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Manifold FAQ

Everything you wanted to know about Manifold Markets in one place!


What is a prediction market?

Prediction markets allow you to bet on the outcome of future events.

The prices for shares on each outcome can be interpreted as the probability that the underlying event will happen and track what market participants in aggregate believe.

As more people trade on the market, the probability estimate converges to reflect the truth. Since these probabilities are public, anyone can use them to make more informed decisions.

On Manifold, anyone can create their own prediction market about any question they want! We believe prediction markets are not only the best way to forecast difficult questions, but also a fun way to interact with friends, build communities over shared interests, and facilitate the sharing of information.

An example

Consider a prediction market on a question like: "Will Democrats win the 2024 US presidential election?"

If the market is currently displaying a probability of 50%, but you believe that the true chance is higher, you can purchase shares at a cost $0.50/share that will pay out $1 if the Democrats win. Suppose the true probability is 60%, then you will make $0.10 for each share you purchase in expectation.

Now, you or I could be mistaken and overshooting the true probability one way or another. If so, there's now a monetary incentive for someone else to bet and correct it! Over time, the implied probability will converge to the market's best estimate.

Explainer video

Can prediction markets work without real money?

Yes! You can track Manifold's predictive track record in real time from our platform calibration page.

Beside our own platform, there is substantial evidence that play-money prediction markets provide real forecasting power. Examples include sports betting and internal prediction markets at firms like Google.

Traders in a play-money environments are competing for the social prestige and sense of progression that come from predicting and trading well.

Using Manifold

What is mana (M)?

Mana (M) is the play-money used by our platform to keep track of your bets. It cannot be converted to cash. All users start with M500 for free.

As the native currency of Manifold Markets, mana is backed by the ability to create, subsidise, promote, and bet in markets on the platform.

In addition, you can also purchase more mana or convert your mana earnings into real charitable donations at a rate of M100 to $1.

How can I earn mana?

The most obvious way is by trading well and having a market resolve in your favour. But, there are plenty of other ways to earn mana:

  • Unique trader bonus As the creator of a market, Manifold will give you M5 each time a unique user bets on your market. This bonus is capped per market at 100 unique traders.

  • Daily betting streaks There is a daily betting bonus of M10. For each consecutive day you bet, this is increased in increments of M5 up to a maximum of M50 per day. Your betting streak can be viewed at the top right of your profile page.

  • Referring friends Receive M250 for each person who signs up when you share a market or group! Make sure they use your link and place at least one trade after signing up.

  • Purchase mana

What types of questions can I use Manifold Markets to answer?

There are loads of different ways you can use our markets to answer your questions. Most of our users tend to interact with a whole mixture of markets.

Here are some of the top use cases for our markets, with corresponding examples.


News & current events

Impactful causes / Research

Project management

Can be used for personal projects, startups, or even large intra-company processes.

What are some best practices when creating markets?

There are several things you can do to create high-quality, impactful markets:

  • Set clear resolution criteria This is needed so users know how you are going to decide on what the correct answer is. Some questions have obvious conditions for resolution, however, others may be more ambiguous. It is your job to make sure that there are clear boundaries for each answer so users can confidently bet.
  • Have a resolution date Markets have a set closing date, but sometimes the date you intend to resolve the market is less obvious. If necessary, make sure you include an estimated time of resolution in the description.
  • Use the rich text editor Sometimes simple markets are the best. In other cases using the rich text editor to create a structured description including any context or background information can be extremely valuable. You can even add supporting images and other embeds. See Rich text editor for instructions on all the fancy formatting you can do!
  • Add it to a group Groups are the primary way users filter for relevant markets. Please be careful to only add it to relevant groups. Try to add it to specific groups instead of really general ones. Also, consider making your own groups and inviting friends/interested communities to them from other sites!
  • Make your own prediction Add a comment with your own prediction and explain (with links and sources) supporting it. This can help get the ball rolling and encourage others to interact with your comment with their own views.
  • Share your market! Post your market to other social networks that have communities that would be interested in your question.
  • Subsidise your market! Add mana to the liquidity pool or set up some limit orders to increase the potential profit traders can make.
  • Unlisted markets Choose to unlist your market if you don’t want it to be on the public feeds or if it breaches our guidelines. It can still be discovered through groups and your profile page.

How do I become a good trader?

There is a lot of easy Mana floating around waiting for you to snatch up! A good first step is to have a firm understanding of what various numbers mean and understanding how to track your portfolio.

