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5 min read

How does fantasy sports betting work

Fantasy sports is an even more interesting way to look at the game or match than regular sports bettings in bookmakers’ shops. In the first case you put together a new team and become their virtual manager, in the second — you just choose teams or players, who are you betting on. Even from the point of view of games for money, the strong platforms are getting bigger every year and sometimes it reaches six-digit sums in one tournament. 

Classic sports betting has been existing for a long time and has its own history and rules, but fantasy sport is an entirely new type of betting. Today it is actively discovered by other new niches and increases its prospective market. 

The history of fantasy sports starts in the USA and nowadays it’s the most popular there, compared to other countries. There’s one national organisation of fantasy sports in the world so far — ‘Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’. According to their information, the popularity of this game and bettings are almost equal. Telling about incomes, 50% of both bettors and managers earn more than $75.000 a year.

20% of American adults take part in fantasy sports and betting as well, so, logically, the audience is almost the same. There’re a few cases of people either playing fantasy sports or making sports bettings. 

If you think that fantasy sport is a totally new phenomenon, you’ll be surprised to hear that its history began in 1962 in New York by businessman Wilfred Winkenbach, one of the managers of the team Oakland Raiders (Las Vegas Raiders). He created many kinds of fantasy sports and developed main regulations. 

Then came the first league and first public league, which accepted all the interested people and in the early 80s the game became popular throughout the country. And the basis of the game is, obviously, football. 

Fantasy sports came to Europe thanks to the British, who adapted the rules of the game from American football to European. 

Nowadays there are a lot of possible ways to compete as you like: for cash, because of immersion in sports, against friends. At the moment the most popular game is the English Premier League, which features more than 8 million teams from all over the world. 

What are the basic rules?

The idea of fantasy sport is quite simple. For example, we take fantasy football: you make a team of players, choosing them from 20 real teams. The effective actions in real life are counted to the players of the game (scored goals, assists, goaltender saves and a match played without conceding goals) and add points to the game. Meanwhile, negative actions such as yellow/red cards and penalties take them away. Whose team is gaining more points, wins the competition? 

In some apps, you can even create your own league and set the rules and compete with other people (for example, using players only from agreed teams or certain price categories). 

Where and what can you play?

The tournaments can be seasonal and daily. 

  • Seasonal games are the tournaments that are running all year round. Here the player should be able to look not only at the upcoming matches but also calculate his moves several rounds in advance. Also, he has to keep a close eye on the league for watching out for the best players and reacting to possible injuries. 
  • Daily is a shorter form, in which players compete during one week of games. Usually, such tournaments last from one to three days and here the player should assess the balance of power in the next matches correctly and take those, who will play better than anyone.

Important thing is that fantasy sports aren't only football. Increasingly, this direction is beginning to cover other kinds of sport like basketball, hockey, tennis, esports, handball, horse racing etc. The fact that fantasy is just beginning to expand its audience shows that the potential for the game definitely exists. Moreover, the entry threshold here is near-zero — in many leagues you do not need to pay anything to participate. 

The best place to experience fantasy is, without doubt, the official game from the English Premier League. The participation is free, people from all over the world play it, you can create your own leagues to compete with friends, and the platform gives you detailed rules and answers any questions. 

At the very least, it’s possible to find one of the thousands of groups for fantasy sports and find like-minded people to play. For basketball fans we can recommend fantasy sports on a playground like Yahoo. 

Of the sites where you can gamble, it is difficult to find something better than Fanteam. The money prize here is increasing every year, a new kind of sport is constantly appearing (eSports have recently been added — CS: GO, Dota 2, LoL — and even baseball and cricket), and operators actively respond to comments.

The latest trend in fantasy sports, and probably the most addicting one, is called DSF or Daily Sports Fantasy. This type of game even took things to the next level and made companies like DraftKings super powerful in the USA.

This game gives you the opportunity to play whenever you want, you can choose different players and form different teams depending on injuries, collisions etc. Knowing this type of fantasy gives you many opportunities to understand the odds of betting in real-time. And the fact is, especially in sports like baseball, the lack of a quarterback or a pitcher can be a real headache and prevent you from placing your bets.

In DFS, you change your team game after the game, so if you have a free week at work or school, you can dedicate that week to playing. You actually have a team salary limit and you can spend it on the players you want as long as you stay below that limit. You can also have personal duels with friends and bet your money.

It's extremely exciting and has grown over the years that some people try to make a living by doing it. A lot of professional poker players are passionate about fantasy sports because, just like sports betting, knowing the sport helps you have more opportunities to win big sums of money with much less investment.

This method is very successful, especially in the NFL, and determines the order of the draft based on where you finish the season. You can change a player for a draft position and act like the general manager you've always wanted to be, as you see in the NFL, right before the draft, or even after someone has made a choice and you wanted that player to also have the opportunity.

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