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How to bet on politics

by James Musoba
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It seems there’s no end to the number of contests or events you can place a bet on, but as the opportunities to bet increase, there are possibilities to use your knowledge advantageously. While those with an interest in a particular sport can often discover favourable odds, people have also found that their understanding of a certain sector of entertainment can reap rewards. People have placed successful bets on Oscar winners, Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Got Talent winners and many are hopeful that their prediction of who will be the next James Bond actor will prove profitable.

While each sport and area of the entertainment industry will have unique considerations to evaluate before placing a bet, the same is true when betting on politics. These are the main points to mull over.

“Boris Johnson in Croydon” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by BackBoris2012

Type of bet

Political betting will have some different vocabulary from what you may be used to with sports betting. When betting on politics, it’s important to consider what types of bets are available, as there are an increasing number of options. Most political contests offer opportunities to bet, with the US presidential election attracting the most action. Yet, there are also very specific circumstances you can bet on such as North and South Korea reunifying as a single sovereign state by the end of 2023 at 2/1 or the UK rejoining the EU as a full member before 2026 (Yes 7/1 or No 1/20).

Political betting isn’t available at all online casinos, so the first task is to find a site that offers the opportunities to wager. Typically, the best online casinos will offer these main varieties of political bets:

  • Moneyline – Betting on a specific outcome.
  • Futures – Betting on an outcome often weeks, months, or years in advance.
  • Props – Unconventional bets that are often very specific and amusing.
  • Over/Under – Betting on the outcome being higher or lower than a set number.
  • Point spread – Betting on an outcome falling within a set range.

While these types of bets may be familiar to those that regularly wager on sports, there are other considerations to take into account with political bets.

Take a step back

Politics tends to be polarising around the world. Therefore, when betting on politics, it’s important to take a step back and consider the candidates or parties free of bias or political affiliation. Many sports gamblers will have a rule that they simply will not bet on the team they support, as they understand that their analysis of who will be victorious is clouded by their desire and loyalty to their team. This is difficult with political betting as it only offers a few realistic candidates or political parties. Yet, an effort needs to be made to cast your feelings aside and truly consider which way the wind is blowing.

Find an edge

When betting on sports, the thriving gamblers consider the most reliable up-to-date information on any injuries, form, past results and many other elements that can help pick a winner. In politics, the same attention to detail is required, but the factors to assess are very different.

During the election process, circumstances can change instantly, as evidenced by Howard Dean’s infamous scream heard around the world. This makes it doubly important to keep your finger on the pulse of events on the campaign trail and react accordingly. A candidate’s eccentricities may be revealed and make that person unelectable in the eyes of the public. There are likely to be revelations as the press place candidates under ever-increasing levels of scrutiny towards the final event.

As political betting becomes more popular, the scope of what you can bet on is increasing, but always make sure you are fully informed before placing any real money on an outcome.

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