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Hedging Bets Explained

Hedge Bets

If you’re a regular online bettor, you’ve probably heard terms you know nothing about. Have you ever heard of a bettor to hedge a bet? Hedging is simpler than you think and is nowhere near as complex as the term sounds.

Hedge betting is a valuable technique where you protect yourself by betting on more than a single result in a match or competition. Think of it as an insurance policy where you win either way. Bettors hedge their bets on various big competitions, including the NBA, the NFL, and others, to win a lot of money on one result or the other.

This hedging sports bets guide will tell you everything you need to know about it. We’ll also show you how to place hedge bets and win money.

What Are Hedging Bets?

For all the good it brings, sports betting is “volatile”. By volatile, it means it might go either way. Sometimes, you place a bet, and it’s looking pretty good, but there’s always doubt that the opposite could happen. It is where hedging a bet can help. By hedging, you’ll ensure you win by wagering on the opposite outcome.

It’s a unique strategy for smart bettors who are realistic and know a result can go different in seconds. Sports betting is unpredictable, but hedge bets mean to change that perspective. This strategy intends to guarantee a profit or minimize losses.

How Do Hedging Bets Work?

Hedging is a sports betting strategy where you bet on both sides of the event to protect your profits. Say you’ve picked the Milwaukee Bucks to win the NBA title. Hedging NBA bets is prevalent, and while the Bucks are a great favorite, other teams could win. In short, this isn’t that sure of a gamble due to unpredictable events during the season.

To protect your profits, you can wait until the NBA Finals pair is available and pick the other team to win. Of course, the bet should still involve the Bucks, so you can choose the other team to win the Finals. If your Bucks bet wins, the payout should be large minus the money you put on the hedged wager. Should the Bucks lose, you make money on the opposite wager. Whatever happens in this case, you win.

A betting calculator at the bookie of your choice will tell you more about the potential return. The great thing with a hedge in betting is that your profits are a lock, no matter how big or small.

How to Hedge a Bet?

You won’t see a hedge bet offered at a bookie – this is a strategy, not a betting market. But hedging is pretty straightforward. It’s placing a bet on the opposite outcome of your original wager. In this way, you’re guaranteed to make a profit by the end of the match or event.

How to Calculate Hedging Bets and Payouts

While you can easily calculate your hedge bets, you don’t need to do it manually. Online sportsbooks have a calculator that instantly calculates the returns of each bet you place. In this case, you’ll get the return for 2 hedged stakes. Of course, the profit will be smaller by the money you’ve put into the losing bet, but you will still make a profit.

There are also independent hedging calculators online which have the same purpose. Instead of writing things down and doing the math yourself, you can rest assured that automatic calculators work faster and are more accurate.

Hedging Bets Example

You’ve picked the Bucks to win the NBA title at +600. You’ve put $100 on this bet, with the potential profit being $600 ($700 in total). Their odds are lower now, but you’ve already made the early play, and things look good. The regular season goes well, and the Bucks advance to the Playoffs and are in the East Conference Final.

But an injury to any star player or unpredictable events can ruin the Bucks’ chances (and yours). In this case, you can let it ride and see what happens or resort to bet-hedging.

For example, you can pick the Bucks not to win the title. By betting on both sides of this market, you guarantee a profit. Of course, you’ll lose some money on one of the best, but the amount will be smaller than the potential profits.

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When and Why Should You Hedge Your Bet?

It is a bit of a complex question. Guaranteed profits are a lock when you hedge bets, but it works well in other situations.

Hedging to Guarantee Profits

Hedging bets are mainly made to guarantee profits. If you’ve invested a bit more money in a big gamble, it will make sense to protect your profit with a smaller one. Hedge bets work perfectly in this situation, allowing you to score something without losing a lot.

Hedging Due to Changes in the Game or a Change in Opinion

If you place an early bet, it might not go well. Imagine betting on the Lakers to win the trophy this NBA season – would their current results cause you to change your opinion? That’s when you should hedge a bet. The Lakers don’t look like a championship team now, and since you can’t replace that bet, you can at least hedge it with something different.

Cutting Potential Losses

Bets don’t often go our way – that’s how sports betting works. If results aren’t going your way and you can see that losing is a strong possibility, you can cut back the potential losses by hedging futures bets. In short, you will lock some profit in; even if it’s smaller than you were hoping for, your losses will be cut short.

Hedging Future/Outright Bets

In many ways, hedging works best on futures or outrights. Depending on how your picked team or player performs, you’ll find that hedging football bets or other sports might offer actual value.

In-Play Hedging

In-play hedging is just as exciting as live betting. Hedge your live bets with the opposite, and you may be a winner by the end. Since these bets move quickly and can bleed your bankroll dry, hedging is a great idea.

Hedging Parlay Bets

Hedging a small parlay with an opposite parlay might be a bright idea. Of course, one of those slips won’t pay big, but hey, at least you’ve covered both outcomes.

Hedging Accumulator Bets

If you’re not sure that the outcomes you’re predicting have a great chance, the reasonable thing to do would be to secure the opposite outcome. Of course, that can be done with bet-hedging. Hedging Accas is a smart choice for the same reasons you’d hedge a parlay.

