How do I place a bet?

Simply click on the proposition that interests you, then click “Bet”. You will be prompted for your BTC address (where bet winnings go), after which you will be given a BTC address to send your bet in. Please note that all transactions will be listed on the bet page, so do not send from any address that you would like to keep private. The beneficiary address is never changed under any circumstances. Please make sure you own it!

How long does it take for my bet to be processed?

Your bet is accepted once it shows up in the list displayed on each bet page, which occurs after the transaction containing your payment receives one confirmation on the bitcoin network. There is relatively little we can do to speed things up. There is however a lot you can do. Most importantly : include a reasonable transaction fee. Also useful : keep a well connected, low latency peer. Obviously, transactions that you doublespend will never confirm at all.

Note that it is your responsibility to make sure you are not betting on events that have already occured. For such cases, please see What if I bet after a bet is closed?

Then what happens if I win?

If you place a bet on the winning side your winnings will be sent to the BTC address you entered. This may be an online wallet, a Bitstamp wallet, whatever. Ideally however it is an address you control. Please note that all transactions will be listed on the bet page, so do not use any address that you would like to keep private.

What does “closed” and “resolved” mean?

All bets have a specified end time and date. At that time, the bet will be closed automatically. In some circumstances bets may be closed early, if the bet has been definitely satisfied before the specified date. For example, a bet on whether one BTC will be worth less than one LTC at any point during the month of June would normally close early July. However, should one BTC be worth less than one LTC on June 14th, the bet will close early, on June 14th.

All closed bets will be resolved by BitBet moderators, winners being paid immediately after resolution. Over 887 bets resolved so far, resolution of closed bets took a total of 52`670`539 seconds, with a mean (the usual average) of 59`380 seconds, a median (the 444th element in the ordered list of 887 time intervals) of 29`723 seconds, a mode (the most frequent time interval) of 2`111 seconds and a total range of 2`892`174 seconds. The wide range is mostly due to the Mila Kunis to win FHM’s Sexiest Woman 2013 bet, where FHM simply delayed the announcement for two months for no reason and with no explanation.

While we make every effort to keep delays at a minimum, the misbehaviour of third parties on which bets may rely for resolution is not something we can directly control, at least not so far. On the general principle that people make bets in order for differences to be resolved, not deferred BitBet will cancel bets that can’t stand, but will always attempt to award where an actual controversy exists. You are well advised to consider the quality of the proposed resolution source before making a bet.

The foregoing notwithstanding, BitBet will not hold bets unresolved forever.

How are winnings calculated?

Every bet has two sides. Every bettor on the winning side will receive as follows : 99% of his original bet sum (1% goes to BitBet.us) plus 99% of his bet times the total bet by the losing side multiplied by his bet’s total weight and divided by the winning side total weight.

For a practical example consider the famous Josh Zerlan bet. Total losing pool was 791.28 BTC. Total winning weight was 63`783`932. Let’s consider the first bet, 0.11 BTC. It got in at 99`922 weight. This bet would thus receive 99% of 0.11, so 0.1089 plus 99% of 0.11 * 791.28 * 99`922 / 63`783`932 = 0.134991959. So in total he should receive 0.243891959 (The amt listed on the site, ie 0.24389335 differs slightly. The reason is that the loser pool is listed as truncated to two decimals for space considerations, but the actual engine uses the full value. This will make us constantly if slightly underevaluate winnings.)

An important point to consider is that if the “plus” side of that calculation does not exceed the 1% charged by BitBet it is possible to win less BTC than the original bet. So for instance if someone bets 10`000 BTC and the losing side consists of 1 BTC only then the 10`000 bettor will have lost 100 BTC in BitBet fees for a maximum upside of 1 BTC (because obviously he can’t win more than what the other people have bet).

The same applies for late bets, if the odds are even money (1:1) then a bet made at weight 1`000 or under is unlikely to walk away whole, even should it win. If the odds are 10:1 in favour of the winning side that weight cutoff becomes 10`000. If the odds are 10:1 against the winning side then that weight cutoff becomes 100. As a general rule of thumb the sooner you bet, the more BTC you stand to gain.

What if I created a bet address but can’t bet right now?

Once you enter a receiving address and are given a send-to address, you have 3 days (72 hours) to send your bet. If your bet does not make it within 72 hours then that address will be reclaimed. BitBet will be unable to send you your BTC back, as they will have probably been allocated to someone else’s bet! Always make sure that you send your first bet on a created address within 3 days of its creation.

