winning and losing bet is often literally the width of a wire. Bad beats and close things are part and parcel of betting on darts and just something you have to learn to accept and ensure you don’t go “on tilt”. It is also important to make a note of those close games and bad beats. As mentioned in the previous question the bookies price pretty much solely on the results of games (at least for players outside the top 20 or so). If you can keep a record of players who have been lucky or unlucky, and whose recent win/loss record is either a flattering or harsh reflection of their overall play, then you have future value bets lined up.
How liquid is the Darts betting market? Do odds drop very much after sending a pick?
Nowadays they are pretty strong markets. It does depend on the tournament. If we are betting on the World Championship or any of the big events the markets are large. For some of the smaller events though odds will go quicker. Vast majority of companies price up every tournament nowadays though so no-one bar the very biggest stakers should have any problems getting their bet on.
What is your staking method? What is your advice for punters?
We use varying stakes depending on the strength of the bet. Can start with a 0.25 bets for something that is a total punt up to a 5+pts bet for the once-in-a-blue-moon type of bet. Usually though most bets are staked to between 0.75pts – 1.25 pts.
Which are the bookies that offer the best odds in Darts?
Pinnacle, 12bet and 5Dimes are usually there or thereabouts amongst the top prices for most bets.
What do you do in your free time?
I still play darts quite a bit. The old ability is still there somewhere but it seems to only want to come out once every few months now unfortunately! I’ll sometimes enter an event if it is in my local area and see if I can still cut it against the better players (usually not!).