The Pools

the pools logo 2024

The Pools sister sites include Football Pools, Footie5 and Rangers Pools.
The Pools (thepools.com) is operated by Football Pools Limited, Walton House, 55 Charnock Road, Liverpool, L67 1AA.

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The Pools Sister Sites

The Pools has been around since 1923, which means people have been making money out of betting on football for over a century. Is the modern version of The Pools a direct continuation of that company which started in the 1920s? It would very much like you to believe it is, but the truth is difficult to ascertain. The Pools broke off in several directions in the 1990s and never quite put all of its pieces together again, so there are a few companies that now claim to be “the one true Pools.” Football Pools Limited is the biggest of them, and The Pools is the biggest of the individual iGaming sites carrying the name. The Pools sister sites are mostly variations upon the theme of the primary one, but you can find out more information about them below.

Football Pools

Footballpools logo

At first glance, you might struggle to notice any significant differences between The Pools and The Football Pools other than the decor. Truth be told, you might still be struggling to spot any significant differences between the two after a second glance. Try a third, though, and you might spot that The Football Pools is a slimmed-down version of The Pools. The modern version of The Pools is a vast, sprawling website which includes slots and other forms of iGaming. The Football Pools, by contrast, offers only football pools and lottery games. Each of The Pools sister sites operates within a niche, and the niche of The Football Pools is to provide a straight-to-the-point user experience to players who couldn’t care less about slots and simply want to bet on matches without being distracted by side games. It’s a little plain, but that’s the point of it.

The Pools sister sites Football Pools

Rangers Pools

Rangers Pools logo

Rangers Pools is the final survivor of a failed experiment. A decade or two ago, the popularity of The Pools was waning. The arrival of the National Lottery in the 1990s meant there was suddenly another way for people to gamble their way to millions, and they didn’t need to know anything about football to take part. The arrival of the internet and iGaming caused further issues. In response, Football Pools Limited started thinking smaller. They envisioned an individual version of The Pools for fans of every major football club. If the idea had worked, there would currently be well over one hundred The Pools sister sites. Instead, Rangers Pools is the only one still up and running. In truth, the experiment never got very far – there were versions for Burnley, Sunderland and Huddersfield, but that was it. Perhaps Rangers fans are simply fonder of playing the pools than fans of any other British club are.

The Pools sister sites Rangers Pools

Footie5

Footie5 logo

As part of the same process that saw The Pools Limited start to experiment with new The Pools sister sites for individual football clubs, the company started thinking of other ways that people could play the game. It was obvious by the beginning of the internet age that The Pools was in need of modernisation, and Footie5 is the most successful of the ideas that the brain-trust of the business came up with. Instead of asking gamblers to predict as few or as many correct results as they like, Footie5 invites them to correctly predict precisely five outcomes. How hard could that possibly be? The game offers a simple premise – pick five correct scores and win £25,000. The catch, however, is that you don’t get to pick the five games – Footie5 does. The game tends to be played weekly, and there are competitive leagues on the website so you can play against your friends if you so desire. Recently, the Footie5 website has also added casino and arcade games to its portfolio.

The Pools sister sites Footie5

The Pools News

: Goal.com recently published a guide on how to take advantage of The Pools’ sign-up offer for April 2024, providing an informative yet straightforward breakdown of the process. This guide reveals that new users can claim £10 in free bets by placing a £20 qualifying stake. To qualify, users need to make two £10 bets on 4+ leg pre-match accumulator bets at odds of 2/1 (3.0) or higher, after which, new members are eligible for a £10 free bet on a 3+ leg accumulator with each leg having odds of at least 1/2. The process is refreshingly simple: no promotional code is needed, which prevents any potential mishaps during sign-up. Users must complete the registration by providing personal details, creating a username and password, and making a deposit. The free bet itself expires after 7 days, and certain bet types like cashed-out bets, Asian Handicaps, or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify.

While the guide outlines every step in a clear manner, the simplicity of the offer underscores that while helpful, such an in-depth tutorial is almost more than necessary—it really isn’t rocket science. The guide also provides a comparative analysis, noting that while the £20 requirement is higher than some, the lack of a promo code simplifies the process significantly. The stipulations of the offer, although stringent with the need to place bets on accumulators with relatively high odds, are part of a clear strategy to engage users who are serious about betting. This type of content from Goal.com proves invaluable for potential bettors looking to understand the nuances of various betting site offers, ensuring they can make informed decisions without getting bogged down in complexities.

