Money Back Offers

Difficulty: Easy Read time: 5 mins

If you’re serious about maximising your matched betting profits, you’ll want to get involved with money back offers.

These offers are where a bookmaker will refund losing bets on an event if a particular outcome/trigger occurs.

You’ll see plenty of football money back offers on the big games and there are horse racing money back offers available every day. They’re a great string to add to our matched betting bow.

Finding an offer

The strategy for money back offers is the same for all sports, but for the purposes of this guide, I’ll be focusing on horse racing.

You’ll find details of all available money back offers on my Horse Racing Offers page, which is updated daily.

You’ll notice a number of different refund triggers offered by different bookmakers. Here are a few examples…

Refund Triggers
Money back if 2nd
Money back if 2nd or 3rd
Money back if 2nd 3rd or 4th
Money back if 2nd to the SP Favourite
Money back if 2nd beaten by a head or less
Money back if 2nd beaten by a length or less
Money back if your horse falls

Some are more lucrative than others and we need to give consideration to a number of factors, such as the number of runners, the type of race and whether or not there is a clear favourite.

The following example explains how to take advantage of Coral’s ‘Money back as a free bet if your horse is beaten by a length or less’ offer.

Coral Offer - Beaten by Less than a Length

As always, it’s important that we read the terms and conditions thoroughly before getting involved.

We just need to place a bet of £1.00+ on any selected UK or Irish flat race and if our horse is beaten by a length or less, Coral will refund our stake as a free bet, up to a maximum of £25.00.

Which horse should I choose?

It depends on the refund trigger as to which horse you go for. For example, if you’re doing a ‘Money back if 2nd to the SP Favourite’ offer, you’ll want to avoid betting on any horses that are likely to start the race as favourite.

Generally speaking though, the strategy for horse racing money back offers is to find some tight back and lay odds that minimise our qualifying loss. It’s then just a case of hoping we hit the refund trigger.

I’ve opted to place my qualifying bet on a big Saturday race from Ascot…

Coral Back Odds
Coral back odds for the top few runners in the 14:40 at Ascot.
Betfair Lay Odds
Betfair lay odds for the top few runners in the 14:40 at Ascot.

We can enter the back and lay odds of each horse into the matched betting calculator to work out which horse gives us the smallest qualifying loss…

Selection Back Odds Lay Odds Qualifying Loss
Bateel 2.75 2.74 £0.72
Journey 5.00 5.30 £2.39
Hydrangea 5.50 6.20 £3.77
Coronet 7.00 7.60 £2.98
Left Hand 13.00 26.00 £13.11

As you can see, the matched betting calculator tells us that Bateel gives us the smallest qualifying loss of just £0.72. If Bateel finishes 2nd by a length or less, Coral will refund our losing £25.00 stake as a free bet, from which we should be able to extract 75% cash, so £18.75.

If we take into account our qualifying loss of £0.72, we stand to make a profit of £18.03. We just need to divide our potential profit of £18.03 by our qualifying loss of £0.72 and then add one (1) to account for our stake. That tells us that our effective odds of 26.04, which I’m sure you’ll agree makes this a profitable offer in the long run. Working out your effective odds like this will help you decide whether or not a bet is worth placing.

Once you’ve done a few of these offers, you’ll get used to picking your horses at a glance. If you can’t find tight enough odds, just forget about that race and move on to the next one.

Placing our qualifying bet

Now that we have decided to place our £25.00 qualifying bet on Bateel, we just need to work out our Betfair lay stake…

Calculator for Bateel Lay Bet
Enter the back stake, odds and commission into the calculator to find out how much we need to lay at Betfair.

As you can see, the calculator tells us that our lay stake should be £25.56…

Bateel Lay Betslip
Enter the lay stake from the calculator at Betfair.
Bateel Lay Bet
Potential profit or loss at Betfair for the possible outcomes.

So, all we need to do is click on the ‘2.74’ lay button and enter our stake of £25.56. It tells us that our liability on this bet is £44.47 and it’s good practice to check this figure against the expected liability on the matched betting calculator. As you can see, they are both the same, so we know we have entered the correct lay stake.

We’ll need to ensure we have enough funds in our Betfair account to cover the £44.47 liability as this is the amount we stand to lose at Betfair if Bateel wins. Don’t worry though, our winnings at Coral will cancel it out, but for the small qualifying loss.

