How Does a Reverse Work in a Football Pool?

How Does a Reverse Work in a Football Pool?

Football pools are a way to get even casual fans interested in the outcome of a game. A staple of many Super Bowl parties, a football pool involves placing a small amount of money down on a square. The winner of the pool is determined by the score in the game. In a reverse system, people in the pool have more chances to win.

Pool Setup

A typical football pool consists of a 10-by-10 grid with 100 squares. People in the pool select squares or are randomly assigned squares on the grid. Each square costs a certain amount of money, as low as 25 cents for a casual party up to $50 for serious bettors.

Drawing Numbers

When all squares in the pool have been purchased, the numbers 0 through 9 are drawn randomly and placed above each column along the top and alongside each row on the left-hand side of the grid. This gives each square in the pool two numerical values. The two team names can be chosen randomly as well, with one written along the top and one down the left side.


In a typical football pool, payouts are made at the end of each quarter of the game. The winner of the pool is the person who has the square that corresponds to the score in the game. For example, a person who has Colts 7, Browns 3, wins if that is the score in the game. That person would also win if the Colts have 17, 27 or 37 points, and so on, and if the Browns have 13, 23 or 33 points and so on -- the pool number relates to the number in the ones position of the game score.

Reverse Payouts

Using the same score in a reverse payout, the person who has Browns 7, Colts 3, will also win. The same goes for Browns 17, 27, 37 and so on, and Colts 3, 13, 23 and so on. The reverse payout is typically less than the standard payout, but it gives players another chance to win and maintains interest in the game.