A Guide to Hedging your Bets

How to Hedge a Bet

How to Hedge a Bet

The phrase “hedge your bets” is commonly used in the real world, usually in reference to acting cautiously or perhaps aiming to spread financial risk, e.g., by investing your savings in a range of different stocks to protect against the possibility of one or more of your investments heading in the wrong direction.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hedge - in relation to financial investments - is “a way of protecting oneself against financial loss or other adverse circumstances.” Betting is, of course, just another form of financial investment/speculation. As such, it is no surprise that many punters use hedging as a part of their betting strategy.

Here we take a look at exactly what it means to hedge your bets in the context of sports betting and provide a few examples of how it all works in practice

What is Hedging a Bet?

In simple terms, to hedge a bet is to place an initial bet, and then place a second bet on the opposite outcome to your original wager. But why would you want to do this? In general, punters may choose to hedge a bet for one of two reasons:

  • To reduce the potential downside of your original bet
  • To guarantee a profit

Hedge Betting Ante Post Example

The Ante-Post markets regularly provide a fertile ground for hedging opportunities. Say, for example, that at the start of the season, you place a £20 bet on Manchester United to win the Champions League at odds of 16/1. Nine months on, your bet is going swimmingly, with the Red Devils having made it through to the Final, where they will face big rivals Manchester City.

The prices to lift the trophy at this stage are now.

  • Manchester City - 1/2
  • Manchester United - 6/4

At this stage, you may wish to let your bet run, with the upside of a £320 profit and the downside of losing your £20 stake, or you may choose to hedge by placing a second bet on Manchester City. For example. Should you place a £100 bet on City to lift the trophy at this stage, you would be left with the following two possibilities:

  • City Win - Total Returns £150 – Total Stakes of £120 (£100 on City + your initial £20 on Manchester United) = A Profit of £30.
  • United Win - Total Returns £340 – Total Stakes of £120 = A Profit of £220.

It’s hard to turn your nose up at a win-win proposition, and many punters hedge in this way. By adjusting your hedging stake on Manchester City, it is possible to tailor the total profit for both sides as you see fit. A stake of £226.66 on City, for example, would secure a profit of £93.33 on your bets, no matter which side lifted the trophy, or you could opt to cover your original stake on United by placing a £40 bet on City – earning yourself a free shot at a £280 profit should United go on to win.

Hedge Betting: In-Play Example

Another prime opportunity to hedge can be found in the in-play markets. Let's take a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal as an example. Before the start of the match, you place a £100 bet on Djokovic to win at odds of 1/2. Novak then gets off to a flier and wins the first set, seeing the odds switch to 1/6 for Djokovic and 9/2 for Nadal. You are now in a position to hedge and guarantee a profit should you wish. For example, placing a £25 bet on Nadal at this stage would produce the following outcomes.

  • Djokovic win - Total Returns £150 – Total Stakes of £125 (£100 on Djokovic + £25 on Nadal) = A Profit of £25.
  • Nadal Wins - Total Returns = £137.50 – Total Stakes of £125 = A Profit of £12.50.

Hedge Betting: Acca Example

The ever-popular acca may also provide hedging opportunities. This can be difficult when all legs of the acca begin at the same time, but relatively straightforward when the last leg of the acca starts after the other legs have finished. Let’s take the following football Acca as an example.

  • Brentford vs Aston Villa – Saturday 3pm - Brentford to win @ 6/4
  • Crystal Palace vs Everton – Saturday 3pm - Crystal Palace to win @ EVS
  • Leicester vs Wolves – Saturday 3pm - Leicester to win @ 6/4
  • Newcastle vs Tottenham - Sunday 4pm - Newcastle to win @ Evs

£10 Acca returns: £250.

By 5pm on Saturday, you are in the happy position of having watched Brentford, Palace, and Leicester all do the business.

You can now decide to let the bet run or place a hedge bet on Tottenham +1 on the handicap, which covers you should Spurs win or the match end in a draw. With Newcastle priced at Even Money, the price on Tottenham +1 would be around the 4/6 mark. Placing a £100 bet on Spurs +1 would therefore leave you with the two following outcomes:

  • Newcastle win - Total Returns £250 – Total Stakes of £110 (£10 Acca stake + £100 on Spurs +1) = A Profit of £140.
  • Spurs win or draw - Total Returns £166.66 – Total Stakes of £110 = A Profit of £56.66.

