If you’ve placed a single bet on a horse race, football match, golf tournament, or lots of other sporting events, some bookmakers may also offer you an in-play cash out option.
Cash out options may be less than you stake if your first selection is a loser, as this means you can no longer win as much as you stood to win when placing your bet. However, if your first selection wins, you’ll normally be offered considerably more than your original stake. If your first and second selections win on a multiple bet, then cash out options get even bigger.
How Did Cash Out Options Come About?
Up until around 20 years ago, punters didn’t have a cash out option. We simply had to watch and hope that our selections won. That all changed with the invention of the Betfair Exchange, which gave punters the option to lay selections. In some ways, this was like a cash out. For example, if you had already had two winners on a treble, you could lay the third selection on the exchanges to guarantee yourself a profit, providing you had the cash to lay the bet.
In-running markets on the exchanges also gave punters the option to back a selection before an event started and then lay it back during the event to guarantee a profit or cut losses.
At this point, bookmakers found themselves struggling to compete with the exchanges who, in many cases, also offered better prices on many selections. That saw the online betting industry become much competitive, with many bookmakers offering standout prices. This encouraged punters to bet more with online bookmakers. However, there still wasn’t the option to lay bets off with the same bookmakers.
Ultimately, cash out was an innovation by one bookmaker, one which many other bookmakers quickly copied. It’s now an important took in a punter’s toolbox, and one which won’t be disappearing any time soon.
Why Do Bookmakers Offer Cash Outs?
We’ve already discussed that bookmakers introduced cash outs to compete with betting exchanges that offer you the option to both back and lay horses. But there are other reasons why bookmakers are happy to offer a cash out service.
Just imagine that lots of people had placed the same bet on the same day, for example, the famous Frankie Dettori seven-timer at Ascot. If cash outs had been available that day, there’s little doubt most bookmakers would have quickly been offering cash outs to reduce the massive liabilities that some of them ended losing that day. Many punters may well have cashed out after say two, three, or four winners, thankful to make a decent profit.
Bookmakers are, as the name suggests, people who like to balance their book – and cash outs give them a great chance to do that. By offering cash outs, they can also use algorithms to work out the true risk of the bet at the current odds, then offer punters slightly less. This is another way bookmakers build in a few more percent (or edge) for themselves, just like they do when they make a book for any horse race or sporting event.
When Should I Cash Out My Bets?
When should I cash out my bets is a question only you can answer. Personally, I’m not a great one for cashing out bets, as I tend to place bets to win an amount of money I want to win. There’s an argument you should just place a double instead of treble if you’re only going to cash out your treble if your first two selections win, etc. – you get my gist.
But I will consider cashing out if I’ve gone off a selection for some reason. This is especially true if the ground changes, yet the odds don’t reflect this. Draw bias can also be something to consider, if one of your selections looks poorly drawn after the first few results on a card.
Of course, for many punters looking at a generous cash out option, it’s the sudden realization of what you can do with the money on offer. If it’s enough to buy something important, a holiday, a new car, or even a house, do you dare risk not cashing out to win a bigger payout.
At this year’s Cheltenham Festival, one of my best mates had a Willie Mullins lucky-63 and an additional small accumulator on Gold Cup Day which cost him a total of around £32. After the first three winners had gone in, the bookies were offering him nearly £3,000.
His heavily pregnant wife told him they could decorate the nursery with that, and he really had no option to take the money, especially as he only stood to win around £100 if he had no more winners. I’d like to say all his other selections lost but, unfortunately, the fourth one won.
At this point, he probably could have cashed out around £10,000. But as he may have been tempted to let the bet ride further, he may still have done the right thing, as none of his other three selections won. That means he did cash out more than his two bets would have paid had he let them run to their conclusion.
These are the pros and cons of cash outs…
Partial Cash Outs
If you sometimes find yourself in a situation where you can’t decide whether to cash out or not, you might want to consider betting with a bookmaker that offers partial cash outs. This means you’ll have the option to take some of your winnings, while also letting part of your bet ride on your next selections(s).
There is normally a sliding bar that shows you that you can collect an amount, while also showing the amount of bet you’re letting ride and the amount of money you can still win. This is definitely a useful tool if you’re indecisive, though you’ll still have to decide what percentage to take. If in doubt, just split it 50/50.
We hope that’s answered your question about what does cash out in betting means? However, if you’ve decided you don’t want to cash out bets and you’re looking to let your bets to make a profit, why not check out some proven profitable betting tipsters that also like to let their bets ride.