Fantasy sports leagues have been around since the 1950s, with the first-ever game having been built around baseball. However, this game of skill or form of gambling (depending on how you look at it) has seen a boom in popularity over the last decade or so. Each and every sports season, millions of people play fantasy games as it adds so much more to watching popular leagues.
Essentially, with fantasy sports gaming, you get to put your money where your mouth is and assemble your own imaginary team based on players in real-life sports leagues. The performance of your team is determined by real-life player performance in real matches. Most sports fans soon realize that picking players that continually perform well while staying within the salary cap is pretty difficult.
Major sites like DraftKings and FanDuel offer loads of daily fantasy sports league contests based on the NFL, MLB, NBA, and the NHL, among other popular tournaments. So, the opportunity to try your hand at building a fantastic sports team while standing a chance to win real money prizes is readily available.
If you’re looking to get into the exciting action of fantasy sports gambling, you’ve come to the right place. Below we cover all you need to know, including:
- How it all works.
- Sports with popular fantasy leagues.
- Betting strategies.
We also list our favorite online gambling sites for both traditional sports betting and fantasy games. So, scroll down below and get started.
This list includes some daily fantasy sports betting sites, which has proven to be the most popular type of fantasy games.
- Best Fantasy Sports Betting Sites
- How Do Fantasy Sports Work?
- Types of Fantasy Sport Games
- Popular Fantasy Sports Leagues
- Fantasy Sports Betting Tips and Strategies
- Is Online Fantasy Sports Betting Legal?
- States with Legalized DFS Games
- DFS Betting – FAQs
Playing fantasy sports is rather simple. But if you are unsure of how everything works, let us take you through the basics:
- Fantasy sports games are based on real world professional sports leagues. When you join a fantasy league, you create an imaginary team and take on the role of coach or general manager.
- You need to build your team roster with real-life players currently active in the league the fantasy game is based on.
- To ensure that every team of players is not filled with just the Tom Brady’s or Lionel Messi’s of a sport, teams are given a salary cap and each player a salary matching their overall skill level.
- This is where the skill-based aspect in a fantasy sports contest comes in. You need to study players statistics when drafting a team to ensure you build the most effective squad.
- The performances of real-life players determine the performance of your fantasy team. You earn points based on good plays or performances and may lose points for bad plays.
- The team that accumulates the most points in the period of time declared at the start the competition is the winner.
Whether or not fantasy sports players need to bet money to be involved in a league is dependent on the league joined. Nowadays, even sports news websites, such as CBS and ESPN, can be considered DFS operators because they run leagues.
Some of these sites run free fantasy leagues that offer you the chance to win prizes without spending a cent.
However, if you join a league run by a DFS and sports betting site, such as DraftKings, you will need to pay an entry fee. A small payment to join a league that could offer million dollar prizes is worth it in our opinion.
There are many types of games available to play at fantasy league betting websites. Some of the most popular include the following:
- Head to Head Contest– two individual players go up against each other, and the winner is awarded a cash prize. This is the perfect option for two friends who love sports, although a loss to a single opponent is sometimes harder to swallow.
- Cash Games– with this option, you either create or join a league and just as in real life, the fantasy teams that finished in the top half of the table win cash rewards.
- Leagues with Guaranteed PrizePools – players are made to pay a small fee to join a particular league. Players then compete against each other to win a big cash prize. These leagues do not need a specific number of players to be held.
It is important to note that these games can be broken down into two further formats:
- Traditional Season-Long Fantasy Leagues – these are leagues that span the entirety of the sporting season. So, for example, if you were joined a league that spanned the entirety of the NFL season, your team would need to be active from Week 1 until the Super Bowl.
- Daily Fantasy Sports Betting – these are daily or weekly games that are run on a single match week or a daily slate of games.
The following sports have proven to be really popular with the vast majority of fantasy sports fans that visit Gambling360.com:
- Fantasy Football– NFL games allow you to bring out your inner Bill Belichick. Online fantasy football sports betting leagues are the most popularly available, with hundreds of major sporting organizations operating such leagues.
