Collect Keyboard Button Glowing GreenThe cash out feature has been around for a number of years now. It’s one of the most popular across the industry and players have been able to revolutionise how they approach bets as a result.

From the outside it appears as if everything is golden with this feature, but there are some grey areas that you need to be aware of to make sure that you maximise your net win and take full advantage.

Throughout this article we will be looking at how cash out works, how to best land a net win from the feature and also why it’s become as popular as it has.

What is Cash Out?

Coins and Sand Timers

Cash out is where the bookmaker allows to close your bet on a specific market soon than it would usually end. This means that you can lock in a net win or limit your loss before the market closes.

The price that you get will always be less than the original price on offer. It works in a similar way to laying on the betting exchange, except the process is arguably a lot easier for most punters to grasp and therefore use on a regular basis.

How Does Cash Out Work?

Betfair Cashout Examples

The first thing that you need to do is place a bet. It’s worth noting that not all bets can be cashed out. What you will find is that all games or markets that turn in-play with the bookmaker will offer the cash out feature. Those that don’t will likely not have access to the feature.

Once you have placed your bet you will be able to cash out it immediately in most cases, even if the game has not started. We address this a little deeper later in the article, but if you’ve made a mistake or you just don’t fancy the bet anymore, you can simply cash it out and get your money back.

The cash out function starts to come into play after the game has started. Once the bet is live the price that the bookmaker will offer you to cash out will be dependent on the events in that match and also the price that you took prior to the start of the game.

The lower that the live price is, the closer to the max payout your cash out value will be.


We place a £100 bet on Chelsea to beat Liverpool at odds of 3.00. If Chelsea were to win, this would mean that we would get £300 back as a result.

The game kicks off and then after 30 minutes the score is 0-0. The odds for Chelsea to win have drifted to 4.00 after their slow start and given the chances of them winning have now reduced.

Given that the odds are now longer than when we started, the cash out price will be less than our £100 original stake. The cash out value at this point will be £75.

The game goes into the second half and Chelsea get the first goal of the game after 60 minutes. They lead 1-0 and the price for them to win the game has dropped to just 1.75. The cash our price has now risen to £171 as a result, meaning that we can take £71 net win with 30 minutes still to play.

Let’s assume that we decide to cash out here and take the net win.

If we had let this run and Chelsea failed to keep the lead and failed to win the game, then we would have lost our £100 stake.

If we had let the game run on a little longer before cashing out, but still cashed out before Chelsea had lost the lead, then we would have got more money. The amount of money more would depend on the odds of them winning and also the time left in game.

Why is Cash Out so Popular?

Football Fan Using Mobile Phone

The ability to lock in bets and not have to wait until the end of games is one of the main reasons why so many people like to use cash out. It takes those nervy last 10 minutes of a match or final game of a contest out of the equation. Yes, you lose some money by cashing out, but for some it’s worth it.

Another reason why so many people use is that there are so many bookies that offer it. It’s been a huge marketing tool in the industry of late and we are going to get a little into the why’s in the next section.

How Do the Bookies Come Out on Top?

Pound Sign Against Blue Background

When a stream of bookies all jump on board of a new feature, then you know it’s for a reason. Part of the reason will be for user benefit, but often, especially when it comes to betting features, it’s because the bookmaker can benefit from it.

We’re going to explain exactly how they do this with cash out betting.

The first thing to note is how the bookies benefit financially. The use a process that is called Overround. It’s also sometimes known as “vig” or “juice”.

This is basically the money that they make from each betting market. The overround is applied to each and every betting market on that bookmaker. It works by creating a market that is larger than 100% meaning that the odds are slightly offset in their favour.

A quick example would be a simple coin toss. The odds should be 2.00, but the bookies will offer you just 1.90 for both results, which is them taking their cut, basically.

Odds are reflective as an implied probability. By this we mean the chance of that result coming in. An even money bet would have an implied probability of 50%, which is the chance of winning.

Let’s see how it works from a real-world example.

