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Cheltenham Matched Betting Guide 2024

The Cheltenham Festival is an annual horse racing event held in, you guessed it,  Cheltenham, England. It is one of the biggest events in the National Hunt racing calendar and takes place over four days in March. So, it’s just around the corner!

  • Day 1 Champion Day
  • Day 2 Style Wednesday
  • Day 3 St Patrick’s Thursday
  • Day 4 Gold Cup

Typically the first race of the day is at 13:30 with the last one being at around 17:40. Each race is approximately 40 mins apart. Every day of the racing festival will have a ‘feature race’ which a lot of the offers will be centred around. These races tend to have the most bets on them and therefore more liquidity in the markets. For the seasoned matched bettor, Cheltenham is like Christmas! They call it Cheltmas for a reason. The bookies tend to pony up the offers like crazy! If you’re yet to venture into horse racing in your matched betting journey, then this guide is for you! 

What Is Matched Betting?

You may be wondering what is matched betting? Matched betting is a technique that allows you to make money from the free bets offered by online bookmakers. Rather than relying on luck, you cover all potential outcomes of an event by placing two bets so that you win no matter what happens. Use matched betting software to calculate how much you need to stake on these bets in order to lock in a profit.

Matched Betting With OddsMonkey

OddsMonkey offers a full matched betting service which includes tools, the latest and best offers, and expert support. We created the original odds matching software to make matched betting quicker and easier. Since then, we’ve added a range of software to help with specific offer and event types, such as the Each Way Matcher. You can even find out more about how to make money at Cheltenham with matched betting with our dedicated guide too.

How To Profit From Cheltenham Festival With Matched Betting

There are lots of opportunities when it comes to how to profit from Cheltenham Festival  with matched betting. Some of these profit-making opportunities come from the bookmakers and the promotional offers they run. However, there are other ways for you to add to your profit at this year’s festival.

Racing Refund Offers 

Racing refund offers and money back specials are a fantastic way to profit at Cheltenham. OddsMonkey Premium members can get full training on how to make the most out of these types of offers.

0% Commission

Premium members can also make use of our fantastic O% commission deals with both Smarkets and Matchbook. That means you won’t pay anything on a winning lay bet at the betting exchange. What a way to boost your profits!

Invite-Only Offers

Check your emails for offers exclusively for you. Bookies like to give out invite-only offers, from time-to-time so keep an eye out for those.

Price Boosts

Price boosts are enhanced odds offered by bookies. OddsMonkey Premium members can find price boosts in a dedicated “No Chat” section on the Community forum. It’s a good idea to set up alerts so that you can jump on a price boost as soon as possible.

Extra Place Races

Bookies sometimes offer extra places at large racing events such as the Cheltenham Festival. An extra place is when one or more places are added onto a bookie’s standard place classification. For example, if they usually pay on three places in a horse race, they may offer to pay the 4th position too. The fourth position is the ‘extra place’, which means that you could still win money if your horse crosses the line here.

Offers For Cheltenham Festival

An array of Cheltenham betting offers will be announced throughout the event, so it’s worth taking a look every morning. 

OddsMonkey Premium members have access to our Sports Reload Offers Dashboard and dedicated Cheltenham offers forum threads. Members can cherry pick the offers they want to complete and then choose the right tool for the job from our range of matched betting software.

Don’t let the jargon scare you! Some of the terminology might throw you off a bit but it’s actually not difficult at all.

You won’t be a beginner furlong!! (see what I did there?)

In many ways, horse racing has some benefits that other sports don’t.

Let’s race to it shall we?

Cheltenham Festival Matched Betting Terminology

Each Way Bet (e/w)- This is when your stake is double and placed in 2 parts. One part in the win market and the other in the place market. Feel free to utilise our Each Way Calculator in order to work out your returns from an e/w bet.

NR – This means Non-Runner. This is when a horse has been withdrawn from the race. If it was your horse that was withdrawn, both your stake and liability is voided/cancelled and returned to you.

