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What is cash out?

Updated on August 2, 2023
Written by Janne
What is cash out?

The competition between all the bookmakers has led to some pretty innovative ideas and we don’t mean the microwavable chicken burger. No, we are talking about the burst of in-play betting that has taken the market by storm since its introduction and with it some nice innovations.

As with all in-running or in-play bets, there is the option to ‘Cash Out’ on your bet before the event you bet on has finished. This has become a vital part of any gamblers repertoire, especially those looking to do so professionally.

So what is Cash Out? How does it work? When is the best time to do it? These are all great questions and deserve careful consideration before answering. So, sit back, make yourself a brew and have a read of our guide to the art of Cashing Out:

The pros and cons of Cash Out Betting

The main advantage to Cash Out betting is that you can bag a profit without having to wait until the event is over. It can also help prevent the build-up of anxiety that worrying about a late change in the result can bring. So if you have backed a golfer to win the Open at long odds and he heads into the final day in the lead, you can Cash Out to guarantee a profit and not have to face a stressful final round.

The other pro is that you can rescue a portion of your stake if the same golfer has an awful opening round that practically ends his chances of winning the tournament.

The main cons to Cash Out are that you may take less money than you would have done if you had just left your bet to run its course. So, if your golfer goes onto win the Open you would have lost out on some profit by opting to take the money early.

If we look at some cash examples, it may help you understand exactly what we mean.

So Freddo Faldo is 7.00 to win the Open, and you stake £100 on him to do so, you stand to win £700.00

Heading into the last day he has a one-shot lead over the rest of the field. The bookmaker offers you a Cash Out option of £400.00 which you decide to take. If he goes onto win, you will have missed out on an extra £300 profit.

Alternatively, you could refuse to take the cash-out offer, and he hits his ball in the water on the last hole to lose by a single shot, you will lose your £100 stake.

What is Cash Out?

Cash-out is a part of in-play betting that allows you to make a profit from your bet before the event you have a stake in has finished. It also allows you to get some money back from your initial stake if the results are going against your bet.

Cash-Out essentially allows you to ‘take it while you can’ in betting terms and is a popular addition to the modern bookmakers’ repertoire. Having this option has become almost the norm with hardly any respectable betting company not offering it to their customers.

The reason it is enjoyed so much by players is that it takes away a small amount of uncertainty for those who enjoy betting. What we mean by this is that if someone has bet £10 that both Team A and Team B will win and with 15 minutes to go they are then the player can decide to Cash Out based on live market odds at the time.

The example below should highlight what we mean:

John bets £10 that Manchester United, Leicester and Stoke will win their games at odds of 1/1, 15/8 and 3/1 which, if all results go his way, will see him win £230.

With 30 minutes left to go in the matches, all three of his sides are winning but only by a single goal. He has the option to Cash Out and takes £190 right now in which case he will keep that money even if one of the sides in his bet concedes or he can change it and hope that the results stay unchanged in order to win £230.

The amount the bookmaker offers on Cash Out very much depends on the situation of the game in question and the market is often fairly volatile especially as the game starts to reach its conclusion.

The value of your Cash Out option will constantly be changing throughout the event and will be based on how likely, or what live odds you can get on your team to win or lose. The great thing out the introduction of Cash Out options is that it can save players a lot of stress.

We have all been in a situation where a last-minute goal or a desperate attempt to equalise comes off and ruins a nice little accumulator and in so doing means the player doesn’t get to pick up the fat sum of money they were hoping for. Cash Out is the bookmakers’ way of giving you an opt-out route and the chance to stash your profit of grab back your stake before the inevitable conclusion of the match.

There are always going to be right and wrong decisions made when using Cash Out as there are when betting on any sporting event but understanding how it works will certainly give you a better chance at coming out with a profit.

How is Cash Out calculated?

Bookmakers do not give away money lightly so although Cash Out might be a good option in some cases there is always a chance that the bookmaker will be better off from you taking that course of action.

Cash Out is calculated using the formula:

‘Fair’ Cash Out value = Potential winnings ÷ current odds

So if we take the example of Juventus being backed to win Serie A with an initial £80 stake at odds of 5.00, we can see the potential profit is £400.

If halfway through the season the odds drop by half to 2.50 and you wish to Cash Out then fair Cash Out would be calculated as follows:

400 ÷ 2.50 = £160

You may well be given a chance to Cash Out at a price of £145 thus missing out on a potential £15 extra profit although you would have made £65 profit on your initial stake.

What are the alternatives to Cash Out?

Most of the time it will be better value to allow your bets to run their course rather than Cash Out and miss the opportunity to maximise your profit. There is another option you could look at, and that is to bet on the other side, which is known as hedging your bet.

So if we didn’t want to Cash Out we could instead bet on “Juventus to win Serie A no” at odds of 2.30 then we could guarantee a profit by staking £173.91 on Juve not to win the league and bag a profit of £146.09

We worked this out as follows:

  • Juve to win the league 5.00 with £80 stake = £400
  • Juve to win the league no 2.30 with £173.91 stake = £400

So either way, you are guaranteed to make at least £146.09 profit off a total stake of £253.91

This is one way of working out how to make sure you stay in profit without having to use the Cash Out option

Cash Out strategy

This will be down to the individual player, but it is always important to remember that bookmakers are in the business to make a profit.

When to Cash Out

If Oxford are taking on Manchester City in the cup and have odds of 9.00 to win, you stand to bag £90 from a £10 bet.

At half-time Oxford lead 2-1, you decide at this point not to Cash Out at odds of 4.50 which would see you make £45 but instead chose to wait. Manchester City are still losing 10 minutes into the second half and bring on their star striker with the Cash Out option being at £50. This would be a good time to cash out as you know it is highly unlikely that Oxford will hold on to win the game and you will still bag a neat £40 profit.

When not to Cash Out

In the same example, if Oxford are leading by a more convincing scoreline, say 3-1, with 10 minutes to go, and then Manchester City get a man sent off this would be worth not cashing out as it is worth chancing losing a tenner for the higher chance of bagging £90 in winnings.

What is partial Cash Out and what are the pros and cons?

Some bookmakers allow you to take part of your stake or profit in the Cash Out option or even just withdraw your whole stake using a slider built into the app.

This means you can take back your stake without having to worry and then get a boost of what value is left in the bet at the end. The pro here is that it minimalises losses, but the big con is that you are likely to greatly diminish your profit if your bet wins.

Conclusions about Cash Out Betting

If you are sensible, then Cash Out betting can make you a tidy little profit and remove some of the stress from betting on sport. The trick is to approach it with the right mentality. You will be responsible for the final decision on your betting habits but just remember, bookmakers are in it for the money and the odds reflect this.

This means if you stand to make a profit by using the Cash Out option, then it is usually best to do so when you get the chance. Overall, though, Cash Out has offered another dimension to betting on sports that many find enjoyable, so make sure you have fun and play within your means.

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Janne är en tävlingsmänniska med passion för sport och betting i alla dess former. Med över 15 år i bettingbranschen är hans mål att hjälpa spelare att betta ansvarsfullt och med rätt kunskap. Hos delar han speltips, analyser och recensioner av bettingsidor. När det kommer till betting har Janne alltid något värdefullt att säga.

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