Home » horse racing » Pool Betting

The USA’s Best Pools Betting Sites – Updated For 2022

Joe Halliday profile picture
Updated 1 week ago on
Disclosure
We sometimes use affiliate links in our content, when clicking on those we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you. By using this website you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Pool betting has long been popular in the USA. In the past, however, it’s been a pretty informal affair between groups of friends or coworkers. Nowadays that no longer needs to be the case, since the laws surrounding betting in the USA have been relaxed. Along with many other things, this has opened up pool betting on professional, modern sports betting sites to a wide range of punters. 

In this article, you’ll learn all the details you need to know about pool betting in the USA. We’ll explain what it is, how it works, and the very best sites at which you can try it for yourself. 

Our Top Pool Betting Sites In The US
Bet Online Pools logo $1000 Welcome Bonus Star Rating Get Offer
Xbet Pools logo 100% Up To $500 - No Code Required Star Rating Get Offer
Bovada pools logo Up To $1,000 - BVD1000 Star Rating Get Offer
Mybookie pools logo 100% Deposit Bonus Up To $1000 Star Rating Get Offer
BetUS Pools logo 125% Up To $3,125 Welcome Bonus For Sports + Casino Star Rating Get Offer
Sportsbetting Pools logo 100% Welcome Bonus Up To $1000 - KICK100 Star Rating Get Offer
BUSR logo 100% Bonus up to $1000 Star Rating Get Offer
GTBets pools logo 100% First Deposit Bonus Of $500 Star Rating Get Offer
Twinspires Pools logo Up To $200 Bonus Money Star Rating Get Offer

Contents

How We Rank the Top Pools Betting Sites

Online pools betting has become increasingly popular in the USA, to the point where – nowadays – you’ve got plenty of suitable bookmakers to choose from. We’ve narrowed those down to a top 10 for you, as you can see above, with these being five of the main criteria we looked at.

  • Pools Options

To make our list, a bookie naturally needed to include at least some pool betting options. Both the quantity and quality of these options were also important, though. 

Regarding the former, it was generally a case of ‘the more, the better’. The wider range of sports or pool betting types that were provided, the more kudos we awarded the bookie. Quality certainly mattered too though, relating to the structure of the pool, the explanation of how everything worked, the size of the rewards on offer, and so on. When it comes to options, we recommend Bovada, with plenty of pools to choose from.

  • Potential Rewards

One of the main points of betting pools is that they can deliver much bigger returns than regular wagers. This is obviously still a sliding scale, however, and – at a basic level – the bigger the rewards are, the better the pool is. 

Value still plays a role here, of course. The amount you’re being asked to stake should be proportional to your potential rewards. Also, even if pool bets are generally difficult to win, you should still at least have a realistic shot at doing so. With a range of different pools, MyBookie is one of the sites with the greatest potential winnings on offer.

  • Terms and Conditions

All special offers and complex bet types come with a full set of terms and conditions, and it’s no different with betting pools. It’s crucial that you read this in advance, before attempting to join any betting pool, as we’ll explain later. 

For now though, simply know that the quality of these T&Cs is something we take very seriously. Most importantly of all, they should be fair to the user. They should also be written in a clear manner, to help the punter understand them easily, rather than being either deliberately or unintentionally obscure. With plenty of experience behind them, BetUS is a site with some of the clearest terms you’ll find.

  • Ease of Use

The general user-friendliness of the platform is something we judge all sportsbooks on. This definitely extends to pool betting sites too, and to these bet types specifically.

In short, it should be quick and easy to enter any pools. You should be able to understand them, take part, and collect any winnings with minimal effort. If you do require any extra help, whether direct or via an FAQ, this must also be easy to access. Again, we’re going with experience here and recommending BetUS as one of the easiest sportsbooks to use.

  • Safety

When your money is on the line, you naturally want to be sure that a pool betting site is doing all it can to help protect it. The same goes for your personal information, which you must provide in order to sign up in the first place. 

