7 Strategies To Help You Win 50/50 Match-ups on DraftKings.

A lot of new players get tempted by tournaments on DraftKings that offer huge prize pools. This temptation is understandable considering that cash prizes worth $1 million or more are offered for winning these contests. The problem, however, is that the outcome is highly unpredictable and this prevents you from picking a team that you can be sure will win. The only way to cash in big money, as recommended by experts, is to take big risks when drafting your players.

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In comparison, 50/50 games offer much more predictability and profitability, even though each contest has a smaller prize pool than the large field tournaments. Here are seven rules to help you win 50-50 matches:

What exactly is a 50/50 match-up

There is basically one thing you need to know about this type of match which is also called a double up. The top half of the participants is entitled to win the payout which is distributed evenly among them. So a contest with 50 players would have 25 winners, each receiving an equal portion of the total prize money. This guiding principle will help you devise your draft strategy which is what the following section covers.

Rule No.1: Think in insurance terms, not lottery terms.

Playing in large field contests at DraftKings is very much like a lottery where your chances of winning are very low. This is because a lot of people participate and only a few win. That’s the only way a tournament with an entry fee of less than $30 can have a prize pool of one million dollars. Having said that, one player is bound to emerge as the winner and become a millionaire overnight.

That’s not the case with 50/50s. Although there is an element of risk involved, it’s more of a cushioned risk. Think of it like you’re buying insurance. In addition to standing much higher chances of winning since half the participants get paid, you don’t have to worry about one person taking everything. You just have to make it to the top half of the leaderboard and you win as much as the number one player.

The lesson here is that you don’t have to take big risks. You just have to choose players who you can count on to earn you points. There is absolutely no need to pick risky players in the hope that they will have a brilliant performance and get you to first place. 50/50 match ups offer no incentives for this strategy.

Rule No.2: Pick players who have a high ownership percentage

The thing about players who can be trusted to give you a steady supply of points is that they’re considered reliable by everyone else too. So you shouldn’t be surprised and put off if your opposition picks them too. In fact, drafting players with high ownership percentages only validates your prediction of their performance.

For instance, people expect players like Brees and Murray to have a 70% rate of successful passes and score huge points on rushing yards respectively. In a 50/50 contest, you need this reliability to guarantee you points.

Rule No.3 : Choose undervalued players

While it makes sense to pick a star quarterback like Manning, it also is a good strategy to consider those players whose salaries don’t do justice to their track records. Maybe they’ve had a couple of bad performances or have been out due to injury so no one expects them to do well. Identifying such players can give you an edge because there’s a strong likelihood of them doing well while everyone else has discounted them. Since DraftKings allows you to pick two WRs and three RBs it would serve you well to fill each position with one star player and the remaining slots with undervalued players.

Rule No.4: Join the larger 50/50s

Even within 50/50s there’s the option of joining small field contests and large field contests. Many players think it is better to join a small double up which has ten participants or less. While you might agree with them and say that you have to face less competition, your chances of winning are higher in the large contests.

This is because even though you are competing against a lot more people, the degree of unpredictability is much lesser. Let’s say you join a contest with six players. You will have to finish in the top three in order to win. If three of your opponents get lucky and score more points than you, you’re done and dusted. With larger double ups, with say 100 entrants, you don’t have to worry about 10 people doing better than you. You don’t have to worry about even 30 people doing better than you. You just have to make it to the top 50 and you’re a winner.

It’s simple math. The large number of participants smothe out the score curve and reduces the variance.

Rule No.5: Review your lineup half an hour before game time

Make sure to go through your roster thirty minutes before the first match of the week kicks off. It is extremely important that you do so because one or more of your players might have been dropped. This happens a lot due to sudden injuries or unforeseen circumstances. If you fail to double check your roster and you end up with a dropped player, you’re essentially losing out on all of the points associated with the slot he was filling.

Reviewing your line up half an hour before game time will ensure that the players in your roster are scheduled to play for sure. It will save you from having dead weight in your team and from a lot of heart ache too.

Rule No.6: Look at the long term track record of a player

Because predictability is vital in double ups, it is highly important that you do not base your draft picks entirely on a player’s latest performance. Anyone can have an exceptionally good week or a horrifyingly bad one. You have to go beyond the previous week’s performance and look at a player’s past track record. How has he performed throughout the current season? What did he do last season?

Consistency is key here so make sure you do your research well rather than just relying on last week’s statistics and making impulsive decisions.

Rule No.7: Don’t get carried away by how easy it seems

Many new players think it is all too easy to enter a 50-50 contest and win. After all, how difficult could it be to finish in the top half?

Do not fall into this trap and make sure you are aware of the intricacies involved. It’s easy to look at the 50% that’s winning but remember the other half of people that’s going to lose? Yep, there’s a flip side to everything. What is going to differentiate you from the bottom 50%?

It is of utmost importance that you do not just jump in but take time to devise a winning strategy. This is because a lot of experienced people play in double ups and they know exactly what they’re doing. To increase your chances of winning it would be best to first stick to large field contests since there’s a high chance of competing against inexperienced players here. Also, since the experienced players usually participate in contests with higher buy ins and prize pools, it would serve you well to compete in the games with low entry fees.


As you have seen, playing in 50/50’s is a great way to earn some consistent cash and build up your payroll. However, it is not as easy as it seems and there are a few things to consider. Follow the guidelines we have laid out for you and you can be on your way to a winning experience at DraftKings.