In the world of sports betting, “hedging your bets” means to bet against your own bet. Why would you go against your previously placed bet? To make sure you end up winning regardless of the outcome of the event.

Most bettors decide on hedge bets when they’re not sure their original wager is going to win. Others, just want to play it safe – hedging equals sure profit. 

Hedging a Bet Example

The easiest way to teach you how to hedge a bet is to show you how it’s done with a real-life example. We’re going to focus on the bettors who had placed a bet on the Philadelphia Phillies winning the 2022 MLB at +2500.

Once the Phillies qualified for the World Series, the bettors had two options: do nothing and hope for the best or hedge their bets. Those who did nothing ended up losing their bet. Those who hedged their bet ended up winning money.

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Hedging the bet in this case meant betting against the Phillies. The bettors who backed the Houston Astros in the 2022 World Series, won money risk-free.

To see why hedging the bet was the right decision in this case, let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • Original bet: $100 on the Phillies at +2500 for a potential payout of $2,600 ($2,500 profit)
  • Hedge: $2,750 on the Astros at -110 in the World Series for a $5,252 payout ($2,502 profit)

As the Astros won the 2022 World Series, the bettors who hedged the bet won. Those who didn’t, ended up emptyhanded.

Hedged bets are most commonly used to ensure profits for outright bets (a.k.a. futures), such as the one from the example above. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot hedge a bet in other scenarios. You can use this method for individual events, parlays, and even live events.

How to Hedge a Parlay?

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The best way of hedging a parlay is to do it when all but one event is settled. Let’s say three bets of your three-leg parlay have won, you can insure your bet by wagering against the final bet.

You can do this even if your sportsbook has the early cash-out option. In fact, we believe hedging a parlay is (sometimes) a better solution than an early payout. The reason is that the sportsbook is likely to charge you a fee for doing so.

Another advantage of parlay hedging is that you can choose how much money you’re going to bet. Instead of going with a stake that would bring you a profit equal to the one of your parlay, you can go with a smaller stake. This way, you just make sure that if the parlay doesn’t win, you will break even.

Hedging Bets in Live Betting

Live odds change throughout the game; sometimes, the change can be drastic. Of course, it all depends on what’s happening on the field, but there are cases in which you can use the odds movements to your advantage.

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So, if you’ve played a pre-game bet that’s winning, you can secure your profits by hedging it. Let’s say your soccer bet is Manchester United against Chelsea and the Red Devils score an early goal. In this case, you can simply wait for the game to finish and hope nothing changes on the scoreboard.

Or, you can hedge that bet (by making an in-play bet on double-chance Draw/Chelsea), so that whatever happens, you’re going to win.