Political Futures Bets
Whether you’re a citizen voting on the future of your country, a politician vowing to direct that future in a way that honors the Constitution, or an online gambler looking to bank on a few attractive futures odds, the world of politics is all about what happens next. That's why political futures bets are such hot commodities. Looking forward is the thing.
Of course, if you want to look forward to a great payday on the betting board, you’ll need to know how these kinds of futures bets work, how to strategize your risks, and which legal online Vegas election sites to join. Our guide to political and election futures betting helps you do exactly that, and unlike the current trend in politics, we’re not just mailing it in!
Is It Legal To Bet On Vegas Political Futures?
Yes! However, as with all politics, there’s some fine print: You can’t legally bet on political futures odds in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the US if you’re gambling with domestic operators. That’s because no local USA sportsbook can legally accept wagers on politics. Vegas posts such odds as advertisements for their typical sports betting lines. If you want to bet real money on politics, you can only do that with a reputable online sportsbook that operates outside of US jurisdiction.
Fortunately, all the sites we recommend are prime candidates, have been in business for generations, and have better reputations and approval ratings than any politician not named Donald Trump. Only one state, Washington, bars all online gambling, though it doesn’t seem to enforce these laws. Still, if you live in WA, you should probably only gamble on politics in person at the polls, not at online sportsbooks.
What Are Political Futures Bets?
Political futures represent an entire class of wager that has to do with political and election outcomes that are a long way out. These can also be called political prop bets, as there are numerous similarities. However, props are typically posted for events and outcomes that vest in the near-term, while futures can be posted for lines that won’t be resolved for several years.
For example, placing a bet in 2021 on the outcome of the 2024 Presidential election is a great example of a futures wager. Many of the top Vegas-style offshore sportsbooks also call these kinds of bets “political specials.”
Despite taking a long time to pay out, futures bets are attractive for gamblers because they’re available around the clock, and they have exceptionally good payouts. If you wager on a given candidate to win the 2024 general election and submit your betting slip several years in advance, your payout will be substantially better than if you wait for the field to narrow and the election to be right around the corner.
While Ron DeSantis’ Presidential chances are sitting at +900 three years out, if he gets the GOP nod, that payout will narrow considerably, possibly to +100 or even -150. With futures, the earlier you get your bets in, the more you’ll make for picking a winner. It’s that simple.
Where To Find Political Futures Odds
You can find USA and other International political betting lines and futures at any respected online sportsbook that offers election betting odds. Ever since the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election, the book with the most options has been BetOnline, but many of their lines are featured at competing sites like Bovada and MyBookie, often with different attached payouts.
That’s why it’s crucial that you shop around. Choosing the right sportsbook for election betting and current events odds is like choosing the right candidate for public office. You want to do your due diligence and go with the best option for your needs.
The difference, of course, is that you can cast your “vote” for multiple sites and shop lines for the best deals. That kind of flexibility isn’t available in politics itself, as voters are locked in with one “service provider” and sink or swim on their policies.
When you join multiple books, however, you can gamble with whichever venue offers you the biggest return, any time you want. Washington DC could learn a thing or two from these offshore operators, to say the least.
Current 2021 Political Futures Bets
One of the biggest strengths of political futures is that they’re the only category of political wager that’s available year-round, whether or not it’s an election year. Realistically, you can thank President Donald Trump for this, as such odds became wildly popular during his first term. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, these lines are here to stay.
The best sites all regularly post these kinds of wagers, and as with sports betting futures, political futures change day to day and week to week. Part of the calculus is making sure you place your bets when the value for your end of the wager is at a relative peak.
Below, we list some of the most popular futures on the Vegas election betting boards, but for more, we recommend following any link in the table above and checking out the live boards for yourself. And remember, most sites also include international political betting lines, too. For gamblers on a globalist kick, you’ve got options!
Pros And Cons Of Betting On Political Futures
While betting on election futures and political futures has become one of our favorite markets, there are benefits and detriments to be aware of. But that’s true with all bet types.
Nevertheless, to make sure you’re an informed bettor and make the best use of your gambling funds – and in the interest of smart betting bankroll management generally – you should understand the pros and cons of betting on politics with such lengthy lead times.
- Futures bets pay out at much higher rates than any other category of political or election wager.
- Political futures are varied and entertaining, often reflecting the scandals and intriguing developments that come with every breaking news story (or breaking #fakenews story).
- Most of the time – particularly in election off-years – political futures are the only game in town.
- Political futures can help you mitigate the stress of the 24-hour news cycle and capitalize on favorable and unfavorable developments alike.
- Betting on futures lets you put your money where your mouth is (before Uncle Sam takes his cut), and hitting a futures bet comes with tremendous bragging rights.
- Futures bets often come with odds that allow you to bet on multiple outcomes while still guaranteeing a payout if any of them hit. This kind of hedging or leveraging is not typically possible with any other wager type.
- Futures odds can take years to vest, so you’ll be waiting a long time to see whether or not your prediction pans out.
- Futures bets are not popular with professional or serious gamblers because they keep money tied up until the wagers are resolved. (Casual bettors don’t have this concern.)
- Political futures are inherently risky. If a candidate drops out or passes away before any outcome is graded, you lose the bet. There are no refunds on futures bets.
