Hedge Betting: A Comprehensive Guide to Using a Hedge Calculator

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Learning how to hedge bets is one of the best things you can do to improve your performance as a sports bettor. Not only can hedge betting help you to win more often, but it can also help you to lock in profits or reduce potential losses even before an event has reached its conclusion.

In this guide, we'll start by discussing what hedge betting is and the benefits it provides. We'll then explain how to hedge bets manually, and how to use a hedge betting calculator to make things as easy as possible. Example scenarios will be provided to illustrate how hedge calculator betting works in practice.

Understanding Hedge Betting

Hedge betting is a term that is used quite regularly among serious sports betting fans. Those who are new to the hobby sometimes assumeโ€”because hedge betting can be so effectiveโ€”that it's a complicated approach. While that might have been the case when calculations all had to be performed manually, the advent of modern hedge calculator apps has made the strategy accessible to everyone.

What is Hedge Betting?

Hedge betting involves making two or more bets in the same market and adjusting the stake on each in order to achieve a particular objective. The bets might be made at the same time, or separately, depending on the scenario.

For example, in a certain horse race, you might bet on two, three, or more runners at the same time so that you have a greater chance of finding the winner. Or, in a tennis match, you might initially bet on one player to win. And thenโ€”when your chosen player has asserted his or her dominanceโ€”you could bet on the opponent at longer odds in order to lock in a guaranteed profit.

Why Use Hedge Betting?

There are several ways in which hedge betting can potentially help you, and the benefits that you get from the approach will largely depend on how you implement it. Here are some of the most valuable things you'll be able to do when you know how to hedge bets as explained in this guide.

Increase Your Chances

As we mentioned a few moments ago in our horse racing example, one benefit of hedge betting is that it can be used to increase your chances of winning. The more possible outcomes in an event that you bet on, the more likely you are to get a return. And if you calculate your stakes properly, you can make the same profit no matter which one of your selections goes on to win.

Insure Against a Danger

In an event where you have a main selection, but there is another competitor that poses a danger, you can bet on both. You can use hedge calculator betting to stake in such a way that you make a profit if your main selection wins, and that you get all your money back if the danger wins.

Lock In Profits

A second way to use hedge betting is to help you lock in profits before an event has concluded. Let's say that you initially bet on the home team to win a soccer match, and your team scores to take the lead in the first ten minutes. That would cause the odds on your team to contract and the odds on the away team and the draw to drift. You could then place smaller bets on both the draw and the away team to cover your outlay should your team concede a draw or lose.

Reduce Potential Losses

Hedge betting can also be used to help you reduce potential losses if you decide that an event is turning against you. For example, if you bet on a tennis player to win a match and it's clear from the first few minutes that he or she isn't playing as well as you'd like, you could place a bet on the opposing player to reduce your overall exposure.

The Basics of Calculating a Hedge Bet

Thanks to modern hedge bet calculator apps, it really isn't necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of mathematics to benefit from the strategy. That said, a basic understanding of how to perform simple hedge bet calculations manually can give you a useful insight into what is involved.

To give you that basic understanding, we will now take you through a hedge bet calculation in two stages. The result of this calculation will tell you how you can bet on each of two different selections in the same event in order to achieve the exact same profit if either one of them wins.

Calculate the Original Bet Return

Start by making sure that you have the odds of your first selection in decimal format. If you are viewing the odds in fractional or American formats, use our Betting Odds Converter to quickly convert them into their decimal equivalent.

Next, calculate the expected size of your return from the first bet if it wins. To do this, multiply your intended stake by the decimal odds.

For example, if you wanted to stake $20 on your first selection at odds of 2.50, your expected return would be $20 multiplied by 2.50 = $50.

Calculate the Second Bet Stake

Again, start by making sure that you have the odds of your second selection in decimal format. Use our Betting Odds Converter if necessary.

Next, take the expected return from the first selection and divide it by the decimal odds available for your second selection. This will tell you how much you should stake on the second selection.

For example, if your second selection is available at odds of 4.00, your stake should be $50 divided by 4.00 = $12.50.

