Fantasy sports are one of the hottest trends in sports entertainment lately, and daily fantasy sports are currently leading the way. They combine the strategy and planning of yearlong fantasy leagues with the excitement and fast paced results that are more consistent with the games you watch anyway. There are a number of different ways to enjoy daily fantasy sports, but regardless of how you choose to use this, the goal is to have fun and maybe win a little money, too.

Thinking about getting started in DFS? We have a few resources here that will get you started.

Where to Play

There are a lot of daily fantasy sports websites out there. Some of them are legitimate, and some are not as reputable. We really recommend using a site that is well known and completely reputable. This will instantly narrow down your search and make your playing experience safe at the same time.

There are two main players in the world of DFS. These include FanDuel and DraftKings. As long as DFS are legal online where you live, you cannot go wrong with either of these sites. Their signup requirements are the same (you need to be 18 and you need to live in a state that allows DFS play), but their deposit requirements differ. The games are also a little bit different, as is scoring. You can read Draftkings reviews on the Internet. You do have plenty of resources to help you make a better choice.

What to Play

Speaking of different scoring and games, you will want to spend some time figuring out which games are the best ones for you before you start.  All sites offer the three biggest fantasy sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Depending on where you play, other sports like golf, college football, hockey, NASCAR, and MMA will also be available.

DFS play might not come instantly to you, especially if you are new to it. If you can, play in free contests to get an idea for what you like. If these aren’t available in your game of choice—many of the less popular sports like golf and NASCAR tend to have few if any free events—then play for as cheaply as you can until you get a better idea for what you like and what your strengths are.

How Much?

You should never spend more money playing fantasy sports than you can afford to lose. If you play for the sheer fun of it, this should be the price that you would be willing to spend on entertainment. For example, if you would normally go out and spend $25 for a night out, but you decide to skip that for a few DFS games, then this is completely fine.

The problem that some have run into in the past as that they see DFS as a way to make a lot of money very quickly, and they end up losing more than they could afford to part with. Don’t let this happen to you. If you feel like parting with $25 for a few games is too tough, then don’t do it. There are plenty of free contests that you can sign up for on the big DFS sites. Always manage your risk and if you are always losing, just stop.

Taking it Seriously

If you’re thinking about taking daily fantasy sports a bit more seriously, congratulations! This is an exciting area of sports, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite teams while participating in a number of DFS leagues.

First, you need to know that not all states in the U.S. allow DFS. The federal government has determined that fantasy sports are a game of skill and not of chance, so it is not illegal gambling, but different states have different rules when it comes to playing fantasy sports. Be sure that you know what the rules are and how they apply to you.

Next, you need to have a firm grasp on the scoring of the league that you are playing in. Baseball is slightly different in its scoring from FanDuel to DraftKings, for example. A strong team in one league is not necessarily a strong team in the other. Different types of plays have different point values, and these differences will influence how you draft a team.

Salary is the other big difference. You have a certain number of salary dollars to spend per team, and different players have different costs associated with them. Staying within your salary limit ultimately means making cuts here and there when it comes to quality. This can be tough at times, but it gets easier with practice.

When you combine the salary that you are paying for a player with the potential point outcome that the player has, you are dealing with a concept called value. Finding high value players should be your goal, all while not making any sacrifices concerning points. When you have mastered this, you will be ready to start taking DFS more seriously.