Can You Bet On The Weather?

pair of dice with weather symbols on themWhether you think the fact that the proliferation of online betting allows people to bet on virtually anything is a good or a bad thing will be a matter of personal opinion. One thing that can’t be argued, though, is the fact that punters are able to place bets on pretty much whatever they want, provided that they can find a bookmaker willing to offer them odds on the market that they’re hoping to place a wager or two on.

In terms of betting on the weather, the short answer is that it is indeed possible to bet on it, whilst the longer answer is that it depends when and what it is that you want to bet on. Whilst you’re unlikely to find a bookie that has priced up the odds on it raining in a specific location tomorrow, you will be able to bet on whether it will snow on Christmas Day, what the hottest temperature of the year will be and other such more specific markets.

Weather Betting Is Now Common Place

snowman dressed upThere used to be a time when all you were allowed to bet on was horse and dog racing. The love of punters for placing a wager on anything and everything meant that that was unlikely to last, so when bookmakers began to be allowed to open high streets shows they’d take bets on countless different sports. Even then, though, markets were still somewhat limited, so it took something big to change the way in which bets were placed.

That something big turned out to be the launch of online betting, with the move online leading to bookies being able to take bets on a whole host of topics that were previously somewhat off the table. Whether it be the colour of the Queen’s hat on the opening day of Royal Ascot or the winner of the BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year, punters have found that the world of betting has become more and more open with each passing year.

So it is that weather betting has become a common place activity for bettors, with variables like what temperature it will reach on a hot day through to whether an event will see rain stopping play the sort of bets that people can now place. It is a now-thriving betting market, giving people an interesting option to choose from if there’s no sport that they fancy betting on or other novelty markets don’t tickle their fancy.

How To Bet On The Weather

graphic man sweltering in the sunIf you’re interested in placing a bet on the weather then the first thing that you’ll want to do is head to the website of your bookmaker of choice and look for the section where weather betting is included. If they have a ‘Novelty Bets’ or ‘Special Bets’ area then this is a good place to start. When it comes to the actual placing of the bets, it works in much the same way as betting on any other market, insomuch as you choose what you want to bet on and place your wager.

Weather betting is a slightly complex topic, simply because you have to figure out what market it is that you want to opt for. It’s also a seasonal topic, given that you’re unlikely to want to place a wager on record high temperatures in December, just as you’d be a brave person to bet on it snowing in the middle of June. That being said, global warming has made it more likely that we’ll see crazy weather conditions throughout the year.

As with any other form of betting, your wager will be a winning one if you have correctly predicted what the weather will do when you think it will do it, whilst your bet will be a losing one if things don’t turn out how you imagine they will. If you’re thinking of betting on the state of the weather then the best thing that you can do is plenty of research, up to and including having a look to see what the forecast is for the coming days and weeks.

One thing to be aware of, as with all special bets, is you are unlikely to get good value.  Frankly betting on the weather is not that competitive so bookies tend to build in higher margins.  There is also a lot of uncertainty with weather patterns and so betting sites will be conservative when they set their odds.  Therefore, treat betting on the weather as as more of a side bet and don’t go high stakes as you will not get great value.  Payout limits also tend to be a lot lower with novelty bets like this, sometimes as low as £500 or £1000.

Betting Markets You Might Consider

green dice with weather symbols on

There are a surprisingly large number of betting markets that you can opt for when it comes to a wager on the weather, relatively speaking. Here’s a look at some of those markets, including what they entail and what you might want to bear in mind when thinking about placing them. As you might imagine, this list is far from exhaustive but might give you an idea of the sort of bets that you can place.

Hottest Day Of The Year

Bookmakers don’t expect punters to predict the exact date that will feature the hottest day of the year, though you might be able to get odds on such a wager if you use a Request-A-Bet type feature. Instead, you’re looking to decide upon the month that will contain the hottest day for that year. Obviously July will have the lowest odds, so those that imagine in a heatwave in February might be able to get some decent odds as a result.

Cold Weather Bets

Whether you want to place an outrageous wager on something like Big Ben freezing solid or the River Thames freezing over, or you simply want to have a punt at whether or not it will snow on Christmas Day, there are a number of different bets you can place in terms of the colder weather. A bet on it being a white Christmas is one that you have to be careful when you placing, given that the definition of what that means is all-important.

The United Kingdom isn’t exactly well-known for snow in December, in spite of what all of the Christmassy-scenes look like in Hollywood movies. The Met Office, meanwhile, has a very specific definition of what it means to be a white Christmas. Will a single snowflake fall anywhere in the UK during the 24 hours of the 25th of December? If so, they’ll declare it to be a white Christmas. The question is, will your bookmaker of choice agree with them?

Average Rainfall

Do you fancy taking a punt at what the average rainfall will be during a specific period? If so, many bookies will offer you an Over / Under market on exactly that. You’ll be given a number of time periods and an amount of rain that might fall, meaning that your job is to decide whether it will be more or less than the amount of rain offered by the bookmakers. Guess right and you win, get it wrong and you lose.

Climate Change

It is a fact that climate change is happening but there is still great debate about how big the effects will end up being.  Some bigger betting sites are offering markets that allow you to bet on how much average temperature or sea-level will rise above pre-industrial levels by 2050, for example.  These are long term bets generally so be prepared to wait a while for a payout.

You Can Even Invest In The Weather

trader analysing marketsWhere the gambling market leads, it doesn’t take long before the investment market follows. It is with that in mind that it’s worth looking at the fact that you can invest in the weather, should you wish to. You can bet on whether the weather will be warmer than average, for example, or how much snowfall there will be in a specific city. Trading on weather futures has become popular, offering risky but exciting markets.

Just as betting on the weather works in the same way as betting on a sporting event, trading on weather futures is similar to trading on any other commodity’s future. There are contracts that will cover the likes of temperatures, snow, rain, frost and hurricanes, with the buyer earning a payout if the weather does what they expected it to do. As with all trading and betting, the more you know about your market, the more money you’re likely to earn.