I'm looking for a phrase/idiom that represents when you increase your chances of winning some sort of gamble (or event with multiple possible outcomes) by saturating the field with bets. E.g. shotgunning your resume or playing the field with romantic interests.

  • This is a good question; I feel like there must be a great piece of idiom for this but I cannot remember what it is!
    – Charon
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 17:27
  • Opposite of what you asked will be "put all your eggs in one basket" Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 18:29
  • @zimbra314: Actually, to not put all your eggs in one basket would make a decent answer I could upvote.
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


I've always been a fan of "Hedge one's bets".

to protect yourself against making the wrong choice

And does seem to be used when literally betting on things:

Basically, hedging is just a way to reduce or eliminate the risk of a bet. You would generally look to hedge a bet when you are no longer comfortable with the bet you have made – i.e. you don’t think you have a particularly good chance of winning. The simplest example of a hedge is a bet on the other side in the game in question.

And they include this example:

Let’s say, for example, that the Yankees were playing the Red Sox, and you had bet the Yankees at -120. As the game neared, though, you became less certain that the Yankees were going to win. You could hedge that bet by betting on the Red Sox at +100, and you could do it in a number of ways. If you bet the same amount of money on the Red Sox as you bet on the Yankees then your only risk would be the juice you would have to pay if the Yankees won. If you bet less on the Red Sox than you did on the Yankees then you would be making a partial hedge bet – you would effectively be reducing the size of your bet on the Yankees. If you bet more on the Red Sox than you have on the Yankees then it’s as if you had just bet on the Red Sox.

  • Technically, hedging bet isn't an idiom. Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 18:28
  • @zimbra314 Um... so? Even if that's true, the question clearly states "Phrase /Idiom". And you can hardly argue that it's not a phrase.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 18:29
  • Don't listen to him Catija. This is it. +1.
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:02

Play it safe:

  • to be or act safe; to avoid taking a risk. You should play it safe and take your umbrella. If you have a cold or the flu, play it safe and go to bed.

(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms)


"cover all my bets" although this sounds like it means "have the money to pay off the bet if I lose" I think it actually means to bet on multiple things so that at least one pays off. As in I am an atheist but I prayed before my surgery to cover my bets.

  • Accepting 'hedge my bets' because it is the one I was trying to think of but I agree with your interpretation of this phrase and think it is also a fine answer Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:41

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