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Hedge Betting – What is hedge betting and how to hedge a bet [2024]

If arbitrage betting sounds too complex and getting insurance against the possibility of losing is enough for you, then hedge betting may be the solution you are looking for.

In this context, hedge bets can also be used as the answer to the question of how to get max value when betting: Even if you lose your original bet, you still have a chance to make a profit. We have prepared a special value football betting guide for more info.


This system, which you can easily use on bookies that don’t limit your options, is also suitable for beginners and does not require previous experience.

You can find everything you wonder about this system that you can start using right now in this guide.

Below, we will first answer the question of what is hedge betting and talk about the best sports betting strategies you can use for these bets.

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What is hedge betting?

Let’s start by explaining what does hedge betting mean. We can see hedge betting as a type of sports betting money management system. In its simplest form, this system means placing another bet on a particular event opposite to the original bet. Thus, even if the original bet is lost, there is still a chance of making a profit: the second bet becomes some kind of insurance.

Contrary to popular belief, hedge betting does not mean making a profit using the difference between low oddshigh odds offered for a particular event. This is arbitrage betting and it is different from hedge bets. Hedge betting is much simpler and can be defined as placing two opposite bets for the two most likely outcomes. When you read the examples below, you will get a clearer idea of what this means.

The meaning of 'hedge your bets'

Hedge is an old verb in English that is used since the 16th century. Its original meaning was “avoid commitment”, so “hedge your bets” actually means “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”.

In the early 17th century, the term started to get used in financial transactions. Since then, it simply means “make additional bets with other bookies to cover every outcome of a specific event”.

A football hedge betting example

  • Suppose you made a EUR 100 bet with odds of 1.60 on Team A to win FIFA 2023 in January.
  • However, in March, you saw that Team A performed less than expected: You realized that Team B is also likely to win FIFA 2023.
  • Therefore, you have decided to place another 100 EUR bet with 1.30 odds on Team B as well.

Congratulations, this is called hedge betting and you’ve successfully completed it. This is a simple example, but it allows you to understand how hedge bets work: You placed two different bets on the two most likely outcomes. Thus, you have insured your first bet: Even if you lose it, you can still win your second bet.

  • If you win your first bet, you will receive a total payout of 260 EUR. You invested 100 EUR for this bet.
  • If you win your second bet, you will receive a total payout of 230 EUR. You also invested 100 EUR for this bet.
  • In other words, you spent 200 EUR in total but will earn either 230 EUR or 260 EUR: You will make a profit anyway.

Guaranteed betting vs hedge betting: Are they the same thing?


While hedge betting is a profitable football betting strategy, it does not guarantee that you will make a profit. In the example above, Team C could also win FIFA 2023: In such a case, you lose both bets. Hedge bets allow you to increase your chances of winning by simply placing a bet on the second most likely outcome, but they give no guarantee.

Calculating a back to lay hedge bet: The hedge betting formula

First, let’s briefly answer the question of what is lay betting: Laying is betting that an outcome will not happen (for example, a team will lose the match or with lay the draw, that the match won’t end in a draw). Backing, on the contrary, is to bet that an outcome will occur (for example, a team will win the match).

Back to lay is simply to place an additional lay bet on a back bet that you have previously played, so as we explained above, you are hedging on the two most likely outcomes (the team will either win or lose the match).

Suppose you bet 100 EUR at odds of 1.45 for Team A’s probability of winning (back) at the beginning of the match. 1.30 odds are offered for Team A’s probability of losing (lay). If you calculate the amount of the lay bet (hedge bet) correctly, you will be able to make a certain profit in any case. The formula you will use to calculate this amount is:

  • (back price * back stake) / current lay odds = hedge bet amount
  • (1.45 * 100) / 1.30 = 111.53 EUR

By using the best odds margins at the best odds bookmakers, you can further increase your potential earnings. You can use this formula on the easiest sports to bet on, like football and tennis. So hedge bets are among tennis betting strategies and hedge betting tennis is possible.

How to hedge live betting?

