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Best Pool Betting Bookmakers – Full 2024 Guide

Let’s start by answering “what is pool betting” question, which will also answer what does tote betting mean. This is because if you don’t know the betting pool meaning (or how does tote betting work), you won’t be able to understand all other explanations.

The simplest definition of pool betting is that it’s a form of gambling in which players pay a fixed price to enter.

The jackpot in a pool bet is based on the number of entrants multiplied by the cost of entry.

Most pool betting sites will subtract a bit of juice from each entry leaving the remaining amount to be divided equally between those who have selected the correct outcome.

Pool betting has been a popular form of wagering for many years. Perhaps you have bought a few squares during the Super Bowl?

If so, you already know the answer to what is pool betting question. Since an online pool betting odd will be higher than the rest on average, it can be a quite useful gambling tool.

However, a wagering pool can also be harmful, especially if you don’t know the betting pool rules and/or understand the pool betting system.

So, how does a betting pool work? Simply put, there are 100 squares that are all bought by participants for a certain price.

Once each square is purchased, numbers between 0 and 9 are then randomly placed on each axis and the winner is determined by the final score of the game.

The person who has their name in the square that corresponds with the final score wins the pool: These are the basic betting pool rules.

This is the idea behind online pool gambling and this is a perfect example of sports pool betting.

We can give other pools betting examples too: One of the most popular betting pools is NCAA Bracket Pools which is found almost everywhere during the lead-up to the NCAA basketball tournament.

Players fill out their brackets and if they pick it correctly they win a share of the jackpot accumulated in the wagering pool.

There are many variations of this gambling method that are offered by sportsbooks, such as UK pool betting for leagues and other important sports events in the United Kingdom.

The ones for horse racing, hockey and football are among the most popular. In other words, pool online betting is not a limited to a single (or only a couple of) sports and betting pool meaning covers all kinds of sports.

Pool betting sites offer all kinds of sports & events and create various pools for them.  Let’s take a closer look at betting pools and explain how to play pool betting in detail.

After that, we will also share some pool betting tips with you.

Best Bookmaker for Pool Betting in 19 June 2024 – Updated List

Rating 9.85 out of 10


Enjoy betting on pool at William Hill! - the UK's top betting site.

Now you know what tote pool betting is and how it works. How about a list of the best horse racing sites so you can start using it right away? We checked all the new horse racing betting sites UK for you and picked the best ones.

Moreover, you can use these sites also for pool bets so they cover all kinds of pari-mutuel betting. Whether you are looking for UK horse racing betting or any other sports, these are your best options in 2023. Pick one, create your account, and claim your UK free bets (or reload offers UK) today!

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The difference between Tote betting and Pool betting

This is also a guide to tote betting explained, so we need to mention the difference between the two concepts as well. So, what is tote betting, really? To answer this question, we must take a short “time travel”. Welcome to 17th century France: Bettors are inventing a method known as “pari-mutuel” to win more.

This word is French and simply means “mutual betting”. In this method, bettors’ wagers are collected in a pool and after deducting the commission called “vig”, the money accumulated in the pool is divided among the winners. So instead of playing alone, you play with a group of bettors so you can earn more.

When American bettors started to use this method, they simply started to call it “pool betting”. In the UK, they called it the “totalizator” and over time, they abbreviated it as “tote” (*). Nowadays, pool betting is a term used for all sports, and tote betting is used for horse races. In other words, there is no real difference between the two terms, but when someone says tote betting online, horse racing should come to mind. Pool betting, on the other hand, covers all other sports: this is betting on the tote explained. Oh, and, one final note: It is called French tote betting even in France nowadays.

(*) Tote is also the name of a pari-mutuel bookmaker in the United Kingdom: It is established in 1928 and offers tote betting only for horse races. Check our UK horse racing betting guide for more info.

