Each-way betting, often stylised as EW or E/W on coupons, is one of the most popular forms of betting and is mostly found within the auspices of horse racing.
The main reason people choose to bet each-way is because they are betting on a selection that they believe to have a chance, but it may be a big price and is in a competitive race, meaning a strong performance may still only lead to it being placed rather than winning.
How Each-Way Bets are Made Up
An each-way bet is actually made up of two separate bets; a ‘win’ bet and a ‘place’ bet. Both bets cost the same to place, which is why when you place a £5 each-way bet, it costs you £10 in total.
The win portion of the bet means, simply, that the horse in question has to win for a return to be made. Placing means the horse must finish within the first 2, 3 or 4 (explanation below).
If the horse does win, then pay outs for both bets are due. If the horse is only placed, then only that section of the bet if paid out and the ‘win’ portion of the bet is settled as a loser.
|Result||Win Bet||Place Bet|
Basic Each-Way Bet Step-by-Step
- Select the horse(s) you want to back. Select your stake (this will be doubled) just as you would a win bet, but click or tick ‘each-way’ before adding it to your bet slip.
- Your bookmaker will show the each-way terms; the win odds are as advertised e.g., 12/1, while the place terms will be either 1/4 or 1/5 of those odds, the place part then paying out at the equivalent of 3/1 or 12/5 on a 12/1 bet.
- If your bet wins, the win and place bets are paid out (including stake), if it places, only that section of the bet pays out.
Each-way terms may be different in some sports, for example you can bet each-way in golf tournaments at up to eighth place, however E/W’s bread and butter is horse racing where the terms are quite stringent.
The terms are decided by the number of runners, the race type and the odds involved. This is where a horse needs to finish to be considered to have ‘placed’:
- 1-4 runners in a race – win only (no each-way betting)
- 5-7 runners – first or second (paid at 1/4 of the odds)
- 8 runners or more – first, second or third (paid at 1/5 of the odds)
- Handicap races of 12-15 runners – first, second or third (paid at 1/4 of the odds)
- Handicap races of 16 runners or more – first, second, third or fourth (paid at 1/4 of the odds)
Extra places are sometimes offered as a special by individual bookmakers, which we’ve delved into below.
Calculating Your Each-Way Bet
Our example will be a 16/1 shot running in a 12-runner handicap race, with three places being paid at 1/4 of the odds. We’ll bet £10 each-way, a very popular bet.
The bet breaks down like this:
£10 win @ 16/1 and £10 place @ 4/1 = £20 total stake.
- Scenario A – the Horse Wins
Winnings are calculated as: win (£10 x 16/1 + stake = £170) and place (£10 x 4/1 + stake = £50). Total returns are £220.
- Scenario B – the Horse Finished Placed (2nd or 3rd)
Winnings are calculated as: win (no return), place (£10 x 4/1 + stake = £50). Total returns are £50.
Should the horse finish fourth or below, no returns are forthcoming.
The basic each-way terms described above are industry standard for horse racing, but when it comes to other sports or indeed when firms want to offer bonuses, they are free to offer you a little something extra.
‘Extra Places’ as a promo is now a daily offering in the horse racing industry online. The basic premise is that you can choose to take smaller odds on your chosen horse in exchange for adding more places to cover that part of your bet and offer some insurance.
For example, a horse may be 12/1 with normal each-way place terms added appropriate for the race in question, let’s say three places. That horse may be offered at 10/1 with four places, maybe at 17/2 for five places etc which can still offer some good profit for punters even if the horse finishes further back in the pack
Even without a price reduction, extra places are often offered as a special for major races featuring many runners.
In handicap races only, punters are all entitled at four places when there are 16 runners or more. In races such as the Cambridgeshire Handicap, the Royal Hunt Cup or the Grand National there are regular 30-40 runners in action, with most major firms offering 5, 6 or sometimes even 7 places without the basic odds being affected.
Each-way betting is particular popular in Britain and Ireland, most notably within horse racing.
Elsewhere round the world, many other punters back horses to run well without winning too, but not by using the same system.
In American for example, they use the ‘win, place, show’ system. The ‘win’ is obvious of course, but to ‘place’ is to finish in the first 2 and to ‘show’ is to finish in the first 3, similar to each-way.
The difference here is that win, place and show doesn’t involve making two bets. If you back a horse to place and it wins, you are only paid on its place odds.
You can of course back your horse twice; once to win and once to place, which is tantamount to betting each-way although it can’t be done as one bet which is one of the major advantages of this system.