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Richard Miller
Author:
Richard Miller
Last Updated:
November 3, 2020
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at BettingBilly.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
 
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.

Hedge Betting Explained in 2020

Hedge betting is a risk management strategy. It enables you to win money even if your original bet loses. To do this, you wager on the opposite outcome of the initial bet or on a different proposition in a futures bet.

Some bettors don't think that you should spend additional money to hedge your bet. However, if you are a diligent gambler and you carefully manage your bankroll, you must consider hedge betting.

What is hedging a bet?

Hedging a bet is like purchasing insurance on a wager - it pays when your wager loses. However, to be able to safeguard a bet, you must first have a wager that needs protection. Let's explain this with an NFL example.

Let’s say you are backing the Kansas City Chiefs to clinch the American Football Conference. You stake $100 on the futures bet at odds of +254.

Original BetOddsStakePotential Profit
Kansas City Chiefs to win AFC+254$100$254

Midway through the season, you realize that Baltimore Ravens might have a decent chance of winning the AFC instead. As a result, you back the Ravens with $60 at odds of +325.

Hedge WagerOddsStakePotential Profit
Baltimore Ravens to win AFC+325$60$195

If the Chiefs do indeed win the AFC, you will make a profit of $94 ($254 - $160). On the other hand, if your insurance wager wins, you will have a smaller profit of $35 ($195-$160).

As you can see, in both situations you make a decent profit and, more importantly, you don’t lose money.

Of course, all of this will work if there are only two NFL teams in the mix. If there is a third one, you should consider your options carefully before hedging your bet.

Types of hedge betting

Hedge betting is a strategy that you can utilize to safeguard any wager. Here are three common types of bets that you can protect.

Hedging parlay wagers

Bettors most often protect their last legs of parlays. Parlay bets have more than one selection and, understandably, bettors want to protect a wager which is so close to the finish line.

For example, let’s say you made a 6-game NBA combo wager and you are waiting for the Lakers to beat the Knicks to have a winning bet. In a situation like this, you should back the Knicks with a smaller stake to protect your accumulator bet.

Hedging in-play wagers

If you are reluctant to spend extra money on hedging wagers you are certain will be successful, you should try live betting.

With in-play hedging, you can wait for the game to start and then hedge your bet. If you see that things are looking good, you don't do anything. However, if your team is getting overrun, you should act fast and protect your bet.

Hedging futures

Safeguarding futures is also quite common. Backing outright winners of competitions and then protecting those wagers is a smart betting move. Futures odds are quite high and you will frequently make a profit or at least break even with them.

Hedge your bets: Step-by-Step

To safeguard a bet, you first need to place a wager that needs protection. Let's say that you have already done this and now want to protect your original bet. This is what you should do:

Steps Box Background
  1. The first thing to do is to make sure that you do indeed want to safeguard your bet. You don’t have to protect all of your bets. If you are very certain that a wager will be successful, you can leave it as it is.
  2. If you are certain that you want to safeguard your bet, you must first decide how you are going to do it. You can protect only the closest outcome or you can cover all results. For instance, you can safeguard a home soccer victory with: A draw bet (X) / An away victory and draw double chance wager (X2).
  3. Find a top sports betting site that has the best odds for your protection bet.
  4. Select your bet.
  5. Decide on the stake size. Always place stakes with which you will at least break even.
  6. Submit your bet.
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Usual sports for hedging a bet

You can protect any type of wager from any sport. This means that you can safeguard a goal total soccer bet, a point spread basketball home win, away hockey and football victories on puck and run lines, and any other wager you can think of.

Let's say you decide to back the New York Yankees to clinch the American League East. However, once the baseball season gets underway, you realize that the Tampa Bay Rays might cause you some problems.

Instead of waiting to see if your original wager would be a winning one, you back the Rays with a safeguarding bet. This means that you can make a profit regardless of which team wins AL East.

You can do the same thing with hockey. You can back the Boston Bruins with a futures wager to win the Atlantic Division. However, just to be sure that you get some guaranteed winnings, you can also back the Tampa Bay Lightning as the most serious AD contender.

Examples of hedge betting

Protection bets can be a double-edged sword. If you play them right, wager winnings will be guaranteed. However, if you don’t cover all possible outcomes, you might lose more money than if you’d just stayed with the original bet.

