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Read our simple guide on on getting started with DFS
Sports betting has evolved throughout the years and it’s clearly obvious through the world of fantasy sports. Betting on an outcome has been around for centuries. From early Roman days, betting on an outcome was extremely popular when the gladiators fought. In today’s world, betting on a sport has transpired through to horse betting and of course sports betting. It’s a very easy concept, you place a bet on who you think will win the competition. And in some circumstances, if you bet on a horse or team that comes second, or third and so on you receive a supplementary prize.
If you can understand sports betting in it’s normal concept, then fantasy sport is an extension of sports betting.
How does Fantasy Sports betting work?
Fantasy sports is a competition whereby fantasy teams compete against each other. A fantasy team is a selection of real players chosen to form a fantasy team. The bettor selects players based on rules and criteria. Each fantasy team created by a bettor competes against each other. And the winner is determine by how the real players perform in real life. The better the performance of the players selected in the fantasy team, the higher the score of the fantasy team.
Before technology advancement, fantasy sports were quite difficult to run. Before a season began, bettors would need to agree on the rules, pool their money together, (usually as cash in an envelope) and submit their fantasy sports team to an administrator. As each of the games were played, the administrator would need to calculate the score for each player, and transfer the results to each fantasy team. Once the season concludes, winning fantasy teams are determined and the pool of money is distributed accordingly to the bettors. As you can imagine, this is a very effort intensive process, and therefore a season is usually needed to make betting worthwhile.
Fast forward to today, and everything is now automated. Bettors can use online transfer to place their real money bets, the administrator can easily create rules and share them with bettors, selection and submission of fantasy sport teams is all online and results are quick and fast to be calculated. As such, the duration of a betting round did not need to be a season, but could be shortened to be a week or even a day. The shortened duration of fantasy sports betting is commonly called Daily Fantasy Sports or DFS for short.
What Sports can I bet on in Daily Fantasy Sports?
Daily Fantasy Sports can cover a wide range of sports. The most popular for the US is NFL, NBA and MLB whereby thousands of bettors participate daily or weekly in the competitions. In other countries other sports are also offered, such as EPL, rugby and cricket. Certainly the FIFA World Cup is also one of the biggest drawcards.
Daily Fantasy Sports Formats
There are three common formats to playing Daily Fantasy Sports. The most common and traditional is the Guaranteed Prize Pool format. The other two formats are Head to Head (one vs one) and 50/50 (win in the top half of the pool).
DFS Guaranteed Prize Pool
The Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) is a Daily Fantasy Sports format that pools a limited number of players into one round. Irrespective of how many players eventually sign up to the round, the prize is guaranteed to be awarded by the DFS operator. In a GPP, there is usually prizes for first, second and third, and sometimes may even extend further down the winner’s ladder. The percentage of winnings split among the ladder is determined by the rules set in place by the DFS operator.
DFS Head to Head
In the Head to Head format, one fantasy sports team is played against another fantasy sports team. One bettor vs one bettor. Quite simply, the winning fantasy sports team wins the wagered amount.
In the 50/50 format, a pool of players is created and the goal of the players is to land in the top half of the winners ladder. If you land in the top half, you will be paid the amount that you wagered. If you come in the bottom half you lose your wagered amount.
What DFS Strategies should I use?
The strategy that you use will differ depending on the format that you choose. In playing GPP, your strategy needs to be more risk taking. The objective of GPP is to beat as many other Fantasy Sports Teams in order to win the prizes. Therefore, choosing a team with solid players (but not exceptional) may give you a result that is in the middle of the winners ladder, but this will result with no winnings. So you need to be more risk taking with a GPP format.
With a head to head and a 50/50 format, you can be more conservative with your sports player selection. The objective is to beat only one other player or half the field (respectively) and in knowing this, you don’t need to take such high risks that will see your fantasy team exceed greatly or bomb out greatly. You just need to do enough to beat the other player or finish in the top half.
Daily Fantasy Sport Providers
There are several DFS providers. The big players are DraftKings and FanDuel. Both are American based and are market leaders. They have a long history of providing DFS games and have evolved their products into provide great prizes.
Other smaller players (which are just as good) are DRAFT, Fantasy Aces, and Yahoo! Sports.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal?
This depends on where you are. In some countries DFS is considered a form of gambling is not permitted. In the US, DFS legality depends on which state you reside or want to connect from. Each state in the US is permitted to dictate their own gambling laws, and therefore DFS legality will differ from state to state.