Horse Racing Offers Explained
Betting on horse racing is extremely popular here in the UK. Because of that, the bookies regularly run promotions on horse racing.
As shrewd Matched Bettors, we can turn horse racing offers into tax-free cash!
In this guide, we'll explain the different ways that you can start making money from horse racing offers!
- Skybet 2nd/3rd/4th Place Refund
- Paddy Power Money Back If X Wins
- Bet365 4/1 Racing Refund
- Best Odds Guaranteed
- Rule 4 Deductions
The Best Times For Offers
Horse Racing runs practically every single day in the UK.
There are 10+ major horse racing tracks across the UK, such as Lingfield, Southwell, Ayr, Wolverhampton, Kempton Park, Sandown and many more.
Every day, at least 3 tracks will host up to 10 races each, providing around 30 UK races each day. Each track will usually start their racing at around 1pm to 2pm with races running about every 30 minutes.
Whilst horse racing occurs daily, the majority of horse racing offers are on Saturdays. ITV televise racing on Saturday afternoons and these are the best races to bet on. Usually there will be 6-9 races shown between 1pm-5pm.
As well as offers on ITV Racing, the bookies will put on additional offers during major racing festivals. The most popular festivals are:
- Cheltenham Festival: Mid March
- Grand National: Early April
- Royal Ascot: Mid to late June
- Glorious Goodwood: Late July
The bookmakers will run particularly generous offers during these periods!
How To Bet On Horse Racing
Matched Betting on horse racing is extremely similar to Matched Betting on football or any other sport.
We can place a back and lay bet to ensure we cover all outcomes of an event.
For each horse race, there will be bookmaker back odds, like so:
And there will be lay odds at the betting exchanges. Like so (odds in red):
Like with any other matched bet, our goal is to find bets where the back odds and lay odds are quite closely matched. This allows us to minimise our trigger bet losses, and maximise our free bet returns.
The best way to do this is using an Oddsmatcher - I highly recommend the one from Outplayed. Grab a 7 day Outplayed trial here.
Alternatively, we can compare the odds at the bookies and the exchanges manually to find our horse racing bets.
Once you choose the bet you want to place, open up the Matched Betting Calculator. Fill in the bet details, like stake, back and lay odds and lay commission.
It will then tell you how much to lay, and the profit or loss from your Matched Bet.
Place the back bet at the bookmaker, and the lay bet at the exchange, and that's it. A matched bet on a horse race done!
Refund offers are a popular type of promotion that run regularly on horse racing. Taking advantage of refund offers can be a great way to earn free bets and grow your profits.
The idea is that a bookie will 'refund' your bet in the form of a free bet if a certain event happens in the race.
For example get a £10 free bet if your horse finishes second or third in the race.
Because there is a chance we don't get the refund, these offers are not completely risk free. But, by minimising our qualifying losses, these can be very profitable in the long run!
When To Start Refund Offers
Once familiar with these, introducing refund offers can be a brilliant way to earn regular profits.
Types Of Refund Offer
There are various formats of refund offer. The most common are:
Refund If Your Horse Loses - the most profitable racing refund offer. This type of offer is quite rare, and you'll only usually find it on big horse racing festivals. Simply back and lay a horse for a small trigger bet loss and hope it loses. By choosing a high odds horse, most of the time it will! Alternatively you can use the matched betting calculator in refund mode to guarantee a profit regardless of whether your horse wins or loses.
Refund If Your Horse Is Second (Or Second + Third) - This is another great type of offer that bookmakers run, especially when there aren't many horses running in the race. Again, back and lay a horse for a small trigger bet loss and hope it comes 2nd! It's usually best to choose the horse with the lowest qualifying loss for this offer.
Refund If Horse 2nd To SP Favourite - This offer means that both:
- Your horse needs to come 2nd
- The SP favourite needs to win the race
The SP favourite is the horse that is the favourite to win when the race starts. For this reason, you never back the favourite as you would never receive the refund. Given both criteria need to happen, this is a low profit offer, so I'd only recommend it if you were a very regular matched bettor. For this offer, it is best to only choose races where there is a clear favourite, and aim for very small trigger bet losses.
Checking Your Results
Both websites show the results of the races almost instantly after the race is over. Both websites show a version of the results called the “Fast results”, where only the top few positions are displayed.
