Learn How to Hedge a Bet with Hedge Calculator

When looking through the many different sports betting strategies, the one thing they all have in common is their main purpose. That is, to minimize the risk you are taking when betting, while hopefully raising profits as well. 

This strategy is not any different, and it can truly be a helpful one to use in some tricky situations. Learning to hedge your bets is an important aspect of betting, because if done correctly will minimize your losses and can even guarantee profits.

In this article, we will explain exactly how hedging bets is done, along with some important features and information about this particular betting strategy.  

Hedge your Bets Meaning

Hedging your bets can be related to a sinking ship, with people taking bets on both the ship and the only lifeboat onboard to survive. You had originally bet on the ship, however as it is sinking you also place a bet on the lifeboat to negate a large amount of the risk. 

The same is exactly true when it comes to sports betting. So what does hedge your bets mean?

When you hedge a bet, you are minimizing your risk by betting on opposite outcomes, in the hopes of ensuring a profit no matter what, or at the very least minimizing the potential losses. 

Hedging bets means that you will need to do some math while assessing each situation, to know whether hedging your bets is worthwhile or not. When done correctly, hedging your bets can become an incredibly useful betting strategy in your arsenal.

Looking at a Practical Example of Hedging a Bet

Contrary to the general belief, it does not have to be a futures bet in order for you to hedge a bet. Hedging bets can be done as a countermeasure on any wager that you have chosen.  

Let's go through an example of hedging a normal bet:

In our example, we have placed a bet of $20 on the Chicago White Sox to score more than 5.5 runs in its current game against the Kansas City Royals.

As we enter the fifth inning, the White Sox have only scored once, and we begin to worry. 

Bet

Stake

Odds 

Potential Payout

Potential Profit

White Sox O 5.5

$20

-110

$38.18

$18.18

The odds at the time when we placed our bet were at a normal -110. Since the chances of the White Sox scoring more than 5.5 runs at this point have decreased, we need to look at the opposite outcome to hedge our bet. 

This would lead us to bet on the White Sox to score less than 5.5 runs. Now, since five innings have already gone by with the results in favor of the total under, the odds will be lower than what they were originally set as. 

Bet

Stake

Odds

Potential Payout

Potential Profit

White Sox U 5.5

???

-460

???

???

The odds on the White Sox to score less than 5.5 runs are now at -460, which means a little bit of math will be involved in order to successfully hedge the bet. 

Lets see what we can do here with a few options for a potential stake:

  • $20 stake: gives us a payout of $24.35 (total stake: $40)

  • $40 stake: gives us a payout of $48.70 (total stake: $60)

  • $80 stake: gives us a payout of $97.39 (total stake: $100)

Looking at our options, it's clear that we will be able to profit from hedging the bet this time if we stake enough on the total under. However, there is still the chance that the White Sox will score more than 5.5 runs, and if they do we are bound to feel foolish for betting so much on the under. 

We are going to instead focus on minimizing our losses. Lets stake $30 on the under. Now we have a total of $50 from both bets, so let's look at the two possible outcomes:

  1. White Sox score over 5.5 runs: $50 (stake) - $38.18 (payout) = -$11.82

  2. White Sox score under 5.5 runs: $50 - $36.52 = -$13.48

In both scenarios, we have successfully hedged our bet and cut our losses. Nearly nine dollars were saved if the team scores more than 5.5, and around seven dollars if less than 5.5 is scored. 

Most Common Situations to Hedge a Bet

As stated above, you can hedge any bets that you make. The best time to do this is during a stoppage in a game such as a period intermission in hockey, where you have time to decide whether hedging bets is worth it in that situation. 

Over time, you will be able to more quickly recognize whether hedging your bet is a good idea or not. There are more common scenarios however for hedging bets than others. 

Hedging futures bets is a particularly popular one. Futures are long-term wagers offered on all sportsbooks. Common futures bets include wagering on a team to win its league’s respective championship, or a player to receive an award like MVP at the end of the season. 

These are popular situations for hedging a bet due to a few reasons:

  • The odds are high on nearly all teams or athletes involved

  • There is plenty of time to assess your hedging strategy

  • Betting on multiple teams/athletes here is encouraged

When you make a futures bet, hedging your bet in a way so that you make a profit is extremely easy, since odds all around are high. 

However, the chances of your team actually winning is much lower, which is why time is such an important factor in futures as you can assess all possibilities over a long period of time to identify the teams with the best chances. 

Another common scenario for hedging your bets comes with parlays, particularly on the final game. With parlay bets, just one loss will mean that the entire parlay is done.

So let's say that you have won the first five games of a six-game parlay. 

We know we stand to make a decent amount of money if the last game hits, but anything is possible. In this situation, it makes a lot of sense to bet on the opposite outcome of the final game as a safety net in case the entire parlay should lose. 

Using a Hedge Calculator for the Best Accuracy

In the heat of games and betting, there will be only a limited amount of time to decide whether to hedge a bet or not. If a situation for hedging a bet is incorrectly assessed, it could not only result in being of no benefit to you, but also losing more money in the process. 

For this reason, it is important to be absolutely sure when looking at hedging a bet.

Luckily, with a hedge calculator you can quickly figure out exactly how much you need to hedge and whether, the potential hedge payout and overall whether or not the situation calls for this strategy. 

Hedge calculators are also easy to find and use, making them even more of must when hedging a bet. In order to use a hedge calculator, you will need to enter the odds and stake from your original bet, along with the odds of the hedge bet you are planning to use. 

In turn, the hedge calculator will give you the exact amount you will need to stake on the second bet. Once you have entered all of the necessary information, the hedge calculator will tell you the overall payout and the potential hedge profit.

The Pros and Cons of Hedging Bets

The main advantage of hedging bets is the minimization of potential losses. When sports betting, looking at long-term profits is necessary for success. The losses that you cut along the way will eventually add up. 

In addition, hedging bets can even lead to situations where you will profit no matter what the outcome. This is, of course, the most desirable result. Hedging bets will usually pay out more than the cashout option that online sportsbooks offer as well.

Disadvantages include the amount of time that is necessary to hedge your bets. Weighing the different possibilities and outcomes takes time, which can make the strategy more difficult to implement on many games. 

Hedging a bet can also cut into potential profits when trying to minimize risk. Like in our example above, we would have made a profit if the team scored more than 5.5 and we did not hedge. We decided to throw out that potential so that we could cut losses on either outcome instead.  

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