How to Hedge a Bet: A Guide To Hedge Betting 2024

Brett Curtis
Last updated: | 10 min read

Hedge betting is a sports betting strategy where players can limit risk by placing wagers on multiple outcomes on the same event. If carried out effectively, it is one of the best ways to guarantee profits and/or minimize losses.

Even if you’re not an advanced sports bettor, you’ve probably heard of the phrase “hedging your bets” in day to day life. Essentially, it is covering yourself against a negative situation. We will explore more about how this works in sports betting, so that you can develop a greater understanding of certain scenarios when hedging may be a sensible option.

Factors For When You Should Hedge a Bet?

Ultimately, there are various situations where you may consider hedging a sports bet. If you are feeling super confident about your initial wager, then you may see no reason to eat away at your potential profit. However, these are some factors that may make you think otherwise:

  • Locking in profits.  The nature of odds mean that they can work in your favor in certain circumstances. You can manipulate two bets to guarantee overall profit, either by favoring one bet over the other, or creating equal payouts on all outcomes.
  • Limiting losses. On the flip side, sometimes the game is up and you’re heading for a loss either way. Hedging can be as much about damage control as it can running to the bank with cash in hand.
  • Changing circumstances. Suspensions, injuries, weather, poor form…these factors can all mess up our bets in sport. Sensing this is a possibility may make you decide to hedge and cover all outcomes.
  • Live hedging. Odds will change in-play as the event develops, meaning you can hedge even more effectively. If you’ve backed a player to win a tennis match on the moneyline market and they go one set up, the odds on the opposing player will greatly increase.
  • Futures hedging. Futures hedging is extremely common among sports bettors, as they become more anxious as the season progresses. You can receive massive odds on an NFL team to win the Super Bowl before the season begins, for example, so you may want to hedge against them on the other team before the big game.
  • Parlay hedging. Similarly to future hedging, some sports bettors will hedge as their parlays develop. This works most effectively when only one leg is remaining, so that you can guarantee overall profit in case it loses on the final game.

How to Hedge a Futures Bet

Futures betting is one of the most popular markets for many sports bettors. It’s fun to predict the winner of a tournament, for example, as it can provide more interest across the overall season, rather than a specific game or gameweek. The odds will also be more generous, as obviously it is much more difficult for a player/team to win a tournament than a single game.

In terms of hedge betting, futures betting can prove effective as these odds will reduce as the player/team edges closer to ultimate success. As an example, here are some odds for the NBA Championship in 2024:

Let’s imagine we want to bet $100 on the Clippers to win the NBA Championship at odds of +575. This would give us a $575 profit if the Clippers can finally end their drought.

In this hypothetical scenario, the Clippers reach the final. You can almost taste the payout. However, they’re playing against the formidable Boston Celtics, who are the favorites to win their 18th championship.

You decide that you want to hedge your bet to guarantee some profit either way. Before placing a hedge bet, you should calculate how much you would need to bet to weight the returns evenly:

Original bet = -+575 * $100 = $675 return

Hedge odds (Celtic to win) = -200

Hedge bet (Celtic to win) = -200 * $450 = $675 return

Total bet amount = $550

Total profit = $125

From here, depending on how you are feeling about your original bet, you can decide whether you want to hedge bet a greater or smaller amount on the Celtics. For example, halving your hedge bet to $225 would provide a $337.50 return at a total stake of $325 if the Celtics win. On the flip side, if the Clippers win, your overall profit would be $350 rather than only $125.

How to Hedge a Parlay Bet

Parlay bets are another hugely popular form of sports betting. This is where you can combine multiple bets into one, with the sports betting odds multiplying each time. As a result, this can provide huge payouts even if you decide to bet on multiple favorites.

For example, you could bet on the Chiefs, 49ers, Ravens, and Dolphins all to win in the same NFL gameweek. Let’s imagine they are all favorites at odds of -200 each. If we were to only bet one of these teams as a single bet, we would need to stake $200 to make $100 profit. Yet if we combine all four into a parlay, our returns would be over $1,000 if we staked $200.

As such, it is little surprise that many sports bettors turn to hedging parlay bets as they develop. Let’s imagine the Chiefs, 49ers, and Ravens all win on Sunday afternoon, but the Dolphins aren’t playing until Sunday evening. They’re up against the Bills, who have won their last two games. We can hedge our bet by staking a selected amount on the Bills, ensuring that we won’t be left empty-handed regardless of the final outcome.

How to Hedge a Live Bet

Most people prefer to place bets before the event has began, as the odds can rapidly change during play. However, if you are quick off the mark and a skilful bettor, you can use this to your advantage when it comes to hedge betting on live action.

