Why ‘Cash Out’ Could Be a Nervous Sports Bettor’s Favorite Thing

Written By Dann Stupp on March 1, 2021 - Last Updated on July 28, 2023

Regretting a bet? Wanting to lock in a profit? Or, perhaps you want to minimize the damage of a bad wager?

It might be time to “Cash Out.”

Droves of new players have jumped in the recently launched Virginia sports betting market, where five sportsbooks are now taking wagers.

However, all of them offer an interesting concept: the ability to back out of a bet before it’s settled.

Welcome to Cash Out, where sports bettors can get a bit of a do-over, or even settle up a bet before the game is over, without losing all of their initial wager.

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How to cash out a sports bet

All five of the VA sports betting apps offer some form of the Cash Out option:

They all work in a fairly similar fashion, but the eligible sports and betting types may vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Essentially, though, you can cash out during the lifespan of the bet, from pre-game to the waning seconds of the game.

Cash Out eligible bets often include the most popular wagering types:

Many sports bettors assume Cash Out is a way to minimize losses. However, it can also be a way to guarantee profit.

Of course, the amount that you’re offered for your Cash Out will depend upon the likelihood your bet will be a winner. Was the game a pick’em when you bet it? Is the action now underway, and the score is still close? You stand a good chance to get back most, if not all, of your original bet.

However, say you bet the Washington Wizards at -110 odds pregame. Now, in the fourth quarter, they’re up 10 points. In that scenario, you’re likely to get a very attractive offer to cash in early and lock in profit.

On the flipside, if the Wizards fall behind, your Cash Out offer will diminish accordingly.

Examples from the real world

Over the past few days, I sprinkled a handful of bets across Virginia sportsbooks to see the “Cash Out” option in action. Once the bet was placed, I simply clicked on “My Bets” or “Active Bets” to keep an eye on my Cash Out offers.

In one case, I bet on the Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Sacred Heart college basketball game at DraftKings (don’t judge: I have exotic tastes). I wagered $25 on the Fairleigh Dickinson moneyline at -112 odds. If victorious, I was guaranteed a profit of $22.50.

However, even before tip-off, DraftKings offered a “Cash Out” amount of $24.11.

If I took it, I was going to lose 89 cents on the bet. But say I suddenly had a really bad feeling about the bet, an injury to a key player, for example. I might decide I’d rather take a minimal 89-cent loss than sweat a possible $25 hit.

That same day, I also put down a $25 bet at BetMGM on the Cincinnati Bearcats (-5.5) to beat the Tulane Green Wave. As the teams traded the lead, I watched my Cash Out offer change by the minute. At halftime, the Bearcats led 44-40. BetMGM offered a Cash Out of $25.69:

In other words, at halftime, I was assured a profit – a whopping 69-cent














If I hadn’t been feeling good about Cincinnati’s second-half chances, I might’ve cashed out. It was a nice option to have, though one I ultimately didn’t take.

Still, with Cash Out, it was reassuring to know the possibility was there if I wanted or needed it.

Photo by Bigapplestock | Dreamstime.com
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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