The Cheltenham Gold Cup first ran in 1819. Originally it was a flat race, but in 1924 a decision was made to incorporate jumps. It has run almost every year since, with cancellations for extreme circumstances such as flooding, disease and WWII. Next year’s event takes place on 16th March, 2018 and has already gained lots of interest. Let’s get ahead of the pack with the OpenOdds guide to Cheltenham offers, today.
Cheltenham free bet offers: What you need to know
If you’re hoping to make a wager on the Cheltenham horse racing festival, how do you take advantage? Signing up with bookmakers for free bets and welcome bonuses is the way to go. Bookmakers such as William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes should offer a free bet or two. Paddy Power, for example, are currently offering £30 in free bets to spend on any sports markets you like. These come in the form of 3 £10 bets, meaning you can place a couple of wagers on horse race betting and another on football, for example. Most of these bets have use by dates attached, so it pays to sign up nearer the time of the event. Sky Bet, for example, give players 30 days to use their £10 free bet bonus. By signing up later, you could use the deal for a Cheltenham free bet.
Other great offers to try
What if you’d prefer to use your free bet bonuses now? Well, you could do that easily. Many players use free be offers to take advantage of matched betting (where you bet for and against and event happening). If done correctly, matched betting can help you build up a decent bankroll for larger bets. These bets can be placed with bookmaker’s recurring bonuses. Take Betway. Once you’ve signed up with Betway you can earn up to £100 as free bets using their welcome offer. You decide to use this for matched betting. But after your free bets have gone you can take advantage of Betway’s other offers. For one, the bookmaker guarantees the best horse racing odds around, meaning you don’t have to trawl the web looking for the best returns. These permanent great odds can also be used in the ITV Racing 4/1 offer. If you back a winner at 4/1 or above, you’ll receive a free bet back too. They also offer this great deal on feature races too, not just ones on ITV.
Betfair guarantees fantastic odds, making them another viable contender. At the minute they’ve not put specific Cheltenham free bet offers on their website, but they do have a fun free bet promotion. To qualify, you need to back a winner of 3/1 or more on ITV or ITV4 races. The bet pays up to £25. They also have a fantastic £5 free bet when you use their exchange for the first time, too.
Putting it all into practice: Cheltenham offers from A-Z
Wondering how you can turn those Cheltenham free bet offers into cash? It’s not easy and can be influenced by many factors. Location, budget and payment providers all play their part in choosing your bookmaker. Here are the most popular payment options offered by bookies.
Credit or debit card
The most used method of payment. Credit and debit cards payments are protected with a security code on their reverse. Their details are also encrypted on a bookmaker’s website, adding an extra layer of protection. Minimum payments start at £10, and hit your account instantly.
Payments can be sent instantly from e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill and PayPal. Neteller and Skrill are more commonly used than PayPal for bookmaker transactions. If paying by PayPal, your deposit is protected by PayPal as well as the card provider. Minimum payments are usually around £10. Do bear in mind that charges may apply for withdrawals using these methods.
Unlike e-wallets and card payments, bank transfers take 3-5 days to clear, making them the slowest payment method. They are fully traceable, though, which makes them safe. Larger sums can be withdrawn to bank accounts, making them a great choice for jackpot wins.
What are the odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Bookmakers are already lining up odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is one of the most successful horse racing events in the world. Odds represent the probability of a horse winning. They can be displayed in fraction form, e.g. 2/1, 3/1, or written in decimals (1.50), (3.90). The higher the odds, the less likely the bookmaker thinks the horse will win. While “to 1” odds are common, odds can be written in any fraction, so, 2/5 or 9/4, can also found.
Odds vary depending on the bet you place so be sure to use a betting comparison resource to maximise your winnings. A 5/1 bet on a win will give you 5x your stake if it wins. But bet each-way and that 5/1 bet will pay out less if your horse finishes in a place. How much is paid out depends on how many places your bet pays out on. With the Cheltenham Gold Cup, there are currently 53 horses for next year’s race, so place bets will be paid out on 5 places. That 5/1 odds will be divided by 5. This means a £10 bet on a win will give you £60 back (£50 and your £10 stake). That same £10 will give you £43.33 return on each way.
