Pools betting: What is it and how do I do it?
Pools betting is a form of betting where every player’s stake is combined into a single pot and then divided between whoever predicts the correct outcomes of the pool. In this quick guide to pools betting, we’ll talk you through the terminology, explain the basic theory and tell you why Colossus Bets is the best place to do it.
What are pools, legs, lines and units?
A pool is a collection of matches or races in which you, the player, are required to select the outcomes. Every player’s financial contribution is pooled together, hence the name, to form a jackpot which is shared between whoever predicts the correct outcomes. So if five players guess correctly, they will each win 20% of the jackpot. If just one person wins, they will scoop it all themselves.
Depending on the sport, each pool is comprised of numerous matches or races, each of which is referred to as a leg. So a pool in which you are required to predict the outcome of four football matches is said to have four legs.
In pools betting the challenge and rewards tend to be significant. As such players will often want to select multiple outcomes in any given leg to make that specific leg easier to overcome. This is known as perming.
Let’s pretend that we are playing a horse racing pool containing four legs. In each of the first three legs we select just a single horse but, in the fourth, we are less certain of the outcome and decide to pick two. Effectively this means that we are perming two different tickets and each is known as a line. Each line in this example consists of the horse we selected in the first three legs, coupled with each of the horses selected in the fourth.
Of course you can select more than two selections per leg and in multiple legs. However, you should be wary that every selection you add multiplies your lines and that you have to pay for each line seperately. To calculate how many lines you have currently selected, just multiply the number of selections in each leg.
So if you have three selections in leg one, two selections in leg, a single selection in leg three and three selections in leg four, you would multiply 3 x 2 x 1 x 3 = 18 lines.
At Colossus the standard stake per line is £2 (or currency equivalent), with the exception of place pools which are £1. Each full stake line is referred to as a ‘unit’. We allow our players to place reduced stakes per line with proportionally reduced prizes as well. As such, in a typical football pool, a £2 line will equate to 1 unit, a £1 line will equal to 0.5 units, a 50p line will be worth 0.25 units and so on.
Differences between pools betting and fixed odds betting
Many of the market types such a 1X2, Correct Score and Both Teams to Score are the same in both pools betting and fixed odds. The primary difference between pools betting and fixed odds betting is how the winnings are calculated. In fixed odds betting you are playing against the bookie, who will give you your odds at the time of bet placement or, if you’ve taken SP in a race, at the off. As such you are able to calculate your winnings before you know whether you’ve won.
In pools betting though, the operator simply creates and hosts the pools with you, the player, competing against other players for a share of the jackpot that you have collectively created with your contributions. It can be compared to a lottery in that sense which also works on the basis of sharing pooled contributions between winning players.
So the big difference between fixed odds and pools betting is that in pools betting you are competing against fellow players and the better you do in comparison, the more you can win. That is where tactics come into play.
How should you approach a pool?
There are numerous ways to approach a pool. You can play with very few lines to undertake a low stake / high reward strategy. Alternatively you can cover multiple selections to create a far more expensive ticket but one that is also far more likely to win. It really depends on how much you wish to stake and how confident you feel approaching the pool.
The key to winning big in pools betting is to seek out possible upsets that other players might not have seen. So, for example, let’s say Manchester City are playing Crystal Palace in the league. You can probably assume that 90% of players will select Manchester City who would obviously be regarded as huge favourites.
However, what if you know differently? If you have read a report suggesting that Manchester City have a significant number of injuries to key players or perhaps you have noticed something in their recent form that suggests that they could be vulnerable, this could play to your advantage.
Were you to back the draw and/or Crystal Palace in the example and one of those results occurred, a huge proportion of the units in the pool would be eliminated. Bearing in mind that the payouts are calculated based on how many units are remaining, successfully predicting an upset like this could put you in an extremely promising position.
Naturally you don’t want to pick the outsider in every leg as that makes it extremely hard to win but carefully predicting one or two upsets is the key to winning well in pools betting.
Why Colossus Bets is the best place to enjoy pools betting
So you’ve heard what pools betting is and how to play it but where should you do it? Well we believe that Colossus Bets is the best place to play. Colossus have a number of incentives and features that our competitors simply can’t match, which are listed below.
Syndicates. Colossus Syndicates is the first ever ‘crowdbetting’ solution for sports and racing pools. You can crowdfund tickets created by other Captains or become a Captain and create Syndicate tickets yourself. To find out more, click here.
Cash Out. Between legs and at half-time during sport matches, we will give you Cash Out offers that allow you to fully, or partially, Cash Out your ticket early. Securing a return before a difficult leg can give you real peace of mind and there’s little more satisying than selling your ticket only to watch it go on to lose. Here’s more information on Cash Out.
Consolation Prizes. It can be infuriating to come incredibly close to winning a pool only to see a single leg let you down, causing you to win nothing. That’s why we came up with Consolation Prizes, which reward you for near misses in pools. In some pools, such as our Pick 15, you can get as many as four legs wrong and still win! Click here to find out more.
Refer-A-Friend. Colossus is a community and everyone is welcome. With our Refer-A-Friend promotion you can invite your mates along and both be rewarded for doing so in cash and free bets. Click here to find out what’s on offer.
New Player Bonus. Of course that’s not all you can get for joining. Our New Player Bonus allows you to earn up to £100 in free bets. Here’s the full scoop.
Captain Rebate. Naturally it’s not just our new players that we like to reward, we have plenty on offer for existing players too. Once you become a Captain and start creating Syndicates, we will reward you with up to 10% in rebates to the value of each Syndicate you fill. Seeing as 10% is the minimum you need to contribute to a Syndicate that means, if you fill enough, you can bet for free. Click here to read more.
You could earn up to £100 (or currency equivalent) in bonus funds by joining Colossus with our New Player Bonus. Click here to join the action.