Let’s imagine we have staked $100 on an NFL team to win at odds of +180. This would give us a profit of $180 if we are successful. However, you know this will be a close game, meaning you would be happy to lock in a certain profit threshold at some point during the game.

You decide the amount you would be happy with is $100. We can use a hedging calculator to determine what odds we need the opposition to drift to for a profit of $100. From our original bet at odds of +180, we can wait until the opposition drifts to +250, before wagering $80 on them. This will guarantee us a $100 profit regardless of the result.

Using Multiple Sportsbooks To Hedge a Bet

When hedge betting, it makes sense to have access to multiple sportsbooks. This is because betting lines and odds can differ massively between different betting sites, meaning you could be minimizing your potential profits. For example, you can checkout our guide on California Sports Betting Apps to find a suitable sportsbook for yourself.

You don’t need to use the same sportsbook to hedge. For example, you could place your initial bet on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl with BetOnline at the best possible odds, before hedging on the Chiefs with Bovada at the best possible odds. This way you have maximized your returns on both possible outcomes.

How to Sign Up and Hedge a Bet

If you’re interested in signing up for one of the best online betting sites, follow these simple steps. In this guide, we’ll use BetOnline as an example of a top-rated sportsbook. However, the process should be just as easy with any established provider.

Step 1: Choose an Online Betting Site

Visit the homepage of the sportsbook you prefer. Our recommended option is BetOnline, one of the best offshore sportsbooks. They offer fast and easy payouts and a 100% bonus on first-time deposits, and do not charge deposit fees.

Step 2: Create a Betting Account

To create an account with most bookmakers, look for the “Join” or “Sign Up” option located in the top right corner of their website.

You will be required to provide personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and other necessary details. The screenshot below shows the required information needed to create an account at BetOnline.

After filling out all the necessary information, simply click on the “Create Account” button to complete the process.

Step 3: Verification

After submitting your details, the bookmaker will verify them. The duration of this process varies depending on the bookmaker and your background, but it is usually fast, especially with BetOnline.

Step 4: Fund Your Account & Enter a Promo Code

After verifying your details, the next step is to fund your account and enter any required promo code. Please ensure that you deposit enough funds to qualify for the welcome bonus.

You can select your preferred payment method, and different welcome bonuses may be available based on your banking option.

Step 5: Start Playing

Now that your account is fully verified and funded, you are ready to start hedge betting!

The Best Hedge Betting Strategies

As part of our guide on how to  implement a hedging strategy, we want to expand on some pointers that could help you maximize your profits from this way of placing sports wagers. Feel free to use some of the following tips to increase your chances of winning when hedging:

  • Compare betting odds. As we have touched upon, comparing odds across multiple sportsbooks is a crucial part of hedge betting. This is because you can maximize your profits by doing so. Why pay more for the same product from one shop when you can spend less across two?
  • Choose the best markets. Ultimately it is down to you to figure out which markets you enjoy and profit from most. We believe future bets are the most obvious for hedge betting, as the odds will drop as the team progresses, increasing your margins in the process. However, moneyline, spread, and totals betting are all simple to hedge with too, especially when you throw in live betting.
  • Effectively balance your bets. Hedging isn’t always about making the same amount of profit on all results. Ultimately, you made your original bet because you believed it would win. You should still reap the majority of the rewards if your prediction comes true, so consider splitting returns 75/25 rather than 50/50.
  • Limit losses. On a similar theme, hedge betting isn’t always about locking in profit. Smart bettors will be able to sense when their original bet is heading for a loss, and execute damage control by hedging on the other team/player.
  • Use with parlays. Like futures betting, parlays are an obvious market to use hedge betting. There is nothing worse than your parlay bet falling at the final hurdle, but a hedge bet can soften the blow. Betting on games taking place at different times across a gameweek will give you more time to react.

Pros and Cons of Hedge Betting

While hedge betting can be an excellent strategy when sports betting, not everything about it is perfect. We have provided some of the key pros and cons to consider when hedge betting:

Pro Cons
Lock in guaranteed profits Potentially eating away at profit from original bet
Minimize potential losses Staking/depositing more money
Reduce stress when following sports May regret not trusting your original bet


What is hedge betting?

Hedge betting is where you back multiple outcomes on a sporting event to guarantee profit or minimize losses.

Why would I need to hedge bet?

You don’t need to hedge bet, but it can ensure that you walk away from your bets with profit, or lower losses. It reduces risk and variance when sports betting.

How do you calculate a hedge bet?

There are ample hedge betting calculators online. These allow you to enter your original stake at the original odds, and then the hedge odds to see how much you should stake to balance the overall profit. You can then adjust this amount depending on whether you want to favor one outcome.

Can I hedge bet in live betting?

Providing there are live markets on the event, you can hedge bet when live betting. You could place one bet before the event and hedge bet in-play, or do both while live betting.