Let’s have a look at our potential profit/loss for the different outcomes…

Outcome Profit
Bateel wins + £43.75 – £44.47 = £0.72 loss
Bateel finishes 2nd by a length or less - £25.00 + £24.28 + £18.75 (extract 75% of £25.00 free bet) = £18.03 profit
Bateel finishes elsewhere - £25.00 + £24.28 = £0.72 loss

So, if Bateel finishes 2nd by a length or less, we’ll make a nice profit of £18.03. Any other outcome and we’ll make a loss of £0.72.


When it comes to money back offers, it’s all about hitting the refund triggers.

It’s quite common to have spells where you struggle to hit a refund, but if you stick at it and keep minimising those qualifying losses, the profits will come. They can be a bit like buses. You’ll often wait some time to hit a refund and then you might hit two in a row.

Occasionally, more than one bookmaker will run an offer on the same race too. This is great news for us as we can select a different horse with each bookmaker and increase our chances of hitting a refund.

These horse racing money back offers are available almost every day and they’re a great way to keep things ticking over during the day or during slack periods. They can make up a big chunk of our monthly profits, so give them a go, you’ll be glad you did.


  1. kath

    Guest user

    Morning matt not sure where to post this but I thought I would just pass on a bit of info, you probably already know but hey, just in case
    I received an email from sporting bet yesterday regarding the York Money back as a free bet, up to £25.00, if your horse is 2nd, I did the 1.50 and the 2.25 How pleased was I to land 2nd on both races? until this morning when I logged in to find only 1 free bet? I just read the small print: In the event of multiple Eligible Bets only the first settled bet will count towards this promotion.
    feeling slightly cheeted :((

    1. Matt


      That’s really unfortunate Kath. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll make a note to that effect in future.

  2. pnicolas8


    Morning Matt – what about the scenario offered quite a lot.. money back to all losers if ‘Kauto Star’ wins? If I back ‘Kauto Star’ at £10 and he wins I get my win, if he loses I get my money back? I have read the T&Cs of the offers and can’t see anywhere there being a clause you can’t back the specified horse?

    Any ideas?

    1. Matt


      If you were to back the specified horse and it loses, you wouldn’t get your money back because the specified horse hasn’t won?

      1. pnicolas8


        Yes but if KS doesn’t win then I lose my money if I had backed another horse.
        So if KS wins I win my bet, if he loses I lose my money.
        If I bet on another horse in the race e.g Red Rum, and KS wins then I get my money back.
        However if I back Red Rum and he doesn’t win and neither does KS then I lose again.
        I’m just trying to work out where there is any profit in these types of offers, doesn’t seem like there is any. Obviously I could lay the other horse and then I make a small loss and maybe that is where the small gamble is.

  3. Jcourtney11


    I’m skeptical of the value of money back offers. I feel this side of matched betting is just glorified gambling. I feel the effective odds of 26.04 are deceptive as the likelihood of the horse coming second by a mere length is so unlikely.

    1. Matt


      Yes you do need much tighter odds for some of the refund triggers, to make it profitable long-term. If you can’t get suitably tight odds, just leave that particular race alone. A horse finishing 2nd by a length or less isn’t actually too rare an occurrence in flat racing as the races are a lot shorter than jumps races.

  4. Yakruna



    I am wondering how to extract value from offers such as “Bet365 – Bore draw money back”? The chance for a match to be 0:0 is pretty low (let’s take Chelsea versus Frankfurt this Thursday with odds 10.00 on 0:0 correct score – that would mean that such an offer would hit only 1 in 10 times). So where is the value in that? Got to say it completely eludes me. Do you mind to elaborate your view and strategy about such offers, because I find a lot of them completely useless? Thanks!


    1. Matt


      That’s not one of the best offers out there Mark to be honest. You would need a really small qualifying loss for there to be value in it.

      If you’re placing bets on a football match anyway in order to qualify for a particular offer, bore draw offers can bring a nice profit if the game ends 0-0. The same can be said when placing mug bets.

  5. Jean

    Guest user

    The real pain is, if your horse wins, you still make the loss lol (hopefully small if you find the right odds).

    1. Matt


      Yes it can be frustrating when you pick a winner Jean.

      If the bookmaker offers Best Odds Guaranteed, you can sometimes make a nice profit if the horse goes off at a bigger price than you placed your bet at.

      Like you say though, just keep your qualifying losses small and you’ll be fine.


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