Politics is ruthless, aggravating, exciting, annoying, interesting, boring and life-changing all at the same time. The general public may take only a passing interest in politics, but I know that there are lots of us out there who follow politics in great detail.
Best Political Betting Sites
You can spend your time reading blogs and e-mailing news stories to your friends, but why not take it a step further and see how much you really know about politics? Political betting sites allow you to take your knowledge of politics to a whole new level – and maybe even earn something for your efforts.
If you feel confident in your knowledge, you can visit any of our top-recommended election betting sites to place bets on major political events. The largest online sportsbooks offer politics wagering for events around the world. Major events in the US, the UK and Europe are big attractions for gamblers who want to bet on politics online.
How to Bet on Politics Online
The first step is to find a betting site that offers political wagering. This is a little hit-and-miss. Some bookmakers stick to sports and ignore everything else. Other bookmakers offer a little bit of everything. Check out a few of my recommended sportsbooks on this page for real money politics bets.
If you bet at a sportsbook, your political wagers will bet set up in the same manner as regular sports bets. In the years and months before an election, you’ll see a list of major political figures and their associated odds. These are basically futures bets for politics.
As time draws nearer to major elections, the number of options will decrease to the remaining contenders. At this point, the sportsbook may change the wager over to a moneyline bet. In that case, you will either bet on the favorite with reduced payouts or the underdog with greater potential payouts.
Another option is to visit a betting exchange. Betting exchanges are a little different than sportsbooks. Instead of betting against the book, you wager against other gamblers. Some people pick one side of the bet while other people take the opposite side. Prices for each side of each bet vary based on the current betting market.
You can read more about betting exchanges here.
What You Need to Know
Betting real money on politics is much different than debating politics. When you debate with people, you are encouraged to take your own opinions and form logical arguments that support those opinions. This is seen as a “good” way to debate.
But what’s good in debating is folly in betting. Success in political betting doesn’t come from proving your point or reciting the works of Benjamin Franklin. No, success in political betting comes from reading the public, knowing the big names of today and accurately predicting how they will react to major decisions.
For example, all the major sportsbooks usually open bets for the US Presidential election every four years. Your personal opinions on who would be best for the country have nothing to do with placing a winning bet. You will win that bet by taking a cold, calculated appraisal of the situation and determining who will actually win the most votes.
The same thing also goes for other major decisions such as sweeping changes in healthcare legislation, immigration bills and so on. Your own personal opinions mean nothing in the context of making money. The only thing that matters is predicting what the people in charge will actually do in the real world.
How to Win at Political Bets
First of all, you have to put your personal opinions aside in political betting. Politics doesn’t always work out how you wish it would. You have to put all your personal convictions, wishes, biases and opinions completely out of mind when placing real money bets on politics.
Not only that, but you also need to drive through the bias displayed by other people. Almost every news story or blog post shows hints of bias. It’s unavoidable. Don’t let that sway you when it comes time to put your money on the line.
The mainstream news media is an important asset even though most news stories don’t go into great detail or show expertise on politics. However, the news is what most people watch. When you know what the average voter is seeing on the news every day, you have a better idea of how those people will vote.
Political blogs can be great sources of information on the inner workings of politics in your country. I follow numerous political blogs myself and have learned a lot from the writers and comments alike. But once again, you need to separate yourself from the strong opinions expressed in blogs. The guy you WANT to win the election will not always be the guy who DOES win the election.
Pay attention to numerous polls and look for trends in public opinion. You can use polling data not only to see who will win upcoming elections, but also to see how politicians are likely to react to big events. Politicians follow polling data closely and in many cases, that’s what they base their decisions on.
Yet again, I encourage you to watch for bias in polling data. Read up a little on statistics and understanding how polls and studies can be manipulated to show certain results. And when you read news recaps about polls, remember that those news stories can be biased.
The overarching point here is that bias is present everywhere. Be a skeptic – even when you read points of view that resemble your own! Never forget that the goal is to predict what will happen in the real world, not what you hope will happen.
Mike Murphy is the founder of OnlineBettingSites.com and has over 10 years of experience in the legal online betting industry. A regular attendee of industry trade shows and conferences, Mike is a strong proponent of regulated markets and responsible gambling policies.