Horse racing fans love the world-famous Melbourne Cup. The event brings together the finest thoroughbreds for the richest two-mile handicap race in the world.

Many Melbourne Cup betting offers surround the event. We’ve put together a handy comparative table to help you pick the best Melbourne Cup sign up offers and promotions.

Our Top Melbourne Cup Betting Offers

bet365 Claim bet365 Offer
Up to £100Bet Credits
Terms and Conditions 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.
VirginBetmelbourne cup offers - 2020
Up to £20Welcome Bonus
Terms and Conditions New Members. £10 Minimum Bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens : accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/W & Multiples), stakes not returned. T&Cs apply.
BetVictor melbourne cup offers - 2020
Up to £30Bonus
Terms and ConditionsNew 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 Free Sports 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. Credit/Debit card deposits only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsible.
PaddyPower paddypower145-45px
Up to £20Risk Free First Bet
Terms and Conditions New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
Betfred melbourne cup offers - 2020
Up to £30 + 30 Free Spins
Terms and Conditions New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. Terms & Conditions Apply.
888 Sport Claim 888Sport Offer
Up to £40Free Bets
Terms and Conditions New Customers only – £10 minimum deposit using promo code “FOOTBALL” – First bet must be placed on any market – Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
Unibet unibet-logo
Up to £40 Money Back + £10 Casino Bonus
Terms and Conditions New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min odds of 1.40 (2/5), 25x for Casino. £10 casino bonus credited next working day; 35x wagering on casino. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.
WilliamHill William Hill Logo 145px
Up to £30Free Bets
Terms and ConditionsNew customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10 stake, min odds ½, free bets paid as 2x £15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
MansionBet Claim MansionBet Offer
Up to £20Free Bet
Terms and ConditionsNew customers only, min deposit and bet £10 from UK card. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi. selection). 4x£5 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cashout. T&Cs apply.
Coral melbourne cup offers - 2020
Up to £30Free Bet
Terms and Conditions 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply

Assessment Criteria: What Makes The Best Melbourne Cup Betting Sites

Tons of Melbourne Cup sign up offers and promotions are available online surrounding the event. To identify the very best Melbourne Cup betting promotions, our experts use several specific assessment criteria.

Melbourne Cup Betting Markets

One of the most critical factors in our analysis are Melbourne Cup betting markets. The best betting sites will cover the event with a wide range of ante-post and in-play markets. Additionally, we like to see exciting prop bets, as well as outright and futures markets.

Melbourne Cup Odds

If you plan on doing any kind of betting on the big race, you’ll be looking for the best Melbourne Cup odds. Our experts put a premium on the most competitive betting markets and Melbourne Cup odds. Online bookies and exchanges with above-average odds get top marks in this regard.

Mobile Features

Mobile gambling is one of the most popular and convenient ways to follow the action with Melbourne Cup offers. In our analysis, the presence and quality of mobile options are essential. The best operators have mobile-ready interfaces, as well as dedicated apps for Android and iOS.

Live Streaming

One of the most critical Melbourne Cup offers a site can incorporate is live streaming of the event. Without a stream, in-play wagering is simply not the same, lacking the thrill of watching the race unfold. Sites with effortless live-streaming features open to all players perform very well in this area.

Melbourne Cup Betting Promotions

All the betting action surrounding the event makes operators roll out many special Melbourne Cup betting offers. These range from deposit offers and profit boosts to enhanced odds and cashback. Melbourne Cup sign up offers are also quite common. Our team compares and contrasts each promo, poring over the terms and requirements.

Customer Support

Reliable customer support is a mark of a top betting site. Even with the best operators, you’re bound to run into trouble at some point. The best betting sites implement multiple channels for you to reach out and seek support. Our experts also appreciate sites with helpful guides and FAQs.

User Experience

Elements like easy navigation, visual style, aesthetic and theme, readability, and clarity all determine the overall user experience .  The best operators feature smooth, seamless user interfaces with intuitive layouts and engaging design.

Choosing Your Melbourne Cup Betting Offers

While we consider the above factors in our analysis, they’re not all weighted equally. We intend to provide information about the best Melbourne Cup betting offers on the market.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the best Melbourne Cup betting promotions according to us might not be best for you. Everyone has different needs and priorities – particularly when it comes to online betting.

Only you know what’s best for you. You must choose Melbourne Cup offers that match your betting style. Carefully consider all the different Melbourne Cup sign up offers available to you.

How to Find the Best Melbourne Cup Betting Odds

If you’re trying to find the very best odds you’re far from alone. Every horse racing fan is looking for the best odds for the Cup. While many sites will recommend certain operators, the truth is, things aren’t as simple as that.

Odds aren’t set in stone. They’re alive, they evolve, and they react. Different bookies read the field differently and have conflicting sources of information. This leads to different odds, particularly in live betting markets.

To find the best odds for whatever wager you’ve got in mind, you’ll have to do some digging. To start, you’ll need a shortlist of reliable operators with consistently competitive horse racing odds. Next up, you’ll have to work your way through the list, checking the odds with every bookie.

