Matched Betting Horse Racing Money Back If ‘X’ Offers


18 Aug 2020

Updated: 24 Feb 2023

Horse Racing Money Back If ‘X’ Offers are a type of reload offer done in our Matched Betting community. They can also be referred to as Horse Racing Refund Offers.

‘X’ represents a specific outcome that’s denoted by a bookmaker. For example, X could be ‘Your Horse Finishes 2nd’, or ‘Your Horse Finishes in 2nd, 3rd or 4th’, or ‘This Horse Wins and Your Bet Loses’, or similar.

In this article we’re going to look at two different examples of these types of offers:

- Free Bet if a certain horse wins and your bet loses then also;
- Cash Back or Free Bet if your horse comes 2nd/3rd or similar

We’ll also consider two different profit strategies for each offer – the ‘potential profit strategy’ and the ‘before race profit extraction’ strategy.

Finally, we’ll cover some common questions we get about these offers and point you in the right direction for where you can find out more information and the tools you’ll need to do these offers fast and accurately.

Examples of Matched Betting Horse Racing Refund Offers

Example 1: Free Bet If Your Horse Wins

Virgin Bet recently ran this type of offer on the 13:15 at Kempton (Saturday 26th February 2022).

In this example – if we bet on a horse at odds of 4.0 (3/1) or higher in this race and it wins, we get a free bet up to £20.

The simplest way to complete this offer is to just do a normal Qualifying Bet on a horse that has close odds with the Betting Exchange that will give us a low Qualifying Loss.

In this instance, as we are staking £20 at the bookie, we’d look to have a maximum Qualifying Loss of around £1.50 - but ideally, less than £1 if available.

Once or Qualifying Bet is placed, we then wait to see if our horse wins. If it does this will release a£20 free bet which we can then use our standard free bet Matched Betting strategy to make a profit.

The horse ‘Not A Role Model’ provided a good option (at the time of writing), with an 80p Qualifying Loss (using Smarkets Betting Exchange with 0% commission).

The back odds at Virgin Bet were 12.0 and the lay odds were 12.5 at Smarkets.

We start by placing a £20 back bet on the horse ‘Not A Role Model’.

You can use a lower stake amount but we use a £20 stake as that is the maximum stake amount that qualifies for the offer.

We then need to place a lay bet against the same horse ‘Not A Role Model’ to win using Smarkets.

This gives us an 80p qualifying loss - no matter where this horse comes in the race.

What is an acceptable Qualifying Loss?

For an offer like this varies based on several factors.

The horse ‘Not A Role Model’ in this instance had back odds at the bookmaker odds of 12.0.

We have an 80p loss from placing this Qualifying bet. But if we were to use 80p on a normal bet for this horse to win, we would stand to win under £10:

£0.80 x 12.0 = £9.60

However, we know that if the horse does win, we can use Matched Betting to turn the £20 free bet that we will get into around £16 profit (80% of the free bet value). This is giving us much more value than simply betting on the horse at its current odds.

We are actually getting enhanced implied odds:

£15.20 (potential profit from the free bet minus 80p qualifying loss) / £0.80 = 19.0

This essentially gives us odds of 19.0 for ‘Not A Role Model’ to win the race even though regular punters are only getting odds of 12.0

If this horse’s odds were 4.0 for example and it was 2nd favourite with the other horses having much higher odds - you might choose to accept a higher Qualifying Loss of say £1.50.

But because this horse was at odds of 12.0 here and not a strong contender, a smaller qualifying loss is better.

As you do more of these offers you it is possible to start spotting when there is value like this is on offer.

The alternative way to complete this offer is to use the ‘Refund If’ Calculator and extract a profit regardless of whether ‘Not A Role Model’ goes on to win the race or not.

Here’s an example of the how the Refund If Calculator works:

With this approach as well as doing a normal Qualifying Matched Bet on a horse of our choice (‘Not A Role Model’ in this instance) we also place a second lay bet, a lay on the win for the horse that can trigger the offer (which is also ‘Not A Role Model’ in this case) – using the lay stake worked out by the Refund If Calculator.

The bottom of the calculator then shows us how we make a profit regardless of whether ‘Not A Role Model’ wins the race or not.

You can see in this instance the pre-race, this approach makes 48p.

Although it’s completely your choice which strategy to use, most of us in this instance would opt for the potential profit approach as that gives us an opportunity of making around £14+ more in profit from our free bet if ‘Not A Role Model’ wins the race.

(‘Not A Role Model’ actually came 5th in this race – meaning we would have been 80p down in this instance.)

Platinum and Diamond Members are recommended to check the Outplayed forum mid-late morning on the day of the race to see if there are any good pre-race profit extraction options available on specific offers.

Alternatively, you can check for possible options throughout the day for yourself.

Example 2: Cash Back (or a Free Bet) if Your Horse Comes in a Certain Place (or Places)

The place can be just 2nd, or it can be multiple places, such as 2nd and 3rd, or 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

The number of places offered is usually dictated by the number of horses running in the race.

Sky Bet frequently run the best ‘cash back’ version of this offer.

Here’s a good example from the same race in the first example, the 13:15 at Kempton (Saturday 26th February 2022).