A betting site holding at least one license is non-negotiable for us. This should preferably be with an authority in the USA itself, but international brands may hold licenses with other regulatory bodies instead, such as the Government of Curacao. The bookie should also provide various security measures – including SSL encryption, firewalls, and anti-fraud checks – and submit itself to regular independent audits. If you’re looking for a safe sportsbook for pools betting, then look no further than XBet.

Top 5 Pool Betting Online Sites Reviewed

Towards the top of this page, you can get a quick overview of our 10 recommended pool betting sites in the USA. Let’s look a little more closely at the five best options of all. 

1. BetUS – Best Horse Racing Pools Site for Small Stakes

BetUS has an exceptional track record, stretching back to 1994. It has a fully-featured online sportsbook and casino section, and even runs its own radio station and betting podcast, and provides live streaming. 

Most importantly for our purposes, BetUS offers plenty of pools betting opportunities too. These are split across several different varieties, although survivor pools are definitely its specialty. We were particularly impressed by the staking flexibility here, with anything from a $10 to a $500 buy-in being permitted.

What we like:

  • Top-notch survivor pools
  • Great range of buy-in sizes
  • Variety of special features

What we don’t:

  • Platform interfaces need to be updated

2. MyBookie – Top Choice For Placepot Pools for Horse Racing

MyBookie is a middle-aged online sportsbook in modern terms, having launched in 2014. Like other sportsbooks it has pursued an ambitious advertising strategy, which has helped to see its popularity rise dramatically in recent years. 

For pool betting fans, MyBookie provides three different options. Alongside the traditional ‘survivor contest’ and ‘super contest’ varieties, you will also find the innovative ‘Squares’ pool, which is fairly random but still fun to play. Add in a variety of great bonuses, including a big-time ‘Refer a Friend’ deal, and there’s plenty to like about MyBookie. 

What we like:

  • Survivor and super contest options
  • Minimum buy-in is only $10
  • Several great promotions available

What we don’t:

  • 10x rollover requirement on main welcome offer

3. Bovada – Excellent Sports Betting App for iOS & Android

Bovada is one of the most famous online betting brands in the USA. It was launched in 2011 as its own independent betting platform, and has gone from strength to strength ever since. It features detailed sections for poker, casino games, and sports betting. 

The sportsbook is excellent, particularly if you’re a fan of horse racing. You’ll find a range of horse racing pool, as well as pools for all of the biggest sports across the USA.

Bovada’s homepage

What we like:

  • Excellent track record
  • User-friendly survivor pools
  • Exceptional poker section too

What we don’t:

  • Prize funds for pools are relatively small

4. Xbet – Top US Sportsbook for Horse Races

Not to be confused with the excellent 1xBet, Xbet itself is also a fantastic sportsbook in its own right. It has a solid casino section and ‘Racebook’ alongside its regular sports betting area, which is packed out with markets and has several enticing offers. 

Pool betting is also given its own ‘Contests’ subsection here, which will typically feature a ‘Survivor Contest’ during the NFL season. This only costs $10 to enter, but there’s a hefty $10,000 prize pool up for grabs for the victors. 

xBet Homepage

What we like:

  • Betting pools represent excellent value
  • Several good special offers
  • Straightforward, user-friendly interface

What we don’t:

  • Only one type of pool is typically available

5. GTBets – New and intriguing US sportsbook

GTBets might be one of the newer sportsbooks on the markets, but it is definitely one to look out for in the future. It’s a sleek looking site with a decent sign up offer that will immediately draw you in.

There is a horse betting pools option available. Although Pick 5 and Pick 6 Pools limited, Pick 4 pools are often paid out with large prize pools and will be the main draw to GTBets.

