How Does PrizePicks Work? Games & Payouts Explained

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PrizePicks is an Atlanta-based DFS platform launched in 2018 that accepts users from 30 US states. It exclusively offers games against the house with a payout potential of up to 25x. Users pick 2 to 6 players and decide if those athletes will go higher or lower than their projected stats.

In Fantasy Score contests, players’ success is determined by Fantasy Points, which factor in various stats. In Single Stats contests, you pick specific stats like points, rebounds, assists, etc. 

PrizePicks has two play modes, Power Play and Flex Play. Power Play is all-or-nothing—you win only if all your picks come good. Flex Play gives a little leeway, on the other hand. If one or two of your choices flop, you score a consolation prize.

In five states, PrizePicks runs Pick'em Arena contests. In these games, you predict “more” or “less” on 2 to 4 athlete stats, and your entry joins a group of similar picks. Score perfectly or top your group to win up to 10x your entry, with perfect entries taking the whole prize.

In this guide, we walk you through how PrizePicks works, the contests available, possible payouts, and the key things you need to get started.

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How PrizePicks Works

At PrizePicks, you select 2 to 6 player stats from various sports and leagues. You pick whether each player's performance will be better or worse than the platform's projection.

PrizePicks Game Types

The two game modes, Power Play and Flex Play, offer different risk-reward ratios.

With its all-or-nothing approach, Power Play rewards complete success with higher payouts, like a 10x return on 4-pick games.

Conversely, Flex Play allows room for error, paying out even if one or two picks miss the mark.

The minimum entry size on PrizePicks is usually $5, although it drops to $1 during weekly Happy Hours. Once an entry amount is set, the platform provides the potential payout, allowing you to adjust your entry amount if needed.

PrizePicks Game Modes

The two types of games, Fantasy Score and Single Stat, rely on different metrics.

In Fantasy Score contests, the goal is to pick if the selected athletes will reach or exceed a predetermined fantasy points total. This score is an combination of various performance stats, such as points scored, rebounds, and assists, each assigned different weightages.

For instance, each point scored earns 1 point, a rebound yields 1.2, and an assist is worth 1.5 points.

Single Stat games hinge on one specific statistical category per athlete. The ticket can include 2 to 6 athletes, with picks made on stats like points, assists, home runs, and touchdowns.

This format provides a straightforward, stats-focused DFS experience.

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How PrizePicks Payouts Work

PrizePicks' payout system hinges on two entry types: Power Play entries and Flex Play entries.

The Power Play option, a type of normal entry, rewards high payouts if all your picks are correct but offers no secondary prizes. Essentially, it's all or nothing.

On the other hand, Flex Play entries give players a higher winning probability by allowing some wiggle room. Even if not all picks are spot on, you can still win a certain amount.

A “Did Not Play” (DNP) situation affects your payouts differently. If a player doesn't play, your entry downgrades to the next closest one. For example, a 4-Pick Power entry becomes a 3-Pick Power entry, a 6-Pick Flex converts to a 5-Pick Flex, and so on. A 2-Pick Power entry under such circumstances gets you a refund.

However, if an entry becomes ineligible (say, all players are from the same team), it's automatically refunded. This ensures a fair playing field regardless of unexpected DNPs.

PrizePicks Standard Payouts

Here’s what the payout structure for the Power Play looks like, starting with the most challenging format:

  • 6-Pick Power Play: 25x your entry fee for hitting 6/6 picks
  • 5-Pick Power Play: 22x your entry fee for hitting 5/5 picks
  • 4-Pick Power Play: 10x your entry fee for hitting 4/4 picks
  • 3-Pick Power Play: 5x your entry fee for hitting 3/3 picks
  • 2-Pick Power Play: 3x your entry fee for hitting 2/2 picks

PrizePicks Flex Play Payouts

Let’s now go over the payout structure for Flex Play tickets:

  • 6-Pick Flex:
    • 6 correct = 25x your entry fee
    • 5 correct = 2x your entry fee
    • 4 correct = 0.4x your entry fee
  • 5-Pick Flex Play:
    • 5 correct = 10x your entry fee
    • 4 correct = 2x your entry fee
    • 3 correct = 0.4x your entry fee
  • 4-Pick Flex Play:
    • 4 correct = 5x your entry fee
    • 3 correct = 1.5x your entry fee
  • 3-Pick Flex Play:
    • 3 correct = 2.25x your entry fee
    • 2 correct = 1.25x your entry fee

Our analysis of payouts at DFS Pick'em sites found that PrizePicks is the best for 5-Pick Flex plays, as they still pay out some winnings if you only hit 3. Payouts on 5-Pick Power Plays (22x) are also better than all competitors.

>> Learn More: PrizePicks Deposits & Withdrawals | Payout Time & Limits

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How Is PrizePicks Not Considered Sports Betting?

PrizePicks is a game of skill. Participants must digest a ton of data—player stats, injuries, coaching tactics, and even weather patterns to succeed in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). This complexity and demand for strategic planning make DFS games more about skill than chance.

This distinction isn't just theoretical; it's demonstrated in practice. Research, such as the MIT study in 2018, supports this, showing that fantasy football rewards skillful players.

The legal landscape also draws a distinction between fantasy sports and gambling. States often determine if an activity is a game of skill or a bet. As of 2020, 21 states had laws recognizing fantasy sports as skill-based games.

Further, federal law, specifically the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, exempts fantasy sports, acknowledging them as skill-centric. Hence, platforms like PrizePicks aren't classified as sports betting like FanDuel Sportsbook but rather as skill-based games.

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.