Political Betting Explained

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Political Betting Explained

Betting on widely debated things like who is going to win the next presidential race seems like a pretty obvious gambling option. Yet, until recent years, avid bettors seem to have underestimated the value of political betting. So, why do people find it normal to argue zealously and wager money about which team is going to win at their favorite sports, but they don’t do the same for their favorite political figures?

In the US, the situation probably used to be pretty tough, because of the old ban on betting with bookmakers about anything but sports. Only after the PASPA law was repealed in 2018, were Americans finally able to bet on everything their sportsbook was able to offer them. Because nowadays it’s perfectly legal to place bets on pretty much anything! So, betting on politics looks like a pretty good idea for a number of reasons.

First off, the political world is less about random chances than other kinds of betting. In sports, you can’t be completely confident about the game outcome. In cards, you may apply skill, but eventually, it all relies on the cards you draw. Whereas in politics, results depend on the choices of the electorate. So, if it’s that simple, why you haven’t heard about anyone winning millions on a single political bet? Probably, because predicting political events is more difficult than you think. That’s why it’s time to figure out what political betting is all about and how to nail it like a pro!

What Is Political Betting?

Essentially, political betting is when people wager real money to predict political events. It works just like regular sports betting. And most political bets are accepted by sportsbooks.

But wait, why there are no political betting bookies? Well, the reason for that is pretty simple. Significant political events usually don’t happen every day. Also, you might have to wait for months and months to finally see the outcome of something like voting. That’s why politics are a rather seasonal business for any bookmaker. And as a result of this, bookmakers generally find it much easier and more profitable to deal mostly with sports, and to then occasionally offer bets on politicians and the crazy things they do.

That said, the most popular event that’s currently in the limelight of all political betting fans, is… You’ve guessed it right — the next presidential elections in the United States! Should you consider it to be your betting opportunity? How to win on this one? We’ll return to that later, but first let’s see what types of political betting you can employ.

Types of Political Betting

Generally, political betting can be divided into two types.

Online betting

betting online gambling

This type is similar to the oldest model of sports betting, which has now been almost fully transferred to the world of the internet. So, you simply go to the sportsbook website and choose to wager on politics. There, you’ll see various options displayed. In many details, they are similar to those of betting on sports.

With this type of betting, bookies offer many variants of predictions, all of which can help you win. For example, choosing which candidate is going to win the election is surely the most popular type of bet. But then, if we take presidential elections in the US as an example, there will be other options as well. Some of them are:

  • Who will win the 2020 Presidential Primaries?
  • Which party is going to win?
  • What will the gender of the future President be?
  • Who is going to win the Popular Vote?
  • Who will be first in a particular state?
  • Who will be selected as the Vice President?
  • What will be the Electoral College choice (will the chosen candidate receive more or less Electoral College votes than you predict)?

If you bet early, before the results are announced, it’s going to be harder to make the right choice. Nevertheless, such a strategy is worth it since you receive much higher payouts than if you would if you did it later when everything gets more predictable. However, if you’ve noticed an unpopular candidate that you consider to be a dark horse who’s going to beat them all, go on ahead and bet on that candidate! If your predictions are confirmed, you’ll get a massive reward.

Some bookmakers also implement special options for political betting. A good example of those is Donald Trump Specials. People are now betting on virtually every statement he makes, trying to predict whether he really means it or is simply bluffing. Such bets might involve the probability of building a wall on the border with Mexico and the like. Yet, when the betting option doesn’t offer a certain deadline, maybe think twice about whether you want to lay your money on that at all!

Prediction Markets

This type of betting on politics is really unique because it was allowed even at a time when PASPA and other strict regulations on gambling were applicable. It works somewhat like a stock exchange, where traders sell and buy shares.

On a prediction market like this, you buy or sell shares based on your belief of what is more likely to happen. You don’t look at the odds or exit polls results, which shouldn’t really bother you. Instead, you need to decide what, in your opinion, is about to occur in real life.

Although this activity is still gambling by nature, it is not primarily used for profit. Prediction markets are important for researchers, political scientists, political consultants, and the offices of key government figures. What they see is a real picture of a collective mind. This information allows them to shape future political campaigns, as well as to theorize about where we are heading policy-wise at the moment.

How to Bet on Politics

Online betting to-bet

For those punters who are new to political betting but would still like to give it a try, here’s a simple step-by-step guide about where to start.

Look for anonymous polls

Although this is probably clear as day to most of you, we still want to point this out. In the kind of poll where organizations contact people by phone, or by any other method where they know their name, address, and other personal details, people tend to lie about their preferences. It’s hard to deny that in our day and age, it’s easy to get judged, misjudged, stalked, and a whole bunch of other unpleasant things when you openly talk about your political views. So naturally, when the respondent is anonymous, they feel safe and vote however they please. So that’s why, if you want to accurately predict the voting outcome, look for anonymous polls.

