There are numerous ways to bet, lots of strategies, endless methods.
Some people prefer to back favourites, others look for outsiders, others look for great each-way bets.
There are punters who’re into matched betting, players looking for arbs, and so on.
The betting technique that this article will focus on is hedging, otherwise known as hedge betting.
What is hedge betting?
We clarify the definition of Hedge Betting!
• What does it consist of?
• How does it look like in practice?
Let’s take a look!
If you’re new to betting or are an inexperienced player, then you may not be familiar with hedge betting, but you’ve no doubt heard the phrase “hedge your bets” before.
But what does this mean?
What is hedging?
Hedge betting is simply betting on more than one selection in the same event.
Let’s look at an example.
There’s a horse race containing eight horses.
You’ve decided for whatever reason, that six of the horses can be dismissed, or rather you’re not interested in betting on six of the eight horses in the race.
The other two on the hand spark your interest, but you cannot decide which horse to bet on. You’re torn between the pair. You may feel that one horse is the more likely winner, but you are wary of the other.
The answer to this conundrum is reasonably simple. Bet on both horses.
You could simply apply the same stake to each bet, or you could decide on the overall amount that you wish to use, then bet most of it on your favoured horse, and then have the rest on the horse that you believe to be the danger.
This is often known as a cover bet or a saver. Think of it as insurance. The secondary bet acts as a cover of a safety net. By backing more than one horse in the same race, the bettor increases their chances of winning.
Hedge betting doesn’t only apply to horse racing. Punters can hedge their bets on many sports.
For example, if you want to bet on the home team, who happen to be favourites, in a football match, you could hedge your bets by having a small cover bet on the draw.
Realistically, hedging becomes a possibility on three-way markets and above. That is events where there are three or more possible outcomes.
The example here is a football match, where either the home team, the away team wins or the match ends in a draw.
Is hedge betting illegal?
Are you in any danger for doing so?
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Hedge betting is perfectly legal.
There is absolutely nothing stopping punters from placing hedge bets.
However, as is the case with several other betting methods, hedge betting could cause you to be restricted by bookmakers.
As touched on in other articles, bookmakers aren’t in the business of supplying smart punters with a platform for success.
If a bookmaker spots that you’re doing well by placing hedge bets, or even if they see that you’re placing hedge bets somewhat systematically and appear as though you may do well in the long term, then they’re quite likely to shut you down.
In other words, they will close or restrict your account.
Are there ways around this?
In short, yes. If you’re hedging your bets, then the best thing to do is to spread the action around.
Let’s say you want to back three different horses in the same race. Place a bet on each horse at three separate bookmakers.
This way, the fact that you’re hedging won’t be picked up on.
The problems arise when the three horses you want to back are all best price at the same betting operator, but in general, using different bookmakers for your hedge bets is the best option.
Can you hedge to guarantee profit?
• Is it possible to lock in a profit?
• How to do it?
• How does it look like in an example?
We are about to find out!
We’ve looked at the basic concept of hedging, which is basically betting on more than one selection in the same event to increase the chances of winning, but can you hedge to ensure that a profit arrives at either way?
The short answer is yes.
It is indeed possible to lock in profit hedge betting if the odds move in your favour. To those who are familiar with arbitrage betting, this may sound awfully similar, though it differs slightly in that you’re not looking to profit thanks to discrepancies between different bookies’ prices.
Instead of hedging your bets by backing more than one selection in the same event, if there is a shift in odds over time, it is possible to hedge your bets and ensure a profit is achieved.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you bet £20 on a certain golfer to win The Masters at 20/1. The golfer you’ve bet on finished tied for the lead at the end of the final day and must go to a play-off against another player.
The market rates both players at 10/11 to win via the play-off.
The player you’ve already bet on at 20/1 would yield a return of £420 if he wins, so at this point, you can hedge your bets and lock in a profit by placing a bet on the opposing player.
You could have a small cover bet, say £30 and ensure that you make a small profit of £10 if you’re original bet doesn’t win, or you could look to achieve a similar level of profit by staking more on the opposing player, ensuring that achieve virtually the same amount of profit regardless of the outcome.
• Is Hedge Betting the key to success?
• What does it look like in the long run?
• Is it worth considering?
Let’s sum up!
There are times when hedge betting is the sensible option, as shown in the instance directly above, though it would be wrong to say that hedge betting alone is a shortcut to success.
In terms of profitability, there are other strategies that can be put to better use, but that’s not to say that hedging doesn’t warrant a place in the bettors’ armory.
Hegde betting can add to the effectiveness of some punters, that’s for sure.
For example, if you’re a punter that is trying to make a profit in the long term by working hard and seeking value, then knowing how to hedge bet and can be advantageous, as there will be times when a hedge bet is the best way to secure profit.
In summary, hedge betting is absolutely something to know about. It’s certainly something that the serious bettor should understand, and something that can be used to complement a long-term, value-based betting strategy.