How to play pool betting & tote betting and how to make a betting pool

So, how to start a betting pool in tote online betting? This is actually easier than you think, normal or tote pools betting is not a complex thing. We explained tote betting pool definition above so you already have an idea about how it works. We will start with a simple horse racing pool on a very small scale. (Make sure to check our horse racing, horse betting terms, and how to bet on horses articles to learn more.)

We will pretend that you and 9 other friends decide to make a horse tote betting pool for an upcoming race. The entry fee is, say, $5. You all pick your horses and pay the entry fee so there is a $50 jackpot. Because you are all friends we won’t deduct vig or administrative fees. These are all tote betting pool rules you need to know before we start.

Once the winning horse is determined, whoever picked it to win will receive the jackpot in the tote betting pool. If more than one player selected the winning horse then the tote jackpot is divided equally among those winners. Of course, online gambling sites & horse racing betting sites UK  will have many more contestants and therefore a much larger jackpot, but the premise is the same.

This is the simplest answer to “how to play pool & tote betting” question but it is enough to give you an idea of what it is about.

With football pools, contestants are generally asked to make predictions on the outcomes of multiple games. They may need to select outright winners, final scores, or a combination of both. Some may also have the draw option thrown in there. Punters make the required selections and pay the entry fee.

In other words, online pool betting is slightly different for each sport but its main principles are the same. Once you learn how to play pool betting, you can use this knowledge for any sports. In the tote system, the jackpot is split among those who have all of the correct results. Other consolation prizes are also usually awarded as well. Most pools online betting systems will have a description of how the entry fees are allotted. While some of these tote betting pools have incredibly large jackpots, they can also be incredibly tough to win.

How to win pool or tote bets and how winnings are calculated

To win a pool bet you must make the correct selection or combination of selections. In the horse racing example above, the main prize is won by picking the winning horse. In online football pool betting, the winner is the person who makes the correct predictions on all of the events. A jackpot is calculated by taking the total number of entries and multiplying that by the entry fee: These are the main principles of online pool betting.

Normally, a bit of juice is subtracted and whatever is left is awarded to the winner(s). Because there are different types of pools, it is important to check the rules to see how prizes are awarded. Many times there will be consolation prizes and other sports betting bonuses and they will differ between pool betting sites.

Is tote betting or pool betting legit?

Yes, both tote betting and pool bets are absolutely legit. Of course, this is assuming that your local laws allow them and you are of legal age. Pool & tote betting sites, government lotteries, and charities all operate legal betting pools. Various types are sometimes held in the workplace. While these independently operated “office pools” may skirt some local laws, they are still wildly popular and are seldom interfered with.

The pools that are run by international gambling companies, governments, and charities are all subject to many rules and regulations that they must abide by. Online pool gambling is as serious as regular sports betting. Punters are urged to check with the rules that govern poolbet gambling in their region.

What betting sites and bookmakers are offering betting pools?

Pool bets online can be made at many places. More and more government-run lottery corporations (i.e. UK pool betting) offer players many different betting competitions like these. The best place to find tote betting pools are at the thousands of legal betting sites that exist around the world. You can find sites that offer legal collective bets with an internet search or by referring to Gamblingjudge’s list of trusted online betting sites. Here are some examples:

  •  BoyleSports

One of the Colossus Bets partners, BoyleSports also offers a variety of other pools such for football and horse racing. These pools offer some very attractive jackpots and other prizes, besides the websites regular welcome bonuses, sign up free bets or loyalty bonuses.

  • Unibet

This tote betting online site is usually mentioned when discussing top betting offers like free bet codes, moneyback and cashback offers or even top tennis betting offers and promotions. The Unibet Supertoto and Superscore give punters a chance at £5 million. Join now for a shot at these super-sized cash prizes or see their abundance of other promos.

  • Betfair

Another Colossus bet partner, Betfair has several tote betting pools. Pick 5, pick 4, and pick 3 Betfair pools that have cash awards ranging from £2,000 up to £30,000 are easy to enter when you become a member. They also offer partial cash-outs for these bets and for betting accumulators, such as the double bet, which enable punters to lock in big winnings. From time to time, you can also find Betfair pools free play promotions.