Rule 4 – Also known as the Reduction Factor. When a horse is withdrawn from a race, this impacts the odds of the other horse. So this is when the odds are readjusted to factor in the withdrawn horse. This is normally done on both the bookie and exchange side.

BOG – This means Best Odds Guaranteed. If you back a horse at certain odds and then the odds of the horse go up by the time the race starts AND the horse wins, the bookie then pays out at the higher price. We love a juicy BOG payout. This is one of the nice benefits of betting on horse racing.

EP – This is short for Extra Places. It’s a type of offer in matched betting where you place e/w bets and lay one market less than the places being paid out. If your horse ends up in that extra place, then you make a profit.

Combined Liability – This isn’t just for horse racing but still very useful to know. This is when you bet on multiple outcomes within the same event, this will reduce the amount of liability you need at the exchange. For example, if you back and lay 3 horses in the same race, you then go to lay them all. You’ll notice that the exchange only holds the liability for the worst case scenario which is the horse at the highest odds winning. It then releases the unnecessary funds back to your balance.

Combined Liability

One of the challenges for matched bettors that don’t have a larger bank is the ability to complete many offers simultaneously. Funds being tied up in liability can be troublesome and require the event to take place and the funds released and then there’s withdrawal times for funds to hit your account.

A little tip for getting your funds to work more efficiently is combined liability. This is when you bet on multiple outcomes within the same match/race/event and this will drastically reduce the amount held at the exchange in liability.

How Does Combined Liability Work?

In layman’s terms, say you back several horses to win within the same race. You then lay these horses. The exchange then doesn’t need to hold the liability for every horse. The reason for this is that only one horse can win. What it then does is only hold the liability of the worse case scenario which is the horse that has the highest liability.

If a horse with lower liability ends up winning, then the exchange already has enough funds to cover it.

And if the horse with the highest liability ends up winning, then it’s covered for that as well.

Because, remember, only one horse can win. So the exchange doesn’t need to hold ALL the liabilities of EVERY horse.

This doesn’t just apply to horse racing betting but every sport.

What Do I Need To Do To Activate This? 

Nothing out of the ordinary. The exchange does this automatically for you. All you need to do is back and lay your bets as you normally would and let the exchange work out the maths.

You’ll see your exchange balance go up and down as you lay the horses so it is working it all out for you and only keeping what it needs as a worst case scenario for that race and releasing the rest back to your balance.

So with these funds released back to your exchange balance, you’re free to do other offers.

Now that we talked about matched betting and what to expect during Cheltenham, let’s get ready for the big event!! 

Get Ready For Cheltenham Festival 2024

1. Have your bookie accounts and exchanges open

Don’t wait for Cheltenham to do welcome offers. This is very important because many bookies actually suspend welcome offers during Cheltenham. They feel they don’t need to offer them as they get a lot of business anyway without the need to give the offer. So make sure you’ve signed up to the bookies and exchanges BEFORE the start of Cheltenham (13th of March). You want to be ready to hit the ground running! Cheltenham is massive for reloads so you don’t want to miss out. 

2. Make sure all accounts are verified and KYC done

Now that you have your bookie accounts and exchanges open. You want to make sure they’re all verified. This will save you time and hassle if and when you want to withdraw your cash. You don’t want to be bogged down with administration and sending documents during a VERY busy racing festival. 

3. Get your bankroll together

Cash is king! Without the funds to place your bets, you’ll be very restricted in the amount of offers you can do. So make sure you have your funds ready to go. You can keep these funds in your bank account and deposit into the exchanges as and when needed. You don’t know what exchange will have the best odds or markets that you need, so keep your cash in your bank account. Depositing takes seconds and this will give you a lot more freedom to lay your bets. If you have funds scattered around several bookies, make sure to either withdraw this and have it in your bank account well before the start of the festival. If you have funds in bookies where you’re sure you’ll use during the festival, then there’s no harm leaving that in there. Just make sure to account for all of it.If your bankroll is limited, make sure to read the guide about Combining Liabilities. This will help you utilise your bankroll more efficiently and cover more of the field so to speak. You’ll find information on combined liability earlier in this guide.