To see more positions, you’d have to wait for the “Full results” version, which will be displayed usually around 10 minutes after the race.
Popular Refund Offers
At the time of writing, the below offers are the most popular/profitable horse racing refund offers currently available.
Click on each of the links below to reveal our explanation of the offer.
Most Saturdays, and during popular horse racing festival, Skybet run a “Money Back If 2nd Or 3rd” (sometimes even 4th) promotion on a certain race that day.
If you place a £10 bet on a horse and if it finishes 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (depending on how many places they say) you’ll get your stake back as cash, up to £10.
This offer is very simple to complete.
Just place a £10 matched bet on a horse in the eligible race for a small qualifying loss. Ideally we want to aim for a qualifying loss below £1, and prioritise a horse with shorter odds (a horse with odds of 3.0-5.0 is probably more likely to finish 2nd-3rd than a horse with 8.0-10.0 odd).
If your horse fails to finish 2nd or 3rd (or however many places are stated), you will incur a small loss.
But when your does finish 2nd or 3rd, you’ll get your stake back as cash within 24 hours.
When this happens, your profit will be £10 minus your original qualifying loss (so typically £9+ profit).
Paddy Power sometimes offer your stake back as a free bet if a selected horse wins in a certain race.
How To Approach This Offer
There will be one horse (Pinatubo in the example above) that must win the race for us to get our free bet. It is vital that we do not bet on this horse.
We have two options for approaching this offer:
Option 1 - Bet and Hope
- Bet £10 on any horse other than the specified horse (as always try to minimise your qualifying loss)
- Place your lay bet on the exchange
- Hope that the specified horse wins so that you get the free bet
Option 2 - Lock In (Requires Profit Accumulator)
- Find a close match on any horse other than the specified horse. You're going to bet £10 on this horse.
- Open Profit Accumulator's Refund If Calculator
- Fill out the blue and red boxes as follows: Back Stake £10, Back odds: Paddy's odds of your chosen horse, Maximum Refund: £10, Refund Retention: 80%, Lay odds: Exchange odds on your horse, Lay commission: 0%, 2% or 5% (as appropriate)
- Enter the lay bet odds and lay commission for Paddy's specified horse.
- Now bet £10 on your horse
- Lay your horse as normal using the amount stated in the results.
- Lay Paddy's specified horse with the amount stated in the results.
There are 2 possible outcomes:
1) Paddy's Specified Horse wins; you get a £10 free. If you have locked in profit already then you'll need to retain £8 from the free bet to make the profit displayed on the calculator. If you chose option 1 then your profit will be your free bet profit minus the original qualifying loss.
2) Paddy's Specified Horse doesn't win; you don't receive a freebie and so will only have profited if you used option 2.
Bet365 are offering a risk free bet up to £50 when your bet on a horse in a selected race wins. Basically, if you bet £50 on a feature race and you win, you'll get a risk free £50 bet on the next feature race. And if you bet £50 on an ITV race and you win, you'll get a risk free £50 on the next ITV race.
A feature race is a race selected by Bet365 for the offer. There are normally 2 per day throughout the week, and then on Saturday there will be around 7 ITV races.
To get the full £50 risk free, you need to bet £50 on a horse at odds of 5.0+ and win.
Step 1 - Choose A Match
Open up Bet365 and your exchange and find a close match between the back and lay odds for a horse on either an ITV or Feature race. We should prioritise horses with shorter odds (5.0-7.5) as these will have a stronger chance of winning. For a race with 10 or less horses, you want to take no more than £3-£4 qualifying loss (obviously even less will be better!). For races with more than 10 horses you should be looking at a qualifying loss on no more than £2.
You can try to find matches manually. But, I'd recommend using Profit Accumulator's Oddsmatcher. It makes life so much easier and you'll find way more suitable bets!
Step 2 - Place Your Bet
Bet £50 on your horse at odds of 5.0+. If you're doing this offer regularly, it's a good idea to mix the stakes up - don't always do exactly £50.
Lay the bet at your chosen betting exchange.
Step 3 - The Outcome
If your horse doesn't win, you've made a small loss and can move on to the next race.
