Matched Betting The Cheltenham Festival Free Bets And Other Offers
The annual Cheltenham Festival is the biggest event of the year for every Matched Bettor. It’s 4 days of more bookmakers offers than at any other time of year and more than any other sporting event by far.
The Cheltenham Festival itself is 4 days of National Hunt Racing featuring many of the best trained British and Irish trained horses competing over Hurdles and Fences.
If you are totally new to this concept of how to make money betting on horses and many other sports from home, read my complete beginners Matched Betting Guide.
In short, Matched betting involves placing 2 bets, one of which is a lay bet which allows you to bet on an outcome not to win. Therefore combined with a normal back bet you can cover all outcomes of a sporting event with just 2 bets. We do this to qualify for free bets which we can also back and lay bet and make a profit.
When Is the Cheltenham Festival 2018?
It is well worth knowing the date of Cheltenham Race Days in advance as you may want to book time off work or make sure you are available on these days to maximise your chances of profit.
The Cheltenham Festival Race Days 2018 are as follows:
- Tuesday March 13th (Champion Day)
- Wednesday March 14th (Ladies Day)
- Thursday March 15th (St Patrick’s Thursday)
- Friday March 16th (Cheltenham Gold Cup Day)
Typically there are 7 races a day. All race days will be featured on ITV Races.
The 7 races are typically on from 13.30 – 17.30pm.
How Much Money Can You Make From Matched Betting Cheltenham Festival?
How much profit you can make really depends on your individual circumstances.
- Size of your Matched Betting bank
- How Many Bookmaker Accounts You Have Open
- How much time you commit
I would say the average Matched Bettor with limited experience and utilising some of the tips below, should make £400+ if the offers are as good as previous years.
If you have a large bank and can do most of the offers, price boosts as well as attempting horse refunds you could make £600-£800+.
If you fully understand Extra Places and are advanced enough to lay the whole field and make a profit no matter what the winning horse, you can make a few hundred pounds more, possibly well over £1000 from the event in total.
I wouldn’t worry about doing extra places if you are a beginner. Maybe attempt a couple of individual close extra place matches. You don’t have to worry about attempting to cover the whole field.
Actually, the majority of the Cheltenham profit comes from the easier almost guaranteed profit offers. In my opinion, a lot more work goes into the Horse Refunds and Extra Places and the profit outcome in the short term is based on an element of luck on whether you actually hit the refund or extra place.
However, if you are fortunate enough to hit an extra place bet, the winnings can be huge. This is because you get pay-outs back from both the BACK at the bookmaker and the Lay Bet from the betting exchange.
How I Made £751.80 from Matched Betting Cheltenham Festival 2017
I started Matched Betting in March 2016, so I heard all the buzz of Cheltenham in my first month but wasn’t able to take advantage of it as I was just starting my first few Sign Up Offers via Profit Accumulator.
Cheltenham 2017 was my first full-on year Matched Betting. I knew what to expect and I prepared accordingly. However, I was surprised to see where the majority of the profits came from and where the easiest money was to be made.
Here is my Profit breakdown for Cheltenham Festival 2017:
- Price Boosts £308.38
- Horse Refunds £229.71
- Easy Profit Offers (free bets/ risk-free/ odds boosts etc) £93.23+
- Matchbook Commission refund £63.70
- 888 6 x qf bets for free bets £56.78
On the first day, I wasn’t well set up to do Price Boosts as I didn’t know how lucrative they would be. I only made £31.61.
Thereafter I made £92 a day on average from price boosts for each of the last 3 days of Cheltenham. Also of note, Friday was the only day I did the Bet365 Price boosts and made over £36.50. So you can see it’s easily possible I could have made more if I’d have done these every day.
During Cheltenham, I had numerous attempts at Horse refunds and hit a fair number of them. Sometimes price boosts and other offer selections also qualified for the refunds.
The Cheltenham Festival has numerous easy profit offers. As mentioned most are on the first race of the day. These include risk-free bets and odds boosts. It is quite likely I made more than £93.23 from these offers.
It is also possible to make extra bonus profits from “Best Odds Guaranteed” (BOG). This is when bookies pay-out winnings are higher odds than you placed your bet. I may well have hit some of this without realising too.
Pre-Planning Cheltenham Festival 2018
If at all possible, the most important thing you can do in advance of Cheltenham is to build as big a bank as you can.
A big bank will enable you to attempt as many offers as possible. Plus you can spread your funds around many different bookies and the betting exchanges. This enables you to take advantage of every offer and at the best odds available.
A big bank also helps if you have enough money to top up bookie accounts if funds win into the betting exchange or vice versa. You can top up funds where you need them.
Make sure you have all the main bookie accounts open. Whether and how you mug bet in advance is a totally up to you.
Personally, I set up some spreadsheet tabs for each individual race day. Below is an example of the first race bets offers and refunds available. (Some back odds are missing, I noted them elsewhere at the time).
