For those of you who are new to DraftKings, there are a bunch of different contests offered on their platform. Basically they offer something for every type of user, whether you want a cheap one-off contest or a multi step tournament, you can find something to suit your needs. Here is a list of all the contests offered at DraftKings with a brief description of each.
Rake: DraftKings take a 10% cut of all entry fees up to $50 games. Once you get above the $50 buy in the rake rate decreases to 9.1%, but you don’t see much real decrease in the rake until you reach games over $108. Bonuses and rake-back can lower this rate for you, DraftKings will occasionally offer these features and we recommend targeting them. If you have the bankroll to target the contests with higher entry fees, do so, the benefit from the lower rake gives you a statistical advantage. A lot of people shy away from the contests with higher entry fees assuming that the competition is better there, but that isn’t always the case.
Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP): The entire prize pool is payed out in a GPP, regardless of whether the contest fills up. There is certainly some appeal to this format if the pool does not fill up, but it is also important to consider that the total input of entry dollars can be greater than the prize pool, which is where DraftKings makes there money. At a certain level of entries, you are better off taking a 10% hit in rake fees instead of playing in a pool where prize money is diluted between a larger number of applicants. The range of entry fees is $0 to $530, with the total prize money ranging from $10 to $125,000.
Head to Head: A one on one contest where the winner takes all of the prize money. This is definitely an interesting format, as your odds of walking away with a prize is greater than most other formats. The current entry fees range anywhere from $0 to $5,300, depending on your appetite for risk. Payout in prize money can be as much as $10,000 in these contests.
Qualifier Contests: This is an awesome format, as a win gets you entry into a contest with an even higher payout. Entry fees can be as low as $.25 and anywhere up to $1,000. The payout ranges between $24 and $60,000.
Step Tournaments: Anyone who has played online poker before will recognize this format. You can start at step 1 by paying a $2 entry fee. If you end up in the top 2 you will walk away with $200. These tournaments generally have 4 steps, each containing a higher buy in. You can also buy in directly at a higher step without competing in the preceding steps. The entry fees are anywhere from $2 to $88 and prize money ranges from $18 to $488.
50/50’s: If you are in the upper 50% of the field at the end of a contest you walk away with prize money. Definitely some favorable statistics. You can enter a 50/50 contest for as low as $1 and as much as $5,300. Total prize money is anywhere from $3.60 to $100,000.
Multipliers: This contest format certainly has an allure to it, as total prize money is anywhere from 3x to 10x of your entry fees. With that said, higher reward means higher risk, so don’t expect the same winning percentage here as a 50/50. Entry fees range from $1 to $100, and prizes are anywhere from $18 to $1,500.
Beginners: In this contest you are matched up only against other beginners, hence the name. You are only eligible to take advantage of this format for your first 50 games, so we recommend starting here. You can enter a beginners contest for as little as $1 and up to $50, prize money is anywhere from $1.80 to $1,000.
Super Booster Tournaments: The setup for these contests is simple, the top 100 contestants receive $1,000 in prize money. Entry fees are either $27 or $55.
Multi-Match Head-to-Head: A pool of contestants where each player in the pool plays a head to head match against every other player in the pool. If you enter a $50, 21 person match, you will play against all 20 other players in head to head matches with a prize amount in each contest that would be equal to the payout for a $2.50 head to head match.
All of these contest styles offer a unique format that can benefit a certain strategy of play. I would recommend checking out as many as possible, as they are all lots of fun. Another cool format that wasn’t mentioned is the Create a Contest, where you make your own contest in a private lobby with friends. Here’s a good explanation of the Create a Contest format. The range of different contest types available on the DraftKings platform is unrivaled. My only word of advice would be to start off in the beginners bracket until you are comfortable, and take advantage of the daily and weekly free rolls when they are offered. Using this strategy will help you adjust to playing in the DraftKings lobby before you enter highly competitive play. Lastly, make sure to use a DraftKings promotion code when you sign up, and get free entry to your first contest!