As the sports betting industry began to embrace the popularity of online and mobile wagering in the 2000s and the decade that followed, new innovations were dreamt up that could genuine value to a punter’s activity.
One of those, back in 2011, was cash out, which is an option that allowed punters to literally cash in on their open bets by accepting an offer from their bookmaker. That way, they can secure a net win – or cut their losses – even though the game they have bet on is yet to finish. But, is cashing out always the smart strategy?
What Does Cashing Out Mean?
If you bet on football via a bookmakers’ website or app, there is every chance that you will be offered cash out at some point – the vast majority of betting operators have now made cash out available.
Let’s say you have bet on Liverpool to beat Arsenal at even money – a £10 stake would net a return of £20. Imagine now that the Reds open the scoring; their odds shorten to win the game as a result, and you will likely find that you may be offered a cash out of anywhere between £13 and £17 (depending on how long is left in the game when the goal is scored.
Alternatively, maybe you have had a tenner on Manchester City to win the Champions League. Should they reach the quarter-finals, for example, then clearly their chances of winning the tournament are greater now than they were before a ball has been kicked – again, you may just be offered a cash out sum to reflect this odds movement.
You can also be offered a cash out value for some accumulator bets, depending on the betting market involved in your selections, and this will likely be reflective of whether any legs have already won or how your selections are faring in play. When it comes to cashing out, you have three typical options: you can take the sum offered by your bookie, you can let your bet run (to see if you can win the full amount), or you can utilise the ‘partial cash out’ option. More on that shortly.
How to Cash Out a Bet
If your bet is eligible for cash out and placed with a bookmaker that offers the feature, you should be able to see if you have any offers in your unsettled bets folder. Simply navigate to the dashboard of your chosen betting site/app, search for ‘unsettled’ or ‘open’ bets (they may be listed under ‘my bets’) and take a look at the wagers you have placed.
If you have a live cash out offer, you will see this denoted on-screen by the amount that the bookie is willing to give you to walk away from your bet. This will likely be a figure higher than your stake when things are going well, or lower if one or more of your selections is struggling. To accept the cash out sum, simply click on it and then a second time to confirm – your bet will be closed and the cash out value added to your account balance.
Can I Cash Out Any Bet?
Not all markets are covered by cash out, and it’s also worth noting that if your bet really does look like it’s going to lose, you are unlikely to be offered a cash out sum at this point. When it comes to having a flutter on the football, the markets below are *usually* eligible for cash out. However, you should check the T&Cs with your bookmaker to double-check that they are on the same page.
- Match Result
- Correct Score
- Both Teams to Score
- Double Chance
- Half Time/Full Time
- First Half Result
- Outrights – Premier League, Champions League, etc.
Why Can’t I Cash Out My Bet?
Even for bets where a cash out value should be offered, there are instances where you might not see one on screen. Sometimes, your bet will be in such dire straits that the bookmaker simply won’t offer you a penny for it. If you have backed Liverpool to beat Arsenal and yet the Gunners are 3-0 up at half-time, you won’t be offered a cash out because the bookmakers won’t fear losing – unless, perhaps, the Reds can pull it back to 2-3 in the second half.
On other occasions, cash out offers will be removed because a betting market has been suspended. Let’s say that a goal has gone in, your cash out value has been altered accordingly but then there’s a VAR check – while the referee is waiting to hear what the right decision is, the bookmaker will suspend betting until confirmation has been received. The same scenario can play out when there’s been a red card or even a substitution involving a key player – if your bookie has suspended the market, your cash out will be suspended too.
What Is Partial Cash Out?
Some bookmakers offer a variation in which you can partially cash out your bet – locking in a net win while leaving some of your stake to run. So, if you have wagered £10 on Liverpool to beat Arsenal and they score first, you might cash out £5 worth of your bet (securing a net win) while leaving the other £5 to run – this will then either win with a revised payout or lose as normal.
If you are unsure of how a game is going to pan out, or simply want to protect your betting bankroll, partial cash out can be a useful tool. You will typically see a slider on-screen which you can move left or right until you are happy with the terms of your ‘new’ bet.
Should I Cash Out My Bet?
This is something of a golden question in football betting: should I cash out my bet? The answer, of course, is that it depends on a) your personal circumstances and, b) how the particular game or games you have wagered on are unfolding.
Whatever you bet on, you should always gamble responsibly. You might consider taking a cash out sum as this is a guaranteed sum of money that will be added to your account balance – that helps to take the ‘gambling’ element out of the equation.
You should also consider the likelihood of your bet actually winning. For instance, you’ve backed Liverpool and they go 1-0 up but then they have a player sent off. Wouldn’t it be sensible to take the cash out offer in this scenario? Conversely, you may feel extremely confident that your selection will land – fortune favours the brave.
Another interesting option that some punters don’t consider when placing an accumulator is lay betting. Let’s say you have placed a five-fold and your first four bets are all successful. Your conundrum now might be whether to take the cash out sum or let the acca ride.
But how about a third scenario: you let your accumulator run but lay the selection that you have backed. So, if you’re just waiting on a Liverpool victory to complete your acca, why not bet against them – either by betting outright on the draw or the other team, or by using the double chance market. You can use a hedging calculator (plenty can be found via Google) that lets you enter how much you need to wager on your lay bet to secure a net win no matter what happens in the final game of your acca.