How to Bet on Fantasy Football: Different Daily Fantasy Football Game Types and Contests Explained
We’ve answered the question of whether or not you can bet on fantasy football and explained a little about what Daily Fantasy Football is and how the betting aspect works but here we take a closer look at the different types of game you can play.
By this we don’t mean whether you’re playing fantasy football or other Daily Fantasy Sports (basketball, baseball or whatever), nor do we mean whether you’re playing on Premier League games, Champions League games or any of the other football leagues you can bet on.
What we mean is, what type of contests are on offer, in terms of what you bet, how much you win, how many players you’ll be up against and how winning is decided?
If we think of Daily Fantasy Football purely in terms of betting on football, this is a little like looking at the different markets, such as match odds or first goalscorer, and also how the odds work on these markets in terms of your risk/reward ratio.
In our beginners’ guide to playing cash fantasy football we explain the basics of registering (hopefully claiming one of the Fantasy Football Bonuses that are available), picking a team and so on but the next step is entering a contest. You’ll usually see a long list of possible options and here we take a look at the different variables involved and the different styles of game you can choose between.
Different Entry Fees, Different Prizes
Naturally the exact details vary from site to site but generally speaking one of the key decisions when deciding which contest to enter is how much it costs to register your team and what prize is up for grabs.
Entry ranges from as little as, well, nothing, up to more than £350. That gives you plenty of scope to find a game that suits your budget and there are lots and lots of games from around £2 to £20. If you just fancy a bit of fun or are short on cash at any given time, there are almost always freerolls available or coming up soon, as well as games costing just a couple of quid or even less.
As with entrance fees, there is a wide range of prizes available for those betting on Daily Fantasy Football. These can range from nothing more than glory and pride for some freerolls up to free entrance into bigger games for some of the better freerolls. For cash entry games, fantasy football and other Daily Fantasy Sports prizes can be as little as doubling your £2 (or lower) stake, right up to seven-figure guaranteed prize pools and even seven-figure wins! Who’d have thought playing fantasy football could actually make you a millionaire?!
Another way in which the prizes on offer varies is that some will be guaranteed, regardless of how many people enter the contest. In contrast others are dependent on the number of players involved in the game, of which more below.
How Many People am I up Against?
This is another key variable when it comes to entering a Daily Fantasy Football contest and betting on fantasy football. Obviously if you’re up against hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people, as in some of the bigger non-cash fantasy football games, winning prizes is going to be very difficult indeed.
Before you enter a Daily Fantasy Football contest you can usually see how many people are currently entered into a it – giving you a good idea of the prize in non-guaranteed games – as well as what the maximum number of players allowed will be.
As we will explain in more details below, you may be up against just one other player in the case of a head to head game, whilst some of the bigger games will have hundreds of players entering. The very biggest fantasy games, usually the ones with the crazily big prizes, may even be open to thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. These are almost always the games where you get the chance to win massive amounts of cash from small stakes and for many players this is the best type of Daily Fantasy Football.
Different Types of Daily Fantasy Games
Now we’ve looked at the main variables that can apply to all games, we take a look at how these work alongside the different styles and types of games that are on offer.
Again, this will vary from one fantasy football site to another and not all of the games listed below are available at all sites. Moreover, this is not an exhaustive list, just one which covers the main Daily Fantasy Football games that are most popular with most players.
A double up game is a decent place to start when you’re new to playing fantasy football for cash because it gives you a decent chance of winning. The entrance fee will vary but whatever it is, if you win you’ll double up.
As an example, if a game has 110 players and costs £5 to enter, all the players that finish in the top 50 will double their money, getting £10 back for a nice (relatively easy) fiver profit.
Head to Head
A head to head game is simply a fantasy football contest between two players. This may also be listed as “H2H”, “One on One” or “1v1”. In essence a Head to Head clash is a lot like a Double Up game but just against one other person.
Betting on fantasy football can’t really get any simpler. You both pay the same entrance fee and whoever wins the game takes the pot, minus a small cut for the site.
Winning a head to head is slightly easier than winning a double up because in a Head to Head you need to finish in the top 45%, whereas you effectively only have to make the top 50% in H2H.
The flip side of that is that a double up pays out at evens, whilst a head to head pays out at evens minus the site’s fee (usually 10%).
Anyone familiar with playing online poker will be familiar with the term “freeroll” but even if you’re not, the clue is “free”! Freerolls don’t cost anything to enter – would you believe it?!
The format of a freeroll can vary and, as said, they don’t usually offer cash prizes. However, they are great for beginners as they give you a chance to get to grips with betting on fantasy football without actually risking any cash. They are also perfect if it’s the end of the month and you just want a bit of fun and an interest in the day’s games.
That said, some freerolls do offer rewards to winners, often in the form of tickets to enter other games or prizes and these are well worth playing – you don’t have anything to lose after all.
Guaranteed Prize Pool
A Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) is effectively a tournament and the terms can vary greatly. Essentially for a small entrance fee, which is your bet, you could win a large prize but only a small number of the players will end up winning.
The structure of the prizes varies but usually around 20% of entrants will win, all making a profit, with the lowest prize often double your initial bet. The top prize will be many times the entrance fee, with some larger tournaments offering huge payouts to the top few players.
Qualifiers are simply games where the reward is not cash or some form of football-related prize but qualification for a future cash game. Some of the biggest tournaments can have large entrance fees and so, as with poker, satellite tournaments are an alternative means of entry for smaller stakes players who wouldn’t otherwise be able to enter such lucrative Daily Fantasy Football contests.
Winner Takes All
A winner takes all game, as with a head to head, is pretty self-explanatory. However many people enter – and this is usually no more than 10 or so – only the top scoring fantasy team manager wins any prize at all.
Obviously this means your chances of winning are lower than in a double up or head to head but equally the amount of cash you can win is much greater compared to the entrance fee paid.
The ratio of guaranteed games to non-guaranteed varies between different Daily Fantasy Sports sites, with some making most of their contests guaranteed and others the opposite. A guaranteed game will definitely run and the prizes are fixed, whereas a non-guaranteed game requires a minimum number of players in order to go ahead and/or deliver the top advertised prizes.
Non-guaranteed games can be run across all formats of game and at its simplest level, head to heads are non-guaranteed because you need at least two players to enter!