At some stage, all members of the betting community will consider systems and while there is no such thing as a sure-fire punt, there are a number of ways in which mathematical probability could help to turn the odds in someone’s favour.
Among this list of possibilities in this respect are hedging, dutching and arbing which are perfectly legitimate ways of staking and they are used every day at the best betting sites across the internet. Once again, there are no guarantees with these options but all three are worth looking at in greater detail because they can, if used correctly, increase anyone’s chances of making a profit.
At some stage we’ve probably all heard the phrase ‘hedging your bets’. It’s been around for centuries and has crossed over from the world of gambling jargon into common, everyday use but what does it actually mean?
When the term first appeared in the 16th century, it referred to the practise of reducing a bettor’s exposure by laying off a bigger bet with a series of smaller wagers. In the digital age, it works on a similar principle so it’s easy to log on to your online betting account and get started.
In the modern day, the phrase has been shortened to hedging or, occasionally, hedge betting and it will usually involve betting on two specific outcomes in a single event. It can be used at any of the best betting sites and, as with many of these terms, it can better be illustrated by using an example so let’s say that you’re betting on the Grand National.
A friend has given you a hot tip on a horse that is quoted at 50/1 to win the race. You log on to your online betting account and stake £100.00 on the outcome. However, you’re not confident about the tip so, you place a smaller wager of £5.00 on the favourite at 10/1.
Your calculation then works as follows:
- Total Outlay £105.00
- Stake £100.00 on Horse A priced at 50/1
- Stake £5.00 on Horse B priced at 10/1
If Horse A wins then you receive a £500.00 profit and you will also receive your stake back so, £600.00 will be returned to your account. However, if horse B wins then you receive a £50.00 profit, plus the £5.00 stake but you would make an overall loss of £50.00.
That is hedging in its simplest form but obviously with this example, there is the possibility that both horses lose and your stake is wiped out. It’s therefore more common to see hedging used at the best betting sites on events where there are only two possible outcomes such as the result market in a tennis match. In this instance, you can log onto your online betting account, bet on both players and you will receive some form of return no matter what happens in the game.
Dutching is very similar to hedging except in this case, more than two bets are made on the event in question. It can be used on any of the best betting sites and the principle is, once again, to cover a number of bets in order to give a greater chance of making a return.
So, if we head back to our horse race as an example, we can use the same calculation but this time we will add in a third horse which is priced at 11/1. Log on to your online betting account, make bets at £100.00, £5.00 and £5.00 and the extended calculation works as follows:
- Total Outlay £110.00
- Stake £100.00 on Horse A Priced at 50/1
- Stake £5.00 on Horse B Priced at 10/1
- Stake £5.00 on Horse C Priced at 11/1
In this example, you can still take a significant overall profit if Horse A wins the race while you have now doubled your chances of a consolation by backing a third horse. Of course, the potential remains of losing your bet entirely but Dutching is another system where you can cover all possibilities and guarantee some form of return.
For example, in a smaller horse race you could stake on all five runners or, in a football match, punters can stake on the three available results – win, lose or draw. In summary, whereas Hedging carries just two bets, Dutching operates on the same principle but there could be three or more stakes.
With Hedging and Dutching, it is possible to ensure that punters can claim some form of return but they don’t necessarily guarantee an overall profit. That’s where our third system looks to step in.
Arbing is the shortened term of arbitrage betting and while it is possible to use this system at the best betting sites, some bookmakers are wary of the practise and have been known to close accounts that are used solely for Arb betting.
The theory here is that you can take an event where there are two or possibly more outcomes and stake with more than one bookmaker in a way that can guarantee a profit. Here’s an example in this respect.
Here we have a snooker match between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui and this time we will use decimal odds as it’s far easier to underline how arbing works.
- O’Sullivan is priced at 1.91 to win with bookmaker A and you stake £55.00 on this outcome.
- Ding is priced at 2.35 with bookmaker B and you stake £45.00 on this outcome.
- Your total outlay is therefore £100.00: If O’Sullivan wins your profit is £105.05 and if Ding wins your profit is £105.75.
There is a slight downside in that you have to log on to your online betting account in two separate places but with this example, you gain a profit no matter who wins the match. This is a theoretical case but there are real life examples of where arbing really does work. You have to be quick however as bookies are quick to spot arb bets and they will adjust their prices accordingly and there is that risk of losing your account.
Overall, these are three similar systems that could lead to an overall profit or, alternatively, they can reduce any potential losses for a punter in their chosen event.