HEDGING BETS

Reading time: 4 Minutes

Hedge your bets and rake in winnings you can count on – a much-discussed topic amongst sports tipsters. Here we wish to show you how to go about hedging your sports bets, the various options available to you, how it works and things you need to be aware of. After all, they are the dream of each and every sports tipster: bets with guaranteed winnings. Aside from wagering on sure bets as well as calculating and recognizing so-called “value bets”, there are a number of other betting strategies through which you can hedge your individual bets, reduce the risk involved in combo bets, and thus generate winnings reliably. We present all of this to you below.

Content on this page

  • What do we understand by “hedging bets”?
  • How can you hedge individual bets?
  • Hedging 2-way bets
  • Hedging 3-way bets
  • How do you hedge combo bets?
  • How do you hedge bets by means of live betting?

What do we understand by “hedging bets”?

Hedging bets means that your winnings are basically guaranteed. You could also refer to this as risk-free betting. And yes indeed, you will find methods and strategies in the world of sports betting that produce guaranteed winnings. Though this then poses the question, of course: If that’s the case, why don’t all sports tipsters use these simple and lucrative betting strategies? The answer is easy: You need to bear in mind that hedging bets generally involves extensive time and effort along with higher wagers, whereas the profits are frequently relatively low. That said, this is primarily a “cost-benefit” question – and by “cost”, we mean the added time and effort we were just talking about. In addition, it is imperative that you have betting accounts with several different bookies, allowing you to exploit the best odds and bonus offers to the full. Frequently, you have only a short time window in which to find the right odds that will indeed hedge your bet. Beyond that, you need to factor in the betting taxes which some bookies withhold. These may shift the scales one way or another, determining whether the bottom line of your bet comes down on the positive or negative side. Because we want to take this opportunity to clarify all the most important points you need to be aware, we now provide an in-depth analysis of how to hedge your bets. Firstly, we present to you a simple formula that will show you whether you are looking at a guaranteed winning bet or not. As our example, we take a 2-way bet which, as the name suggests, has only two possible outcomes:

  • BO I = betting outcome 1
  • BO II = betting outcome 2
  • Safe bet = 1 / Odds BO I + 1 / Odds BO II
  • Value = under 1 = bet is safe
  • For example: 1 / 2.4 + 1 / 2.2 = 0.87

The same applies to 3 betting outcomes (3-way bets) – here, the value generated by the calculation “1 / Odds BO I + 1 / Odds BO II + 1 / Odds BO III” must likewise be less than 1.

How can you hedge individual bets?

First, we introduce you to the classic variant that allows you to generate guaranteed winnings from your sports bets. And this is both the easiest as well as the most lucrative option: We are talking about hedging individual bets. Because the individual bet is not tied to a second bet, we are able to concentrate exclusively on the different potential outcomes of this particular wager. We must draw a distinction between 2-way and 3-way bets. The type of sport we choose to bet on plays basically no role. We now provide you with clear examples for both scenarios:

Hedging 2-way bets

2-way wagers give you the best opportunity to hedge your bets since you only have to look for two sets of odds. Well-known forms of bet with two possible outcomes include double chance bets, head-to-head bets, over/under bets, draw no bets, as well as betting on the winner of a sporting event where a draw is excluded, such as a tennis match. This category also includes bets that function on a yes/no principle. This refers to bets on or against late goals being scored or for/against a specific goal scorer, etc. For a guaranteed win, you will logically have to bet on both outcomes of the wager in question. The fundamental requirement for hedging 2-way bets is to place your opposing wagers with two different bookmakers. Because of that, clearly, it is important to have betting accounts with several bookmakers. After all, you are reliant on different estimations of the probability of certain sporting outcomes, which is then reflected in divergent odds. For both betting outcomes, you will need to find odds that are being quoted higher than 2.00. If that is the case, you are guaranteed to win! Here is a concrete example of such a bet:

  • VfL Wolfsburg vs. VfB Stuttgart
  • “Will at least one goal be scored in each half?”
  • Bookmaker A | Odds YES 2.10
  • Bookmaker B | Odds NO 2.30

If you were to wager €10 on both betting outcomes, depending on the result of your winnings would be either 1 or 3 euros – meaning that your bet would have been successfully hedged. However, and as we previously mentioned, finding such odds generally involves a lot of time and effort, whereas the profit is rather limited. Extremely divergent odds, such as Outcome A (odds 3.00), Outcome B (odds 2.50) are essentially illusory in the world of 2-way bets.

