How do the Football Pools work?

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
Football Pools Guide

Football pools can bring an element of nostalgia to gamblers of a certain generation who remember filling in a slip for the weekend's games and hoping for the best, but you must be surprised to discover that football pools are still played to this day!

While the older generation may be familiar with the concept of the pools, it is relatively old-hat to younger gamblers, who generally favour online casino sites. The original game is quite simple, it involves betting on which match fixtures will result in a score draw. You can still take part in this betting medium today, just in a different way to how your grandparents played. So, how do you get involved?

The rules of football pools

While there was originally very little choice on how and what to bet on in the football pools, nowadays the choice of pools has greatly expanded. Not only can you still enjoy the classic pools, there is also Soccer 6, Goal Rush 8, Premier 10, and Jackpot 12 to choose from! There's more choice than ever and that means more chance to win. We've put together a comprehensive guide of all the types of pools for you so you'll find your match.

Classic Pools

To take part in the football pools, you will fill out a betting coupon, choosing 10 games out of the available 49 fixtures that you think will end in a score draw. That is to say 2-all, 3-all, etc. For each game that you have chosen that does end in a score draw you are awarded 3 points.

For each match that ends in a no-score draw, that is to say 0-all, you are awarded 2 points. If one team wins the match the player is awarded 1 point. 

The total points from your 8 best selections are added together, with a score of 22 and up usually winning a cash prize, though some weeks even less points will get you a big win. The aim is to be the highest points scorer, with the winners sharing a portion of the ‘pool,’ hence the name of the game. 

Not sure about football? Do a lucky dip. Working in the same way as the lottery lucky dip does, randomly generated numbers will determine your coupon and set you in with a chance of winning.

It costs £1 to choose 10 games but if you want to up your chances of winning pick 11 or 12 games and pay £2.75 or £7.50 respectively.

Soccer 6

For Soccer 6, simply select the outcomes, home, draw, or away win, of 6 selected matches for the chance to win thousands. This gives you a single line in the pool. To increase your chances, you can select more than one outcome in each match for more lines in the pool, at an extra charge of course! 

Once all the matches have been played anyone with 6 correct results will win the pool, or share if there are multiple winners.

Goal Rush 8

In Goal Rush your aim is to choose 8 fixtures out of the 35 which you think will result in both teams scoring at any time. Guess correctly and win all of or a share of the £1 million top prize! Not only that, if you guessed 7 correctly you’ll still get yourself a nice consolation prize. 

Premier 10

Premier 10 gives you 10 fixtures and you simply have to guess the outcome, win home, win away, or draw. Guess all 10 correctly and you’ll win all of or a share of the pool, with winners nabbing themselves on average £18,000! You’ll also win money if you get 9 correct, with an average of £400. 

Jackpot 12

Jackpot 12 works in much the same way as Premier 10, with players choosing the outcomes of the 12 selected matches. Winners get the pool, or a share of the pool if there are multiple winners. For increased chances players can select more than one outcome in each match, for more lines in the pools!

Why the football pools declined in popularity

When the lottery was introduced in 1994, the football pools decreased in popularity massively. The lottery meant people could guess six numbers and possibly win millions, without relying on football players to score a certain number of goals. While there wasn’t much difference in the odds of guessing the right amount, the lottery had no ties to sport so the average punter could join in without any sports understanding. 

The ‘Lucky Dip’ made things even easier for the players, as they didn’t even have to choose their own numbers, they could rely on chance right from the start. The ‘football pools’ was on its way out, and the lottery was replacing it.

Online betting which became massively popular in the early 2000s marked another huge blow for the football pools. No longer did you need to fill out a coupon to place your bets, or even bet on a whole accumulator, you could bet on any game whenever and wherever you wanted online. With the National Lottery moving online as well, people had access to multiple forms of betting in one place, without having to turn to the Football Pools to satisfy them.

But, can you still play the pools?

Yes! If you’re itching for a Football Pools fix you can still play the original football bet, this time online, under the name The New Football Pools. You can pick 10 draws from a selection of 49 teams, and as there are no physical coupons anymore you can also play new coupons such as goal rush, soccer 6, premier 10, jackpot 12, and many more. 

The New Football Pools site is also a fully licensed casino! With a huge selection of online slots, jackpot slots, and table casino games the pools is making a name for itself in the online gambling market beyond the sports betting your grandparents knew and loved.