What This Hedge Bet Calculation Reveals

You now know that if you stake $20 on your first selection at odds of 2.50, and $12.50 on your selection at 4.00, your total outlay would be $32.50. Whichever one of your selections wins, you will get a return of $50. That means you would make a profit of $18.50 should either selection win the event.

Of course, if neither one of your selections wins, both of your bets would lose, for a total loss of $32.50.

Common Hedge Bet Scenarios

Having learned how to hedge bets manually, you will appreciate how using a hedge bet calculator can make life easier. We will discuss how to do that shortly, but first, it makes sense to pause for a few moments to talk about how you might use the hedging strategy in other types of betting markets. The main ones that will be of most use to sports bettors are the Futures, Live, and Parlay markets.

Hedging Future Bets

As their name suggests, futures betting markets concern events that are scheduled to take place in the future. This could be days, weeks, or even months ahead. Sportsbooks set their initial odds based on the information that they have at the time the market is created, but those odds will change as additional results and information come in.

This is great news for hedge betting fans because it means that you can look to bet on competitors that you believe have a great chance, and then hedge your position as the odds shift in your favor.

Another way of hedging futures bets is by betting early when the available odds are relatively high and betting on three or four selections instead of just one.

For example, let's say that you want to bet on the Wimbledon Men's Singles tournament, which usually takes place at the end of June or early July. You might bet on each of the three best-seeded players at the start of the year at odds of 4.00, 5.00, and 6.00 to make a known profit if one of them wins.

Hedging Live Bets

Most major sportsbooks will allow you to bet on big events even as they are being played. It is these live betting markets that enable you to lock in profits or reduce potential losses, as described previously.

One thing to be aware of when hedge betting in live markets is that the odds are constantly changing - literally from moment to moment. For that reason, using a hedge calculator is vital, as it's the only way that you'll be able to calculate stakes and make bets in a timely manner.

Hedging Parlay Bets

A parlay bet is a single bet on several different events. All of your selections have to win their events for the bet as a whole to win, and if any one of them loses, the whole parlay will lose. The potential profit from a parlay can be considerable, as the odds of winning selections are multiplied rather than added.

Hedging parlay bets can be useful because it can help to "insure" your position when most of your selections have won and you have just one selection left to go. In that situation, you couldโ€”in certain casesโ€”bet on all other possibilities in the last event so that you end up with an overall profit no matter what happens.

Parlay Bet Example:

For example, let's imagine that you've placed a parlay bet on four tennis matches and that each of your first three selections has won. We'll assume that the odds for each selection were 1.50 when you struck the bet and that you staked $10. That would give you an expected return of:
1.50 x 1.50 x 1.50 x 1.50 x $10 = $50.62.

In this scenario, everything is hinging on your final selection. You would obviously like your original selection to win, but you could now bet on his or her opponent in the last event to cover yourself. If the opponent is available at odds of 2.00, you could either stake $10 for an expected return of $20, covering the outlay for both bets, or you could stake more to make a profit. A $20 hedge bet, for example, would give you a $40 return if the opponent wins, for an overall profit of $10 on your total outlay.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Hedge Calculator

Now that you have a broad understanding of how to hedge bets and some of the main ways in which this strategy can be used, we'll turn our attention to the topic of using a hedge bet calculator app. Given all the information that we've already presented, you'll find hedge calculator betting to be very straightforward, especially if you use our one at the top of the page.

Our hedge betting calculator is a simple but powerful tool that will enable you to calculate how much you need to stake on your hedge bet in order to achieve the same profit if either of your bets wins.

Step 1: Input the Original Bet Odds

First, enter the odds of your main selection (in American odds format) into the box labeled My Odds. If necessary, you can use our Betting Odds Converter to obtain American equivalents if you only have decimal or fractional odds.

  • Try it now by entering odds of +150 in My Odds.

Step 2: Input the Original Bet Stake

Next, in the box labeled Bet Amount, enter the amount of money that you have staked, or want to stake, on the main selection. Enter the value in dollars, but don't worry about entering the dollar sign itself.

