As much as In-Play betting altered the way most punters think about their wagers, it was the invention of the Cash Out option that genuinely hooked people in. Cashing Out is the process of taking an offer from the bookmaker on your bet, rather than letting it ride to its naturally conclusion and potentially losing the bet. With its invention, gambling went from something that involved you placing a bet and waiting to see whether or not it came off to something that required you to remain focussed, to see how the ebbs and flows of a football match went as the ninety minutes wore on.
If you see the game turning against you and your bets you no longer need to resign yourself to losing your stake, instead having the ability to still turn a profit thanks to the option of Cashing Out whilst you’re still ahead. It’s a brilliant feature and one that, even now, too many people don’t use to their advantage anywhere near often enough. Here I’ll explore how you can do just that, what the advantages and disadvantages of the feature are and other things that I think are relevant.
What Is the Cash Out Feature?
As with every topic on the site, I’m going to take a moment to quickly explain exactly what the Cash Out feature is and how it works. For many of you that might seem pointless, but I’m very aware that at some point all of us were just starting out working with online betting platforms and had to learn as we were going. If I can make it easier for someone to forge their own path then all the better. Feel free to skip this section if you’re already confident with your Cashing Out, though I always think it never does any harm to refresh your memory!
Simply put, the Cash Out option allows you to take an offer for your bet before it’s actually reached its conclusion. That offer is based on several things, including the stake that you placed originally, where the market prices are at the time you decide to Cash Out and how bookmakers feel the game is going. The option to Cash Out is usually available before the event has even got underway, once it’s already started and even between legs if you’ve bet on a tie in something like the Champions League.
We all place bets because we hope to be able to make a profit and believe in our ability to do so, but the reality is that that we won’t always be so lucky and sometimes you need to be pragmatic about your betting. As much as the Cash Out option allows you to lock in a profit before the bet has actually been decided, it can also give you the chance to cut your losses if it seems as though a bet is getting away from you. I’ll give you an example to make it clearer what I’m talking about:
Let’s imagine that you’ve decided to place a Double on Liverpool and Manchester City both winning, betting £10 on Liverpool at odds of 6/4 and City at odds of 1/2. Liverpool win in the 12.30pm kick-off but City aren’t playing until later that afternoon so you pop onto your account to see what your Cash Out offer is. It’s £24, meaning that you can lock in a profit of £14 before the second match in your Double has even got underway. You can now either take that and walk away or you can leave the bet to ride to see what happens. There are other options available, which I’ll explain shortly, but to keep things simple I’ll just offer you those two. City could then go on to lose and it won’t matter, with the £24 having already been credited to your account. If they win, of course, you don’t get even more money as your bet’s already been decided!
That’s it. That’s how simple the whole exercise is in principle. Obviously how much you’re offered will depend entirely on how likely it is that your bet will come home anyway, so the later you leave it before making your decision, the more money you’ll be offered to Cash Out your bet. Conversely, of course, the quicker you can Cash Out your bet once it looks like it’s taking a turn for the worse, the more of your stake you’ll be able to rescue. Getting the balance right is the key to the whole thing, which is what I’ll have a look at shortly.
Why Do Bookmakers Offer Cash Out?
Given that you’re looking at a system that allows punters to save some of their bet, you’d be entirely justified in wondering why on earth bookmakers give it as an option in the first place. There are a few reasons for this, with the first one being rather simple: bettors love it. Companies are constantly coming up with ways to not only maintain the customers that they’ve got but also to win new ones. From increasingly generous welcome offers through to Live Streaming of random matches in the Algerian third division, bookies are always on the lookout for things that will win them business. Offering the ability to Cash Out bets is exactly that, making it something that the best companies won’t ever turn down.
It’s not all altruistic, of course. They also consider the mathematics of the situation and use it to their advantage. Let’s look at that made up example from before. Let’s look at another example to explain what I mean. This is a simplistic way of looking at it, but that’s sometimes helpful in these sorts of situations. Let’s say that you’ve placed a bet on Arsenal to beat Tottenham Hotspur. You staked £10 at 3/1, meaning you’ll win £30 if the bet comes in. Arsenal are 1-0 up with ten minutes top play, meaning that bookies think there’s an 80% chance of your bet being a winner. When you check your Cash Out option they’re offering you £21, or 70% of the amount you’d win. That means that they’re saving themselves 10% of what the bet’s worth at that moment, plus they’re also tempting you into taking what is essentially a ‘loss’ of £9 by not letting the bet ride out.
