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There are 5 types of Football Pools:
  • Regular Weekly Pools
  • NFL Survivor Pools
  • Bowl Pool
  • Props Pool
  • World Cup Pool
  • NFL Playoffs Pool

  • All the pools require a Pool Account for any entry.  One may have several Pool Accounts (one may, for example, have multiple entries in a particular pool).  A Pool Account could represent multiple people (for example, Sparky & Wheezer).  A Pool Account is used across all Pools.  Account balances are tracked by each Pool Account.

    In order to use a Pool Account (to make Picks or check its account balance), one must have a Budmans.Com Account that has access to that Pool Account.  A Budmans.Com Account could have access to several Pool Accounts and/or any one Pool Account could have several Budmans.Com Accounts that had access to it.

    Anyone can create their own Budmans.Com Account.   (There's a User Accounts tab on home page with link to create a new account: Create User Account).  The User Accounts section also allows one to make address and email changes as they occur.  It is up to each user to maintain his own Budmans.Com Account.

    Any specific Pool Account must be requested from me to setup.  This can be done by sending me an email at  In order to setup such, I need to be assured you are someone I know, or know someone I know (after all, at some point, monetary settlement needs to be made).  I need to know what name you wish to identify the Pool Account by, and what Budmans.Com username(s) are to have access to this Pool Account.  You can also reach me by phone, text, or voice-mail at 515-975-2284.

    For all Pools, the only time one needs to logon is when one makes picks or when you want to check your account balance.  Logon is initiated automatically when one clicks on the "Make Picks" button (if not already logged on). Or one can click on the "Logon" button. Once your are logged on, you will see a list of all Pool Accounts you have access to. To make a pick of any particular Pool Account, simply click on that account name. If you only have one Pool Account, you will not see a list, but will go directly to make picks.

    I have friendly easy payment plans. Pay as you go or settle up at the end.  I can pay or be paid from PayPal (via or 515-975-2284). Be sure to pick the Personal tab from the Send Money option otherwise a fee will be charged. From any Pool page there is a Check Balance section that can be used to view each Pool Account easily.

    Your Logon can be "remembered" across sessions by checking the Remember Logon box.  There is a Logoff link on Pool pages (but it doesn't work well (my bad).)  It is your Budmans.Com Account username and password that you use to Logon with.  As noted above, this can give you access to none, one, or several Pool Accounts.

    If you have forgotten your Budmans.Com Account password, send me an email indicating such and I will reset your password to something.  One can always go to the  User Accounts tab on home page if you ever wish to change your password.

    Rules specific to the Regular Week Football Pools:
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    There will be 19 weeks each season (Only 18 before 2021).  The first pool starts on the weekend that college games begin.

    16 choices are available each week.  And you have to pick 15 of them.

    Throughout the college season, most of the games will be College with several NFL.  For the last few weeks, most or all of the games will be NFL.

    All picks are versus a spread. This allows those not so knowledgeable to participate since a point spread on a game makes each game a virtual toss-up pick.   The football point-spread is the great equalizer!

    Picks will generally always include important and/or most interesting games.  If there are games you wish to have (or not have) in the pool - please let me know.

    Monday night NFL game will always be in the pool (thus final results will always depend on the outcome of that game).

    Your picks must be weighted from 15 (best) to 1 (worst).  Only 1 of the 16 games (your choice), you do not pick. Thus you can exclude picking the 1 game you are least certain about. Max score for a week therefore is 120.

    All point-spreads will include a half-point. Thus - No tie games.

    If a game is cancelled or not played for some reason, that game will be not counted (of course), and all other weights will be adjusted appropriately so that everyone's picks will be from 14 to 0.  Max score would then be 105.  This is done by reducing by 1 the weight on every game which is of a higher weight than that of the cancelled game.

    There will be no tie-breakers for pool winnings. Winnings will simply be split equally. Each week's final results approximate a bell curve, so there shouldn't be lots and lots of ties every week for the top spots.

    Each week costs $5.

    You don't have to enter every week, but your top 13 weeks (out of 19) will count towards the overall awards (used to be best 12 until 2021).  $10 each week will be put into the overall kitty (which will therefore end up totaling $190).

