The darting calendar’s biggest spectacle, the PDC World Darts Championship, returns to Alexandra Palace in December for what promises to be a thrilling tournament.

Ahead of its start, we’ve taken a look at all you need to know about the championship, from its format, darts fixtures and schedule to the latest odds for the competition.

Check out all the latest darts betting odds at William Hill

What is the PDC World Darts Championship?

The PDC World Darts Championship is an annual darts tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and is the most prestigious of the PDC’s tournaments. Known for sponsorship purposes as the William Hill World Darts Championship, the tournament attracts the world’s best darts players ever, who fight it out for the Sid Waddell Trophy – named after famous darts commentator Sid Waddell.

The championship has been held at Alexandra Palace in London since 2008 and typically starts in December and ends in January each year. The tournament has been running since 1994, though it was originally called the WDC World Darts Championship before the World Darts Council became the PDC.

The tournament’s most successful player is Phil Taylor, who managed an impressive 14 triumphs from 25 appearances, last winning the competition in 2013. He is considered the best darts player ever. Next in line is current player Michael van Gerwen, who has won the title three times from his 14 appearances. Gerwyn Price is the defending champion, having beaten Gary Anderson to claim his first title in 2021.

What is the format and how many sets are in darts?

There are 96 players that compete each year, with the 32 highest ranked players on the PDC Order of Merit (the PDC world rankings) automatically earning a place in the second round. The 32 highest ranked players on the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit that have not already qualified start in the first round alongside 32 qualifiers from around the world.

The championship starts out with a best of five sets format in the first and second rounds, with that increasing as the tournament progresses until the final which involves a best of 13 sets.

  • First round: Best of five sets
  • Second round: Best of five sets
  • Third round: Best of seven sets
  • Fourth round: Best of seven sets
  • Quarter-finals: Best of nine sets
  • Semi-finals: Best of 11 sets
  • Final: Best of 13 sets

What is the prize money for the World Darts Championship 2021?

There is a total of £2,500,000 on offer for players competing in the competition, with prizes available ranging from £7,500 for a place in the first round to £500,000 for the winner of the tournament.

PositionNo. of playersPrize money
Winner1£500,000
Runner-up1£200,000
Semi-finalists2£100,000
Quarter-finalists4£50,000
Fourth round losers8£35,000
Third round losers16£25,000
Second round losers32£15,000
First round losers32£7,500
 

PDC World Darts Championship schedule

This year’s championship will take place at Alexandra Palace in London from 15th December 2021 through to the PDC darts final on 3rd January 2022 across 28 sessions and promises to provide more of the greatest darts matches and some thrilling results.

The PDC darts draw for the tournament has yet to be made, but the PDC order of play can be found below.

Wednesday December 15 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Thursday December 16
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Friday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Saturday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Sunday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Monday December 20 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Tuesday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Wednesday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Thursday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Monday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Third Round

Tuesday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Third Round

Wednesday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round

Thursday December 30
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Saturday January 1
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Sunday January 2
Evening Session (1930 GMT)
2x Semi-Finals

Monday January 3 (2000 GMT)
Final

What are the World Darts Championship latest odds?

After Gerwyn Price’s maiden triumph last time out in this tournament, the Welshman is the favourite to make it back-to-back titles this year at 4/1. Michael van Gerwen, who has won the title three times from his 14 appearances, is the second favourite at 9/2. Next in line is Jonny Clayton, who has enjoyed an impressive 2021, and he is 6/1 to win his first ever PDC World Darts Championship title. 2020 winner Peter Wright (8/1) and Dimitri Van den Bergh (11/1), meanwhile, round off the top five in the betting.