Here are some other tips to get you started:

  • Find inaccurate probabilities Use your superior knowledge on topics to identify markets which have inaccurate probabilities. This gives you favourable odds, so bet accordingly to shift the probability to what you think it should be.
  • React to news Markets are dynamic and ongoing events can drastically affect what the probability should look like. Be the keenest to react and there is a lot of Mana to be made.
  • Buy low, sell high Similar to a stock market, probabilities can be overvalued and undervalued. If you bet (buy shares) at one end of the spectrum and subsequently other users buy even more shares of that same type, the value of your own shares will increase. Sometimes it will be most profitable to wait for the market to resolve but often it can be wise to sell your shares and take the immediate profits. This can also be a great way to free up Mana if you are lacking funds and see a better opportunity.
  • Create innovative answers Certain free response markets provide room for creativity! The answers themselves can often affect the outcome based on how compelling they are. Being the first to bet on an answer generally gives the best odds!
  • Sort by close date This will show you the markets that will close the soonest. Most of these markets will tend to have converged to one extreme leaving not much room for profit. However, you will find some that haven’t. These are great to bet on as you won’t have to wait a long time for a potential return on investment.
  • Sort by newest This may allow you to find markets which haven’t had enough bets to converge to an accurate probability allowing you to snatch up some cheap shares.

Resolving markets

How does resolving markets work?

Whoever created the market gets to resolve it! Manifold Markets puts trust in its users to resolve their own markets in a timely and accurate manner. We generally will not intervene and resolve a market ourselves outside of exceptional circumstances. We do encourage creators to set clear resolution criteria in advance.

  • The creator is free to use their judgment.
    • This allows for many new kinds of prediction markets to be created that are less objective. (E.g. "Will I enjoy participating in the Metaverse in 2023?")
  • Markets creators who are known to be reputable will earn followers and more activity on their questions.
  • Check out the resolution section in the community guidelines.

How should I resolve a market?

Markets should be resolved in a timely fashion once the resolution conditions are met.

If a market closes and there won’t be a resolution in the foreseeable future, consider editing and extending the closing date.

  • For Yes/No markets it is generally recommended to resolve fully to one outcome. Only resolve to a particular probability (PROB) if you have a good justification for it.
  • Resolving to PROB allows you to choose a specific % if you think the outcome lies between Yes and No.
  • When resolving Free response and multiple choice markets, you can resolve fully to one answer, or select multiple and the % of the winnings you want to go towards each type of share.

What does resolving to N/A do?

Resolving a market to N/A effectively cancels the market. We try not to punish creators for resolving to N/A as there are valid scenarios for using it (eg. conditional markets, controversial resolution criteria).

This means that:

  • All users who have traded on the market have their mana returned to them.
  • Any user who made a profit by selling shares before resolution will have that mana subtracted from their balance. This could lead to a negative balance in some cases.
  • All liquidity providers will have their mana returned to them, including the initial amount it cost to make the market.

Don’t abuse resolving to N/A as it inflicts an opportunity cost on bettors.

Closed versus resolved markets

Closed market

  • When a market is closed, nothing is finalised however trading is halted.
  • Resolution criteria for an outcome have not yet been met.
    • If there are then write a comment @’ing the creator asking them to resolve it.
  • No one can make bets.
  • No one can sell out of current positions.
  • Can be edited by the creator to reopen the market and extend the close date.

Resolved market

  • Resolution criteria for an outcome have been met.
  • Creator chooses the correct answer.
  • Winners are paid out and loans are taken back.
  • Is irreversible.

Market mechanics

How are prices and probabilities set in the market?

Prices are set by traders buying or selling shares in outcomes of events. The more shares traders buy, the higher the price will be.

The probability is the value implied by the current market price. For instance, if YES shares currently cost 0.75M, that implies a probability of 75% for the event associated the market.

Manifold uses an automated market maker to automatically adjust the market price in response to traders buying and selling.

What are shares?

Whenever you place a bet, you spend mana to buy shares of a particular outcome.

The number of shares you own determines your pay-out when the market resolves. Each correct share is worth M1 at resolution.

Example: In a YES / NO market, if you own 300 YES shares, you will earn M300 if the market resolves YES and M0 if the market resolves NO.

We do a calculation behind the scenes to determine what the price of each share is. The greater the probability of the outcome, the more expensive that type of share will be. So if the market probability is 3% then the NO shares will be super expensive (giving you a bad pay-out), but yes shares will be cheap.

Due to the price of shares fluctuating with the probability you can potentially “buy low and sell high” similar to how you might on a stock market. Selling shares will always give you less value than waiting for a correct resolution, but may be less risky.

How do payouts work?

Manifold uses two completely different market mechanisms for binary and free-response markets.

Fixed pay-out

  • Used by binary (YES/NO) & numeric markets
  • Users’ potential profits are locked in at the moment they place their trade. The amount is determined by how many shares they buy. This means subsequent bets by other users on a market do not affect a previous trader’s profit on resolution.
  • E.g. 300 YES shares means a M300 payout if the market resolves YES.

Parimutuel pay-out

  • Used by free-response and multiple choice markets
  • Users’ potential profit is not locked in when they bet; they are purchasing shares in the final betting pool, whose size may change.
  • For example, say you choose the correct answer so will make a profit when the market resolves. If since the time of betting the probability of the answer you chose has decreased (other users have bet on other answers) then you will win more Mana. However, if since the time of betting lots of users have chosen the same answer as you then you will make less. Betting earlier at a lower probability is still advantageous and you will make more money than those who bet later but will still be lowered overall.
  • E.g. 10 YES shares means a payout of M100 if there 100 outstanding YES shares when the market resolves and the final betting pool is worth M1,000.
  • Parimutuel payouts will likely be deprecated in the future.

