The cash out feature at bookmakers has been one of the hottest crazes over the last couple of years. As with many innovations in the betting world the process was first introduced by a single bookmaker, after which the the rest of the bookies rapidly followed suit by offering up their own cash out service to their punters.

Cashing out your bet works by essentially taking an early price for the results in your bet before the bet has been settled. The price that you will be offered is based on how your selection(s) is doing and is essentially based on the current price for that result.

For example, let’s say you backed Manchester United to win at odds of 10/1 and placed £10 on that result. If the bet is successful then you are set to make £100 profit! After 20 minutes the Manchester Untied goes 1-0 up and see their odds of winning the game reduced to around 5/1. At this point the bookmaker will offer you a cash out price £40 guaranteed if you take the price early. You then decided to cash out and the £40 is credited to your account. What’s important to remember is that once you have cashed your bet out the final result is irrelevant to your bet as you’ve already settled for a price.

Advantages

The main advantage of using the cash out feature is to essentially lock in a certain amount of money before the game or market you have bet on has been settled. By doing so you don’t need to run the risk of waiting until the final whistle and it allows you to guarantee a profit.

Another feature which many people fail to use the cash out feature for is limiting your loses. If we used the same example as above and flipped it to show Manchester United losing 1-0 after 20 minutes then the bookmaker may still offer you around half your original stake, meaning you can cut your ties to this game and limit your loses by half, if you wish.

The cash out system really works best with accumulator bets and this is where the majority of punters will use the feature. As you will know, accumulator bets are often a high reward for a small outlay due to the number of selections that need to be successful for it to win. Let’s run another quick example.

You start by selecting 5 teams to win for your accumulator bet with your £10 stake returning you £300 if all of your teams win. With just 15 minutes to go all of your picks are winning by 1 goal making your acca look likely, but far from certain to come in. With an accumulator bet you will need all your selections to win for the bet to win, with just one loss or even a draw scuppering your whole bet. At this point the bookmaker may offer you around £200 if you decide to cash your bet out early - £100 less than if they were all to win at full time. As the acca is so precariously placed with each team leading by 1 goal, this would be a good time to cash out and guarantee your winnings without having to sweat out those final few minutes of each game.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage with cashing out your bets is that you are essentially going to be taking less money than the bet at that current time is actually worth. To start with, most bookmakers will take around 5% off the top of your cash out price as a sort of vig (amount charged by a bookmaker) that comes with this format of betting.

Secondly, the price that you will be offered will be less than the ‘true’ price that you ‘should’ receive. This isn’t uncommon though and all bookmakers price each market to ensure that they aren’t going to be too out of pocket. It’s probably something you will never really need to worry about, but it’s also worth noting nevertheless.

Partial Cash Out

Partial cash out is where you can cash out a certain amount of your original stake and still leave the remaining balance running.

If we stick with the Manchester United bet from earlier when they were 1-0 after 20 minutes and looking likely to win, you’d then be able to cash out a certain percentage of your original £10 stake to lock in a profit. If the cash out for your £10 stake was £40, you could cash out half of this for £20 and leave the remaining balance (in this case, £5) still running for the original odds that you backed (in total, potentially an extra £50 on offer from the £100 max profit).

When You Should Cash Out

The main reason to use the cash out feature is when your bet looks like it might be in a precarious position. The above example that we showed for the accumulator bet is a prime example of this and is a perfect scenario to cash out.

An example – taken from Twitter – is a person who had backed 3 teams in his Sunday accumulator bet at odds of 45/1 with a £50 stake. As all three teams were staggered (kicking off at different times) after two games he had managed to lock in two wins already and was just waiting on his final selection, which just so happened to be Arsenal v Chelsea (selection of Chelsea to win). Just minutes before kick off he got wind that Diego Costa, Chelsea’s star striker got inured in the warm up and started to doubt the teams credentials. If he had let the game run as was to be successful he’d have bagged himself £2,250 but instead he took a cash out offer of ‘just’ £1,281, slightly over half. Chelsea went on to lose the game 2-0, but the bloke on Twitter had already cashed out.

Basically, what we are saying is that you need to asses each selection in your cash out individually and if you think things are looking even the slightest bit unlikely, cash out and move on to your next bet. Don’t forget, use the partial cash out to your advantage to let things run.

When You Shouldn’t cash Out

As we mentioned earlier, the bookmakers have you over a barrel somewhat with the cash out feature and you’re never going to be getting the true worth of your bet unless you let it run. Each bet will be independent of each other, but if it looks like your on to a winner then let it ride.

One of the most catastrophic cash outs we have seen again comes from Twitter. As you will likely be aware, in 2105/16 Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions in one of the most unlikely underdog stories in the history of sport. Bookmakers had famously paid out bets of up to 5000/1 at the start of the season in what were the longest ever paid out odds in most bookmakers history.

A punter from Nottingham had placed a £1 bet at odds of 5,000/1 on Leicester to win the league at the start of the season, then almost immediately after decided to cash out for a mere 95p (5% vig from £1 original stake). This premature cash out cash out cost hit £5,000 and we would highlight that this is definitely one of, if not the worst cash out we have seen!