A Complete Guide to Cash Out on Betfair Exchange

Betfair Exchange is one of the most advanced betting exchanges there is. One particularly exciting feature offered by Betfair is Cash Out, which allows you to lock in a profit on an open bet, reducing your liability to zero! In this article, we’ll walk you through everything there is to know about Cash Out, including what it is, how it’s calculated, and how you can use it to make money — with a focus on football scenarios.

What Is Cash Out on Betfair?

Cash Out is a feature offered by some betting exchanges that allows you to lock in a profit — or limit a loss — on an open bet. One way to think of Cash Out is that you are effectively selling your bet to another user, either taking a profit or loss depending on which way the odds have moved.

As an example, let’s suppose you place a £100 Double Chance bet of Home or Draw at odds of 1.30 on a football match. If the home team then scores a goal, the odds for Home or Draw might drop down to 1.15. At this point you’ll be able to Cash Out for a profit of around £13, since your bet is worth more than when you placed it (because the likelihood of a home win or draw is now more likely).

Partial Cash Out

While many exchanges now offer their own Cash Out functionality, Betfair offers a variation on the Cash Out called a Partial Cash Out. This is exactly what it sounds like: a feature that allows you to lock in a profit (or limit a loss) on just part of your bet.

A Word of Warning

When a bet supports Cash Out, you’ll see an orange button that says what profit or loss you’ll take if you cash out the bet. However, you have to watch out when cashing out, since the amount you walk away with will depend on the exact odds of the outcome when your Cash Out is settled. As a result, Betfair doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always get the profit or loss they claim.

How Is Cash Out Calculated?

Cash Out values are calculated by comparing the difference between the odds at the time the bet was placed and the odds at the time the bet is cashed out. The size of the original bet will also determine how big the profit or loss is from cashing out.

Cash Out Betting Strategies

There are a number of betting strategies that rely on using Cash Out to generate profit. In fact, there’s a whole area of betting that revolves around using the feature to generate profit.

Sports Trading

Sports trading is a type of betting that involves buying and selling bets at different odds to make a profit. Trading almost entirely relies on using Cash Out, although there are ways to produce a similar result if the exchange being used doesn’t offer that functionality.

Some individuals prefer sports trading to regular sports betting since there can be a lower element of uncertainty. For example, if a trader sees the odds for an outcome are very favorable (and likely to decrease), they can place the bet. Then, as the match progresses, those odds might decrease to match the real likelihood of the outcome. A trader can then cash out their bet for an instant profit, instead of sitting through the match and hoping the outcome doesn’t change.

Pre-Match Cash Out

Some traders try to speculate on fluctuations in pre-match odds, eventually cashing out before the match even starts. For example, a trader might expect a team to release some bad news before the match; if that’s the case, they can place a bet for the opposing team, and then cash it out for a profit as soon as the bad news is released.

In-Play Cash Out

It’s not exactly a strategy, but Cash Out can be an invaluable tool during the match itself. This is because each sport — football included — has its own in-play nuances, which can be used to maximize successful outcomes.

In football, one of the best examples of these nuances is the last 15 minutes of the match. During this time, the losing team will often try to play significantly more aggressively, so as to increase their chances of equalizing. As a result, it can be incredibly difficult to predict what will happen during those last 15 minutes.

If you have an open bet on the winning team and the match is slowly approaching those last 15 minutes, you might consider using Cash Out. Since your team is winning, you’ll likely get a decent profit. However, you’ll insulate yourself from the possibility of the losing team recovering.

Loss Minimising Cash Out

We haven’t focused on it much, but remember that Cash Out can also be used to limit your losses, in case the odds are moving in the wrong direction. Of course, this means taking a loss, but this loss might be a lot smaller than the total liability of your bet!

A great example of when it can be good to cut your losses with Cash Out is if your evaluation of the match changes disproportionately as time progresses. Imagine you’ve placed a bet on the home team, but after 15–20 minutes of the match, you see that their players are playing much worse than usual. Even if the odds have already shifted and you’d now be taking a loss from cashing out, you might wish to do so anyway to avoid speculating on the players’ abnormal performance.

Final Thoughts

Cash Out is a common feature on betting exchanges that allows you to lock in a profit or limit a loss. It results from the fluctuation of betting odds, which ultimately change the value of a given bet. There are a number of betting strategies that involve using Cash Out, including the entire field of sports trading.