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Money Back Offers

Level: Advanced
Updated: October 19, 2021

Money back offers are a popular type of reload offer and will make up a big chunk of your matched betting activity.

With opportunities popping up every day, it’s certainly a strategy you’ll want to be familiar with.

In this guide, I’ll explain what money back offers are and show you how they should be done in order to maximise your profits.

What is a money back offer?

A money back offer involves a bookmaker refunding losing stakes if a specified event/trigger occurs.

It’s their way of enticing you to bet with them instead of their competitors. It gives regular punters another shot if their bet loses and the trigger hits. Losing stakes are sometimes refunded as cash, but they’re most commonly returned as free bets or bonuses.

Horse racing refunds

Horse racing refunds are the most common type of money back offer. Here’s a list of the ones you’re most likely to see…

Money back if the favourite wins
Money back if the named horse wins
Money back if 2nd, 3rd or 4th
Money back if 2nd or 3rd
Money back if 2nd

Money back if 2nd or 3rd to the SP favourite
Money back if 2nd to the SP favourite
Money back if 2nd, beaten by a length or less
Money back if 2nd, beaten by a neck or less
Money back if 2nd, beaten by a head or less
Money back if your horse falls

It’s worth mentioning here that if a bookmaker is offering ‘Money back if your horse loses‘, that’s a risk-free bet offer and should be treated as such.

I’ve put the above list together in order of profitability. Those at the top are the likeliest triggers, with the odds getting longer as you move down the list.

You’ll find that the least profitable offers tend to be available every day, either across all races or one or two selected meetings. The most profitable offers tend to be limited to one particular race on busier race days, like Saturdays and during big meetings and festivals.

You can find a comprehensive list of horse racing refunds and other incentives on my Horse Racing Offers page. I update it each morning, so it’s certainly a page you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Offer variations

Although horse racing refunds account for the majority of money back offers, variations do pop up on other sports from time to time…

Money back if Chelsea win (Football)
Money back if player loses in five sets (Tennis)
Money back if player finishes 2nd or 3rd (Golf)

How do money back offers work?

The strategy for money back offers is the same across all sports and is pretty straightforward. Keep your qualifying losses low and hope you hit the refund triggers.

If the refund trigger isn’t hit, there’s no money back and you’ll have to take your qualifying loss on the chin. That will happen more often than not, but if you can keep those losses to a minimum, you’ll be nicely in profit when you do hit the refunds.

You may be wondering how much is an acceptable qualifying loss for these offers, but it really depends on the refund trigger. The easier the trigger is to hit, the more you’ll be willing to lose on your qualifying bet.

Also, be aware that not all money back offers are worth doing. If you can’t find any suitable odds or the refund trigger seems too hard to hit, feel free to leave it and move onto another offer. There are plenty of them!

How to profit from money back offers

I’m going to walk you through a horse racing money back offer run by William Hill.

William Hill

As always, it’s important that you read the terms and conditions thoroughly before getting involved. Here are the main points to note for this William Hill offer…

  • Money back credited as cash up to a maximum of £10.
  • Only your first bet on each eligible race will count.
  • Minimum odds of 4.00 (3/1).
  • At least 4 horses must run in the race.

So, there’s nothing too troublesome about this offer. Place a bet on eligible races and if your horse finishes 2nd, your stake will be refunded as cash up to a maximum of £10.

Step 1: Check the odds at William Hill

Here are the odds at William Hill for a race that was eligible for their money back offer…

William Hill

Step 2: Check the lay odds at the exchanges

It’s entirely up to you which betting exchange you use to lay your bet. Your decision will likely depend on the commission rate you pay at each exchange and the lay odds available.

Here are the lay odds at Betfair for the same race…


Step 3: Make your selection

It’s worth mentioning at this point that for some money back offers, you’ll need to avoid betting on the ‘trigger’ horse. For example, if you’re doing a ‘Money back if 2nd to the SP favourite‘ offer, you’ll need to bet on a horse that isn’t likely to start the race as favourite. This is because if you backed the favourite, you wouldn’t be able to hit the refund. Simply put, the horse can’t finish 2nd to itself.

Generally speaking though, you want to be picking horses that have fairly short odds as they’re most likely to trigger refunds. You’re also looking for close back and lay odds which will minimise the amount you lose on your qualifying bets.

Looking at the above odds for this William Hill offer, Dubawi Legend and Ehraz don’t meet the minimum odds requirement of 4.00 (3/1). This means you can rule them out as possible options. The odds for Imperial Fighter and Royal Patronage are quite long, suggesting they’re unlikely to finish 2nd.

That leaves Noble Truth, whose back odds of 4.33 and lay odds of 4.30 are nice and close and just above the minimum odds requirement.

Step 4: Place your bet at William Hill

If Noble Truth finishes 2nd, you’ll want the maximum cash refund of £10. So, you would stake £10 on Noble Truth at William Hill…

William Hill logo

Place £10.00 on Noble Truth @ 4.33 = Potential profit of £33.30

Step 5: Place your lay bet at the exchange

You can calculate your lay stake using my Matched Betting Calculator.

Select bet type

Back Bet (Bookie)


Lay Bet (Betting Exchange)


Min £
Max £
Lay stake required: £
If back (bookie) bet wins
= £
If lay (exchange) bet wins
= £
Total profit: £

Optimal Underlay

Lay stake required: £
Exchange liability: £

If back (bookie) bet wins: £
If lay (exchange) bet wins: £

Optimal Overlay

Lay stake required: £
Exchange liability: £

If back (bookie) bet wins: £
If lay (exchange) bet wins: £

As you can see, the calculator tells you that you should lay £10.19 against Noble Truth

Betfair logo

Lay £10.19 against Noble Truth @ 4.30 = Potential liability of £33.62

Let’s take a look at your overall profit/loss for each possible outcome…

OutcomeWilliam HillBetfairCashbackProfit/Loss
Noble Truth wins+ £33.30– £33.62£0.32 loss
Noble Truth finishes 2nd– £10.00+ £9.68+ £10.00£9.68 profit
Any other outcome– £10.00+ £9.68£0.32 loss

So, you’ll make a nice profit of £9.68 if Noble Truth finishes 2nd or you’ll lose £0.32 on any other outcome. Risking £0.32 to make a potential profit of £9.68 gives you effective odds of 31.25. That’s a great price on Noble Truth finishing 2nd.

Working out your effective odds like this is a good habit to get into as it will help you decide whether or not an offer is worth doing. It’s best to try and be disciplined with your selections, so don’t be afraid to skip an offer if you can’t find acceptable odds.

Final words

Money back offers are all about hitting those refund triggers. You’ll miss more often than you’ll hit, so you just need to stick with it and trust the process. Minimise your qualifying losses and the profits will come.

Also, keep an eye out for races where multiple bookmakers are running money back offers. It presents an opportunity to cover different horses within the same race, increasing your chances of hitting a refund.

Money back offers are available almost every day, so they’re great for keeping things ticking over during quiet periods. They can make up a big chunk of your monthly profits so be sure to give them a go. You’ll be glad you did!

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Matt Kirman - Matched Betting Blogger

Matt KirmanMatched Betting Blogger

Since 2014, I’ve blogged over £60,000 worth of profit, and made it my mission to make matched betting accessible to everyone.