“There is no way Donald Trump is winning the election.”
How many times did you say that or hear someone say that in 2016? Surely no one in their right mind thought that Hillary Clinton could lose the Presidential Election to this guy, right? Well, there were a lot of people who truly thought this underdog could win, and if they were smart, they would have searched out a place to make a wager on that exact outcome.
Did you know that there is a significant amount of money being wagered around the world on politics? Throughout twenty years in the online gambling business, this area of betting has gone from a few sites willing to take action on anything to sites having full sections focused on political betting. On this page, we are going to lay out all the types of political bets you can make, as well as show you the best sites for finding the political bet you are looking for.
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Where Is the Best Place to Make a Political Bet?
There are a couple things to look for when it comes to political betting online. First off, you want to visit several sites to find the best odds on what it is that you are looking to make a bet on. We have compiled a list of some of our recommended sites for political betting above.
One factor to take into consideration is the location of the site offering the odds. It is more likely that a site based in the UK will have a better handle on British politics, and as a result may have more options when it comes to betting on the outcomes of elections in that country.
Another potential decision-making concept for political gamblers is what types of elections a site offers odds upon. If you relate this to traditional sports betting, you can find some sites that allow you to bet on minor league or division sports as opposed to the major leagues. For the purposes of political betting, this could mean finding a site that is taking action on the results of a Mayoral election as well as one of more national exposure like Prime Minister. These smaller-scale elections may provide better opportunities to find more generous odds for players.
Why Are People Betting on Politics?
The easy answer to this is that people will bet on anything if given a chance and the right odds. It is hard to say when betting on elections began, but it is likely that it goes back a few hundred years along with most sports gambling. Making a bet on the outcome of a political campaign is no different than making a bet on a boxing match, really. If you break it down, there are two opponents (sometimes more than two, depending on the election) who are trying to win a title. There are favorites and underdogs, and with that come odds of a candidate securing the win.
These days, with all the craziness going on in the world, especially in the United States, more people are turning to gambling on the future outcomes of political campaigns as a way of dealing with the emotions around the events themselves. As you will see a little further down, many online gambling sites are capitalizing on this trend by offering a wide array of bets on the political moves of countries around the world.
What Types of Bets Can Be Made on Politics?
This is where we have seen the most changes in the political betting landscape over the last few years. Online gambling sites are dedicating more time and effort to the sport of politics, and this means that there has been a significant increase in the number of betting options for the public. Let’s look at a few of the most popular types.
1. Straight Bets
These are the standard bets on which candidate or party will win an election. In some cases, you will be able to bet on a political party winning the next election even if they haven’t chosen a leader yet. For the majority of straight bets, however, you will find odds on each of the election participants, and you will make your selection on who you think will win. If that candidate wins, you get paid!
These types of bets are similar to moneyline bets in sports. You pick a winner and based on their handicapped odds, and you are paid based on the line the site puts up. Again, as some sites may pay more attention to this than others, doing your research is important as you may find significant swings in the odds from site to site. Finding value in these political bets is what can make them a profitable venture.
2. Spread Bets
These types of political bets are not focused on which candidate or party will win the election, but by what margin. This is similar in nature to spread betting on sports. While you know the Golden State Warriors are going to beat the Brooklyn Nets, in an NBA game when you are spread betting you will have to bet that they are going to win by at least certain number of points.
To convert that to betting on elections, let’s look at the 2016 US presidential election. You might have found the following bets available:
- Clinton -2,000,000 in the general election
- Trump +1,900,000 in the general election
- How many electoral votes will Clinton beat Trump by?
- How many electoral votes will Trump win by?
- How many seats will the Democrats win by?
As you can see, this would allow you to bet on a candidate without having them win the actual election, similarly to an underdog covering the spread. With straight bets, your choice would have to win the election outright. This gives you a different way of betting on the outcome, which appeals more to someone who isn’t entirely sure who the victor will be.
3. Prop Bets
Prop bets have become more and more popular in the sports betting world over the last decade. Rather than requiring an outcome of an event to take place, prop bets allow someone to make a wager on other aspects. This can be applied to the world of politics as well, especially when it comes to some of the leading political countries around the world.
Prop betting, as we mentioned, is not dependent on the outcome of an election. As a matter of fact, there doesn’t even need to be an election to make a prop bet on a political figure. Let’s use the US as an example. Here are some prop bets you could find or may have found in the past about American politics:
- What will be the official weight of the President announced as after his physical?
- How many days will Donald Trump be President?
- What will the age of the Democratic Candidate for President in 2020 be?
- How many times will Trump say a particular word in a State of the Union speech?
- Will the President be impeached?
All of these types of prop bets would come with two options (for example, for the weight bet it could be Under 240.5 and Over 240.5) and in most cases, the odds are the same for either side of the bet (-110). Prop bets are more for entertainment purposes than anything, and what could need entertainment added to it more than politics these days, right?!
Can You Be a “Sharp” Political Bettor?
Of course you can! As we mentioned, one of the easiest ways to give yourself an advantage when it comes to political betting is to shop around. You will most likely find slightly different odds on a particular bet from book to book. As there won’t be the same type of volume of bets on elections as on sporting events, the lines have to move so sites can protect themselves.
Another thing to look for is the betting limit on any individual political wager. If you are sure of an outcome, then you want to find a site that has high limits for these types of bets. In most cases, you will find smaller limits for political bets than traditional sports wagers, as the sites don’t have a team of political experts on staff. A sharp bettor will find the highest limit to go along with the best price before putting any money down.
Now, when it comes to being a sharp bettor from an information standpoint, well, that’s a different concept altogether. There are thousands of journalists that would likely consider themselves to be “experts” on the topic of politics, but how many of them would have picked a Trump victory in the 2016 US presidential election?
We would say that being an insider definitely helps – maybe you know a Senator or someone who works in a Mayor’s office. That type of inside information can definitely make a difference when it comes to finding the diamonds in the rough. In that way, it is very similar to horse racing, as many times someone working in the stables will come across the inside scoop on a particular horse.
There is no doubt that the appetite for gambling on politics has grown over the years. These days, you can find any number of sites offering odds on all kinds of elections across the globe. However, to make political gambling a profitable venture, you should be doing your research not just on the candidates and campaigns, but on the sites offering these bets. A little bit of time spent searching out the best odds can make the difference in how much you can win when you are ready to make your bet, and isn’t that what it is all about?