Can The Pools Be Trusted?

trust score

★★★★

The Pools is a 4 Star trusted casino.

1. UKGC License Football Pools Limited holds UK Gambling Commission licence 48272.
2. UKGC Fines There are no fines, warnings or sanctions on record for this company with the UKGC.
3. Customer Service Live chat, email and telephone support are all available as options.
4. Trustpilot Score After over 450 reviews, The Pools is rated at 2.6 out of 5.0.
5. Company Location The head office of Football Pools Limited is in Liverpool.
6. Visible T&C’s There are promotions on the site’s homepage, but key terms (including wagering requirements) aren’t listed with them.
7. Social Media Presence The Pools is very active on both Facebook and X/Twitter.
8. Number of Sister Sites Football Pools Limited operates three The Pools sister sites.
9. Games portfolio The primary purpose of the site is to offer access to The Pools, but there are casino and arcade games here too.
10. Gamstop links A reasonably prominent GamStop logo appears in the footer of the site, and works as a link to the GamStop website.
Overall SCORE > ★★★★★ – 4/5 Stars

The Pools Review 2024

We mused on the topic of whether or not this version of The Pools can claim the heritage of the version of The Pools that began in the 1920s at the top of this page, and we’ll try to answer the question towards the bottom of it. Whether it can or it can’t, it’s the most popular version of the original game still in operation today – and there’s now a whole lot more to the official website of The Pools than just the game that made it famous. What does it have to offer you in its modern incarnation? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

The Pools sister sites homepage

The Pools Welcome Promotions

Given that The Pools is a basic game of football predictions, you’d likely assume that its format makes welcome promotions impossible. That assumption would be incorrect. The Pools operates a subscription model for people who want to play every week. If you’re willing to subscribe as a new player, you’ll receive four free games which combine to provide you with a shot at winning £3m. It’s effectively just four free shots at playing the pools, but it’s better than nothing.

If you’ve come to The Pools to play casino games instead of predict football matches – presumably someone must do it – there’s a separate casino welcome promotion. New players can claim fifty free spins on the latest Fishin’ Frenzy title when they deposit and spend £25 on selected slots games. Anything won from the free spins comes with an x1 wagering requirement, which is perfectly fair and reasonable. Fifty free spins for £25 is a little steep, but given that this isn’t really a casino site, perhaps we shouldn’t sniff at it.

Other Promotions

The Pools has already done more than we expected it to do by providing us with those two promotions, but it’s not done yet. You can also do general sports betting at the site, and there’s a £10 free acca bet available for everyone who places two or more £10 accas between the Monday and Sunday of the previous week. Every bettor who bets £20 or more on UK or Irish racing during the week gets a £5 free bet, too. The Pools will always offer a “slot of the week,” and it’s possible to win up to one hundred free spins on that slot by checking the terms of the weekly related promotion on the “promotions” page. If all you really want to do is play the pools, though, you can get a £5 pools bonus for every £30 spent on pools games.

Pros and Cons of The Pools

Pros:

If you love playing the pools – and we know there are millions of people in the UK who do so religiously – there’s nowhere better to do it. This is the version with the best claim on being connected to the original, and it’s delivered with a comprehensive level of customer support. There are promotions available on the pools, and plenty of things other than playing the pools to do for those after a more complete iGaming experience.

Cons:

Given how modern the rest of the website is, it’s surprising that The Pools doesn’t offer more deposit and withdrawal options. It’s also both surprising and disappointing that the site can’t provide same-day withdrawals. On top of that, the terms and conditions of the promotions that the site offers aren’t always presented as plainly as they ought to be.

Top Games at The Pools

We keep saying that there’s an online casino attached to The Pools, but treating it as a regular iGaming or casino site is the wrong way to look at it. This is a site with a specific purpose, and the purpose is to provide players with access to The Pools. Saying anything other than The Pools is the top game here would be wrong on every level. That being said, if you’re interested in the top slots at the casino, it seems to be especially fond of the latest entries in the Fishin’ Frenzy series, the latest Big Bass Bonanza games, and classics like Vegas Cash Spins.

