Looking to start your pools betting journey or find a new site for pools betting? Our betting experts have signed up, bet at and ranked the best pools betting sites in the UK, based on odds, bonuses, market selection and betting enjoyment.
Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited
New 18+ 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. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. 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.
New 18+ 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. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. 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. | T&C apply
WHG (International) Limited
18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. | T&C apply
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply. | T&C apply
Football Pools Limited
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.
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. | T&C apply
18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min €5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x €5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min €5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x €5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. | T&C apply
New players only. Minimum £10 qualifying bets, stake not returned. Free bet is a one-time stake of £10, minimum odds of 1.5, stake not returned. 10x wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion £20. Valid for 7 days from issue. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full terms apply.
New players only. Minimum £10 qualifying bets, stake not returned. Free bet is a one-time stake of £10, minimum odds of 1.5, stake not returned. 10x wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion £20. Valid for 7 days from issue. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full terms apply. | T&C apply
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required.
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required. | T&C apply
Pools betting offers a unique and challenging experience for bettors that is an alternative to the traditional betting they might be accustomed to. In a nutshell, it works by every player placing a wager, which is the same for all participants, and that then goes into a prize pool. That pool of money then goes to whoever predicts the correct outcome of whatever it is they’re wagering on – that could be one participant or multiple. It’s a great way to bet as punters can land some significant winnings. Pools betting sites in the UK looking to provide an excellent service to bettors, therefore, need to think about certain things to achieve that. Our robust and thorough review process is as follows.
|Variety||It’s the spice of life, right? Sites that provide a diverse selection of pools, including different sports and pool types, rank higher. These can include: tote betting, a popular form of betting used in horse racing; placepot, where punters pick horses to place in the first six races of a meeting, and if their selections place as expected, they win a share of the pool; sporting pools for football, cricket, and other events. Pools betting sites that cater to the diversity and tastes of their punters shows that they want to enhance their experience.|
|Competitive prize structures||The prize structure in pools betting refers to how the total pool of bets and contributions is distributed among the winning participants. It can vary based on the specific type of pool bet, the number of winners, and the rules of the betting site itself. We want to see that sites structure their prizes in fair and generous ways.|
|Bonuses and promotions||Welcome bonuses, risk-free bets, cashback offers, and loads more bonus and promotions are given out by betting sites every day, and the pools betting is no different. Punters want good value for money and a decent shot at turning bonus funds to cold hard cash, so we’ll review the bonuses and promotions offered by betting sites.|
|Fair terms and conditions||We expect to see accompanying terms and conditions with all bonuses, promotions, and any other features that require them. We review them to ensure that they’re clear, fair, and achievable, so that bettors are offered a good deal.|
|Security and safety||Pools betting sites, as a standard, should offer a safe and secure environment for punters to wager in. This includes adopting state-of-the-art and modern encryption measures (e.g., SSL), anti-fraud measures, and more. We also look favourably upon sites that demonstrate that they care for their customers’ wellbeing through the provision of responsible gaming tools, such as self-exclusion and daily or monthly limits on deposits and bets.|
|Live chat and customer service||The last thing anybody wants is a problem. Well, the second last thing is that. Even worse is not having a problem resolved speedily and to a high standard. We assess the customer support channels and service offered by a pools betting site and want to see 24/7 live chat – with human staff on-hand – along with accessible email and telephone numbers if that’s the punter’s preference. Providing FAQs for all those easily-answered queries is a great addition too.|
|A decent app||Apps are ten a penny nowadays, but they’re not all great. The quality can vary and a lot of that comes down to companies not understanding the value of an optimised mobile experience. Pools betting, and betting in general, is no different, as it’s a convenient way to bet wherever you are. We review the betting site’s app (firstly, do they even have one?) to check that it’s responsive, sleek, easy-to-use, and offers all the same ways to bet on the pools as you would have on the website.|
|Payment methods and payouts||Not everyone feels comfortable handing over debit card or credit card details, and if that’s the punter’s preference, then it should be catered for. On top of that, there are an ever-growing number of payment solutions hitting the market, diluting the pool (no pun intended) of customers using traditional methods. We say all that to say: it’s important that as many banking methods are supported. We want to see e-wallet solutions like Apple Pay or Google Pay, and other payment platforms – for example PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller – available to punters.|
In this section, we’ll list some online sportsbooks with pools betting that we think are worth registering at.
All of the pools betting sites we’ve listed below are safe, secure and reliable. Each one is licensed by a regulatory authority and can be trusted. We wouldn’t recommend or promote any site that we think is dodgy in any way. Become a member of one of our recommended sportsbooks and you should have a great pool betting experience.
BetFred was established in 1967 in Salford. For a few decades, the company focused on growing its footprint of betting shops and establishing itself as an honest brand that puts value first. Then when online gambling started taking off, it launched its own website, which offers sports betting and other types of gambling. One of these is, of course, Tote betting. As mentioned previously, BetFred actually owned Tote betting from 2011 to 2019. Though the company no longer owns the Tote, the BetFred site is still a great place to place Tote bets. There are over 1,400 BetFred betting shops throughout the UK.