It might seem like a tiresome and time-consuming affair. But it’s the only way you can guarantee that you’re getting the absolute best odds available for the market. Stay sharp, though, as the markets move quickly. Always double-check the odds before placing your bets.

Our Top Selection of 2020 Melbourne Cup Offers and Promotions

The following bookmakers form the list of our top 5 Melbourne Cup betting promotions.

1. Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes is one of the most renowned bookmakers in the world. With a history that dates back to 1902, Ladbrokes is a gambling institution. The operator always provides attractive Melbourne Cup sign up offers. Returning players can take advantage of various Melbourne Cup free bet offers and daily enhanced odds.

2. bet365

bet365 is one of the largest online bookmakers in the industry, operating in over 100 territories. It features relatively generous Melbourne Cup sign up offers for new players. Existing players have access to a few additional promotions, though not as generous as the new player promos.

3. Unibet

With over 16 million players, Unibet is a titan among online bookmakers. With very competitive Melbourne Cup odds and many promotions, it’s quite a contender this year.

4. Betstar

Betstar is an Australian online bookie with excellent Melbourne Cup odds and a range of relevant betting markets. Its Melbourne Cup betting promotions are above average, with generous deposit-matching and boosted odds offers. New players have several bonuses to choose from, while returning players also get a range of perks and promos.

5. Neds

Neds is another major Australian online bookmaker, with a particular focus on horse racing. Accordingly, the operator has many exciting Melbourne Cup offers, including deposit match promos and enhanced racing odds. It also features the best Melbourne Cup odds on the market.

The 2020 Melbourne Cup: Our Predictions For This Year’s Edition

Check back here nearer to the time to find out how we think the big race will go.

2020 Melbourne Cup: Different Types of Betting Markets Available

Before you start cashing in on Melbourne Cup betting offers, you must familiarise yourself with the different bets. Each horse racing bet type, or market, has its own unique rules.


The simplest of all wagers in horse racing is the win bet. A win bet is a straightforward wager on a horse to win the race outright. Backing a winner is a popular way for newcomers to experience the thrill of a race without much complication.


‘Place’,  in horse racing terms, means to finish in the top three. When you back a horse to place, your bet will pay out if the horse finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd. It’s similar to a win bet, but with better chances of being in the money. For that reason, place bets have lower odds than win bets.

Each Way

An ‘each way’ wager is essentially a hybrid of the previous two. This option splits your stake equally between a win bet and a place bet. If your horse wins, you’ll get a slightly lower payout than a win bet, but better than a place bet. However, you’ll also be in the money if it places, albeit with a lower payout than the place bet.


The quinella is one of the most popular exotic bets in horse racing. It involves choosing two horses to back. Your selections need to finish first and second, though the order doesn’t matter. Quinellas are an easy way to get exposure to substantial odds out of relatively small stakes.


An exacta is another exotic bet, very similar to the quinella. You get to pick two horses to back for first and second place. However, unlike the quinella, the order matters in an exacta. As a consequence, this wager pays out at somewhat higher odds.


A trifecta is a popular type of exotic bet. In this wager, you have to select the first three horses overall. There are two variants. In a standard trifecta, you need to get the order right. Boxed trifectas let you win regardless of the order they place in.

First 4

A First 4 wager is a lot like a trifecta. However, instead of picking the first three horses, you’ll have to choose the first four, as the name suggests. You can often make standard and boxed First 4 wagers.


Accumulators – frequently referred to as ‘accas’ – are a type of multiple bet. They allow you to get pretty sweet returns on rather small stakes, provided you get your picks right. Accumulators combine several selections across different events into a single wager. There are many kinds of accumulators, each named after the number of selections involved.


Doubles are the most straightforward kind of accumulator there is. A double is a multiple bet on two selections for two different events. To win, both your picks need to come in first.


Trebles are another type of accumulator. They’re multiple bets covering three selections across three different events – all need to be successful.


A Trixie is an exciting twist on the traditional accumulators. You place four bets on three horses for three different events. Specifically, you place three doubles and a treble. You’ll end up in the money if at least two of your picks win.


The Patent is a seven-bet multiple accumulator, spread over three picks and events. It consists of three singles (one on each horse), three doubles and a treble. If any of your choices wins, you’re in the money.


A Heinz is an extraordinary multi-accumulator bet, comprising a massive 57 bets on six horses and events. It involves 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds, and a six-fold accumulator. You’ll see some returns if at least two of your picks win. You’ll probably need at least three winners to profit, though, as 57 bets makes for quite a stake.

Lucky 63

If a Heinz is a little too conservative for you, the Lucky 63 takes things to the next level. It follows almost the same structure as the Heinz. However, it also incorporates a single bet on each of your six horses, bringing up the total wagers to 63.

Melbourne Cup Offers: What To Expect Ahead of the Event

As the day of the race draws near, you can expect a range of Melbourne Cup betting offers to crop up. It’s a prime time for operators to lure in new business – and Melbourne Cup free bet offers are a great way to accomplish that.