On top of that, they think that the bet will be a loser 20% of the time. If you refuse the Cash Out and Spurs go on to draw or win the game then you’ll have lost you bet and the bookie will have taken your entire stake. It’s win-win for them. If you Cash Out then you’re losing money, if you don’t and the game turns then you’ve lost money. The only way it works against them is if your bet wins, but if enough fellow customers have taken the Cash Out and ‘lost’ £9 then they’ll have covered the money they need to pay you anyway. Not only is it it a feature that punters love, therefore, but it’s also one that makes them money. Why wouldn’t they like it?!
When to Cash Out
Cashing Out successfully is all about timing. Those that use the feature most successfully are the ones that are able to see that the game is about to change and get out ahead of it. That’s why I always recommend that people don’t bet on matches that they’re emotionally invested in, because you’re often too caught up in the action to remember to do anything about it when something big happens to turn the action against your bet. There are a number of things that fit into this category that you can keep an eye out for, including obvious examples such as a red card. If you know that a player is on a yellow card, say, and they’re jumping into tackles with abandon, then it might be worth Cashing Out your bet before they get their second booking.
There are less obvious things that you can use to your advantage, including injuries and substitutions. Have you noticed that a team seems to be particularly reliant on their striker for team cohesion? If so then consider Cashing Out your bet before they’re taken off if you can see that their substitution is being prepared. Likewise, if a player looks as though they’re nursing an injury then hit that Cash Out button before they go off and the opposition team starts to get back into the game. It’s all about timing, so holding out until the last possible moment will see you get more money, but also risk the bet turning before you can do anything about it. Don’t forget that bookmakers might suspend the Cash Out market if something’s about to happen, so don’t be surprised if you can’t Cash Out your bet in the moments after a team has given away a penalty.
That’s why I think it’s so crucial that you bet on teams that you don’t have any active interest in. You need to be able to look at proceedings as dispassionately as possible and make a judgement call based on what’s actually taking place, not what you think is going to happen. If you’re a Liverpool supporter, for example, then you’ll be convinced that Manchester United are going to make a comeback and win the match they’re playing in because that’s what they ‘always do’, despite what the evidence of the play would suggest. Sometimes that might work in your favour but, more often than not, doing anything other than judging what’s taking place on the pitch will lead you to make poor decisions.
When Not to Cash Out: Using Stats to Help
Now you know when you should be Cashing Out, let’s have a quick think about when not to. Obviously the whole thing is a bit of a gamble – that’s the name of the game here after all – and you can always make a mistake, but if you do your research you can give yourself the best possible chance of figuring out when to hold onto your bets even if it looks like they’re going to be winners. As an example, let’s have a look at Crystal Palace and their home matches against the biggest teams during the 2017-2018 season.
At the end of February the Eagles hosted Tottenham Hotspur and were holding them to a 0-0 draw until Harry Kane scored in the eighty-eighth minute to give Spurs the win. The following month they hosted Manchester United and took a two goal lead over the Red Devils. If you’d placed a bet on United to win then you might have been tempted to cut your losses and Cash Out, but if you’d watched the Spurs game then you’d have seen that they couldn’t see the game out and may well have reconsidered. If you had done you’d have been right to – United scored three second-half goals and won 3-2.
At the end of that month Liverpool were the opposition and the hosts took a lead after just thirteen minutes. Bettors on Liverpool might have felt their fingers hovering over the Cash Out button, but if they’d seen what had happened before with both Spurs and United then they will almost certainly have waited. They’d have then benefitted accordingly, with the Reds winning 2-1. The reverse is also true, of course. Anyone that had placed a bet on Palace to win will have been wise to hit that Cash Out button and take their winnings before the game turned.
There are so many excellent sites out there that can provide you with hugely important stats when it comes to thinking about Cashing Out your bets. As an example, more goals are scored between the eighty-first and ninetieth minute than any other period of a football match, on average. If you feel as though you’re bet is destined to be a loser, therefore, then don’t forget that fact and keep an eye on which team seems to be tiring and which seems to be getting rejuvenated as the match nears its conclusion. There may well still be a goal in the game, so will it be one that wins your bet or loses it for you?
I know I keep banging on about this but it’s because it’s true – if you do your research then you’ll be really well positioned to make more money than you lose. Even something like the BBC Sport website is a decent resource for seeing when teams have conceded goals during the season. Before you place your bets, give these sites a quick scan and see what useful information you can glean before you submit your stake. You’ll then be forearmed when it comes to the moment when you have to decide whether or not to Cash Out, giving yourself the best chance possible of making the correct call. This is particularly helpful if you know that certain teams have a habit of scoring late goals or even conceding them.
