What are Cash Games in Daily Fantasy Sports?


Before you begin your voyage as a successful daily fantasy player you need to know what types of contests you will be playing. There are two types of contests Cash Games and Guaranteed Prize Pools (tournaments also known as GPPs).

In this article we will be discussing what cash games are and hopefully you can decide if they are for you.

Cash Games

What is a Cash Game?

Most cash games consist of 50/50’s, head-to-heads and double-ups. Cash games are considered safer than GPPs however they do not have the ceiling of GPPs. The dollar payouts are lower but the chances to cash are much higher. Many successful players use cash games as their main type of contest due to the higher success rate. Remember cash games are lower risk and have a lower reward.

In a 50/50, you only have to beat out half of the entrants in your contest. The top 50% of the field wins but the prizes are the same whether you take 1st or 50th (assuming their are 100 people). It’s important to note that in most 50/50’s you win just under the amount you risked as most companies will take their cut of the difference.

Double-ups are similar in that the prizes are the same regardless of where you are on the cash line, however you actually double your money rather than paying any sort of “juice” to the companies. The drawback of double-ups is they get their juice by raising the cash line above 50%. You still don’t need to be in the top 12% to get paid, but 50% isn’t going to cut it.

Head-to-Heads are exactly what they sound like. You play an opponent one-on-one and the winner takes the prize. These contests are similar to the 50/50’s in that you don’t quiet double your money due to the companies taking their cut.

Cash Game Strategy

When playing cash games you have to remember what your goal is. Unlike GPPs. you don’t have to come in first therefore you don’t have to take as many chances with play selection. Obviously you want the best line-up you can put out, but your more concerned with floor (how low a player may score), than ceiling (how high a player may score).

In cash games your looking for consistency. You want consistent players in good match-ups and your value plays are very important. Value plays in basketball could be a cheap back-up who is getting the start, in baseball a cheap player who’s batting higher in the line-up for the day and in football maybe a back-up running-back who’s getting the start. These guys are must plays due to the salary relief they bring with the floor of a regular starter.

In GPPs you want to differentiate your line-ups to be able to excel you to the top if your the only one with that build, in cash games your kind of looking to stay with the pack therefore playing chalk is much more accepted as a good strategy than in GPPs.

In Closing

Cash games are a ton of fun but don’t carry the ceiling that GPPs do. The question is which type of contest fits your style. If you like lower risk, consistency and playing the chalk (popular and obviously plays) then cash games could be for you. Cash games are a grind but many successful DFS players believe that the only way to win long-term is to play these contests as the success rates are much higher than GPPs.