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How Much Should I Hedge My Bet?

September 26, 2020
Hedging the final leg of a parlay - how much should I hedge?

If you are in a position to have to ask this question, congratulations. You are in a position to guarantee profit. We have discussed hedging wagers on our site before. Usually you are at the final leg of a parlay or the championship game in a futures bet when you are asking this question. You’ve made it through the toughest part. May as well enjoy the final leg right?

But there is that nagging voice that would happen if your future or parlay paid out huge but you cost yourself money by hedging. That little voice may say “you were scared” or “that was dumb”. But in reality, hedging a big payout is the smart play. And there is nothing a bettor wants to be more than smart.

Let it Ride

Personally, if the amount you stand to win is not a large amount, I say let it ride. I mean if your parlay pays out a few hundred bucks, roll the dice. But when you get up into four digit territory why not guarantee yourself a profit? That is my rule of thumb. Four digits and I’m hedging.

How Much to Hedge?

There are many opinions on this topic. There are even formulas. For example, one formula has you converting your wagers into decimal odds and applying the following formula:

x = (p+b)/r

x = amount you should bet on hedge
p = the profit you stand to make on the first bet
b = the first wager you made
r = (decimal) price of the second wager

It guarantees that you make a profit. I’m a little more old school. I still like a lopsided outcome that pays more on one side. If I got $100 down on a five-teamer that pays 20/1 at standard parlay odds and I’m down to the last game, I may hedge it 25% of what I stand to win. In this case I would probably put $550 straight wager on the opposing team. If my parlay loses, I still profit $400. Not bad. But if it hits, I get my $100 bet back, plus the $2000. I net a total of $1450.

Conclusion

Always hedge when you stand to make four figures. The amount really all depends on what your mood is. If you are in for three hours of see-sawing between making decent money or making a lot of money, I say hedge the 25%. If you want a nice calm game watching experience, go half.

 

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