The “classic” Pools game is the main attraction offered at the site, but the classic version isn’t the only way to play the game. Alternatives include The Pools: Loaded 4 Life, which pays out a prize of £100,000 per year for thirty-five years. There’s also The Pools: Premier 10, which offers a £50,000 payout for those who can correctly predict the outcome of ten matches. Other variants of the core game are available, along with a wider range of traditional sports betting.

Withdrawal Processing & Support

There are only two ways to get money in or out of your account with The Pools – via a debit card or via PayPal. The good news for debit card users is that all verified cards are supported, including Maestro as well as Visa and Mastercard. There’s no support for any e-wallets other than PayPal, though, and electronic bank transfer services like Trustly aren’t supported either. The real problem with withdrawal processing at the site, though, is the amount of time that it takes. All withdrawals are subject to at least a two-day processing period after they’ve been requested, and that could extend to five working days. Taking weekends into account, that could mean waiting a full week for your money, even if you’re using PayPal. That’s far too slow.

Customer Services & Licensing

While The Pools might be a letdown when it comes to withdrawal processing, you can at least rest assured that there will almost always be someone to speak to while you’re waiting for your withdrawal. Live chat assistance is available between 8:30am and 10pm every day except Sunday when the hours change to 12pm-10pm. The team can be contacted on live chat, over the phone on 0800 500 000, or through email at [email protected]. The licence that covers The Pools is held with the UK Gambling Commission by Football Pools Limited under account no. 48272.

The Pools – The Verdict

You won’t find anywhere better to play the pools. Given that playing the pools is the whole point of this website, that should be the be-all and end-all of this review. The fact that you can do so many things other than play the pools here is a bonus, and the promotions are a nice-to-have pleasant surprise. The site could still use a few more payment methods, though – especially those that might move things along faster than they move at the moment. Minor concerns aside, it’s a good iGaming site.

The Pools Mobile Screenshot

The Pools – A Deeper Dive

A Legendary Way To Bet

Ask a child in a UK school what their biggest dream is, and they’ll probably tell you that it’s winning the National Lottery or Lotto. Even as a child, we know that the colossal sums of money involved in such a win would change life forever for us, our families, and (if we’re feeling generous) our friends. That hasn’t always been the case. There was no such thing as the National Lottery in the UK until 1994. Before that, the biggest gambling wins in the country came through the football pools. It was the pools that people dreamed of winning and, on websites like The Pools, those prizes can still be won today.

The Pools might not be as famous or dreamed-of as a prize as they once were, but the name still means something in the UK and the casino website at thepools.com trades off those memories. Based on its success so far, it does well with the theme and the concept.

Hard-To-Follow History

We’ve already said that the pools, which are also sometimes called the football pools, existed before the National Lottery. They had the lottery beaten by several decades, but working out exactly when and where they started is easier said than done. Several people had the same – or similar – ideas at the same time in different parts of the UK, and some had more luck with the idea than others.

The first documented football pools company was started by Bill Hughes, Colin Askham, and John Moores in October 1922 under the name of “The Littlewood Football Pool.” The idea was a simple one. The men would hand out paper coupons to people attending football matches and offer them the chance to predict the results and put a stake on their predictions. The person with the most successful predictions would win the combined total of all the bets (hence the word “pool”) minus a ten per cent cut for the company. Despite this, the idea didn’t catch on immediately. The Littlewood Football Pool was almost shut down in 1925 after three years of constant losses, but Moores bought his partners out rather than agreeing to close the business. By 1930, the success of the pools had made Moores a millionaire.

As others took note of what the Littlewood Football Pool was doing, they attempted to replicate it. Moores and his workers couldn’t be everywhere at once, so a copycat company called Vernon’s Pools started in Liverpool in 1925, and Zetter’s Pools opened in London in 1933. By 1934 there were so many pools companies involved in football that a Football Pool Promoter’s Association had to be formed to help determine who could work in which territory, when, and how.

The Second World War led to the temporary suspension of football in the UK, and not every pools company returned after the war was over. By 1947, the biggest players in the business were Cope’s, Sherman’s, Vernon’s, and Littlewoods.