A Useful Tool, But Not One to Use All the Time

Hedging opportunities are always worth looking out for, but perhaps shouldn’t be used indiscriminately. It is important to remember that when hedging, you are placing not one bet, but two, and therefore paying the bookmakers margin twice, which in theory will cost you money in the long run. Nevertheless, such opportunities can be hard to pass up, particularly if you can secure a big upside on both sides of the result, or if your initial stake was large and you are eager to protect it.


More Betting Guides:

What is Asian Handicap Betting

Betting Bankroll Management

Top 20 Betting Offers

Copybet
Copybet
Bet £10, Get £50 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Full T&Cs apply. New UK customers only. The qualifying bet should be either a single or multiple bet, start at £10, and have 1.9 or greater odds. 5 Free bets include: 1 x £10 Free bet on horse racing, 1 x £10 Free bet on football, 2 x 10 Free bet in-play, 1 x £10 Free bet Acca. Max payout – £500. 7 day expiry. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.org.

Betfred
Betfred
Bet £10 and get £50 in BonusesClaim Offer

New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

William Hill
William Hill
Bet £10, Get £40 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £40 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

Virgin Bet
Virgin Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free betsClaim Offer
£10 min deposit. First bet mins odds 1.5 placed within 14 days of sign-up. 2 x £10 in Free Bets: valid for 7 days, free bet stakes not returned. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+ T&Cs apply.
talkSPORT BET
talkSPORT BET
Get up to £40 in football free betsClaim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in & bet via mobile up to £40 (min. £20) on any football market at odds of 2.00+, in 7 days. Get up to £40 in free bets on selected markets. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments & Apple Pay only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

Bzeebet
Bzeebet
Bet £10, Get a £10 Free BetClaim Offer

18+. New Customers Only. Max one £10 Free Bet. Qualifying bets at Odds of 1/1 or greater. Paid as Bonus Token Min 4/5 Odds Req. Skrill, Neteller, Paypal not eligible. T&Cs Apply

LiveScore Bet
LiveScore Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

*New members. £10 min bet on sportsbook (ex. virtual) 1.5 min odds, settled in 14 days of sign-up. Free Bets: accept in 7 days, valid 7 days on sportsbook (ex. virtual). Stake not returned. Full Terms apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+

FafaBet
FafaBet
Sports Offer - Free Bet up to £50 + 20 Casino BonusClaim Offer

New Customers only. Deposit and bet on any Sportsbook Markets with min odds of 2.0. Get 50% Back of your first days' losses as a Free bet up to £50+£20 Casino Bonus.

Coral
Coral
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 1 x 20 free bet. Stake not returned. Free bets expire in 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

BetMGM
BetMGM
Bet £10, Get £40 in BonusesClaim Offer

New cust only. 7 days to opt in by placing a £10 qualifying bet at 1/1 (2.0) odds or greater, to receive 4 x free bets. 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder, 1 x £10 Acca and 1 x £10 Football. 7 day expiry. Exclusions apply. Stake not returned. T&Cs apply.

Bet365
Bet365
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required

32Red
32Red
150% Casino Bonus up to £150!Claim Offer
18+. BeGambleAware.org. New accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit card only. Up to 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7 day expiry. See full terms. #AD
Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Stake not returned. Restrictions + Free bet T&Cs apply.

BetVictor
BetVictor
Bet £10 Get £30Claim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. Click for T&Cs. Please Gamble Responsibly.

SBK
SBK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10 upon settlement. Further £10 Multiple token will be credited after 24 hours and a further £5 Horse Racing Multiple token and a £5 Football Bet Builder token will be credited after 48 hours. Full T&Cs apply.18+. BeGambleAware.org.

BetZone
BetZone
Up to £60 in Free Sports BetsClaim Offer

Promo Code: NEWWELCOME60. For NEW UK customers only, deposit using UK debit card, and certain qualifying bets of Evens or greater. Terms apply 18+

NetBet
NetBet
Bet £5 Get £10Claim Offer

New Customers, deposit and place a qualifying bet with bet builder, min stake £5, min odds 3/1 (4.0). Receive a £10 free bet, valid for 7 days. Full Terms apply, 18+ begambleaware.

Bresbet
Bresbet
50% Bonus up to £25Claim Offer

T&Cs apply. 18+ New customers only. You must place 3 x £10 sportsbook bets to qualify. Money back as free bets up to £25. Must use code welcome25afs when creating an account.

SportingIndex
SportingIndex
Bet £10 Get £20Claim Offer

New customers place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets. 18+ begambleaware

BetUK
BetUK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

New customers, Deposit & Place a bet of £10 at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Free bets expire in 7 days. Stake not returned. T&C’s Apply. 18+ begambleaware.