What Does Each Way Betting Mean?

We dive into the world of each way betting.

A horse and a jockey in a race
Alyx Tzamantanis.

Written by: Alyx Tzamantanis

(Sports Betting Editor )

Fact checked by: James Pacheco

(Sports Betting Editor)

Last updated: 2024-05-09

Have you ever wondered ‘what does each way mean on a bet’? This popular betting market is a simple yet potentially effective way to land a win on certain sports, such as horse racing and golf.

But what is an each way bet, and how do you use them? Today, we’ll explain everything you need to know about betting each way, including the top sports to use them on and how to get the most out of this type of wager.

Each Way Bet Meaning

In sports betting, the most straightforward bet is to wager on the winner of a competition. However, this is very much a case of putting all your eggs in one basket, as you lose the bet if your selection loses.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fallback option? That’s where each way betting comes in. Rather than betting solely on the winner of a competition, you can bet on who will come first, second, third and sometimes fourth or fifth; giving you more chances to win the bet. 

Win and place betting 


The meaning of each way betting is a combination of two types of bet: win and place. Win betting is when you wager on the outright winner. Whereas, place betting is where you wager on the position you think your selection will finish.

Therefore, an each way bet combines these two bet types and makes it easier for you to bet on a race and win.

How Many Places are Paid on an Each Way Bet?

The payout of an each way bet depends on the bookmaker and their rules. It also depends on the sport and how many places there are in total.

Generally speaking, horse racing is the most well-known sport for each way betting. So a bookmaker will commonly offer an each way bet for horse racing on first, second and third place.

For example, if you place an each way bet on a horse race with terms of "1/4 odds for the first 3 places", it means that your bet will pay out if your selection finishes in the top 3 positions. If the horse finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, the place part of your bet will pay out at 1/4 of the win odds.

How to Calculate an Each Way Bet?

An important thing to know about each way betting is that, while it gives you more options to profit than a straight win bet, you will have to stake more for the privilege.

Let’s take an example to see how to correctly calculate an each way bet…

There's a horse named "Winsalot" running in a race, and you decide to place an each way bet on him. The odds offered for Winsalot winning the race are 10/1, and the bookmaker is offering each way terms of 1/4 odds for the first 3 places.

You decide to place a £10 each way bet on Winsalot.

Let’s break the bet down:

●    Win bet: You place £10 on Winsalot to win the race at odds of 10/1. If he wins the race, your win bet pays out. So, you'd win £10 x 10 = £100, plus you'd get your original £10 stake back, for a total return of £110

●    Place bet: You also place £10 on Winsalot to finish in the top 3 places (as per the each way terms), at 1/4 of the win odds (which are 10/1). If Winsalot finishes in the top 3 but doesn't win (e.g., comes 2nd or 3rd), your place bet pays out at 1/4 of the win odds. So, 1/4 of 10/1 is 10/4, or 2.5/1. Your £10 place bet would then return £10 x 2.5 = £25, plus your original £10 stake, for a total return of £35

So, with an each way bet on Winsalot, if he wins the race, you'd win £110 (£100 from the win bet and £10 from the place bet). If Winsalot finishes in the top 3 but doesn't win, you'd win £35 (£25 from the place bet and £10 refunded from the win bet).
 

Betting Strategy for Each Way Bets

While winning is never guaranteed, there are some basic tips and strategies that will ensure you enjoy your each way betting experience. 

Do some research 

Before placing your bet, it’s best to do some research on the sport and race that you want to bet on. For horse racing, consider factors such as recent form, jockey/trainer performance, track conditions, and past performances at the particular course.

Look for 'value bets'

Identify selections that are priced higher than you believe their true chances of winning or placing. Look for instances where the odds offered by the bookmaker seem more generous than the horse's actual probability of success. These are called ‘value bets’ and they have the potential to be lucrative. 

Consider each way terms

Pay attention to the each way terms offered by the bookmaker. This includes the number of places paid out and the fraction of the win odds offered for the place part of the bet. Sometimes, bookmakers offer enhanced each way terms, such as paying out for more places or at higher fractions.

Stick to your budget

Decide how much you're willing to stake on each bet and stick to your budget. Each-way betting typically involves higher stakes since you're effectively placing two bets (one for the win and one for the place). Be mindful of your bankroll and avoid chasing losses.

Focus on consistency

Look for selections that have a history of consistent performances, even if they may not always win races. Horses that frequently finish in the top few positions could be good candidates for each-way bets, especially if they're priced attractively.

Consider race conditions (horse racing)

Different race conditions can favour different types of horses. For example, some horses perform better on specific types of ground (e.g., firm, soft), over certain distances, or in races with particular pace dynamics. Take these factors into account when assessing each horse's chances.