From a player’s perspective, free bet offers have no downsides. You get credit to bet on a horse without any risk on your end. You can use your free bets on a ‘sure thing’ and get some easy money, or chase the long odds. The choice is entirely up to you.

Many sites offer new customers with Melbourne Cup free bets upon making their first deposit. Often, the number of free bets will match your deposit, up to a predetermined cap. These offers can be more convenient than deposit bonuses, as they usually have fewer wagering restrictions.

If you’re a seasoned gambler, you might already have an account with many of the major operators. Returning players can’t take advantage of new customer promotions. However, there are sometimes Melbourne Cup free bets promotions targeting existing players.

It must be noted that ‘free bets’ are not completely free. There is always some kind of betting requirement attached to these offers. So make sure that you check the terms and conditions thoroughly.

2020 Melbourne Cup Offers for Existing Horse Racing Customers

There are always plenty of Melbourne Cup offers floating around in the run-up to the race. If you’re a member of one or more online bookmaker sites, keep an eye out. You’ll likely get notifications about promotions available to you.

You can also swing by the promotions section of any bookie where you have an account. Any bonuses, profit boosts or enhanced odds should be there for you to peruse. Even if there’s no specific Melbourne Cup offers available, you could take advantage of weekly reload bonuses or other promos.

Many bookmakers offer unique accumulator profit boosters that you can take advantage of. A few even offer enhanced odds on selected markets for the event. Acca insurance is often available, protecting you in case your accumulators miss by a single leg.

Additionally, many bookmakers offer some sort of cashback promotion. Often, you need to be a VIP member to qualify, though some offer cashback on losses to all players. Check the promotions section of your favourite bookies for precise information.

Major Events Coming up Before the Start of the Melbourne Cup

Usually, the time before the Cup is filled with high-profile horse racing events. Look out for details and schedules nearer the big event. The majority of them will be taking place on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Festival, which spans a full week.

The 2020 Melbourne Cup: A Historic Thoroughbred Racing Event

Context and History

The Melbourne Cup is one of the oldest and most storied races in the world. For nearly 160 years, thousands have gathered to watch the event. The first Cup was held in Flemington Racecourse in 1861. A field of 17 horses competed for a relatively small purse of £710 (and a gold watch). 

That was also the first significant Melbourne Cup odds upset. The winner, Archer, was a total underdog, beating the favourite, Mormon, by over six lengths. Archer would go on to become the first horse to win the race in two consecutive years.

Things have changed significantly since those early days. The race quickly grew in popularity, with the government making it a public holiday in a short few years. It would become a local institution, and eventually, a global event.

Organisation and Structure

The Cup is a thoroughbred long-distance horse race. It’s a ‘two-mile’ race, albeit in name only. Initially it was exactly two miles but the length was shortened after Australia started using the metric system. Today, it takes place over a 1.99 mile (or 3.2 km) course.

The event is organised by the Victoria Racing Club and held at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse. It takes place each year, during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Traditionally, the race begins on the first Tuesday of November at 3 PM.

Once upon a time, all horses in the field were trained by locals. Recent years have seen a rise of foreign-trained competitors, with a few taking the cup in the last three decades.

The race itself is a prominent affair in Melbourne, with locals attending in full racewear or colourful costumes. It also usually draws vast amounts of tourists to the area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Melbourne Cup Betting Offers

Before we let you go, we’ll tackle some of the most common questions from customers regarding the event and promotions.

How do I sign up with an online bookmaker to bet on the Melbourne Cup?

To cash in on all the promotions and Melbourne Cup offers available you’ll need to sign up with an online bookie. The process varies from operator to operator, but it’s generally reasonably streamlined. Look for the ‘Join’ or ‘Sign Up’ button, often in the top right corner of the site’s home page.

Click on it and enter your information. You may need to provide personal and financial details. Make sure your details match your legal documents, as you might need to verify it later. Complete the registration and confirm your email account. That’s it! You’re ready for your first deposit.

Who can take advantage of these Melbourne Cup betting offers?

Most of these betting promotions are available to new customers. You can only have one account per site. Therefore, you can only take advantage of sign up offers if you’re not a member yet.

However, many additional betting promotions target returning players. Whatever your situation is, there are promotions for you out there. A promising sign up offer is also a great reason to check out a new sports betting operator.

When does the 2020 Melbourne Cup Begin?

Following tradition, the Melbourne Cup begins every year on the first Tuesday of November.

Who won the last Melbourne Cup?

The 2020 Melbourne Cup saw a field of 24 horses competing for over $8 million in prizes. The winner was Twilight Payment, an eight-year old trained in Ireland by Joseph O’Brien.

How big is the purse for the winner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

The total prize purse for the 2020 competition included over $8 million in prizes. The money was divided across the first 12 places, with the winner taking home over $4.4 million. The second place took home about a quarter of that amount, or $1.1 million. The prize money details for the 2021 Melbourne Cup will be revealed closer to the race.