Exploring the Parallels Between Fantasy Sports and Poker

Fantasy sports are immensely popular, especially now we live in the age of daily fantasy sports, and the industry has continued to grow. People have long picked out their favorite football, soccer, baseball, or cricket players and put them into a fantasy team in the hope of beating their friends (or even a wider competition).

Fantasy sports may be closer to poker than you might think when it comes to the different aspects of how the games are played. On the surface, a card game may seem very different from a fantasy draught, but there may be more once you start to do some research…

Both Have Modernised and Been on Similar Journeys

Poker and fantasy sports have both gone from being things that could be played among groups of friends or in person at set locations, to being things that can be accessed from virtually anywhere. People don’t need to find a group to go and play poker within a physical place. Access to real money poker and a variety of different varieties of the game are available online.

A dealer would have once been required, as well as a physical table to play poker on, but now there are online interfaces and casual games where people can join at any time and start to play against others all over the world. Poker was invented hundreds of years ago, but the journey it has been on means it feels like a modern game to many.

Fantasy football has a similar tale to tell, having started as something that was often done on a more local basis or among groups of friends, to being an online phenomenon. People log in and play against thousands of others. Statistics suggest that around 11 million people play some form of Premier League fantasy game, and this has been made possible by the modernisation of the game.

Portable Play

Again, 20 or 30 years ago, the idea of doing either of these things while you were on the go might have been seen as a pipe dream, but it is reality now. A device that you hold in your pocket can allow you to log in while in a waiting room or on the bus, and either play poker against somebody or tweak your fantasy football team.

Growth in 5G and other mobile technologies has also led to people being able to play wherever they are, too. Remote areas once would not have had such widespread coverage even five years ago. People’s phones have really opened a portal to do a variety of different online activities, and both of these are on the list!

Research and Knowledge Are Required

Some games revolve purely around luck, but this is not something that can be said for either poker or fantasy sports. People will tend to do some research before playing.

Poker players should at least understand the rules, but they may also go a bit further and research things like specific poker strategies. Poker stars like Dan Negreanu have even created online courses allowing people to get an insight into how they approach the game.

Fantasy football and fantasy sports fans need to look into things like players and their form, and also things like the predicted lineups of teams. Failing to look at these sorts of details can lead to making poor choices when it comes to virtual transfers and making sure that you’ve built a strong virtual team. Selecting a team full of injured players, for instance, can be a way that you let yourself down in your fantasy league.

Some people go more in-depth than others when it comes to putting in the research hours, but at least basic knowledge is often a wise choice for players to boost their chances.

More Competition (and Options)

Growth in both of these industries has led to a lot of other choices being introduced to the market. Of course, poker sites are competing along with a lot of different fantasy sports sites. Each wants to gain the biggest possible market share and be successful.

This competition also brings options, as people provide different variations on the games. Recent years have seen daily or weekly fantasy sports becoming more popular, for instance, as people may not want to spend as long committing to a whole season of tweaking their teams.


Hobbies that were once carried out in person have become easier to do online. People may still go out to play poker or play fantasy football with a group of friends (a fantasy draft can be fun) but there is a lot to be said for the convenience that comes along with the digital age. While not obvious from the outset, both of these games have been on a pretty similar digital revolution and journey to where they are today.