Pros and Cons of the Sports Betting Cash Out Feature

Fans Watching Sports With Man In Distress And A Cash Out Symbol On Online Sports Book

Online sportsbooks do their best to accommodate players with helpful and interesting features. One of betting’s more popular features is “Cash Out.”

Many American bettors may not be familiar with this option.

However, Cash Out has been available to the European market for quite some time.

Assuming you’re new to this feature, you may wonder if it’s worth using. That said, I’m going to cover the benefits and downsides of Cash Out.

What Is the Cash Out Feature?

This option allows you to take winnings from a wager before the outcome has been decided.

The main reasons to use Cash Out include:

  • You want to take winnings from a bet that may not have great long-term prospects.
  • You want guaranteed winnings to lower variance in case things go south.
  • You’re losing and want to recoup some of your losses before the outcome is decided.

Simply put, cashing out gives you the opportunity to collect money from a wager at any point. You may find this feature worthwhile in a variety of scenarios.

Here’s one example:

  • You bet $100 on the LA Rams at +100 odds.
  • They’re playing the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
  • You’re set to earn back $100 if the Rams win.
  • LA goes up by 3 points with five minutes left.
  • This gives Seattle a window to come back and either tie or win the game.
  • You don’t want to take this risk, so you use Cash Out.
  • You get back $85, because LA is winning and there’s not a lot of time left.

You can cash out any single bet up until just before a game ends. With a parlay, you must use this feature before the final match starts. You can cash out with a futures wager until no more bets are being taken on the outcome(s).

Of course, these are just general guidelines when it comes to this feature.

You should always read the rules when using Cash Out at a new sportsbook.

Some bookmakers offer this option for a variety of bets, including point spreads, parlays, futures, and moneylines. Others only allow its use for moneylines and point spreads.

Therefore, you want to know exactly which type of wagers allow for cashing out before taking it for granted.

Using Cash Out at Online Sportsbooks

You can use this option at a variety of internet sportsbooks. But as mentioned at the outset, Cash Out is more prevalent at European-facing bookmakers.

Assuming you’re using a site with this feature, then you can navigate towards your account to get started. Here, you’ll see active bets along with the cashout prices.

Cash Out Feature Online Sportsbook

If you like the amount being offered, then you can cash out. The funds will appear in your account shortly thereafter.

Here’s a more detailed example on the steps needed to use this option:

  • Visit your account and look at the “My Bets” section.
  • Assuming your wager hasn’t been decided, you should see a cash-out amount.
  • Select Cash Out.
  • Look over the details and confirm the action.

Pros of Cash Out

This feature has been really popular at online sportsbooks for a reason. Many gamblers appreciate being able to lock in profits and reducing their risk. You can read more about the benefits of cashing out below.

Guarantee Yourself a Profit

You may want to ensure yourself a profit for one or more reasons. One example is if you’ve made a large bet on what feels like a sure thing. But if you’re only winning by a slim margin, you may want to get some guaranteed profits out of the deal.

Another instance is if you’ve made a parlay wager in anticipation of a big payout. However, you may decide to lock in winnings, because you’ll still be earning a significant amount.

Whatever the case may be, nothing is guaranteed in sports betting.

You’ll have wagers that look like they’re going to come through, only to have something crazy happen in the end.

Cash Out ensures that you don’t have to be at the mercy of the sports gods. Instead, you can lock in winnings without sweating the rest of the game.

Lower the Volatility

Sports betting can be a volatile affair. You may go on a hot streak one week, only to follow it up with disastrous results the next. Downswings are particularly disappointing when you lose bets late in games. You may eventually begin feeling like your luck is terrible.

But Cash Out helps you avoid these situations to some extent. By taking some of your winnings before an outcome is over, you can collect guaranteed money and reduce volatility.

All you need to do is take your money at some point when your team/player is winning. You can even close out your wager while losing to get something back.

Cons of Cash Out

Cashing out is definitely a nice option for the reasons covered above. However, it’s far from a no-brainer decision. You can read about the potential drawbacks to this option below.

You May Leave Winnings on the Table

When cashing out, you’re voluntarily giving up a certain amount of potential winnings. This is the price for ensuring that you get money back.

Cash Out While Losing Online Sportsbooks

But sometimes, you’ll be surrendering too much value. Every time you close a bet early, you lose the chance to win more by letting the outcome play out.

Here’s an example:

  • You wager $100 on the St. Louis Cardinals at -150 odds.
  • You stand to win $67.
  • The Cardinals are beating the Cincinnati Reds by one run in the eighth inning.
  • Louis has a good bullpen and closer.
  • But you still want the guaranteed winnings, nonetheless.
  • You cash out and receive $54.
  • Louis tacks on another run and ends up winning by two.
  • You’ve missed out on an extra $13 in winnings.

Of course, you can’t guarantee that the Cardinals’ quality bullpen will come through in every case. But you should probably bank on them with a one-run lead.

Therefore, you need to weigh different variables before taking a good cashout amount. Sometimes, you’ll be better off letting the money ride and taking your chances.

Cash Out Doesn’t Count Towards Bonus Rollover

As you may know, you must meet rollover before earning bonus funds from an online sportsbook.

Here’s an example:

  • You qualify for a $25 free bet.
  • You lose your first wager.
  • Rollover is 8x.
  • 25 x 8 = $200 must be wagered to earn back the lost $25

Unfortunately, cashed-out bets don’t count towards satisfying wagering requirements.

They don’t normally count towards other promotions and VIP rewards either.

You have to take into account another factor before choosing Cash Out. Is it worth sacrificing money that could go towards rollover to get a portion of your winnings/losses back?

Conclusion

You can see that cashing out isn’t a simple matter. This decision involves good points both for and against using this feature.

Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?

The good news is that you can lock in profits, reduce your losses, and lower volatility with Cash Out. Being able to guarantee yourself profits or avoid losing too much are big advantages when used properly.

As for volatility, sports betting is a streaky endeavor. You can lower your exposure to risk by cashing out.

Of course, this feature is far from perfect. You also have to consider that you can surrender potential winnings and won’t earn bonuses. Sometimes, you may leave too much money on the table when cashing out. You might even feel the sting when all of the lost winnings are counted.

Cashouts don’t go toward bonuses either.

Therefore, you’ll have assumed risk without seeing the bonus benefits on the side.

I can’t say for sure whether you as an individual should or shouldn’t use this feature. Much of the choice depends upon your situation, command of betting strategy, and how desperate you are for winnings.

If you’re a well-funded and skilled bettor, then cashing out is a waste of your time. You’ll see better profits in the long run just by focusing on standard strategy.

But if you’ve made a large bet or want to lock in parlay profits, then Cash Out is a worthy option. You can also use it to lower volatility and better preserve your bankroll.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.