Don’t think this guy will be winning any races any time soon 🙂

Any Matched Bettor worth their salt will know that it’s Cheltenham tomorrow and those more serious than I am have probably been preparing for it weeks or maybe even months in advance, as there are some long term “Pre-Cheltenham” offers flying about.

Anyway, I did alright 😉 out of the festival last year which was partly due to a bit of luck but also partly down to some major hustlin’, hitting up as many offers as I could, and also, I think, using my “No Lay” policy of never bothering to lay anything off on the exchanges. If you want to read more about that see my Cheltenham Part I write up from last year.

As I did so well last year using this tactic, I will certainly be doing it again this year (the major benefits really are less time to trigger each offer, and less/no money needed in the exchange accounts, rather than greater expected winnings, as this could go the other way and end up I could end up losing money, in theory!).

As usual I wouldn’t suggest anyone else do this unless they fully accept they could put a lot of effort into the week and still end up losing money. So most people are best off sticking to true MB where you back and lay each horse and free bet to guarantee yourself some profit.

With that caveat out of the way here is a list of what I feel are the best offers to be hitting up this week at Cheltenham.

Most of these have been taken from the excellent OddsMonkey forum thread on Cheltenham offers. I would thoroughly recommend you sign up to OddsMonkey (<– affiliate link) if you are in any way interested in making a bit of spare cash via Matched betting. You can sign up for free to try out a few offers but the full package which offers so much more is £17.99 for a month or £150 for a whole year.


best cheltenham 2018 bookmaker offers

I am going to assume that you know how best to hit these offers already, but the usual “Matched Betting” way to do it would be to just back and lay a horse as “Normal” and accept a small qualifying loss, then hope the free bet part of the offer is trigged. You then use that free bet to back another horse in another race and do a “SNR” back/lay (Stake Not Returned) bet on a fairly high odds horse (or other sport, if allowed) to guarantee yourself some money.

The best exchange I’ve found if you are going to lay off your bets is Smarkets, this is because they have a lower commission rate of 2% (compared to Betfair’s 5%) and personally I like the layout of the site a lot better than both Betfair and Matchbook 1. Smarkets are doing a great offer for Cheltenham whereby you get a risk free £10 bet on each of the first races over the four days, i.e. £40 worth of risk free bets.

If you haven’t got a Smarkets account yet and kindly use this link to sign up then I will also get a £10 bonus put into my account (please make sure you read the T&Cs carefully as usual, as you should do on any of these offers).


Anyway, in order of what I’d say are the best offers 2:

(None of the links below are affiliate/referral ones, FYI)

Also of the below are reload offers i.e. they are available to all customers (unless you have been gubbed of course), but I will split them into Guaranteed Profit and Not:

guaranteed profit offers

Personally I will smashing into the Laddies and William Hill offers, how good are they!? Skybet and Betway also very good.

A few of these accounts I’m gubbed on as well so might not be able to take advantage as much as I did last year, but I will go through my spreadsheet tonight to put a cross through any that aren’t available to me.

not guaranteed profit offers

  • 21BetFree bet if you back winner(s) – (more winners means higher value free bet). ALSO if you bet £5 on every race and don’t hit any winners, you also get a £5 free bet. To be fair depending on matches you might be able to guarantee a profit with this one, but I think the effort involved would be huge for very little gain. I will just play a bet every race with them and hope to hit a few winners I think!
  • Sport Nation£50 bet refunded as bonus funds if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd in the first race every day. Bonus funds must be bet through 1 times at odds greater than 1.6 before they can be withdrawn.
  • Unibet – £20 refund in CASH – if horse is 2nd in selected races.
  • Paddy Power – £10 free bet – if SP favourite wins for every race on day one. (I’d look out for similar on day two as well I guess!? Can’t see them only doing offers on day 1)
  • Boylesports – £20 free bet – if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd to the SP favourite. Also a free bet if your horse falls at the first or last fence.
  • Mint Bet – £20 Free bet – if your horse is beaten by a length or less.

I mean, those few really are scraping the barrel if you ask me, but I guess if I fancy a bet on a particular horse, or to cover a horse when dutching a field 3 then I will have a look at those bookmakers first and make sure I place any bets with them over other “non-offer” bookies.

EDIT: I’ve just noticed I had an email from Bet365 with a really good offer, so be sure to check out email and/or log into your Bet365 account  to see if you get this as well. It’s a free £50 bet on the feature race, every day, if you do a £50 bet on any other horse before that race starts. The 4 races throughout the week are:

Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 13th March (15:30) – qualifying bets count from Monday 12th March (13:00)
Champion Chase on Wednesday 14th March (15:30) – qualifying bets count from Tuesday 13th March (13:00)
Ryanair Chase on Thursday 15th March (14:50) – qualifying bets count from Wednesday 14th March (13:00)
Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 16th March (15:30) – qualifying bets count from Thursday 15th March (13:00)

Bonus! Will definitely be doing this one!


final words and good luck!

Honestly, on first read of the offers list, I thought this was going to be a crap festival compared to last year. There are undoubtedly less flying about and less really good ones, most probably due to the recent legislation on offer T&Cs which was just bought in as part of this investigation, at least I think that’s what has happened.

But having had a proper read through it all, there is more than enough to keep me going through the week and no doubt I’ll be furiously putting bets on tonight and during the day when I should really be working 😉

The other thing I’ll be looking out for is favourable each way bets when there is a short priced favourite, such as the 16:10 Mares Hurdles tomorrow. There are 3 each way places available and realistically only 5 horses that look like they have a chance of winning, so it seems to make sense to back 2nd-5th in the betting. You can either have a look at this sort of thing yourself on a free Odds comparison site such as Oddschecker, or you use the OddsMonkey Each Way Sniper tool, which is all included in the normal monthly/yearly subscription cost (as are all of their numerous tools and calculators!).

I am certain most of the people reading this will already have an OddsMonkey account but just in case you don’t and fancy giving this matched betting lark a go over Cheltenham here is the sign up link once again.

And with that my MB friends, I will wish you good bye and good luck!

I may do one more mid festival update and one at the end, but if not I will definitely do one at the end.

Hopefully my no lay plus each way sniping strategies will come up trumps again this year!

Right, off to smash into those offers above 🙂


  1. Don’t even get me started on Betdaq which looks like it’s straight out of 2004!!!
  2. By best, I am rating them loosely (in my head) on easiness of the offer to complete, likelihood of offer triggering, and size of likely profit.
  3. Like I was doing last year on the first race each day, which I think I will try again this year as most of the offers tend to be covering the first race of the day