Column A, it didn’t take long to set up. As you can see, the spreadsheet just made it easy for me to see at a glance what horses I had covered where.
Best Betting Exchanges for Cheltenham Festival 2018
For Betting Exchanges, I’d suggest considering using either or both:
- Smarkets – Is only 2% commission
- Matchbook – Is 1.7% commission (if not running a 0% offer some users) and has event offers of its own
Top Tip: With fast-moving odds in the few minutes prior to race start Smarkets is useful because if you lay your bet at slightly higher odds than it is indicating when it matches lower it auto adjusts the stake so it’s a correct match. There is then no messing about with a partly matched bet.
Update: See the Profit Accumulator Reloads for their members offer for 0% commission for months!
Matchbook has the lowest commission at 1.7% (and may well have 0% commission offer). Also in the past Matchbook has had its own lucrative Cheltenham Festival offers so is well worth having an account just to profit from that.
The more betting exchanges you have the more choice of choosing the exchange with the lower odds, thereby increasing overall profits.
However, with high odds horses using a lot of liability you may not be able to utilise high liability across all 3 exchanges for the same races. It might be better to use one race in an exchange at a time.
Betfair is sometimes better for the Each Way part of the bet, it has more money in the market, but Smarkets is also an option for this.
Best Bookies for Cheltenham Festival
In my experience, these bookmakers proved to be the best for Cheltenham offers and refunds in 2017, so are likely to be similar and just as good in 2018.
- William Hill
- Betfair Sportsbook
Possibly Grosvenor, 888 Sports and Sun Bets. There will likely be others but based on 2017 these are the main ones.
888 sports gave the chance to earn free bets in advance of the event and these proved very lucrative. Look out for offers like that from other bookies in the days leading up to the Festival.
If you check the Horse refunds page in the Profit Accumulator Reloads in the weeks and days leading up to Cheltenham Festival, you’ll get an idea of which other bookies currently have good offers for horse racing.
Examples of Best Past Risk-Free Cheltenham Offers for Matched Betting
The first race of the day usually has the best offers
Examples from Cheltenham 2017:
- SkyBet £20 risk-free
- Betway £10 risk-free
- Grosvenor Double Odds
- Sun Bets Bet £10 get x 2 £5 bets for other races
- Matchbook at liability £50 for free £50 back bet on next race
- 888 100% Odds Boost token
As always Bet365 Free Bet Offers are highly profitable and they offer excellent price boosts
Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips: Where’s the Easy Money?
The first race of the day and price boosts is where the easiest money is. Plus risk-free bets, which are often on the first race. By risk-free I mean those that are either giving you a risk-free bet or giving you free bets if you place a qualifying bet.
The rest of the races are suitable for horse refund offers. Use Match Catcher and get close matches to qualify.
Most if not all price boosts will likely also qualify for refunds and extra places if you do the price boost as an each-way bet.
What you will find is the races that don’t have lots of extra place offers will be better for refunds attempts as the odds will tend to be closer matches with the betting exchanges. The races with lots of extra place offers won’t have such good refunds opportunities as the odds will be wider apart. This is because the value of the race offer wise is in the extra places pay-out.
Extra places are an advanced offer and I wouldn’t recommend for absolute beginners. However, if you do have time to learn how to place the Each Way side of the bet horse racing bet they can be very lucrative. This is because if you have a horse finish in the extra place position you win both the bookie bet and the exchange bet.
Extra Places are a great option for gubbed accounts you can still profit from assuming you are not stake restricted. See more below.
A price boost is essentially an offer and one of the easiest ways to make a matched betting profit.
The bookie raises the odds price over and above what it would usually be. We can profit from this by staking a back bet with the bookie and laying at the low odds at the exchange.
Preparation is key when it comes to maximizing profit from Cheltenham Festival Price Boosts.
It is likely Profit Accumulator will set up a special thread specifically for Cheltenham Price Boosts (If not just check the normal price boosts threads).
The important thing to note about Price Boosts is that many are only available for a few just minutes. If you are slow you will miss out.
My Price Boost Strategy for 2017
Firstly load all the main bookmaker accounts and betting exchanges you want to use with money.
You won’t have much time to deposit and then find and act on the price boost before it ends. Speed is of the essence.
Be up, be ready, be fresh by at least 8.15 am.
Login to all bookmaker accounts likely to have Price Boosts. Keep a tab open for each individual bookie. This is so you are ready to act as soon as you see the price boost posted in the forum. No time wasted logging in.
Price boosts are released from around 8.30am to 10am.
Make sure you have the Price Boosts forum thread set up to send you notifications of when the price boosts are being posted.
You will most likely see a few price boosts come in at a time.
Which ones you choose to do will depend on your total pot size. Remember higher odds horses will use a lot of your funds in the exchange. So if funds are tight, bear that in mind and go for the lower odds boosts.
Remember if you take any high odds price boosts this will tie up a significant amount of funds in the exchange. You can see how much by looking at the calculator where is shows the liability. Also with higher odds, there is likely to be less availabilty in the exchange, so bear that in mind too.
