If you check in on your Eurovision bets that you placed earlier in the season then you may notice that you have a 'cash-out' option available. This is an option that some bookmakers offer, and can be really useful for the success of your betting.
What is Cash-Out?
Cash-out is a feature offered by many bookmakers whereby you can instantly receive a guaranteed return on a bet that you have previously placed. The amount that you receive is based on your original stake and how much the bookmaker odds have changed - if the bookmaker odds have shortened then you will receive a profit from your cash-out, but if they have lengthened you will receive a loss.
In the example below we backed Switzerland for £100 at 12.0 (11/1). Since the odds have now shortened we have the option to cash this out for £200 (a guaranteed immediate profit of +£100).
Should we let this bet ride or cash-out? The answer is not always obvious, but there are indicators that we can use to determine what is the best course of action.
When to use Cash-Out?
Cash-out is generally good to use when you are no longer so confident in the outcome of your bet, or want you to use the profits to fund other bets that you prefer. You can actually use this technique to build up you profits before the contest has even begun, but if you are considering doing this a lot then you should look into trading on the Exchanges as a much more efficient and flexible way of doing this (we talk about betting Exchanges in more detail here, and may look to do a separate article on trading).
If you are looking to get the best value from your cash-out, then your decision should be dependent on the size of the cash-out return that you are offered. In Eurovision there are two common scenarios that will give you good cash-out value:
When you have backed a selection that has come in to become one of the favourites. The bookmaker may then shorten their odds too much as precaution after receiving many bets. This will make them a bad value back bet, but may give you a great value cash-out.
When you have backed a selection that now appears to have no chance. Then the bookmaker may not yet have cottoned on to it's chances, and may still offer you a decent amount of your money back via cash-out.
In the second scenario you should not be afraid to take a small loss on your bet as it's much better than a vey likely big loss later down the line, and will serve you well in the long run. A lot of people lose in betting and trading because they are afraid to cut their losses, and sometimes even chase their losses - don't fall into this trap.
Another way to think about cash-out is that it is effectively placing a 'lay' bet on your selection which cancels out you original bet. This means that if you want to get precise about it then you can actually calculate the odds at which this effective lay bet is being offered and use that to decide whether these are good or bad lay odds to be taking. In the initial example the cash-out return of £200 would effectively equate to laying Switzerland at 6.0 (slightly shorter than the fair price at the time of writing), so we are probably best off in cashing that bet out.
Which bookmaker offer Cash-Out?
Not all bookmakers offer cash-out, so if you want to consider it as an option then you should choose your bookmaker when placing your bet. The main Eurovision bookmakers we use that do offer cash-out are:
If you have any questions about cash-out then let us know.
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