Hedging in Sports Betting — How to Hedge a Bet


At least once in their betting way the bettors catch themselves thinking that at any moment after wagering a bet, the situation may change and the bet may not hit. The hedging comes to the rescue there and then!

What Does Hedging Mean in Sports Betting?

The world of betting has adopted the “hedging” term from the financial market, where it was used to describe lowering the risk levels. In betting, it means wagering bets on the opposite outcome of an already betted one.

Basically, hedging is a method of reducing the possible losses from losing the main/first bet, while the likely gain is also being significantly reduced. The hedging rarely helps to completely avoid the loss of finances; ultimately, the method helps to significantly reduce the negative consequences of a bet being lost.

What Does Hedging Mean in Sports Betting?

Any bettor has experienced a situation where the confidence in the bet already wagered is reduced. Sometimes this happens even before the start of the sports event, but often - in the course of it. At this stage, it becomes necessary to cover the initial bet with the opposite bet. This is exactly what hedging is, allowing you to exclude the option of a complete loss of funds in case of an unsuccessful outcome.

You can use hedging both in live and in prematch betting. However, before the start of the event, the odds do not change much, and you may not get the opportunity to play it safe. In live betting, the situation is completely different, since the odds are constantly "fluctuating", making it easier to select the "correct" opposite bet.

On a separate note, the hedging of long-term bets is also worth mentioning. Some bettors like to wager their bets at the start of the championship, and in the course of it, or towards the end of the season, they will cover the initial bet. It ought to be noted here that there may be several opposite results, since the chosen team / player will have many opponents.

How to Hedge a Bet — Example

The hedge bet is not complex, even a novice bettor can handle it. To use the hedge concept, one must wager a second bet against the one already made. At the same time, the new outcome is to guarantee at least some profit from the result of the event. Let's analyze a real-life example of hedging, let's take the 2022 World Cup semi-final match between Argentina and Croatia.

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Initial bet: $100 for Argentina to win at 2.04 odds.

By the 34th minute of the match, the Argentines had scored a penalty, but in general the Croats had controlled the ball more often. Therefore, there was a sense in hedging.

Hedge bet: $75 on Croatia not losing at 2.44 odds, with the 1:0 score in favor of the Argentines.

As a result, the Argentina national team won with a score of 3:0, and the main bet had hit. However, there was a possibility of some other outcomes:

Best outcome: Argentina wins. The net gain is (204 - 100 - 75) = $29.

Hedge outcome: a draw or Croatia wins. The net gain is (183 - 100 - 75) = $8.

Worst outcome: no hedge bets + a draw or Croatia wins. In this case, the net loss is $100.

A hedge bet significantly reduces the potential win on the initial bet, but it is better to win at all than to lose everything. That is the ultimate purpose of hedging.

Should you hedge a bet?

Any bettor must understand when and what kinds of bets one can and must to cover. Of course, there is no perfect way to determine the desired outcome, but here are signs helpful in determination of the need for hedging:

  1. Significant pre-event changes. Anything can affect the outcome of the event: a sudden illness of a star player, team problems suddenly having come out, team fatigue due to a flight delay, changes in weather conditions, etc. In case the information appears just at the start of the match, you should recalculate your bet.
  2. The changes during the event. Lots of the on-field factors can affect the overall result of the event. You should monitor the match for unexpected situations that may prevent your bet from being hit by wagering the opposite bet before the "bad" events occurring in the match.
  3. Profit guarantee. During the event, a situation often occurs when you are able to cover your initial bet, with a guaranteed profit for any outcome. And if at that moment, you still have a fear of a possible loss, then you should definitely play it safe.
  4. Loss reduction. If during the event, everything points to the loss of the main bet, then you should make a hedge bet as early as possible to reduce potential losses.
  5. Preservation of profits on accumulator bets. The bettors wagering accumulator bets can and should hedge their bets in case some of the outcomes from the general bank have already "hit", and the rest can be easily covered without financial losses.
  6. Hedging long-term bets. By betting on a long-term outcome, you can catch the arbitrage moment. Fortunately, there will be plenty of time for maneuvers.

Arbitrage Betting Hedging - the Main Difference

The newbie bettors often confuse hedging with arbitrage betting, but these two are the most different terms with a unique meaning.

A hedging is a process of wagering an opposite bet made to cover a previously wagered bet.

An arbitrage bet is 2 simultaneous bets wagered on opposite outcomes in different BOs in order to increase the chances of success.

Betburger — The best arbitrage betting service

Hedging is a fairly convenient tool for insuring your bets, but a much better option is being able to choose the "right" odds at once. With the help of the BetBurger app, you will be able to find the surebets and value bets in a matter of minutes, making your existence in the betting world much, much easier. With the app, you will be able to increase your own profit from betting, while significantly reducing the time spent in searching for arbitrage situations.

Artur Polianskyi
For today Artur has 12 years of betting experience, and he kindly shares his knowledge with the readers of our blog. In his articles, you will find many useful tips for different strategies and learn more about all types of bets.
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