Betting on Politics
The political betting markets in the USA and UK are huge and the range of markets continues to increase. The bookmakers have the same information as us with these markets, so it’s possible to exploit big inefficiencies in the market with insider knowledge. You’ll be able to get the best value through our recommended sportsbooks below:
Example: Barack Obama to Win the US Election 200
Most of the turnover on politics betting happens on these major two major markets. You can wager on which candidate you think is going to be the next President of the USA or on which candidate you think will be the next Prime Minister of the UK.
You can also bet on the elections in Canada, Australia and various European countries these days, but the markets are much smaller and the liquidity is terrible, so most analysts don’t spend much time focusing on these other elections because it’s not worth it.
- Which Party Will Win the Election
Example: Democrats to Win the US Election -120
Well before the election it’s difficult to know who will even be running for President. Instead of betting on which candidate will win the election you can simply wager on which party will win the election (Example: Republican or Democrat in the US election).
- Will a Candidate Win X State
Example: Will Mitt Romney Win the State of Florida
Traditionally a lot of states in the US will vote with a certain party regardless of the candidate, but there are multiple “swing states” each election where the state is up for grabs by both parties and bookmakers will offer odds on a candidate winning the state.
- Which Candidate Will Win the Party’s Nomination
Example: Hilary Clinton to be 2016 Democratic Party Nomination –200
Often the picture for who will be a party’s nomination for the next election is much clearer than picking who will win the election at an early stage. With this bet you simply wager on the candidate that you think will win the party’s nomination for the next election.
- Which Party Will Win the Mid-Terms (Control of House & Senate)
Example: Democratic to Win Control of Senate 140 at Mid-Terms Vote
The mid-term elections are held every four years (two years after the presidential election). During this election control of the House and Senate are on the line as well as the US Congress. You can bet on which party will earn control of either the House or Senate.
- How Many Electoral Votes Will a Candidate Win
Example: Barack Obama Over 294.5 Electoral Votes –120
Betting sites will release several over/under bets on how many electoral votes a candidate will win. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidential election. This market can offer better payouts closer to the election than betting on a candidate just to win.
- How Many States Will a Candidate Win
Example: Mitt Romney to Win Over 26.5 States –110
Here is another market where you can make a great return regardless of how the election ends up. You bet on whether a candidate will win over or under a predetermined number of states. If you have knowledge of the swing states this market can produce value.
- Mayor & Senate Elections Betting
Example: Democratic Tim Kaine to Win Virginia Senate Vote –320
Sportsbooks post odds on senate elections and mayor elections for major cities in the USA. For instance, right now you can bet on who you think will be the next Mayor of New York. These local elections are great for those who follow the regional politics closely.
Tips for Betting on Politics
There are a number of other political betting markets such as betting on whether a bill will get passed into law or a host of other prop bets. With major markets like who will be the next US President everyone has an opinion on what will happen.
To make good money betting on politics you have to focus on the smaller markets with less liquidity as well in order to get down enough action to make a reasonable ROI. In order to make a consistent ROI you have to analyze the political market daily.
Small news can change an entire election, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest political news. You should follow the political polls also although a lot of the time you have to weed out what information is useful and what information is misleading.
The markets will fluctuate the most during the major debates during an election and this is a great time to get involved in the live betting markets. If you understand what the people want you’ll be able to determine which way the odds will move after debates.
One of the most important tips to always remember is that you have to bet based on facts and statistics rather than with your heart or else you’ll likely do poorly. Everyone has their own political opinions, but you can’t allow those to sway your betting decisions.
You’ll often need to risk more than you’re going to win in politics betting (vig), but as long as you think the bet will win at a higher percentage than the implied odds indicate the bet has value. Risking $10,000 to win $1000 is common when betting on politics.