ThePools UK Review (2021)
Sports fans in the UK are hardly short of betting sites to join, but where does The Pools rank?
Something different from the norm, pools betting has been around for a long time but continues to be popular among a certain section of the population. The Pools brings the activity up to date, though, with the site also boasting a solid sportsbook and even an online casino as well.
New users are entitled to claim a £10 free bet as a welcome bonus when they sign up to bet at The Pools, but potential customers might have some questions they want to be answered first.
People are likely to want to know more about the history of The Pools, as well as how it is licensed and what safety and security have been put in place to protect the site’s users.
Our complete guide to The Pools betting site has all the answers, so read on for the full details.
Introduction to The Pools
Pools betting has been around for more than 100 years. In fact, sports fans have been able to bet on the outcome of matches in this way since before the Football League was even set up.
Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters were among the largest companies to offer pools betting back in the day, with prizes of £1 million offered. Money raised through pools betting is also diverted to good causes with more than £1 billion having been handed out to sports-related causes so far.
The Pools has now stepped into the breach with The Football Pools Limited being licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account number 48272. Users considering signing up to bet on sports here should therefore feel assured it is a safe site to use.
The company behind The Pools online betting site and casino, The Football Pools, is now owned by a private equity company by the name of OpCapita after it was sold for £83 million in 2017.
A responsible gaming policy, in line with most top UK online bookies these days, is in place at The Pools. Self-exclusion is offered and users can also opt to take a time out from being able to access their The Pools accounts for periods like 24 hours, seven days, a month or six weeks.
Nowadays, the top pools betting option on the site has a top prize of £3 million, which coupled with a £10 free bet in The Pools welcome bonus might tempt many new users to sign up here.
A game known as Goal Rush also has £1 million up for grabs while various other prizes are offered too, with the good news being that it usually only takes a small stake to enter them.
We are focusing on the online casino and sportsbook side of things at The Pools though, so what can users expect if they opt to sign up for an account on the site? Let’s take a look next.
The Pools Sportsbook Review
While the site still goes by the name The Pools, the sportsbook is now its primary focus. There are more than 25 different sports to bet on here, as well as virtuals, politics and special markets. Politics bets include the next leader of the US and the UK, while specials that are offered at the Pools online sportsbook include the winner of the annual Sports Personality of the Year award.
Football and horse racing are the two main sports, though, with The Pools offering a variety of offers and bonuses for these. As an example, The Pools routinely gives out free bets during major racing events such as Royal Ascot, while free spins on the casino side of the site were also offered for those who placed specific types of bets on matches during the Euros. Price boosts and enhanced odds are available every day on The Pools’ UK sportsbook site as well.
Extra place races and best odds guaranteed are also in place for racing betting fans who join up at The Pools. Along with the £10 free bet welcome bonus at The Pools – which has to be placed on a multiple or create-a-bet market with three or more selections with minimum odds of 1/3 (1.33) for each leg – the range of offers is very good and is certainly one of the main reasons why sports fans should consider signing up for an account on this UK online sportsbook site.
The Pools is also home to a Footie 5 prediction game in which entry is free and a prize pool of £25,000 is up for grabs. Players need to guess the correct scores of five games to win big. There is a leaderboard in place too, with the user who tops the table also receiving a cash prize.
Football betting fans might be hoping for a greater range of markets to pick from. Even high-profile games have under 200 different bets available pre-match, which lags behind some of the top online bookmakers in the UK. It is not uncommon for over 500 markets to be offered now. Live in-play betting at The Pools is also rather functional, with none of the statistics or data that other leading UK bookies offer to help players to decide what they are going to bet on during a game.
While the site itself has quite an old dated design and can sometimes be rather slow to load on a standard desktop computer, it is simple enough to navigate thanks to a clear menu. Quick links in the top-left of the screen take players to the most popular markets and sports are listed in an A-Z. Esports are included in this list, with those who join The Pools able to bet on everything from League of Legends and CS:GO to Dota 2, King of Glory, Rainbow Six, Valorant and more.
Virtual sports are very popular when there is no live sport to bet on and The Pools has a solid enough offering in this department as well. Users joining The Pools will be able to bet on two types of horse racing, along with virtual greyhounds, table tennis, motorsport and football too.
Pools betting may have gone out of fashion somewhat – the rise of the National Lottery dented its popularity in a big way during the 1990s in the UK – but a sportsbook is a good option. The £10 free bet in The Pools welcome bonus is solid and backed up by very strong offers too, while the addition of an online casino means there are plenty of different gambling products to try out.
The Pools Casino Review
Many online sports betting sites in the UK now also have casino games with The Pools joining the club. Its games include slots, scratchcards and old classics like roulette and blackjack. There is a live casino at The Pools too and many people who join the site will likely head to this section first, with the popularity of live casino games growing at a rapid rate in the UK. Live dealer games offered at The Pools casino site include various blackjack and roulette tables, as well as a couple of poker variations too – although there is no separate online poker room here. Dream Catcher is offered but some of the tops live casino games that are available on other UK online casino sites – like Mega Ball, Monopoly and Deal or No Deal – are not currently available.
Like with many other leading online casinos in the UK, it is slots that dominate at The Pools. However, while the navigation on the sportsbook on The Pools is good, the casino side is a bit more cluttered with no filters to split the games up by provider, though there is a search function for those players who want to find a particular title. Some of the most popular online slots in the world, like Starburst and the Rich Wilde series, are currently missing from The Pools casino.
Jackpot slots are offered and the big prizes here are bigger than those that can be found elsewhere. At the time of putting together this complete guide to The Pools, the top jackpots that were up for grabs were around the £2 million marks or more. With some other top online casinos in the UK having jackpots that are more modest, these top prizes are really rather impressive.
However, it does also state clearly in the terms and conditions at The Pools that it has a maximum winning limit of £250,000 per account in any one 24-hour period, apart from for its various pool-based competitions where the jackpot is expressly stated to exceed £250,000.
Scratchcards are not the most popular type of casino games these days but those who like instant win titles can pick from over a dozen decent options at The Pools casino in the UK. There are table games offered for those who are not interested in playing live dealer games too.
Promotions are how most UK online casinos sign up new users and The Pools is no different in this regard either. Players who join on the casino side rather than at The Pools online sportsbook can get 100 free spins to be used on the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game with no wagering if they deposit and stake £5. More free spins are up for grabs every Wednesday to existing customers too, while a weekend deal sees 30 free spins dished out for playing Megaways slots.
Customer service is accessible through a live chatbox found on the right-hand side of the screen on desktop PCs. However, customer service at The Pools online casino – as well as on its sportsbook site – unfortunately does not run on a 24/7 basis at the time of writing. Agents will only be available to contact from 8.30am-10pm from Monday-Saturday and these hours are shorter on a Sunday when customer service is only offered at The Pools from noon-10pm.
Casino fans will love the offers and promotions at The Pools and it is worth joining just for the 100 free spins offered in its welcome bonus, though the site’s design could be improved.