Introducing The Panel

After initially resisting the idea of widespread betting activity around their fixtures, the English FA and Football League grew to appreciate the amount of money that it could bring to their sport. By 1963, the prospect of a betting slip being invalidated by the late cancellation of a fixture had become intolerable. To counteract the risk, the first-ever “pools panel” was set up. Back then, the panel consisted of five respected former footballers. They would reach a majority decision on what the result and score of any cancelled fixture would have been, and any bets that matched that result would be honoured.

Amazingly, the same system is still in use today.

Historic Jackpots

The football pools were responsible for the first million-pound gambling jackpot in the UK. It happened in 1986 when a syndicate of hospital workers in Wiltshire won a combined total of £1,017,890. That’s a lot of money now, but its purchase power was far higher at the time.

The two million pound barrier wasn’t cracked until 1991 when an individual called Rodi Woodcock pocketed £2,072,220. They chose to avoid publicity, so their story and what they did with the money is unknown.

The biggest pools win in the history of the format happened in 2010, when a Michael Elliott of Brechin landed £3,001,511 by predicting an unprecedented eight 2-2 draws on the same day. The prizes dished out by the National Lottery had long exceeded £3m by that point, but the win is a reminder that football pools wins can still be life-changing if your luck is in and your predictions are accurate.

Is The Pools A Continuation Of All This?

The big question about The Pools, or the website that appears at thepools.com, is how it’s connected to all of this history. That’s a very difficult question to answer. The site often claims to be “the original” pools and is mentioned as such in newspapers like the Daily Mirror, the Daily Star, and the Sun. The opinion of thepools.com is often sought when sportswriters at those newspapers want a bookmaker’s prediction about a major sporting event that’s scheduled to happen in the near future. In January 2020, the Daily Mirror even went as far as naming thepools.com “the oldest and most original” betting outlet in the world. That implies a link between The Pools and The Littlewood Football Pool. We’ve tried, but we can’t find any evidence that any such link exists.

Littlewoods Pools was sold to a company called Sportech in the year 2000 for £161m. Sportech followed that up by acquiring Zetters and creating a company called The New Football pools. That company has since been rebranded as The Football Pools and still exists today. In fact, it has its own casino website and offers very similar betting options as The Pools. If there’s a claim to be made about a solid connection with the origins of the format, it probably belongs to that company.

That isn’t to say that The Pools isn’t old, or its claims to be the original aren’t valid. Sportech didn’t buy every version of the pools when it went on its spending spree, and as we said at the start of the article, the same idea happened in many places at the same time anyway. The Pools might not be the casino website of the de facto oldest gambling format in the world, but it comes with the same spirit.

What are players saying about The Pools?

Here are our condensed / readers digest summaries of recent player reviews of The Pools.

  • 29-Sep-2023 by Ian:
    I’ve spent thousands on various games here, and it’s like pulling teeth to get a bonus feature. Absolutely awful, steer clear. – source: Trustpilot
  • 19-Sep-2023 by Hi Yeah:
    Signed up for 300 free spins, spent £20 and got nothing. The odds are terrible, don’t use this site. – source: Trustpilot
  • 14-Sep-2023 by Natasha:
    As a new customer, I’m not impressed. Minimal wins and I’m not sure if I’ll continue using this site. – source: Trustpilot
  • 13-Sep-2023 by Mark:
    I was a regular customer until they updated the site and closed my account without explanation. Stick to Sky Vegas, Gala, or William Hill. – source: Trustpilot
  • 30-Aug-2023 by Ziggy:
    They ask for sensitive documents and treat responsible customers poorly. Stay clear of this company. – source: Trustpilot
  • 24-Aug-2023 by Hubert:
    The welcome offer isn’t fulfilled even after depositing and spending £20. Terrible winning rate; it’s a scam. – source: Trustpilot
  • 23-Aug-2023 by Laurence:
    Great promotional offers and quick payouts. The sportsbook is easy to navigate. – source: Trustpilot
  • 21-Aug-2023 by Mark:
    The site is a bit outdated but the specials and value boosts are good. Wish the app was easier to use. – source: Trustpilot
  • 20-Aug-2023 by Jack:
    Signed up for the World Cup final offer and had a great experience. The sportsbook needs an update, but the brand has respectability after being around for so long. – source: Trustpilot
  • 17-Aug-2023 by James:
    The site seems suspicious. No decent returns or bonuses. Don’t deposit large amounts. – source: Trustpilot