Pros of Cashing Out
Knowing when to Cash Out is one thing, knowing why it’s a good thing to do so is something entirely different. In short, the ability to guarantee yourself a profit means that you can avoid the potential of losing your money because of a shock twist at the last moment. Football is one of the world’s most exciting sports precisely because the entire landscape can shift in a heartbeat. When Manchester United were playing Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 1999, it seemed like the Red Devils were going to miss out on the trophy after the German side scored six minutes in and the English team hadn’t been able to respond as the clock ticked around to ninety minutes. They then scored two goals inside three minutes and won the trophy.
Six years later and Liverpool were 3-0 down to AC Milan in the final of the same competition. All three of the Italian side’s goals were scored in the first-half, meaning that the Merseysiders needed a miracle in the second period. Not only did they get a miracle, it occurred in a six minute spell that completely blitzed Carlo Ancelotti’s side. From a certain defeat to a draw that took the game to extra-time and penalties that the Reds went on to win. The point being, games can turn on a sixpence and if you know that and can get ahead of it then you can Cash Out and avoid losing your bets. Securing your profit or cutting your losses can be immensely satisfying when you can lose everything in a heartbeat.
Cons of Cashing Out
Simply put, the biggest con to taking the Cash Out option when it’s available is that it means you could take less money than you would if you let the bet ride, should you get twitchy fingers and Cash Out ahead of time. Say you’ve placed a £100 bet at 2/1 on Everton to beat Wigan and the Blues are 1-0 up with ten to play but Wigan are piling on the pressure. You’ve looked at your Cash Out option and been offered £130, you might well take that because you think the Merseyside club are going to concede at any moment. They don’t, meaning that you’ve ended up losing out on £70 for no reason. Yes, you’ve secured your profit, but it’s nowhere near as much as it would’ve been if you’d waited.
Feeling the fear and ‘bottling it’ is a fairly common experience for bettors to go through. If you’ve placed a large accumulator, for example, and all but one of the matches have come in in your favour, the temptation to Cash Out will be extreme. You’ll already be being offered a healthy profit on your bet by your bookie of choice, but you’ll get even more if you can hold on. In the olden days you’d have just had to wait and see how the final match played out, whereas the new way of operating means that you’ll agonise over whether or not to Cash Out and lock in your winnings. Stress might not be an obvious ‘con’ to think about, but it definitely is one!
Cash Out Variations
The last thing that’s worth mentioning in this article is the ability to apply variations on the Cash Out theme. The most obvious example of this is the Partial Cash Out. As the name suggests, this allows you to Cash Out part of your bet, leaving the rest of it to play out to its natural conclusion. Let’s go back to that £100 bet on Everton to beat Wigan, you might consider taking the Cash Out for £50 of it and leaving the other £50 to carry on until the end of the match. That way you can lock in a bit of profit but also give yourself a chance of still winning a decent chunk of further profit if the bet comes in.
How much of your bet you can Partially Cash Out depends on your bookmaker of choice. Some will allow you to Cash Out any amount of you bet and leave the rest to play out until the end of the match that you’ve bet on, whilst others will only allow you to do so in 10% increments of your original stake. Check how the bookie you use does things and, if it’s not to your liking, have a look elsewhere. There’s almost certainly going to be a company out there that is more to your taste in how they operate their Partial Cash Out feature.
Another thing you can do is to select to Auto-Cash Out your bet. Again, the name tells you everything that you need to know here, really. In essence you simply tell the bookmaker how much money you would ‘accept’ from your bet and if their Cash Out offer reaches that level then it will automatically process it for you. You can simply logout of your account and if your selected price hits the desired amount then you’re golden. If it doesn’t then the bet will ride as normal. You can even do a Partial Auto-Cash Out, splitting your bet when the offer hits a given price level. This is really handy if you’re not overly confident about a bet or are stepping away from your account for a while and won’t be able to make the decision in real time.
finally, there’s the ability to Edit Your Bet. This isn’t technically the same as Cashing Out, of course, but it’s still worth mentioning in this section because of the way the feature works. This is something that you can do In-Play and it allows you to change the selections you’ve made in an accumulator. The way it works is that it effectively Cashes Out the bet that you no longer want and uses the money from that to put towards your new bet. If the selection you’re getting rid of isn’t in profit then you’ll have to add some more money towards it from your account, but you get the idea. As I say, not actually a Cash Out option, but one worth exploring if it looks like one leg of your Acca is taking a nose-dive and you don’t want to kill the whole thing.
There are certain bets that won’t have the Cash Out option, so if you try to find it but can’t then don’t be worried that you’re going mad. Equally, not all bookmakers offer it as an available feature, though it is becoming more and more popular. Here’s my list of dos and don’ts for Cashing Out:
- Use your head, not your heart
- Look at the probabilities of likely outcomes
- Have confidence in your bet – you placed it for a reason, after all
- Don’t panic!
- Don’t be down if you Cashed Out too early – you’ll win as many as you lose