Horse Racing FinishOne of the most popular forms of betting has to be that of each way betting. The concept of the bet is that it offers you, as a punter, flexibility in your bet and allows you to choose selections that don’t necessarily have to win to provide a return on your investment.

Whilst many who are already familiar with each way betting will likely associate it with horse racing, you can in fact use it on a plethora of other sports as well, such as football, golf, greyhound racing and so many more.

There is actually a fine art in making sure that you choose the right bets or markets for each way betting. We speak at length at this throughout this article, but a common myth is that people see this type of bet as an “easy way out” if you will. It’s seen as a bit of a weak bet, but in fact, it’s far from that.

Whilst a lot of professional bettors will be backing things to win outright, a great hedge, if you will, is that of utilising each way betting on bets that are slightly longer odds than their normal. Whilst the more recreational bettor won’t be applying the exact same strategies, there is a lot to take from this to make sure you’re as successful as can be with each way betting.

What is Each Way Betting?

The first place to start with an each way bet is to understand that it covers two types of bets:

  • To win outright
  • To finish in the places

This means that you essentially have two chances of making a return from your bet. As a quick example, if we were to be each way on horse racing, it would mean that the bet would pay out if the horse won and if the horse finished within a certain number of places aside from winning.

It’s also worth noting that with an each way bet you will get paid from both parts of the bet if your selection wins. Obviously, if the selection fails to win, but places, then you only get the place part of the payout.

The win part of the bet is pretty self-explanatory in that your stake is paid out on the odds that you took. The place part is a little less straightforward in that first off you need to see how many places are paid. This number will be directly related to the number of runners in that race or match.

The bookmaker will then determine what fraction of the odds that you get for the place bet. This is usually 1/4 or 1/5 of the original odds. This fraction then becomes your new odds for the place bet.

Let’s run through a quick example to explain it all. We are going to be using horse racing as our example as this is where the bet type is most common.

Example of a Single Bet

We decide that we want to be place a £10 each way bet on a horse called Bob’s Your Uncle. The race includes 10 horses and the bookmaker that we are using stipulates that they will pay out for each way bets within the top 3 places at odds of 1/5 the original price.

As we’ve stated that we want to place £10 each way, this would mean that our total bet would then be £20 (£10 on the win and £10 on the place). It’s worth noting at this point that the stake you refer to the bet as is essentially half. So, if you said £5 each way, your stake would be £10 total. This is a common mistake that we see people make both online and at sporting events, thinking they are betting half of what they are actually wagering, so bear this in mind.

The odds that we’ve taken for this race is 5/1 for Bob’s Your Uncle to win.

Success. The horse wins and we go to collect our winnings. The winnings are signified as the following.

Bet Calculation Returns
Win £10 x 5 =£50, plus £10 stake £60
Place 1/5 of original odds gives £10 x 1, plus £10 stake £20

As you can see the total we have returned from this bet is that £80, which includes £60 from the win and £20 from the place. Altogether this is made up of £60 winnings and our £20 stake.

If, for example, the horse failed to win, but finished in either 2nd or 3rd (within the designated place places), then our returns would be £20, essentially meaning we break even.

If the horse failed to finish within the top 3, our bet would lose.

When You Should and Shouldn’t Bet Each Way

Betting Slip with Each Way SelectionsThe timing of these bets can be very subjective. There aren’t any wrong or right answers to this really as a lot of it is to be with the liability that you, the punter, want to have for a bet and the money you are willing to see returned if your selections wins.

Obviously, we are trying to get the maximum return from each bet, but we know of many punters that like to work slowly with reduced variance, which each way betting offers.

But, what we would say is that price should play a pretty big role in whether you decide to bet each way and whether you decide to bet straight on the win. As a general rule you want to be keeping your each way bets for longer priced outside bets and your betting to win and the shorter priced favourites.

The main reason? For us it has to come down to value or simply lack of it when it comes to shorter priced bets. When we talk about shorter priced bets, we’re looking at the likes 5/1 and lower. You could even push this as high as 10/1 if you like, but again, it’s subjective to you, the punter.

