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Dead Pool Betting Explained

Dead Pool Betting

With the exponential growth of the betting industry in recent years comes the thriving of new markets. These options range from unusual sports prop wagers to novelty and special bets. However, with what seems to be the introduction of a morbid form of gambling is dead pool betting.

This guide will explore everything you need about the dead pool bet. Below are the key points you’ll understand after reading:
  • What is dead pool betting?
  • When did it begin?
  • How does it work?
  • What are celebrity dead pool rules?

How Dead Pool Betting Works

Dead pool betting is an informal betting market that involves correctly predicting when a person will die. Also known as ghoul pool or death pool, this trend grew famous in motorsports betting, where fans would wager among themselves on drivers who might suffer fatalities and not make it to the end of the dangerous races. Today, dead pool betting often involves a list of celebrities or public figures who bettors believe will die within a specific period. Sardonic as it may, it has grown popular among other novelty bets involving major celebrity awards and elections in recent years.

As expected, dead pool betting often sparks debate regarding ethics and legality. Due to its controversial nature, it is not a popular market on regular online betting sites, although some offer it. However, there are several dead pool betting sites where you can participate in this type of gambling. Dead pool betting can also be informal, taking place among friends, family, movie fandoms, crowds at racing events, hospital wards., etc.

Betting on a celebrity dead pool is straightforward. Generally, it involves bettors picking a list of celebrities, usually ten, who they think will die within 12 months. The pool award points to a bettor when any of their picks die, and the person with the highest points at the end of the year wins the pool prize. Scoring points are dependent on the pool. For instance, old or terminally ill celebrities often carry low points, while those who are young and healthy will earn high points.

The general formula for awarding points on most dead pool betting sites is as follows:

  • Total Score = (100 – Age of celebrity) + All Applicable Bonus Points.

Bonus points are awarded on different grounds, from predicting how a celebrity will die to being the only person picking an option. 

Regular bookmakers that offer the death betting market pair up celebrities with similar conditions that may likely result in their deaths and offer odds for which is likely to kick the bucket first. Requirements for pairing celebrities in a dead pool betting matchup line include AIDs, COVID-19 virus, old age, alcohol problems, or drug addiction.

While it has grown popular recently, the dead pool is an unconventional betting option. Hence, finding where to place this type of wager may not be a walk in the park. However, we have provided where you can bet on death dates below.

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MyBookie is a popular Curacao-licensed sportsbook that offers betting services on various sports and sporting events. Amid a scarcity of sports events to wager on in 2020 and rising celebrity deaths, the bookmaker offered odds on matched celebrities, allowing bettors to bet on the next celebrity death. MyBookie also features a casino section with games like slots, table games, and video poker.

MyBookie Review

Most celebrity death pools are not facilitated by regular domestic bookmakers but are handled by private citizens on certain pool websites.

Some of the popular death pool bet websites include:

  • Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool

Celebrity Death Pool Rules

Due to its weird nature, some rules are in place to ensure everything is fair and transparent in every celebrity death pool. Below are some of the most common celebrity death pool rules you must remember.

You Can’t Cause a Celeb’s Death to Win

Almost every celebrity dead pool betting site has a stern anti-murder policy. While this should go without saying, it is essential to remember that bettors should not bear any ill intent on hurting anyone in winning their bets.

This rule strictly prohibits participants from engaging in any behavior that could harm or put at risk the life of the celebrity or public figure on their list. It may include prohibiting participants from contacting or stalking celebrities or engaging in any behavior considered harassment or intimidation. It is also essential to remember that being disqualified from winning your bets will be the least of your worries if you are found responsible for harming anyone.

This rule seems silly, but there is a real history of crimes connected to dead pools. So the possibilities can’t be ruled out, and this rule ensures that no participant goes too far to win their bets.

Only Approved Celebrities Count

One of the significant concerns with celebrity death bets is who counts as a celebrity. Celebrities may include renowned athletes, TV and music stars, politicians, public figures, business moguls, inventors, scientists, etc. However, one rule in most celebrity pool betting sites is that all picks must be world-famous and not only well-known to selected people. Also, you can only bet on people; no animals are allowed.

Most death pools create a list of approved celebrities from which participants can select. However, some sites allow bettors to pick a star not on the list and submit it to be reviewed by certain committee members.

You Have to Pick xx Number of Celebs

Another typical celebrity dead betting rule is the number of celebrities to select. Most dead pool sites allow each participant to make ten selections, while other sites allow between 15 to 20. Regardless of the maximum number of picks, the points scoring system is mostly similar, and the participant with the highest number of points at the end of the bet duration wins.

Duration Matters

Every celebrity death pool has a starting and ending time, often within one calendar year. All death bet selections on most online sites must be submitted by December 31st of the previous year. Then the bets run from January 1st of the current year till December 31st, when all points are tallied and winners are announced. It means you must enter the pool on time if you intend to participate, or you may have to wait a whole year for another entire year.

