Cash-out allows bettors money back on a bet before the event is over. Punters are offered a settlement fee, a price at which they have the option to get out of the bet. So, if you stand to win £10 on your bet, you might be offered early cash out of £5 along the way. Take the cash out, and you bank £5 for your bet and exit the position in the black.
Even if you would have eventually lost your bet, the cash out closes your exposure – you take the cash out amount and move on. Similarly, if you take a cash out, and the result that you bet on actually comes up for you, hard luck – you settled for the early offer.
Cash out is offered as part of live or in-play betting, with the odds being determined by the actual events of the live event. As such the odds and the amount being offered by cashing out can be very volatile especially in the latter stages of the sports event.
Cash-out changes the dynamic between bookmaker and punter. Depending on your betting strategy, there may be times when a cash-out offer looks more attractive than sticking around until the end. But there are a number of factors to consider when weighing up cash out offers that can make this a bit more complex.
Which Betting Sites Offer Cash Out?
As you can see from the table below, virtually every betting site offers cash-out in some form. The question is how extensive, meaning which sports its available on and whether they also offer partial cash-out
|System Bets, Forecast/Tricast Bets, Acca Bets, placed with System Bets, Free bets
|Australian Rules, Cricket, Basketball, Football, Horse Racing, Rugby League/ Union, Baseball, Tennis
|Free bets, Accumulator bets
|Football, tennis, cricket, rugby league/union, boxing, baseball, basketball, American football, and ice hockey.
|Lucky15s , Yankee, Heinz , Super Heinz or Goliath’s
|Football, Tennis, Horse racing, Golf, Basketball
|Antepost Bets, Enhanced Specials
|Data Not Available
|Bet Bundles, Enhanced Multiples
|Football, Tennis, GAA, Snooker, Darts, Rugby, Cricket, Baseball and Basketball.
|System bets, FreeBets, Bets placed using bonus money. Combi+ bets. PROTEKTOR Bets, Promo offer bets
|Football, Rugby, Tennis, Darts, Snooker, Cricket, Boxing, Snooker
|Accumulator bets, Free bets, Enhanced odds
|Selected Football markets, on single Sportsbook bets and Sportsbook single line multiple bets (i.e. accumulators). I
|Full cover bets (i.e. trixies, Lucky 15s, Free Bets, No of selections in ACCA >14
|Accumulator bets, Free bets, System bets
|Accumulator bets, free bets
|System Bets, Forecast/Tricast Bets, Outright Winners, To be Promoted/Relegated Bets
|Free Bets, Promotional Offers
|Football, Horse Racing, Tennis, Darts
Partial Cash Out
Partial cash out allows bettors to select a portion of their available cash-out amount for immediate settlement, with the remainder left to ride on the final result. In most cases – but not all – the remainder of your original bet is recalculated to reflect the odds at the time of the partial cash out. Some bookies, like Betfair, allow you to cash out the exact percentage you wish. Others, including Coral, only allow you to cash out in increments of 10%.
When To Take A Cash Out Offer?
It can be difficult to predict how your betting slip will pan out. Sometimes, taking early cash-out payment if it’s good enough makes sense, hedging against the risk that you might still actually walk away with nothing. In other cases, you might be better riding your luck until the results are settled, especially if you are looking like your bet will come up. In some scenarios, it might even be a case of salvaging something from a losing bet, essentially limiting your own maximum exposure when things aren’t going your way.
The best way to think about Cash Outs is to consider them an insurance policy. If you’re feeling nervous your ticket will come up, and you’re being offered a decent amount, it may be worth plumping for the early settlement and moving on to your next bet.
Whatever call you to make, best practice dictates that you should record your decisions and think about whether you made the right move or not. This can help you start to develop a more intuitive feel over time for using cash out to your advantage.
Reasons Cash Out May Be Unavailable
There are several reasons why you may not be able to cash out on a bet you’ve placed.
- Incompatible Market – If you are not presented with a cash-out option it’s likely because it is not available on the sport (or competition) on which you’re betting. Availability of cash out varies between bookies, but the more obscure sports, leagues, and competitions are unlikely to support the option. See the list of sports available for cash out in the table above.
- Incompatible Bet – Another reason you might not see cash out is that the bet type does not support it. Specials, like Paddy Powers’ Double Chance bets, are most likely to fall into this category.
- Free Bet Restriction – Cash out usually isn’t available on free bet offers, because it would give punters the opportunity to take advantage by cashing out and claiming most of the free bet amount without any risk. However, it might be offered if the cash-out exceeds the free bet amount, with only the excess returned to the punter.
- Market Volatility – Cash-out calculations are based on up-to-the-second analysis of match events and bettor activity. If a goal is scored, or a player sent off, cash out might be temporarily suspended while likely outcomes are recalculated. Market suspensions are more likely to happen towards the end of a game.
- It’s too late – Even cash out can’t help you if there’s no longer any chance your bet can win. If the cash out amount drops to zero, then the option to cash out will be removed.
Why Do Betting Sites Offer Cash Outs?
Cash Outs are the bookie’s attempt to reduce their liabilities and wrap up positions early, often in response to changing outcomes in the betting event itself.
Looking at cashing out from the bookmakers’ perspective, with any betting line you have bets on both sides of the equation. A simple win or lose bet, for the simplicity of this example, will have a number of people winning on “Win”, and a number of people winning on “Lose”, at 100 percent of their return rate as agreed at the time the bets were taken.
At the start of the fixture, it could go either way, and there is no additional information to factor in when calculating the odds of a result either way. If one team scores, this calculus is changed entirely, given they now have a definite advantage in the battle to win the fixture. In other words, the true odds of that outcome have just become much shorter.
Now, you are looking at an increased likelihood you’ll have to pay out on all bets on the Win side at 100 percent. But as a bookie, you start offering cash outs at 30 percent. If the result stays the same, this is saving money. If the result goes further in your favour, this starts to look like a very good deal indeed.
If the result goes against you, it’s a loss on a position that would have otherwise come good, but more often than not the cash out offer works well for the bookies across the board. As long as more first-scoring teams go on to win their games than not, proportionate to the odds and payouts on offer, the bookie has retained a bigger margin than would otherwise be the case.
Obviously, in reality nothing is left to chance. The bookies each have advanced algorithms in place, calculating the amount of the cash out payments they want to offer at any moment in time, based on the twists and turns of the betting event in question. While cashing out can still be the most sensible move for the gambler in any given situation, overall it gives the bookies a further statistical house edge.
Cash Out – The Pioneers
‘Cashing Out’ was pioneered by Betfair Sports in 2011. Data showed that cash out was the second most popular reason given by new players for signing up – a small hint at just how popular betting in this way has become. Betfair offer cash out on their exchange as well as their regular sports book, and it remains a major feature of their platform.
Bet365, followed, who expanding the offer to cover a larger range of betting markets and events, with accumulators and other multiple bets among the most popular cash out bets they offer. Paddy Power betting and others soon joined in, and while many offer a more limited range of cash out bets, cash out within live betting has become a standard feature in the industry.
Knowing that cash out operates on the latest technology and moment-to-moment calculations, bookies are careful to strictly limit their liability in the event of a technological or market failure. In most cases, if there is a problem with the cash out feature the bet will stand on the final result.