Each-way bets explained – A complete guide

Each-way bets explained – A complete guide

The world of sports betting is a hugely exciting way to enjoy your favourite events, though if you are new to the sphere it can certainly seem daunting at first.

When you are starting off, it may be that placing win bets (or betting on the ‘money line’) seems the most straightforward method to place a bet on sports, though one of the most popular bet types around is ‘each-way’ betting.

It may feel complicated at first, but betting each-way is an incredibly simple and enjoyable way to gamble on sporting events.

To help you out, we’ve put together this guide to explain everything that there is to know about each-way betting and placing an each-way bet on sport.

Each-way bets explained

An each-way bet is two bets in one, as you are placing one bet on your selection to win and another on your selection to place. It is mainly seen in horse racing and greyhound racing, but you can also place each-way bets on outright markets in most sports – like football, golf and snooker.

In horse racing, if you were to place £5 each-way on a horse to win a race at 20-1, £5 would go on the horse to win and £5 to place – which generally means to finish in the first three.

Should the horse be successful and win the race, both legs of your bet would pay out as the horse would have won and have finished in the first three places.

In horse racing, the place terms can vary depending on the number of runners in the contest. If your horse places you will generally get one quarter of the win odds in big field handicaps, so in the case of the bet above the place terms of a 20-1 chance would be 5-1.

This can sometimes be different, while bookmakers will also offer more places on races which are popular or have lots of runners, such as the Grand National at Aintree or the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot.

Working out the place terms for a horse race can be confusing, so we have listed them below.

  • 1-4 runners in a race: no places, win only contest
  • 5-7 runners in the race: two places, one quarter of the odds
  • 8 or more runners in the race: three places, one fifth of the odds
  • 12-15 runners in a handicap: three places, one quarter of the odd
  • 16 or more runners in a handicap: four places, one quarter of the odds

Meanwhile, the place terms for greyhound racing in the UK is two places, with one quarter odds. There is only a maximum of six runners in a typical British greyhound race, so if you back a dog each-way your selection would need to finish in the first two places for you to get a return.

Meanwhile, the place terms vary for other sports. In football, you will generally get two places when betting each-way on the outright markets and get either one quarter or one third of the odds depending on your bookmaker.

For example, if you bet on Liverpool to win the English Premier League each-way at 6-1, Jurgen Klopp’s men would need to finish in the top two to get you a return.

Each-way bets are also a popular wager in golf. The terms will vary for some of the major tournaments, but generally you will get five or six places, with either a quarter or a fifth of the odds.

This tends to be because the fields are much larger for golf tournaments, but the rewards can be big if you back a golfer each-way at a huge price and they finish in the top five or six for you.

How each-way bets work

Each-way bets are slightly more complicated than a traditional win bet, but they are still a very easy wager to place. The place terms can vary depending on the sport and the number of runners or competitors.

You are essentially placing two bets in one – one bet on your selection to win and one bet on your selection to place. That means that a £5 each-way bet would be £10 and if your selection was to win, both parts of the bet would pay out.

Meanwhile, if your selection placed after you placed a bet each-way, you would get a return on the place part only. The place part of your bet will pay out at a fraction of the win bet’s odds, depending on the terms. The terms of place betting can vary depending on several things, so do check those before placing your bet.

The difference between win and each-way bets

The main difference between a ‘win’ bet and an ‘each-way’ bet is that an each-way selection consists of two bets rather than one. Unlike with a win bet where you are just placing your cash on something to win, you have two throws of the dice with an each-way bet, as you are placing two bets in one. It means that you have a greater chance of getting a return for your money – though your stake will be twice as much as it would be for placing a standard win bet.

For example, if you placed £5 each-way on Frankel at 5-1 in the 1.00 at Kempton Park, you would be putting £5 on Frankel to win that race and £5 on him to place, for a total bet of £10.

If Frankel was to win the race, both the win part of your bet and the place part of your bet would come in, while if he was to finish a close second you would get a return on just the place part of your bet.

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How to place an each-way bet

Now that we’ve explained the concept of an each-way bet, placing an each-way bet on horse racing couldn’t be easier. To help you out, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide.

  • Find a horse that you would like to place an each-way bet on. To do this, you can visit racing form sites like the Racing Post for free and view the racing form.
  • Head to your bookmaker and log into your account. If you don’t already have a betting account, we can recommend BetUK, Spreadex and talkSPORT BET.
  • Go to the ‘horse racing’ section of the website and click on the meeting where your horse is running.
  • Locate the race your selection is due to take part in and select your horse by clicking on the odds next to the horse’s name.
  • The horse should appear in the bet slip. Place your stake into the box and select the ‘each-way’ option. If you want to place £5 each-way on a horse, the betslip should say you are trying to place a total bet of £10.
  • Once you are happy, press ‘place bet’. Good luck!