However, rules for informal celebrity death pool betting between families and friends can be more flexible. For instance, a percentage of the total pool prize may be handed out to participants leading at certain months (say April or August) before the most considerable portion is paid to the final winner at the end of the one-year running bet.

Death Betting Market Moral Side

Celebrity dead pool betting is a controversial and sensitive topic, and there are divided opinions regarding its morality and ethical side. Some people see it as harmless fun involving a mere selection of names from a tabloid. Others believe it is a natural continuation of their obsessions with celebrities’ lives and that it doesn’t hurt to make some money from predicting when they’ll bite the dust. According to some death pool runners, no one is betting on a celebrity to die. Death is a natural part of life, and everyone will die; it’s only a question of when.

However, this type of gambling is met with harsh criticisms on the other side of the spectrum. Many people consider dead pool betting to be outright ghoulish and morbid. Also, betting on individuals’ deaths can be seen as exploitative and insensitive, reducing public figures to nothing more than a wager. Another issue is the potential distress and trauma that the practice can cause to the families and loved ones of the celebrities being selected.

The decision to bet on celebrity deaths is totally up to the individual. However, you might want to ask yourself whether you’ll be happy to know when one of your selections wins (or die). Also, you may put yourself in celebrities’ shoes and see if you wouldn’t mind people betting on your death.

But if your humor is more on the dark side and it’s all a guessing game for you, you may decide to try your luck in earning some extra cash with celebrity dead pool betting. It is as legal as every other entertainment betting there is.

How Did Deadpool Betting Begin?

Celebrity death betting is as old as time, with references at different times in human history. As early as the 1400s, several people wagered on the death of Pope Martin V, predicting how long his reign would last. The wagers placed got out of hand so much that the Venetian senate banned them.

Another proof of dead pool betting during this time was the 1494 proclamation which made it illegal to engage in any form of wagering on the lives of prominent individuals, whether they be spiritual or temporal figures such as the pope, emperor, kings, cardinals, dukes, princes, or bishops. Dead pool betting has been portrayed in several books, movies, and TV shows for many years.

In recent years, the betting gained popularity among the crowds of dangerous motorsport races where fans would wager on which racer may likely die. But today, betting on celebrity death is the most common. The growing rave and fascination with celebrities’ lives have gradually crossed over to their deaths, and now tracking when the rich and famous would kick the bucket has become a thing.

Final Words

Dead pool betting has grown in popularity in recent years, alongside many other strange things to bet on in the entertainment sector. So, if you are tired of regular sports betting and want to take your preoccupation with celebrities to the next level, you can get in on the action and keep yourself entertained for an entire year. You also stand a chance to win significant payouts or pool prizes.

Below are resources that will help with your research:

  • Death List
  • Dead or Alive
  • Ranker
  • Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead

However, while some view it as harmless entertainment, others consider dead pool betting a sensitive and potentially offensive topic since the wagers are placed on real people. It all depends on your personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is death pool betting?
    Dead pool betting is an informal betting market that involves correctly predicting when a person will die. The concept often involves selecting a list of celebrities you think will die within a calendar year. This form of entertainment betting has grown popular recently, thanks to the increased attention and fascination with celebrity lives.
  • Is dead pool betting legal?
    Yes. It is as legal as any entertainment betting. While it is not commonly available to regular bookmakers due to its controversial nature, no law prohibits it. Additionally, most countries do not classify dead pool betting as gambling.
  • Should I bet on celebrity deaths?
    Celebrity dead pool betting is a controversial and sensitive topic, and there are divided opinions regarding its morality and ethical side. While some see it as a harmless guessing game, others consider it too ghoulish and morbid, considering that the wagers are placed on real people with real lives, not fictional characters. Therefore, deciding to bet on celebrity deaths is up to your personal preferences. If you see it as harmless, entertaining, and potentially rewarding, go for it.
  • How long ago was the first dead pool bet placed?
    Dead pool betting is as old as time, with references at different times in human history. As early as the 1400s, several people wagered on the death of Pope Martin V, predicting how long his reign would last.
  • Where can you place a bet on a dead pool?
    Due to its unconventional nature, most regular betting sites do not offer dead pool betting. MyBookie is the only sportsbook that has ever provided betting odds for celebrity dead pool at the time of writing this guide. However, several death pools are handled by private citizens on certain pool websites. Some of the popular ones include:,, and Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool.
Tim Harrison

Tim is our betting guru. Every gaming site needs one, and Tim’s our guy. He has plenty of experience in betting online and is quite successful at it. Tim’s favorite sports are hockey, baseball, and Esports. Tim believes the latter to be the future of betting.

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