Each Way Betting on Horse Racing Explained

The main point to understand with each way betting is that basically you are placing TWO equally sized bets one part is a bet on the horse to win the race and the second part is a bet on the horse to place in a race i.e. finishing in the places 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th in some types of races (see table below).

Thinking about Each Way Betting in this way as two separate bets will make it far easier for you to understand each way betting.

For Example

If you placed a £20 EW (each way) bet on a horse in a race your two bets are a £10 bet on your horse to win and a second £10 bet on your horse to finish in the places, so the total cost of the bets is therefore £20. The win part of the bet is fairly easy to understand it is the same as if you had put £10 to win bet on the horse concerned. Explaining how the place part of the bet is settled by your bookmaker is a little bit more complicated and depends on the type of race you are betting in. The following table explains how the bookmaker’s rules for settling each way bets works.

No. of Runners/Type of Race Place Terms
2-4 Runners No Place Betting Allowed
5-7 Runners 1st and 2nd 1/4 of the odds
8 + Runners 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1/5 of the odds
Handicap Races 12-15 Runners 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1/4 of the odds
Handicaps 16+ Runners 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th 1/4 of the odds

As you can see from the above example, races with up to 4 runners are win only (so each way betting is not offered by Bookmakers).

You will also notice that handicap races are treated in a different way. Theoretically all the horses are given different weights to carry. The ‘weighting process’ is compiled by an Official Handicapper and its his job to try to arrange for all the horsesin the race to acutally finish together in a straight line! Therefore forecasting which horse will finish placed is considered a more difficult task (the handicapper may make a mistake with one or two horses but surely not with the whole field.) So for the purposes of Each Way Betting in handicaps the bookmakers offer improved place terms i.e. one quarter of the odds instead of one fifth and in fields of over 16 runners they generally offer one extra place position (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th).

Each-Way Bet Example

You decide to place a £10 EW bet on Loopylu in the 2.30 at Newmarket at odds of 10-1 (the race is an 8 runner race non handicap, so the EW terms are 1/5 of the odds for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.)

Your bookmaker will take the £20 stake out of your betting account (remember £10 EW is TWO £10 bets) the first bet is a £10 win bet at odds of 10-1 and the second is a £10 bet at odds of 2-1 (2-1 being 1/5 of 10-1) the second bet is for Loopylu to finish placed (i.e. 1st, 2nd or 3rd.)

Now there are 3 different outcomes for this bet as follows:

1. Loopylu Doesn’t Win or Place

Loopylu finishes in none of the places (1st, 2nd or 3rd) i.e. 4th or worse, so if this outcome was to occur you have lost both your £10 win bet and your £10 place bet so in this case the total loss is £20.

2. Loopylu Places but Doesn’t Win

Loopylu finishes 2nd or 3rd but doesn’t win. There is no difference between 2nd and 3rd; they count as the same i.e. they are both “a place”. So if this outcome was to occur, remembering that your £10 EW bet is two bets (£10 win and £10 place) your win bet of £10 has lost and your £10 win stake remains with the bookmaker. However your £10 place bet has won and your return at 2-1 (2-1 being a 1/5 of the odds) = £30, that’s £20 profit and your original £10 place stake. So the overall profit on this bet is £10 (you staked £20 (£10 EW) and received £30 back.)

3. Loopylu Wins the Race

If Loopylu wins the race then both of your bets are winners as a win also counts as a place (1st, 2nd or 3rd.)

So if this outcome occurs the win part of your bet returns £110 i.e. £100 profit at 10-1 and your £10 original stake.

However the place bet of your bet has also won and as already explained above in number 2., that bet returns £30 (£20 profit and your £10 original place stake).

So the total return in this instance is £140 i.e. £120 profit and the original £20 stake.

Sometimes bookmakers will offer enhanced place terms on races with well in excess of 16 runners, a good example is the Grand National which usually has over 30 runners, and in this instance many offer a 1/4 of the odds for a horse finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th and sometimes even 6th.

Having explained the concept of how Each Way Betting on horse racing works I would like to point out that the placing Each Way Single Bets is only one of my recommended approaches to betting.