What is Cash Out?
Cash Out is a fairly new feature that many online bookies now offer their sports betting customers as a chance to end bets before the event finishes. Usually this is used in live in-play betting which gives you the chance to end your bet before the end of the event, when most likely the bet is going your way. The idea is that you can take winnings earlier, all be it less than the full potential winnings, at that point in time regardless of what happens afterwards. A perfect example would be you have placed a 4 team football accumulator bet and with 15 minutes to go all your teams are winning 1-0. The potential full winnings would, for example, be £200 but with 15 minutes to go your bookie is offering you the chance to ‘Cash Out’ at that point and take £130, there and then. If you choose to cash out you can walk away there and then with whatever the bookie offers without worrying about what might happen, in fact, some people hope the bet would have gone on to lose to give them the feeling they’ve got one over the bookie.
About the Cash Out Betting Feature
As technology has moved on over the years there has been some amazing advancements in the world of online gambling and online sports betting. Over the last few years one of the biggest developments the online bookmakers have created is the ‘Cash Out’ feature that most bookies now offer.
Although Cash Out is a fairly new feature from the bookies the actual concept has been around for a long time, all be it a bit differently. In the days before online betting, betting shops on the High Street were the main places to place your bets. Although it didn’t happen on a regular basis, if someone had a long term bet running, such as for a team to win a football league, or an accumulator with just one leg left to win, you could see the bookmaker offer to ‘buy the bet’.
For example, if you had placed a bet on all 4 football league winners at the start of the season and with a month to go all your teams were top of their tables, your bet would be looking very good to win, and this is where some bookies stepped in. If you were set to win £10,000 then the bookie may offer to buy your bet early, for say £7,000. Basically they pay the bet out early at a lower price than what they may have to at a later date. It usually posed a bit of quandary for the punter, do you accept lower winnings or risk letting the bet run and maybe winning more, or worse, losing everything. For the bookmakers it is very helpful though as not only have they reduced the worst case payout, but they can also trade to reduce their liabilities even further.
Fast forward to today and now just about all the UK Online Bookies now offer their customers the chance to Cash Out their bets. The first basic concept of cash out for online bettors was provided by Betfair on their betting exchange. Here punters had the choice to ‘back’ or ‘lay’ (act as the bookie and take bets) which gave punters the chance to lock in profit. For example you could have backed a football team to win 2/1 and they quickly took a 2-0 lead. The odds then had dropped to 1/4 so you could act as the bookie and accept a bet on that very team you have already bet on. If you had initially bet £100 at 2/1 you would win £200 plus your £100 stake back. At 1/4 you could then ‘lay’ a bet for a liability of £30, but to win £30 the bettor would need to stake £120. Now you have locked in the profit. If your initial bet wins you collect £200 winnings but have to pay out the £30 on the winning bet you laid. If you team doesn’t go on to win though you have lost your £100 initial bet stake, but importantly the punter who was set to win £30 with you has also lost their £120 stake with you so even though your bet lost you still managed to lock in £20 profit!
Betfair were then the first bookie to bring this betting feature mainstream by giving their customers who enjoyed a traditional bookmaking service the chance to cash out. It quickly became such a popular betting feature it didn’t take the likes of Bet365 and Betfred to follow suit and start offering their customers the same choice.
Even now though the cash out choice varies between the betting sites so it pays to check before hand if you are betting on a specific event it is supported by the cash out feature.
How Cash Out Works
To explain how the cash out feature works though we we assume the betting event is well serviced by cash out by a bookie. If you have placed a 4 team football accumulator bet you will most likely have the cash out option so once the bet is placed and the matches start the action really gets going. As the games go on depending on how your bets are going then the cash out amount offered by the bookie will vary. The more likely your bets look like winning the closer to the full potential winnings will be the amount offered, and likewise, if your teams are all losing you will be offered pennies, literally.
We’ll say the bet is winning though with 15 minutes to go so the option is purely yours and how you look at risk. If the bookie is offering you £130 when you could win £200 at the end do you walk away with £130 or risk walking away with nothing? Of course, you can leave the bet running a little bit longer and try and cash out a little bit more, it is purely your choice.
As the bookmakers have evolved their online betting services it wasn’t surprise that the cash out feature didn’t stand still for long either. As much as it is a welcome feature for so many bettors wouldn’t it be nice if you could still be interested in your bet once you have cashed out. Some bookies solved this by starting to offer their customers Partial Cash Out. The name pretty much explains itself but allows the punter to cash out a selected portion of the bet and leave the rest running until the end, or to cash out later.
The one problem people tend to have with cashing out bets is that they need to be following their bets constantly and taking stock of what is happening. This isn’t always possible though so Betfair and Bet365 both became a small group of bookies that have created Auto Cash Out. This allows you to set an amount you would like to cash out at and automatically does that for you so you don’t have to keep watching what is going on and get on with everyday life.