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Betting On Novelty And Specials Markets

Betting On Novelty, TV, Political, Non-Sports And Special Markets

Novelty betsNovelty & specials are very popular especially around big events like a government election and similar: the amount of turnover on those big markets in the UK can easily exceed the hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Novelty bets are normally available not only on football but also on non-sports markets and in theory, they cover any betting line that doesn’t fit in the standard sports market categories.

What Are Novelty Bets?

Novelty bets are available on politics, TV shows, awards (i.e. the Oscars), weather, next hosts of the World Cup and so on. In short, if you are able to provide an outcome on something then it is likely that there will be a bookmaker out there ready to give you a price on it. Lots of betting prices also will give you odds on special markets if you reach them.

In regards to specials, the situation is almost the same but some betting sites are surely better than others as they have bigger depth of market and also valuable odds. Specials and Novelty bets are an area where a price from a bookmaker to another can really vary by 100% or more: it is therefore very important that you look around and compare the different odds to ensure you are getting the best price. In this guide, we will show you what are the best bookmakers for specials betting and also the type of bets that you can place and offers to watch out for.

Best Online Bookmakers For Novelty & Specials Betting

Every betting site that we have listed on BestBettingSites.Online will provide at least some markets for Novelty and Specials betting. If you are planning to bet regularly on those type of lines however we suggest to consider the recommended bookmakers below:

Paddy PowerPaddyPower  – A Novelty Bookmaker

Paddy Power is one of the best bookmakers around for Novelty and Specials betting. Paddy Power is a fun bookmaker brand and this means that they have the freedom to host some markets that other betting sites will not date to. After all, it is not surprising that Paddy Power has been in trouble for offering odds on things like Barak Obama not to complete his first presidential term as many saw they were offering a price on his assassination. They also give very controversial odds like on the next species to go extinct as the outcome of the BP oil spill.

They Take Novelty Bet Seriously

When you visit Paddy Power website you can immediately see that they take Novelty Betting very seriously: they have a complete section dedicated to it and also news and opinions to help you make the right selection. You can bet on everything like when alien life will be discovered. Looking at the value side of it we can say that Paddy Power doesn’t have the reputation for very good odds so it is important to check with other bookmakers that you are not getting a low price. Although this is possible for big markets it is more challenging when you can’t get those odds elsewhere.

In some cases, you will also be able to find offers around special bets and those will add value. The majority of markets tend to focus on the UK and Ireland and would be nice to have more internationals opportunities too. Paddy Power Full Review.

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BetfredBetfred  – Best For TV Show Offers

Even if Betfred don’t have the biggest number of special markets they are one of the best for TV specials. If you are interested in betting on a TV show in Britain then you will find very good coverage at Betfred: from X Factor to Celebrity Big Brother they have everything. Another thing to note is that they don’t just provide outright results prices but they do have many lines so that you can keep betting throughout the running of the show.

Betfred has normally very good odds and also they tend to run regular offers to attract more bets on the UK’s biggest TV shows. For example, if you bet on the winner of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and your contestant comes second you will get your bet refunded. Betfred Full Review.

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CoralCoral  – Non-Sports Champion Bookie

Coral do have a dedicated non-sports section where you will be able to find the vast majority of novelty bets. Some markets are also integrated into the sports sections so it is worth also checking there for some specials. In the non-sports area, you will not only find odds but also write-ups on each event they are covering.

Coral tend to have a very good depth of markets and also odds are there with the best in the industry for those lines. This betting site is particularly good when it comes to rewarding loyalty and if you do bet regularly on novelty and specials betting markets than it is almost sure you will get some special deals your way to add value to your gambling activity. Coral Full Review.

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BetwayBetway  – Professional & Innovative

Betway tends to provide a better coverage for non-UK novelty and specials markets. For example, they are providing odds on over 10 TV shows, 5 awards ceremonies, several elections and lots more. UK specials are also covered but here you will find a much broader range of international specials.

Even though you won’t find the funny betting lines that you have a Paddy Power, if you are serious about novelty betting then you have to consider Betway. In addition to that Betway tend to provide very competitive prices and odds are published well in advance.

