Understanding Cash Out

Understanding Cash Out

Understanding Cash Out
Autor betsonly 12 Apr 2019

An explanation of the cash-out option offered by bookmakers, with an outline of the pros and cons of such offers to the bettor.

Cash-out allows a gambler to get money back on their original bet whilst the event on which they are betting is still in progress. This feature, offered by many bookmakers, is not always widely known about, or understood, so this article will explain it in greater detail.

Cash-out is an option normally offered by bookmakers as part of Live – or In-Play – Betting, and allows the punter to get back money before a sporting event is actually finished. The amount of money that they get back is determined at the point that they choose to cash-out, and depends upon the likelihood at that time of their original bet succeeding. This means that it could be more, or less, than the amount staked.

From the perspective of the bettor, cash-out offers two principal advantages. Firstly they get to secure any profit on a bet without having to wait until it is finished, and incur the risk that something could still go wrong to ruin it. The money that they get back can be used to reinvest in other bets. Secondly, they can cut their losses if they see that their bet is about to go spectacularly wrong, and at least salvage some money from their wager. The downside from their point of view is that, if the bet is a winning one, they will not get as much money from it than if they had stuck with it to the end.

From the aspect of the bookmaker, cash-out is a way of limiting the amount that they would otherwise need to pay out. It should also be noted that critics have accused some of them of ripping-off customers by offering cash-outs at substantially below the amount that the odds at the time would suggest.

Cash-out is best illustrated by an example.

Placing a €10 treble bet on three football teams to win at evens, 15/8 and 3/1 would potentially earn a profit of €230 if all three teams won their matches.

If all three teams were ahead in their games with 15 minutes to go, a bookmaker might offer a cash-out option of €160. Exercising the option would forgo a potential profit of €70 (€230 - €160), but would safeguard the punter against one of the teams conceding a late equaliser.

Not every bookmaker offers cash-out, and the amounts on offer vary from firm to firm. Offers are also subject to live betting markets which can fluctuate wildly, particularly as the end of the match or race looms ever closer. That means that cash-out offers can suddenly increase, decrease or be removed entirely.

There are no hard and fast rules as to when to use cash-out, but the best advice is to adopt a strictly rational approach and not be swayed by emotion. If you have a large bet which seems to be winning, but which could still be lost by a sudden swing of fortune, forget about the amount you could have won, and realise the profit that is on the table now. Remember the old adage – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Equally, if you know that one of your bets is likely to fail early, then it is best not to wait and hope for a sudden change of fortune. Take the cash-out option, limit your losses, and live to fight –and bet –another day.