One of the UK’s longest-running gambling brands, William Hill can trace its roots back to 1934. There are well over 1,400 William Hill betting shops throughout the UK, plus there’s the company’s online sportsbook. While this is predominantly about sports betting, it also offers other gambling types such as virtual sports, poker, bingo and casino games. If you’re after a betting site that’s user-friendly and has a lot going on, be sure to consider William Hill.
The company Coral is nearly a hundred years old, having been set up back in 1926. This makes it one of the UK’s longest-running and most-established gambling companies. For most of its history, its focus was on its betting shops and expanding its footprint throughout the UK. Nowadays, there are more than 1,000 of them located up and down the UK. The Coral website is primarily about sports betting, though it offers some other gambling opportunities such as poker, bingo and casino games. Tote betting is available here.
At this betting site, the focus is very much on pools betting. However, there are several other types of gambling available: casino games, virtual sports, live dealer games and lotteries. Overall, the range of gambling opportunities is extensive and should satisfy most people who register at the site. The pools betting options are pretty good and some of them have pretty large prize pools. The site itself is easy to navigate and is quite simplistic in its design.
Ladbrokes is another name on our list that goes back a long way, all the way to 1886, in fact. When the company was set up, it specialised in horse racing betting. Thanks to its early successes, it branched off into different areas of sports betting. The number of Ladbrokes betting shops steadily grew and continued to attract many keen punters. Today, there are thousands of them in operation. The company’s online sportsbook has a great range of betting markets, a sizable selection of casino games and plenty of bonuses waiting to be claimed. It has a simple red and white colour scheme and a straightforward layout.
This is a very young online betting destination, having just been established in 2021 by ProgressPlay Limited (PPL). Like many other internet sportsbooks, it comes with a selection of casino games that includes slots, table games and more. Customer support is available 24/7 and there’s a good number of payment methods you can use to fund your account. There are some decent promotions and the loyalty scheme, the Rewards Programme, ensures that the most loyal of customers are regularly rewarded.
Unlike some of the other top betting sites we’ve recommended, Bet365 doesn’t have any physical presence; in other words, it doesn’t have any betting shops of its own. This gambling brand is entirely online and its website lets you place sports bets, play casino and bingo games and purchase tickets for a number of major lotteries. It’s been up and running since 2000 and has established itself as one of the UK’s leading destinations for online sports betting.
Pool betting is a particular type of betting that’s becoming very popular throughout the UK. Many people practise it because it can give some pretty big returns. On this page, we’ll explain exactly how this type of betting works and we’ll show you some of the best pool betting sites that the UK has to offer.
Have a read and see if pools betting is suitable for you. If you find it appealing, register at one of the online sports we recommend and start placing some bets. Let’s get started and look at pools betting in detail.
In this section, we’ll run through what it is and how it works. First though, we’ll look at fixed-odds betting so we can compare the two.
Fixed-odds betting is where you place a bet, agreeing to the odds displayed. These odds, along with your wager, determine your payout. Let’s say you wager £1 on a bet with odds of 3/1. If this bet wins, you get your bet returned and receive winnings. The number on the left, 3, is what your bet is multiplied by to get your winnings; the number on the right, 1, is your initial bet. So, if you win a 3/1 bet with a wager of £1, you’ll end up with £4. This is made up of your initial bet (£1) and your winnings (£3).
With fixed-odds betting, other people’s bets don’t affect your winnings. With pools betting, however, they do. Here’s a rundown of how pools betting works:
Let’s say there’s an event with four possible outcomes: A, B, C and D. Ten people each wager £1 and each person picks one outcome:
A total of £10 is in the prize pool. If outcome A wins, the two people who have wagered on it will split the prize money; each one will therefore get paid £5. Only one person has backed outcome C. If this bet wins, that one person will receive the entire £10 prize money.
With pools betting, the less popular a bet, the more of the prize fund those who have backed it will share if it wins. If you happen to back the winner and not many other people have done the same, you could end up with quite a substantial cash reward. That being said, if lots of others have blacked the winner, you won’t be paid as much.
When it’s fixed-odds betting, you know how much money you stand to win. You enter your stake in your bet slip and the betting site shows you what the winnings for your bet are, based on the current odds. You don’t get this with pools betting since there’s no way to tell in advance how many people will back each outcome and how the prize fund will be split.
Here’s a summary of fixed-odds betting vs pools betting:
|Are there odds for the bets?||Yes||No|
|Do you know how much you could win when you place the bet?||Yes||No|
|Do other people’s bets affect your winning payout?||No||Yes|
|Do bookmakers have a say?||Yes; they set the odds||No; it’s purely down to the number of punters and their bets|
If you think pools betting is for you, great. You’re sure to enjoy this type of betting. In the next section, we’ll run through some of the pros and cons associated with it, then we’ll show you some of the best online sportsbooks that offer it.
