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What is a ‘Pool’?

A 'pool', or more commonly a 'betting pool', is a community wagering fund into which everyone pays a set amount and chooses from a list of possible selections on which their bet is placed. Unlike fixed-odds betting, where players take a risk on an outcome for a set return, the betting pool splits the pot (also known itself as the 'pool') between all players who chose the winning outcome. 'Pools' can also be known as sports lotteries and might not involve actually sports, but other current affairs and events.

‘Pool’ Explained

In simple terms, a 'pool' is a community fund. Sometimes the 'pot' in a game such as poker might be called the 'pool'. Betting pools are common forms of sports betting and might take place through a bookmaker, or informally at a workplace or other social group. Each player puts a fixed stake into the pot and that stake is used to make the wager. Usually, a house fee or a 'take' is removed from the pool before bets are placed.The 'pool' might be to bet on the outcome of a tournament, such as a football cup, or on a single event, such as a horse race. Betting pools are very common around the FIFA World Cup and during the Grand National, for example. Instead of betting against the odds placed by the bookmaker, a pool bet is a simple win or lose bet against the other players in the game. Depending on the number of players, the prize for a pool bet can be much higher than a fixed odds bet. However, because the pot is split with other players, the overall payout might be lower than expected. The best way to get a good payoff from a pool bet is to pick an unpopular outcome, and hope for some good luck.