A lot of professional wagerers favour hedge betting to protect their stake and end up with a profit. Although it tends to be more popular with casino gaming, it’s still found fans in the world of sports betting. The concept revolves around making bets on picks that are offset against bets on differing outcomes. In this way your initial bet is protected with a parachute if a result doesn’t go your way. Unlike arbitrage betting, where a fan is forced to make the competing bets with separate bookmakers, hedge betting is usually accepted across the bookmaking industry.
Hedge betting has found the most popularity amongst tennis and football circles. If there’s a huge gap in odds between two opposing teams, there still remains the possibility that you could profit on whichever pick wins if you manage to beat the bookmakers to the punch. Say a player starts Wimbledon at incredibly long odds to win the tournament outright, but happens to be enjoying a great run of form. Making a wager on them to win on massively outside odds supported by a short bet on the bookies’ favourite means that it’s possible for you to make a profit as long as one of them wins. Now, if your secondary pick wins, then the returns you get on the favourite probably won’t be a thrilling improvement on your stake. Crucially, however, you’ve not lost anything and still made a small return, which is vital to any long term betting strategy.
Like any betting system, hedging doesn’t guarantee massive returns by default, but it can help reduce the possibility of a loss by sharing out the risk of losing over two outcomes. A punter can modify the spread of their total stake between their two bets as they please, but need to remember to ensure neither one leaves you open to a loss (assuming one of your bets succeeds). For example, you could spend a small amount on the long odds and a bigger stake on the short, whilst ensuring both results will leave you in the black. From this, it’s possible to establish a minimum amount you can look forward on a return, regardless which of your bets comes through. In fact, bookmakers frequently employ this approach in their calculations while setting odds on a result, the better to limit their liabilities against potential losses.
While hedge betting can provide a considerable safety net against your initial betting, the system has its downsides. You’ll have to have an eye for an outside chance and do a good bit of homework to stay ahead of the bookmakers when it comes to taking advantage of outside contenders. The other main problem is that you often have to stake a lot on your secondary or near cert pick to ensure a return against your longer odds bet. Whether the price us worth paying is up to a particular bettor, but it’s something to bear in mind if you want to seriously introduce hedge betting into your wagering arsenal.