To cash out or not to cash out? That’s been one of the most common questions asked in the betting industry over the past few years since the concept came into being. It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t have a definitive answer, not least if you hve no idea what cashing out means in the first place.
So what is cash out betting and how does it work? Throughout this short article we will be explaining the concept of cashing out your bet and also highlighting some good times to think about using the feature, as well as the times not to bother.
What is cash out?
In betting, prices change all the time to reflect the latest information or situation during a game or competition. You could make a bet at odds of 10/1 on Monday and by Tuesday the odds are down to 5/1. This doesn’t affect you if you are happy to let your bet run as you took a better price and the bookie has to honour that, but what if you are having second thoughts?
This is where cash out comes in. To cash out your bet basically means to settle the bet before the final result has come in. This will allow you to lock in a guaranteed profit (or loss) on your bet, making the final result irrelevant after cash out has occured.
Effectively you are taking new odds that better reflect the current state of play, but also the fact that you have odds at your original price. You can lock in a profit but it won’t be as much as if you had let the bet run, so if things are looking good for your bet you are essentially buying your way out of the remaining risk. The cash out price offered will reflect the likelihood of this.
Let’s look at an example:
You place a £10 bet on Rory McIlroy to win The Masters at odds of 20/1 before the tournament starts – that’s a £200 profit if he wins. After 3 rounds McIlroy is leading and so his odds of winning are slashed to just even money, so a new bettor taking the same bet as you would only be looking at a £10 profit. That’s a big difference. You are now in a good position to cash out your bet, as the bookmaker is offering you £150 to cash out early and guarantee a win. That saves the bookie £50 if McIlroy does win as seems probable, and still guarantees you a big profit. Of course you could let your bet run and go for the full £200 return, but something could happen and he could lose meaning you walk away with nothing. This is where your decision matters.
Don’t forget that cash out can also be used to limit loses. Using the same example as above, let’s imagine that after 3 rounds McIlroy sits right in the middle of the pack and will need a massive final round to win. The bookmaker thinks he has little chance and are offering you just £3 cash out from your original £10 stake. If you agree with them and don’t think he will win you can limit your loss to £7 instead of £10, and the bookie guarantees their £7 profit and eliminates the risk of you taking £200 off them if McIlroy turns it around.
When to use cash out
The cash out feature is one that divides punters. It comes down to a very personal decision as to whether you think the price on offer is good enough to change your mind or not. Depending on your circumstances, you may decide that it’s better to let some bets run but jump at the chance to cash out on others. Whilst there will be maths involved with any bet you make, as cash out generally (but not always) happens while an event is taking place, you’re only going to have limited time to make a decision and next to no time to properly work out any equations. Cash out odds change all the time and this is why a lot of it is instinctive, but there are a few things that you could look out for.
Accumulator betting is one of the best markets to use cash out with, mainly because you can see big rewards for a relatively small outlay. So, let’s say you go into the final 10 minutes of your 5-fold accumulator with all teams winning by just 1 goal. Whilst you are in great shape to win the bet, the chances of a goal in at least one of your selections are probably higher than you think, and that’s all it takes to bin your acca. The cash out price in this scenario will likely be around 70-80% of the overall winnings from your bet, and in this case, it’s probably going to be smarter to cash out and lock in the profit, rather than sweat out the last 10 minutes. Buy your way out.
To summarise, the best times to use cash out should be when you think your bet is potentially at it’s most vulnerable, but still winning. It’s a great way to eliminate the variance in close run bets and simply guarantee profit, rather than being greedy and going for the big win.
When not to cash out
It may sound obvious, but you really don’t want to be cashing out if you think that your bet is nailed on to win. These scenarios happen very rarely in sport, but there will be times that they occur and it’s these times that the cash out price wont reflect the true value of the bet you currently have going.
Let’s continue with the example above, except let’s say that each of our 5 teams were all leading by 3 goals or more with 10 minutes left. This would be a terrible time cash out as the likelihood of any of those teams conceding 2 or more goals to scupper your bet in just 10 minutes is very, very slim. This is a time when cashing out would be akin to throwing money away.
Partial cash out
The partial cash out feature has been developed alongside cash out to make things even more interesting. The concept allows you to cash out part of your bet, but let the other part run at your original odds. The main thing to remember with this is that you are cashing out part of your stake, and your stake is reflective of the amount of money you can win.
So, if you placed a £10 bet at 20/1 and the cash out price for that £10 was at £100, by cashing out half of it you would be removing £5 of your stake, which at the this point in the bet would bag you £50. The other £5 stake is still running at 20/1 and cash out odds will continue to fluctuate.
That means that if the bet went on to win you would only get £100 on your remaining £5 bet plus the £50 you took earlier as cash out, totaling £150 as opposed to the £200 you would have won if you had left the lot in. However, if you partially cashed out and the bet went on to lose, you would still be £45 up because you profited £50 from the cash out but lost the remaining £5 stake.