Betting Guides

Each Way Betting in Horse Racing

There are many different ways to bet on horse racing but one of the most popular horse racing bets in the UK, especially when betting on outsiders at big odds, is each way betting. So let’s have a look at what it entails and what you need to keep an eye on.

What is Each Way Betting?

Each way betting allows punters to win money from a horse race even if their horse doesn’t win the race.

The reason that ‘each-way’ is a popular bet is that it increases your chances of winning as it covers you if your horse fails to win the race but finishes in one of the top positions. Bookmakers will usually pay out on a specified number of places, often the first 2, 3, or 4, depending on the size of the field.

How Do Each Way Bets Work?

An each way bet actually consists of 2 individual bets, one for a horse to win and another bet for the horse to ‘place’. For example, a £10 each way bet would cost £20 in total, and gives you £10 on the horse to win and £10 on the horse to place.

If your horse wins, you win on both bets, but if your horse finishes in one of the paying places only the place part of your bet will pay out. The size of the payout is determined by the place terms offered by the bookmaker.

In horse racing the place odds are normally calculated at either a quarter or a fifth of the win odds. So for example, if your horse is 20/1 to win the race the place odds will be either 4/1 or 5/1.

How Many Places are on Offer in Each Way Betting?

The number of places available will vary depending on the number of runners and the type of race. There needs to be at least five runners for each way betting. There is no each way betting on races with 4 runners or less, these races are ‘win only’.

In horse races with between 5 and 7 runners there are two places available (1st and 2nd) and in races of 8 or more runners there are three places available (1st, 2nd and 3rd), and in handicap races of 16 runners or more there are four places available.

The traditional standard place terms for each way betting on horse racing is as follows:

  • 1-4 runners - No each way betting
  • 5-7 runners - 2 places at ¼ odds
  • 8+ runners - 3 places at ⅕ odds
  • 12+ runners handicaps - 3 places at ¼ odds
  • 16+ runner handicaps - 4 places at ¼ odds

Bookmaking is a very competitive landscape and so in many cases, modern online bookmakers attempt to attract customers with ‘enhanced place terms’ on many races by offering more paying places than the above standard. William Hill and bet365 regularly offer enhanced place terms every day.

In some cases there may be as many  as 7 or 8 places on offer in the big handicap races such as the Grand National, Stewards Cup or Tote Ebor. This can make a major impact on your returns. You can find out which bookies are offering enhanced place terms by using odds comparison sites.

When Should I Bet Each Way?

If you think a horse has a reasonable possibility of placing in the desired spots but not necessarily winning, you might want to consider betting each way.

For big open races with competitive fields, when a clear favourite may not be obvious, each way betting is recommended especially for big priced horses as the return can still be substantial even for a place. For example, a 40/1 will still pay out at 10/1 for the place in races where a quarter odds are being offered.

How Do You Place an Each Way Bet?

The process of striking an each way horse racing bet is pretty much the same with every online bookmaker. You navigate to the particular race you’re interested in, add the horse you want to back to the betslip and click the each way button.

As soon as you tick the each way button your stake will be doubled (remember, you are placing two bets) as will your potential winnings, reflecting the fact that you’re now placing an each way bet.

You can also include each way selections in multiple and combination bets such as each way doubles, each way trebles and Lucky 15′s.

How Do I Calculate Each Way Payouts?

Both the win and place parts of your each way bet will be paid out if your chosen horse wins the race. The win part is calculated in the usual way by multiplying the odds by the stake. So if you bet £10 each way (£20 total) on a 16/1 shot then the win payout will be £170. (16 x £10 plus your £10 stake returned).

To calculate the place payout, divide the original odds by the fraction (e.g., for 1/4 odds, divide by 4). Then multiply this by your stake to determine the payout. So in our example of 16/1 at ¼ odds the place payout would be £50. (16/4 =4 x £10 plus your £10 stake returned). Therefore the total payout for a 16/1 winner would be £220 - £170 for the win and £50 for the place.