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Money Back Offers

Level: Advanced
Updated: April 12, 2021

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.

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.

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Matt Kirman - Matched Betting Blogger

Matt KirmanMatched Betting Blogger

Since 2014, I’ve blogged over £50,000 worth of profit, and made it my mission to make matched betting accessible to everyone.