How to Use a Football Pools
Staking through a football pools syndicate gives better coverage of the coupon,
lowers individual risk and the benefits of higher stake levels These all add up to a better chance of winning the
football pools. Other benefits can be social. For example, will your syndicate meet in the pub every week to agree
a list of selections? This can be fun, but the ultimate reason for running a syndicate has to be the better odds
you get using bigger plans/perms. Couple this with an effective proven system for producing match forecasts and you
are on the winning track. There can be difficulties with syndicates, which need to be planned for and covered in a
the setup agreement. If you don’t approach it properly, you could end up losing winning opportunities and maybe
even friends with a badly organised football pools syndicate.
Besides the syndicate agreement, the basics of running a syndicate involve two main roles: that of banker and
that of forecast manager. It is best if the agreement is signed by every member.
The banker collects the subscriptions (usually weekly) from the syndicate members,
and manages the syndicate’s bank account. The account really could be a bank account, or just a wad of cash in a
tin box. Bank accounts are better, though there could be costs involved in running it – they give traceability in
case of misunderstandings. In the UK, online staking is taking over and the days when pools stakes were paid in
cash to local agents are numbered. The banker will usually need access to a credit or debit card to pay the stake
over to the pools company. Many pools companies make this easy, offering staking accounts which can be topped up.
Some even offer staking ‘credits’ as promotional offers.
Problems can arise when members are late paying their stakes. Suppose someone
hasn’t paid on a particular week, then should they get a share of the winnings if there is a win that week? Who
would make up the shortfall in the stake? To cover this, consider having a float, or a couple of weeks’ stake in
hand in your pools company account. Cover this in your syndicate agreement.
This dedicated person is responsible for preparing and submitting the pools entry.
It will involve knowledge about perms and plans, and what offers the best balance of coverage versus cost for that
week’s total stake. Will your pools syndicate use the same plan/perm each time? Who keeps any results data up to
date – this can take a couple of hours a week if you really are serious? Usually the forecast manager.
Preparing the entry may involve a weekly meeting confirm the list with the other
syndicate members, or it could be the manager who does the work at home.
If you are dedicated to winning, then you should be using a prediction system which
works with the statistics of football results (and these are usually fairly reliable). This should give you your
match forecasts and final list of football results predictions for your syndicate’s entry. Many office syndicates
stake the same coupon numbers every week. This is a waste of everyone’s time and money, though the pools companies
feed off these stakes.
In many syndicates, the same person is banker and forecast manager.
The Syndicate Agreement
A written agreement is best. Some of the many things you need to
- joining/leaving the syndicate
- who will be the banker and who will manage the coupon entries?
- what happens if a member does not pay up?
- how will you deal with publicity?
- what is the target stake level?
- who collects the money, when is the cut off time for subscriptions?
- what happens if the banker is ill?
- will you use a proven winning football pools system?
There are many other things to think about if you are using a football pools
Keeping up to Date
It is good practice for the bank manager to
prepare a simple monthly account for the members, and for the entry manager to track the efficiency of the
plans/perms that are being used. You should be achieving a regular edge over ‘random’
(c) Phil Marks 2011