Each Way Betting is a little tricky to understand when you first start out. There are a couple of things to understand, but once you “get it” you see why each way betting is a popular bet.
For example, an each-way bet is the most popular bet in the Grand National when most of the general public take a punt on the big race.
An each-way bet is made up of two parts. The win part and the place part. This is why your stake is double that of a single win bet.
A £10 each way bet will cost you £20 in total:
- £10 on the win
- £10 on the place
Where each way betting gets tricky for newcomers is the bookmaker place terms, and that the places change depending on the number of runners in the race.
In this article, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about each way betting and by the end of it, you’ll be an expert! We’re also going to include a profitable each way betting strategy.
How Does Each Way Betting Work?
Each way betting is easy to understand when you know the terms. Where most newbies fall down is the terms change all the time. There are some basic rules to follow, and we’re going to explain these below. As we said above, an each way bet is two bets, one win and one place together. The win part is easy; does the horse win? The place part will change depending on the amount of runners in the race and also what terms the bookmaker has. The basic place rules for betting on horse racing are as follows, however we have to break them down into Graded races and Handicap races:
Graded Races Each Way Terms:
- 2 to 4 runners = win only
- 5 to 7 runners = two places
- 8 or more runners = three places
The biggest difference between Graded races and Handicap races is that there can be 16 or more runners in a Group 1, but it’s still three places, unless the bookmaker offers an “extra place” offer.
Handicap Races Each Way Terms:
- 2 to 4 runners = win only
- 5 to 7 runners = two places
- 8 to 15 runners = three places
- 16 or more runners = four places
The next variable is the bookmaker terms for each-way betting. The first thing to consider is are they offering an extra place. For example, some bookmakers can offer up to eight places on the Grand National. That is a unique situation though because there are 40 runners. You are more likely to see five places from a bookmaker when there is say 20 runners in a normal midweek race.
These are special offers that certain bookmakers will do from time to time, and they can be quite valuable, as we will discuss later in this post.
However, let’s focus on the main bookmaker terms. One of the most important things about each way betting is what odds you are getting in the place terms. The place terms can range from 1/3 to 1/6. Basically, that means you divide the win part by the place terms to come up with your price. An easy example is 1/4 place terms and the selection is 4/1. You divide 1/4 into 4/1, and you get 1/1 – which is evens. The most commonplace terms are 1/5, as bookmakers tend to try and stay away from 1/4 these days.
A general rule of thumb might be:
- 5 to 7 runners = 1/4 odds
- 8 to 15 runners = 1/5 odds
- 16 or more runners = 1/4 odds
These terms can vary wildly depending on your bookmaker, so pay attention to what place terms they are offering.
Another thing you have to watch out for when each way betting is non-runners. Having a non-runner in the race can completely change the places. Let’s say there are eight runners in a race, then we will be getting three places. However, if there was a non-runner the places would be reduced to two. It can be very frustrating having a non-runner from an eight runner or sixteen runners race at the last minute and lose a place!
How To Make Money Each Way Betting
Each-way betting can be very profitable if you have the right strategies. In horse racing, you may have heard the term “bad each way race,” this means that it’s a bad each-way race for the bookmaker and there is value on offer for the punters. A classic example of a bad each-way race might be eight runners with five outsiders and three horses towards the head of the market. The favourite might be 5/4 and then the second favourite is 7/2 and the third favourite 9/2. The strategy is to back the second or third favourite each way because there is value in the place part of the bet. If you divide 9/2 by 1/5 you get odds of 1.9 to place – but the true price of placing could be much lower because of the make-up of the race. In the place only market on Betfair, the price might be trading 1.6 for example. Plus, you have the added bonus of the third favourite actually winning the race. These are the types of races and situations that bookmakers hate, and they generally don’t like laying those type of each way bets. It’s fantastic value for the punter.
Check out this video guide:
Another good each-way betting strategy is to use the extra place offers from bookmakers to profit. Much like the above strategy, there is a small risk involved, but overall the strategy is very profitable. Let’s assume there is a big 20 runner handicap at Newbury. The general place terms are four places, however, SkyBet have enhanced the place market to six places. Because we get four places with sixteen or more runners on a handicap, the place market is four places on Betfair Exchange. The strategy is to try to find a horse closely priced between the SkyBet prices and the Betfair prices, then to back with SkyBet and “lay off” the bet with Betfair. If the horse finishes 5th or 6th, you collect your each-way bet from SkyBet, but you also collect your winning lay from Betfair Exchange because it was only four places.
The above strategy can be very profitable, however, when the horse doesn’t finish in the sweet spot (5th or 6th), you will lose a small bit of your stake. For example, let’s assume you bet £50 each way – by the time you lay off on Betfair Exchange the “qualifying loss” will probably be between £15 and £20. However, if the horse were to finish 5th or 6th you would win around £100, based on the average 9/1 shot perhaps. The theory behind the strategy is just as solid as the bad each-way race theory, essentially you have the odds in your favour each time, and while you won’t collect every time, over the course of the year you will win more than you lose.
When To Not Bet Each Way
We’ve highlighted a couple of excellent each way strategies above, but there are times when you shouldn’t bet each way. As you would have noticed above too, you can’t bet each way when there are less than five runners in a race. Even though there is an each-way option for up to seven runners, we wouldn’t recommend betting each way when there are only two places on offer. This is just something that won’t always be good value, and it’s best avoided unless you’re really confident it’s a value play. You also shouldn’t bet each way when the odds are low. For example, there’s very little value betting each way on a 6/4 shot. Some punters bet each way at 2/1 – the place odds are 1.4 which is 2/5, this can offer marginal value, but you’re probably better off backing the horse in the place market. There would only be a handful of situations where the horse would be trading under 1.4 in the place market on Betfair Exchange – the most likely races this can happen is maidens.
The best and easiest guide to betting each way is to check the place market on Betfair Exchange. The place market on Betfair is Place Only and easier to understand, but comparing the odds there will help you pick your each-way bets quickly too. It will help you spot the “bad each way” prices and profit from the bookmaker each-way terms.