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Selec Software
Not Known
Gambling: Utilities
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

Chris Bourne

Spectrum, £16.50cs, £19.50dk
C64, £16.50cs, £19.50dk
BBC, £16.50cs, £19.50dk
CPC, £16.50cs, £19.50dk
PCW, £19.50dk
IBM PC, £19.50dk

Winning the pools sounds simple - all you have to do is predict the results of the matches. Then if there are 8 draws and you get them all, you'll win a fortune.

Sadly, it's not quite as simple as that; 8.5 million people do the pools every week, and not that many of them win a fortune. So an interesting alternative to the "close your eyes and stick in a pin" method is to use a computer analysis of historical data to predict the likeliest homes, aways and score draws. Selec's Poolswinner attempts to do just that.

The program requires you to enter results through the season, which you store on cassette or disk. It calculates league tables and predicts the most likely results. Also provided is a database of results for the past 10 seasons.

Naturally, you need a certain amount of tenacity to get the most from the software; you have to make sure you enter as many results as possible, Saturday and mid-week fixtures.

But how effective is it? Pete Chadwick of Selec points out that anyone who follows football could make a pretty good prediction of the result of, for example, Liverpool v. Charlton. But what about Bournemouth v. Wrexham? You probably haven't got a clue, but a program like Poolswinner will analyse past results and current form to come up with a prediction.

Pete Chadwick claims that people who use the program regularly come out with a profit. They might not win that million quid, but they won't be crying all the way to the pawnbroker.

Not Rated

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Britain's most popular flutter is on the football pools. During the last season (August 86 to July 87) a staggering £568 million was spent on the coupons. Of that massive sum, £164 million was paid out in winnings.

People gamble on the pools because of the chance of winning a fortune - £1,000,000 is Littlewood's maximum first dividend pay out. But the chances of getting that kind of money are pretty slim; the most recent million pound winner was one out of 7.5 million.

However, a Littlewoods spokesman reckoned that betting a level stake of £1.20 throughout the year would give you a 70-1 chance of winning "some kind of dividend" - which could be as little as 50p, or as much as that magical jackpot payout...