    Each week's payout is (from all proceeds less the $10):

    1st - 40%
    2nd - 30%
    3rd - 20%
    4th - 10%

    Final overall payouts are:
    1st - $90
    2nd - $40
    3rd - $30
    4th - $20
    5th - $10

    All entries will be accepted as long as they're before the start of the first game. In fact, the system will prohibit any entry from being accepted after that time.  You can also change (edit) your picks right up to game time.

    Recaps and Overall Results are automatically and dynamically generated, but only your picks (or those you have authorization to pick) will be visible before the games have started.

    Expect each week's pool games to be available by Wednesday evening. However, for 2021 (because of increased chance of games being cancelled due to Covid) the pool will normally not be opened until Thursday evening.

    Rules specific to the annual Bowl Pool:
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    Pick the winners of each of all bowl games versus the point spread.  In recent years there have been around 40 bowl games.  Note all point spreads supplied are with 1/2.  This is to assure there are no ties.

    Weigh each game from 1 (worst pick) to 42 (or however many games there are) (best pick).

    Picks are made by clicking on the Make Picks For Selected Player button.  If you are not logged on, you will be redirected to logon.  If you don't have an account, see the general rules above.

    If the team you pick in a game beats the spread, you will score the value you assigned to that pick.  If it loses, you score zero (go figure).

    Picks must be entered before the starting time of the first game.  Picks can be easily changed any time before that.

    The Bowl Pool entry fee is $20.

    Pool winnings are distributed as follows:
    1st place 30%
    2nd place 22%
    3rd place 17%
    4th place 13%
    5th place 9%
    6th place 6%
    7th place 3%
    8th place free
    Proceeds coming from 9th place and on at $20 a piece.
    Any ties in positions split the proceeds (no special tie-breakers).

    For example, if 60 contestants are in the pool the payoff would be:
    1 - $312.00
    2 - $228.80
    3 - $176.80
    4 - $135.20
    5 - $93.60
    6 - $62.40
    7 - $31.20
    8 - had fun
    rest pay $20 each.

    Bowl Pool Recap is updated as games progress with final results shown when completed.

    A special page shows curent Expected Values of everyone's situation in the pool as the games progress.  You should always know your precise situation in the pool and which times are best to root for.

    Rules specific to the two NFL Survivor Pools:
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    There is an NFL Winners Pool, and an NFL Losers Pool.

    For the Winners Pool, one picks an NFL team each week they think will win their game.  No point spread is involved.

    For the Losers Pool, one picks an NFL team each week they think will lose their game.  No point spread is involved.

    Picks must be made before the starting time of the game.  Picks can be changed as long as the team you picked has not started yet.

    No team can be used more than once in its pool during the regular season. Any survivors still playing during the playoffs may use any team (previous picks can be used). (Each pool is independent of the other)

    For one week, one can choose no pick.  A bye.  This could be the first week, if one starts the pool late on the second week.

    As with any of the pools, one could have multiple pool entries.  They may even decide to start a new Pool Account immediately after losing early in a Survivor Pool.  If so, contact Bud immeidately if that is your wish.

    Starting in 2017, if you lose in Week 1, you can reenter by utilzing the reentry option (from the Picks page once Week 2 has been opened for picking). If you do so before Week 2 has concluded, you will play on with Week 1 treated as a Bye (for an addtional $10).

    If your pick loses (or wins, in the case of the Losers Pool), you are out. For clarication purposes, if a game ends in an exact tie, either team picked will survive.

    If an NFL game is cancelled (due to Covid), it will be removed from the pool. If the game has been picked by anyone, the picks will be discarded (unpicked). If they don't get a new pick made it will be same as if they made no pick for the week.

    Winner is the entry that survives to the end.  That is, the last to survive without loss.

    The Buy-in for either NFL Survivor Pool is $10.

    Pool winnings are distributed as follows:
    1st place 50% (Final survivor)
    2nd place 30% (Last to fall out)
    3rd place 20% (Next to last to fail to survive)
    There could easily be ties for any of these positions as there are no special tie-breakers.

