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Hedge Betting Explained 2024: What Does Hedge Mean In Gambling?

Publish Date:19/05/2023
Fact checked by: Heather Williams

As you become a more experienced bettor you will realize your options stretch further than just predicting the winner of the game. You can bet on plenty of other markets and look at other techniques like hedge betting.

There is, however, some confusion on how to hedge your bets. So, to clear that up you need to look at which circumstances make hedging possible, and the tools that make the whole process easier like a betting hedge calculator.

What does hedge mean in gambling?

Hedging your bets is a technique whereby you place compensatory bets after your initial wager to decrease or attempt to nullify any losses. This might sound impossible as sportsbooks are not designed to work that way and even with handicap betting systems the bets would cancel each other out. However, it is achievable if something has occurred that moves the odds in your favor.

For instance, you log into one of the best betting sites and place a wager on the underdog in a football game before it starts. You’ll get very high odds because they are not supposed to win. However, just before the game starts, the favorite team's star player injures themselves in the warm-up and cannot play. A major occurrence like this means that the odds of the underdog winning will have dropped slightly, and the odds of the other team, although still favorites, will have risen. That odds change, if significant enough, could allow you to then place a carefully calculated wager on the favorite so that you would come away with the same amount of profit regardless of which team won the game.

When to hedge a bet

You might also choose to hedge during a game when your team has the advantage, like being ahead by several points, but you have an uneasy feeling that the other team will make a last-minute comeback. Here again, but live in play this time, you could place a small bet at what is now likely to be high odds on the losing team, to act as insurance in case your uneasy feeling turns out to be correct.

A third example might happen over the course of a tournament or season. At the start of the MLB season, you might have bet on the Philadelphia Phillies winning the world series, and as they progressed onward, the odds of them winning would have dropped. When it became clear they would be facing the Houston Astros, you could have wagered on the Astros to beat the Phillies, managing your risk, and equalizing your profit regardless of who walked away champions.

Although you might now understand this in principle, you have probably also worked out that there is some serious math that needs to take place to get this right and ensure the profit will be the same no matter who wins the contest. However, you don’t need to memorize any formulas yourself, as you can simply use an online hedging calculator.

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How to use a betting hedge calculator

Hedging is such a well-used technique that you can easily find a betting hedge calculator when you need one. You are likely to be presented with four boxes, two for your original wager and two for your hedge bet. You start by adding the details of your first bet, for instance, odds of +500 and a stake of $50. Then, in the first of the lower boxes, add the odds of your hedged bet, and the stake you need to place will appear automatically in the fourth box, along with the total payout and what your profit will be regardless of who wins.

You also need to remember that this works best when there can be no tie in the contest, as that third variable is not often allowed for on most hedging calculators.

Conclusion - hedging bets is simple, provided you have the right tools

Now that you have had hedge betting explained, you will have an extra strategy to use in your betting activity. You need to remember that it can only be used when the odds have dropped sharply since your initial wager, but it can come in very useful when you want to manage your risk.

There are, of course, other techniques like hedge betting discussed elsewhere at The Game Haus, so you can find out all about them and how to use them by checking out the range of online betting guides.

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Hedge betting explained FAQ

💡What is hedge betting ?

Hedge betting is a method of diverting risk for savvy bettors. However, many don’t understand it and get it wrong as a result. By checking out our short guide, you will find hedge betting explained, as well as examples of when it can be both possible and profitable.

💭How do you use a betting hedge calculator ?

There are calculations involved when betting hedge manually, which does leave room for human error. However, there are calculators available to do the hard work for you. To find out how to use a hedging calculator, and see examples of when it might be useful, check out our latest guide.

🤔How do I know when to hedge a bet?

Hedging a bet can help you to come away with a profit regardless of who wins the game or match you are betting on. However, it can only work in certain circumstances. To find out when you can hedge a bet, and see how you can do it, check out our latest guide.

💸How do you hedge a bet?

If the circumstances are right, you should be able to hedge your bet to divert the risk. This is easier said than done, as you will need to know what those circumstances are, and how to complete the calculation for your hedge bet. By reading our latest guide, however, you will find all of the information you need. 

💰Is hedge betting legit?

Bet hedging is a technique used by savvy bettors to divert risk. However, you might be concerned that it sounds too good to be true. By reading our latest guide, you will be able to see exactly how it works so you can decide for yourself if you want to do it or not.

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