We're all always trying to find ways of guaranteed wins and profit, it's generally human nature and in gambling it's a given, even if it means accepting a short payout to avoid a complete loss.
There are some of us who love the thrill and thought of gambling but the thought of losing puts a damper on things...how do we get the best of both worlds we wonder? How do we enjoy the thrill of placing our bets but negate loss and maximise our profits? Enter hedge bets.
By definition, a hedge bet involves placing bets on outcomes differing from your original bet. This is done in an attempt to create a situation where profit is guaranteed regardless of whether or not the original wager is successful or not. While this method can result in a profit, it is usually significantly lower than what could have been achieved if you'd let it ride as you still have to cover your losing bets with the money you win.
You'll often see gamblers hedging their bets at the casino, and while one can generally get away with it when sports betting, it's almost always a bad decision when it comes to casino games.
One of the most common scenarios is opting to take even money when you're holding blackjack and are up against the dealer's Ace. If you play the hand you may win one to one and half times your original wager or push, but if you opt for even money you'll win a single bet each time. This may sound great but the problem is that you're selling yourself short over the long term as hedge betting ultimately eats into your profits.
Hedge betting in the game of online craps is no different. Often when players are on a roll you'll notice that they've covered every point on the craps table. When facing this scenario the player that is hedging bets will also bet on "any 7" as insurance against losing. This is obviously a terrible bet but yet these players will still make it. These players still win or lose their place bets but they also lose 16% of all the money they placed on the seven in the long run.
The game of American Roulette is no different - you may choose to place your primary bet on the 1 to 12 combo and a secondary bet of the same size on 13 to 24, then hedge your bets with $2 on the double zero. Doing this you will earn a profit on 68% of your spins, but you'll also be facing 54:20 odds.
As you can tell, any time you have two wagers working against one another, one of them is bound to be a bad bet with less than favourable odds.
No matter what game you're playing you should only place a bet if the bets is good on its own. If it's not, then you should consider removing it instead of going for the hedge. It will earn you more over the long run.