hedge one's bets

hedge one's bets

Fig. to reduce one's loss on a bet or on an investment by counterbalancing the loss in some way. Bob bet Ann that the plane would be late. He usually hedges his bets. This time he called the airline and asked about the plane before he made the bet. John bought some stock and then bet Mary that the stock would go down in value in one year. He has hedged his bets perfectly. If the stock goes up, he sells it, pays off Mary, and still makes a profit. If it goes down, he reduces his loss by winning the bet he made with Mary.
See also: bet, hedge

hedge one's bets

Lessen one's chance of loss by counterbalancing it with other bets, investments, or the like. For example, I'm hedging my bets by putting some of my money in bonds in case there's another drop in the stock market . This term transfers hedge, in the sense of "a barrier," to a means of protection against loss. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: bet, hedge
References in periodicals archive ?
Of course, avoiding too much sun exposure--and wearing high-SPF sunscreen--when using those decks and playsets is another important way to hedge one's bets against cancer.
Still, it's wise to hedge one's bets when it comes to the power of the sun.
Punters who concur can get 6-1 at Betdirect against Albion registering a 1-0 win, although given that Sporting Odds chalk 9-1 against Wolves winning 1-0, the temptation to hedge one's bets is clear.