How to play daily fantasy

Online platforms and mobile apps make it easy to create an account, build your team and – with a bit of skill and luck – collect your winnings.

Before you get started, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully — these vary from site to site, which each have their own rules and scoring methods. However, the general process is as follows:

1. Make an account on a daily fantasy sports website

You have a couple of different options, but it’s often easiest to go with the largest platforms, as they have guides and information to get you started and special leagues for beginners. FanDuel and DraftKings both have easy-to-use interfaces and helpful features for beginners.

2. Decide on a game style, sport, and contest

Once you’ve made your account, you’ll need to decide what sport or sports you’d like to compete in. Most platforms support football, hockey, baseball, basketball, and soccer, while others focus on specific sports, like NASCAR or MMA.

There are a number of game styles to choose from. “Double-Up” games, for example, guarantee you a 100% return on your entry fee if you finish within the top 50% of all players. “Head-to-head” games are played against a single opponent and tend to be preferred by seasoned players. Finally, Guaranteed Prize Pools offer tiered payouts based on your team’s performance.

To compete, you’ll need to join a contest. These will be listed in the platform’s main screen or lobby and differ in sport, style, size, minimum buy-in, and duration. Entering a contest will include paying an entrance fee.

3. Build your team

Next, it’s time to build your team. You’ll have a list of all the players available, plus their stats and, often, recent performance reviews. It’s up to you to choose the best team you can, but you’ll need to make sure their combined salary is below a certain amount, known as the “salary cap.” Team building is where the skill comes into daily fantasy sports games, so consider your options carefully. 

Once the days’ games are finished, the stats are updated and your team’s performance is displayed on your home page. If you’ve selected a winning team, your earnings will be available shortly. If not, better luck next time…

Gambling responsibly

You probably don’t need us to tell you that any form of gambling comes with serious risks and should never be undertaken as a silver bullet to solve your financial troubles. It’s worth remembering the phrase…the house always wins!

If you suffer from a gambing problem or suspect somebody you know does, then we strongly suggest that you give the National Problem Gambling Hotline a call on 1-800-522-4700 to discuss it with a professional. It’s so important to make gambling safer for yourself and loved ones.

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