Cashing out

How easy is it to withdraw your money from bookies?

Cashing out allows money back on a bet before the event is over. Punters are offered a settlement fee which is a price at which they have the option to get out of the bet. So, if you stand to win £10 on your bet, you might be offered an early cash out of £5 along the way. If you take the cash out, you bank £5 for your bet and exit the position.


Even if you would have eventually lost your bet, the cash out closes your exposure. Similarly, if you take a cash out, and the result that you bet on actually comes up for you, hard luck – you settled for the early offer.


Cash out is offered usually as part of live or in-play betting, with the odds being determined by the actual events during the event. As such the odds and the amount being offered by cashing out can be very volatile, especially in the latter stages of the sports event.


Cash out changes the dynamic between bookmaker and punter. Depending on your betting strategy, there may be times when a cash out offer looks more attractive than sticking around until the end. But there are a number of factors to consider when weighing up cash out offers that can make this a bit more complex.

Partial cash out


Partial cash out allows bettors to select a portion of their available cash out amount for immediate settlement, with the remainder left to ride on the final result. In most cases – but not all – the remainder of your original bet is recalculated to reflect the odds at the time of the partial cash out. Some bookies, like Betfair, allow you to cash out the exact percentage you wish


When to take a cash out offer?


Sometimes, taking an early cash out payment makes sense, hedging against the risk that you might still actually walk away with nothing. In other cases, you might be better riding your luck until the results are settled, especially if you are looking like your bet will come up. In some scenarios, it might even be a case of salvaging something from a losing bet, essentially limiting your own maximum exposure when things aren’t going your way.


Whatever call you make, best practice dictates that you should record your decisions and think about whether you made the right move or not. This can help you start to develop a more intuitive feel over time for using cash out to your advantage.


Reasons cash out may be unavailable


There are several reasons why you may not be able to cash out on a bet you’ve placed.

  1. Incompatible Market – if you are not presented with a cash out option, it’s probably because it is not available on the sport (or competition) on which you’re betting. Availability of cash out varies between bookies, but the more obscure sports, leagues and competitions are unlikely to support the option.

  2. Incompatible Bet – another reason you might not see cash out is because the bet type does not support it. Specials or build-your-own bets are most likely to fall into this category.

  3. Free Bet Restriction – cash out usually isn’t available on free bet offers, because it would give punters the opportunity to take advantage by cashing out and claiming most of the free bet amount without any risk. However, it might be offered if the cash out exceeds the free bet amount, with only the excess returned to the punter.

  4. Market Volatility – cash out calculations are based on up-to-the-second analysis of match events and bettor activity. If a goal is scored, or a player sent off, cash out might be temporarily suspended while likely outcomes are recalculated. Market suspensions are more likely to happen towards the end of a game.

  5. It’s too late – Even a cash out can’t help if there’s no longer any chance your bet can win. If the cash out amount drops to zero, then the option to cash out will be removed.


Why do betting sites offer cash outs?


Cash Outs are the bookie’s attempt to reduce their liabilities and wrap up positions early, often in response to changing outcomes in the betting event itself.


Looking at cashing out from the bookmakers perspective, with any betting line you have bets on both sides of the equation.


A simple win or lose bet, will have a number of people winning on “Win”, and a number of people winning on “Lose”. At the start of the fixture, it could go either way, and there is no additional information to factor in when calculating the odds of a result either way. If one team scores however, this calculus is changed entirely, given they now have a definite advantage in the battle to win the fixture. In other words, the true odds of that outcome have just become much shorter.


So, there is now an increased likelihood the bookie will have to pay out on all bets on the Win side. But as a bookie, you start offering cash outs at 30 percent. If the result stays the same, this is saving money. If the result goes further in your favour, this starts to look like a very good deal indeed.


If the result goes against you, it’s a loss on a position that would have otherwise come good, but more often than not the cash out offer works well for the bookies across the board. As long as more first-scoring teams go on to win their games than not, proportionate to the odds and payouts on offer, the bookie has retained a bigger margin than would otherwise be the case.


Obviously, in reality nothing is left to chance. The bookies each have advanced algorithms in place, calculating the amount of the cash out payments they want to offer at any moment in time, based on the twists and turns of the betting event in question. While cashing out can still be the most sensible move for the gambler in any given situation, overall it gives the bookies a further statistical house edge.