Confused? We understand. Check out our horse racing guide for dummies to help improve your knowledge!
The best Cheltenham free bet operators
|Max. Wert||Bonus Type||Details||Get the Bonus|
|1||98 / 100||25||Claim your £25 bonus with bonus code OPENODDSNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Novibet bonus|
|18+. KYC Verified. UK new customers only. Max £25 free bet, Min of 3 selections in acca | Min odds per selection 7/10 | Free bet stake not returned | Certain markets/sports/payment methods restrictions apply | Free bet valid for 30 days.|
|2||97 / 100||30||79.5New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||STSbet bonus|
|18+. New depositing players on STSbets.co.uk only. Promotion from 11/02/2020 until further notice. First deposit min. £10. Qualifying bet: min. £10 accumulator bet with at least two selections with min odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection. Bonus: 50% of the amount of the first bet. Max bonus £40. Min 6x wagering with bonus on min odds of 1/2 (1.50) before withdrawal. Deposit method restrictions. Bonus valid for 7 days. Full T&cs apply. BeGambleAware.org.|
|3||96 / 100||30||£30 FreebetNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Betway bonus|
|New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Terms apply|
|4||92 / 100||30||Bet £10 get £30 free!New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||William-Hill bonus|
|New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. *By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below.|
|5||87 / 100||100||£100 in bet creditsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Bet365 bonus|
|New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.|
|6||86 / 100||30||Bet £10 Get £30New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||888 bonus|
|New customers only • Max Bet €5 • €10 deposit using promo code • Free bets are granted within 72 hours and expires after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal restrictions & full T&C’s apply.|
|7||82 / 100||10||£10New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Grosvenor bonus|
|8||80 / 100||£30||Stake £10 get £20 in free betsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Betfred bonus|
|9||75 / 100||30||£30 in Free BetsNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||PaddyPower bonus|
|New customer offer. Place a single £10 (or £5 e/w) Sports bet in the 13:45 York on Friday, 21st of August and get a £5 free bet for each of the subsequent race. Deposits using Credit/Debit cards or Apple Pay only. Free bets are only valid for the specified race and are awarded when the qualifying bet has been settled. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&Cs apply.|
|10||74 / 100||£10||Up to £10 on first depositNew customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Smarkets bonus|
|1. Once the bonus is credited to your account, losses will be refunded up to the bonus amount. 2. You must deposit at least the qualifying deposit of £20 (or currency equivalent) in a single amount with your first deposit to be eligible for the rebate. 3. To withdraw rebated funds, you must bet at least the qualifying deposit on any combination of markets within the promotional period; otherwise rebated funds will be forfeited. 4. Unused bonuses expire after seven days of being credited to a user account and will be removed after this period. 5. Users making their first deposit by Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or a virtual/prepaid card will not qualify for this promotion. 6. The sign up offer is strictly limited to one per individual, family, household address, email address, same payment account number, and shared computer. 7. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other sign-up promotion. 8. Smarkets standard terms for promotions apply.|
|11||72 / 100||30||Get £30 in bonuses!New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||BetVictor bonus|
|New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply.|
|12||60 / 100||100||100New customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org||Paddy-Power bonus|
How to use the free bet bonuses for horse racing
Imagine that the Cheltenham festival is upon us and you’re after a great deal. You decide to check the OpenOdds horse racing guide. Here you’ll find a list of the top bookmakers’ offers and handy tips to get you started with horse racing bets.
You choose your preferred bookmaker from the list (we’ll use William Hill) and take advantage of their sign-up offer giving you £30 of free bets after betting £10. You type in the promo code C30 to qualify and deposit £10. Free bets must be used in 30 days and your qualifying bet must be on odds of 1/2 or more.