All types of betting have advantages and disadvantages; pools betting is no different. Have a look below to see what these are:
Most punters aren’t put off by the cons. They’re prepared to practise this type of betting since they know that they could potentially land a big win if they’re lucky.
At a typical UK online sportsbook, there are a few dozen sporting events and races you can bet on. For all of these, the standard form of betting is used, where you’re going up against the bookmaker and if you win, the payout depends on your wager and the odds.
Pools betting, unlike regular betting, is only available for two markets: horse racing and football. You’ll find that the majority of pools betting options are for horse racing and a smaller number are for football.
Even though the number of options is rather limited, this isn’t a problem for most punters. They enjoy being able to place pools bets on horse racing and/or football, and they don’t mind that this type of betting isn’t more widely available. If there was demand for it for other sports, it would exist, but there isn’t such demand so it’s not currently offered.
In 1928, the Tote was established by the UK government. This company was set up to offer pools betting for horse racing and football. In July 2011, it was sold to the well-established gambling company BetFred in a deal reportedly worth £265 million. Then in 2019, it was sold to UK Tote Group.
The company operates the Totepool – also known as the Tote – which is the UK’s largest pools betting system. The company had an exclusive licence that allowed only them and no one else to offer pools betting on horse racing. This licence expired on 12 July 2018. Since then, other companies have been able to set up their own horse racing pools betting services. The Tote remains the biggest and most popular pools betting system in the UK by far.
Below are summaries of the Tote betting options for horse racing:
|Number of Horses||Bet Pays If the Horse…|
|Up to 4||Comes 1st|
|5-7||Comes 1st or 2nd|
|8-15||Comes 1st, 2nd or 3rd|
|16+||Comes 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th|
This bet has an average payout of £407 per £1 wager. It can therefore be very profitable. What makes it appealing is that for a lot of races, the chosen horse only has to place; it doesn’t have to win
And here are the options for football. All of these are multi-leg bets.
Before you start placing Tote bets, familiarise yourself with the options and how they work.
Having lots of options is great, but how do you pick the right pool betting site for you? Thankfully, there’s an easy way to whittle down the options and settle on one site. What you should do is think about what you want most from a betting site. Some of the criteria you may wish to consider include:
Don’t just register at the very first betting site on our list. Instead, take time to look through the full list of recommendations and read our summaries. See which of these online sportsbooks appeals to you the most.
If you’d like to do some pools betting, there are three simple steps to take:
We’ll go through these three steps in more detail below, using Coral as an example.
Once you’ve chosen a sportsbook from our list of recommendations, you’ll have to become a member. This is very quick and easy to do:
When your account’s up and running, you’ll be able to access it. At some sites, however, you may need to click a confirmation link in an email the sportsbook sends you before your account is properly set up.
The next step is to add some money to your online sportsbook account. Again, this is a straightforward process that shouldn’t cause any problems. Follow the steps below to get your account funded:
When you deposit into your account for the first time, you may qualify for the site’s welcome bonus. This is a special reward given to new players when they first fund their accounts. Before claiming a bonus, make sure you read the associated terms and conditions so you know what the full rules, restrictions and requirements are. The rewards you can get from welcome bonuses include free bets, bonus money, enhanced odds and cashback.
The final step is to actually place a pools bet. The steps below give a summary of how you do this:
If you get stuck at any point, don’t hesitate to contact the betting site’s customer support team. There should be several ways of getting in touch, including live chat, email and possibly a phone line. Some sites also have social media pages listed as contact options.
A lot of the time, there’s a FAQ section where answers to common queries are listed. It’s worth checking this out before contacting customer support. You may well find the answer or information you’re after here.
There’s no hint or strategy that can guarantee you a win with any kind of betting. However, certain pieces of advice can improve your betting practice and help you bring in more money. The idea is that by thinking more carefully about your bets, you’ll make better decisions that will reduce your long-term losses and, hopefully, improve your gains in the process.
Here are some tips that may go some way to improving your pools betting:
With pools betting, or any other type of betting for that matter, it’s all about using your head. Don’t just place random bets. Take some time to think about what you’re going to be betting on and how much you’ll be wagering. One of the best ways to boost your chances of making money is by simply being sensible.
Don’t forget to make the most of sports bonuses. Whenever you sign up to an online sportsbook, there’ll be some sort of bonus you’ll be entitled to when you deposit for the first time. There should also be some promotions aimed at existing players. Take advantage of promotional offers and claim rewards such as free bets, bonus money and cashback.
Pools betting is a different kind of betting in that it’s not between you and the bookmaker. Instead, it’s you placing bets alongside lots of other people who are backing the same outcome. All of the money goes into a single pool and all winners receive a share of it.
If this type of betting sounds appealing to you, register at one of our recommended online sportsbooks and start placing some bets today. Claim bonuses to make your deposits go further and give you more chances of winning. Remember to do some research before you start pools betting so you know what you’re doing.