Michael Lee
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There’s an alternative to fixed odds bookies out there, and it’s called pool betting! This page tells you all the essentials about this form of wagering like where it’s available and the bet types you can place. Learn all about betting pools in the UK today.

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  • Pool betting
#1 Pool Betting Site in UK

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 + 10 Free Spins

29/08/22

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 + 10 Free Spins

  • Football & horse racing pools
  • Join a Syndicate & win together
  • Qualify for FreePlay tokens
9.8
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To activate this promotion you must deposit and stake a minimum of £10. You must place a minimum of 5 rounds during the qualifying period and 4 of these rounds must be at least half the value of your highest placed wager. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org

Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets

22/11/22

Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets

  • Innovators of pool betting concept
  • Pledge to match fixed odds SPs
  • Tote+ gives 10% extra dividends
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New customers online only. Place your first bet on racing pools for a minimum of £/€5 and win or lose you will receive £/€20 Tote Credit. £/€20 Tote Credit rewarded as £/€10 redeemable against racing bets only and £/€10 redeemable against UK and Irish placepot bets only. Tote Credit cannot be withdrawn, exchanged, or substituted and expires after 7 days. UK & ROI customers only. 18+.  Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleaware.org.

Bet £10 and get £20 in Free Bets

06/01/23

Bet £10 and get £20 in Free Bets

  • Classic football pools available
  • Goal Rush, Lucky Clover & Colossus
  • Premier pools for different money
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18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C’s apply.

Bet £10 and get £40 in Bonuses

29/08/22

Bet £10 and get £40 in Bonuses

  • Totepool horse racing pools
  • Standard win & place bets
  • Scoop6, Placepot & Jackpots
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New UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.

Top Pool Betting Sites in the UK

These are the best betting sites offering pools where you can wager right now. Many of them double up as fixed odds bookmakers but that doesn’t mean this type of gambling is neglected. Fat from it. We’ve got a fantastic four pool betting sites for you today:

  1. QuinnBet – Football & horse racing pools together
  2. Tote – Innovators of betting pools on the horses
  3. The Pools – Play the football pools online now
  4. Betfred – Totepool betting service on their site

Reviews of the Best Pool Betting Sites

Now is the perfect time to take a good look at our sports pool betting options in more detailed. We asked our experts review those top four sites offering it to UK punters right now. Let’s take a look at what they found:

1. QuinnBet – Football & Horse Racing Pools Together

QuinnBet pool betting

A distinct edge that QuinnBet holds over its competition is it offers online pool betting on both football and horse racing. With other major rivals, it’s a case of one or the other. From Match Predictor pools where you must pick 5, 6 or 7 things to happen in a game to traditional football pools and ones for Both Teams to Score and Correct Score, there’s plenty going on.

With the horse racing pools at QuinnBet, it would’ve been nice to see more than just Place 6 options. There’s no standard win and place markets if you want to bet on individual outcomes. The FreePlay tokens available are a lovely touch, though, and you can team up with other players by joining syndicates, which cover more bases and spread any wealth from winnings.

Pros:

  • Football & horse racing pools side-by-side
  • Qualify for FreePlay tokens on site
  • BTTS & Correct Score pools available
  • Join a syndicate & share wins together
  • Match predictors & traditional pools

Cons:

  • Needs more horse racing pools & options

2. Tote – Innovators of Betting Pools on the Horses

Tote pool betting

As true pioneers of pool betting in the UK, the Tote has been around in one form or another for almost 100 years now. Starting off with, and best known for, betting on horse racing , they’ve added pools on football matches to what they offer in more recent times. These include Asian handicap betting pools, Both Teams to Score, Correct Score and Match Predictors, alongside traditional pool options.

Besides the same FreePlay token opportunities and chances to join Syndicates you’ll find with QuinnBet, Tote pool betting has some great promotions. Their Stayers Club rewards loyal punters who place at least pool bets each week. The Tote betting also guarantees to match (or sometimes better) SP odds for their Win pool on British horse racing.

There are also up to 10% bigger dividends through Tote+ on this sport. That means even more winnings with any successful bets. They innovated and created all kinds of wagers we know and love today like the Tote Placepot and Scoop6. It’s just a shame the boosted returned dividends only apply to horse racing and not football.

