“That was like throwing three pickled onions into a thimble!”

The law in Britain has long held that in establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold one may place bets only on games of skill as opposed to games of chance. In 1908, Jim Garside of the Adelphi Inn in Leeds was hauled before a judge after allowing his punters to place bets on a game of darts. Garside enlisted the help of the local darts champion William “Bigfoot” Annakin to prove that darts was indeed a game of skill. Annakin demonstrated this by hitting any number on the board nominated by the court. Garside was discharged.

Darts has its roots in archery; the first dartboards were sliced from the trunks of trees with the rings offering a primitive scoring guide. One of the first games of war domesticated and brought inside a public house, darts is inextricably linked with the consumption of alcohol because darts is the quintessential pub game.
Download PDF