Looking For Cheltenham Free Bets? Consider These Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers
Last updated & tested: 2019-04-26
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As it’s one of the most popular events to gamble on in all of sport, the betting offers at Cheltenham for the four-day Festival in mid-March that is the gold standard for National Hunt horse racing tend to be pretty special. Bookmakers have to cater for both new and existing customers these days, because so many punters have online betting accounts. Cheltenham free bets are highly prized as they can be placed instead of real cash.
These are just one of the many type of betting promotions for the Cheltenham Festival to look out for. Some bookies go broad with their offers that can apply daily or across the entire event. Others can be very specific, like Cheltenham Gold Cup offers. What should you look out for? OpenOdds horse racing experts have been around the block a few times when it comes to the Festival, so here they highlight the best betting offers at Cheltenham.
What makes the Cheltenham Festival so special is there’s something for everyone. From the Champion Bumper for fans of National Hunt Flat races to staying chases like the Gold Cup and RSA Chase; novice hurdles at various distances, and even Cross Country and amateur riders’ races, events happen right across the jumps spectrum. From 2m up to the gruelling 4m marathon that is National Hunt Chase for novices, the 28 races – seven per day – mean there are opportunities aplenty.
Bookies cater for both new and existing customers
A savvy bookmaker will have Cheltenham betting offers for existing customers as well as trying to attract new punters to bet on the Festival. Whether you’ve already signed up for an account with an online bookie or not, they know it’s one annual event where lots of money changes hands. While Cheltenham free bets are more likely to be aimed at newcomers, don’t be surprised to see money back bonuses open to everyone on selected races.
Certain sportsbooks will provide this for the opening race – perhaps each day of the Festival – or to encourage you to take on a strong betting favourite. The most fancied horse doesn’t always go in at Cheltenham, so that is something to consider carefully.
If it’s handicaps where you’re looking for betting offers at the Cheltenham Festival, then you seek enhanced each-way terms and extra places. Betting on favourites here is best avoided, especially in the Coral Cup where they have a notoriously poor record. Farming the each-way betting market when there four, five or possibly even six or more places makes sense.
This is because you win more off such Cheltenham Festival betting offers than backing a hot favourite in a championship race. Bookies offering more places and enhanced terms is becoming more commonplace, so if you like to punt on handicaps this is definitely an avenue you should explore.
BOG and NRNB earlier than usual
Another of the key betting promotions for Cheltenham is getting the regular best odds guaranteed that serves all UK and Irish horse racing earlier than you normally would. This is closely tied to another of the Cheltenham betting offers for existing customers, the non-runner no bet insurance. Again, as with BOG, NRNB tends to be available to punters earlier than ordinary racing events, so make it count.
If you know your bet will be void and you’ll get your money back if the horse doesn’t run, or even if it runs in another race at the Festival, then that encourages longer term betting and taking bigger odds. As with any betting offers at Cheltenham, however, you need to know what the terms and conditions say. Bookmakers will vary these; some provide a subtle modification to the regular NRNB guarantee in that money back is given only if the horse you back misses the Festival completely. In other words, you could lose out if your fancies run in another race.
The best way to highlight this Festival non-runner money back promotion that is a twist on the ordinary NRNB is to work through two real-life examples. You may remember Waiting Patiently was a leading fancy for the 2018 Ryanair Chase, but was not among the declared runners that went to post. As that one missed Cheltenham completely, any bet you had on it under all NRNB guarantees would see your money returned to you. If, however, you had backed Douvan in the same race, he lined up 24 hours earlier in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, then bookmakers only offering money back if a horse missed the Festival altogether did not return your stake to you.
Whatever the smallprint says though, this is surely one of the best betting offers for the Cheltenham Festival, because it is in effect closing down the ante post market earlier than usual. If taking a really long-term punt, you won’t benefit from NRNB or BOG, but there is a window in which you can squeeze extra value out one or either of these guarantees that smart gamblers have already cottoned onto.
Cheltenham Festival betting offers for new customers only
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There are going to be some promotions, however, that aren’t open to all. It’s a shame to miss out on potential Cheltenham free bets as winnings at an enhanced price are paid out in bonuses instead of cash when you sign and get the specially boosted odds for joining a bookie you didn’t already have an account with.
Gamblers playing the long game will space out the number of sportsbooks they join and when. If – one year – there’s a particularly attractive set of Cheltenham Gold Cup offers, then they weigh up the potential of being ineligible for future new customer promotions against taking the current sign up bonus.
It’s a judgement that one day we all have to make, whatever our level of betting experience. You only develop it over time, but be streetwise and don’t just sign up for every bookmaker going in one go. While this means you can have definite access to the best fixed odds prices, you would in essence exclude yourself from taking advantage of future new customer offers.
Knowing the best betting offers for Cheltenham part of wider strategy
The smartest gamblers will use Cheltenham free bets to their advantage and when it suits them best, all in the name of giving the bookies a bashing. Knowing what Cheltenham Festival betting offers are out there and which they can access – and crucially those that they can’t – is just one part of a successful strategy.
Betting promotions at Cheltenham can only work for you if know the form, study hard or at least find a reliable source of horse racing tips. There are many so-called experts out there and we retain some here on OpenOdds, but their advice is no prescriptive. It’s often better – and our tipsters freely admit this – for you to look at the race yourself and draw your own conclusions.
By all means see what experts think about a race and where many agree, you’re more likely to find a winner, but deciding for yourself what you fancy is as important as accessing top betting offers for the Cheltenham Festival. Always remember that you’re in control of which horses to bet on and when.