hedge (one's) bets

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hedge (one's) bets

To take an action in order to offset a potential future loss. I'm not too confident that I'll get the lead in the play, so I'm hedging my bets by trying out for several roles.
See also: bet, hedge

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

hedge your bets

COMMON If you hedge your bets, you are careful not to commit yourself to one thing, so that you do not make a mistake whichever way the situation develops. The Rev James Reeves is hedging his bets on whether Clark is the leader the Church needs in troubled times. Political forecasters are hedging their bets about the likely outcome of this Saturday's Louisiana governor's race. Note: When bookmakers accept a large bet, they often try to protect themselves against heavy losses by laying bets with other bookmakers. This practice is called `hedging'.
See also: bet, hedge

hedge your bets

try to minimize the risk of being wrong or incurring loss by pursuing two courses of action at the same time.
Hedging your financial liabilities, especially bets or speculative investments, meant limiting your potential losses by also putting money on another outcome, in such a way as to balance, more or less, any potential loss on the initial transaction. In betting terms, this specifically means putting money on more than one runner in a race.
1992 Great Lakes Fisherman All three methods have their proponents, and most anglers are wise to hedge their bets by using more than one method.
See also: bet, hedge

ˌhedge your ˈbets

(informal) try to reduce the risk of losing your money, being wrong about something, etc. by choosing two or more courses of action at the same time: She’s invested her money in two quite different businesses, so she’s hedging her bets.
This idiom refers to putting money on more than one horse in a race to increase your chances of winning money.
See also: bet, hedge
References in periodicals archive ?
William Hill's prospectus to investors in 2002 included a statement that: "At small race meetings, when the market is weak, a hedging bet of as little as several hundred pounds may be sufficient to significantly affect the odds.
Layers are keen to demonstrate to the major bookmakers considering changing their method of hedging bets that a vibrant course market can still exist without the use of exchanges such as Betfair and Betdaq.
THEmajor off-course bookmakers found it increasingly difficult to influence racecourse prices by hedging in the betting ring, because course bookmakers could accept hedging bets, then back the horse at a longer price on Betfair.
Layers on the rails, as well as in the ring, took their action to demonstrate to William Hill and other major firms, who are considering following their lead in changing their method of hedging bets, that a vibrant course market can still exist without the use of exchanges.
BOOKMAKERS at Folkestone tomorrow will try to demonstrate to William Hill and other major firms, who are considering following their lead in changing their method of hedging bets, that a vibrant on-course market can still exist without the use of exchanges, writes Andrew Scutts.
The track boasts betting rings on two sides, so that the traditional tic-tac methods of communicating prices and hedging bets still endure.
the team of master tactician Rehhagel at long odds (they were best at 100-1 pre-tournament) are in a comfortable position, and Ladbrokes reported a series of hedging bets last night.
In any event, they aren't liable to pay tax on hedging bets.