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Peter Addison

Hedge betting is a way of betting designed to minimise losses. You place two bets on opposing outcomes with the idea being that if your main bet loses, the gains from your alternative bet will recover as much of your stake as possible for you. This page will explain precisely what hedge betting entails, and how you can use it to significantly improve your betting strategy.

How Hedge Betting Works

Hedging your bets can be done with any sport. You find your main bet, and then you place a secondary bet in order to regain your stake should your first bet lose. The hope is that both bets win, or at least one bet wins. The only downside is that should both bets lose, you won’t make any kind of profit!

You may think that hedge betting is such a good idea that it’s a wonder that not everyone does it and that all bookmakers should have gone out of business by now. However, there is one ‘issue’ with hedge betting – the bookies’ odds are set in such a way to make it very difficult to guarantee a profit no matter how you bet. Sadly, there is no guaranteed way to make a consistent profit from hedge betting, but hedge betting will help you to significantly minimise your losses.

A Hedge Betting Example

For our example, we are going to look at the UCL quarter-finals for the 2023-24 season. The odds are as follows:

UCL 202324

The bet we fancy is Dortmund to beat Atletico in the UEFA Champions League, as they are a goal down from the first leg. We are going to bet £10 on them. However, to give ourselves a little extra protection, we are going to bet on Manchester City as well. We would need to bet £6 in order to recover our £10 bet should Dortmund fail to beat Atletico, so our total outlay is £16.

The bet has four possible results as follows:

  • Dortmund win, City win: returns £22 + £9.90 = £31.90 returns = £15.90 profit
  • Dortmund win, City don’t: returns £22 + £0 = £22 returns = £6 profit
  • Dortmund don’t win, City do: returns £0 + £9.90 = £6.10 loss
  • Both Dortmund & City don’t win: returns £0 = £16 loss

As you can see, if Dortmund win, we are guaranteed a profit even if City don’t, but if Dortmund don’t win we’ll suffer a smaller loss (£6.10 as opposed to £10) than if we don’t hedge our bet. Our potential profits are much higher (£15.90 as opposed to £12), although the risk is our losses will also be higher (£16 as opposed to £10) should both our bets fall through, although we are betting thinking that such an outcome is unlikely.

Why Hedge Your Bets?

Sports betting is unpredictable. It would be nice if there was a way of guaranteeing winning every bet, but that is not so. Hedging bets meaning betting on a stake-recovering bet is a very good way of minimising your losses when you don’t get everything right. In our example above, our original intention was to back Dortmund, however, by adding Manchester City to our betting slip, we are adding some protection to our bet should it backfire. City are a good price at 1.65, meaning they are heavily backed to win, but that of course doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to win.

With a Dortmund bet alone, we would be looking at a £12 profit or a £10 loss. If Dortmund don’t win but City do, that loss will be reduced to £6.10. We also have the added element of both bets winning with the profit raised to £15.90, although that is balanced by the prospect of both teams losing resulting in a £16 loss.

How to Hedge a Bet

Hedging a bet is simple once you become accustomed to it. The first step is to choose the bet you want to place, and your stake. The next step is to choose the bet for your hedge bet. Normally, it is considered the best policy to choose a hedge bet that is odds-on, as such bets lose less frequently than bets that are not odds-on. One further step is needed to calculate the cost of your bet hedging.

This is easier to achieve if you use decimal odds as it makes the maths simpler. Just divide your main bet stake by the odds of your hedge bet. In our example above, Manchester City were priced at 1.65, and our stake on Dortmund is £10, therefore:

£10 / 1.65 = £6.06

If you can only find fractional odds, you can convert to decimal by treating the odds as a sum and adding one. The fractional odds for Man City were 13/20, so 13 divided by 20 is 0.65, adding the one comes to 1.65. This is how to calculate a hedge bet, but if you don’t like crunching numbers, you could use a hedge bet calculator instead.

So, we now have our two bets:

£10 placed on Borussia Dortmund to win at 2.20

£6.06 (or £6, we rounded down) placed on Manchester City at 1.65

All we need to do now is log on to our preferred online sports betting site and place our hedge bets meaning we should at least recover most of our stake if our hedge bet wins. If you struggle with odds, why not check this page which explains all about betting odds.

Hedge Betting Tips and Strategies

There are lots of ways you can hedge bet on different sports, and you can add hedge betting to your arsenal of (hopefully) successful betting strategies. Here are a few hedge betting tips and strategies that you might find useful.

  1. Hedge Against a Danger

    The favourite in an event wins often, but not all the time. However, favourites tend to win more frequently than non favourites. Backing the favourite is often a decent strategy, but you can enhance your chances by hedging the second favourite. That way you stand a very good chance of winning coupled with a very decent chance of breaking even or making a small profit.
  2. Hedge to Lock in Profits or Limit Losses

    Backing a selection to win outright at the start of any competition is when the odds are highest, but it is also when it is most difficult to back the right contender. For a progressive competition such as a knockout tournament, you can monitor the progress of your backed competitor and hedge bets accordingly on other fancied competitors so you are guaranteed a profit. Usually, it is only when a competition nears its end when some prices trip over the ‘Evens’ barrier, so you should never need to back at odds-on.
  3. Hedge Against a Poor Decision

    Yep, we’ve all done it, we’ve placed a bet and then a day or two later we are asking ourselves serious questions as to why we did that. If this describes you, then you can minimise the losses from an unadvised bet by hedging a bet that’s a more sensible option.
  4. Hedging In-Play

    The ability to bet in play is a great source of comfort when it comes to bets gone wrong. Say you bet on a snooker player to win the match over ten frames and they immediately go three frames down. Of course, there’s a chance they’ll come back, but you can now hedge your bet on their opponent to recover some of the losses you are likely to incur, plus if they do stage a comeback, you will still be profitable.
  5. Hedge Against a Parlay Loss

    Parlays are any kind of bet that revolves around multiple outcomes. Say you have a four-leg parlay or accumulator which you have placed £10 on. If your final leg loses, then that’s that tenner flushed down the betting toilet. You can now hedge your entire parlay by placing a hedge bet on your final leg falling down. That way if your parlay does fall at the final hurdle, you will still be able to recover some or all of your stake.


Perhaps one day someone will find a way of guaranteeing a profit every time you place a bet, but until that hallowed day comes there are many strategies you can adopt as you attempt to perfect your betting strategy. Sports hedge betting is one such strategy. It will not allow you to guarantee a profit all of the time, but with clever betting, you will be able to lock in profits sometimes and minimise losses the rest of the time. Why not give hedge betting a try and see if it works for you?


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Peter Addison
Peter Addison

Peter is one of the most well-known and well-respected names working in the field of online sports betting today. Having a Bachelor of Arts degree, Peter has worked for many high-profile publications in the industry, both online and in the real world. He joined the SafestBettingSites team in 2021 and has provided millions of words ever since. When not writing, Peter enjoys performing and writing music, gaming, reading and he is a massive movie buff, with a particular love of Japanese cinema and anime.