  • Try it now by entering a stake of 100 in Bet Amount.

Step 3: Input the Hedge Bet Odds

The third and final step is to enter the odds available for your hedge selection into the box labeled Hedge Odds. Again, enter the value in dollars.

  • Try it now by entering a stake of 300 in Hedge Odds.

Step 4: Read the Results

As soon as you have carried out the previous three steps, you will see a figure automatically appear in the Hedge Amount box. This is the amount that you should stake on the hedge selection.

  • If you have been working through the example figures provided, the Hedge Amount box should tell you to bet $62.50 on the hedge selection.

Our hedge calculator also provides some other very useful information, namely:

  • Total Bet Amount - The overall outlay for both the main and hedge bets.
  • Total Payout - Your expected return if either bet wins the event.
  • Hedge Profit - The amount you'll make over and above your outlay.

To clear the hedge bet calculator of all entries for the next calculation, simply hit the Reset button.

Tips for Successful Hedge Betting

Hedge betting is a tried-and-tested strategy that you can, with a little thought and creativity, adapt to a wide variety of sports and markets. But before you rush off to do that, here are a couple of tips for successful hedge betting that you might find useful.

Monitoring Odds Changes

One of the most important tips we can give you is to get into the habit of monitoring odds changes in any and all markets that you might be interested in. It is often the case that odds movements can create potential hedge betting opportunities. However, some opportunities will be short-lived, so if you don't actively monitor the odds, you could well miss them.

Balancing Risk and Reward

Our second tip is to always be mindful of balancing risk and reward. Not every hedge betting opportunity will be worth following up on, so if the risk of getting involved far exceeds any potential profit that you could make, it might be worth waiting for something better to come along.


Knowing how to hedge bets both manually and by using a hedge calculator is something that could benefit you for the rest of your sports betting career. Whether you're an experienced bettor or someone who is relatively new to the hobby, give some thought to how you can apply the hedge betting strategy in the future. You might find that your bankroll thanks you for it time and time again.

Hedging Calculator FAQ

๐Ÿ”Ž What is hedging?
Hedging is the act of placing a bet on two or more outcomes in the same betting market. The aim is either to lock in a known profit, increase your chances of winning (as when betting on two or more horses in the same race) or reduce potential losses.
๐Ÿ”Ž Is hedging the same as arbitrage betting?
No. Hedging is the act of betting on two or more outcomes in the same event, but it doesnโ€™t always guarantee a profit or a winner. Arbitrage is betting on all possible outcomes in an event, usually with several sportsbooks, to achieve a small but certain profit no matter what happens.
๐Ÿ”Ž Is hedging a common approach to betting?
Hedging is an advanced approach to betting, and so it isnโ€™t one that is used by everyone by any means. That said, an increasing number of bettors are becoming familiar with the technique, and its use is therefore becoming a lot more common than it used to be.
๐Ÿ”Ž What events can I use the Hedging Calculator on?
You can use our Hedging Calculator for any sporting event you choose. All you need are the details of your original bet and the odds of the hedge bet you want to make.
๐Ÿ”Ž Can I use hedge betting in any sport?
In theory, hedge betting can be used in any sport. Whether or not hedge betting is a viable option will depend on how confident you are in your selections and what odds the sportsbook is offering about them.
๐Ÿ”Ž Can I use a hedge betting calculator for live bets?
You can certainly use a hedge betting calculator for live bets, and it's highly recommended that you do so. The odds in live betting markets are constantly changing, so using a calculator is the only practical way of being able to calculate your stakes and place your bets in a timely manner.
๐Ÿ”Ž Is hedge betting suitable for beginners?
Absolutely. Thanks to the advent of hedge calculator apps, you don't need any in-depth knowledge of mathematics to use the strategy effectively. Just be sure to use small stakes until you are comfortable with how hedge betting works.
๐Ÿ”Ž What is a bet hedging strategy?
A bet hedging strategy involves betting on two or more possible outcomes in the same event. The main aim of this approach is to generate a known profit no matter which selection wins, but it can also be used to lock in profits or reduce potential losses.
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