If you are into virtual and eSports then having an account with Betway is a must as they do have a far better coverage then the vast majority of betting sites. Betway Full Review.

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William HillWilliam Hill  – Huge Depth Of Market

As you would expect from a betting site giant like William Hill they do have a very good coverage of specials. Not only you will find outright markets on every standard market but you will also get a lot of different lines that you won’t necessarily find elsewhere.

On the negative side, you will not get many offers but the depth of markets is impressive for this type of bet. If you are betting for example on a popular event like the Oscars you will be able to bet on every single awards ceremony which is not something that is offered by the majority of other betting sites. William Hill Full Review.

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LadbrokesLadbrokes  – Top For Sports-Specials

Ladbrokes is a massive betting site and they do have a large coverage of every top event with good prices that are published early. They have lots of lines and in most situations, you will find unique markets and decent odds so it is worth to keep Ladbrokes in your betting portfolio if you are serious about Novelty and Specials betting.

We have noticed that Ladbrokes tend to be better for sports-specials compared with non-sports. It surely makes sense to have an account with Ladbrokes if you are keen to bet on more obscure lines that you might not find elsewhere. Ladbrokes Full Review.

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What Are Novelty & Special Bets?

Eurovision Song ContestNovelty betting is a rather modern way of betting which has started to become popular with the arrival of online betting. In the past novelty, bets were placed on a bespoke level: you have to contact the bookmaker and ask them for odds on a specific event. The downside of this was that odds tend to be normally of very poor value due to lack of competition.

The Beginnings Of Novelty Bets

It seems that Novelty bets have started in 1989 when a man from South Wales placed a bet of £30 on five events that will occur before the arrival of the new Millennium and managed to win nearly £200,000.

Since that time lots has changed in regards to novelty bets and now those are offered by all the best betting sites in the world. Some markets have a very high turnover and the British record is when the character Lucy Beale was killed on the UK soap EastEnders.

Novelty bets are normally considered to be a funny way to bet and this is the reason why it is difficult to see professional gamblers keen on those markets. As you would expect some betting sites are doing a better job than others as far as Novelty and Specials bets are concerned: Paddy Power and Coral are leading the pack while BetVictor is rather disappointing in the area.

Recently We Have Seen Better Odds For Novelty Bets

We have noticed though that in the last few years many operators have made an effort to provide more lines and better odds. There is far too much money being bet on those markets to be completely ignored and for this reason, you are going to find all the major events, like the UK general election, covered by all bookmakers.

Novelty bets are also called proposition bets: the reason is that you are betting that an event will or will not happen. Other names are also alternative bets, special bets or non-sports bets.

The reason why bookmakers do not normally like to offer too many novelty markets is that those are pushing odds traders (the people that decide the odds) outside their comfort zones. Operators are also afraid as some special markets are more open to inside information compared with sports markets: professional sportsmen and sportswomen have a different code of conduct that contestants on TV do not necessarily have.

Bookmakers Have Low Trust On Novelty

There have also been cases of corruption in entertainment markets which can carry threats for betting sites (like the ITV phone vote scandal).

The fact that bookmakers have low trust on most novelty and specials markets means that: 1 – extreme caution when it comes to settling the prices; 2 – payout limits are set very low in some cases at £1,000.

It is therefore very important to check that, before you are placing this type of bet, you are not getting very poor odds and that you are not going to exceed the payout limit. for example, lots of novelty lines have high odds (i.e. 100/1) and just a £50 bet could make you go over those limits. For more info on all different bet types visit our dedicated section.

How To Place Novelty & Specials Bets

Novelty and Specials bets work in a very similar way to most other sports bets: you need to predict an outcome or an event to happen. You can, therefore, place either single or multiple bets similarly to what you do in most sports.

The main difference between Novelty and Specials bets and sports bets is that the lines provided are only few and also payout limits are reduced. In this part of the guide, we will be looking at the most common bets available and also how you can get the best value.

