Money Back Offers

Level: Next steps
Updated: January 24, 2023

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 worth learning.

This guide will explain what money back offers are and show you how you should do them 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 you’ll usually have them 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 that if a bookmaker offers ‘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 chances getting longer as you move down the list.

You’ll find that the least profitable offers are available every day, 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 are the most popular type of money back offer, you will see variations on other sports.

Money back if Chelsea win (Football)
Money back if your player loses in five sets (Tennis)
Money back if your 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 wonder how much an acceptable qualifying loss is for these offers, but it 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 on to another offer. There are plenty of them!

How to profit from money back offers

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

William Hill

As always, you must read the terms and conditions thoroughly before getting involved. Here are the main points to note for this William Hill offer.

  • Money back is 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 four horses must run in the race.

So, there’s nothing too troublesome about this offer. Place a bet on an eligible race, and if your horse finishes 2nd, William Hill will refund your stake as cash up to £10.

Step 1: Check the odds at William Hill

Here are the odds at William Hill for a race 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 the favourite. 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 pick horses with relatively short odds as they’re most likely to trigger refunds. You’re also looking for close back and lay odds that will minimise the amount you lose on your qualifying bets.

Considering the above odds for this William Hill offer, Dubawi Legend and Ehraz don’t meet the minimum odds requirement of 4.00 (3/1). You can therefore rule them out as possible options. The odds for Imperial Fighter and Royal Patronage are pretty 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 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 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.

£9.68 (potential profit) ÷ £0.32 (qualifying loss) = 30.25
30.25 + 1.00 (stake) = 31.25 (effective odds)

Working out your effective odds is a good habit to get into as it will help you decide whether or not an offer is worth doing. You need discipline 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 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 most days, 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!

Learn matched betting the free, easy way.

The Matched Betting Academy

  • Logically structured to tackle strategies and offers as you’re ready for them.
  • Bag profits every step of the way. About £600 from welcome offers, and another £500 monthly.
  • Make £15 from your very first offer.
Screenshot of the Matched Betting Academy

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Matt Kirman - Matched Betting Blogger

Matt KirmanMatched Betting Blogger

Since 2014, I’ve blogged over £85,000 worth of profit, and made it my mission to make matched betting accessible to everyone.