If you bet online, you’ll probably be familiar with Cash Out. It allows you to quit whilst you’re ahead, by locking in a profit before an event is finished, rather than letting the bet run and risk losing out. Things not going your way? If you don’t fancy your chances of a comeback, you can also Cash Out for a partial loss rather than risk losing your whole stake.
The idea of cashing out was pioneered on the Betfair Exchange, which by its very nature allowed quick-thinking punters to ‘lay off’ potential losses whilst a bet was still live. Nowadays though, cashing out on the Exchange can be done at the touch of a button. Even better, it gives you a fairer settlement on your bet than would be offered on regular betting sites, as prices are more competitive in the majority of cases – this is due to the fact there’s there no built in margin like with bookmakers, so you get more bang for your buck.
Why use Cash Out on the Exchange?
The Betfair Exchange allows you to cash out all bets placed on a single market, whether that be just one or several, at the touch of a single button.
For example, let’s say you’ve bet on two different horses to win, in a ten-horse race. They’re coming to the last fence and both of them are still in with a shout – along with one more that you haven’t bet on. You’d face a tough decision. Do you cash out on one? Both? Or neither?
Because the Exchange offers live prices on all runners, it will effectively calculate the odds of all your bets winning at any given moment, and come up with a sum ‘cash out’ total. This means you’re guaranteed a return – most likely at a profit in this example – regardless of whether your horses go on to win or not.
Bear in mind that Cash Out amounts aren’t guaranteed as they are based on the live Betfair markets, where prices are constantly moving. This means you may receive more than indicated, if the odds go up; if the odds go down, your Cash Out may be unsuccessful or only partially successful, depending on the liquidity of a market – how much cash is available at a particular price. If a Cash Out is unsuccessful or partially successful then Betfair will offer you a new Cash Out amount, based on your selection’s race position and the prices in the market at that moment in time.
When do I get the money I Cashed Out?
For any amount up to your original stake, you will get the money straight back into your account. If the Cash Out value is more than your original stake, you’ll receive the profit when the market has closed (usually within a couple of minutes of the race finishing). For example:
• Bet £50 on Horse A to win
• Cash Out currently at £10, will pay £10 into your account immediately (you’ve lost £40)
• Cash Out currently at £70, will pay £50 into your account immediately, and £20 profit when market closes
Use Cash Out to your advantage
Of course, just because Cash Out is easy to do, it doesn’t mean there’s not still opportunity for the smart punter to make extra profit, which others may not see. In fact, there is another level to Cash Out entirely.
As Clive Owen points out in the advert below , you can use Cash Out to make money regardless of a result. As he puts it, “no need to pick a winner – just back an outcome, and if the odds move in your favour, Cash Out, and make a profit”.
You can do this by investing at longer odds, and cashing out when they get shorter – almost like playing a mini stock market. With that said, you can imagine the possibilities for making profit from selections whose odds you are confident will shorten before the off, or before the race is over.
Betting and using Cash Out before a race
To illustrate this with a racing example: you’re looking at a race for the next day, with ten horses listed in the betting. The odds on the fourth-favourite are currently 6.0. However, you think this horse will be tipped heavily in the media on race morning, and so is likely to be well-backed. You bet £50 at 7.0, and sure enough, the odds on your selection shorten to 4.0 the next day. You can now cash out for a small profit, before the race has even started. It can be game of small margins, but if you think your information is good enough, a profitable game – regardless of whether you think the horse you’re betting on is actually going to win or not.
Cash Out can work during a race, too, if you think the odds on your selection are likely to improve mid-race. This is where Timeform comes in as an important tool for identifying opportunities to make profit, outside predicting the winner or placed horses in a race. It can also be an exciting, fascinating and profitable way of betting on racing – without ever having to pick a winner.
Using Timeform to predict in-play odds
With Timeform Race Passes, you’ve got more than one solution at your disposal to try and work this out. In fact, if you’re wondering why it’s worth paying more for Timeform Race Passes, this is one of the best examples of how Timeform can help you ‘play smarter’.
First of all, there are the Individual Price Hints as seen near the top of the card, which can tell you whether a horse is likely to trade particularly higher or lower during a race than its BSP (Betfair starting price), based on its previous runs. They use data from Timeform’s Pace Map to predict how fast a race is likely to be run, and whether that will suit horses who usually run near the front, in the middle, or towards the back of the field – which you can check out yourself before a race (if the Pace Map isn’t live yet – usually from the afternoon before the race – you can also see the bare figures on the horse’s individual profile, by checking its In Play Symbols for past races).
Added to that, every horse’s past performance in both its profile and in race results will list its BSP for that race, and its “IP Hi/Lo” – the highest and lowest in-play price it traded at, if higher/lower than the BSP.
Cash Out in-play for profit
It might sound complex, but in practice it’s very straightforward. For example, you see that a horse is priced at 21.0 on the Betfair Exchange. However, a look at the Pace Map tells you that this horse has an average EPF (early position figure) of 2. The mark is in a dark red box, showing that there is a high probability of this being the case again in the upcoming race.
You place £20 on the horse at 21.0, and when the race goes off, the horse does indeed sit just behind the leader. You wait a couple of furlongs and the horse still looks to be in a good position – and sure enough, its in-play price is gradually shortening. However, the final bend is soon approaching, and you see a couple of the other horses come off the bridle, so with the in-play price now at just 5.0, you cash out for a profit. If the Pace Map has done its work, you’ve made a profitable bet on a horse that was doing nothing more than losing in the manner it was predicted to.
Of course, this could go either way, but if the pre-race market was accurate it’s likely your horse will go on to lose. However, there’s always the possibility it could go on to win – in which case you’ve cashed out for less than you could’ve otherwise won. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance on how much profit you’re looking to make. Two solutions to this quandary would be to do an Auto or Partial Cash Out – the next part in our series.