What Is Pools Betting And Should You Try It?

What Is Pools Betting And Should You Try It?

A betting pool, also known as pools betting, has a format more like a lottery than a standard sports bet. As a form of gambling, it’s been around for around 100 years, even when traditional sports betting wasn’t legal.

Pools betting is also sometimes labelled as a Tote bet. Some of the most popular bookmakers by traffic are known for this type of wagers. It’s most common to find pools betting for two of the most popular sports to bet on: football and horse racing. You might have noticed it at your online sportsbook. Perhaps you’ve heard about another bettor winning the pools? In that case, you’ll want to know exactly what it is.

The Format of Pools Betting

What is Pools Betting

Pools betting involves paying a fixed price to enter a competition. Your money is pooled with other bettors who also enter, which is where the name of the bet comes from. Unlike a straightforward single bet, where you predict the outcome of one event, you’ll be making multiple predictions.

When you pay to enter a pool, you’ll need to choose an outcome for several selections. It could be as many as 10, 15, or even 20. Pools are often known as jackpot bets. This is because you stand to win if all of your selections are correct.

The more people that enter, the bigger the prize pot becomes. Many pools payout for all selections that are correct, but will also give out smaller amounts for getting the majority right. The bookmaker removes the administration fees and other charges, and then the prize pool is awarded.


Pools are often used for horse racing and football matches. You’ll need to pick several winners for a day’s races or the weekend matches in the Premier League or for another tournament. This is much more challenging than predicting one correct scoreline, or deciding which team will score first.

All forms of gambling involve risk, and pools betting is no different. You’re putting your money on the line in order to win even more. It won’t necessarily have traditional odds, where you can calculate the risks, but the number of selections you’ll need to predict correctly can help you understand your chances.

Being able to get 13, 15 or 17 selections right is challenging. This is why the form of gambling is compared to the lottery, given that the chances of winning are remote. This risk is balanced by the amount that you pay as a fixed price or stake in the first place, though.

Another potential risk is hidden in the choice of reliable and licensed bookmakers. Make sure you chose a reputable company, so you won’t have to face unpleasant surprise regarding your winnings.


There are several reasons why pools betting has remained popular for so long. One of the main advantages is that the bet requires only a small outlay. Many pools offer a fixed price entry, which could be as little as £/€/$2 or £/€/$5.

For this small amount, you get to enjoy making several predictions and putting your knowledge to the test. If you enjoy a sports bet but don’t want to pay a lot in stakes, this is a good way to enjoy a weekly flutter.

If you know a lot about the specific sport, such as football or horse racing, then making predictions will play to your strengths.

Finally, the big draw of pools betting is the amount that you could win. You pay a small amount, get to make several bets, and there’s a chance that you’ll walk away with a big prize pot. There aren’t many opportunities in betting where you can win so much without risking a large amount yourself.


Fixed price pools are low risk since you don’t need to pay a lot to enter. However, not all pools betting functions this way. Some horse racing bets require you to stake a certain amount for each horse. If you want to hedge your bets and cover the different options, then you can spend a significant amount on bets.

Some bettors team up and pool their money before entering a horse racing tote so that they can cover more options. If you’re a single bettor going up against them, it can be hard to compete, which is another disadvantage of this type of pool.

Most bettors like to compare the stake to the potential reward. That might not be favourable if you need to stake a lot to cover several different horses. Even in football pools with a fixed price, the prize pot and stake amount aren’t the only factors.

As mentioned previously, the chances of winning are remote. This means that you could enter a weekly jackpot and, over time, the small entry fee would amount to a larger sum, potentially with no return.

How Big Is The Payout?

So far, you’ve heard about large prize pools, but how big can rewards get? This differs depending on the format and the bookmaker. Some pools establish a large jackpot; this can range from £/€/$1 million to £/€/$10 million.

The higher the jackpot, the more you have to predict correctly. It could be a bigger number of selections, or you might need to guess the correct scoreline for football matches too. There are also pools in which you can adjust the fixed price entry. If you pay the lower amount, then you gain access to a smaller prize pool, and the opposite is true for a larger amount.

The number of people that join the pool affect the payout in traditional horse racing pools. This means that if you join early, there isn’t a way of knowing exactly how much you stand to win. Once you’re familiar with pools betting, you’ll have a better idea of how big the average payouts are for certain races or competitions.

Many pools betting payouts stretch to thousands of pounds. You can even find prize pots for hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of pounds. This big payout is what attracts so many bettors.

If this uncertainty isn’t your cup of tea, you can always try the standard bonus offers of the bookmakers. Their terms and condition are published, and you can see what you can expect from your wagers.

Curious About Pools Betting?

Not all bookmakers offer jackpot, tote or pool bets. However, these competitions aren’t too hard to find. Companies like BetFred run a Totepool for horse racing, and other online bookmakers like Colossus and Skybet run pools with large jackpots.

In conclusion, it’s worth remembering that you stand to win a lot, and you won’t have to pay much upfront. Above all, the number of predictions that you need to make to win is challenging, which means that your chances aren’t the same as a regular sports bet.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.