What is a limit order?

Limit orders allow you to place a bet up to a specific probability, rather than just the current market probability. This means you can set up ‘open orders’ that wait for other users to come and trade against. All open limit orders can be viewed in the order book.

Advantages of limit orders

  • Choose the exact probability at which you make a bet
  • Can make large bets in markets with low liquidity (if you do this with a quick bet you will move the probability a lot and cause the average price of your shares to be expensive)
  • Provide an opportunity for other users to bet against
  • Can have multiple open at once


Imagine you think there is a 30% chance or less that humans go to Mars before 2030. The market probability is currently below or at 30%. In this situation, you could set a limit order to bet NO at 30%. Whenever another user comes along to bet an amount on yes that would push it above 30% they will fulfil your order. In effect, you automatically immediately buy the market back down to 30% after they try to move the probability above it. If you place a very large bet, multiple users could bet yes against you until eventually the max amount of Mana you set for the order is fulfilled.

Maybe you are confident the chance lies in the range of 25%-30%. In this case, you could also set two limit orders. One to bet Yes at 25% and one to bet No at 30%. This can be done by filling out both boxes when submitting an order. You only have to put both an upper and lower bound if you want to. It is perfectly okay just to set one or the other!

  1. Place your limit order. If you place an upper and lower bound then when fully filled equal shares of each type will have been bought.
  2. View your open orders.
  3. If another user bets (in this case, Dev Manifold Markets) you will see your limit order updated showing how much it has been filled. In this case, M217 worth of No shares was bought.

What is the liquidity pool?

The liquidity in a market is the amount of capital available for traders to trade against. Markets with more liquidity are typically more trustworthy.

  • The greater the liquidity, the harder it is to shift the probability.
    • This allows users to bet more mana to move the probability to where they want it.
    • Increases room for profit and the incentive to bet.
    • Makes it more difficult for one individual to temporarily skew the probability with a big bet.
  • All markets start with some liquidity from the cost of creating a market. The entirety of the initial cost goes towards liquidity. Some types of markets cost more due to requiring a higher amount of liquidity to function well.
  • The House will automatically add liquidity to markets as more users trade on them.

How do I subsidise a market?

  • Creators of new markets by default subsidise the market liquidity pool with M50.
  • In addition to this, anyone can add additional liquidity to markets. Click the (…) above the graph of the market.
  • Free response markets cannot be subsidised (sometimes people will provide an incorrect answer and call it ANTE to add extra mana to be won).

How much mana will I get back from subsidising a market?

  • You should always expect to lose mana from subsidising a market.
  • Liquidity providers cannot withdraw the mana they have spent to subsidise a market, however, they will receive back some of their mana when the market resolves, if there's any left over.
  • The amount of mana you will get back depends on how much the probability has moved from when you subsidised the market. The more it has moved, the less you will get back.

What are loans?

Every day at midnight PT, get 2% of your total bet amount back as a loan. You can see how much your next loan is worth on the top right of your profile page.

  • Do I have to pay back a loan? Yes, but don't worry! You will automatically pay back loans when the market resolves or you sell your bet. If this causes your balance to go negative then you will have to free up some mana before you can start trading again.

  • What is the purpose of loans? Loans make it worthwhile to bet on markets that won't resolve for months or years because your investment won't be locked up as long.

  • ******Can my account be negative because of loans?******

    It's possible, but very rare.

  • What is an example? If you bet M1000 on "Will I become a millionaire?" today, you will get M20 back tomorrow. Previous loans count against your total bet amount. So on the next day, you would get back 2% of M(1000 - 20) = M19.6.


How can I donate to charity?

  • You can donate to charity by selecting a non-profit and redeeming your Mana for us to donate on your behalf.
  • For every M100 we will donate $1.00 USD. This is the same rate at which you can purchase mana.
  • Anyone can donate! There are no prerequisites, as long as you have Mana you can use it to donate, even if you’ve got it for free and never traded with it.

How can I turn off emails and other notifications?

You can fully customise all your notifications.

You may have to click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the newsletter email if you want to unsubscribe from that one. Otherwise, all other emails can be opted out of on the page linked above.

Tip: If you scroll to the bottom of the notifications settings there is a button that allows you to unsubscribe from all emails at once.

How do I delete my account?

To delete your account, please navigate to your profile page. Scroll to the bottom to find the button that allows you to delete your account.

Be warned that when deleting an account your markets and comments are not deleted, but your profile page will no longer exist and you will no longer receive any emails.

Does Manifold have a content moderation policy or account rules?

Yes, please see our Community Guidelines.

Is there an API?

Yep, check it out!