Hedging your bets

Hedging Your Bets – How To Do It

Hedging your bets is a way to limit your losses when betting on sports, this could be because you have placed a heavy bet and regret it or are trying to arb in play.

By hedging your bets, you can limit your loss potential, for example, if you placed a bet on England to win in the Euro 2024 semi-final, the match starts and England looks very shaky you can place a bet on the Netherlands to win too to lower your risk.

What Does Hedging A Bet Mean?

Hedging is simply covering, meaning you are covering more possible outcomes to reduce your risk.

In a horse race if there are two short-priced horses and the rest are much higher odds you can hedge your bets by backing both of the short-priced horses.

In a football match, you may have done your research and found the two teams playing have never drawn before so you will back both teams to win to cover your bets.

The Pros And Cons Of Hedging Your Bets

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons and it’s important to understand these before you hedge any of your sports bets.


  • Hedging your bets by backing another outcome can give good cover if you think your initial bet is vulnerable.
  • In-play situations when you’re backing a certain outcome can guarantee an overall profit, almost like arbitrage.


  • You will make the wrong decision at some point. Hedging bets can give some cover, but it can also cost you your profits if you get it wrong.
  • You’re providing the bookmaker with an increased margin.

If you’re new to betting exchanges, why not read our backing and laying guides before you make a bad mistake? When betting with a bookmaker as long as you know what you are doing, hedging is a very useful tool for any punter.

Why Hedge Your Bets?

These are the 4 main reasons why you should consider hedging a sports bet…

  • Lower risk and liability – more possible winning outcomes mean profit is more likely and losing less likely.
  • Protects your betting bankroll – less risk means less loss, meaning your betting bank will be more protected over time.
  • Can guarantee a profit – when suing betting exchanges hedging or Arbing can help secure a profit regardless of the outcome if done correctly.
  • Provides cover for ever-changing markets – sometimes big things can happen in football such as a red card, hedging will allow you to cover your losses adequately.

Hedging A Bet – Example

Let’s say I place a bet on this football team to win in running while they are winning 1-0

hedging a bet example

my profit will be £41, I am watching the match, however, and can see the opposition team looks highly likely to score…

To hedge my bets I decided to back the draw as well, now you can see my potential profits if the game is a draw or the team I backed to win wins the match.

hedging or arbing on betting exchanges an example

With there being only about 20 minutes of playtime left, I have a very good chance of profit, even if the other team does score it’s not likely they will get 2, however, if they did score and the match became a draw I still have time to pivot and cover my bets further if required.

There will always be an element of risk to betting, hedging is just a way to reduce that a little.

Hedging Bets Our Top Tips

When you want to hedge your bets if you are using an exchange remember to take into account the commission charges, betting on the same market twice will mean double commission charges on your winnings.

Using a bookmaker to hedge is not ideal, prices are lower, and often swing more than that on an exchange, we recommend using Betfair or Betdaq when hedging bets.

The most important thing is to protect your betting bankroll and your stake, use your smart betting head, figure out the possibilities, and cover them adequately.

Always make sure you know what you are doing before you risk any money on it, if you are unsure what an exchange is find out and learn all bout them first.

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