The simplest way to complete this offer is to just do a normal Qualifying Matched Bet Bet on any horse which gives us a good Qualifying Loss - then just see if our horse finishes in the correct position – 2nd or 3rd in this instance.

Now, there is no sure-fire way of choosing a horse that is ‘more likely’ to come in a certain position.

As can be done with Extra place offers, not choosing a very strong favourite (odds of 1.50 or less) or an extreme outsider MAY be recommended by some.

However, if the Qualifying Losses on such horses are too high you may want to just go with the favourite if its Qualifying Loss is really good.

On Saturday, close to the start of the race there was a good opportunity available on the horse ‘Le Cameleon’, that gave a Qualifying Loss of around 30p for our £10 back stake.

As we discussed in Example 1, what an acceptable Qualifying Loss is to you will vary.

We would advise avoiding accepting a loss higher than £1.50 per £10 staked on horse racing refund offers like this.

The alternative way to complete this offer is to use the ‘Racing Refund’ Calculator and extract a profit regardless if your horse comes in the correct position or not.

Platinum and Diamond Members are recommended to check the forum mid-late morning on the day of the race to see if there are any decent pre-race profit extraction options available.

Alternatively, you can check for possible options throughout the day for yourself.

Here’s an example of how the Racing Refund Calculator works:

The first step is to choose the type of refund offer you are doing.

In this case, we get cashback if our horse finishes in 2nd or 3rd place.

The next step is to input the back and lay odds of the selected horse as you would for any Qualifying Matched Bet.

In this example, we used the back and lay odds for the horse ‘Le Cameleon’.

Next, we need to input the details about the ‘Bonus’.

Sky Bet are giving us £10 cashback. The bonus amount is therefore 10, and the retention is 100% (we would therefore keep all of the £10 amount as it is full stake cashback and not a free bet).

If the offer had been for a £10 free bet, we would have changed the bonus retention amount here to 70-80%, as we know we can extract around £8 (80%) profit from any £10 free bet we receive.

Lastly, we need to input the lay odds for our selected horse to place in 3rd in the race (following the number of places the calculator requests).

The Racing Refund Calculator then tells us what lay stake amounts we need to use at the exchange (Smarkets in this instance – as they are giving us 0% commission).

The key thing to note is that we are placing one back bet on the horse to win at the bookmaker (Sky Bet in our example), then two lay bets at the exchange.

One lay is against the horse to win, and one lay bet against the same horse in the 3 place market.

Once we place these bets we can expect to make a profit of £1.70 no matter if ‘Le Cameleon’ finishes in 2nd or 3rd or not.

This is quite a good profit to extract pre-race and many would choose this option in this case.

Others may always just stick to the potential profit option no matter what.

The choice is yours! 🙂

(‘Le Cameleon’ actually ended up coming in a frustrating 4th position so just missed out on the offer.)

Common Questions About Money Back / Refund If Offers

Who are these offers best for?

Compared to Horse Racing Extra Place Offers, these types of offers can be tackled by those newer to the Matched Betting strategy (click here).

We’d advise beginners to only start doing these offers though once you’ve completed the Welcome Offers and any easy Bet & Get reload offers.

How often do these offers come up?

The best offers tend to be available on weekend horse racing (especially on Saturdays) and during big horse racing festivals, such as Cheltenham, Royal Ascot and Goodwood.

See: Matched Betting Cheltenham: How Much Could You Make

Quite a few bookmakers do run them during the week as well though.

Is there anything to watch out for when doing these offers?

  • Make sure you are using the correct calculator for the specific offer! Please ask in the forum or the Facebook Group if you need help;
  • Remember to change the Bonus Retention amount depending on if you are getting cash back or a free bet;
  • Make sure to use the correct place lay market when doing 2nd,3rd,4th place refund style offers. Again - double check in the forum if you're not sure!
  • Offers such as ‘If you horse finishes 2nd to the SP (starting price) favourite are NOT the same as ‘If your horse finishes 2nd’. You can’t extract a profit pre-race on these offers and they are harder to make a potential profit on too. On the horse racing refund daily offers page we list these offers, but last, under the more profitable refund if ‘X’ options. We only recommend doing them if you happen to find a horse with a very, very small Qualifying Loss.
  • Avoid taking the best price horse every time on these offers at a specific bookie as it MAY increase your chances of getting gubbed. We recommend following our tips to avoid getting gubbed where you can.

Where can I find more information, tools and resources for Money Back or Refund If offers?

Every day we provide an extensive list of the available horse racing refunds in the Reload Offers section and in the Horse Racing Reloads section on the forum.

Then other useful resources for Platinum and Diamond Members include:

Also read about the Outplayed Oddsmatcher.

Want to know more about Matched Betting?

Why not ask our members yourself?


Our Facebook Group, which currently has over 50,000 members is a great place to get answers and ask for help, especially if you are completely new to Matched Betting.

Interested in Getting Started Matched Betting?

You can start learning for free with our free trial and make your first profits.


Alternatively, upgrade to our Platinum Membership here. It is possible to make the cost of a Platinum membership back within an hour or so once you get the hang of things. Talk about value for money!

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More useful reading: what is lay in betting