You might known the film Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds. You might not know that dead pool betting is a real thing. The concept is to place a bet on which celebrity will be the next to kick the bucket. Tasteless? Bad karma? Or just plain fun? Read on to find out…
How Did Dead Pool Betting Begin?
Dead pool (AKA death pool or ghoul pool) betting grew popular in dangerous motorsports where viewers would place bets on racers who might not make it.
The idea has evolved to include bets on any celebrity who might die within the year. With the growing list of stars who’ve passed away in 2023, this year might be a good one to try out a dead pool bet.
Doing this kind of research isn’t for the faint-hearted. Many practiced ghoul pool bettors read gossip columns and tabloids to see if any celebrities are sick, old, or, as we mentioned, dangerous sports athletes.
While this might seem like a morbid and tasteless type of bet, there is also an element of harmless fun.
How Does Death Pool Betting Work?
Death Pool betting normally runs over the course of a year. You can bet on when a celebrity might die, and how. Wagering on how a person might die increases the difficulty of the bet, as you could choose anything from car accident through to heart failure.
Given the year-long duration, you’ll often have some waiting to do before you can see if your chosen celebrity meets their maker.
Several sites have fees for playing, largely due to the community upkeep and technology involved in the sites.
Here’s how it works:
You pick a selection of celebrities from the database (they have to be known famous people; your local mayor doesn’t count) to create a ‘funeral home’ or ‘death watch list’.
Your points are calculated by a scoring system. You begin with 100 points per celebrity. When one of your chosen celebrities dies, their age is deducted from 100 points, and any bonuses you gain from guessing correctly are added.
The formula is: (100 – Age) + All Applicable Bonus Points = Total Score.
Some popular sites for death pool betting are:
Now you know the practicalities, onto the research. There are sites which monitor which celebrities are alive or dead to help you keep tabs on which potential celebrities to bet on.
These sites are divided between age, profession, birthdays, people over 85 and many other categories, so you can make a more informed (if pessimistic) decision. Here are some well-known ones:
It’s useful to bear in mind that the oldest or sickest celebrities aren’t necessarily the ones who’ll kick the bucket first. The most obvious guesses won’t earn you many points either, so it pays to think outside the box with your predictions.
Is Dead Pool Betting Legal?
While you put down money on dead pool betting, it isn’t classified as gambling.
In the UK, while death pool betting is considered outside of the realms of gambling, it is technically legal. However in the US and Canada, predicting celebrity deaths falls into the same grey area as online gambling and poker.
For more information on Canadian betting laws, check out our guide here!