Pros:

  • Football pools as well as horses
  • FreePlay tokens & join syndicates
  • Tote Guarantee matches SP odds
  • Tote+ gives 10% bigger dividends
  • Weekly Stayers Club for pool bets

Cons:

  • Dividends boost for horses only

3. The Pools – Play the Football Pools Online Now

The Pools pool betting

Hit the Pool Games tab on the main menu of The Pools and it puts a range of different options for football at your fingertips. There are betting pools for all budgets with some available to play for as little as 20p. As well as what they call Classic Pools that covers the traditional coupon, they offer Goal Rush, Lucky Clover and Premier variants. For mega pools jackpots, you also have access to Colossus Pools through The Pools.

With a complete results service supporting these various options, you never miss out on knowing if you’ve had a win on football pool betting. If there’s one downside to The Pools, then it’s football-centric nature. The ironic thing is that you can bet on horses through their sportsbook platform but not in actual pools.

Pros:

  • Classic football pools coupons on offer
  • Goal Rush, Lucky Clover & Colossus pools
  • Premier 6, 10 & 12 pools for different prizes
  • Comprehensive pools results service on site

Cons:

  • No horse racing pools available

4. Betfred – Totepool Betting Service on Their Site

Betfred pools betting

A legacy of their long-time partnership with the Tote means Betfred still have the Totepool betting service as part of their sportsbook. This is one of the most established horse racing betting sites in the UK today and it provides some classic pools on the sport of king. We’re talking about the iconic Placepot wager, plus the Quadpot, Scoop6 and Jackpot here.

Betfred also allows you to place basic Win and Place wagers as part of the Tote and World Pool betting. Exactas and Trifectas are among your options here too. While this is a decent range of horse racing options, the service doesn’t extend to football. There’s a handy Totepool explained section, which helps newbies get to grips with this type of betting though.

Pros:

  • Totepool betting service from ex-Tote partners
  • Jackpot, Placepot, Quadpot & Scoop6 on offer
  • Win, Place, Exacta & Trifecta pools also there
  • Totepool explained helps you understand bets

Cons:

  • No football pools available on site

How we Rank Bookmakers with Pool Betting

Whilst conducting the above reviews, we also asked our experts to also consider what they look for at the bookies and betting sites that offer pools for wagering. Here are there top five criteria that helped them sort the wheat from the chaff for you:

  • Customer Service – Anything that helps you understand pool betting, because it’s different from a regular fixed odds wager, is a good thing. Customer support has its part to play here. As well as guides and FAQs that explain how it all works, it’s good if betting sites have live chat, a support email or contact form and telephone number you can call.
  • Markets – While the options aren’t going to be as varied as on regular fixed odds sportsbooks, online pool betting does offer different wagers. This needs to be reflected in the pools available on the sites. Ideally, there needs to be a mix of both football and horse racing.
  • Payments – Top pool betting sites also need to make it easy to fund your wagers. From traditional payment methods like bank transfer and Debit Card to digitally friendly eWallet services such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal, a range of options is a good thing.
  • Promotions – Any platform that has specific deals and bonuses relating to betting pools is worth a look. This form of gambling is difficult to design betting promotions for, so any FreePlay tokens or offers like those on the Tote come with a big thumbs up.
  • Site Usability – Whether you’re accessing pool betting online or through mobile, it needs to be easy to get your bets on. It doesn’t matter if it’s the desktop version of sites or sports betting apps, these must be user-friendly. QuinnBet do well in this area.

What is Pool Betting?

Pool or pari-mutuel betting as it is better known worldwide was invented in the Victorian era by Joseph Oller, the Catalan cabaret impresario of Moulin Rouge fame. A mechanised way of calculating this system, called a totalisator or tote boards, was developed in subsequent decades. Its first recorded use in a sporting context came at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland, New Zealand during 1913.

Tote boards were in widespread use worldwide before The Great Depression. In the UK, the launch of the Tote, a state controlled betting pool for horse racing, in 1928 is a notable starting point for it in this country. Football pools from now defunct department store Littlewoods predate these from 1923. Now that you understand the history behind this, it’s time to have pool betting explained to you. This concept differs dramatically from a fixed odds wager.

There’s no bookmaker you’re betting against here but other participating punters. Nor are there any quoted odds or prices in advance of the result. The popularity of a horse or football outcome determines the size of a payout. If lots of people pick the same winning result in the pool, then what you get back on the wager – called returned dividends – will be smaller than others.

