It’s that time of year again. Cheltenham Festival 2018 is upon us. Arguably the most profitable time of the year to be a matched bettor (...although fingers crossed for the offers at the World Cup).
The main reason it’s so profitable? The sheer number of offers which are given out by the bookmakers. There are seven races per day, spread over four full days. The amount of money that is bet on the full four-day event is estimated to be around £150 million. As a result of such a large amount of money changing hands, the bookmakers all want a piece of the action and this means lots of free bets.
For matched bettors, it’s the perfect storm. A large quantity of offers in a relatively short space of time. Many people take days off work (or even the full week), just so they can take advantage of all the offers available and extract the maximum value.
In 2016, the estimated average profit for PA members was £936.12 per person. This is a rough estimate taken from the 2016 Cheltenham profit thread on our forum.
Check out this video for more information:
Sounds good. Any tips?
Whether you’re a brand new matched bettor, or you’ve been doing it for a few years - our main tip is to try and be prepared.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Do some horse racing offers before the festival starts. Practice the process of placing bets on horse racing so you know what to do and what to expect. Our Match Catcher and Each Way Catcher software makes this really easy. To see which horse racing offers are available at the moment, visit this thread on our forum.
- Get your money into the right places. Make sure you have the maximum amount of bank available, so you can maximise your earnings. Both Matchbook and Smarkets have 0% offers on at the moment, so that should help. In terms of which one to choose, we would recommend having money in both - that way you can choose the best price. The services and products that they offer are very similar, so it comes down to the odds. Sometimes, the small differences in odds and quality of matches can really make a difference in terms of earning more money. It is worth noting that Betfair Exchange have been giving out some invite only 0% deals as well, for the lucky few.
- Try to use shared liability. There can only be one winner of a horse race, and this can be used to your advantage. The amount of money you need to lay a bet is based on your maximum potential loss, therefore if you lay two different results on a market that can only have one outcome, only one of those bets can lose. What this means is that the most you can lose is whichever selection has the largest liability. The liability on the selection with lower liability is ignored for the purposes of calculating how much money you need to lay the bet. As mentioned, all three of the exchanges have got reduced commission offers on at the moment (hallelujah), so you wont really save any money on commission payments - but it does mean that you can improve your cash-flow and its especially relevant if you have a small bank.
- Be organised. There are a lot of races and a lot offers over Cheltenham. Keep a note of everything and be aware of what bets you have on. The more organised you are, the less likely you are to make any silly mistakes (it happens to the best of us).
- Get your bets on early. A lot of the time, the best matches/prices will occur early on in the day. Liquidity won’t be a problem either, there will be a lot of people betting over the four days.
- Use the forum. A really good resource for information, or if you have any problems or questions. We have dedicated close matches and price boost threads for the festival. Invaluable to get the best matches.
Speaking of the forum, you can get a full list of tips, tricks and general Cheltenham info here.
If you’re not a Platinum member yet but would like to get involved, we are running a £1 for seven days promotions here.
If you’re a Platinum member and you know someone who would like to earn a bit of extra money, you can grab your referral code here and pass it on - and we’ll give you £10.
To make things a bit more interesting this year, we are running a competition for Platinum members. Prizes on offer include:
- The Daily winner gets a month’s free membership.
- The Overall weekly 2nd-5th place gets a month’s free membership.
- The Overall weekly winner gets either a pair of tickets to Royal Ascot or a pair of tickets to see England at Wembley at the end of March.
All you need to do is to pick one horse from every race each day that you think is going to do well.
All selections must be made by midday and closer to the time there will be special forum thread where you can post your picks.
Points will be awarded if your horse finishes in the top 6 of the race and the points you receive will be as follows - decimal SP Price multiplied by the position the horse finishes:
1st is 7x multiplier
2nd is 5x multiplier
3rd is 4x multiplier
4th is 3x multiplier
5th is 2x multiplier
6th is 1x multiplier
So, for example, if you pick the winning horse at 8.0 you will receive 56 points (8.0 x 7). If you pick the 3rd place horse at 3.75 then you would receive 15 points (3.75 x 4). This competition will run over the whole festival (Tuesday through to Friday), and is only available to Platinum members.
More info can be found here.
We hope you have a very profitable festival!