Remember the “spiral of silence” theory

The Spiral of Silence is a theory of mass communication proposed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. All in all, it says that a vast majority of people might silence their real political preferences for fear of not finding social approval for the choice they have made.

For example, every single exit poll and bookie might claim that the next President is going to be Hillary, because most people respond in her favor. However, in reality, the result turns out to be a total surprise for anyone who has already made their stakes. So was Trump such a big surprise for everyone? Not at all. His direction turned out to be in the middle of a spiral of silence that nobody liked to talk about, but that many still preferred.

So, when the truth is finally revealed, it seems like it has actually been pretty obvious all this time. That’s why we suggest you look for hidden tendencies happening in politics if you want to place a successful bet.

See further than here and now

This advice is somehow similar to the previous one; yet here, we recommend to see a broader picture in all aspects. To do this, you need to write down all the factors that, in your opinion, might affect the outcome. Don’t neglect even the smallest ones, as they might turn out to be crucial.

You see, it’s fairly easy to get blown away by the main points of mass communication, which creates bias in your betting choices. Instead, think about what could matter in the long run, not just here and now. What’s underneath the surface? When a candidate says or does something — what does it really mean? What is their purpose for a few years ahead?

Choose precise figures but be sure

Practice shows that the most profitable bets are the least obvious options due to their very high odds. For instance, when you look at precise bets, you might find quite generous payouts. And as you’ve probably guessed, the hardest thing here is to predict the actual outcome. In order to do this, you need to study carefully loads of information. But more importantly, you need to make the right decision.

Perhaps the easiest type of bet in this category is that kind relating to deadlines. For example, one guy in 1964 wagered $10 on the fact that a human being would land on the Moon by the end of the decade. The odds were 1000 to one, but he took the risk. Eventually, the bookmaker had to pay $10,000! So that’s why you should try and guess whether the event is likely to happen within a certain timeframe or not, and then you can win a really substantial sum of money.

Alternatively, you might look at the probabilities of smaller events occurring, rather than betting on the grand concern of who is going to win the next presidential election. It might be not that hard to choose, and yet the payout rate is what matters the most. Although with obvious choices, the payout will be very small, so most of you will probably not really care about it.

Look for bets where bookies can’t go wrong

As soon as you open the world of political betting or betting on sports, you have to learn about the bookmaker’s edge. This is an important concept, because it means the odds they’re displaying are not completely accurate, as they carry a commission edge. However, this doesn’t mean that bookies are wrong about every prediction they share with you. On the whole, the odds are a result of gathering many diverse facts, discerning them, and then translating them into complicated mathematical formulas. That’s why, when you look at the odds on the site where you place your bets, you need to learn which ones you just can’t go wrong with.

Care about politics but stay cool

To place accurate bets on politics, you certainly need to dive deeper into this field than the average person. With that said, another essential thing to learn is how to stay cool when betting. When you get to know more, you will surely have your likes and dislikes, but don’t let them influence your decisions. Perform your own analysis and make an informed choice instead. Some players even avoid betting on their favorite football team or politician at all. Then, to make more informed bets, you might want to check and assess something more than just odds and news. Study events, media coverage, interviews, tweet posts, and reactions, etc. Think of psychology, sociology, political science, but always remember to view each situation individually.

All You Need to Know About Political Betting

  • Can you bet on politics in Vegas?

It depends on the bookmaker. Back in the 80s, it was illegal to bet on anything besides sports with bookmakers in Vegas. Yet now the laws give more freedom, and if you want to bet on politics, you just need to find a bookie, which offers you that option. Alternatively, you can bet online regardless of your physical location in the world!

  • Where can I bet on politics?

Most commonly, people bet on politics online, but you can also find live bookmaker shops which offer such an option. By the way, the most popular location for betting anyhow you like and everywhere you like is the UK.

  • Can you bet on politics in America?

Betting on politics used to be illegal in America, and that’s why most bettors still wonder if they are allowed to bet on politics in the US or not. Nowadays, every state has to choose political betting legislation for themselves. Yet, most of the states have still done nothing in that regard. So, ultimately, whatever is not prohibited is allowed. In the meantime, the states which have passed laws allowing political betting are Montana, Iowa, Arkansas, New York, and Pennsylvania. Additionally, look for states where sports betting is legal — they often offer political betting as an option.

  • How can you make money betting on politics?

Follow our guide above!

  • Why can’t you bet on a political moderate?

It simply carries the worst odds.

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