Football Pool Betting

With the football pools actually predating its horse racing counterpart in the UK, 2023 marks a century since these were introduced. Doing these online today is more sophisticated than marking boxes with a pen on paper pools coupons. We’ll have more on the different types of football pools available today below. None of the other football betting sites out there in the UK is so closely linked with these wagers as The Pools today.

Horse Racing Pool Betting

Just as closely associated with betting pools is the sport of kings. That long history between the Tote and horse racing ensures they still have a significant presence today. Every official result to races in the UK and Ireland tells you what the winner paid on the Tote alongside its Starting Price. The same goes for placed horses with its returned dividend for making the frame.

Types of Sports Pool Betting Markets

Since its introduction in 1920s across the UK’s two biggest sports for gambling, special types of bets relating to pools have been developed. These aren’t betting markets as such like you get with fixed odds bookmakers but different wagers in separate pools. Let’s take a look at each sport in turn:

Football Pools You Can Play In

  • 1×2 – Pool betting in its most basic form concerns the result. Will the home team win or the away side triumph? Traditional pools also let you distinguish between a score draw and a no score draw.
  • Asian Handicap – If you want to take the possibility of the draw out of things, then Asian handicaps can help. These provide imagined advantages for match outsiders to hang on to or pretend deficits for the favourites to overcome.
  • Both Teams to Score – Will both teams get on the scoresheet? There’s football pools covering the two simple outcomes of Yes and No.
  • Correct Score – One of the toughest pools out there is predicting exact final scores to games. The difficulty attached always means a huge prize if you get lucky and pull it off.
  • Match Predictors – Predict so many factors relating to a game of football or series of matches and you could win big!

Horse Racing Pool Bets

  • Win – You can bet on a horse for a straight win. This is the simplest pool bet out there.
  • Place – There’s a separate pool for place wagers. These are for a horse to finish placed in the race based on industry standard terms. If there are fewer than five runners, this isn’t an option.
  • Exacta – Where you bet on two selections in horse racing pool betting in the same event to finish first and second in a set order.
  • Quinella – A wager where you bet on two (or more) horses in the same race to come first and second in any order.
  • Tote Swinger – This is a bet on two (or more) horses in the same race to fill the first three finishing positions.
  • Trifecta – A wager with three (or more) horses in the same race to finish first, second and third in a set order.
  • Placepot – This Tote-created bet involves finding a placed horse in the first six races at a meeting. You can add extra lines to your wager if you want to include more than one pick in a race.
  • Quadpot – Another creation from the Tote, this involves finding the winner of four consecutive specified races from a meeting.
  • Jackpot – The Tote Jackpot requires you to find the winner of the first six races from a set meeting.
  • Scoop6 – On Saturdays, six feature races on the Tote make up the Scoop6. These aren’t limited to just one meeting like the Jackpot.

Pros & Cons of Fixed Odds vs. Pool Betting Online

Just to help you understand betting pools fully, we thought it’d be cool to highlight the pros and cons of it vis-à-vis regular fixed odds markets. Here are the upsides and drawbacks of it:

Pros:

  • Better returned dividends on non-favourites
  • Dedicated betting pool services available
  • Some bets can win big off small stakes
  • Suits punters who like betting on outsiders

Cons:

  • Betting on favourites won’t be bigger than SP
  • Fewer markets than fixed odds bookmakers
  • No refunds with non-runners in some pool bets
  • You don’t know what potential returns are

The Last Word

Now that you’ve seen what the best pool betting sites are, the pros and cons of wagering like this rather than fixed odds and what you can gamble on, it’s time to get right on it. Betting pools are a fun way to liven up your interest in football or horse racing. Just make sure you gamble responsibly on our recommended provider:

#1 Pool Betting Site in UK

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 + 10 Free Spins

29/08/22

Get 50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 + 10 Free Spins

  • Football & horse racing pools
  • Join a Syndicate & win together
  • Qualify for FreePlay tokens
9.8
5 Stars
NO CODE REQUIRED
Visit Site
Learn More
6
To activate this promotion you must deposit and stake a minimum of £10. You must place a minimum of 5 rounds during the qualifying period and 4 of these rounds must be at least half the value of your highest placed wager. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org

FAQs

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Michael Lee
Michael Lee

Michael has worked in the sports betting industry for many years. Following football, horse racing and track and field athletics, he has covered the last three Olympic Games, World Cups and other major sporting events.

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