Payout examples of each-way bets

Working out how each-way bets work in terms of potential returns can be tricky, so we have put together two examples for you below.

In your first bet, you place a £5 each-way bet on Tiger Roll at 16-1 in the Grand National at Aintree, which means your total stake is £10. Your selection wins, which means that you get a return on both the win part of your bet and the place part of your bet.

To deal with the win part first, your win bet would pay out a total of £85. On top of that, you would get a quarter of the odds for placing in the Grand National, meaning you would have also backed a 4-1 winner on Tiger Roll hitting the frame. That part of your bet would return £25, leading to a total pay out of £110 from a £10 bet. Not bad!

In your second bet, you also place £5 each-way on Any Second Now at 100-1 in the Grand National, for a total bet of £10. This horse finishes second, meaning that the win part of your bet is a loser.

However, the place part of your bet is a winner, meaning that your other £5 settles at a quarter of the odds at 25-1. This bet returns a total of £130 from a £10 stake for finishing second, showing that each-way bets can be really worthwhile if you can find a horse to run into the places at a big price!

Bookies where you can place each-way bets

You can place each-way bets with pretty much every bookmaker that offers a sportsbook, however we recommend that you fully check out your bookmaker and their services before opening a betting account.

Some of the best bookmakers to place each-way bets with include William Hill, Sky Bet, bet365 and BetUK.

Sports where you can place each-way bets

The most popular sports for each-way betting are horse racing and greyhound racing, mainly due to the fact that the bet type is pretty much always available as an option.

It is possible to bet each-way on outright sporting markets, meaning that you can place each-way bets on things like golf, soccer, snooker and American football to name just a few sports.

However, each-way bets are only available on outright markets with multiple participants, rather than for specific matchups. For instance, you can’t place an each-way bet on Liverpool to beat Chelsea in the Premier League!

Places and selections for each-way bets

The number of places on offer can vary depending on both the sporting event and also the number of runners, so we’ve selected a couple of popular options and listed the place terms for you.

  • Grand National: The place terms for the Grand National can vary depending on your bookmaker, but the standard each-way terms are 4 places at one quarter of the odds. Some bookmakers will offer extra places in the race to entice you in, so do shop around.
  • Cheltenham Gold Cup: Unlike the Grand National, the Gold Cup isn’t a handicap, so you will get three places at one fifth of the odds. If there are lots of runners however, you may find that your bookmaker offers extra places on the race, so do make sure you check.
  • Wimbledon 2024: The each-way terms for both the men and the women’s championships at Wimbledon are two places at one half of the odds – so a 66-1 outright bet would pay out at 33-1 should your selection be the runner-up.
  • Premier League: The each-way terms for most football outright markets are two places at either one third or one quarter of the odds depending on your bookmaker.
  • The Masters Golf: The place terms for most of the top golf tournaments are five or six places at one quarter or one fifth of the odds depending on your bookmaker.

Frequently asked questions on each-way bets

Find some of the most asked questions on each-way bets and how they work.

Can you break even if your selection places?

This is the age-old question of each-way betting – whether it is worth the extra outlay when placing your bet. The answer is quite simple, as it all depends on the price of your selection. Each-way place terms generally pay out at about a quarter or a fifth of the odds in horse racing, meaning that if your selection is shorter than 4-1 and places, you won’t get your full stake back.

Meanwhile, if you place an each-way bet on a horse at 40-1 and your selection places, you will be getting between 8-1 and 10-1 on the place depending on the terms of the bet. It probably isn’t worth backing a 13-8 favourite each-way in any situation, but if you follow the basic principle of staying over the 4-1 or 5-1 when each-way betting, you will generally get your stake back with a place.

Are there enough places to make each-way betting worthwhile?

The number of each-way places tends to depend on the number of runners or participants in the sporting event you’re betting on. If the numbers are low and you’re only playing for two places, the prospect of betting each-way becomes less attractive.

However, if you are betting on big field handicaps like the Grand National at Aintree, you will get four places with your each-way terms. On top of that, most bookmakers will add extra places for high-profile contests, increasing your chances of seeing your selection run into a place. 

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Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Find our detailed guide on responsible gambling practices here.

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.

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