Horses Racing

Each Way Betting Explained

Read our guide to each way betting to learn how you can get the chance to earn a return on your money, even if the horse or team you back doesn't win.

Each Way Betting Explained

What Is an Each Way Bet?

Generally associated with horse racing, an each way bet allows punters to cover the possibility of a selection either winning or placing in a certain position. You can think of an each way bet as two separate bets: to win and to place.

If a selection wins an event, the bookie will pay out on both the win and place parts of the wager. A pick that only manages to place attracts a payout on the place part of the bet only. This should answer the question of what is each way betting, though there’s plenty more to learn. If you’d like each way betting explained in greater detail, read on for insights into calculating your winnings from an each way bet, and each way betting strategies. Let’s dive in.

Calculating Winnings

How To Calculate Your Winnings

How much you can win from an each way bet depends on a number of factors. Let’s say you’ve placed an each way bet on a race, and your horse wins at odds of 30/1. You backed it for £10 each way, which means you staked £20 in total. In this situation, the £10 win part of the bet pays out £310. That’s £300 in winnings (£10 x 30) plus your original stake of £10.

The place part of the bet pays out, too, albeit at a reduced rate – in this case, let’s say the place part pays out at 1/5 of the win odds. A fifth of 30/1 is 6/1, so your £10 place bet would net you a profit of £60. As with a win, you’ll also get your stake back, giving a total return of £70 on this part of the bet.

Adding £310 for the win to £70 for the place gives you a total return of £380, which includes your original stake of £20.

But what if your horse only manages to place? In this case, the win part of your each way bet loses, but you’re still in line for a payout for your place wager. We know this payout will be £70, which leaves you with a profit of £50 when accounting for your original £20 stake.

When Do Bookies Pay Out

How Many Places Are Paid on Each Way Bets?

The number of places that can pay out on each way bets will vary depending on how many runners are involved in a particular race. The table below outlines the typical parameters, including the typical odds offered.

Number of runners Minimum places Place Odds
1-4 Win only bet None
5-7 1st and 2nd places 1/4
8+ 1st, 2nd and 3rd places 1/5
12-15 (handicapped) 1st, 2nd and 3rd places 1/4
16+ runners (handicapped) 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places 1/4

In practice, bookies sometimes pay out on more places. Those that offer bonuses for existing customers might offer enhanced each way terms on selected daily races, for example. It’s also common to see extra place offers up for grabs around the time of big horse racing events like Goodwood and Cheltenham.  These enhanced bonus offers are a great way for bookies to attract new customers and an easy way for you to scoop a hassle-free betting bonus.

How To Bet

How To Place an Each Way Bet

Placing each way bets is as easy as placing any sports bet. Simply fire up your online bookmaker and open the horse racing section. Then, follow these four steps:

Find the race you want to bet on and make your selection. Your bet slip will pop up as normal. On a desktop site, this will usually be on the right-hand side of your screen.

Enter your stake value, then look for the little checkbox in the bet slip that says E/W, EW or Each Way.

Tick the E/W box and the bookmaker will automatically double your stake. Let’s say you enter a stake of £5 in the first place. Ticking the E/W box will see your total stake double to £10. It’s that simple.

When you’re happy with everything – and don’t forget to shop around to confirm that you’re getting the best odds first – you can go right ahead and click the bet button.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Each Way Betting

Pros

  • Can provide a return on your stake if your horse doesn’t win but comes close
  • Can be useful when large numbers of runners are in contention, as with the Grand National, since it’s trickier to pick out a winner with this type of race
  • Can be a good option for novice punters who want to play things a little safer

Cons

  • Doubles your stake, increasing risk
  • Pays out less than if you’d placed your whole stake on that selection to win

Sports

Which Sports Can I Place Each Way Bets On?

While most bettors have heard of each way betting in relation to horse racing, this betting market is also available for a wide variety of other sports. Greyhound racing and cycling are obvious contenders, though the likes of golf and football also provide plenty of opportunities for bettors to try their luck with each way bets.

For example, you can place an each way bet on the Premier League or the Masters, and get a payout if your team/golfer either comes top of the league/leaderboard, or finishes in one of the upper positions. As such, sporting events with multiple competitors are the perfect breeding ground for each way betting opportunities. Of course, you won’t be able to bet this way for individual games of football, darts, snooker and so on, as these individual matchups can only end in a win or a draw.

Accumulators

Each Way Multiple Betting

Multiple each way betting can be considered an advanced type of each way betting. But it’s actually not that dissimilar to regular each way betting or, indeed, any regular accumulator bet. The important thing to remember is that all the selections have to win or place for you to get a return on the win or place parts of your bet.

Let’s imagine you place E/W bets for multiple races at Cheltenham. You might bet on Trueshan in the 10.40, Ad Infinitum in the 12.10, Elysian Flame in the 2.30 and so on. If Trueshan and Ad Infinitum win but Elysian Flame only places 3rd, the win part of your each way bet is void. If Elysian Flame wins but the other two horses only place, the outcome is the same. In both scenarios, you only get a payout from the place part of your multiple bet. To make a return from the win part of your bet, all your horses would need to triumph in their respective races. You can place each way doubles, each way trebles, and each-way accumulators with four or more selections. As with other accas, your entire each way wager is lost should just one of your selections fail to at least place.

Strategy

Each Way Betting Strategy

Whether or not it’s wise to take the each way option depends on the odds available. For example, non-professional punters should only ever consider each way betting when the bookmaker is offering place odds that will allow you to break even at least.

This rules out betting on favourites, which attract win odds far below the minimum required for each way betting to prove profitable or cover your losses in the event of a placed finish. That said, some professional punters will place each way bets more freely, in order to mitigate their losses across long gambling sessions. For casual bettors, an each way bet can be a great shout if you just fancy a less risky punt on an underdog with potentially lucrative odds.

FAQs

Your Questions Answered

What happens if my horse is a non-runner?

There are plenty of reasons why a horse might be a non-runner. If this happens to your selection, you’ll usually get your bet stakes refunded. A withdrawal can also affect your bet even if you haven’t backed that particular horse. Say the removal reduces the number of runners in the field to four – your each way pick must now win the race. The same principle applies to any event with each way betting opportunities.

The people behind this page

Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check this page:

Daniel is the editor-in-chief at Compare.bet. He has half a decade of experience writing on topics including sports betting, online casino and the NBA. Daniel also covers Premier League football for Compare.bet news and has interviewed Louis Saha, Richard Dunne and Gary Pallister. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys film photography and making Spotify playlists.