Brian Gamlin?


Why the number on a dartboard are arranged the way they are is a question that is frequently asked.

The number system on the board is often attributed to a Brian Gamlin, a carpenter indigenous Bury, Lancashire, who is claimed to have invented it in ~ the period of 44 in 1896 yet he died in 1903 without patenting his invention. After comprehensive research by myself and by Patrick Chaplin we can discover no evidence that Brian Gamlin actually existed. I have actually personally perceived the digital English and Welsh Census and contacted bury Newspaper and also Daily mirror (see below) to see if any trace that Brian featured in their archives, unfortunately, no trace of Brian"s existence can be found. For this reason how and also why is Brian attributed for this?

Apparently, The day-to-day Mirror in 1979 was asked the inquiry “Who made decision the number on a dartboard need to be for this reason jumbled and why?” A reply was sent and also read:

"Brian Gamlin the Bury, Lancashire, introduced the odd numbering system in our fairgrounds in 1896, boasting "No ability Required". Drunks had no chance, as a check of sobriety, the darts game "round the clock" (in i beg your pardon players need to score v darts in number order) became a an excellent success".

The person who is said to have actually replied to be British based in Germany!

I wrote to the daily Mirror requesting to see their archive and the original post with the reply, however, i was called the save on this to be no longer available. To my knowledge this is the original resource stating Brian Gamlin to be the human being who invented the dartboard numbering system but with no further information can he important be attributed inventing the dartboard number is numbered system?


"21 or under wins a prize! exterior the board or fallen darts counting 18!"

The bury Times placed an short article in their newspaper about Brian questioning if any descendants or relatives of Brian lived within the area, no answer came. This is not to say he didn"t exist, as part reports say the Brian was also attached come a travelling circus and also may have actually missed the census in ~ the time..... However, this might be one secret that continues to be unsolved.

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Thomas wilhelm Buckle?

A more plausible answer may come from another resource Thomas william Buckle’s child Thomas Edward Buckle.

“Thomas william Buckle developed the modern dartboard in 1913.” thomas Edward Buckle claimed in a statement make in his 1992 declare in Darts people Magazine (issue 234).

Thomas william Buckle (Pictured Right) lived in Dewsbury, Yorkshire and was a wire device wire-worker by profession It is stated he take it a London Fives Board boosted the number of segments to twenty, thereby developing the numbering succession we know today and also inventing the Yorkshire Dartboard.

Picture cutting board William Buckle - Dr Patrick Chaplin Darts save - used with permission

Why this number order?

The numbering system on a standard dartboard is design in such a way as to alleviate ‘lucky shots’ and reduce the aspect of chance. The numbers are inserted in one order to encourage accuracy and punish inaccuracy. The placing of short scoring numbers either side of large numbers e.g. 1 and also 5 either side of 20, 3 and also 2 either side of 17, 4 and 1 either side of 18, will certainly punish negative throwing. If you shoot because that the 20 segment, the penalty for lack of accuracy is to land in either a 1 or a 5. The is usually it.

Mathematicians and also the Optimal Dartboard

Many mathematicians have actually pondered the dartboard numbering sequence to view if the sequence can be additional optimised. The straightforward answer is yes yet how much off do the mathematicians say the numbering is mechanism is off?

David F. Percy CMath FIMA, college of Salford took top top the task to watch if the numbering sequence could be improved on. The Original post he created for mathematics Today December 2012.

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David come up with a brand-new sequence as shown below that provides the scoring fairer for arbitrarily throwing however will it adjust the existing order? ns don’t think so however in my view, the modification order have to be considered.


To the left the standard Dartboard Numbers and also to the best the Optimised Dartboard Numbers

David"s dartboard numbering mechanism sequence is draft to have two an ext constraints:

The numbers walk odd-even-odd-even all the method around the board

Similar clusters room spread about the board as evenly as possible.

“David said the brand-new dartboard will make most difference at the finish of a game when the rules room that a player must end up on a double.

Currently, if a player is on an odd number, and also therefore requirements an odd number to leaving himself v an even, he can select from the southwest ar of the plank where 4 odds room adjacent: 7, 19, 3, and 17

Even a poor player can expect to acquire an strange number. Yet if the odds and also evens alternate it i do not care much more difficult.

Also, the most typical finishing double to aim for is twin 16, since if you miss the twin and acquire 16, girlfriend require twin 8. (And if you miss out on the dual and gain 8 girlfriend require dual 4, then double 2, and also then dual 1.)

On a timeless board, 8 is right alongside 16, which makes the game easier due to the fact that you are currently aiming for that ar of the board.”

Very true David but additionally the number 32, dual 16, breaks down nice and also evenly an interpretation if friend hit the single 16 then this leaves double 8 and also if you hit the solitary 8 this climate leaves dual 4.

The architecture you have come up with gets the thumbs increase from me.

Say it v Flowers! "A tribute come Brian Gamlin" 2009

Bury Council, Lancashire competition entry right into Royal Horticultural culture ‘Tatton Park’s national Flowerbed Competition’ was motivated by Brian Gamlin the man attributed with the modern dartboard numbering sequence. The title of the display screen is ’A tribute come Brian Gamlin’