These statements are made on the fact that the majority of us aren’t going to betting huge sums of money. We reckon most people reading this will be betting £10 each way rather that than say £100 each way, or even higher.

We’ll run through a quick example of how little value each way betting becomes for short priced favourites.

Worked Example

Ok, we decide to stake £10 each way (£20 total) on a horse called Silver Key. The horse is priced at even money (2.0) and is a huge favourite to win the race. The bookmaker is offering up 3 places paid from this 8 horse race at odds of 1/5 for each way betting.

The horse wins the race, so our returns are as follows:

Bet Calculation Returns
Win £10 x 1 = £10, plus £10 stake £20
Place £10 x 1/5 = £2, plus £10 stake £12

As you can see, from this bet we get a return of £32, which is a net win of just £12 from our original bet. Not too bad, but let’s say the horse failed to win and only placed. Our returns would be just £12, meaning we made a loss of £8.

So, even though the horse placed, we still made a loss. A key rule of betting is to only bet what you can afford to lose. You need to go into bets being OK with losing as at some point, it’s going to happen.

Backing each way on a selection at this price offers no value. You reduce losses slightly if your bet fails to win, but all your doing on a short-priced favourite is limiting the amount it can win. And bear in mind, at this price, in this scenario, the horse has a good chance.

You need to do some playing about to see what you want from each bet and what returns you think you need to be satisfied. But, it’s best to avoid betting each way on short prices selections.

How Are the Number of Horse Racing Places Determined?

You’ve seen that we have referenced he number of places paid in a couple of example’s, but it’s worth noting that these numbers can change drastically from each sport and also the number of runners in the market that you’re betting in. it’s also worth noting that they can have a huge effect on how your bet could potentially pan out, given that the more places that are paid the more chances you have of a return.

For a lot of sports, horse racing included, the number of places that are paid are standardised, meaning that it’s directly correlated based on the number of participants that in that race or tournament.

With horse racing you will find places that are paid are based on factors such as the type of the race and the number of runners in that race. For example, handicap and non-handicap races will differ slightly in the number of places paid.

Below is a list of the race type and the number of places paid for horse racing.

Race Type Runners Place Terms
Non-Handicaps 2 – 4 Win Only (1st place only)
5 – 7 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st & 2nd place)
8 or more 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd & 3rd place)
Handicaps 2 – 4 Win Only (1st place only)
5 – 7 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st & 2nd place)
8 – 11 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd & 3rd place)
12 – 15 1/4 the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd & 3rd place)
16 or more 1/4 the odds over 4 places (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th place)

Whilst these are all pretty standardised across the industry, there are times that bookies alter this, of which they are free to do as long as they improve the number for the punter.

You often see bookmakers offering up an increased number of places paid for major sporting events, such as the Grand National and the Gold Cup. These are races where the interest from the wider public are going to be maximised, so this offer provides a bigger chance of gaining an ROI.

It’s also not uncommon for other sports to follow suit. Golf is a massively popular sport for an increase in paid places, especially when it comes to the likes of the Masters or The Open. Standard tournaments will usually pay around the 5 or so, but some bookies have been known to extend this to as many as 12 in years gone by. We will speak more about golf and each way betting later in this article.

What is the Difference Between Each Way Betting and Place Betting?

We’ve referred to part of the each way bet as having a ‘place’ bet assigned to the ‘win’ bet. We’ve also mentioned about how this works in that the selection needs to finish within a certain number of places, outlined prior to that event starting, to be able to claim money from this part.

But, you may also be aware that many bookies now offer place only betting as a separate market. Before we go any further, these two bets aren’t the same.

You should now be familiar with each way betting and how it works with the win and place bet. Place betting on its own works a little differently to that in that it’s a single bet, as opposed to two bets.

With this market you are betting on the outcome of your selection to finish within a certain number of places. Whether they finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd (assuming all are within paid places) is totally irrelevant and the payout will be the same for each. So, with each way betting you will win money from the win bet and the place, the place betting market is a single market, just offering a payout within those places.

You may think that the place market doesn’t offer an awful lot of sense as compared to the each way market due to the fact you don’t get extra if your selection wins. But, the market actually works a little differently.

