A Guide to the Best Political Betting Sites

We’re told to keep politics out of the office and away from the dinner table, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a little cash on it. Betting on political events is just as fun as betting on sports. Instead of yelling at your TV while watching the state of the union address or coverage of the New Hampshire primary, why not make some prop bets?

We’ll cover the top sportsbooks for betting on politics, what we look for in a betting site, and how to read prop odds. Before you know it, you’ll be able to handicap the next United States presidential election with your shrewd political betting knowledge.

Where to Bet on Politics

  1. Bovada

    When it comes to sportsbooks geared to American bettors, Bovada offers everything you need to bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB and college sports. There’s also lines on hockey, UFC, e-sports and politics. From live betting to exclusive bonuses on certain deposit options, Bovada is the ultimate sports betting site for those looking for quick withdrawals, special promotions and different language options (English and Spanish).

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  2. BetOnline

    Known for their killer Welcome Bonus and refer-a-friend program, BetOnline.ag is focused on the bettor. Choose from player props to $125 worth of risk-free bets when you use this sportsbook for your wagering needs. They also boast early lines and quick payouts, making them one of the most respected in the industry.

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The Odds Shark Political Betting Site Checklist

When we look at different sportsbooks, there are certain things we want to see. These are important aspects of online gambling that make your betting experience ideal.

Deposit Options and Withdrawals

The betting sites that we champion will accept different forms of real money. You can fund your account with credit cards (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa), debit, e-wallets (Neteller, PayPal, Skrill), and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Litecoin).

Some people withdraw their winnings right away, while others keep them to continue betting. Depending on the deposit method you used, you could use the same to collect your money. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to get your coinage. Only Bitcoin is instantaneous and you’ll have your winnings in seconds.

Customer Service, Free Bets and Bonuses

The way a political betting site treats its clients is very important. If something goes wrong with your account, you want to have it taken care of right away. Customer service is available 24-7 via live chat, email and phone to sort out any issues you may encounter.

Another client-facing service we look for in a betting site is their bonus offerings. Usually, you’ll get a welcome offer that matches your initial deposit up to a certain percentage like 50 percent up to $200. You can also get free bets or specific prizes if you create a parlay ticket with sports and politics. Just make sure to read the terms and conditions before accepting any bonuses.

Prop Betting: How to Bet on Political Markets

Short for proposition, props are any bets made on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain milestones that may not directly affect the outcome of an event. If you were picking a prop for the Super Bowl, you could bet on things like the length of the national anthem. For politics, you can bet on things like:

• Who will be the Democratic nominee?

• Who will be X’s running mate?

• Who will Justin Trudeau name as Governor General of Canada?

• Will the U.K. ever get this Brexit business over with?

• How long will the debate be between Candidate Y and Candidate Z?

• Which candidate will have the largest number of delegates?

• Which party will win the election?

• Will Politician A be impeached?

• Will Politician B be removed from office?

• Will Boris Johnson quit his job as PM before 2021?

How to Read Political Betting Odds

When you check out any of the political betting sites we advocate, you’ll see odds listed like this:

Who will be Elizabeth Warren’s running mate in the 2020 presidential election?

Julian Castro +160

Andrew Gillum +285

Bernie Sanders +500

Pete Buttigieg +800

Gavin Newsom +1000

Amy Klobuchar +1450

Stacey Abrams +1600

Beto O’Rourke +2000

Unlike a traditional straight-up sports bet where there would be a clear favorite and underdog, political betting is a little different. Normally, faves would be represented with the minus sign (-) and dogs with the plus sign (+). In this case, the politician with the lowest odds would be the front-runner. For this example, it’s Julian Castro at +160. Beto is the long shot at +2000.

If you have $50 to bet with, and hear that Warren needs help in California, you could take Newsom at +1000. If she does choose him as her VP, a winning bet would give you a payout of $550 – your original money is returned along with your winnings of $500. To find out how much you’d get based on the odds and amount bet, check out our Odds Calculator.

We use American odds but you can switch to Decimal (1.20) or Fractional (1/5) style. Bettors in the U.K. gravitate toward fractions, whereas those in Australia and Europe typically use decimals. People in the Americas commonly stick with their namesake odds.

Handicapping the World of Politics

Before you place your bet at the political betting site of your choice from our above list, you should understand exactly what you’re betting on. Like betting on sporting events, bets on politics can be handicapped as well.

Scandals: Adultery, Misuse of Funds and other Horrible Stuff

Donald Trump is no stranger to scandal. The man has turned his first (and maybe last) term in office into a reality show full of intrigue, mystery and a full-on amusement park ride for those who are trying to work with him. If any candidate is involved in terrible wrongdoings, it could be enough to tank their political bid for good.

Gary Hart was the front-runner to receive the Democratic nomination in 1988. However, when the news of an extramarital affair surfaced, his presidential hopes took a nosedive and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis was given the nom instead.

Social media also plays into this because in the age of political meddling online from foreign adversaries – looking at you, Russia – some of the so-called scandals a candidate is involved in may not be fact-based, like “pizzagate.”

Injuries: All it takes is One Sneeze

In baseball, if a pitcher is coming off Tommy John surgery, there’s a chance their first few starts will be rocky. In politics, if a candidate looks unwell or even so much as sniffs during a debate – Hillary Clinton doing anything during the 2016 election cycle – voters will take that into consideration. Look for cancelled campaign appearances as insight into a candidate’s health. The exception to the rule is Bernie Sanders, who had a heart attack and bounced back a few days later with a new haircut, tighter sweaters and great poll numbers.

Leadership: Candor and Campaign Promises

If a candidate seems trustworthy and appears calm and collected when speaking in public, it’s quite possible they’re going to win their race. In a televised debate between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960, Tricky Dick spent most of the debate sweating uncontrollably and looking guilty. And this was before Watergate! His Democratic counterpart was the opposite – as cool as an iced coffee from Dunkies and this is believed to have helped JFK win the election. The same thing happened in Canadian politics when then-candidate Justin Trudeau was collected and even-keeled during a debate with the other contenders.

As for campaign promises, ask what is being offered to the public. Is it something like universal health care or legalized marijuana, or is it a frivolous expense to taxpayers like building a wall around your neighborhood Starbucks? Wishy-washy candidates who make outlandish promises like free cookies for dogs every second Tuesday don’t stand a chance.

Now that you know where to bet on politics, select one of the sites from our list and start betting. Those presidential odds aren’t going to bet on themselves. Thanks, Obama!