What we like:

  • Up and coming sportsbook
  • Very easy to use
  • Range of markets and casino offering

What we don’t:

  • Can limit winnings on large stakes bets

Explore Our Expert-Written Sports Betting Guides

NBA
A comprehensive guide to betting on the NBA at the best betting sites in the US, featuring detailed reviews of the sportsbooks, lines, and odds.
NBA Betting
UFC
Everything you need to know about betting on the world's most popular MMA organization, the UFC. Discover the best UFC sportsbooks and learn about the markets.
UFC Betting
MLB
Whether it's the run line or parlay betting on the World Series, our MLB betting guide details everything you need to know about baseball betting in the US.
MLB Betting
NHL
Skate over to the top hockey sportsbooks and claim huge bonuses when you register. Read up on puck line betting and other popular NHL betting markets.
NHL Betting
Horse Racing
Unsure how to wager a trifecta at Preakness Stakes, or a quinella at Belmont? Our detailed horse racing betting guides will reveal all.
Horse Racing Betting
NFL
A complete guide to betting on America's Game. Learn how NFL odds and markets work, read our reviews of the top NFL sportsbooks and prepare to beat the spread.
NFL Betting
NCAAB
From the NBA Draft to March Madness and everything in between, our NCAAB betting guide sets out the key components to betting on college basketball.
NCAAB Betting
Esports
Discover the best esports betting sites for the world's most popular games: CS:GO, FIFA, CoD, WoW, and more. Use promo codes to claim rewards when you sign up.
Esports Betting
Tennis
Our team of betting experts presents a comprehensive overview of tennis betting markets, odds, key dates, and the best tennis sportsbooks in the USA.
Tennis Betting
Golf
Hoping to bet on The Masters, Ryder Cup, or US Open this year? Read our comprehensive golf betting guides first to increase your chances of success.
Golf Betting
Politics
Plenty of sportsbooks now offer politics betting markets. Learn how to profit during the elections and claim lucrative sign-up bonuses when you register.
Politics Betting
Boxing
Learn how to profit from the sweet science by reading our detailed boxing betting guide. Swing the odds back in your favor with reload bonuses and free bets.
Boxing Betting

What is a Horse Racing Betting Pool?

You already know what the best pool betting sites in the USA are right now, how we arrived at those rankings, and have a little more detail on our top five picks. Now though, it’s time to look at what exactly pool betting is. 

With regular, fixed-odds betting, you’re essentially wagering against the sportsbook. They set the odds, and – if you think they represent good value – you place your wager. If it wins, you get a payout. If it loses, they keep your money

With pool betting, by contrast, you’re going against other users. You may still need to pay some money to the sportsbook to join a contest. These entry fees – collectively – are usually called the ‘pool’. After entering the contest, it’s your picks versus your competitors’. Whoever makes the best picks over the course of the contest usually gets either the entire pool, or a slice of it if there are multiple winners.

That’s the general concept of pool betting explained, but let’s see how it works when it comes to horse racing.

Different Types of Pool Betting

Technically, anything in which punters pile their money together into a collective prize fund could be called a ‘betting pool’. In reality though, this term usually refers to one of following categories. 

A Win Pool Bet

This is the most basic type of pools betting when it comes to horse racing. Simply pick your winner, and if you choose correctly, you’ll be rewarded with part of the pool.

Place Pool Bets

Unlike traditional horse racing betting, there is no each way betting to be found in pool betting. If you do want to bet each way, you’ll have to place a bet in the win pool, and a win in the place pool. As the name suggests, you’ll win here if your horse manages to finish amongst the places.

Exacta Bet

We’re getting into some of the more complicated pools now with the Exacta Bet pool. Here, you’ll be tasked with picking two horses – one to win, and one to finish second. If you manage to predict the correct top two, and in the correct order, then you’ll be a winner. This is similar to the traditional forecast bet in horse racing.

Trifecta Bet

The Trifecta Bet pool is like the exacta bet, but a step further. Instead of just picking the top two, you’ll have to predict the top 3 in the correct order to win in the trifecta pool. In the same way that the exacta was like a traditional forecast bet, the trifecta like the traditional tricast bet.

