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 ?
McGeady says he'd never rule out returning to Parkhead and I think that is what's known as hedging your bets.
Key topics discussed include long-term trends to prepare for, such as global warming, profiting from technology and energy trends, hedging your bets on future business, key practices of the future-oriented enterprise, tactics for forecasting the future, and shaping your career for future success.
There can be no excuse for hedging your bets any longer
The institute also offers the following tips on hedging your bets against a financial loss.
As in any legal process, a client should provide information only if it has been specifically requested--without first hedging your bets.
You might call this hedging your bets, but that just shows what a political neophyte you are.
Hedging Your Bets is the result of a survey of 133 local authorities responsible for implementing the law to protect hedgerows and shows that across the West Midlands region, which includes Warwickshire, only a quarter of all hedges are safe.
The CPRE claims only a quarter of hedgerows in the region are protected and has published a report, Hedging Your Bets, which surveyed 133 local authorities responsible for carrying out 1997 legislation to protect them.