Cash out pros and cons

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Anyone who has ever placed a bet before is likely to have heard of the phrase 'Cash Out'. It is mentioned frequently in the industry and is a hugely popular option among betting enthusiasts. But what does it actually mean? And what do bookmakers and the people who place bets with them get out of it? Keep reading to find out...

 

What does it mean to ‘cash out’?

Put simply, to cash out means that you can get money back on your bet at any time during the event you've bet on, not just when the event is over. The amount you get back depends on the point during the event which you cash out, and because of that, you may actually get less out than the money you initially laid down. Cash out is typically offered as a feature of in-play betting, and the nature of the offers will vary depending on the live betting markets and the bookmaker you are using. 

Let's look at an example. Let's say you've staked £5 on Manchester City to beat Liverpool in the Premier League. Going into the last 10 minutes, the score is 1-0 to City. At this point, you may be offered a cash out option. You therefore have two choices: either cash out and take the money that's currently on offer, or ignore the offer and see the game out. 

The first option makes sure you get money, but that sum would be less than the sum you'd get if City get through to the full-time whistle with their lead intact. The second option would deliver more money for a win, but there is also the risk that Liverpool could steal an equaliser or even a winner, and you would lose the bet and end up with nothing. 

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What are the pros and cons of cash out?

There is no doubt that bookmakers benefit significantly from cash out. This is primarily for emotional reasons. 

Human beings can be fearful, and when there is no guarantee that what they forecast will happen or when a significant amount of money is on the table, many may take the safest option and claim the money that is on offer to them. Whether that sum is less than what they would get if they lasted the distance does not matter; less money is still better than no money at all to the punter. 

For the bookmakers, this means they can pay out less if the cash out is taken. Of course, the reverse is also true and there is a risk to bookmakers too. Early cash outs can mean that they can pay out for bets that go on to lose because events play out in a certain way. 

For bettors, there are further benefits to the flexibility of cashing out, especially when it comes to simple enjoyment. The cash out option is another exciting part of betting, and it offers freedom and a chance for them to test their insight into whatever sport they're betting on. Going into the final minutes of our hypothetical City v Liverpool game, a bettor who is given the option to cash out can use their expertise to assess the game so far and draw a conclusion: will City see the win out, or have Liverpool been good enough to hit back? Those with the smartest insight into the teams and the specific game at hand will have the best chance of using the cash out option to their advantage.

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How to get the most out of cash out?

As cash out is a form of in-play betting, it can be difficult to provide advice and best practices that work in all scenarios. It all comes down to what is happening in the event and what the bettor feels may happen next, after the cash out offer is made. However, a few tips that may come in useful can be seen below. 

First, don't panic. One of the worst things you can do is simply take the cash out offer when it is made. Think about the offer for as long as you can (while it is still in place) and come to a clear conclusion as to whether it is right for you before you decide whether to take it or refuse it. Panicking will not allow you to do this and could cost you some serious money. 

Second, study the event you are betting on. This means before and during it. Do Liverpool have a tendency to score late goals? Have City got a leaky defence in the closing minutes of games? Are Liverpool in the ascendency and looking the more likely to score next, or have City got them exactly where they want them? Understanding form prior to the game and performances during it will help you come to the right decision when the cash out offer is made. 

Third and finally, trust your instincts. Everyone's an expert: from your mate down the pub to the pundit on TV, absolutely everyone has their own opinion and will not be shy about expressing it - whether you want to hear it or not. It can be helpful to listen to other people's thoughts and advice, but if you have done your homework and analysed the game in a way you are confident with, trust your own thoughts. There are few things more annoying for punters than listening to someone else and finding out they were wrong. 

 

Final thoughts

Cash out offers are relatively new additions to the betting landscape, but they have already become hugely popular with bookmakers and punters alike. 

Sometimes events will run in your favour and you will cash out at the right time, sometimes they will not and you could end up with a small loss. There are few things about cash out that are absolutely certain - that is part of the joy of it. 

What is for sure though is that cash out brings a whole new dynamic to betting that helps people enjoy their passions more than ever before.

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