Placepot Pools

Rather than just focusing on one specific race at a meet, the placepot pool spreads it’s choices out over 6 races. For each of the selected 6 races at a meet, you’ll have to choose a horse from each to finish in the places. If all of your 6 choices finish in the places in their respective races, then you’ll be a winner. This is closest to placing an each way accumulator.

Jackpot Pools

The jackpot is the hardest of all the pools to win when it comes to horse racing. In order to win the jackpot, you’ll have to correctly predict 6 winners from 6 races at any given meet. This makes it similar to the placepot, however you’ll need the winner in all 6 races, rather than just a place. If all 6 win, then you’re a winner, but one losing selection will ruin the whole pool. The jackpot pool is similar to placing a normal accumulator.

Pool Betting and Fixed Odds Betting Compared

Pool betting offers a fascinating alternative to regular, fixed odds betting. Like any form of gambling, of course, it has its good and bad points, with these being the main pros and cons. 

Pros

  • Straightforward

There’s a huge amount of variety within fixed odds bet types. Even some of the most common – like each way betting – can be difficult to understand when you’re starting out. 

Pool betting is almost always very straightforward. You pay your entry, make your picks, and – if your picks win – you’ll get a share of the prize pool.

  • Big-Time Prizes

The potential payout of a prize pool will vary from race to race, based on a variety of factors. It will almost always, however, be vastly bigger than any winnings you could realistically get from fixed odds betting. 

  • Limited Options

Too much choice can be a bad thing, and – with fixed odds betting – the world really is your oyster. Pool betting invariably limits you to one bet type, and tells you exactly which races, or horses, you can and can’t wager on.

Cons

  • Hard to Win

There’s a reason pool betting prizes are so big – it’s because they’re harder to win. The rules will usually make it pretty hard to make good picks to start with, and – even if you do – you’ll be competing against plenty of other users throughout the season.

  • Unpredictable Winnings

With a fixed odds wager, you see exactly how much you stand to win before placing the bet. With pools betting, your winnings can depend on both the size of the eventual pool and the number of other winners you share it with.

Winning and Losing Examples of Pool Betting

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how pool betting works. To help make things crystal clear though, here are both successful and unsuccessful examples of how you might join one.

Winning Example

  • Sign up with GTBets
  • Stick $10 into your account
  • Head to the Horse Racing Betting Section
  • Select your Pick 4 with 4 horses you think will win
  • Enjoy the racing and watch as your choices win
  • Take home your share of the prize pool, along with the rest of the lucky winners

Losing Example

  • Create an account on GTBets, deposit $10, and choose your Pick 4
  • Pick a losing horse in your first race
  • A losing horse means you are immediately out of the pool, resulting in a loss

Our Top 5 Betting Tips for Online Pool Betting

As with any other form of gambling, there are no guarantees of turning a profit in pool betting. There are definitely steps you can take to boost your chances though, with these being five of the most important.

Tip 1 – Start Slow

If you’re completely new to pool betting, don’t go charging into the Westgate Super Contest, which charges a hefty $1,000 entry fee to all players. Start slow instead, with a pool which only requires a $5 or $10 buy-in. As you grow more comfortable with the format, you can start to ramp up your stakes, and – by extension – your potential rewards. 

Tip 2 – Take Your Time 

Patience is key in most forms of pool betting. You shouldn’t submit your picks a few days before the racecard has been fully announced, nor should you make your choice before seeing what the track condition is. Delaying your decision gives you a better chance at making a more sensible pick, and gives you more information relating to the range of complications that can come with horse racing betting

Tip 3 – Do Your Research

Don’t simply go with your gut when making your pool betting picks. Instead, your choices should be the result of extensive research and analysis. You can carry this out yourself, using the many free sites out there which are packed with statistical data. Alternatively, you can simply check out betting tips from pool betting experts, to see what picks they recommend. 