If your horse wins, you will get a £50 risk free bet on the next corresponding race. If it was a feature race, your risk free bet will be the next feature race - listed in the Bet365 horse racing section. If it was an ITV race, your risk free bet will be on the next ITV race - schedule here.
Step 4 - Using Your Risk Free Bet
Important - this is a risk free bet. It is not the same as a free bet, however the process is similar.
To use a risk free bet, you will place a bet with your own money and receive a refund as cash if it loses.
Find a close match on a horse in the next feature or ITV race after the one you won, ensuring the odds are 5.0+.
Back £50 on the horse (or however much your risk free bet is for).
To calculate your lay stake, change the calculator to Refund Mode. Enter your back stake, back odds, lay odds and lay commission. For Free Bet Award enter the risk free bet amount (usually £50) and for the free bet retention enter 100%.
The calculator will then tell you how much to lay at the exchange, and how much profit you will make, regardless of the outcome of the race.
If your bet loses, you will receive a £50 cash refund within 1 hour.
If your bet wins, you'll get another risk free bet on the next race! Repeat this step for the next race, and keep repeating it until you have a losing risk-free bet. You will make about £40 each time that you win (until you finally lose).
The bookies regularly offer price boosts on horse racing.
Where the price boost's odds exceed the lay odds at the betting exchange, we can place a matched bet for a guaranteed profit.
You could take advantage of horse racing price boosts just as you would football price boosts, by placing a normal back and lay bet using the matched betting calculator.
To learn more about how you could make consistent tax-free profits from price boosts, check out our guide: Price Boosts Explained.
Extra Place Offers
Extra places is an advanced Matched Betting offer that runs each day on horse racing. It's not available on every single race, but it can be very profitable.
Due to the advanced nature of extra places, we only recommend this offer to experienced matched bettors. We would recommend you first focus on price boosts, weekly bet clubs, refund offers and casino offers, before considering extra places.
For more information on extra places, check out our guide: How To Make Money From Extra Place Offers.
Best Odds Guaranteed And Rule 4
Best Odds Guaranteed And Rule 4 are two concepts in horse racing that can impact the odds and payouts of your bets.
It's important to understand how these work, and we explain this here.
Just click on each link below to reveal our explanation.
Most bookies run a promotion called 'Best Odds Guaranteed' (BOG) on horse racing. It can be very profitable when it goes your way!
Odds for horses do not stay still - they go up and down all the time (especially right before the start of a race).
BOG is where the bookies will pay out higher winnings on your bet if the horse starts the race with higher odds than you backed.
How Do You Benefit When Matched Betting?
You place a bet on a horse at odds of 4.0, and the starting price is actually 6.0. Your back bet will be paid at 6.0 instead of 4.0! If the starting price had dropped to say 3.25, the bookmaker would still pay out at 4.0
If you've already backed and layed a bet, you know what your qualifying loss is. But, if you get paid out at higher odds, then you will make some extra profit on your normal horse racing bets.
Matched Betting Example
Let's say you are trying to qualifying for a horse racing refund. You place:
- A £10 bet on a horse to win at odds of 2.0
- A £10 lay bet on the horse not to win at odds of 2.0
If the starting price for the horse goes up to 3.0, the bookie will pay you £20 profit instead of £10 because of Best Odds Guaranteed.
However, you still lose the same £10 at the exchange.
So overall, you have made a £10 net profit from this bet.
Which Bookmakers Offer BOG?
Lots of bookmakers offer BOG, some even on gubbed accounts. But, many bookies only offer BOG when you place bets after a certain time.
Below are bookmakers offering BOG, and the time from which you can place bets to be eligible. This was last updated in February 2021, and may be subject to change.
Anytime - Bet365, Boylesports, Bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes, Sportingbet
From Midnight (day of race) - 888sport, Grosvenor
From 8AM - Betfair Sportsbook, Betfred, Paddy Power, Unibet
From 9AM - Betway, Betvictor, Skybet, Sportnation, Virginbet
From 10AM - Blacktype, Mansionbet, William Hill
From 11AM - Jenningsbet, The Pools
From Midday - Bet600, Toals
How Can You Check BOG Winnings?
The bookie will normally state the extra money you have won in your settled bets. An example is shown in this screenshot from Skybet.