We’ve an upcoming football match between Chelsea and Brighton in the Premier League. The odds and implied probability are as follows:

  • Chelsea to win = 1.40 (71.4%)
  • Draw = 4.50 (22.2%)
  • Brighton to win = 8.00 (12.5%)

To get the total overround for the market just add all the implied probabilities together. In this case we get an overround of 106.1%, which means a margin of 6.1% (anything over 100% is the bookies margin).

Without getting too side-tracked here, we can then drag this back to cash out betting because not only do the bookies charge an overround on the initial bet, they also do on the cash out bet.

So, the price that you are getting to cash out will be lower than the actual value of your cash out value. Generally, you will be paying about 5% with most bookmakers.

This means that not only are you paying on your initial bet, which in the above example would be 6.1%, but you also pay around 5% if you decide to cash out. This would mean that the bookies take home 11.1% for this single bet.

We assume you understand why it’s so popular with so many bookmakers now, right?

Does This Mean That You Should Never Cash Out?

This is always the follow up question when we break down how it works and more importantly, how it benefits the bookies.

It’s a tough one to answer to be honest, but this is how we would look at it.

First, the bookmakers are always going to come out on top, regardless of what players do. Bets are set up in a manner that they can skim a slice off the top and players won’t ever really notice.

Stricken punters would argue that you want to give the bookies as little as possible and you’re essentially paying 2 lots of vig for your bet. We can’t argue with that, but in the real-world things don’t always work out perfectly.

Even though the value of cash out bets, in terms of costs at least, are not great, there are times when you should be looking to cash out your bet.

Auto Cash Out and Partial Cash Out

Wooden Blocks Targets

There have been a number of extensions to the cash out feature that have come about in the industry of late.

The first one is auto cash out. This is where you can set an amount that you would be happy with taking, and when the cash out hits that price, it will auto cash out and bank you the money.

It’s worth noting here that the auto cash out function will always take the biggest price on offer. For example, if you set a limit of £100 to cash out and when your bet come back live from being suspend with an amount over £100, this will pay the highest amount. So, if it was £120 when the market reopened, then they would give you the £120 and not the £100.

We actually think that this is one of the worst options for cash out that players can use. The reason is that each cash out bet should be subjective of what is happening both with the bet and each selection (if multiple) within that bet.

It might be that you’ve backed a team to win and they do 2-0 with their opponents down to 10 men and just 10 minutes left. This would be a terrible time to cash out given they don’t win this game almost never.

The next one is a partial cash out, and we aren’t massive fans of this either if truth be told.

This works where you can cash out a percentage of your bet and leave the rest to run. The cash out is based on your initial stake and you simply cash out a part of that initial stake, which is reflective of the amount of money you’d get in return.

The reason that we don’t like this all that much is if your partial cash one part of your bet you pay vig on that bet. If you then go on to cash it out again, you pay a third lot of vig. Paying twice – for the initial bet and then the cash out bet – we can stomach but paying three times is starting to get too much.

Can You Cash Out Accumulator Bets?

Betfair Cashout Markets


Yes, you can. In fact, these are one of the most common bets that people use for cash out and one of our most favoured bet types for this feature.

For those that don’t know, an accumulator bet is where you have 2 or more selections in the same bet. You need all selections to win the bet and if you lose just one leg, the whole bet loses.

The reason we think that cash out betting works so well with these types of bets is that they are extremely volatile, and one result can cost a huge sum of money.

There’s no exact science as to when you should cash your bet out, but if you’re in a winning position with all picks in the lead and just 1 goal the difference for each, then this would be a good time.

It’s impossible to sit here and say each scenario that you need to use cash out, as each is different, especially for accumulator bets. Just try and wait for as many selections to be leading as you can and get a price that you are happy with based on those results. After accumulator bets that have just 1 goal in them in 2 or more results are a good place to start for a cash out consideration.

How to Work Out if Your Cash Out Offer is a Good One

Yes and No Buttons

There’s a number of cash out calculators that allow you to work out the true cash out price for your bet. They are free to use and all you do is enter your back price, the stake and the lay price (current price), then they will spit out your odds.

You then need to compare that to the price that you are getting. You can see if the cash out value is good or note from that.