Hedging Bets – A Comprehensive Guide

Hedging bets is a great way of locking in a profit whichever way the game goes. In a hedged bet, you create a situation where you win money regardless of the outcome. It’s a great sports betting strategy to use, particularly if you’ve backed a winner on the futures market months in advance.

How to Hedge a Bet Online

A hedge bet is a series of wagers that ensures a return regardless of the outcome. It’s like a form of insurance for sports bettors that even if your original bet loses, your second bet will win.

Usually, you will be hedging bets after making an initial wager. Your original bet may be long term and have been placed many days, weeks, or months before your second wager. But the objective is the same: to guarantee a profit.

Importantly, you should open several sportsbook accounts to take advantage of different odds and deals. You may find that the price discrepancy between two sportsbooks can be huge.

There are several ways of hedging bets online to guarantee a profit. And don’t forget, you can read more on how to place wagers and read odds via our extensive betting guides.

1. Futures Betting

Original Wager $100 Tampa Bay to win Super Bowl @ +300
Potential Payout $400
Potential Profit $300

 

Tampa Bay win their playoff, reach the Super Bowl, and are priced at -150 to win the game. The Broncos are a +130 shot. You now place an additional wager on them to win. You have secured a profit, whatever the result.

Super Bowl
Tampa Bay -150
Denver Broncos +130

 

Second Wager $200 on Denver Broncos @ +130
Potential Payout $460
Potential Profit $260

2. Parlay Betting

Hedging bets is a great way of protecting your parlays. A parlay bet is a wager formed of multiple outcomes. Each ‘leg’ of the parlay must come in for your bet to win.

Let’s say you placed a 3-leg parlay on three US Open tennis matches. You back three players to win their games and place $100 on the parlay:

Match 1: Novak Djokovic @ -110
Match 2: 
Roger Federer @ -120
Match 3: 
Dominic Thiem @ -100

Total Stake $100
Potential Return $700
Potential Profit $600

Djokovic and Federer win, and you’re just waiting on the result of the third match. By hedging the bets, you can back Thiem’s opponent in the third match with a straight moneyline wager. Remember to size the second bet correctly to guarantee a profit.

Second wager:
Milos Raonic to beat Dominic Thiem @ +110
You bet $200 on Raonic to win $420

If Thiem wins, you’ve won your parlay, and if his opponent wins you’ve won your moneyline bet. You could also adjust the size of the second wager if you feel confident.

3. In-Game Betting

Hedging bets can be used with in-game betting. With in-game, or ‘in-play’ betting, you can place wagers on a game while it’s happening. Hedging bets becomes a smart play as you’re able to see how the game is swinging one way or the other.

Imagine you’ve placed a moneyline bet on the Montreal Canadiens to win the night’s NHL game. During the game, the Vancouver Canucks race into a lead. You can now bet in-game on the Canucks to win the game and secure a profit.

4. Arbitrage Betting

You can also use arbitrage betting to secure a profit. Smart gamblers find small discrepancies in bookies’ odds so that they can back either team and lock in a small return.

Arbitrage betting, or “arbing”, is difficult but it can pay off if you do your research and scour dozens of bookmaker sites.

Is it Smart to Hedge a Bet?

Hedging bets is a clever move as it helps you to guarantee a profit, even if your original wager is looking bad.

Of course, by hedging your bet, you are eating into any potential profits from your first wager. You could, of course, go with your hunch and let the original bet ride. But if you are making many bets over the year, it’s important to secure small and regular profits.

We recommend you use a hedge calculator. You’ll find many of these online. These let you quickly input bet sizes and odds to work out how large your hedge bets should be.

When Should you Hedge a Bet?

A proven betting strategy is knowing when to make a bet and when to cut your potential loss. Hedging bets is a great way of ensuring a smaller profit, even if you don’t really want to back the second wager.

You should always do your research and understand any changes in the market. You don’t always have to hedge your bets – when you’re sure that the hot favorite in a game just can’t lose, for example – and you’ll be kicking yourself if you’ve missed out on more profit.

You must look at the original wager and work out whether the price you got gave you good value. Did you get good odds on an unlikely outcome? If so, you already have some value in the bet and can confidently hedge your bets by backing the favorite in your second wager.

Sportsbooks that are Good To Hedge Bets

You can hedge bets at all the best sports betting sites. Research hundreds of moneyline, spread, or totals bets and hedge your wagers in the in-play markets to lock in profits.

Sign up to one of our top-rated sports betting sites and play your bets today. You can even earn a great bonus like free bets or parlay insurance.