When Statisticians Stink at Darts

What was Stanford statistics student Ryan Tibshirani to do when his buddies kept beating him at darts? He used a Gaussian model to calculate which areas of the board to aim at, and wrote software to turn the results into a easy-to-read heat map of the dart board. It’s now available in an app. [%comments]


i use murphy's dart technique: aim for what you don't want to hit


This is silly. Just aim for the bullseye every time and luck out when you hit the double bull.


If you aim for the bullseye and miss by, say, two inches, you will get an expected score of 10.5, the average of the 20 wedges that you have an equal chance of hitting. If, on the other hand, you aim for the triple 19 as indicated on heat map #2 at the link, you can miss by 2 inches and have a pretty decent chance of hitting regular 19, with chances at 16, triple 16, 7, triple 7, 3, triple 3, 17, and triple 17. Plus, the triple 19 is a higher score than the bullseye if you do score a direct hit.

Kevin Canini

Glad to see this confirms my intuition of always aiming for triple 19.

David Chowes, New York City

Of all areas of mathematics (given the student is converse in algebra), statistics which includes probability theory is the one of the most important subjects available...

It not only has numerous applied uses in practically every 'hard' and 'soft' area of scientific study...

It helps you to understand life and decision making...

And, it ought to replace trigonometry which was required when I was in high school. Since taking 'trig,' 40 years ago -- I have never used it.

Have you?

Bill Allen

... I don't think a lot of people who comment on this board actually know how to score darts.