Tip 4 –  Experiment

While the fundamentals of pool betting will stay the same, the specifics can vary significantly. If you don’t like the way one type of pool works, therefore, don’t force yourself to keep joining it. Try out a new form instead, which may be more enjoyable and more profitable. 

Tip 5 – Join Multiple Sites

Joining multiple sportsbooks has a range of benefits. One of the most obvious is that you can trigger each of their welcome offers, but it also lets you test out a greater variety of pool betting options. If your favourite bookie only provides survivor pools, for example, and you’re dying to try out a ‘super contest’-style pool instead, don’t be afraid to find a different sportsbook which provides these competitions and sign up. 

Betting Pool Apps 

Betting brands in the USA tend to be a little behind the times when it comes to mobile features. While some sites do indeed provide separate mobile apps for each of its offerings (including Daily Fantasy), the likes of MyBookie still have no apps available. 

When you can find them, the appeal of mobile betting pool apps is obvious. It allows you to make your picks, check the status of your pools, join new pools, and so on, all with unrivaled convenience. Below, you can check out three of the best brands for betting pool apps right now. 

Even when a brand doesn’t have an actual app, however, it’s not the end of the world. These bookies will invariably still provide a mobile version of their main website, which – even if the performance is slower than an app – still has all the same functionality. 

Brand Operating Systems Size (iOS / Android) Minimum iOS Version Minimum Android Version
Bovada iOS 14.6MB 12.0 N/A
TwinSpires Android, iOS 77 MB / 16 MB 12.1 6.0
BetOnline Android 3.7 MB  N/A 4.4

Explore Our Top Betting App Guides

Soccer Betting Apps
Join us as we provide you with the best soccer betting apps in the US right now, the biggest bonuses, soccer odds and so much more.
Soccer Betting Apps
NBA Betting Apps
Learn everything you need to know about what makes a top NBA betting app, which sportsbooks offer superior NBA odds, and so much more with our NBA app guide.
NBA Betting Apps
MLB Betting Apps
Discover the top MLB Betting Apps on the US market, game lines, odds, and everything else in between with our MLB Betting App Guide.
MLB Betting Apps
Horse Racing Betting Apps
Deep dive into the world of Horse Race Betting on your mobile. Discover the top betting apps, find out the latest promotions, tips, and app features.
Horse Racing Betting Apps
UFC Betting Apps
Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about betting on the UFC on the go & how to use the best apps available on the market in the US right now.
UFC Betting Apps
Table Tennis Betting Apps
We've created this guide to help you with your mobile Table Tennis Betting. Exploring the best Betting Apps in the US, top-rated welcome offers, and much more.
Table Tennis Betting Apps
Nascar Betting Apps
Find the thrill of wagering on live motorsport with our NASCAR Betting App guide, featuring the finest NASCAR Betting Apps available, top odds, and more.
Nascar Betting Apps
F1 Betting Apps
With F1 growing in popularity in the US, we created this guide to rate & review each app, explore top bonus codes to enhance your mobile betting experience.
F1 Betting Apps
Darts Betting Apps
Read our guide to discover the best darts betting apps on the market right now, each app is reviewed and rated, and features the top bonuses available.
Darts Betting Apps
Cricket Betting Apps
Our comprehensive guide to the best mobile cricket betting sites available in the US. Looking at what makes a great cricket app, what to look out for & more.
Cricket Betting Apps

How to Sign Up to a Pool Betting Site

Modern-day betting sites in the USA tend to be very user-friendly, and it’s no different when it comes to pool betting. These are the few simple steps you must take to get up-and-running.

Step 1 – Pick a Bookie

This is the easy part. Simply take a look at our recommended bookies, pick one that appeals to you, and click through to the site. Remember that you can choose to do this either on a desktop or mobile device; the following steps will work the same way regardless.

