The way we bet just keeps on changing in an ever competitive market. The rise of online betting has allowed punters access to a whole new range of betting tools unknown before now. One such major introduction in recent years has been the Cash Out system.
Being able to cash out a bet before it has settled really makes betting far more interesting and much more strategic; you’ll find yourself having to make some tricky, but often profitable, decisions. Cash Out lets you mitigate your own risks and used well can increase profits over time.
What is Cash Out?
We’ve all grown up in a world where you place a bet on an event and it’s at the end when the final whistle blows that you find out whether you have a winning or losing bet. Before the arrival of live betting on events, it was always a bit of a helpless feeling.
Your team would be 1-0 up and hanging on to that lead somehow, but you couldn’t do a thing. If they lost that lead, then your bet on them to win went down too.
Cash Out changed all of this and it owes its existence to Betfair. They were initially famous for their exchange, where they launched the system in 2011 and subsequently brought this to their new fixed odds sports book launched in 2013.
Betfair made it possible to end your bet before the game ends and over the years most serious online bookmakers have followed suit. The system is empowering for punters, giving us far more control of our wagers than ever before. It is worth bearing in mind however that cashing out carries risk, that sometimes it can work in your favour and sometimes ends up being a decision you regret.
Let’s take a look at an example of the Cash Out bet. It’s a football game between Arsenal and Everton and you have £20 on Arsenal to win at 4/5. That means if Arsenal win the match your £20 becomes £36, if they don’t win the game then farewell to the £20. With the Cash Out facility it’s a very different story though.
Let’s say Arsenal are winning 1-0 at half time, you’ve seen enough of the game and you think Arsenal are having an off day and Everton look like they will get back into the game at half time. Cash Out is offering you £25 back, that covers your stake, plus a small £5 profit, and you cash out. If Arsenal don’t go on to win then you’ve lost nothing and if they do win you’ve not won £36 but you’ve still made a small profit.
Cash out can also be used before an event starts, if the odds have changed for the better you can make a profit without even needing to risk the bet. Alternatively if you’ve made a mistake and want to cancel your bet before the event starts. You can cash out and will lose around 10% of your stake (if the odds haven’t changed).
With partial cash out you can also decide to cash out part of your stake and let the rest ride or with auto cash out you can set a certain threshold at which your bet will cash out (see later).
Cash Out Bets Live In Play
Most people use cash out after an event has started live in play. Most major bets are covered by cash out and most bookies display a symbol next to the market if it is eligible for cash out. If you’ve got your heart set on using cash out however do check the market is applicable.
As soon as an event starts you will see a Cash Out offer will be available, this will then change throughout the game. How it changes is entirely down to what’s happening on the pitch. Betting odds reflect the probability of something happening so the Cash Out offer will roughly work along the same lines.
If the score remains level for a long time, then the Cash Out offer on your Arsenal to win bet will keep going down. If Arsenal lead the game cash out value will go up, if they are losing cash out value will go down. Other factors will also effect this. If for example there is a sending off for Arsenal the value will go down, a red card for Everton however may see the value go up.
When to cash out is a big decision to make though. It’s 0-0 on 80 minutes, do you keep faith in Arsenal and hope they get that late winner? If you do cash out and Arsenal go on to get that goal, you’ll really be kicking yourself. If they draw or lose the game, then you’ll get some of your stake back in your account that wouldn’t have been there if you’d let the bet carry on.
It’s the same situation if Arsenal were to take the lead. You can cash out your bet if you so wish but it won’t be for the £36 you’d receive if the bet goes the distance. If it’s 85 minutes and Arsenal at 1-0 up offer might be £30 and this value will continue to increase until the final whistle.
Again it’s decision time, if you have the feeling that Everton are going to equalize any minute then it’s an idea to cash out. You’ll really be cheering if you do that, take the £30 and then that equalizer gets scored. Then again if Arsenal keep that lead you’ll know you could have won more than you did.
Sometimes the bet will work in your favour but there will be times that you make the wrong decision, it’s just that kind of bet.
Do not assume that cash out will always be available, markets often get frozen or suspended, especially near the end of events. If you wait too long to use the feature it may not be available to you.
What is Partial Cash Out?
When you cash out fully that is the end of the bet. With partial cash out, pioneered by Bet365 and Betfair, you can select a proportion of your stake to cash out while letting the rest of the bet ride.
For example, you place a £10 bet on Wales to win the Six Nations Rugby. They’re doing well and lead the table but have a tough final game against England. You may be able to partially cash out your bet to at least guarantee that original stake is returned whatever the end result. The rest can stay live and hopefully Wales will do the job for you and more profits are made. At least you have that relaxed feeling that you can’t lose any cash on the bet even if Wales don’t win the title.
With bookmakers such as Betfair you can partially cash out any amount, with Coral for example, you are restricted to 10% increments. Always ensure you read the terms and conditions for this bet.
What is Auto Cash Out?
Another featured established by Bet365. Auto cash out lets you set cash out rules on your bet. This way you can automatically cash out all or part of your bet once a certain cash out value has been reached. This is hugely useful for those that are busy at the time of an event but don’t want to miss out on the feature.
Let’s say you’ve back a Ferrari to win a formula one grand prix, they are fast but you also know they are prone to reliability issues. You stake £20 at 2/1 (this would win you £60, profit + stake back) but you set a cash out rule that states that if the cash out value reaches £40 then you want it to cash out. This way if Ferrari are leading most of the race but the engine fails near the end you will have cashed out automatically and not lost your bet. If they win the race you’ve only missed out on £20.
