Daily Fantasy Sports Basics – What is Rake?

Rake.jpg">Daily Fantasy Sports Rake

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.

What is “the rake” in daily fantasy sports? In simple terms, it’s a fee that a daily fantasy sports site takes in exchange for running a contest. Every time you enter a DFS contest, part of your entry fee goes to the prize pool, but a small percentage also goes to the site.

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Many beginning players may not even realize they are paying fees to enter the contests at daily fantasy sports sites. And it’s not always very obvious how much money a site is taking from each entry fee.

How much is the rake? It varies by site and by contest. Most sites charge a rake of anywhere between 5 percent and 15 percent of an entry fee. For example, an $11 contest will often feature a rake of 10 percent, or one dollar going to the site.

The high buy-in contests (that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to enter), will generally feature a lower rake percentage than the lower buy-in contests.

A great place to see how much money you are paying in entry fees, at least at the big sites of DraftKings and FanDuel, is Daily Fantasy Lobby. At that site, rake is called “margin,” and it tells you exactly what percentage of your entry fee is going to rake, for every contest. It’s a tremendous tool that keeps you from having to figure out the rake for each contest yourself. For now, it does not track rake on any of the smaller DFS site

Rake is an important factor to consider when choosing which contests to play. If you are paying more rake at one site over another, or in one contest vis a vis another, that means the prize pool will be smaller. Ideally, you should try to seek out the contests that charge the smallest amount of rake possible.

Photo by David Goehring used under license CC BY 2.0.