Step 2 – Create an Account

Head to the homepage of your chosen brand, then click the ‘Sign Up’ button (or similar). Follow each of the steps in turn, alternately providing personal details such as your date of birth and home address, or setting account details like a username and password. Once you’ve done so, agree to the general T&C’s then hit ‘Sign Up’ again. 

Step 3 – Make a Deposit

Log into your account, then click the ‘Cashier’ or ‘Deposit’ button to see your payment options. Pick one, fill in the requisite details, enter the amount you wish to deposit, and confirm the payment. You can see a typical list of payment methods on a pool betting site below.

Step 4 – Join a Betting Pool

With your account funded, it’s high time to join a betting pool. Head to the subsection for pools, and pick one of the contests that’s currently running. You will normally be given an option between different buy-in amounts here. Choose the one best suited to your budget and pay your entry fee, then be sure to make your first pick before the deadline for that round of the pool expires.

Discover Our Top Betting Guides

Is There Pool Betting In Other Sports?

Although horse racing does have a huge range of pools to bet on, there are other sports that you may want to have a look at once you’ve found that you enjoy the pool betting format.

Football Betting Pool

The NFL sees the most pool betting action by an absolute landslide. Every respectable pool betting site will run at least one contest throughout each season, and – with a bit of searching – you can typically find options for all of the three main types of betting pools (see below).

Because it’s such a big market, some bookies are also willing to get more creative in their pool betting formats here. For example, you may find Fantasy Betting, which combines the popular fantasy sports with pool betting.

Basketball

The NBA might arguably be a bigger betting market overall, but there’s no doubting which competition dominates when it comes to pool betting. Each year, March Madness sees a colossal amount of money being ploughed into betting pools. This comes not just from serious punters, but from casual sports fans too.

Specifically, March Madness pools usually involve filling in a ‘bracket’ for the entire tournament. If you somehow get your bracket right (which is incredibly difficult to do), you can end up with a seriously big payday.

What Types Of Pools Can Be Found In Other Sports?

Survivor Pool

This is the most common form of pool betting. It usually applies to the NFL, and is extremely easy to both understand and take part in.

Starting in Week 1 of the NFL season, you’ll need to pick one team to win their matchup that week. If they do win, you stay in the pool. If they lose, you’re out. The catch here is that you can only pick a team once in the entire season, meaning that – if you choose the Patriots in Week 1, for example – you can’t ever pick them again afterwards.

SuperContest / Mega Contest

Technically, the ‘SuperContest’ itself refers to a specific competition, run by Westgate in Las Vegas. You’ll find similar pools elsewhere though, which might be called ‘Super Contests’, ‘Mega Contests’ or something similar.

Regardless, these usually work in the same way. Each week of the NFL season, you’ll need to make a certain number of picks (usually five). Successful picks get ‘points’, and players with the most points at the end of the season get a share of the prize pool.

Again though, there’s a catch here. Rather than making simple money line selections, you must actually make your five picks against the spread each week.

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve only ever tried fixed odds betting before, pool betting will represent a fascinating alternative. It’s harder to win in this area, of course, but the rewards for doing so are massive compared to the buy-in amount. You’ll also find a decent amount of variety in both how betting pools are structured, and the sports for which they’re available. 

All that remains for you to do now is pick one of our recommended sportsbooks, sign up, trigger the welcome offer if it appeals to you, and join a betting pool. Stay patient and sensible with your picks, and you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of turning a big profit.

Our #1 Recommended Site For Pools Betting
Mybookie pools logo 100% Deposit Bonus Up To $1000 Star Rating Get Offer

FAQ

What is a sports betting pool?

What sports can I bet on?

What types of pools are available?

Can I join a Super Bowl betting pool?

How much do I need to pay to join a pool?

Joe is a highly-experienced writer, with a focus on sports betting content. His specialties include sportsbook reviews and betting tips. A keen football fan, he also loves analysing and writing about the beautiful game.