How To Match Bet Second & Third Promotions

Would you place a bet where you are getting odds of $5 when everywhere else you look the odds are $3.50?

How about getting odds of $13?

You need to learn how to match bet.

This article shows you how to get odds of over $13 when the true probability is less than $3.50. You’ll find that value by match betting second and third promotions on Horse Racing.

One of the most popular promotions can also be one of the most opportune. Learn the five-step process to match bet.

The What

Every day of the week bookies fight for your betting dollars. One of the major ways they do this is in the form of promotions.

The main type of horse racing promotions are bonus bets if your horse doesn’t win but comes second or third. The offers vary slightly from bookmaker to bookmaker. Similarly, some promotions are only available to horses that come second, others are second, third and fourth.

By a process called match betting, you are able to place a bet with a bookmaker promotion and lay that bet on Betfair. This means for very little outlay you have the possibility of gaining a bonus bet.

The How

Second and third promotions are one of the best matched betting opportunities you’ll find, and a great way to find a profitable betting strategy with minimal risk.

Step 1: Find a race that offers a horse racing promotion

For example, on Wednesday 26th September, Bet365 had an offer on races 7 and 8 at Flemington where if your horse comes second or third you get your stake back up to $50 in bonus bets.

Step 2: Find a horse whose odds closely match the lay odds at Betfair

This is best done in the 10 minutes leading up to the race as this is when there will be most liquidity in the Betfair Market.

You can scan between the bookie and Betfair to see which horses odds closely match.

An even simpler way to do this is to use Matcha by Bonus Money. Matcha allows you to compare the odds of horses on bookmakers sites with the lay odds of Betfair.

It highlights for you the horses that odds most closely match with Betfair

Step 3: Back your horse at the bookmaker

Back your selected horse at the bookmaker. We would recommend always placing your back bet before placing your lay bet. This is because although the odds at Betfair move quickly, generally speaking, and bookmaker odds move in greater increments.

Step 4: Lay your horse on Betfair so that no matter where your horse comes you have an equal return.

You can approach this in a couple of ways. You can use a matched betting calculator to work out the amount you would need to lay to gain an equal profit.

Or if you use Matcha it will display for you the exact amount to lay to gain an equal return.

Unless the odds are higher at the bookmaker (which is unlikely) then you are going to have a small loss of placing this bet. It’s good to aim for less than a $5 loss. As will be shown below you are gaining a large mathematical advantage by placing this bet.

Step 5: Wait for the race to end

If the horse doesn’t win but comes in the specified place for the bonus trigger, then you’ve either got a bonus bet.

The Why

Next we’ll explain the mathematics of why these types of offer can be profitable. We can use the odds on Betfair as the best approximation of the chance of a horse winning or placing.

Let’s look at an example:

Bookmaker Odds4.80
Betfair Lay Odds4.90
Betfair approximate chance of winning20.40%
Betfair Place Lay Odds2.00
Betfair approximate % chance of placing50%
Approximate chance of coming 2nd or 3rd = (chance of placing - chancing of winning)29.59%
Approximate odds of coming 2nd or 3rd3.38
Qualifying cost of backing at 4.8 and laying at 4.9$3.39

Expected Value

Expected value is the average amount of money you would expect to make if you were able to place this bet hundreds of times.

To work out the expected value we need to know:

(The chance of hitting the promotion and the profit from that) – (The % chance of not hitting the promotion and the cost of that)

Using the table above we can see that the chance of not hitting the promotion is equal to 100% – 29.51% = 70.41%

Since we would get a refund of $50 in bonus bets ($35 assuming 70% retention) if the promotion hits then the profit of hitting would be $35 – $3.39 = $31.61

Therefore Expected Value is:

(29.59% * $31.61) – (70.41% * $3.39)

This means if you were to place this back and lay bet with the promotion then the Expected Value would be $6.96.


If you want to be a profitable bettor in the long term then its vital that you’re taking odds above the true probability.

We can work out the specific overs we are getting on the above bet.

We know that the approximate chance of coming second or third is 29.59%

Therefore to calculate the odds we divide 1/29.59% = $3.38

We already know our profit if the promotion hits is $31.61

Therefore the odds we are getting are $31.61/3.38 = $9.36

So by placing this bet we are getting massive overs.

Odds of 9.36 for the horse to come second or third instead of $3.38.

If this all seems a little complex, you can use a matched betting overs calculator to quickly work out all the maths for you. You just need to know the Odds at the bookmaker, the lay odds at Betfair and the place lay odds at Betfair.

Remember that the liquidity is much better in the lead up to a race, so if you’re entering odds for a Saturday race on a Wednesday afternoon, you are likely to end up with less value. The corporate bookmaker margins are usually too high at this point in time.

Useful Pointers

  • The odds are usually closest on the favourite. So as long as there is a second/third promotion on the race and you are eligible, you are likely to be profitable in the long term by backing the favourite in these races and laying on Betfair.
  • The closer the odds are between the bookmaker and Betfair the more money you will make.
  • If you take odds that are far apart, you are unlikely to make money in the long term.
  • To find close matched bets more easily you can use Matcha by Bonus Money


Second and third money back promotions are a great way to learn Matched Betting one of the lowest risk betting strategies you’ll find. We recommend you use Matcha if you want the maths done for you. You can find out about all the latest promotions in the Matched Betting Community.

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