In case you ever get tired of betting on sports, the betting operators will always treat you with speciality betting markets such as political betting.
Betting and politics came almost naturally and, contrary to public opinion, it stands as one of the most popular betting markets around. With world politics being a fluent, ever-changing market filled with everyday affairs worth wagering a bet or two, the political betting process is the most intense during the election years or in times of big global shifts such as UK’s Brexit vote or the Scottish independence referendum.
Before you delve into the world of political betting, it is important to come up with a strategy and a sound plan to follow. It is assumed that political betting will initially attract people with existing political knowledge. However, global affairs – and the latest United States presidential elections are the biggest proof – tend to draw in a wide array of bettors who just enjoy the spectacle of it.
What to look for when betting on Political Markets
Agendas aside – it doesn’t matter if you plan on having a laugh or if you are a committed political analyst – the steps you make need to stay the same.
- Understand the market
- Make timely decisions
- Avoid ‘expert’ opinions
- Listen to the opinion polls
- Compare odds
The political betting market is enormous. To put things into perspective straight away, it is enough to say that punters tend to invest millions in betting on politics which usually gets spread across two main political sub-markets.
Politics in the British Isles draws incredible attention around the globe. A lot of people still think of it as the governing body of the most powerful country, which in its own wake, has been making some controversial political moves of late with Brexit being the biggest of them all.
The UK political market requires a strategy that will rely on knowledgeable moves and educated guesses, which should strongly be linked with opinion polls. They are easily accessed and researched and can provide a deep insight into a more common judgement that can help you with placing bets on political events.
Democrats against Republicans has been the biggest fighting ground for political bettors ever since this form of online betting has been introduced. You can bet on it – the great majority – if not all – of elections, starting from the local levels and up to the federal and state frames will result in a person from either side winning it.
The United States Presidential Election 2016 was one of the most followed betting markets thanks to Donald Trump, who made it all so much more interesting. The greatest strategy which helped US political bettors help achieve winning bets relied on the understanding of the candidates’ value. Trump had a clear edge over Clinton in that regard, being a controversial figure and publicly perceived from different business angles.
Whether you go for the UK or US market – or for some other less illustrious markets – one thing to take care of is timing. A week’s time is a long period in politics as it can and will result in unpredictable shifts of popularity and odds leaning toward certain candidates or parties.
The 2016 US Presidential Election was once again a great example of how timing can be of crucial importance in political betting. Hillary Clinton was made early favourite and casino-owner and reality star Donald Trump was seen as an underdog with most of the polls and betting operators. Trump’s dramatic rise to front-runner resulted in a major shift of odds, which ultimately produced big payouts and huge returns for those who decided to make a timely investment in an early underdog.
Similarly, there is great value in waiting until the election day itself as it often ends up offering great value, as the results from different poll stations begin to arrive.
Expert opinions are important, but only when it comes to forming public opinion. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be into politics to make great predictions and – unlike most sports – politics does not require thorough research and analysis.
Firstly, because you won’t have much to go by as statistics, head-to-head numbers and current form play little part in determining the winner of a political race. Secondly, it is quite easy to make educated deductions just by a scratch on the surface, despite the governments throwing great funds on research and super forecasting.
Over the past decade or so, there have been a number of studies that show that political experts have it all wrong more than 60% of the time. A 20-year study was looking at political predictions made by over 280 well-educated and experienced political analysts which ended up not doing any better than you tossing a coin on a bet.
Opinion polls have been disputed and argued over the past period to the extent that it was claimed betting operators were more accurate and precise on political outcomes with their odds. The public opinion and media organisations tend to follow the line, but do your own research to make sure that 99% of the time opinion polls will provide extremely accurate presumptions of a political event.
A good betting strategy is comprised of individual elements which do not work separately, and in order to have a sound operative strategy, all of them need to come in cohesion. Therefore, in addition to relying on opinion polls, you still need to have a constant look at the odds and do a little bit of shopping around to find the best value for your previously assessed bets.
