Although on the face of it, the concept of hedging your bets would seem to be quite simple, in reality it often leads to confusion as complex betting combinations are used that leave you feeling less secure and more confused. The fact that casinos have no problem with players hedging their bets would seem to suggest that it is not easy to gain an advantage in this way. Depending on what you hope to drive from your game, the overall effects of hedging can be positive.
Let’s start by looking at those bets that are most commonly hedged. You will often see hedge bets placed on the come-out roll as a hedge against a pass line bet.
For a come-out bet on a 2, 3, or 12, or on any craps, the payout is 7 to 1. Otherwise it loses. A pass line bet however, will lose on these numbers but will win if a 7 or a 11 is thrown. You can hedge a $10 pass line bet by placing a $2 bet on any craps. This will turn what would otherwise be a $10 loss if a 2, 3, or 12 were to come up, into a profit of $4. But then if the roll is a 7 or an 11 your win will only be $8 instead of the $10. Otherwise you any other number will end up as a $2 loss. This means that following the setting of the point, any win will be reduced by $2.
There is a hidden cost that is introduced through the use of hedging. Many times players perceive the hedge bet in craps as a can’t-lose situation. In some cases this is true. In the long run and overall it actually makes very little difference. In fact over time if you continually hedge your bets, you will ultimately earn less money than if you didn’t hedge them. It isn’t quite that simple though. Those players who really know what they are doing understand that the true benefit of hedging is that it reduces the volatility of sessions. Rather than simply making money this seems to be the motivating factor. If you hedge your bets you will experience less fluctuation in your bankroll. This is especially important if you are playing with a small bankroll, and hedging may be the best thing for you to do. If on the other hand, you have a bankroll that is large enough to withstand the fluctuations of a volatile table, it would be better for you if you do not hedge since in the long run you will win more money.
In the end the use of hedging in betting will significantly decrease the volatility of the game. It does however, in the end, limit your opportunities to win. If you use hedge betting you will experience less cases of your bankroll bottoming out, but you will end up, if you are winning, with less in the end than you would have if you had not hedged your bets.
You need to learn from experience the complexities of hedging specific bets and the effects of each combination. What you have already learned about hedge betting is unknown to many including those who generally hedge their bets. It is better to not interfere with someone who is busy hedging their bets. Let them think it is working for them. They are happy thinking that they have control over their play. In other words, don’t try to interfere with the play of serious players even though you may know better when it comes to hedging.