The first thing is that the place price will be significantly higher than the place price within the each way. For example, a 10/1 bet each way would have 1/5th of it’s for the place bet, resulting in odds of 2/1. The same bet in a place only market might be double that, priced at perhaps 4/1.

The other thing to remember is that your stake isn’t split into two. So, a £10 each way bet would mean a £20 stake in total, with a place bet you only bet on one line, meaning a £10 bet is a £10 bet.

These types of markets work well for longer priced bets that probably don’t have much chance of winning but have a good chance in placing. A 100/1 shot in the Grand National might offer better value to jump on the place market rather than the each way market for this exact reason.

Where to Find Place Betting?

Horse Racing Place Bets
Place betting is an area that the majority of bookmakers do offer these days, but they are pretty reluctant to market these types of markets on betting home pages. You see, the each way bets work out a better margin for them as they are able to get a better feel for what might happen and how the odds can reflect that.

The place money, for most at least, isn’t as strong, which means they are second guessing as to why needs to be priced and where. This means that you often need to dig a little deeper to find these types of markets.

Obviously, we can’t speak for every bookmaker here, but if you search within the racecard that you looking to bet on, for horse racing that is, and then look under ‘more markets’ it’s likely that you’ll find it kicking about here somewhere. Some bookies are more transparent with it than others, but you should be able to find it with a little digging.

It’s also worth noting that as an adaptation of this market, some bookies have allowed you to have two place options; yes or no. So, you can actually back the selection to finish outside of the place places as well as inside, which is pretty cool, although probably not something we would choose as it’s just not right cheering for something to lose.

Tote Betting

It’s likely that you’ve already heard of the Tote, so we aren’t going to go into too much detail about the company here. But, we say that they’ve been one of the driving forces behind the each way bet and more specifically, the place only bet in recent years, with the likes of the Tote Place and the Placepot.

For those that have no idea about the Tote or how it works here is quick crash course. The Tote is essentially pool betting. So, you place your bets, the money gets put into a pool with all the other bets, if your selection wins, then you get a dividend of that pool of money along with any other winning bettors. It’s very much how the lottery works, just on a smaller scale for most bets.

Place Betting

The Tote Place is probably the easier to grasp put of the two. For this bet you simply bet on the horse to finish within a certain number of positions. It’s irrelevant if they win the race or not, as the payout for a win or a place is exactly the same. It works in the same way as that of the place bet that we’ve mentioned above in this article already.
Tote Win and Place Horse Racing Betting Market
The number of places is fixed and that will depend on the number of horses in the race, exactly the same as with each way bets. So, they are as follows:

  • Up to 4 runners = Win only
  • 5, 6 or 7 runners = 1 & 2
  • 8 to 15 runners in handicaps or 8+ runners in non-handicaps = 1, 2 & 3
  • 16+ runners handicaps = 1, 2, 3 & 4

The minimum stake for a bet on the Tote Place is that of £2.


The Placepot is a little harder to grasp, but is just as popular. This bet is where you bet on 6 races within a single meeting. Each horse race within the UK has at least 6 races, so in meetings where they are more than six, the races will be taken from the first 6 run.

Tote Placepot

Your job is to choose a horse that will place in each race. The number of places will be determined by the number of runners, as stated in the rules above. You need to have a selection place in all 6 races to win the Placepot and then claim a dividend with any other winning tickets.

It is worth noting that for this you can choose more than one selection to place for each race, but with it you will need to increase your stake amount. For example, say you had one selection per race for all six races, this line would cost £1 . However, if you had more than one selection each race, you will need to multiply these together to get your total amount.

Here is an example of how to calculate your bet if you selected two horses per race. The number of possible combinations would be:

2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64, or £64 if you were betting £1 per line.

Three horse per race would be:

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 729, or £729 if betting £1 per line.

Or, you can mix how many horses per race:

1 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 2 x 4 = 48, £48 if betting £1 per line.

It’s also worth noting that the dividend paid is to a £1 stake so if each of your lines is lower than this your dividend paid proportionally. Another thing to be aware of is that if your horse is a non-runner you will automatically be awarded the starting price favourite. Should there be joint or co favourites, you will be awarded the horse with the lowest racecard number.

