All you need to know about Pool Betting

pool betting

Some people enjoy gambling but are either inexperienced or nervous in placing wagers individually. Pool betting uses the power of a group to place one large bet on an event. The rewards can be substantial when players are fortunate enough to win the wager. Have a look at the ins and outs of how pool betting works.

What is pool betting?

It’s a form of gambling where people pay a fixed price to take part. Once you deduct the taxes and profits, the remaining funds will be split among those who made correct predictions. There are no odds involved, and the calculated payout involves dividing the total available between the qualifying bettors.

People enjoy group betting not only for placing wagers on sports, but even regular events such as the gender of a baby are bet on in offices around the world. It’s a fun way to enjoy wagering without feeling overwhelmed by the bookies’ rules. The concept was initially invented by Sir John Moores for the Littlewood Pools in 1923 and was based on football matches.

In the UK today, sports lotteries are also called football pools. In North America, hickey pools are the most popular form, and in Australia, it’s footy tipping. The essential difference between pool betting and other forms of betting is that the players bet with each other and not the bookmaker.

Risks of Pool Betting

As with any wagering, there are some risks. However, due to the simplicity of the system, they’re relatively few. Since there are no odds in this strategy, you have no way of estimating your wins or how many other people have placed the same bet.

In effect, you’re risking your money without knowing how much you might get back. The more people that place the same bet, the smaller the dividend will be if your wager wins.

Advantages and disadvantages

Pool betting can have its pros and cons, like any gambling systems. We’ve listed these for you below:

  • Advantages
  • Possibility of winning big with a small wager
  • Capitalising on other bettors’ knowledge to place better bets
  • When making your selection, you can choose many different Outcomes as there’s a wide variety
  • Disadvantages
  • The more people that place the same wager, the smaller the dividend
  • The total amount of the pool is the final prize money
  • No odds to give you an idea of what you might win

How much money can you earn

To get a better understanding of how this system works, and how much money you can win, we’ve prepared an example below. An event has three outcomes that people can select, and the bets are as follows:

  • Eight people choose outcome 1
  • Three people choose outcome 2
  • Ten people choose outcome 3

Each option costs £/€/$1 to enter. Therefore, the total pool is £/€/$21 for this event. The winner is outcome 3, which means that those ten people will share the winnings and get £/€/$2.10 each.

If the outcome one had won, then the eight people would have received £/€/$2.62, and if outcome 2 won, the three lucky players would get £/€/$ 7 each.

It’s a simple example to explain the concept, but in real life, betting the bets and size of a pool can be huge. Some big pools have hit as much as a million, which can be lucrative for the participants if the amount of players in the pool isn’t huge.

Pool betting tips

tips for safe online gambling
  • As with any form of gambling, there are some things that you can try to get a slight edge.
  • Study the form of the contenders in every race or fixture. Past performances and current factors can influence the way a game goes.
  • Stay away from the betting on favourites, if possible, as everyone is going to be placing bets on them to win. Look at alternative options or combinations to wager on. This could include options such as most goals scored by a player and other individual betting options.
  • Bet on sports that you know and understand. If you’re betting on sports that you don’t know anything about, then you’re blindly relying on luck to give you a win. The more you know about the game and the participants, the more likely you are to place bets with a better understanding of why you’re betting on a particular outcome.

Are there different types of Pool betting?

This system is the most popular in football and horse racing. In betting on horse racing, you get a few variations such as Quadpot, Scoop6 and Jackpot. Quadpot involves selecting a horse to place in the third to sixth races of the day. Scoop6 requires punters to set a fixed stake and to predict six winners from a meeting.

Jackpot is similar to Scoop6 where players have to predict the winners of six races at a meet. If no-one guesses the six correctly, then the prize money carries over to the following day. This creates huge jackpots. If you’re taking part in an office pool, you can try the Survivor pool challenge.

How it works is that everyone contributes money into the pot. Each week a winner gets picked for the game. If your pick loses, then you’re out of the pool. If your team or pick wins, then you survive another week and can move forward to next week’s pool. Eventually, only one player will still be standing, and they win the pot. If there’s more than one person left at the end, they split the winnings.


What is the difference between fixed odds and Tote?

Tote betting and pari-mutuel betting are both pool betting systems. Participants combine all bets in a central pool. When the game is over the total amount of the pool, it gets split amongst the winners. Fixed betting is where the price is set and placed at specific odds at the time of the bet’s acceptance. There are no odds in Tote betting.

Is pool betting legal?

Unlike some other forms of sports betting, this system is legal in almost all regions around the world. However, it’s your responsibility to make yourself aware of the laws and how they apply to you.

What kind of markets are there for pool betting?

The most common sports are football and horse racing, but you don’t have to bet only on real sporting events. You can explore virtual and fantasy games, as well and enjoy betting on your favourite teams.


Pool betting is a great way to increase your chances of winning big by placing a small wager. If you follow the sport and choose your wagering options carefully, you have the opportunity for some lucrative wins with little effort.