1. An entry fee of $63.00 is required to participate in the pool, payable one week before the start of the season.

2. Each week of the NFL season, you will be credited $100 in "play money" to wager on the point spread of any NFL game or combination of games for that week. You must bet a minimum of $100 "play money" each week, but there is no limit on the amount you can wager above $100, as long as it is not higher than what you have accrued at that point in the season. If you inadvertently bet below the minimum requirement, you will automatically lose the portion below the minimum that was not bet.

3. Each week you can select one game as your tie-breaker game by guessing the total points scored in the game. Your tie-breaker differential is the absolute amount your guess is off by. This value is used both to break ties for weekly prizes and to add to a running total called the aggregate tie-breaker differential. A prize is awarded at the end of the year to the player with the lowest aggregate tie-breaker differential, as outlined in the prize money section.

4. You must have your picks in by midnight Friday. If there is a Thursday game, you can either 1) submit your picks anytime before the Thursday game, or 2) submit your picks by the usual time of midnight Friday. You can only submit picks once; that is, you can't submit picks on Thursday then later submit picks on Friday. If there is a Thursday game, the Wednesday spread will be used, regardless of when you submit your picks. If you fail to get your picks in on time, a default bet of $100 with a tie-breaker of 40 points will be automatically placed for you on the visiting team on the last game listed in the spread (typically the Monday night game). Any subsequent weeks where you again fail to get your picks in will result in an additional "penalty" of +6 on the bet and a tie-breaker of 30 points (if you cover the bet, the plus 6 will be removed from the bet and you will not get the double advantage of a plus 6 via Rule 12, you will just get the straight up win; A win also will not count toward the plus 6 winning percentage, but will count toward your regular winning percentage; If you lose the bet, it is treated as a plus 6 bet, and therefore will affect your plus-6 winning percentage, in addition to your regular percentage). For the post-season, the default will be the visiting team of the first game listed in the spread. If this game is OFF, the next game in the spread will be used. If you get your picks in, but forget a tie-breaker, you will be given a tie-breaker of 40 points for the pertinent game.

5. The line provided by Las Vegas Stardust will be used as the official Bookie Pool line. This line will be posted to the Bookie Pool home page no later than the night before picks are due. All wagers must be made using this line (since point spreads fluctuate, a single "frozen" line is used to simplify Bookie Pool management).  If a line for a game is OFF (not available), the USA TODAY web site will be used as a backup source. The first available spread searching from left to right will be used. If USA TODAY does not have a spread for the game, the game will remain OFF.

6. Standard Vegas rules apply - if a team you pick beats the spread, you double your "play money" for that wager; otherwise you lose the amount wagered. If you "push", or tie the spread, you retain your wager.

7. Dick Cooley & Mike Tatum Rule: You cannot bet on the same game twice in a given week. If a player does this inadvertently or otherwise, only the first pick will be accepted. If as a result your wager falls below $100, you will lose the difference per the minimum bet rule (see Rule 2).

8. All wagers should be made in dollar increments. Any wagers in cents will be summarily dismissed.

9. Unless otherwise stated, ties for the various prize money pools are decided as follows: Ties for the weekly prizes are settled first by the player with the best tie-breaker, then by best win-loss record, then by the best (lowest) aggregate tie-breaker differential. Ties for all other pools except the low-ball pool are as follows: best win-loss record, then best aggregate tie-breaker differential. If there is still a tie for any pool after the tie-breakers have been exhausted, the pool is divvied up equally between the tied players.

10. All prize winnings are paid out at the end of the season. Refer to the prize money section for weekly and final season prizes.

11. Any significant rule changes after the season has started must be approved unanimously by all players; however, any un-foreseen problems or discrepancies in the rules will be decided by a simple majority of the participants.

12. PLUS 6 RULE: You can win double the amount of your wager by adjusting the point spread by 6 points in the direction that decreases your odds of winning the bet. For example, if Denver is a 5 point favorite over Seattle, and Goober bets $100 on Seattle -1 (+6 adjusted), and Seattle wins by 2 or more, Goober would win $200. If Goober takes Denver -11, and Denver covers, he would win $200. In either case, if Goober's team doesn't cover the adjusted spread, he loses only his original bet of $100. Any loss due to a +6 does not count toward a losing streak.

13. If a bet is placed on a game that has an incorrect spread due to an obvious misprint, the bet will not count. A negated bet resulting in a player falling below the required $100 minimum will not be considered a violation of the $100 minimum. A misprinted spread is determined by majority rule.

14. Larry Allen Rule: If you inadvertently bet more money than you have, the amount you over-bet will be subtracted from the wager on the last game in your list. If there is still a residual after subtracting from the last game, the next to the last game will be adjusted, and so on.

15. Kevin Hale Rule: You must bet on a team that is playing. If you bet on a team that is on a bye week (or if the spread for the game is OFF), the pick will be discarded. If as a result your wager falls below $100, you will lose the difference per the minimum bet rule (see Rule 2).

16. Larry Wales Rule: You must provide a tie-breaker for a team that is playing. If you provide a tie breaker for a team that is on a bye week the pick is discarded and the default pick is used in its place. If the line for the game is OFF, you may still place a tie-breaker on the game.

17. Pete Valdez Rule: You are only allowed 4 default picks a year. After you use them up, if you miss a week you will forfeit the weekly $100, you will be penalized one game in the record column, and you will be penalized 30 points in the tie-breaker. This rule does not apply to forgotten tie-breakers, or the Larry Wales Rule.

18. Larry Allen Rule 2: You can't bet on a game that has already occurred. If you submit such a bet, the bet will be discarded. If it puts you below the $100 minimum, the amount below the minimum will be placed on the designated default game for that week.

19. The Hurricane Ike Rule: If a game is postponed after a player submits his picks, the player may change the affected pick to another game that is being played that week provided the pick is received before the game starts. If the postponed game occurs in a fashion that makes it unreasonable to expect the player to have enough notice to change the pick (ie the pick is on the Monday night game that is cancelled late Sunday), the original pick will be discarded but the $100 minimum rule will not be enforced. If under this scenario the game was his tie-breaker pick, the tie-breaker will be applied when the game is made-up. If the game is not made-up, the player will be allowed to choose two tie-breakers the following week.

Last revised: September 23, 2008


Commissioner's Office