Each Way Betting Explained – What it Means and How to Calculate Winnings
When you place an each way bet, it is best considered as two separate bets.
- The first bet is on the horse to win – If the horse wins the race, this bet is won
- The second bet is on the horse to place – If the horse finishes in the top three (position may vary), this bet is won
So if you were to bet £5 each way on a horse to win, your total stake would be £10. £5 would be on the horse to win, and then £5 would be on the horse to finish in the top three.
How to Make an Each Way Bet
To make the bet, there are three things you need to know.
- The betting odds
- The number of places
- The each way fraction
All three can be found in this example screenshot from Bet 365. We explain each in more depth below.
1) The betting odds
These are shown for each horse on the right. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume you know how betting odds work. If you don’t, we have a dedicated article for learning how betting odds work.
2) The number of places
These are shown in the top left (1-2-3). This refers to the position the horse needs to finish in for the place bet to win. In the screenshot, this is three (i.e. the horse must finish in the top three) but varies according to how many runners are in the race. A race such as the Grand National with more runners will often have more places.
3) The each way fraction
These are shown in the top left (EW 1/5). This will be represented as a fraction. Because the chances of the horse finishing in the top three are greater than finishing first, the odds for the place part of the bet is reduced by the fraction provided. This is usually 1/4 or 1/5.
How to Calculate the Winnings of an Each Way Bet
Remember that when you make your each way bet, you effectively have two different bets.
If the horse wins the race, then both bets win. The winnings can be calculated by adding the winnings of the two bets together.
If the horse doesn’t win but does place (i.e. finishes in the top three) then your first bet loses, but the second bet to place wins. The winnings can be calculated by taking the original odds and applying the each way fraction.
If the horse doesn’t win and doesn’t come in the top three, then both bets will lose.
Let’s Illustrate With Some Examples
Example One. You back a horse with £5 at odds of 10/1 EW 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes 1st.
In this example, both bets win. The winnings can be calculated by adding the two bets.
- Bet one on the horse to win – £55 return (£50 profit & £5 stake)
- Bet two on the horse to place – £15 return (£10 profit, & £5 stake. The 10.00 odds become 2/1 when fraction applied.)
- The total winnings are £60, plus the £10 stake is returned
Example Two. You back a horse with £5 at odds of 10/1 EW 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes 2nd.
In this example, only bet to place wins. The winnings comprise of only the second bet.
- Bet one on the horse to win – This bet loses
- Bet two on the horse to place – £15 return (£10 profit, & £5 stake. The 10.00 odds become 2.00 when fraction applied.)
- The total winnings are £10, plus the £5 stake is returned
Example Three. You back a horse with £5 at odds of 10/1 EW 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes 4th.
In this example, neither bets win. There are no winnings.
- Bet one on the horse to win – This bet loses
- Bet two on the horse to place – This bet loses
- There are no winnings
What Are the Advantages of Each Way Betting?
Each way betting is popular as it increases your chances of winning.
For some sporting events, there are no strong favourites and each selection is priced long. In such a market, it is much harder to predict who will win, but the long odds results in favourable odds even after the fraction has been applied.
Some would, therefore, consider each way betting to be lower risk, lower gain approach to betting.
What Are the Disadvantages of Each Way Betting?
When betting each way, your stake is effectively doubled which may mean that you’re risking a greater amount of money.
A second consideration is the odds after the fraction has been applied. If the odds are low to start with, once the fraction has been applied the potential winnings might be not so attractive. Some may perceive the lower risk, lower gains as a potential drawback.
What Sports Can Be Bet on Each Way?
In this article, horse racing has been used, but it is possible to bet each way on a range of sports. Golf is another sport for which this betting technique is popular.
Is It Possible to Bet Each Way on Accumulators?
Yes, it is possible to bet each way on an accumulator. When you place an each way multiple, you again have two different multiples. One multiple is for all of the win bets to come in, and the second accumulator is for all of the place bets to come in. This makes them notoriously hard to pull off, but equally the odds will be long so the potential winnings are likely to be large.
When you bet each way, you have two bets; one for the horse to finish first, and a second bet for the horse to finish in the top four or five (varies according to by race). The winnings for the latter bet are calculated by applying the fraction (usually 1/4) to the original odds available.