Cash Out Explained

Written by Steven Hubbard
Verified by BettingLounge team
Last updated 27/02/2024

The cash-out feature is a staple of all the best betting sites. Gone are the days in which a late goal could ruin or make your weekend. Well, they are still there but you now have the choice to avoid the agony or embrace the ecstasy of that stoppage-time goal.

In this guide, we will use football as an example but you can cash out with plenty of markets in different sports. On a related note, we have ranked the best football bookies in the UK, taking everything that matters to football bettors into consideration.

What Is It and How Does It Work?

The cash-out feature allows you to accept a profit or loss before the end of the event. It is a real-time decision and usually pays immediately after you use the feature. You can either celebrate by cashing out at the right time for a profit or embrace the pain of cashing out early and missing out on potential profit.

Or, you can be negative and cash out to minimise your losses, which we do not recommend at all. You should only ever place bets with confidence and money you can afford to lose. So really, cashing out for a loss should never be an option. Especially since anything can happen in sports.

Say you have a bet on England to beat Germany in the World Cup. You back Sweden at 3.35 with a £20 stake at Unibet, and your potential return is £67. Say England score around the 70th minute and are looking quite strong defensively but you feel Germany could knick a goal. You will be able to cash out for a decent profit but not the full £67.

If England then scores a second or a third your cash-out value will go up with every goal. Also as the time goes on your cash out will increase. But say Germany score. Your cash out could go to a loss of your original stake. You can choose to take the loss or let it run and hope England score again and get the win.

Different Types of Cash Out

When making use of the cash-out feature, there are a few different options that you can choose between. In addition to the 'standard' cash out, you can use the following:

Partial Cash Out

If you were nervous about England only being 1-0 up, you could use the partial cash-out feature for a guaranteed profit. Essentially you can cash out a part of your stake but leave a remainder to run until the event finishes. You will receive your stake and a certain amount of profit from the bet depending on how much you cash out.

In this, you will get a new return with a reduced stake but you can guarantee a profit and more if it goes on to win. The odds should stay the same on your reduced stake but check with your betting site to make sure of this.

Automatic Cash Out

Just as it says, some betting sites now offer an automatic cash-out feature. You can set a profit value that you wish to cash out on. If the cash-out value reaches or exceeds the number you set, your bet will be automatically settled and the funds added to your balance.

This is a particularly good tool for if you want to win a certain amount but don’t have access to your device to watch and maintain your bet.

Which Betting Sites Offer Cash Out?

Almost all the best betting sites, and especially the most prominent football bookmakers, now offer cash out and most have the partial cash-out feature too. Football has the most cash-out markets in most UK bookies. But, be sure to check which markets have it on your site. Usually, you will see a cash-out symbol near the market or event.

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Why Can I Not Cash Out?

There will be times when your cash out is not available and it could be due to several different reasons.

  • Critical Moments: If a team in your bet has a dangerous free-kick, penalty, gets a red card or even scores, then the betting will be suspended. This, in turn, will also suspend your cash out. Play will have to resume and have no critical moments for you to be able to cash out. If you have an acca with loads of different bets, the chances of it being suspended are pretty high.

  • Late in the game: Most bookies will suspend cash-out features 5 minutes before the end of the game. This again will depend on your betting site, so it is best to check with them for the specific cash-out time.

  • Price change: This can go hand in hand with critical moments or just as time goes on in the game. But most bets will suspend for a short time whilst the prices change and you will be unable to cash out.

  • Technical issues or errors: In the event of there being technical issues or an error in pricing, each bookie will have different T&C’s but most will suspend cash out. It is once again best to check with your betting site for their rules.

Advantages of Cashing Out

There are several reasons why it might be good to utilise the cash-out feature when monitoring your placed bets, and some of them are:

  • Instant profit: Instead of waiting for the event to reach its natural conclusion, you can cash out for a profit and use those funds immediately after. This can be great if you worry about your bet or want to use the funds for another bet.

  • Prevent potential losses: Even if your team is winning, you can sometimes tell when watching the game that they won’t hold out. To get rid of those unwanted nerves you can cash out and sit back to enjoy the game knowing you are in profit. Yes, you may not win the full amount, but it’s far better than knowing you should have cashed out after a late goal.

  • Betting on underdogs: If you are watching a game live, or have done your research, you might feel good about placing a bet on an underdog to take an early lead. You can then cash out for a profit even if they then go on to lose the game. Betting on underdogs that score goals and have a chance of leading early is a great use of the cash-out feature.

  • Waiting for your last leg: Say you are winning 5 out of 6 selections with the other drawing. You can often get very good cash out value. Depending on the game, you might choose to cash out, and that would be fine.

Disadvantages of Cashing Out

Just as there are benefits to using the cash-out feature, there are also some disadvantages that you should know about beforehand:

  • Benefiting the bookie: The cash-out value will often be lower than the full return. Unless it is winning comfortably late on, you can get full cash out on some sites. But, most of the time it will be less which of course benefits the bookie.

  • Bad decision: Sometimes it can be the wrong decision, with your bet winning after you cashed out. You need to have confidence in your bet and only wager money you can afford to lose. So most of the time cashing out should be avoided.

  • Ruining the fun: Sometimes you can constantly focus on your cash-out value, and you forget to even enjoy the game you are watching. Remember it is never just about winning money and making a profit; it should be a bonus to the fun it creates whilst watching sports.

What to Make Of Cashing Out

Ultimately, it's down to you whether you choose to cash out or not. Just remember to have faith in your bet, with research (hopefully) supplementing your choice. One way to ensure the latter is to find the best football odds available. You are also placing money that you can afford to lose so you shouldn't need it unless you are cashing out for a decent profit.

Steven is an experienced iGaming content writer who has been working in the industry since 2018. He is passionate about sports betting and enjoys writing about all aspects of the industry, including bookmaker reviews, betting tips and strategies, and news and analysis. If you have any questions about online gambling in the UK, please don't hesitate to contact him.