Winning example of hedging a bet

Let’s say that the first selection in your NBA double bet was a successful one and you decided to protect the second leg:

Original BetFinal ResultOddsStakeTotal WinningsBet Success
LA Lakers (-8.5) - Dallas Mavericks (+8.5): Lakers to win108:99-110$100$364.8Unsuccessful
Orlando Magic (+7.5) - Denver Nuggets (-7.5): Magic to win90:100-110
Hedge BetFinal ResultOddsStakeTotal WinningsBet Success
Orlando Magic (+7.5) - Denver Nuggets (-7.5): Nuggets to win90:100-110$120$229.2Successful

In this example, the original bet lost, but the hedge bet was a winning one and the bettor made a small profit of $9.2 ($229.2 - $100 - $120).

Losing example of hedging a bet

Let's say you had an MLS double. The LA Galaxy game was already in the bag so you decided to protect the Atlanta United bet with a wager on the draw outcome.

Original BetFinal ResultOddsStakeTotal WinningsBet Success
LA Galaxy - Toronto FC: Galaxy to win1:0+100$100$420Unsuccessful
Atlanta United - Orlando City: United to win0:2+110
Hedge BetFinal ResultOddsStakeTotal WinningsBet Success
Atlanta United - Orlando City: Draw0:2+250$40$140Unsuccessful

You tried to break even by placing a wager on the draw. However, you should have anticipated that the game could also end in an Orlando victory.

Going with a double chance safeguarding bet (X2) would have been a smarter move here. As it is, though, these two wagers are losing ones.

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Hedge betting for beginners: How to bet

If you are looking to hedge your bets like a pro, but have just started betting, don’t worry. Here are 5 excellent tips that will up your hedging game to the level of a gambling veteran:

  • Tip 1: Place wagers on sports that come with only two possible outcomes. This includes sports such as basketball, tennis, baseball, football, and hockey. These sports make hedging bets much easier. If you want to safeguard a bet, you just wager on the opposite result.
  • Tip 2: When hedging soccer wagers always use a double chance bet. Soccer matches have three possible outcomes. If you try to protect a home win with a draw wager, there’s no guarantee that you will win. If the match ends in a victory for the away team, both your wagers will lose.
  • Tip 3: Always listen to people with vast hedging experience. Professional betting advice can help reduce the risk of losing wagers and Billy’s betting picks are the best in this regard. Billy’s tips and predictions are free once you sign up and can improve your hedging success substantially.
  • Tip 4: Always prioritize one wager. Most of the time the initial wager is the one that you want to come to fruition. The protective wager is there to guarantee that you make a small profit or break even. Don’t try to win big on both of these as that will likely backfire.
  • Tip 5: Carefully calculate stake sizes. Optimal stake sizes are the ones that guarantee that you don't lose money in the worst-case scenario.

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Hedge betting for professionals: How to bet

To be good at safeguarding wagers, you also have to be decent at math. In most situations in which you have to protect a wager, you also have to do some basic math calculations.

The most important in this regard is calculating how much you would need to stake to at least break even. For example, if you placed your initial wager with a $100 stake, you have to figure out how your safeguarding bet will cover both the initial and protective stake.

Another aspect that professional bettors have to take into account is the likelihood of a wager coming to fruition. If you think that your initial wager will be successful, it’s much smarter to wait for it to start and then bet on it live.

There are several perks to hedging wagers as they happen. First of all, if you see that everything is going well for you, you don’t have to safeguard that wager. You will get to keep the money and will use them to place another bet instead.

Secondly, when betting live, you can get much better odds if your team is winning. If this is the case, you can place a small stake to protect a wager and still get excellent winnings.

Finally, hedging wagers live enables you to use that extensive betting experience you have. You can see which way a game is going and act accordingly.

Hedge betting: Try it now at one of the top 5 betting sites

Now that you know how to hedge a bet, it’s time to try it out for yourself. Before you hedge your bets, though, you have to find bookmakers that offer decent odds. Fortunately for you, the betting sites here have great odds so you don’t have to look far.

 
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Conclusion: Hedge your bets and win with any outcome
The key to maximizing betting wins is to make a profit regardless of the outcome of a selection. Protecting your wagers when they are very close to being successful is essential in this regard. The best way to protect a bet is to bet on the opposite outcome. Hedging your wagers minimizes the risk of seeing near misses and turns losing results into profit.
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