If more than one of your horses is placed in a race, your winning allocation will be multiplied much like when calculating your stake. If you had 2 horses placed in the first two races and one in the following four races, your winning stake would be:

2 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 4, or £4 if betting £1 per line.<.p>

If the dividend paid £100, you would be paid £400 as the dividend is paid to £1 and you have £4.

These bets have the ability to offer large payouts and reports of wins of £25,000 or more aren’t uncommon.

Each Way Accumulators

The popularity of accumulator betting is one that is continuing to rise. But, many people aren’t acutely aware that you can in fact place each way accumulator bets as well.

The concept works in just the same way as if you were placing a single each way in that your bet is split up into two; a win section and a place section. For your bet to produce a return, you need all results from your accumulator either win or place.

For example, let’s say you place a six horse accumulator bet. All six of your selections win. This means you scoop both the win accumulator and the place accumulator, just as you would if it were a single bet.

Now, let’s say that five horses win and one horse places. You would lose the win accumulator but win the place accumulator. If just one or more of your selections finish outside of the places, then both bets would lose, in same way a typical accumulator bet would.

Other Sports Markets

Whilst the concept of each way betting is the same throughout the sports, it does differ a little in terms of the sports that you can bet on or more specifically, the markets you can bet on. Below we highlighted a couple of examples for you to look at and how it works.

First Goalscorer

The first goalscorer in football is a common market for football bettors to utilise their each way betting tactics. For those that aren’t familiar with the market, then all you are doing is choosing which player you think will score first in the match.

The each way bet plays unique part to this market. What you will find is that if you bet each way, your player can either score the first or the second goals of that match. If they score the first goal both the win and place bet are settled as winners, if they score the second, the win bet is deemed a looser and the place bet is deemed a winner. It’s worth bearing in mind that the odds are generally reduced by 1/3 for the place bet with these markets.

So, it would appear that it makes sense to use this bet type instead of a straight bet, right? Well, not exactly. You see with each way betting and the first goalscorer there are a number of areas that don’t protect your bet as well.

For example, if no goals are scored then each way bets are deemed loses. If a player comes on after the first goal or does not take part the bet will be deemed void. If a player is substituted or sent off before the first goal the bet will be deemed a loss.


We briefly spoke about golf earlier in the article and it’s popularity towards each way betting. The field size and vast odds that you can get for players make it an ideal sport for this bet type. Any sport where the favourite often goes off at odds of 10/1 or even greater offers huge potential to each way betting, fairly similar to that of horse racing.

So, betting on the each way market for golf allows you to make a net win when a player wins the tournament and when a player finishes within a certain number of places. But, the main thing to consider that when betting on this market in golf is that dead heat are very common and they effect your returns.

What are dead heat rules? Well, they are rules that are set up when two or more selections finish in the same position, either with the same score (as is in golf) or with the same time (as is in horse racing) that you need to adjust your stake to get the “dead heat stake”.

For this all you need to is divide the number of players tied for a single position by the number of positions that are on offer.

For example, let’s say that you were betting on a golf tournament with 6 places paid. The leaderboard at the end looked like this:

Position Player Score
1 Tiger Woods -17
2 Rory McIlroy -16
3 Henrik Stenson -15
4 Phil Mickleson -14
5 Paul Casey -13
T6 Patrick Reed -12
T6 Justin Thomas -12
T6 Jordan Spieth -12
T6 Ernie Els -12

So, we know that there are 4 players in total who are in the 6th spot. Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are tied on 12 under par and sharing this 6th spot. All we need to do is divide the number of available spots, by the number of players situated in them.

We have 1 place remaining (6th) with 4 players in total. 1 divide 4 = 0.25, which would equate a quarter of our stake for each of the players.

Let’s assume we had Ernie Els E/W at 100/1 with a £10 E/W bet at 1/5 odds. Our stake would be adjusted to £2.50 as 1/4 of £10, then odds would be 20/1 (1/5 of starting price as per E/W rules), resulting in a payout of £52.50 including our adjusted £2.50 stake money. If dead heat rules weren’t needed to be applied and our selection finished outright 6th, then we would see a return of £210 (£10 x 20, plus £10 stake).