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Sports Betting 101: When To Cash Out At A Sportsbook

Mark "Chas" Filardi Jul 17th 11:17 PM EDT.

Anytime you make a wager, you’re playing with your own money.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re down a couple of bucks or up 200 units.

Once those winnings are on your person or in your account, they are yours. There is no such thing as house money. You’ve heard that term before and maybe even used it once or twice yourself.

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There’s No Such Thing As House Money

Maybe you’ve had a day like this story.

You’re with a buddy that starts off his day hot. This is a normal early Saturday morning in the fall at Caliente. The Tecates are $1.25 and served in a bucket of ice. This guy’s on fire! He’s already cashed a first-half four-teamer sweeping the board on the early college football games.

On his way past the table heading towards the horse racing monitors, he swings by the table and orders the group another bucket of beers. Maybe it’ll be New York, Florida, or Kentucky; there are quite a few tracks to play.

Now, you’ve been at the sportsbook since 8:30 AM PST. making sure you don’t get shut out from those 9 AM kickoffs. The fact that we have to cross an international border just to place a LEGAL wager in the first place is a discussion for another time. So, your friend comes back with a winning trifecta ticket and another $150.

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This Guy Is On Fire!

It’s 10:30 in the morning and this guy is already up more than $600-$700 from what he had in his pocket when he left his house a few hours ago. The day goes on and like most of us, being in a sportsbook with your buddies is too much fun. A morning of beer-spitting laughter, good times, and an incredibly small bill since the Peso is so low against the dollar can hit the spot. 

College football is a rare breed. It hits you in waves! The early games start out okay, right about Noon on the East Coast. Then there are the 3:30 starts. Hopefully, some of those winning early finals will get graded before the next kickoff so you can cash and get some more tickets in your pocket.

You’ll get another rush from the 5 PM / 8 PM games of the day. Finally, the West Coast games that can keep you watching until it’s way past midnight in New Haven.

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They Call It Gambling For A Reason

Although it’s a wonderful time, you’ve been gone from your house for 12-14 hours. You smell like a combination of beer and some of that incredibly good Mexican hot sauce. They have two kinds and both are great, but one is just too hot. By this time in the adventure, you just want to get home and crash.

There’s some discussion on the ride home but mostly it’s quiet with some good tunes. Everyone’s tired as the car pulls up to his place. Quietly, as he gets out, he says “I’ll be right down.” A few minutes later, here he is, as promised, and then you hear, “Thanks man, I really appreciated the loan,” as he slips a $100 bill into your hand.

In Tijuana, most of the clerks are pretty young ticket-punching ladies. (Most probably speak less English than they actually should considering who’s betting there.) Sometime between 10:30 AM and 10:30 PM, your friend had given every single penny of his winnings back to the girls and on top of that, he borrowed another c-note from one of the guys.

The logic of "I just gave them their money back" was bantered about. Hey, it was your money. You have every right to feel any way that you want to about the fact that you lost it. One thing though, please do not ever say, “I just gave them their money back!” PLEASE!

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When Was The Last Time You Saw The Missing Money?

Where was the money? That’s right, it was on your person! It was YOUR money! When you find yourself up early in a gambling environment you have to learn to keep some of it.

Everybody’s heard Tony Robbins' saying, “you have to pay yourself first.” There’s no excuse for not being a winner for the entire day when you’re up big early. NONE!

How Many Ways Are There To Stash Your Winnings?

Think about it: They say there are 50 ways to leave your lover and there are at least that many to protect your winnings.

You can sneak up to your hotel room really quickly and hide it from yourself.

How about turning and running for profit. We’re talking about never having two feet on the ground at the same time hightailing it out of there and taking the money with you. Running from the elevator to the front door past the sportsbook, table games, and slot machines works everywhere.

Seen it done in Las Vegas, Mexico, California, Connecticut, and New Orleans just to name a few.

Come on, you’ve never seen one guy give his money to another with the resolve that no matter what he says, do not give his this money back? How hard would that have been? Now, most times the holding of said stash could be a PITA, especially if begging is eventually involved.

Of course, you could also have a modicum or two of self-discipline and keep the money right where it is. Wallet, pocket, money clip, fanny pack, etc. Hell, you can hold the money in a sweaty ball in the palm of your hand the whole time if you want. One thing we remind people is to remember whose money it is?

It’s your money.

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