  • Colossus Bet

You can read more about Colossus Bets (and Colossus bets partners) further down. Let’s just say that the prizes offered through these guys blow all other prize pools away. They offer standard pick 5, pick 4, and pick 3 with cash prizes ranging from £2,000 to £30,000. They are a little more well-known for the £10,000,000 cash prize which you can read about below.

  • Betfred

Betfred now own Tote which operates all horse racing in the UK so you know that they offer the most horse racing pools. Like other sites, they also have football pools and a variety of other ones for sports.

  • SkyBet

SkyBet is one of the best tote betting UK websites and it offers pools in almost every sport that punters can think of. Even yachting and e-sports (check here our esports betting UK guide). If sports aren’t your thing then you can get into a variety of entertainment pools too. This makes SkyBet one of the best options for this kind of betting. They are also one of the respected betting sites with live streaming.

  • Paddy Power

If you can wager on it, then Paddy Power has good odds margins for it. They offer nearly every kind of betting option and that includes Tote betting. They offer placepot, quadpot, jackpot, scoop6, trifecta, forecast (we have prepared detailed guides for both forecast bet and reverse forecast bet options) or tricast (have a look at our Tricast bet guide), exacta, and win/place tote betting on the ponies. Among their other pool and tote betting sports found here are Premier League, UEFA Championship League (check here our Champions League betting guide), Tour De France, and even darts.

  • Matchbook

By offering pick 5, pick 4, pick 3, and the monster Colossus Bets, Matchbook is a great place to sign up to get in on tote betting pools. Horses, football, and tennis are part of their most popular pool betting options.

Other top sportsbooks that offer pool and tote betting are easily found by searching database of the best online betting sites. As you can see, there are some big cash prizes that are worth going after: We also list the best free horse racing bets no deposit bonuses.

What sports can you make pool bets on?

With pool bets gaining in popularity, the number of sports and events that can be offered is virtually endless. Horse races, football, and hockey are a few of the more popular sports but there is also pool betting available for tennis, auto racing, and golf. Punters won’t have much trouble finding collective bets for almost any sport.

What types of pool bets are there?

Betfred runs Tote which runs all of the UK’s horse racing pools. Horse racing is not a simple sport and there are lots of things you need to know: We recommend checking our other horse racing betting guides first – you can start with our “what does SP mean in betting” article. In this regard, the most popular Tote betting types are:

  • Quadpot

A quadpot bet can be played every day starting from 9.00 AM. Quadpot bets are for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth races: You try to pick the horses to place in these races. The total stakes are divided among the winners.

This is an interesting name: What is a placepot? Actually, the placepot is the same as the quadpot except that the punter must select a horse to be placed through the first 6 races, not just the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ones.

  • Tote Jackpot

This requires bettors to pick the first-place horse in the first 6 races. Because this is a very tough thing to do, the jackpot frequently goes unclaimed and is then rolled over to the next day’s event.  The jackpot has the potential to become a multi-million-pound pot.

You choose three horses and claim that they will finish the race first, second, and third, in any order.

Very similar to trifecta box because you still pick three horses and claim that they will finish the race first, second, and third. However, this time, you need to guess the exact finishing order.

You pick two horses and as long as both of them finish the race in the first three (in any order) you win the bet.

With a Tote Exacta bet you must predict the first and second horse in the exact order in a selected race. There are variations to the straight Tote exacta, such as the Reverse Tote exacta and Banker exacta. You know what an exacta is and we explain more on the banker bet in our banker bet guide.

When you place a tote Trifecta your goal is to back the three horses that will finish on the podium in the selected race.

  • Superfecta

You must pick the first four finishers in the race in the correct order. Naturally, this is a challenging bet: We recommend checking our superfecta strategy guide.

  • Scoop 6

These bets are available on events that attract a large television audience. The entry fee for a scoop 6 bet is £2 which makes for a large prize. This is one of the most popular bets for the masses to partake in.

