The rule doesn't change if the reds are on the table or not. The rule changes if a player needs snookers. So in your example being 51 points ahead with 27 left your opponent can only make you play again from where the balls land, not have them put back. If you were only 26 ahead and missed the yellow in a shot deemed to be a "foul and a miss" then the balls can be replaced.
It's good that you practice with someone who wants to use the miss rule, after all it's what people see on the TV but generally speaking it's only used in professional and amateur level competitions. It always causes arguments at club level.