    Note: The above % payouts have been changed in 2019. Previously they had been 65%, 25%, 10%. Also effective 2019, any chops/deals are only allowed 'offline' so that we always play down to a champion (at least for the record).

    The pool is over if there are still survivors at the end of the season (Superbowl).  Any survivors at that point would split winnings.

    The Status Page shows current situation of all contestants.

    Please be careful to choose a winner for the Winners Pool and a loser for the Losers Pool.  I guess I have little sympathy for anyone that gets that mixed up.

    Rules specific to Props Pools:
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    Props Pools are special pools for a single event.

    They consist of a number of propositions that are answered either YES or NO.

    Each prop must  be weighted from 1 (worst pick) to 16 (or however many propositions there are) (best pick).

    Picks must be entered before the starting time of the event. Picks can be easily changed any time before that.

    The entry fee for a Props Pool is $20. (Before 2021 it was $10.)

    Each Props Pool has winnings distributed as follows:

    1st - 50%
    2nd - 30%
    3rd - 20%

    Rules specific to the World Cup Pool:
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    The World Cup Pool only occurs every 4 years and consists of picking every game played in the event.

    There are 48 "qualifying" games that are broken into 3 'stages' of 16 games. Stage 1 being each team's first game. Stage 2 their second game, and Stage 3 their third game.

    In the first 3 stages, one can pick a team to win -or- one can pick that game to be a draw.

    One does not have to pick any game until that game starts, and a pick can always be changed right up to game time.

    The first 48 games (first 3 stages) are all known before the World Cup begins. Elimination games (Stages 4-7) are not made available for picking until the previous stage has been completed.

    The points scored vary for each round as follows:

    Qualifying Rounds (Stages 1-3): 2 points for picking a winner corrrectly -or- 3 points for correclty picking a draw.
    Round of 16 (Stage 4): 5 points for picking a winner correctly.
    Quarter Finals (Stage 5): 9 points for each correct pick.
    Semi-Finals (Stage 6): 14 points for each winner.
    Consolation & Championship Games (Stage 7): 7 points for consolation winner & 20 points for picking champion.

    The World Cup Pool entry fee is $10.

    Although a recap is produced for each stage, showing everyone's picks and results, there are no awards by stage. Only the "overalls" matter and winners are determined by best total score across all 7 stages (all games).

    Pool winnings are distributed as follows:

    1st - 40%
    2nd - 30%
    3rd - 20%
    4th - 10%

    Rules specific to the NFL Playoffs Pool:
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    The NFL Playoffs Pool spans the 4 weeks of the NFL Playoffs consisting of making weighted picks of all games versus the line and the over-unders.

    There are therefore 8 picks in each of the first 2 weeks, 4 picks in the 3rd round, and 2 picks for the Superbowl game.

    Starting with the 2021 pool, there will be 12 picks in the first week.

    As with the other pools, all lines and over-unders supplied are to 1/2 in order to have no ties.

    All picks for a week must be entered before the starting time of that weekend's first game. Picks can be easily changed any time before that.

    The weights vary each week as follows:

    Pre 2021: Round 1: Weights go from 1 (worst) to 7 (best), and leave one choice unpicked (no opinion)
    2021 on: Round 1: Weights go from 1 (worst) to 11 (best), and leave one choice unpicked (no opinion)
    Round 2: Weights go from 1 (worst) to 8 (best)
    Round 3: Weights go from 7 (worst), 8, 9, to 10 (best)
    Round 4: Weights are 12 and 13, giving 13 to better of your 2 choices.

    The NFL Playoffs Pool entry fee is $10.

    Although a recap is produced for each week, showing everyone's picks and results, there are no awards by week. Only the "overalls" matter and winners are determined by best total score across all 4 weeks.

    Pool winnings are distributed as follows:

    1st - 40%
    2nd - 30%
    3rd - 20%
    4th - 10%

    The NFL Playoffs Pool completes all Football Pools for the season and settlement is expected at that time.  It is easy to check the balance for each Pool Account of which you are responsible.  Payment is not needed before then, as who knows, you might win.  Contact me ( to make any special arrangements.

    Any questions, comments, or suggestions contact Bud Stowe by email at or phone or text at 515-975-2284.

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