DISCLAIMER: I have a two disclaimers to make:
- This article discusses betting related to political events, but should NOT be taken as actual betting advice-explicit or implied. This article is for entertainment purposes only and expresses ONLY the betting opinions (and other opinions) of the writer, Brandon James.
- This article will delve into a little bit of political information simply because that’s completely unavoidable for the purposes of this article. All opinions in this article are designed to be politically neutral and Brandon James should not be seen as taking a stance on any matters involving the elections.
To the extent that current happenings are discussed, any such discussion is meant only to reflect what has happened---not Brandon James’ opinion of any of it. Anything that comes off as political opinion---one way or the other---is unintentional.
AND WITH THAT OUT OF THE WAY, this article is going to relate back to this one.
Okay, so what we’re going to do is take some snippets from my above-linked article and get into the results. For the purposes of simplicity, ALL results will ASSUME you already had money on PredictIt. The reason why is because many of the binary wagers (options) I proposed were predicated on NOT eating the eventual withdrawal fees on new monies added.
SPOILER ALERT: We won every single bet that I recommended and said I would also do.
Which Party Will Win California in 2020: Democrat $0.94, Republican $0.08:
This is free money, but only if you already have money on Predictit. There is no way in a million years that Joe Biden loses in California.
The only problem with this option is that you can’t really deposit funds to make this bet. The reason why is because you would bet $94 to purchase 100 shares. WHEN you win, 0.6 cents of your profits will be subtracted from your result, but that’s going to round up to the nearest penny and be a loss of $0.01/share.
The thing that was expected came to fruition. We bought 100 theoretical shares for $94, we made $0.06 per share, but had to give $0.01/share back in fees, for profits of $0.05/share.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $94
RUNNING PROFIT: $5.00
Which Party Will Win Hawaii in 2020: Democrat $0.94, Republican $0.06:
This is the same question as California in an even safer state for him than that one. I don’t know how a state can BE safer than California, but based on state polling, this one is.
Again, this is only useful if you already have funds in PredictIt and just want to grow your balance.
This is the exact same thing as above.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $188
RUNNING PROFIT: $10.00
Which Part Will Win Ohio in 2020?: Democrats $0.30, Republican $0.73
For this one, I felt like I had identified value on the Democrat side of this binary, but explicitly said that I wouldn’t bet it because there was too much, “Guaranteed money,” available elsewhere. The inefficiencies created on virtually sure things are so numerous that there’s really no reason to ever really gamble on PredictIt.
Which Party Will Win Pennsylvania in 2020?: Democrats $0.60, Republicans $0.44
Say what you want, but of all of the state polls, only three in as many months have had Trump winning. Not only would the polls (in aggregate) have to miss outside of the margin of error for Trump to win Pennsylvania, but there would also need to be a sort of systemic polling bias that’s experienced amongst all pollsters such as to render polls meaningless.
Once again, I liked the Democratic side in this one and that side was a winner. Unlike Ohio, I remarked that there might eventually be enough there for me to take this line had it moved a bit more towards Republicans winning.
Leading up to Election Day, the result never really dipped enough for me to want it.
However, if you had been paying close attention on Election Day, then you would have had an opportunity where the two numbers completely flipped.
For those REALLY paying attention, that’s because Trump did fairly well when it comes to in-person voting in the state. However, those familiar with the way the PA election worked would know that a substantial number of ballots were mail-in AND that they were not allowed to even start counting those ballots until Election Day.
I was familiar with the mail-in and counting process and was paying attention on Election Night; I just wish it would have occurred to me in time to pass the word along in a previous article.
Plenty of ways to win on this one. One way would simply be to take Republican and, “Sell the spike,” but another way would have been to take the Republican for $0.44 (when the article was written) and then (if you had anticipated the Election Day shift) flip and take the Democratic side of it for a similar amount. Just hold both until resolution and you couldn’t lose.
Anyway, nothing for the running total in this one because I never announced if I ended up taking it or not.
Vermont and Washington
***Vermont and Washington are basically variations of Hawaii and California for the same reasons. It’s not much free money (and it ONLY works if you already have money on the site) but it’s there for the taking if you want it.
