Just who exactly is the world’s best darts player? That subject is up for debate and wildly dependent on who you talk to on a given day.
Fortunately, there are some objective rankings that are used to settle the debate to some extent. In fact, many top darts tournaments require that a player be ranked at a certain level to qualify.
The PDC Order of Merit – Darts Player Rankings
The PDC Order of Merit is widely used to determine entry into PDC tournaments. The ranking system is determined by the prize money won in ranking tournaments over the last two years. Events such as the World Darts Championship, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix use the rankings to determine who can enter the tournament.
PDC Order of Merit Rankings
|Position||Player||Amount Earned Over Last 2 Years|
|3||Michael van Gerwen||£663,500|
|7||Jose de Sousa||£467,000|
|9||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£440,500|
Rankings are provided by the PDC Order of Merit as of April 27, 2022.
Of course, the PDC Order of Merit doesn’t have the final say on who the best darts players are. We the fans do.
Below we will lay out some of the players that are widely considered to be among the best in the world. Is there anybody that you think is missing from the list?
Former semi-pro rugby player Price has steadily become one of the leading lights of PDC darts. Since switching sports he climbed up the PDC Order of Merit all the way to the very top after he won the 2021 PDC World Championship.
He has also won the World Grand Prix and three Grand Slams, including back-to-back wins 2018, 2019, the first of which provided the Welshman with his maiden PDC title. In February 2022 Price became the first player in history to throw three televised nine darters in the same calendar year when he hit two in one night of the Darts Premier League.
|Date of Birth||7 March, 1985|
|Premier League||5th 2019; 2020|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 2021|
Anderson is a two-time PDC World Champion and has picked up numerous other trophies on both the BDO and PDC circuits since going pro back in 2001. Despite never getting past the quarter finals stage of the BDO World Championship it was big news when he moved to the PDC in 2009, and since then he has continued his winning ways. Currently, Anderson is one of the biggest names in world darts and this 11-time major winner is one of the favourites for every tournament he enters these days.
|Nickname||The Flying Scotsman|
|Date of Birth||22 December, 1970|
|Premier League||Winner 2011, 2015|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 2015, 2016; Runner up 2011|
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Known for his cockatoo-like hairstyle, Peter Wright has proved to be more than just a flashy haircut. After appearing in the 1995 BDO World Championships, Wright spent the next 10 years playing in local leagues in England before resuming his professional career in 2005 under the PDC umbrella. Slow and steady progress has seen the Scotsman rise up the rankings and he now has a number of PDC tournament wins under his belt, including two World Championships and the World Matchplay.
|Date of Birth||10 March, 1970|
|Premier League||Runner up 2017|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 2020, 2022|
Michael Van Gerwen
A highly ranked BDO player even in his teens, Michael van Gerwen switched to PDC in 2007 but it was not until 2012 that he finally made a real impact on the world of darts. At age 24 the Dutchman became the youngest ever winner of the PDC World Championships in 2014 and his average of 123.40 during a Premier League match in 2016 was the highest ever recorded during a televised match.
|Date of Birth||25 April, 1989|
|Premier League||Winner 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 20119|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 2014, 2017, 2019|
One of the most successful players in the history of the PDC, left-handed Wade became a full-time pro in 2007 and has enjoyed considerable success on the circuit since then which includes winning 11 premier PDC events. While the PDC World Championship has eluded him to date Wade did write his name in the record books by becoming the first player to hit a nine-darter in a televised event back in 2008 in the Grand Slam of Darts.
|Date of Birth||6 April, 1989|
|Premier League||Winner 2009, Runner-up 2008 and 2010|
|PDC World Championship||Semi-Finals 2009, 2012, 2013, 2022|
Since winning the World of Darts alongside Gerwyn Price in 2020, Clayton emerged from his partner’s shadow to become one of the biggest names in darts. In the year that followed, The Ferret would go on to win the 2021 Masters which provided him with qualification to the Premier League of Darts, an event he would go on to win as well. He would later go on to win his first ranked televised title at the 2021 World Grand Prix.
|Date of Birth||4 October, 1974|
|Premier League||Winner 2021|
|PDC World Championships||Last 16 2022|
Smith is still waiting for his first premier event win on the PDC tour, although he already has a number of other tournament wins to his name and in 2016 gained entry to the prestigious Premier League of Darts when he was awarded a wild-card spot. He has twice made the finals of the PDC World Darts Championships, losing on both occasions.
|Date of Birth||18 September, 1990|
|Premier League||Debut in 2016|
|PDC World Championships||Semi-final 2019, 2022|
Other Notable Darts Players – Past and Present
The undoubted king of the game of darts, Taylor is a legend in his own life-time. Taylor retired from professional darts after the 2018 World Championship where he yet again made the final. He was denied the perfect send off however when he lost to the unknown qualifier Rob Cross. He has won more than 200 pro tournaments over the course of his career including an astonishing 16 World Championship finals.
Taylor was one of the group of 16 ‘rebels’ who founded the organization which became the PDC in 1994 and he has dominated the sport ever since, creating a string of records which may never be broken.
|Date of Birth||13 August 1960|
|Premier League||Winner 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2012; RU 2013|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 1995; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999;2000;2001;2002;2003;2004; 2005; 2006; 2009; 2010; 2013|
A protégé of the legendary Phil Taylor, this Stoke native has risen through the ranks and despite some patchy periods of form has twice won the PDC World Championships. Lewis’ career has been punctuated by some controversial incidents on the oche when on occasion he has been involved in disputes with other players, but in 2016 he returned to his best form to reach the final of the PDC World Championships again.
|Date of Birth||21, January 1985|
|Premier League||Runner up 2011|
|PDC World Championships||Winner 2011, 2012, Runner up 2016|
Robert Thornton’s unusual road to the top tier of world darts featured a 20 year lay-off between 1982 and 2002 when he gave up the game to focus on bringing up his children. Since returning to pro darts the Scotsman has won three major titles: the BDO World Masters in 2007, the UK Open in 2012, and the 2015 World Grand Prix.
|Date of Birth||17 July , 1967|
|Premier League||Played 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2016|
|World Championships||Quarterfinal 2015|
Durrant has enjoyed an upsurge in fortunes on the tour in recent years, picking up a number of regional trophies. Duzza is a three-time BDO world champion, but in 2018 announced he was switching to the PDC leaving the BDO, which went into liquidation two years later, without one of its biggest names.
It didn’t take long for Durrant to make his mark on the PDC as he won the Darts Premier League in 2020 at the first time of asking.
|Date of Birth||24, November 1970|
|Darts Premier League||Winner 2020|
|BDO World Championships||Winner 2017, 2018, 2019|
Wolfie has been a fixture on the darting circuit for many years now and is a rare case of a multiple BDO World Championship winner who did not make the switch over to the PDC. Adams was the longest ever serving England team captain, as he held the position from 1993 to 2011.
|Date of Birth||04 June, 1956|
|World Masters||Winner 2008, 2009, 2010|
|BDO World Championships||Winner 2007, 2010, 2011|
2014 was a breakthrough year for Mitchell during which he won a number of tournaments, but it was 2015 when he really announced himself, winning the BDO World Championship. Since the BDO folded, Scotty Dog has been playing on the PDC Tour but has yet to win a trophy.
|Date of Birth||5 June, 1970|
|World Masters||Quarter final 2014|
|World Championships||Winner 2015|
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(Source of information: PDC website, dartsdatabase.co.uk & wikipedia)