Outright Result Betting

The vast majority of novelty bets are outright bets on the outcome of an event before it will begin. This type of bet is available with the vast majority of bookmakers and therefore the competition is high: players will, therefore, be able to get a very good value as betting sites will try to attract punters with more attractive prices.

So if you are planning to bet for example on the outcome of a UK or US political election or on the Oscars you will be able to get a very good price by shopping around some bookmakers. Don’t forget to also look for offers as around top events there are regular money back offers and similar.

Win, Place And Each Way Betting

Win and place betting is popular on special betting. For example, if you are betting on TV competitions that are knock out format you can get a number of places on outright winners. The each way price will be dependent on the win price which is given by lots of bookmakers: so normally odds for this type of bets are of good value. When betting on each-way it is important you check the number of places given and the odds of a place.

Novelty And Special Sports Bets

The vast majority of novelty and special bets can vary hugely and are outside the traditional betting categories. For example, you can bet on sports-related awards like BBC sports personality, the winner of the Ballon D’Or and so on. Depending on the type of betting site you will also find several sports-related markets. For example, a UK bookmaker will be offering bets on David Beckham next sponsor, the name of his first grandchild and so on.

Others common sports-related specials are things like which country is going to host the next World Cup, who will be the next club to move stadium and lots more. Despite the fact that those bets can be fun to place, remember that if others bookmakers are not going to offer them, the value will be low.

TV Specials

Since lots of television shows are done with a knockout format, betting lends itself pretty well. You can bet for example on cooking shows, reality shows but also events to happen in series like a character to be killed off etc. Even if most bookmakers will normally offer just the outright winner odds, others will go down into more markets like the gender of the winner, winning coach or judge, highest points, next eviction and lots more.

If not many bookmakers are offering those odds it is strongly suggested to consider how good the odds are before placing the bet: for example, if you are betting on the gender you would expect odds to be rather close to evens. If those are particularly worse then that, it means that the betting site is building a huge margin on those lines. To avoid leaks, lots of markets will close in advance when there are pre-recorded TV shows.


Betting on politics is very popular and it is second only to TV show. In some betting sites, you can bet on the outcome of every major election in the world. Betway, for example, has a very international focus which means you can get markets that are not normally available in UK traditional bookies. As you would expect Paddy Power will give you a wide coverage of Irish elections too.

Significantly before the event, the majority of bookmakers will only provide prices for outright winners but as you move closer you can normally bet on all sorts of things like the number of seats won, next party leader, overall majority and so on. These markets are likely to be very volatile as the election approaches.


Similarly to TV contests, you can bet on almost everything on Music: Eurovision song contest, Grammys album, the song of the year, the singer of the next James Bond song and many more. It is common for certain bookmakers like Paddy Power to have specials that focus on a single group or artist. For example, One Direction specials can have the names of the band members future children and similar.

Hollywood And Film Specials

One of the best value novelty markets is those that are on major film awards like the BAFTAS or Oscars: this is because a huge number of bookmakers are covering and odds are very competitive. Even if most betting sites will cover some lines, only a few of them will have the same market depth so if you want to bet for example on ‘best makeup artist’ you may need to shop around a bit.

There are also more generic markets like who will be the next James Bond and others.

Current Affairs

In this category, you can bet on general things like who will be the next pope or archbishop, next Nobel peace prize winner, etc. This is a category where it is frequent for punters to propose their own bets to betting sites. So, if you are keen on betting on something but can’t find the odds anywhere do not hesitate to contact the bookmaker and ask them for related odds. Don’t expect great values for those but still, you will get a price in most cases.


This type of novelty bet is very popular especially in the UK where the majority of the population is traditionally obsessed with the weather. This line is particularly popular around Christmas with markets like it is going to snow on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. It is also common during the summer with lines like ‘will the UK temperature record be broker’.

Lottery Specials

Lottery Specials is quite popular and has more lines that you might think of. For example, you can bet on the colour of the first or last ball, the lowest or highest drawn number, if it will be a rollover etc. Since the majority of those lines only have two outcomes it is pretty easy to determine how much value you are getting from the odds offered.

