Each Way Betting Explained

The main thing to understand if you are about to place an "Each Way" bet is that you are placing TWO equal sized bets.

You are placing a bet on the horse winning the race and you are placing a bet on the horse finishing in the "places" for the race (what constitutes a "place" varies and will be explained later in this article).

Thinking of the each-way bet in terms of two equal sized bets will make it easier to understand.

When you hear someone say that they had, for example, "Ten pounds each-way" what they are saying is that they had £10 on the horse to win the race and £10 on the horse to finish "in the places" - this bet would therefore have cost £20.

The Win part of the bet is fairly self-explanatory, your return for that part of the bet is exactly the same as if you had placed that amount on the horse winning the race.

The "place" part of the bet is a little more complicated and looking at the following table will make it clearer.

No. of Runners/Type of RacePlace Terms
2-4 runnersNo place betting allowed
5-7 runners1st and 2nd one quarter the odds
8+ runners1st, 2nd and 3rd one fifth odds
Handicaps 12-15 runners1st, 2nd and 3rd one quarter odds
Handicaps 16+ runners1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th one quarter odds

As you can see, in races with 4 runners or less, there is no place betting (and so no Each-Way betting) allowed.

Handicap races are treated differently as, theoretically, every horse has an equal chance of winning and so predicting that a horse will finish in the places of larger fields is considered a harder task (the handicapper may slip-up on one or two horses but probably not the entire field!) and so the bookmakers allow one extra place in handicaps of 16 or more runners and they generally also offer one quarter of the odds as opposed to one fifth of the odds.

To give an example:-

Assume the race in question is a 12 runner handicap race and you wish to place a £10 each-way bet on a horse whose price is 8/1.

Remember, you are placing TWO £10 bets. The first is £10 at 8/1 that the horse will win the race and the second bet is £10 at 2/1 (being one quarter of 8/1) that your horse will finish either first, second or third.

If your horse wins the race then the Win part of your bet wins and you receive £80 plus your £10 stake back = £90 return.

Your place part of the bet also wins so you receive a further £20 plus your £10 stake = £30.

Your return on this bet for your £20 stake would therefore be £120 = £100 profit.

Now imagine your horse finishes second or third.

Your win part of the bet has lost so your £10 on that part of the bet has gone. However, your place part has won so your return = £30 (being £20 winnings and your £10 stake back).

Your overall profit on this example is £10 (you staked £20 and received £30 in return).

Obviously, if your horse finished fourth or worse in this race then you will have lost both parts of your bet and you would have lost the whole £20 of your bet.

Sometimes, bookmakers will offer enhanced place terms for certain races and these will usually be handicap races which have well above 16 runners (a great example is the Grand National which usually has 30+ runners). For this kind of race, the bookmakers will sometimes offer one quarter the odds for the first five places but this is entirely at the bookmakers' discretion and you should always check this prior to placing your each-way bet.

In closing, we would like to stress that we at Ratz4Racing are not fans of straight each-way betting and once you understand the fundamentals of each-way betting, you may wish to read our other article An Alternative to Each Way Betting for our suggestion for a more savvy approach to each-way betting.

If you would like to check the profit and returns from an each-way bet, please see our Each Way Betting Calculator.

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