Daily Fantasy Sports Basics – What is a 50/50 or Double-Up Contest?

50:50 daily fantasy sports

In “Daily Fantasy Sports Basics,” we give you quick answers to questions you might have about terminology and basic strategy from the world of DFS.

One of the more popular formats in today’s daily fantasy sports world, nearly every site runs a variety of “50/50” or double-up contests.

In these contests, there are a set number of fantasy players, usually ranging from 10 players to hundreds or even thousands. You enter the contest for a fee, and you set your lineup, like any DFS contest.

Free Contest Entry at DraftKings

Sign-Up Today

What makes 50/50 contests different from other games is how the prize pool is distributed. The top half of the field gets paid, while the other half does not. All winning entries will receive the same prize.

So how do you win money in these? For instance, in a 50/50 contest, if there are 100 entries, only the 50 players with the best total score will get money back. In an $11 contest you will get $20 if you are in the top half of the field. (The extra dollar is a fee the site collects for running a contest, called rake.)

At sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, you can play in small 50/50 contests or large ones. The biggest contests will guarantee large prize pools, with tens of thousands of dollars up for grabs.

These are lower risk games than many of the contests you find at DFS sites, as more players will get money back in the long run. However, there’s obviously less reward, as the best you can do is double your money.

In terms of strategy for 50/50 contests, you should be playing safe lineups. What does that mean? You should be selecting players who are likely to score a decent amount of fantasy points, no matter what happens. Taking popular players that fit in the salary cap structure is a good play in these contests, because you only need to beat half the field to win money.

Photo by Andrew Hart used under license CC BY-SA 2.0.