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Originally published on OnlyPlayers.com

If there is one thing that always goes viral in the betting world over social media, it is the one guy every week who has a $100, 15-team parlay that always comes down to Monday Night Football. Well, that will probably never happen to you. Instead, what might happen is a nice three-leg parlay that you cooked up is on the final game and can go either way. Hence why today, you will learn the art of hedging.

Rule No. 1: Never live bet on the hedge bet

I have seen this go down too many times. You either hedge your bet before the game starts, or you don’t hedge at all. Could you potentially get a better line and make more money? Absolutely, but the same goes the other way around where you wait too long and panic and take a non-beneficial line, and now you are coming away with less money than anticipated.

I will say this a couple of times in this article: You want to reduce the stress of thinking about the bet as much as possible. So get the hedge bet out of the way early so you have an idea how much guaranteed money you’re going to make. It just adds a ton of stress if every second you are looking for the latest live line to get the best number that might never come.

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Rule No. 2: Always make the math even

This involves numbers that most people don’t want to get into. Still, there are plenty of websites that can help by having something called a hedging calculator where you put in the parlay, and it will tell you to have much you have to throw on the opposite side of your last leg to make sure you come up with the same amount of money either way. Here’s a link to a free one from Action Network. A quick example: If you throw a three-leg parlay for $50 that will win you $200, the hedge bet would be to win $125 because either way, you are coming out with $75 in profit.

Rule No. 3: Pick a side

There’s a famous saying in the betting community, “I’m not cashing out.” Well, my advice to you is if you cash out once (which is a version of hedging without throwing the other side), then that should be the strategy every time you are in that situation. Pick a side; you are either someone who hedges or you’re someone who sees the bet all the way through. There is nothing wrong with either scenario. This is strictly to reduce the mental stress that you will go through as a sports bettor. The hedging will ease the tension.

Picture Credit: Google Creative Commons Licenses, Flickr