Once you have sent your bet that address becomes reserved for you, and will remain active for the duration of the bet. You can subsequently send more BTC in order to take the same position, they will be added (at a new weight). This should save you significant time if you are interacting with the site programatically.

Do not send BTC after betting has closed. Any BTC sent to addresses allocated to a bet after betting has closed will be kept by BitBet and distributed to shareholders as dividends.

What if I bet after a bet is closed?

You’re screwed. BitBet will keep your bet, report it as revenue (under the gracious donations to shareholders heading in the monthly reports) and distribute it to shareholders.

Do not bet after a bet is closed, and just to be on the safe side don’t bet on a proposition that’s imminently going to close (such as don’t bet after the condition of the bet has been satisfied in the hopes of peeling some BTC off the suckers that took the risk). Also, it’s always a good idea to include a fee in your transaction: they aren’t really that much and the network depends on them by design.

Can bets be cancelled?

Bets can indeed be cancelled, but only if BitBet judges that material changes make the bet meaningless. Once a bet is cancelled all BTC bet is refunded to the associated payout addresses – not to the originating addresses.

Bets will not be cancelled because it became impossible for one side to win – in such cases bets are closed and paid early instead. Bets will not be cancelled simply at the request of a third party, and generally BitBet will attempt to resolve rather than cancel any bets that harbor a legitimate controversy.

We do review comments made for cases where bets should be cancelled or closed early.

Can I create a bet of my own?

Sure. Click on the “Add A New Bet” link. You will have to come up with a title and description, propose a Resolution Date and Bet By interval (number of days before the Resolution Date) and select the proper category.

Next, a BitBet Moderator will review your proposed bet. If the bet is acceptable as per our policies, the Moderator will establish the Resolution Date and Bet By interval (which may or may not coincide with your suggestions) and your bet will be published and funded.

Your bet being funded means that BitBet will split a total pool of 0.1 BTC (or more) between the two sides of your proposed bet. Your own address will be linked to the smaller amount. This way you can earn BTC by proposing interesting, worthwhile new bets.

There is, of course, no guarantee that BitBet will accept your bet. You can help this by funding your bet yourself, but even so we will not accept bets that fall in the BadBets range.

What bets are BadBets?

First and foremost, statements that can not univocally be established as either true or false at a certain point in the future are BadBets and as such unacceptable on BitBet. For instance, “God Exists” is unacceptable, because it can never be established as either true or false. “God will change Coke to Pepsi on August 19th, 2013” is also unacceptable, also because it can never be established as true or false (even if the change of Coke to Pepsi could allegedly be established).

Then, any bet to do with breaking the law (specifically, murder, but also arson, theft, general destruction and mayhem) is a BadBet and not allowed on BitBet. So, bets such as “President Obama will be shot on December the 19th between 18:30:00 and 19:00:00 UTC”, “The Empire State building will burn to the ground sometime in June 2013”, “A crowd of at least five hundred protestors will not throw tomatoes at Nicole Kidman during the Cannes” and so forth are all unacceptable.

Also, bets which are not really bets but moreover advertising, advocacy, rambling nonsense and such are unacceptable on BitBet.

What makes bets more likely to be accepted?

Read your proposed bet. Is it clear, comprehensible and does it make sense? Would you want to bet on this? Can you see yourself taking either side? Is resolution going to be obvious once the resolution date comes? If the answer to any of these three questions is “no”, your bet could take some refining.

Sending a bet yourself at the time of proposition (known as a zeroconf bet) also helps – in some cases it’s actually a requisite.

Does BitBet take a fee?

Yes, BitBet will distribute to the winners of any bet 99% of all the bets and keep 1% as a fee.

Could I become an affiliate?

Sure. Simply send traffic to any link on bitbet.us adding “?ref=YOUR-BTC-ADDRESS” at the end of the link. You will be credited 1% of all deposits made by anyone you refer for 30 days (normal cookie identification).

Can I advertise on BitBet?

Send your creatives by email for approval, you’ll be provided a BTC address for payment and you’re good to go.

BitBet uses a simple rotation to handle ads. The minimum payment is 0.1, there is no maximum. Your banner will be shown for one month in proportion to the total pool (so if you pay 1 BTC and the total pool that month is 5 BTC, you will get 20% of impressions). Note that animated GIFs are not allowed.