This one was STRICTLY only if you had money on the site. If you had to deposit money to take buy a side of these options, then you would have lost money overall despite winning on the binary option. (After fees)
Popular Vote Question---Which Party Will Win the Popular Vote?
There are too many possibilities here to list as they all include percentages.
As of the time of this writing, don’t take any of them. Instead, look at this:
The total on Democrats winning the popular vote in the percentage question is $0.83 if you want to cover every possible way they could do it, whereas it’s only $0.82 to say that Trump will NOT win the popular vote.
Listen, it ain’t happening. If Trump didn’t beat Hillary Clinton (the second least favorable candidate---by favorability rating polls---in history) then he’s not going to beat somebody who actually has a net positive favorability rating.
This is another good one if you already have money on the site. In my opinion, Democrats should be 95%---at an absolute minimum---to win the popular vote. Because of that you will win $0.18 per share if that happens of which you will lose 1.8 cents in fees for gains of 16.2 cents per share. You will lose 5% of that (if you already have money on the site---otherwise---you’re also losing 5% of whatever you must deposit) for another .81 cents leaving 15.39 cents.
Okay, so I could have probably explained my position on this one more clearly.
At the time of that writing, there were two different ways you could have the Democrats winning the popular vote:
- Bet the YES on the applicable binary straight up.
- Bet the YES on every possible binary involving the Democrats winning.
The problem I identified with #2 (which also included some Trump popular vote scenarios) is that the 10% Commission on your wins would have been greater. Therefore, I wanted the TRUMP-NO for $0.82 per share.
Those 100 shares win to the tune of $0.18/share, which results in actual gains of $0.16/share.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $270
RUNNING PROFITS: $26.00
Electoral College Guaranteed Win?
Okay, this is going to be a really weird one, so check this out:
GOP 280+--No $0.97
GOP 210-279---No $0.97
GOP 150-209---No $0.95
GOP 100-149---No $0.87
GOP 60-99---N0 $0.85
GOP 30-59---No $0.90
GOP 10-29---No $0.95
GOP 0-9---No $0.97
Dems 1-9---No $0.98
Dems 10-29---No $0.96
Dems 30-59---No $0.95
Dems 60-99---No $0.93
Dems 100-149---No $0.87
Dems 150-209---No $0.85
Dems 210-279---No $0.89
Dems 279+---No $0.90
Okay, so if you took every single one of the Nos at those prices, you would pay a total of $14.76 per set of shares as long as you can get these prices.
The way this is going to work is kind of weird. The worst result possible for you on these sixteen unique bets is that you will lose $0.98 on one of them, which will leave you with $13.78 of the original monies bet. However, that will mean that the other fifteen bets win by default, which results in total winnings of $1.22 per set of shares.
Okay, so the theory behind this was that you could take the NO on every single possibility and, as long as you could bet them all at the same time, there would be no way to lose. The reason why is because you only lose on one of these and the commissions are such a small amount of all of the ones you would win.
Okay, so Biden won by 74, so let’s see how we did:
GOP 280+--No $0.97---Win $0.02/share after fee ($2.00)
GOP 210-279---No $0.97---Win $0.02/share after fee ($2.00)
GOP 150-209---No $0.95---Win $0.04/share after fee ($4.00)
GOP 100-149---No $0.87---Win $0.11/share after fee ($11.00)
GOP 60-99---N0 $0.85---Win $0.13/share after fee ($13.00)
GOP 30-59---No $0.90---Win $0.09/share after fee ($9.00)
GOP 10-29---No $0.95---Win $0.04/share after fee ($4.00)
GOP 0-9---No $0.97---Win $0.02/share after fee ($2.00)
Dems 1-9---No $0.98---Win $0.01/share after fee ($1.00)
Dems 10-29---No $0.96---Win $0.03/share after fee ($3.00)
Dems 30-59---No $0.95---Win $0.04/share after fee ($4.00)
Dems 60-99---No $0.93---Lose (-$93.00)
Dems 100-149---No $0.87---Win $0.11/share after fee ($11.00)
Dems 150-209---No $0.85---Win $0.13/share after fee ($13.00)
Dems 210-279---No $0.89---Win $0.09/share after fee ($9.00)
Dems 279+---No $0.90---Win $0.09/share after fee ($9.00)
In total, our winnings equal $97.00 vs. the loss of $93 for a profit of $4.00. The key to this one was that we could take the NO on every single option knowing that we were going to win.