Hedging 3-way bets

Since, as we have seen, finding the appropriate odds to secure a 2-way bet is far from an easy task, it is quite apparent that doing the same for a 3-way bet would be correspondingly even more difficult, if not impossible. After all, for each of the three possible outcomes you would need to find odds of at least 3.00 in order to guarantee that your bet would be secured. You could pursue the following strategy: In 3-way betting, you begin by categorically excluding one of the three possible outcomes – you then place two individual bets on each of the two remaining outcomes. In which case, it is extremely easy to find two odds that are at least 2.00. In this strategy, it isn’t necessary to place your bets with different bookmakers, just so long as you make individual bets. However, in order to exploit the best available odds, we would still recommend taking that approach. Now, let us use as our example a standard 1X2 bet on a match involving Wolfsburg against Stuttgart. In our case, we immediately exclude Tip 2 since we believe that an away victory is highly unlikely. Which leaves us with Tip 1 and Tip X:

  • Bookmaker A | Tip 1, Odds 2.4
  • Bookmaker B | Tip X, Odds 3.5

Now, assuming that one of these two results indeed occurs, if you had wagered €10 in each case, you would end up with a profit of either 4 euros (Tip 1) or 15 euros (Tip X). In other words, you would have more or less hedged your 3-way bet. Of course, the greatest risk would be if the third outcome, which we had not bet on, comes to pass. In that case, both of the two other individual bets would be lost. Aside from this strategy, there are two other types of bet that involve a certain degree of risk minimization along with considerably lower expenditure of time and effort. Draw no bets, double chance bets and Asian handicap bets come to mind especially.

How do you hedge combo bets?

When we look at combo bets, too, we can’t truly talk about guaranteed winnings, only of maximizing our chances of winning. That said, we wish to present to you a betting strategy which, though it does not guarantee you will win, makes it significantly more likely that you will do so. Our example involves a so-called “multiple bet”, in which two separate bets are placed on one and the same betting outcome. That means, you will place two combo bets, with one part of the bet identical and only one result different. In most cases, a multiple combo bet is used in order to hedge a risky longshot bet and thus hedge the riskier, more lucrative of the two combo bets. To clarify this, we provide you with a concrete example and precise calculations:

How do you hedge bets by means of live betting?

Aside from the classic variant – hedging a 2-way individual bet – securing your wagers by means of live betting is becoming increasingly popular. Using this strategy, you can pursue two fundamental ideas: On the one hand, you can hedge your bets by wagering on two different outcomes of a certain sporting event, while on the other, it is possible to place one bet before the event gets underway and a second bet in the course of that live event. For your betting success to be guaranteed, once again you will have to find respective odds of over 2.00. As an example of this, we present an extremely popular strategy: live bets on a favorite who is behind in the match. This form of hedging works best, incidentally, in basketball. In a first step, look for an appropriate match and bet on a win by the underdog. We suggest not staking too much. Under ideal circumstances, the favorite will get off to a slow start and be trailing early – in basketball, for example, when the favorite might well be trailing narrowly after the first or second quarter – this is your moment to strike: As soon as the odds on a win by the favorite have climbed to over 2.00, go ahead and place your second individual bet. Now, regardless of the final outcome of the game, because your bet is secured your win is also guaranteed. If, however, the underdog has a big lead, contrary to expectations, then there is no need to hedge your bet – simply take full advantage of the top odds that had been offered on the underdog. And if the favorite runs away with the game from the very outset, you can somewhat compensate for your original squandered bet on the underdog by placing a bet on the favorite or considering a different live bet.

TO THE BETTING STRATEGIES