Horse Racing Refunds
Offers & Profit
Most major bookmakers run Racing Refund offers of some sort. Each offer will differ in terms of what triggers the refund, and as well as how much you can stake. Below is an example of some of the most common refunds, and how much you can profit from them on average.
|Refund If...||% Refund Chance||Bookmakers||Expected Profit
|Horse comes 2nd/3rd/4th
(stakes vary each week)
Saturday: First race
|High odds horse wins||15 to 20%||
Saturday: 6 to 8 races
Midweek: 2 races
Saturday: 6 to 8 races
|Bet365: £6 to 8 (£50 stake)
Betfair Sports: £3 to £4
|Horse comes 2nd||15%||Betway, Will Hill and more
Varies: 1 or 2 offers daily
|Others - fallers, beaten by a length||5%||Coral and more
The exact % chances depend on the horse's odds and the size of the field, I cover this in the Estimator below.
As you can see from the above % chance of refunds, the SkyBet, Bet365 and Betfair Sports offers are great. We have a 15%+ chance of a refund.
The other types of offers are not so good, with only a 5% chance of a refund. These would still be worth doing, but only if you can get an almost £0 loss match.
Expected Profit Explained
To explain the 'Expected Profit' in the above table, using the SkyBet offer as an example, if I have a 30% chance of a £25 free bet, this has an 'expected' free bet value of £7.50 (30% * £25). If I convert this free bet to cash profit at 80% (using a high odds horse), this has an expected profit of £6 (80% * £7.50).
Whereas if I have only a 5% chance of a free bet, then my 'expected' free bet value is only £1.25 (5% * £25). This means I only have an expected profit of £1 (80% * £1.25).
Minimising The Trigger Bet Loss Is Key!
The expected profit table above does not include your trigger bet loss. Your trigger bet loss from a £25 stake will be anything from 50p to £3. It is very important to minimise the trigger bet losses by finding the horses with the closest odds between the bookmaker and the exchange.
For example, the 'Finish 2nd and Starting Price Favourite Wins' is worth only £1 expected profit. Therefore, if you made a £1.50 trigger bet loss, you would make a 50p net loss.
Racing Refund Profit Estimator
To help you check the profits of each type of offer, I have built this Racing Refund Profit Estimator for you to use!
Important: To edit the Estimator, create your own version by clicking File > Make a copy > Okay
The Estimator is for demonstration purposes, to help you see how different horse odds and different trigger bet losses will impact your net profit from each type of horse racing offer.
Simply enter your horse odds (highlighted in blue) and your trigger bet loss (highlighted in red) and you can see the expected net profit in bold.
How To Complete Racing Refund Offers
I Am New To Horse Racing Offers, Which Offer First?
I would recommend starting on a Saturday morning with the SkyBet offer. This is one of the most profitable offers and you can sometimes place stakes up to £20, however it does vary from £10 to £20 occasionally.
If you feel comfortable, you could also try either or both of the Bet365 and Betfair Sportsbook offers.
The more familiar you become, you can then add in Bet365 midweek offers and the 'Finishes 2nd' offers, there are typically one or two of these each day.
How Much Do I Need In My Exchange(s)?
You will typically be betting £10 or £20 on a horse with odds no greater than 6.0. This would require a liability of £100 in the exchange.
For the Betfair offer, you will typically be betting £25 on a horse with odds no greater than 6.0. This would require a liability of £125. The free bet can be used within 48 hours.
If you wanted to do multiple offers before the races start, then you would need the combined liability amount.
For the Bet365 offer, if you are betting the full £50, you will need to have sufficient exchange funds for both your first bet and the second risk free bet (in case your first bet wins).
Each bet would require a liability of approximately £250 if you were using odds of 6.0, so a minimum of £500 is required. Though you could start with smaller bet amounts whilst getting used to how the offer works.
Offer Formats Explained
Refund If Your Horse Loses
Refund if your horse loses is 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. Anytime a bookmaker runs this offer, definitely take them up!
You should complete these offers exactly the same as the Refund Welcome Offers that you have very likely completed. To recap, there are two methods:
Method 1: Back, Lay And Hope!
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!
For a £10 bet, you should aim for a trigger bet loss no more than £1, ideally around 50p.
Pro Tip: When calculating your lay bet, use the 'Advanced' mode in the Calculator and use the 'underlay' amount. This will give you a slightly lower lay bet, so that if your horse does unfortunately win, you trigger bet loss will be zero!
Method 2: Guaranteed Profit Method
This method involves using the regular calculator but in free bet mode. This gives you a significantly smaller lay bet, so that even if your horse wins, you will still make a guranteed profit.
For more details on this method, please read the Guranteed Profit Method guide.
How Much Profit Do I Make Per Offer?
The higher odds you choose, the more likely your first bet will lose and so you will receive the free bet! Note this will require a highly liability in your exchange.
If you choose odds of 5.0 for a £10 bet, then 80% of the time you will receive a £10 free bet refund.
This has an expected free bet of £8 (80% * £10). This is the equivalent of £6 expected profit (assuming you convert free bets to cash at 75%).
Refund If Your Horse Is Second
This is another great type of offer that bookmakers run, especially when there aren't many horses running in the race.
How Do I Complete These Offers?
Back, Lay And Hope!
Simply back and lay a horse for a small trigger bet loss and hope it comes 2nd!
It's best to just choose the horse with the lowest qualifying loss for this offer. There are plenty of times where a favourite may just lose to an outsider, or alternatively an outsider just losing to the favourite. For this reason - just pick the closest odds.
This completely depends on how many horses there are in a race. If it were say, a 5 horse race, then you could easily make £5+ per time. However the bigger the field, the less profit you will make in the long run.
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 at the time the race starts. For this reason, you never back the favourite as you would never receive the refund! (this is because it couldn't win and come 2nd which are the two criteria to 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.
How Do I Complete These Offers?
Back, Lay And Hope!
Simply back and lay a horse for a small trigger bet loss and hope it comes 2nd and the SP favourite wins!
It is best to choose races where there is a clear favourite.
This maximises the chance of it both winning and staying as the Starting Price Favourite (when there are two horses both with low odds, it isn't easy to know which horse will be the favourite by the start of the race).
In terms of approximate chances to receive a free bet refund based on the odds of the SP Favourite and assuming you choose a horse with odds of between 3.0 to 7.0:
SP Favourite 1.5 odds = 12% likelihood of refund
SP Favourite 2.0 odds = 9% likelihood of refund
SP Favourite 2.5 odds = 7% likelihood of refund
It is also very important to choose a horse with a low trigger bet loss (ideally under £1).
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