This is a weekly article to discuss my thoughts regarding playing cash games.  Cash games are generally considered to be Head to Head, Double Ups, 50/50’s, Triple-ups, as well as small multi-player games where your chances of cashing are 33% or higher. 

Hey Jurors!  I’m back with another article.  It’s been so crazy at work with it being the end of the year and everybody needing to get their medical needs taken care of… along with it being Christmas and all the parties, concerts, and other events… that I’ve barely had time to focus on setting lineups… let alone write another article for this column.  Plus, I’ve been trying to think for the past several days what the DG Courtroom community would like to read about.

Well, since it is the Holiday season, many of us are thinking about finances.  Whether it is how to pay for the presents under the tree, how to pay your taxes, what vacation you want to save up for next year, or just how to pay the heating bill… finances are always on our mind.  If you are anything like me, you don’t want to let your hobby become an extra expense but rather a bonus.  I addressed how to improve your ROI in my last article and many of you seem to be taking my advice and succeeding.  It is so important to pick the right kind of contests each night to give yourself a steady growth ROI to succeed long-term in this hobby.

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But, how do we know how much we should enter into each slate? 


When I first started DFS, I researched this very question.  Performing a google search for bankroll management, there are multiple articles out there giving advice.  And, I’m sure you have all read it before. 

Standard Advice:

·         Play 10-20% of your bankroll per night.

·         Play 80% in cash.

·         20% in tournaments. 

If you have heard differently let me know.  Well, I’m here to tell you that, although these are good baseline measurements… I’ve not experienced a lot of success playing DFS until I found out what the definition of “cash” and “tournaments” is in the real world DFS community. 

Here are some basic Definitions.

·         Bankroll:  The amount of money TOTAL that you have to play with. 


This can be defined differently by different players.  Some people put $100 in their account in October and will play until the season is over or until they get a bonus or until they run out of money.  For them, the bankroll should be $100.  However, let’s pretend that you also add $25 per month November through April or a total of $100 startup plus $150 through the year.  I have read articles that say to play with that imaginary $250 bankroll.  However, in my opinion, only ever play the Dollar figure number at the top of your account.  This is your bankroll.  For example.  IF I start with $100, that is my bankroll.  If I win $20, my bankroll is now $120.  If I lose $20 and add $30 then my bankroll is $100-$20+$30= $110.  Very basic 2nd grade math.


·         Cash Contests: I feel like this word is thrown out a lot in the DFS community but never entirely defined.  Most think it is Head to Heads, Double ups, or 50/50’s and these are definitely cash contests.  However, I feel it is any contest that you have a higher then 30% probability of winning back your entry fee.  I do put Triple up’s, 3-man contests, and leagues (10, 20, 40, 100-man) as well as top 5 of 15, top 10 of 30 etc…

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Tournaments: A better term would be riskier contests with higher upside.  These are games in which there is a less then 30% chance of making back your entry fee, but a higher chance to significantly multiply your entry fee.  Obviously large gpp’s, single entry gpp’s, Larger leagues with top heavy payouts like chambers, winner-take all’s, Top 2, 3, 5, of larger numbers, quintuple up’s, 5-man contests, and 10x boosters.  These would all fit into this category.




How much of my bankroll Should I play per slate?


What is the one thing the Judge consistently mentions on the show.  “The slate dictates who we play!”  Well, the slate should also dictate how much we play from our bankroll. 

After playing for a while you will get to know your own playing style.  Are you a stronger player of larger slates or smaller slates?  Are you better when there is more value or when the pricing is tighter?  Do you play the chalk or differentiate?  Does the slate fit your strengthes?

Once you figure this out you can figure out the amount of your bankroll you should play.  Or whether you should DNP the slate.  I would never recommend playing more then 30% of your bankroll in a single slate.  EVER!  Even if you feel extremely strong about your lineup(s)… you never know when SALL (Scratched after Lineup Lock), Injury, or coaches can mess with your perfect lineup projection.  Taking a zero when you dump 50% of your bankroll would be devastating.

Also, Every Slate is a completely new day.  Just because you were either Great or Lousy the previous day does not dictate how you will play today.  Don’t get Overconfident with your bankroll because you are on a roll.  Don’t over play your hand!




What Percentage should I play in “Cash” and “Tournaments”?


Again, if you read my definitions above you will realize I don’t follow the typical definitions.  I did previously and felt like I forced my lineup into contests that I didn’t have a high probability of winning or returning a good ROI.  So, I went to work figuring out my strengthes.  And I recommend you do likewise.  Here was my formula:

I started with 10-15% of my bankroll and I spread it out.  I only played $1-2 dollar contests.  And I entered multiple contests of every kind.  I did try to stay close to the 80/20 rule of 80% in cash-type games and 20% in riskier or tournament type games.  But, then I was disciplined.  Every Monday morning I would upload my results from draftkings into Rotoworld’s DFS Analyser tool and break down my winning percentages and ROI’s in all the different types of contests that I’m playing. 

I did this for an entire month.  Here were some results from that month.  


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Basically, I struggled in your most basic cash and your most popular Gpps.  And for some reason in 15-25 man contests.  But in all the others I was crushing it.  Because I was playing so much more money in the Gpps and H2H’s and double ups I actually just finished with a few dollars in the positive.

My conclusion:  It was pretty simple to notice that tournaments and double-ups and Head to heads were the absolute WRONG choices for me to play!  Yet, that was what I was led to believe I should be playing for so long.

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So How did I adapt? 


I enter about 10% of my nightly money into Large Single Entry or Multi-entry GPP’s mostly in search of the big payday.  I’m still putting a couple bucks per night in the H2H’s and double ups as well to try to improve my Winning Percentage or my game playing skills in those types of contests.  But, I like to win.  So… the rest of my nightly amount I dump into $1-2 contests as outlined above with the positive ROI’s.  And I continue to monitor my percentages.  If I start to see that I’m getting stronger in one particular category I will allocate more funds to that area.  At least that is my plan.




What kind of Lineups do I play? 


Lately, just one.  Sometimes two!  Max 3.  Usually Cash or safe lineups with a couple zingers or upside plays or contrarian plays (especially in chambers).  In the higher risk, higher rewards contests I still play my safer lineup unless there are sharp players (like chambers) or a higher field of players like single or multi-entry gpps’s.  In those, I will throw a few more zingers in there with a higher ceiling.




Steps to Success:


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1.    Figure your Bankroll and how much you can loss in a night and not put your hand through the wall.

2.    Figure out your strengths.  Spread the wealth.  Play multiple contests at the low dollar level.

3.    Track your Winning % and ROI.  I can walk you through the DK method if you email or message me.  I’m not certain how to do this on FD.  Record your Percentages in Excel.

4.    Only check your percentages once per week. 

5.    Find your strengths and play to them.  Start dumping more money into the contests where you excel.  Start playing the types of slates where you excel.  (This may take a bit more research to figure out)

6.    Have fun!

7.    Oh yea… Listen to the Judge!

May you all achieve glory tonight!!!



You can reach Craig on Twitter @cpackham007 or on the Slack chat.  You can also email him at  He’d love to hear your takes as well.