What Does Each Way Mean in Horse Racing?

Betting Terminology
January 8, 2023

Each-way betting is a concept most frequent bettors will have heard of, but it can still generate some confusion. For many, it seems too good to be true, because it allows you to profit not only if your horse wins but if it places too.

So, what is each-way betting in horse racing?

What is an Each-Way Horse Bet?

An each-way bet is unique in that it allows you to profit whether the horse wins or merely places.

There are two parts to this type of bet, and it’s important to understand what this means for your potential winnings.

Think of it as if you’ve made two separate bets. The first of these wagers is that the horse will win. This is known as a "win bet". Essentially, it means that if your chosen runner crosses the line first, you’ll receive a payout.

However, by taking an each-way approach, you’ll have made a second bet, known as a "place bet", too. This means you’ll also walk away with cash in your hand if your chosen horse finishes within a specified number of places.

How Does Each-Way Horse Betting Work?

You might be wondering what, precisely, this means for your payout. Naturally, this won’t be the same irrespective of where the horse finishes.

With an each-way horse racing bet, you’ll be rewarded with both the win and place parts of your bet if your runner finishes first and the place part alone if they finish lower down in the rankings.  

Say, for example, you place an each-way bet of $5. This will require a total stake of $10. $5 is a bet on the horse winning, while a further $5 is a wager against your chosen runner placing.

Now, imagine your each-way bet horse racing wager is successful, and the animal you’ve bet on comes first. You’ll not only receive a payout for them winning but an additional one for their placing too. This means you’re in the money twice over.  

If they come in second, third, etc., you’ll lose the $5 you wagered on them winning but still receive a payout for them placing.

How to Bet on Horse Racing Each-Way

If you like the sound of each-way bet horse racing, you might wonder how you can get in on the action. Before wagering, you need to understand a few aspects of the bet. These include:

  • Odds. Each runner is assigned odds before the race, which tells you how likely they are to win or place and the payout you’d receive if they did so. Before you wager, look at these and make sure you’re happy with them. Remember, if the odds seem too good to be true, this is because the horse is unlikely to win or place, so you have a lower chance of a payout.
  • Each-way places. Not all each-way bets are the same, meaning the position your runner would have to finish in to place will vary.  
  • Each-way fractions. You will have a fraction of the odds for the place part of your each-way bet. The reason for this is that your runner will have a greater chance of placing than winning.

Each-Way Horse Bet Costs and Payouts

Each-way bets are commonly used when there are a lot of runners, and choosing a winner is trickier than usual. That’s because they give bettors a higher chance of receiving a payout.

What it takes to place varies, but usually, anything up to a fourth-place finish counts and will result in money being returned to you.

So, how does it work? If it’s a handicapped race and there are over 16 horses entered, the bookie would need to pay 1.25 of the odds if your horse placed and a winning payout plus a quarter if the horse won. If they paid out up to fifth or sixth place, this amount would be reduced to 1.2.  

Say you bet $5 on an each-way bet on a horse with odds of 41. You’d actually pay the bookie $10: $5 as a win bet and $5 as a place bet.

Now, let’s say your horse wins. First, the win portion of your bet would pay out $200 (i.e. $5 x 41). You’d also have your original $5 stake returned to you, meaning you’d take home $205.  

In addition, the place part of your bet would pay out $45. That’s because you’d get a fifth of your 41 wager – meaning this would be calculated as 9 – as well as having your $5 wager returned.  

That means your overall winnings would total $250.

If your horse only placed, you’d take home the $45, but nothing besides.

Placing a Grand National Each-Way Bet

The Grand National is one of the biggest events in the racing calendar. With up to 40 horses running each year, it’s difficult to pick out a potential winner – and even harder to guess this correctly.

That’s why it’s common to place an each-way bet on the Grand National. These will typically pay out whether a horse wins or simply places in the top four.

Because it’s such a special occasion, some bookies will even payout for runners that finish anywhere in the top eight, which is why punters should shop around.  

Profitable Horse Racing Tips

If you want to be one of the many punters placing each-way bets this year, check out our horse-racing tipsters’ recommendations for the runners to back.  

Our best each-way tipster team is ready and waiting to provide their expert insights as part of the Infinity subscription plan. Offering an average monthly profit of 52.4 and an all-time ROI of 18.1 percent, this is designed to help you make better betting decisions.    

Each-way Horse Bets FAQs

What is an Each-Way Multi-Bet?

A type of bet that pays out irrespective of whether your runner wins or places.

What Are the Costs and Payouts of Each-Way Multi-Bets?

You’ll pay two separate stakes: if your horse wins and if it places.

If your runner finishes first, you’ll receive two payouts: one for winning and one for placing. The latter will be a fraction of the odds offered for a win (you’ll also receive this amount if your horse places).

How Many Places Are Paid on an Each-Way Bet?

That depends on what the bookie is offering. Typically, a horse will place if it finishes in the top four, but for contests like the Grand National, anything up to eighth may result in a payout.

How Do I Decide If an Each-Way Bet Is Worth It?

That depends on the individual. If you feel the odds and the potential payout are worth it, you should place the bet; if you feel they carry more risk than you’re comfortable with, walk away instead.

Will I Break Even If My Selection Places?

That depends on the odds and the amount you wager. You may lose money if the place odds aren’t evens or more.  

Are There Enough Places to Make an Each-Way Bet Worthwhile?

That depends on your assessment of risk, individual opinion, and the terms of the wager.

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