There are also other standard betting pool types like Pick 5, Pick 4, and Pick 3. These are some of the most common types of tote betting pools that punters can get in on for their daily action. There are, of course, other bets that can be used in tote betting, such as the Tote Win/Place bet, trixie bet, yankee bet, patent bet, alphabet bet, and forecast bet, but we have different guides for all of them: We recommend reading those guides first.

This leads us further to the “Grand Daddy of all Sports Pools”:

Colossus bets

cash out noticePunters love the feeling of winning a bet. Even if the payout is small, the satisfaction of making a correct prediction is a definite ego booster. This feeling of satisfaction is greatly boosted when a punter manages to hit a multi-fold parlay. Along with the bookmaker withdrawal limits, punters know that they have overcome huge odds. While skill can sometimes be attributed to their success, punters know that they have received a bit of help in the form of luck. The Gambling Gods sometimes answer the pleas of bettors.

As nice as most high-odds parlay wins are, they are rarely a life altering windfall. You might be able to buy a new big-screen television or even a new car but chances are that such a win will not exactly put you onto Easy Street. You will likely still have mortgage payments and, after a brief celebration, you will probably still need to go back to your job.

Colossus Bets changes all of this though. Now sports bettors have the chance to cash in on a true life-altering prize. By picking the right side and correct scores of multiple sporting events, winners can now cash in on massive prizes. Colossus Bets is offering an opportunity to cash in on a £10 million top prize for a £2 bet by correctly picking the exact outcomes of 7 soccer matches. Punters can also get in on the action for as little as 20 pence to take a shot at a £1 million prize. Like in most cases, bigger risk equals a bigger reward.

You can get in on the Colossus action at many online sportsbooks. Colossus Bets has several partners including Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfair, and 1960Bet. Those interested in taking part can also simply go to Like the lotteries, punters can win great cash prizes even if they miss a couple of the outcomes. Unlike the lotteries, winning a Colossus Bet jackpot involves a bit of skill and isn’t just left in the hands of random numbers.

Colossus bets tips & cashing-out option

Aside from the massive jackpot, one of the greatest features of the Colossus Bet is that players have the opportunity to use a cash-out option or its updated version of partial cash out. This means that if you have a live ticket after 6 games of a 7 leg play, you can choose to cash out any portion of the bet to lock in a very healthy prize.

An example would be cashing-in 50% of a ticket that is eligible for the £1 million prize. You would receive £500,000 if the ticket ends up sweeping the board. The punter would also be awarded 50% of the consolation prize and 50% of the bonus prize if each was offered. If nobody wins the jackpot then the prize is rolled over into the next pool which makes the jackpot even bigger.

In a real-life example, a punter who had placed a 40 pence Colossus Bet wager was able to cash in for £40,000 when he used the cash-out option to lock in his winnings. In his case, the use of the cash-out option saved his day as the last leg of his pool bet fell through.

For example a few punters were able to cash in on some big winnings in the Euro 2016 Colossus pool. After 5 legs of the pick 7, over £2.5 in prize money had been awarded. Several other inspiring examples of winners are found with an internet search. With a great deal of luck, you could be one of the next inspiring stories.

FAQ about pool betting sites

Yes, this type of bet is still available, so you can still do football pools on bookmakers.

The Football Pools was sold in 2017 to OpCapita for 83 million£.

In the UK, the leading pool betting operator is UK Tote Group.

You can cancel a fotball pool according to the terms and conditions available on operator sites, read the FAQ section or contact a customer support agent.

The fotball pools works like this, the total poins from your 8 best selections are calculated together, with a score of 22. You can increase your winnings odds if you will place thins kind of bet during 2-3 weekes.

Tote betting offers lots of advantages: Try it today

Understanding tote betting is not that hard and we hope that this tote betting review was helpful: We tried to explain this concept as simple as possible.

This is the end of our tote betting guide and you learned everything you need: Now it is time to make some practice. Pick one of the bookmakers listed above, create your account, and start tote betting today!