Each Way Betting
Each way bets are very common in horse racing, but are also available in golf, football, and elsewhere. They are really two separate bets, with your stake split equally between them.
First is the ‘win’ bet, where you are betting that your favoured horse will win the race. This pays out in the normal way on a win, and pays nothing if the horse does not win.
Second is the ‘place’ bet, where you bet that your horse will finish in the top two, three, or four, etc. It pays out a fraction of the win odds, usually 1⁄2, 1⁄3, 1⁄4 or 1⁄5, depending on the number of places (which in turn depends on the number of runners).
For example, if you place a bet of £10 each way on ‘Footdragger’, your total stake would be £20. If the win odds are 4.0 (3/1), £10 of your bet would go win if ‘Footdragger’ wins the race.
But if it fails to win, there is still hope. The other £10 of the bet was that the horse would be ‘placed’. If there are three places in the race, then the place odds would likely be 1.33 (33/100). If it comes in the first three, you would win the place bet.
Each way betting on horses expected to do well is a hedge against the unexpected. If they fail to win, you limit your loss.
But with long shots, or where you think the bookies’ odds are too long (a ‘value bet’), an each way can be very profitable. Say you place an each way bet at 11.0 (10/1), even if the horse comes in second or third (or even fourth in bigger races), you can still make a profit.
Each way betting is possible in many other sports than horse racing, such as football, rugby, tennis, golf, cycling, motor racing, etc. The stake is still split into two parts, with one half going on a ‘win’ bet, and the other on a ‘place’ bet.
For example, you believe that Barcelona will definitely finish in the Top Three of La Liga, the Spanish top division. A £25 bet each way at 3/1 odds would involve £25 bet on Barcelona winning the league, and £25 on the club finishing in the top three at one quarter odds. Your total stake is £50.
If Barcelona win the league, the £25 win bet will pay out £75, and the £25 place bet will pay out £25 – your total profit is £100. If the club comes only second, the win bet will lose, but your place bet will still pay out £25, resulting in a net win/loss of nil.
While each way betting is a useful hedge on the win bet – as in the example above – it can be profitable where the odds are high enough to produce a profit if the selection finishes placed.
So it is particularly useful betting on outright winner betting markets for major tournaments and competitions. These events typically feature higher odds.