Other Novelty Bets

We could go on forever with Novelty Bets as if you propose a wager to a bookmaker then they will normally create a market for it or give you odds personally. Some other betting markets are Miss World or Miss Universe, Royal Specials, Royal Baby specials and lots more. There have also been markets like who will have the most twitter followers by the end of the year.

Accumulator And Full Cover Novelty Bets

It is completely possible, in most cases, to place multiple bets on novelty lines. You can combine a special market with any other bet: so, for example, you can bet on the X-factor winner, Liverpool to beat Arsenal and so on. Similarly, it shouldn’t be any problem to place a full cover bet on things like lucky 15 or a Yankee using those selections.

If you decide to place an accumulator bet with novelty or specials bets make sure you will check the payouts limits: those are normally capped on the event in your multiple with the lowest payout.

Handicap, Conditional, Spread And Forecast Betting

It is also possible to place handicap, forecast, conditional and spread bets on any novelty markets: the main issue is that it will be challenging to find a betting site that are providing those lines since those type of bets are not popular.

Having said that we have seen some of these lines available around elections like spread betting on the total number of seats achieved, conditional betting on a number of outcomes and forecasting the order of winners. It makes sense, however, to contact the bookmaker first if you are planning to make similar bets to see what they can offer.

Live In Play Betting

Live betting on novelty events is available sometimes but not always. When there are big events like the UK general election many betting sites will run live betting from the moment the polling stations close until the results are announced. This also tends to happen around popular awards shows like the BBC sports personality, the Ballon D’Or or the Eurovision Song Contest.

Since the majority of TV Shows are pre-recorded they don’t have in play betting and this is also the reason why normally betting close days or weeks in advance of the show.

News, Results And Statistics

Some betting sites take Novelty and Specials bets so seriously that they have created entire sections of their websites to provide news and opinion features to their punters. It is not uncommon to find news, stats or gossip on sites like Paddy Power and Coral for example. Generally, however, this is a market where you will be able to find lots of information around: if you are backing an election or a TV show result then you will probably find lots of content online or on TV so that you can make your own mind with better ammunition.

Live Streaming And Commentary

Given the nature of novelty bets, you won’t find live streaming as such. If you are betting on an ITV television show you will be able to watch the event on TV and not on the bookmaker. The majority of the things you can bet in this area tends to be broadcast on free to air TV so there is no room for live streaming.

In some situations, bookmakers will provide some graphic that will allow you to keep track of the action if you are not in front of the TV. But the fun part of betting on things like the Eurovision song is to do it while watching on TV so this is surely the best option.

Novelty Betting Controversies

voidMany bookmakers are wary of the majority of TV shows since there have been irregularities in the past. This is the main reason why odds and payouts are normally poor for novelty betting markets.

In 2005 there were irregularities on the British Comedy Awards and on Dancing on Ice and in 2015 Britain’s Got Talent was contested as the winner used a stunt-dog which lead to many bets being voided. If betting sites are getting the sniff of foul play they will immediately cancel a market.

Odds And Payouts

As we have clearly highlighted in this guide odds for novelty betting tend to be generally disappointing (those bets are more open to fixing). If you are betting on the outright winner you should normally get decent odds as this is a competitive market where you shouldn’t get more than a 10% edge built into the book. If, however, you venture yourself into more obscure markets then odds will be generally disappointing: you might get odds of 100/1 for something to happen while in reality, the odds would be close to 100,000,000/1.


LimitsIf you are betting on novelty expect payouts limits to be rather low: if you are betting on a price of 100/1 only a few quids can bring you already over the £1,000 which is the average payout limit for most bookmakers for those types of bets. Before committing and placing a bet it is strongly advised to check the payout limits to avoid disappointments down the line.

As we have seen, not only bookmakers have a bit wary of some novelty markets, but also most of the factors that influence these bets are based on human opinion and this is something very hard to predict: this is why markets are normally under-priced and payouts have low limits. Having said there are exceptions and below we have made an example with two bookies that are sitting at the opposite ends of the range:

Bookmaker A

Politics – £5000
Special and Non-Sports events – £5000

Bookmaker B

Politics – £250,000
All other non-sports markets – £10,000