Hell, the bettor could even have maxed out on Dems 279+ as an impeccably good value option. Can you imagine? The Democrats would have needed 408 Electoral votes (assuming one Faithless Elector, or 409 without) in order for that to happen.
But, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that you could have covered every NO and be guaranteed a profit.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $1,746 ($270 w/o big bet)
RUNNING PROFITS: $30.00 ($26 w/o big bet)
The one thing about this option was that it only works if you already had money on the site. The reason why is because you will ultimately eat a 5% withdrawal fee which makes this bet a loser on new monies. The only reason that I’m even listing it for these results is I thought that was a pretty slick thing to have identified.
Kanye Third Best?
You can get the, “No,” on Kanye West getting the third most popular votes for $0.93/share. I swear on my life this is a thing as of the time of this writing. Jo Jorgensen will get the third most votes and you should collect some free bucks on this Kanye West, “No,” if you already have money on the site. It’s not much, but it’s being given to you.
Come on, this was stupid.
At the time of that writing, Jo Jorgensen YES for third was actually at $0.94, and you would have needed her to do it (which was not in doubt), but $0.93 NO for anyone not named Kanye is obviously better.
With a total of around 60,000 votes, Kanye West came nowhere near third.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $1,839 ($363 w/o big bet)
RUNNING PROFITS: $36.00 ($32 w/o big bet)
New York for Biden---YES $0.92:
This is better than the California and Hawaii ones. Take this if you already have money on the site as this is 99.99999% likely to happen. Even if you don’t have money on the site, you could deposit and make a small guaranteed profit with this one.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED: $1,931 ($455 w/o big bet)
RUNNING PROFITS: $43.00 ($39 w/o big bet)
The closest we came to actually gambling is when we took the Democrats to win the popular vote, or more specific to the bet, Trump NOT to win the popular vote. Biden won the popular vote by 4.4%, largely by running up the numbers in populous liberal-leaning states, but the point is that 4.4% (in popular vote terms) is not at all close.
RUNNING AMOUNT WAGERED (100 shares on each): $1,931 ($455 w/o big bet)
RUNNING PROFITS: $43.00 ($39 w/o big bet)
I have included the running amounts wagered (based on 100 shares of each option) and the running profits. The, “Big bet,” refers to the guaranteed winner of taking, “NO,” on every single Electoral College vote difference between the two. However, if you did not already have money on the site, you would be looking at the, “W/O Big Bet,” totals because that EC bet is not a winner if you have to deposit because you’ll eat 5% of all monies (deposit included) upon cashing out.
Another thing is that the returns are actually better than what I used. I assumed a roundup to the highest penny for the 10% fee on a per share basis, (because that was easy to do in my head) but by buying 100 shares of everything, you would pay exactly 10% on your gains every time.
If you were buying into PredictIt for the purposes of only these bets, you would have deposited $455 with profits (after 10% fee) of $43 for a total of $498. However, you must pay a withdrawal fee of 5% on all monies, which means that you would withdraw an actual total of $473.1 for profits of $18.10 on $455 bet for a return of 103.978% or +3.978%.
None of these outcomes were ever really in doubt, which demonstrates the inefficiencies that are often created in semi-legitimate or legitimate binary markets that are often exploitable. One exploitable inefficiency identified (but only if you already had money on the site that 5% of which is lost to withdrawal fees anyway) was being able to guarantee a profit by taking the NO on every single Electoral College vote difference result.
If you are going to use PredictIt, then I would generally recommend playing for only, “Sure things,” and leaving any funds in there unless you really need them for something. The reason why is because of the 5% withdrawal fee, so if you withdraw and then deposit anew (and have winnings) you’ll essentially pay 5% on the same money multiple times.
Either that, or you can just play with a fixed amount deposited and withdraw any profits over and over again, as long as they will let you keep doing that.