In this example, my £20 back stake was placed at odds of 6.0 but the starting price odds were 9.0. Rather than a £120 payout, I received £180! If I'd already backed and layed a horse for an offer, then I would have made £60 PROFIT - money I was not expecting to make!
Could You Just Focus On BOG?
Best Odds Guaranteed should be just a nice bonus on top of doing other horse racing refund offers,as it's hard to find a zero loss match, and even when you do you have to hope the horse's odds goes up AND it wins.
If the odds of a horse go up, qualifying you for a Best Odds Guaranteed, it normally means that the chances of that horse winning are getting lower.
Some people do target BOG offers though - if you have an account that's pretty dormant and you find a zero loss match then why not throw some cash at it in hope that you hit a BOG?
Sometimes horses can be withdrawn before a race starts. When this happens, any bets on the horse will be voided and refunded.
The remaining horses will have a higher probability of winning. To reflect this, bookies will apply what we call a "Rule 4".
A Rule 4 reduces the odds on all remaining horses in the race.
The Rule 4 reduces the odds by a certain percentage, even if you placed your bet before the withdrawal.
The reduction percentage is based upon the odds of the horse that withdrew. The lower the odds of the withdrawn horse, the bigger the reduction percentage.
Why Are They Allowed To Reduce The Odds?
Let's look at an extreme example. There's a 3 horse race, and one horse is a MASSIVE favourite at odds of 1.05. The other two horses have odds of 25.0 and 26.0.
You bet £10 on the horse that is 25.0 to win the race. Before the off, news comes in that the favourite can no longer race!
Now it's a two horse race. But clearly you can't get paid out at 25.0 if your horse wins, as that would be massively unfair on the bookmakers. You could have bet £10 on the 25.0 horse and £10 on the 26.0 horse and be guaranteed over £200 profit. For this reason, the bookmakers have to apply rule 4.
What To Do If Your Odds Are Reduced?
If you had placed a bet on a race that has a horse withdrawn, don’t worry!
The betting exchanges will have the same Rule 4 applied on the race as well. They will reduce the odds of the horse you layed.
Both exchanges and the bookies will usually reduce the odds by a similar amount.
You don’t have to do anything; the exchange will automatically reduce the odds of your horse.
In the screenshot above, you can see that I layed Good Luck Charm at odds of 8.0.
But, after rule 4, the odds are now 7.112 (reduction of 11.1%).
The bookie will have the odds of Good Luck Charm reduced by a similar percentage.
But, if you took a qualifying loss while placing the bet, the qualifying loss may not be the same after Rule 4.
Sometimes, instead of taking a small 30p loss, you may now take 60p loss after Rule 4. But, the changes will usually be small, and sometimes you may even get a small profit out of Rule 4.
So, if you had placed a bet on a race that had a horse withdrawn, you don’t have to do anything. And the changes in qualifying losses will be minimal.
Checking Actual Payout After Rule 4
After Rule 4 is applied, you can see the reduced odds of your horse on your bet history on your bookie and exchange.
As the above screenshot shows, I placed a bet on Rufus King at odds of 3.75. After Rule 4 is applied, the odds of Rufus King had dropped to 3.06, shown by the bookie. “Rule 4 applied” is also shown. Your payout will also be based on the reduced odds, not the odds you took when placing the bet, even if your bet was placed before a horse has withdrawn.
On Smarkets, I had layed Rufus King at 3.65, which after Rule 4, became 3.02.
Where To Find Horse Racing Offers
Our Reload Offers Page
Every lunchtime, we post a selection of the day's best reload offers on our Reload Offers page. These offers are picked for being quick and easy, with a high chance of making a profit. Often, you will find some horse racing offers listed here.
The offers listed on our reload offers page are just a snapshot of the total offers available.
To keep up to date with all the horse racing offers available, I'd strongly recommend that you make use of Outplayed.
They have a daily offers calendar which shows you how to complete all of the best offers each and every day! It provides a real-time feed of all the reload offers (not just horse racing offers) and it's an invaluable tool for Matched Bettors!
Outplayed also provide a variety of amazing tools, like an Oddsmatcher, perfect for finding your horse racing trigger bets!
There are 3 easy ways to get help:
Live Chat - Chat with one of us any time we're online. See the chat module at the bottom right of site.