Should I Cash Out?
Bookmakers & Betting
Systems & Strategies
Should I Cash Out?
What Is Cash Out?
Cash out is a popular betting option that bookies have started to offer in recent years. This option allows punters to take a cash sum at any point between their bet being placed and the event finishing. The exact cash out amount will very much depend on how likely the bet is to win - the more money the bet is likely to cost the bookie, the more the bookie will offer you to cash out.
Cashing out is most commonly associated with, but not limited to, football accumulators.
What Are The Alternatives?
Traditionally punters have always had to let their bets ride in the past but once the Betfair betting exchange became popular the option to lay bets as well as back them was introduced. This meant that if you were waiting on one selection for a nice payday or were getting to the late stages of a match and your team were in front you could lay the selection you had originally backed to win whatever the outcome (assuming you were able to lay at shorter odds than those at which you backed the selection).
The Betfair exchange is still going strong which means punters still have that option of 'shopping elsewhere' by ignoring the chance to cash out with the bookie you've placed a bet with and instead laying off your bet on an exchange and trading out for a profit.
But what should you do?
When To Cash Out
The most obvious time to cash out is when you no longer think your bet is going to win. Perhaps the main goalscorer for the final team in your acca has strained a muscle in the warm up and is out of action or the final horse in an acca has seen the ground go against him due to heavy rain just before a race.
Lack of Cash or Liquidity
In these circumstances you still have the option to lay the final selection on Betfair UNLESS you don't have the capital to cover the lay bet on Betfair. Many punters choose to cash out bets that contain many many selections for big sums of money and they just don't have the option of depositing large amounts into Betfair to cover an outcome losing. So if you have lost confidence in your bet AND don't have the money to lay off on an exchange then you should definitely cash out.
It's also worth remembering you may have the money to cover the bet on the exchanges but if it's a minor event the exchange liquidity may not be high enough to cover all of your required bet. If this is the case then cash out would be your only option of getting out of your bet.
When You Are Waiting On More Than One Simultaneous Event
Another example where you have no other trading choices but to use the cash out option is if you want to take the cash when two or more events are still running. So if you are waiting on two matches for your bet to come in and you don't think both teams will hold on you don't have the option to lay both teams as a double in running using a betting exchange. Therefore your options are let the bet run or choose to cash out.
Value should also come into the decision to cash out. Every time you are offered the chance to cash out you are effectively laying (at the current odds) the bet that you have already placed (at the previous odds).
You staked £10 on a 11/1 acca which will return £120 if successful.
Your bet is in a strong position and the bookie offers you £77.80 to cash out.
If you hadn't already placed the bet would you think 6.78/1 is good or bad value?
So you must ask yourself "Is cashing out a value laying opportunity?". If you think there is value in laying the current odds then you should lay off, whether you think the remaining selections in your bet are going to win or lose. If you don't think it's a value lay then this is the first example of when not to cash out….
When Not To Cash Out
Poor Odds or Value
Arguably the biggest problem with the cash out option is the fact that bookies are effectively charging you for the ease at which you can get out of your bet. You don't have to deposit potentially large sums of money in a betting exchange account, you don't have to double check and triple check that you've got your maths right and that you are laying at the correct odds and you don't have to worry about what might happen to the odds whilst you are following these steps.
Because it is so easy to use the cash out option the fact is you get worse odds in nearly every circumstance than you would from laying the remaining selection (if there is just one selection) on an exchange.
If you've backed 5 teams on a Saturday and one team on a Sunday and your first 5 teams all win you'll be in a decent position to take some cash from your bet. HOWEVER….
It is almost certain (unless there has been a big gamble on your final selection) you'll be offered less money to cash out than you would have won from just backing the 5 fold.
You place £20 on this acca:
Arsenal 1.4 Man City 1.5 Chelsea 1.5 Spurs 1.88 Everton 2.1 248.724
If you'd only backed the Saturday fivefold you would have won £248.72. The cash out amount at that stage is more likely to be around £220.
So if you have a habit of cashing out before the final leg try betting just on the teams that are all playing first. If you still fancy your bet ahead of the next game you can always stake what you won from the initial bet on the final selection.
You still fancy the bet so you bet £248.72 on Newcastle at 2.37.
If Newcastle win £589.48.
PLUS you still get the option to cash out on your Newcastle bet at any time.
You should also avoid cashing out when you have the option to lay your bet off on better terms on a betting exchange. If your potential winnings aren't a significant amount of money you can deposit some money in you Betfair exchange account and effectively cash out at better odds.
Partial Cash Out
Laying on the exchanges also gives you more options with how much you lay off. With bookie cash out you generally have two choices (although some have introduced partial cash out now).
If you lay off on an exchange you can lay off effectively for any amount up to your potential winnings.
With the 5 teams on Saturday and 1 team on Sunday example you might consider one of the following options.
Lay Off To Cover Your Stake
In order to get back your initial stake of £20 whatever the result you'd have to lay Newcastle at 2.37 to lose £27.40. You'd probably find Newcastle are slightly bigger odds on the exchange plus you'd pay some sort of commission on any winnings but that's the sort of figure you are looking at.
If Newcastle lose you get £20 back from the exchange covering your £20 bookie loss. If Newcastle win you make £589.48 - £27.40 = £562.08
Lay Off To Win Any Other Amount
You might decide you want to make a minimum of £100 whatever happens. Here you'd have to sacrifice £164.40 of your potential winnings.
If Newcastle lose you get £120 back from the exchange minus your £20 bookie loss. If Newcastle win you make £589.48 - £164.40 = £425.08
OLBG Members' Thoughts On Cash Out
"If you are happy with making a profit as I am, then I am more likely to cash out rather than try and bleed the last drop of blood out of it. I am happy with a profit, I am unhappy with a loss, big or small."
"I use it and I like that you can do it in play (on bet365 anyway). For sure the bookies make a margin but I don't care about that. Circumstances change so I may not always agree with my initial bet."
"I think its a handy thing to have. Simply speaking I have had 3 x payouts over 100 quid and all acca bets have lost."
"Normally when I look at a cash out on one of my bets, the return that they are offering you is so much lower than what you would get by doing it on say Betfair. I'd say 10-15%. I just feel like it's another way for the bookies to make money, in a big way"
"With betting everything is based on value for me and I rarely find that cash out is the value call."
"People who cash out when they are waiting on 1 team who play later that evening or the next day drive me crazy. Why put the extra team in if you’re going to cash out for a less amount than if you hadn’t put the extra team in."
"I saw someone yesterday who had a 50p treble on and cashed out £1089 (which is fantastic). Unfortunately for him if he hadn't cashed out he would have won £10,166 off 50p!"
Think about what bookies like to advertise. They want to push things that make them the most money. They offer incentives for punters who place accumulators because that is what they make the most money from.
Likewise when you see a TV ad for a bookie it nearly always mentions the cash out option. This is because it always suits the bookie for you to cash out because you are balancing their books for them at worse odds than they are currently offering for other punters.
In some circumstances it makes sense to get out of your bet and take the money but only rarely is it best to use the bookie cash out option.