Hedge your bets 

If you're confident in a selection's ability to place but not necessarily to win, consider placing a larger portion of your stake on the place part of the each-way bet. This way, you can still secure a return if the horse finishes in one of the paying positions.

Shop around for the best odds

Compare the odds offered by different bookmakers to ensure you're getting the best value for your bets. Different bookmakers may offer slightly different odds, so shopping around can potentially increase your returns over time.

Which Sports are the Best for Each Way Betting?

Because of how each way betting works, it’s not suitable for a lot of sports. For each way betting to truly offer a great experience, you usually need lots of participants and a race-like format.

With that in mind, here are some top sports where each way betting is a great option.

Horse racing

Probably the most popular sport for this type of wager, an each way horse bet involves multiple competitors, ranging from a handful to a dozen or more horses in a single race. Each way betting allows punters to hedge their bets by backing a horse to finish in one of the top positions even if they don't win outright.

Furthermore, horse racing can be unpredictable, with factors such as form, track conditions, jockey performance, and race dynamics all influencing the outcome. Each way betting provides a level of insurance against unpredictability, as you can still secure a return if your selection performs well but doesn't win.

Each way betting in horse racing offers flexibility in terms of the number of places paid out and the fraction of the win odds offered for the place part of the bet. Bookmakers typically offer each way terms for a specific number of places (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd) and at a fraction of the win odds (e.g., 1/4, 1/5).

Horse racing offers a wide variety of races, from sprint races to longer-distance events, flat racing to jumps racing, and races on different types of surfaces (e.g., turf, dirt, all-weather). Each way betting can be applied across various types of races and horse racing events.

Golf

Each way betting is prevalent in golf tournaments, particularly for outright winner markets. Golf tournaments typically have large fields of competitors, and each way betting allows punters to hedge their bets by backing a player to finish in the top few positions (e.g., top 5 or top 10) if they don't win outright.

Greyhound Racing

Similar to horse racing, greyhound racing often offers each way betting options. You can place each way bets on greyhounds to win or finish in the top places in a race, providing a level of insurance if your selection doesn't win but still performs well.

Snooker and darts

Some bookmakers offer each way betting options for tournaments in sports like snooker and darts, particularly for outright winner markets. Each way bets can allow you to back players to reach the later stages of a tournament and potentially secure a return even if your choice doesn't win his/her tournament. 

When to Utilise Each Way Bets?

Each way bets can be useful in various situations, depending on your betting strategy and your risk tolerance.

Here are some scenarios where each way bets might be a good choice…

When backing outsiders

If you're considering betting on a selection with higher odds, such as an outsider or a longshot, each way betting can provide a level of insurance. If your selection isn’t expected to win outright, they might still have a chance of finishing in the top few positions, allowing you to still secure a return on the ‘place’ part of the bet.

In competitive races

Each way betting is often advantageous in races with large fields and competitive events where the outcome is uncertain. In such races, even horses with relatively high odds may have a realistic chance of finishing in the top places, making each way betting attractive.

For risk management 

Betting each way can be a good way to manage risk. If you're uncertain about a selection's chances of winning, but believe it has a good chance of finishing in the top few positions, an each way bet acts as a safety net against a full loss. 

In events with enhanced each way terms

Keep an eye out for special promotions or enhanced each way terms offered by bookmakers for certain events. Sometimes bookmakers offer enhanced each way terms, such as paying out for more places or at higher fractions, which can increase the value of each way betting in those events.

FAQ

Still not sure about the betting each way meaning? Then check out some of our FAQs.

Is each-way betting worth it? 

Betting each way is a great way to set yourself up for a win without as much risk as wagering on the outright winner.

However, because you’re effectively making two bets (win and place), you will have to wager a higher amount, and the payout won’t be as good as it would be if you predict the winner.

That said, it depends on your betting style and confidence in a result. Each way betting is a solid betting strategy that acts as a safety net for outright losses.

What is an example of an each-way bet? 

In horse racing, you can place an each way bet on a selection if you’re not confident the horse will win.

With an each way bet, depending the bookmaker’s terms, your selection could finish first, second or third and you would still win. 

What is a bad each-way bet? 

There isn’t really such a thing as a ‘bad’ each way bet. That said, some of the terms of the bookmaker may not be as fair as those of another sportsbook.

For instance, if the odds offered by the bookmaker don't provide good value for the level of risk involved, or where the selection is unlikely to perform well enough to justify the each way bet, you should probably steer clear of this particular wager.

Alyx Tzamantanis.

Alyx Tzamantanis

With 10 years of experience in content writing, Alyx has produced countess guides, reviews and articles covering a wide range of topics in the iGaming industry. She loves anything to do with online casinos, as well as UK and international sports betting.

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