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A Guide to Each Way Betting – Betting Strategy

Perhaps the most popular type of betting when it comes to horse racing, each way betting is particularly favourable amongst amateur bettors or those who prefer a lower-risk approach. If each way betting is an approach you’d like to explore, take a look at how it works, how the payout is calculated and the best times to consider this type of bet.

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What Is Each Way Betting?

Each way betting is a relatively straightforward way to increase your chances of making a return. It consists of two bets, one to win and one to place, therefore giving you two chances of having a winning bet. The bet to win is of course reliant upon your chosen horse coming 1st. The bet to place typically refers to your horse finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th, but this all depends on how many horses are in the race and the terms of the bookmaker.

How Does Each Way Betting Work?

When placing an each way bet, you are simultaneously placing two bets, effectively increasing your wager. But how do these bets actually work?

Let’s say the odds on your chosen horse are 10/1 and it has a strong chance of finishing within the places stated by your chosen bookmaker. This would be a great time to consider an each way bet. If you had a stake of €10, when placing an each way bet you would be betting €5 for the horse to win and €5 for the horse to place. If your horse finishes in first place, you receive the return from both the win and the place parts of the bet. If your horse finishes within the places, your return will be a fraction of the odds as stated by the terms of your chosen bookmaker.

 Payout from the win bet portionPayout from the place bet portion
Horse finishes 1st ✔️ ✔️
Horse finishes 2nd  ✔️
Horse finishes 3rd  ✔️
Horse finishes 4th  ✔️

From the table above you can see that placing an each way bet gives you more chance of a return than if you had just bet to win.

Is Each Way Betting Worth It?

Just as with any type of bet, knowing if each way betting is the right choice for you depends on a number of factors. If you believe your selected horse has a good chance of finishing within the places and it has odds that make the return fraction worthwhile, then it may be worth placing a bet each way. But, as always, the odds have to be worth the risk as if the horse does not place first then you will only receive a fraction of the odds as a return.

How to Place a Bet

  • The first thing to do when placing any bet is to choose the bookmaker or online betting site you would like to use. Once decided, head to their website.
  • Find the race meeting and the name of the horse upon which you wish to place a bet.
  • Take a look at the odds next to the name of your horse. This will help you to determine whether an each way bet is the right way to go or not.
  • Make sure to check the fraction of the odds that are paid for a winning place bet and the places included within the terms of the bet.
  • Enter your stake amount. Remember that with an each way bet you are actually placing two bets, so this amount will be doubled.
  • You will then have the option to select ‘Each Way’ also sometimes referred to as ‘EW’. Once selected, your stake will automatically be doubled.
  • Place your bet and wait for the results.

Understanding The Payout

The core element to understand when it comes the payout of an each way bet is how each part comes into play. If the win bet loses and the horse still places, you win the place section of the bet but lose the win portion. If your horse wins, you win both bets. If the horse finishes outside of the places determined by the bookmaker, then you lose both bets.

We’ve mentioned that the fraction of the odds paid out for a winning place bet and the places included in the terms can vary depending on the number of runners and the terms of the bookmaker. But, as a guide only, here is an idea of places and payouts you can expect to see included in the terms based on different sized races.

Number of runnersPlaces and payouts
1 – 4 runnersA smaller race like this will allow win bets only
5 – 7 runners1st and 2nd place to be included in the terms at a quarter of the odds
8 – 15 runners1st, 2nd and 3rd places to be included in the terms at a fifth or a quarter of the odds
16+ runnersLarger races will include 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in the terms at a quarter of the odd

So what does this actually look like in monetary terms?

Let’s say you place a €10 each way bet on a horse that has odds of 10/1. Broken down, that’s €5 to win and €5 to place. If your selected horse wins, you have two winning bets. With 10/1 odds, the €5 you bet on the horse to win gives you a payout of €50, plus your original wager, giving a total of €55. Assuming the fraction of a payout for the place bet is one quarter plus your original stake, this gives you an additional payout of €17.50, bringing your total to €72.50.

Of course, had you put the full €10 on a bet to win you would have received a higher payout, but had your selected horse only placed, you would have lost and not received anything. That’s where it pays off to consider the odds of the horse coming in first compared to the likelihood of them placing. Lowering the risk may come with a slightly lower payout, but it provides a buffer should your selected horse not place first. In the above example, should the horse have placed 2nd, you still would have made a profit of €7.50.

Recommended Strategies When Placing an Each Way Bet

  • Competitive vs non-competitive races

Each way betting can be more valuable in competitive races. Of course, it all depends on the race and the odds, but in a competitive race where the favourite isn’t strong, or there are other horses with similarly high odds, then an each way bet is a safer and less risky option, giving you a greater chance of a payout. Comparatively, in a non-competitive race where the favourite has much greater odds than other runners, you could be cutting yourself short by placing an each way bet.

  • Consistent performers

Consistent performers could be a great option for an each way bet. These are horses that have a consistent record of placing. For example, if a horse’s places for the last ten starts looks something like this: 2131142312, you know that the horse has not finished lower than fourth. An each way bet on this horse could be a very good choice as you know there is a high chance of it placing, with strong possibilities of it coming first.

More Types of Each Way Betting

So far, we have looked at the standard each way bet placed on one selected horse in one race. However, if you have more than one fancy across numerous races, or want to place multiple within the same race, there are a few advanced each way betting options:

Each Way AccumulatorThis involves adding four or more horses to win and place
Each Way DoubleThis involves betting on two horses in two separate races and backing them to win and place
Each Way TrebleThis involves betting on three or more horses in three separate races and backing them to win and place

Key Takeaways To Consider When Placing An Each Way Bet

  • Always be sure to check the places set out in the term by the bookmaker
  • Always check the portion of the odds a bookmaker will pay out for a winning place bet
  • Consider the competitiveness of the race
  • Consider the recent past performance of your selected horse
  • Make sure the odds are worth placing an each way bet over other forms of bets