- Fantasy Baseball– Major League Baseball (MLB) has spawned loads of fantasy contests. With thousands of baseball players to choose from and the MLB season being 162 games long, we consider fantasy baseball leagues a test of endurance.
- Fantasy Basketball – daily fantasy companies, offer a lot in the way of NBA fantasy betting. With basketball teams often being built around single star players, this is really a great way to test if you truly understand the trends of the game.
- Fantasy Hockey– increase the adrenaline rush you get from watching a good, old hockey game induces by creating your own fantasy team. It is one of the lesser-played fantasy sports due to the high learning curve, but it is very rewarding.
- Fantasy Soccer– also known as European football, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. There are loads of fantasy leagues based on the sport’s most well-renown leagues, such as the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga, among others.
Check out all the most popular fantasy sport options here:
While more specialized fantasy sports betting strategies may vary on the type of game, there are a few general tips that can be useful in getting started with a team. Here are some tips from the best fantasy players on the Gambling360.com team:
- Popular sports often have multiple fantasy leagues based on them. Each league has its own rules and scoring options, which impacts team selection. Ultimately, you want to sign up for a league with rules that you feel comfortable with.
- Pay attention to how long you can maintain your interest in a particular sport/game. Signing up for a season-long MLB fantasy league is all fine and well, but are you still going to be interested in keeping up with all 162 games halfway into the season? If you find yourself struggling to answer that question, then we advise that you first try your hand at some daily games instead.
- Your strategy should differ depending on whether you are playing in a season-long league or a single game. If you’re invested in a season-long league, your aim should be to find the most consistent players. However, in daily contests, you may want to focus on finding players that are on a hot streak.
- With sports like soccer, basketball, fighting matches, and hockey, we recommend playing daily fantasy games more regularly. There are loads of matches being played on a single day, and the intense but quick nature of these sports allow players to bet on the fly, focusing on elements like odds and the top-rated players.
Check out our other popular betting guides:
This is currently a huge issue within the United States, particularly with the recent Supreme Court ruling on sports betting. Ultimately, the answer to this question is really dependent on the state you live in and how the gambling laws are structured.
Some states consider fantasy sports betting to be somewhat of a legal grey area. They believe the activity to be a skill-based game as opposed to a form of sports betting. So, in such states, gambling can be illegal, but you can still participate in fantasy games.
However, other states consider fantasy sports games to be a form of gambling. So, if gambling is illegal in that area, you will not be able to participate in these games.
Be sure to keep checking your state laws surrounding the activity to see if any amendments have been made in the recent past. There are four states where DFS contests are definitely illegal, and these are Arizona, Washington, Montana, and Iowa.
Several states that have formerly legalized fantasy sports betting. The list includes:
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
A fantasy sport is a game that sees people build imaginary teams using players from a real professional sporting league. Players earn points for a team based on their performances in real matches. The team that earns the most points within a set period of time is the winner.
Fantasy football is the popular fantasy sport. It is closely followed by fantasy baseball, which was the first such game ever created.
Yes, you can make money, but you have to understand that you will usually have to place a bet to make money. Some sites do run promotional fantasy games, but this is not a sustainable way to make money from gambling.
This is a hard one. We don’t think that they should because of the amount of skill involved in the games. Ultimately, you are pretending to be a real-life sports coach or general manager. You have to undertake the same challenges they would with the real sport, except your decision don’t affect a multi-million dollar corporation.
However, to play this role, you have to pay a fee, which could later lead to a reward if all these go well. One could argue that the draft mechanics simulate gambling, but then the NFL draft is all based on chance, isn’t it?
The best daily fantasy football sites are DraftKings and FanDuel.
Some of the states that allow daily fantasy sports include Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi, Colorado, and West Virginia.
You need to pay to join leagues at a fantasy sports betting site. The joining fee is usually calculated concerning the total prize players can win.
The fantasy sports betting industry is estimated to be worth around $8 billion. More than 60 million people in the United States alone take part in fantasy sports games.