Learn to Bet Series: How to Create a Betting Pool

If you’re a sports fan that loves to bet, not all betting requires research and skill to be successful. Some sports betting is just plain fun.

Enter betting pools.

Betting pools are easy to set up and don’t require a lot of skill to partake in. The most common pools are the office betting pool.

One of the great things about getting into a betting pool is that you do not have to pay a commission. On a normal sports bet, you’ll pay the “vig” or “juice” of 10 percent to the sportsbook. Not in a betting pool.

Here are some of the popular betting pools and how to create them.

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Squares Pools

The box pool is the one that most people are familiar with. This pool is used at Super Bowl time where each competitor has the opportunity to select a box on a 10x10 grid.

Participants pay a flat fee for one individual square. Once everyone has bought their squares, the numbers 0 through 9 are assigned to the rows and columns of the 10x10 grid.

The numbers reflect the score at the end of a quarter, half, or the end of a game. In the Super Bowl box pool, winners are normally selected at the end of each quarter.

If the score at the end of the first quarter was 7-0, you would find the corresponding square that reflects that score. The person that bought that square is a winner. If everyone paid $10 a square, the pot would be $1000. One quarter of the pot is $250. That’s a nice win!

The squares pool is easy to set up. You can do-it-yourself with a giant poster board or you can go online to print out a 10x10 grid.

Sell all the squares first and then assign the numbers for the columns and rows. Make sure to identify which team is represented by either the columns or the rows.

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Survivor Pools

This is another common type of pool where players pay a flat fee up front. An NFL survivor pool, for example, has each participant select one team that they think will win that week.

If your team wins, you “survive” and continue playing. If your team loses, you are out.

Most survivor pools only allow you to pick a team once per season. If you pick Kansas City in Week 1, you cannot pick the Chiefs to win again that season.

Pickem Pools

Pick ‘Em pools are also popular NFL or NBA betting pools. In a typical pickem pool, players pay a fee and then will select winners of each game every week of the season.

For example, in Week 1 of the NFL season, all 32 teams play so there are 16 games. Participants in the pool would pick the winner of each game that week. It is customary to pick a final score for the Monday night game. This is used as a tiebreaker should there be one.

The person who picks the most correct winners wins the pool. If you had 20 people participate and each paid $5 to play, the winner would get $100.

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Other Betting Pools

There are numerous other pools that you can set up. Whatever the imagination can dream up can likely be put into a betting pool.

There are reality TV pools like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. Pools could be similar to a survivor pool where you get points for predicting who gets voted off the show each week.

You can create Election Day pools not just for the presidential election, but also for senators, congressmen, and even locally elected officials.

With today’s technology, setting up a betting pool is easy. There are a number of websites that will even allow you to manage your betting pool online. Be careful though as some sites may charge a fee.

About the Author

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.

When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.