Stay informed on the current political affairs and on where the best odds can be found, which can only be achieved by visiting a couple of different betting sites. Register at three or four different operators, benefit from their welcome bonuses and enjoy good value bets.
Treat Each Election Different
There are many strategies that could be argued to be both good and bad ideas when it comes to betting on politics, but one thing you can always count on being a bad idea is assuming the future election will follow the same dynamics as the previous. We have come to learn that, no two elections are ever the same no matter how many similarities they may share with one another.
A simple rule of thumb to remember is that politics change very quickly and this is something you can take into many different markets including leadership contests.
There can be many mitigating factors in politics that will affect the outcome of a decision one way or another and these factors can be unique to the election year or similar to whats occurred in the previous elections.
But you have to remember, even if you start seeing similarities between elections, you can not treat them the same.
Refresh Your Knowledge
As we mentioned before, politics moves quickly and if you want any chance of making some money from it you will need to be up to date on all the ongoing. Whether you have extreme left-sided prime minister candidates, like Jeremy Corbyn entering the scene and stirring the pot or minor political views floating about, you need to know about them all.
It is easy to stay up to date with major concerns or upcoming plans that will affect people nationwide. Take Brexit for example. You could be made aware of Brexit without having to watch the news or read related posts online as it can be found everywhere including social media. Social media is a great place to find out information very quickly, whether it is a large concern like Brexit or even something much smaller. Just remember when using social media to make sure your sources are reliable, as there can be a lot of fake rumours floating about.
Keeping on the topic of social media, there are many great platforms available, like Twitter and Facebook, to follow party leaders campaigns which can give a good idea of how they are doing. The majority of party leaders will be looking to appeal to the younger generation in an attempt to gain their votes when it comes to polling days.
Not only will you come across party leaders campaigns online, but from time to time you will see various political parties releasing a smear campaign. Smear campaigns have one purpose and that’s to the ‘smear’ the reputation of an opposing candidate.
Looking To The Future
Just like keeping up to date, looking ahead is just as important and since taking a time machine for a quick peep into the future is out of the question, reading the facts and your initiative will have to do.
Just like trading in the stock exchange, to be successful you need to be able to predict the trajectory of the odds. What this means is that you ideally want to stay ahead of the news cycle, as you will always be a step behind if you are not looking ahead.
Looking ahead will help you when backing side markets, such as leader exit dates and when the next election will be held. To use a past event to help explain this, the whole Brexit process opened the opportunity to make some valuable profit, as you were able to look ahead and realise a general election would be required and that the current prime minister at the time, Theresa May would be replaced.
You will often find that during a grassroots campaign, one electorate will take an early lead or become early favourites and this will be made clear in various news articles and by the bookmakers. Bookmakers will use this opportunity to place attractive odds due to the early lead. Although the margins may be attractive, we heavily advise not to take them right away. More often than not, things will not pan out the way they seem this early on.
You need to let the campaigns play out for a while, so you are able to see what policies and other requests each of the opponents will make. Once you have seen enough of the electoral battle, you can head back to the bookies and place your bet. This is the best way to see profitable betting.
Using the Media
We have already touched upon how the media can be a helpful source of your information, but the tough part is sifting the good information from the bad. Unfortaneltey the majority of what you read will be wrong and pretty much all of it will be biased in some sort of way. Now, avoiding bias posts is virtually impossible, but you can still use this information to aid your decision when placing bets.
It is down to you to make sure you know understand where your sources biases lie and what agenda they are supporting, as this will help you considerably.
In order to gain victory, politicians will need to gain the trust of the majority of the supporters, whether this is the trust of voters or more simply people looking to make money on bets and in politics, anything goes. When considering your betting options, watching live debates via the media can be a good way to hear what each electorate has to say in the first person. Not only will they be being streamed nationwide, but there will be various critics in seats asking all the difficult questions.
Voters love to know what they are getting themselves into and with a mix of poorest voters and middle-class voters posing questions, you will get a broad view of what each leader believes in.