Alternatively you could set a partial cash out rule. Let’s say you tell the system to cash in half your stake (£10) once the total cash out value reaches £40. This way you will get £20 back form your partial cash out, covering your full original stake, but you let the other £10 ride.
If Ferrari now suffer reliability issues late on then you’ve at least got your stake back, if however they don’t and go on to win you will get your £20 cash out amount plus the rest of your stake will pay out at full odds, £10 at 2/1, giving £30 back (including stake). Therefore you could either make sure you get your stake back or win £50 total using auto cash out.
What is Bet Editing?
Bet editing is the ability to add, remove or swap selections from a bet you’ve already placed and is offered by some of the leading bookies such as Ladbrokes.
The theory is if you’ve got an accumulator say and one selection looks dodgy then you could remove it or swap it. Alternatively if you want to increase the returns of your bet you may decide to add an extra selection in, etc.
The reason we are talking about this here is bet editing payout calculation work on cash out values. If you edit a bet then you are effectively cashing in the bet as it is and then immediately replacing it with a new bet using the cash out value at the time.
Cash Out Benefits Depend On Your Attitude to Risk
The usefulness of cash out to you depends on your attitude to risk. Some people love cash out, they play the probabilities to ensure they make a profit most of the time, even if that means they rarely get the full payout they could get from a winning bet. This is effectively balancing risk and reward and it an be used to make profits but only if you are sensible and stick to your rules.
Other people that get upset if they could have won more should avoid cash out. The amount will never be as high as the amount you could win if you let the bet ride. When using cash out you have to accept that your payout will be lower if the bet did win, but at the same time your risk of losing everything is also lower. You can’t have your cake and eat it!
How Does Cash Out Work?
Odds traders primarily set the original odds on a market but once a bet is placed the cash out amounts are calculated by software, mainly because the values change far to quickly for a human to cope with.
The software will take into account hundreds or thousands of factors when creating your cash out amount. This is dependent on the original odds of the bet, the time on the game, the score, previous form, and many other elements.
It is important to note that cash out is not a free service, it earns profit for the bookmaker, if it didn’t why would they offer it in the first place?
When you place a bet the bookie takes a margin, but they also take a second margin when you cash out. This means the company can earn twice from the same bet. Therefore if used over a long enough period of time, in theory, cash out will cost you more than if you just let your bets ride.
It is not as simple as that however as if you really think your bet is going to go down then cashing out will always give you something back whereas letting the bet ride will give you nothing. This goes back to your attitude to risk.
Cash out is a good tool when used sparingly for specific instances where you genuinely believe your bet may lose. Try not to use it all of the time though as probabilities dictate that you will lose more often over time.
Which Sports Can Cash Out Be Used On?
Bookies offer the cash out offer on pretty much all major sports now. Whether it’s football, cricket, tennis or rugby, that cash out offer is available from leading sites.
It is also possible to cash out in horse racing where you place accumulators and with some bookies like Betfair you can even cash out a horse racing bet live in play in some races up to a certain point in the race, crazy.
Generally most online betting sites use symbols next to betting lines that are available for cash out. Whereas most markets will be covered within an event don’t assume that every single bet type can be cashed out.
Cash Out Strategies
Confidence in Your Selection
Sometimes you might be a bit reluctant to bet on a team that are odds against rather than go for the odds on shot. With the cash out facility you can place a bet knowing that the you don’t need to lose all of your take if your predictions are wrong.
That’s because even if your selection isn’t winning, and perhaps even losing, the cash out can give you at least some return. If you team takes the lead and you’re still not confident they can hold out, use the cash out and still get a good return.
Try to think of cash out as a feature to complement your predictions rather than a get out clause for when it goes wrong.
Utilise Partial Cash Out
Most sites now have Cash Out but not all have partial cash out. Choose sites such as Coral and Betfair to give you an even better choice of bets.
Partial cash out is a good way to mitigate risks. As shown in the example earlier using partial cash out you can cover your stake and still let some of your bet ride for a profit.
Cut and Run
It’s not cowardly to go down the cut and run route. With cash out you can often reduce your risk and still make a profit, and that’s the ultimate desire for any bet.
This is definitely a good idea when it comes to accumulators. If you have a five-fold and the first four have won, chances are you’ll already have a cash out figure that will give you a very good profit. At this point don’t be thinking of your original stake, concentrate on the value of the bet after four matches and how much you can cash out for.
Consider cashing out rather than risking everything on that last game. Perhaps let the bet run but cash out the minute your final selection gets the lead? Or use partial cash out to secure your stake but let the rest ride on the 5th team.
Disadvantages of Cash Out
As mentioned alrady, this is a difficult tool to use well and one that means you need to be concentrating on the event to make good decisions.
Let’s face it the feature is provided by bookies to encourage you to make emotional decisions that will earn them more money. The only way to win with cash out is to be objective.
There will be times when it costs you money. It is agony to cash out at a loss and then see your team get the winner. It’s going to happen sometimes however if you use this feature a lot, and something you have to accept as part and parcel.
When you place a bet the odds offered by the bookie will include a profit margin. They’ll make a calculation and what is offered to the customer will be a little bit less than it should be and that’s their profit.
It’s just the way bookies operate in order to remain profitable. The same applies to cash outs and that means you are subject to two profit margins in the same bet.