Novelty betting

A novelty bet is a bet on an outcome that's not sport-related, such as the winner of a presidential election or the gender of a baby about to be born to royalty.

novelty bettingAlthough novelty betting can’t compare to sports betting in market share, it offers some excellent betting opportunities. Also, because novelty bets are often placed on current events, they’re of potential interest to a greater variety of people than sports events.

Events commonly targeted for novelty betting markets include:

  • political events like elections
  • high-profile talent contests like the X Factor and Idols
  • awards ceremonies like the Oscars and Grammys
  • the gender of a baby born to a royal or celebrity couple
  • events in popular culture, like how long a band will stay together or how many seasons a television series will remain on air.

Bookmakers can offer markets on literally anything. Some have even got themselves into hot water by setting up politically incorrect markets – for example, offering odds on whether Barack Obama would be assassinated in office.

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Why novelty betting can be profitable

Novelty betting differs from sports betting in some important ways. Bookmakers use methods that have been refined over centuries, together with complex software, to calculate probabilities and determine the odds of outcomes in sports events. The same isn’t true for novelty betting.

The factors that will affect the outcome of a current event are harder to identify and measure, and more difficult to use in probability calculations. Because it’s difficult for a bookmaker to come up with accurate odds for novelty bets, you and the bookmaker are on even ground. If you’re very familiar with the topic you’re betting on, you may even have an advantage over the bookmaker.

Where to place novelty bets

Novelty bets aren’t offered by all bookies, and some offer a greater variety of novelty betting markets than others. Here are a few of the best bookmakers to use if you’re interested in placing novelty bets:

Paddy Power

Paddy Power is the market leader in novelty betting, and has put its own irreverent spin on its markets. Novelty markets on offer range from political events, to events in the lives of the Royal Family, future church leaders, the outcome of television shows and winners of major awards and prizes.

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William Hill

William Hill emphasises television shows and politics in its novelty betting markets. Odds are offered on the outcomes of the most popular reality TV and talent shows, and on the results of major election campaigns in the United States and United Kingdom.  

Place a novelty bet at William Hill


bet365 primarily offers novelty betting on television shows and politics. You can find the novelty betting markets listed under bet365 Sports under the 'specials' heading.

Place a novelty bet at bet365


Boylesports offers novelty betting markets for politics and entertainment. You can find the novelty betting markets listed in Boylesports 'sports' section.

Place a novelty bet at Boylesports