- Politics is unstable. A rockstar potential candidate or party sweetheart can be relegated to the trash heap for any reason, any time.
Best Political Futures Betting Strategies
There are several betting best practices to be aware of, though we’ll not cover those here, save for the Golden Rule: Never risk more than you can afford to lose. Well, there’s also the Silver Rule: Bet with your head, not with your heart. For gamblers, making money is all about researching the likeliest outcomes, not the most favorable ones.
Those two political betting tips and tricks aside, the best strategy for successful election and politics futures betting is to hedge your bets. We’ll use a few specific current examples (as of Q3 2021) to show you how this works:
Look For Opportunities To Hedge Your Bets
The following wager, via BetOnline, is one of the most intriguing we’ve come across, and it’s the best example we’ve found yet for hedging your bets in an effective and professional manner.
Joe Biden Exit Date
- 2025 -150
- Not Before 2026 +320
- 2023 +700
- 2022 +900
- 2024 +1200
- 2021 +1600
At first glance, this seems like any other Joe Biden betting line, and you might pass it over without much thought. But look more closely, and you’ll find incredible value here. Obviously, if you pick a year with a hefty payout and hit, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. But that’s risky, as there are so many variables.
You have to consider Biden’s age, his mental decline, his physical ailments, his approval ratings, the ambition of VP Kamala Harris, and the motives of the Democratic Party leading into and out of the 2022 Midterm elections.
But here’s the savvy play: If you pick multiple outcomes, you can guarantee a much better chance to win a significant return.
If you doubt that Biden will complete his term for whatever reason, you can scratch 2025 and 2026 off the board. That leaves 2021-2024. If you put $100 on each of these, you’ll risk $400 in total. If 2021 hits, you’ll win a net of $1200. If 2022 hits, you’ll win $500. If 2023 hits, you get $300. If 2024 hits, the total return is $800. At worst, you’re looking at a $300 profit, here.
And remember, you can always bet less money. Just make sure to put the same amount on every line to make it easy. Clever bettors may try to eke out more by putting slightly different wagers on each date while still guaranteeing a positive outcome.
Pick The Best Payout For The Same Outcome
At Vegas election betting sites, you will occasionally run into situations where two different lines effectively ask the same question and have drastically different payouts.
Above, you’ve seen how to effectively get a minimum of -133 odds on Biden not finishing his first term (if he leaves office in 2023). But the same book also has the following posted on the boards:
Joe Biden To Complete First Term As President
- Yes -200
- No +150
Here, if Joe Biden doesn’t close out his first term, the payout is +150. That is, you’d make $150 on a $100 bet. Using the above example dollar-to-dollar, a $400 wager on this line pays out $600. For most bettors, this is the better option with the bigger guaranteed payout.
However, if you wager on the first line listed above by taking all four options discussed, you could make substantially more than $600 if either 2021 or 2024 hits. The chance to make a bigger haul mitigates the larger guarantee here, which is why we like that option better. But it won’t be attractive for everyone.
Consider Similar Scenarios Before Betting
Keeping the above two political futures betting lines in mind, you’ll sometimes see a very similar wager to another on the boards. These have small differences and can be quite nuanced, but that nuance explains why the lines are weighted differently.
At BetOnline, you have this option in addition to the above pair of bets:
Year That Kamala Harris Becomes President
- Not Before 2026 -225
- 2025 +400
- 2023 +700
- 2022 +1200
- 2024 +1200
- 2021 +2800
On the surface, this bet seems like it’s the exact same scenario as the first Biden line in our example. However, there are hidden factors to consider. This is where your research comes into play, as those familiar with the procedural nature of US politics will find an edge that others might miss.
Here’s how the outcomes of the above compare to the Biden line for the same dates. It seems like a 1:1 comparison, because if Biden leaves, the VP should take over (Biden’s numbers in parentheses):
- Not Before 2026 -225 (+320)
- 2025 +400 (-150)
- 2023 +700 (+700)
- 2022 +1200 (+900)
- 2024 +1200 (+1200)
- 2021 +2800 (+1600)
Here, if Biden leaves, Kamala Harris should become POTUS per the Presidential line of succession. But the numbers are different because there are caveats.
Consider: If Biden leaves because the 2020 election is deemed fraudulent and the entire administration is bounced, Harris goes with him. Similarly, if the GOP takes back the House and Senate in 2022, they could impeach both Biden and Harris at the same time. If they’re convicted, they’d both be out. That’s why the lines are different.
If you put $100 on each year from 2021 through 2024 – and you think Harris would survive a Biden exit – you’ll make the same minimum guaranteed cash on this line as on the Biden line.
However, because 2021 and 2022 payout much more with these Kamala Harris odds, you have more flexibility here for a bigger potential payout. But you must assume two things: Biden must exit office early, and Harris must be there to replace him.
Once you master these small but crucial aspects of political futures betting, we think you’ll set yourself up for some serious windfalls down the road. Of course, if you want to wager on elections and political odds that vest sooner, you can check out the Republican 2022 Midterm odds, the Democratic 2022 Midterm odds, Trump indictment odds, Senate election odds, House election odds, and much more.
When betting on politics, the choice is yours. And unlike your vote, it actually matters.