You remember Yahtzee, don’t you? That game you played as a kid that taught you a little about craps and poker all in one. Well, you might be surprised that this little dice game can also teach you a little about how to win DFS multi-entry contests.

The principles of Yahtzee can inform how we build DFS lineups. (Image: Hasbro)

A Yahtzee Primer

In Yahtzee, you roll a tumbler full of five dice in an attempt to make poker-like combinations. For example, if you rolled four fives that would be worth at least 20 points. If you managed to roll a large straight (either 1-2-3-4-5 or 2-3-4-5-6) you’d get 40 points. The sought-after Yahtzee roll of five of a kind was worth 50 points.

But you may recall – and this is the key – that you didn’t have to get these combinations in one roll of the dice. Instead, you could lock in certain numbers and take two more rolls of the dice to try to make your high-scoring combinations. For example, if you got three fours on your first roll, you’d likely keep those fours and take two more chances with the tumbler to roll two more fours with the remaining two dice. This greatly increases your chance of making Yahtzee compared to rolling five dice at once. In fact, it decreases the odds of making Yahtzee in the next two rolls from 3,888-to-1 to something closer to 100-to-1.

This is how Yahtzee relates to DFS: when you make multiple entries in large-field contests, you want to establish a base of players you are almost certain will score a lot of points and then swap out players around them that are prone to a wider range of points.

An Example of the Yahtzee Principle

DraftKings user SoulChild cleaned up in the CFB $25K Saturday Night Kickoff $5 buy-in contest for Week 0 of college football by applying this principle. This DFS player used a base of players such as quarterbacks Khalil Tate and Cole McDonald, running backs Lamical Perine and DeeJay Dallas and wide receiver Cedric Byrd II – guys he knew were bound to a have a low “floor” in a game that was bound to be high scoring and feature a lot of offensive plays.

SoulChild filled in the remainder of his lineups with other wide receivers from the Saturday night games. Some were hits and some were misses (much like rolling the sought-after fours to complete that Yahtzee or getting any other number instead), but SoulChild had enough hits that he was able to place five of his lineups in the Top 20 of that contest, including first place for $5,000 and a tie for second and another $1,750.

Remember, when crafting your lineups that you should first identify the almost sure-hits of the contest and then fit in potential high-scoring players as their salary allows.

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