Tip: Do make sure to place your bets on the day of the race. This will allow you to not only get the best odds but also means you won’t have your funds tied up earlier than needed You’re also less likely to get stung by any horse withdrawals resulting in rule 4 deductions. 

4. Learn about various horse racing offers and strategies 

As stated beforeExtra Places, Refund Offers and Boosts are by far the stars of the day when it comes to offers. So if you’re unfamiliar with these, make sure to learn them. This will open up a lot of opportunities for you on the day which means more money! Learn about Extra Places/Each Way betting.

5. Make sure to have your marketing preferences on

The offers listed on OddsMonkey are likely to be those available to the majority of matched bettors but some bookies are likely to send out offers that are invite only or account specific during Cheltenham. You don’t want to miss out on these so make sure you have your marketing preferences on at your bookie accounts to allow them to reach you with these offers! Check your emails and texts as well so you don’t miss out! 

6. Make a note of the offers and get organised

We’ll be sure to keep all the juicy Cheltenham offers in one place so it’s easy for you to locate them. It’s important that you look over and get organised. The offers will feature many different races, horses, times and strategies, bankroll requirements so it’s vital that you get organised. Check out the offers that have the highest value first and work your way to the lowest value ones. You want to make sure you’re using your time and money very wisely. 

7. Enjoy it and make some money! Don’t get sucked into the FOMO!

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and stressed before and during Cheltenham due to the sheer number of offers and activity taking place. Try not to let this affect you. You don’t need to do every single offer available. Don’t compare yourself to what others are making as there are so many factors involved. Make sure to focus on your offers, make some money and enjoy it! Turn the telly on and watch the races and make a fun day out of it. Leave the FOMO at the door.

How To Avoid The Matched Betting FOMO

Do you have Fear Of Missing Out? (FOMO)

Do you find yourself scrambling and rushing to do every possible offer that comes up? It is taking over your life? Do you get moody when you miss an offer? 

This is a perfectly normal feeling. Especially at the start of matched betting and you can’t believe your eyes that the concept actually works! You want to make as much as you humanly can.

But the truth is, it shouldn’t be this way. Matched betting is here to help us in our day to day lives and give us a bit of an income boost in order to take some stress away. Not to add to it. It is absolutely vital to find that balance and to create that routine where we don’t feel like we need to be glued to our phone every possible second of the day. 

Having a routine helps. Check the offers in the morning and perhaps during your lunch hour and in the evening when you get home from work. Give yourself a set time each day to do this and place/check your bets. Don’t check the offers outside of these days to give yourself the right balance. Offers don’t disappear as quickly as you think, unless it’s perhaps a price boost. But it’s not the end of the world if you miss them. 

Comparing your profits with other members is also not advised. There are so many variables involved that it’s just impossible to do a comparison. Time, bankroll, offers etc. Someone working a full time job and doing matched betting very part time and lower bankroll will have very different profits to the person who works part time and able to put in more time and funds. It’s hard to do, I know, but focus on your own circumstances and look at the profits positively with gratitude and how much it’s helped you personally rather than compare how well you did versus someone else. You still have more than you did before. So no matter what, you’re on the up! 

Take a break sometimes. It’s perfectly ok to purposely not do an offer because you want to just take a break and do something else. Don’t feel bad or guilty about that. Not all value in life is in the form of money. Sometimes, clearing your mind and putting your phone away is what’s needed and make sure you do this without any guilt. More offers will be back the next time so you can always pick it back up again. Too much of anything is never good so take some time for yourself if you feel like you need it.

So if you missed an offer, so what?! Ignore that FOMO feeling and know that you benefitted elsewhere and not all value is profit related. All of us at OddsMonkey will be here to help you when you’re ready to jump back in!

I hope this helps and if there’s anything that you’re unsure of with the above information, you can always get in touch with us and we’ll be on hand to help!

You can start matched betting today using the OddsMonkey Free Trial today!

Start making profits now for free!

About the author:

James OddsMonkey

James OddsMonkey

James' background in IT support and matched betting knowledge is how he's ended up at OddsMonkey updating offer, answering tickets and generally being super helpful.

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