Hedge bets can also be used as a live betting system and provide the same advantages. The only difference is that they become available after the match starts, and the betting window remains open until the match ends. So before the match is over, you can increase your odds of making a profit by placing both back and lay bets. This time, let’s explain the lay to back hedge bet by giving an example:

Let’s assume at the beginning of the match that you bet 50 EUR on Team A to lose (lay), at odds of 2.5. The same bookmaker offers 3.20 odds for the probability of Team A to win. Until the match is over, you can increase your odds of making a profit by placing a hedge bet that you calculate according to the following formula:

  • (lay odds * lay stake) / back odds = hedge bet amount
  • (2.5 * 50) / 3.20 = 39,06 EUR

Hedge betting can be used not only to secure a win but also to minimize your losses. So while you would normally lose 100 EUR, with a correctly played hedge bet you can reduce this amount to 20 EUR, for example: This applies to both pre-match and live bets.

Football hedge betting system: What you need to know

Football is one of the most suitable sports for hedge betting, and generally, the following two basic football hedging strategies will enable you to use hedge bets in the most efficient way:

  • If odds drop after playing lay bet, place a back bet.
  • If odds increase after playing back bet, place a lay bet.

You can use this simple football hedging system in all bookmakers with statistics and increasing/dropping odds tracking is all you need to do. In other words, it is a very easy strategy to use and can be used for both favorite and underdog betting. Hedge bets should be preferred mostly for outcomes that will occur in the distant future, as it will be easier to follow the changes in odds. As mentioned above, in-game hedge bets are possible, but future betting is the most ideal option for this system.

Using bonuses for hedge betting

One of the most common sports betting mistakes beginners make is not using bonuses. Whereas, almost every bookmaker offers a free bet bonus for new members. Using this bonus, it is possible to place hedge bets and this advantage is particularly useful for money line betting. To give an example:

  • Find a bookmaker that offers a free bet bonus and become a member. In this example, we will assume that you have won a 20 EUR bonus.
  • Place a € 25 back bet at odds of 2.00 for Team A to win a match.
  • Use your free bet balance to place a 20 EUR bet with odds of 2.00 for Team A to lose the match.
  • If you win the first bet, you will receive 50 EUR. If you win the second bet, you will receive a 40 EUR payout. In any case, you will make a profit just because you invested 25 EUR.

Hedge fund betting

Further Information

Sports betting hedge fund is completely different from hedge betting. However, let’s explain briefly what it is because they are often confused with each other. Betting hedge funds are an asset class that investors can use in the sports market. It appeals to investors, not bettors.

They are no different from any other hedge fund. Only the resources needed to create the fund are chosen from the sports betting market, not from stocks or currencies. It is not actual betting; it is a type of investment.

Pros and cons of hedge betting


  • Easy to use
  • Minimizes the risk
  • Acts like insurance for your original bet
  • Can be used on any sport


  • There is no guaranteed profit
  • Sometimes arbitrage betting may be the better option

Frequently Asked Questions about hedge betting:

Is hedge betting legal is a popular question so here is the short answer: No. This is not an illegal method and there is no law that prevents it. Some bookies, however, may state that hedge betting is against their TOS.

Hedge bets are available as an option at many betting exchange UK sites. If they are not available, you can still use them because this is a method that involves placing two bets to cover every possible outcome. In this regard, you can use it at any bookmaker out there.

Due to their unique features, we recommend starting with Betfair hedge betting and Betway hedge betting. Both are among the best sports betting exchanges and support different bet types. We also have guides for Betfair trading strategies and making a living on Betfair.

As mentioned above, we recommend watching the change in odds: If they drop after placing a lay bet, place a back bet too. If they increase, place a back bet against your lay bet.

The goal of hedge betting is to minimize risks and guarantee a profit if possible. In this regard, it can be used in all sports. However, football and tennis are the most popular options for hedge bets.

Start placing hedge bets today

You have learned what is hedge betting: It is time to make some practice. When used right, hedge bets can help you to score a payout no matter what and they can be used by anyone without the need for previous experience.

Simply put, hedge betting is your friend: You should start using it right now. Pick one of our recommended bookmakers and don’t forget to check our other guides (i.e. low odds laying system, how to bet on draws, best staking plan for low odds) too. Good luck!