Important Basics for Hedging Betting

Hedging bets might look cool, but it’s not a bulletproof strategy or a surefire win. It wouldn’t be genius to hedge bets without learning the basics. No such thing exists in sports betting.

Pick the Right Games

Hedging works best in evens betting markets, not when one team has a considerable advantage. That’s why you should always pick suitable games for this strategy. Hedging a Heinz bet doesn’t make much sense as Heinz is remarkably different to get right and pricey. Guarding it with a win-place show doesn’t qualify for cutting losses or guaranteeing profits.

Game Analysis Is Not the Only Decisive Factor

Game analysis is essential for hedging but not the decisive factor. You also need to learn how to read a race card form or do your research if you’re betting on football. Head-to-head count, too, as do individual performances and history.

Create Betting Accounts with Several Betting Providers

For optimal hedging, we suggest creating accounts with several sportsbooks. That way, you’ll benefit from the best odds and spot markets where hedging makes perfect sense.

Compare Bookmakers

Comparing bookmakers is essential not just for hedging but for your overall betting experience. Take a look at their features, markets, and odds, and pick the site that suits you the best.

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Hedge Betting Using Betting Exchanges

Betting exchanges often have better odds than sportsbooks. If you’re thinking about hedging a bet, you should look at exchanges too.

Bets Must Be Optimally Balanced

Hedge bets must be optimally balanced to work. If you spend a lot of money on one side and the opposite result puts you at a disadvantage, that’s not an excellent hedge.

Risk Management

Assess the risk management on both sides before hedging. It will give you a clear perspective if it’s worth hedging your bet.

Use Bonus Offers

Use bonus offers and free bets to your advantage. Place a wager with your money, then hedge it with a free bet.

Features of Hedging Bets

Hedging bets is valuable when you’re unsure if your prediction is the most likely outcome. Or when things aren’t going great in the future. It has numerous pros and almost no cons except for the extra price. If you want to make money hedging bets in horse racing, you should learn the basics and put them to good use.

Hedging is beneficial, but only if you pick suitable matches.

Benefits of Hedge Betting

The most apparent benefit of hedging is that you’re guaranteed profit. By “playing” both sides, you will earn something in the end, although it might not be as much as you hoped. Still a profit, though.

Do Hedging Bets Have Any Drawbacks?

The most significant disadvantage of hedging is that you’re undermining your profits. You’re removing some chance to score a profit, cutting into a potentially important win.

It’s time-consuming as well. Hedging is particularly effective if you watch a game you’ve bet on to see if it pays to hedge a bet.

Plus, it costs more since you’re betting on opposite events, and there’s still no guarantee each one will win.

Why Should You Hedge Bets?

Hedge bets almost guarantee a profit, allowing you to guard a bet that may not go as well as you hoped. It doesn’t work in all markets but is very popular among football fans and horse racing bettors.

If you believe your bet might not end up as you think, a hedge will help you get something in return. Many bettors are happy to let it ride, but the smart ones will always hedge a bet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should you place hedging bets?

    Because it’s a way to guarantee profit and cut back potential losses, it has its downsides (costly, not a lock, either way, undermines the potential winnings), but the pros far outweigh the cons.

  • How do hedge bets work?

    Hedge bets act as a ‘shield’ to a wager that might not come out as you hoped. They work great for parlays and futures when you realize your prediction might not be accurate.

  • What does it mean to hedge a bet?

    To hedge a bet means to protect it with another that’s the opposite of your original prediction. In general, you’re betting on both outcomes of a match.

  • Can hedging guarantee profits?

    Yes, it makes guaranteed profits, but it’s not 100% safe. That’s why it works best in markets with a few outcomes.

  • What types of bets make sense when hedging?

    Straight horse racing bets and moneylines in football or other sports are great for hedging. Live wagers are excellent, but you’ll have to be fast.

  • What is the difference between hedging and arbitrage betting?

    With arbitrage betting, you’re putting money on all outcomes of a sports event. With hedging, you’re betting on the opposite result of your original bet.

  • Which sports are best suited for hedging?

    Football and horse racing remain the best-suited sports for hedging. However, it also works great in the NBA and the NFL.

  • Are hedging bets safe?

    Yes, they are, but not all the way. There’s always a possibility that the match will end in a draw or that a nonrunner to appear in a horse race at the last minute.

  • Should I use a hedging calculator?

    No need. Sportsbooks will instantly calculate the returns for each of your bets. Additionally, there are smart hedge calculators online.

  • Is hedging bets smart?

    Yes, it is. Smart bettors would always hedge futures bets to protect from anything going awry.

  • Is hedging bets legal?

    Absolutely. There’s no way a sportsbook can prevent you or ban you from the site for hedging bets.

Tim Harrison
Betting Guru

Tim is our betting guru. Every gaming site needs one, and Tim’s our guy. He has plenty of experience in betting online and is quite successful at it. Tim’s favorite sports are hockey, baseball, and Esports. Tim believes the latter to be the future of betting.

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