You make your qualifying bet on Samcro in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. The horse wins at 5/1 and so you pocket £50 profit. More importantly, your 3 free bets hit your account. They can’t be used on each-way bets. You put one of the £10 free bets the test on the following race, the JCB Triumph Hurdle on Apple’s Shakira at 4/1 to win. The horse comes 3rd, but because you can’t bet each-way, you lose your free bet.
Finally, the time comes to bet on the Gold Cup. You’re torn between Douvan and Might Bite. Douvan is offered at 7/1 and Might Bite is 5/1. You’ve got 2 free £10 bets left, so you place one on each horse. The race gets under way and Douvan comes out on top. You receive £70 back and your stake is kept by the bookmaker.
Who looks like a good contender for first place?
Wondering which horses are running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup? Here’s our rundown of the runners and the best online bookmakers to place your bets on the historic race.
Option 1: William Hill
We’ve already talked at length about William Hill, so you know that they’re offering odds on the whole of the Cheltenham Festival. Fox Norton is currently favourite for the Ryanair Chase on the 3rd day of the festival. Strong in chases and hurdles, the 7-year-old is currently offered at 4/1. He’s had wins under his belt at Aintree, Punchestown and Cheltenham this year. Could it be more Cheltenham success for the gelding? Only time will tell.
If you’re looking for odds for the main event itself, the Gold Cup, there are some tempting odds on Bristol De Mai (8/1), Djakadem (12/1) and the 7-year-old Bay horse, Sizing John. If that name rings a bell, it probably should. He was the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year and the Irish Gold Cup, too. The first horse since 1996 to hold that honour.
Option 2: Paddy Power
Paddy Power may know something we don’t know when it comes to the Gold Cup. While most bookmakers have ranked Minella Rocco at higher odds, they’ve pitched low at 12/1. The 7-year-old horse was trained by Jonjo O’Neill, one of the most successful trainers of all time. Do they have a chance, or is Paddy Power just feeling patriotic as the horse is Irish bred? We don’t know, but we’ll be watching closely as March ticks around.
Paddy Power has a sterling reputation in Europe. It was established in 1988. Stock exchange listing came later. Since merging with Betfair, it is now one of the largest betting providers in the UK and Ireland. They’re currently offering a similar welcome bonus to William Hill, giving players £30 in free bets after betting £10. These are split into 3 £10 bets and can be used on win and each way bets.
Option 3: Betfred
Betfred was founded in 1967 by brothers Peter and Fred Done. They’ve created their own bet (the Lucky 15) which was since adopted by bookmakers worldwide. They were also sponsors of the Gold Cup between 2012-2015, so they know a thing or two about the event.
Betfred have a huge sign up offer where you bet £10 and receive £60 in free bets. £30 is for the sportsbook, the other £30 for the casino. You can use the sports bets on any sporting event, horse racing included. So, who else might be worth a bite in the Gold Cup? Well, Yorkhill has odds of 7/1 at Betfred. There’s also the outsider Native River. Offered at 12/1 Native River is a horse that fancies good to soft ground. Earlier this year he came respectable third in a 3m, 2f race at Cheltenham after a solid ride from R Johnson.
Cheltenham offers under scrutiny
We’ve reached the end of our Cheltenham offer guide, searching out the best in the runners line up for at the historic horse racing festival. And boy, is there lots of choice. With all the great horses taking part, you’ll need some extra bets. That’s where the free bet offers come in. Some of the largest bookmakers in the industry have already set out their Cheltenham stall, offering bets and welcome bonuses to tempt a saint. Be sure as always to check out the OpenOdds guide to horse racing to make sure that you get the best deals for you.
Other recommended articles:
- Champion Hurdle betting guide
- Everything you need to know about 1000 Guineas betting
- Cheltenham Gold Cup betting tips
- How to bet on horses
- Best Newbury offers
- Best Cheltenham Gold Cup betting sites
- Guide to betting in running on horses
- Top Ayr Gold Cup betting offers
- Leading Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe betting offers
- Horse betting explained