My Personal Price Boost Strategy For Cheltenham
My aim was to place and record as many price boost bets as possible. I would note the Horse, Race time and Odds in a spreadsheet, then lay them a short time after. I don’t leave it too long, literally as soon as there is time and no price boosts coming through I start to lay previously backed bets.
For each price boost, I would quickly check the lay odds on the exchange to see if it was worth doing. Most of the time the person posting the price boost will put the exchange odds too.
If you choose to back and lay each individual price boost one at a time you’ll miss out on half or more of the price boosts that come through. They will simply have expired before you get round to betting on the
So I might back 10-16 prices boosts, then lay them after in the exchange. Yes, there is an element of risk to this as the odds are moving around. However, what you will find is they are changing anyway when the price boost is released because many people are placing bets at that time. If anything the odds settle a bit later.
Also, laying later takes the pressure off. If you are trying to bet and lay as fast as you can to attempt the next one asap, you may feel the pressure. My way, I just focus on placing the back bet and recording the details in the spreadsheet. I’m relaxed when I do the lay bets as no need to rush.
If you attempt this BE SURE you can cover the liability of any lay bets you need to place in the exchanges and obviously, DON’T FORGET TO LAY.
If I remember rightly price boosts times were approximately
- 8.30am William Hill & Bet365
- 9.00am Boylesports, Ladbrokes
- 10.00am Betfred and Totesport
Real Examples of Some of 2017’s Cheltenham Price Boosts
|Bookmaker||Horse||Stake||Back Odds||Lay Odds||Profit|
|William Hill||York Hill||£50||3||2.46||310.97|
|Betfair Sportsbook||Might Bite||£200||5.0||4.5||£18.44|
|Bet365||On The Fringe||£75||3||2.52||£12.77|
Beware of betting on high odds horses if you have a smallish pot of money as this will use a lot of liability in the exchange for that particular race. Of course, you can still bet on other horses in the race with a lower liability but you might want to leave enough money for other races if possible.
Low odds you might be able to get a lot more money on, for example, £200-£500 on a low odds favourite. Which is ideal as lower odds won’t use too much money in the exchange.
How much you personally can stake and profit will totally vary. Firstly individual customers might have varying stake limits on their bookie accounts.
Generally, the lower the odds, the more you can stake. Also the lower the odds the more money there tends to be in the market.
For example, at odds of 1.30 you might be able to stake £300-£500, whereas at higher odds of 15.0 £50-£100, or for some bookies just £20.
You don’t need to do any horse refund offers if you don’t feel comfortable with them or haven’t had time to learn them.
If you do have time, it might be a good time to dabble and learn them in advance, but without them, there is still plenty of money to be made.
Profit Accumulator has Match Catcher, an excellent tool that helps you find close matches on horses. It comes with numerous filters and alerts. Full video instructions show you have to use it.
An alternative easy option is to simply visit the Horse refunds page which will refresh all the individually set up Odds Matcher’s for each of the main bookie offers. You’ll be able to see at a glance which bookies have close matches.
Existing Profit Accumulator members should watch the video and read the instructions in the Training Archive. to find them, scroll down and look for the page “Recap – Extra Place Offers and Each Way Bets”.
Extra Place offers involve placing an Each Way Bet.
An Each Way Bet is 2 bets in one. A bet to win and a bet to place.
So if you stake £20 on an Each Way bet, you will actually be staking £40. £20 on the horse to win and £20 on the horse to place. Without going into too much detail, the place bet will result in a win if your horse finishes in the top 2-4 places. What that place position will be that gets a pay-out will depend on the number of horses running.
How you win from an Extra Place bet is if the betting exchange is paying out say 4 places, but your horse finishes 5th (the extra place). This will mean your back bet gets paid out and your lay bet gets paid out because the horse didn’t finish 4th. So you get back both your back bet and winnings and lay bet and winnings. Resulting in a big win.
Extra place offers are very involved and only recommended for experienced Matched Bettors. Some expert Matched Bettors manage to back and lay the whole field.
Maybe one to dabble with if you combine with good Price boosts, but not one to worry about.
Free Spins and Other Risk-Free Casino Offers
During such a popular sporting event as Cheltenham, it’s often the case the bookies will have some risk-free casino offers free spins offers with no wagering. Sometimes these will be offered each day. I always pick these up and use them as it only takes one spin to get a decent win and the offers themselves typically take just a couple of minutes to complete.
Hopefully, you can see how easy it is to make money from the Cheltenham Festival.
Now knowing when and how the money is made you can plan in advance accordingly.
If you are really new to Matched Betting, don’t worry too much. You might find an opportunity to make a little more money, but don’t overwhelm yourself if you are not sure. Just carry on with Profit Accumulator Sign Ups. There is always next year.
Don’t let all this information overwhelm you. There is only so much you can do. You now have the advantage of seeing exactly where the money can be made.
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below.