What is an each-way bet?

13 Jul 2021
Phil Lowe 13 Jul 2021
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  • Your guide to each-way betting!
CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: A bookmaker counts his funds at Goodwood on May 23, 2019 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

What is an each-way bet? 

An each-way bet is one of the most popular types of sporting bets to be placed and, when done correctly, can often prove to be a big money maker for the punter betting on it. 

An each-way bet is effectively two different bets being placed on the same selection. The first of those bets is for your selection to win, while the second of those bets is for your selection to place- ie, to finish second, third, fourth or maybe even as low as fifth or sixth, depending on the bookmaker. 

How to place an each-way bet 

Placing an each-way bet is very easy, and almost every major bookmaker will have it available on the appropriate sports. 

The first thing you should do is find your chosen sport and event on the bookmakers website. 

Following that, there should be an option, usually at the top of the screen, which will say each way or E/W. 

From this point, there are a number of things that you should be aware of. Firstly, the odds of the selection winning will not be affected by you placing an each-way bet. 

Secondly, you should see how many places the bookmaker has to offer.  This will explain to you where a selection needs to finish for the place side of your bet to be successful. 

Some bookmakers will offer slightly more generous places, especially during the bigger events, though, it is worth noting that you will see less of a return the lower your selection finishes. 

It is also not entirely uncommon these days to be able to choose the placement yourself, with bookmakers such as Bet365 offering punters this option. 

The biggest thing you will want to keep an eye on when placing an each-way bet is the each-way fraction. This is commonly displayed at the top of the screen as well. 

The each-way fraction will tell you what the odds will be if your horse places. For example, if the each-way fraction is 1/4, then your returns if your horse won would be quartered if your horse places. 

Some bookmakers may also have a little box that says ‘E/W’ when you place a normal selection, given you the option to alter your single bet and  place an each-way bet on your betslip. 

Calculating odds and an example

To someone unaccustomed to gambling, placing an each-way bet can seem like quite a daunting and confusing task, so let's take a look at how an each-way bet would actually work using an example. 

Horse A is 12/1 to win the race and you fancy him as an outsider. The each-way fraction offered by the site is 1/4, and the site offers placement down to third place. That means you would have to divide the winning odds by four to work out the placing odds, which is this case is a simple exercise- 12 ÷ 4= 3, meaning your odds on placing are 3/1. 
You place £10 on the horse at each way, which means you are placing £10 on the horse to win, and £10 on the horse to place, bringing your total stake to £20. 

Now let's take a look at the possible outcomes 

Outcome 1

If your horse wins the race, then you would win £130 (£120 winnings + returned stake for the win bet) 

Outcome 2

If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, you would win £40 (£30 winnings + returned stake for the place bet) 

Outcome 3

Your horses finishes lower than 3rd place and you lose your stake and the bet. 

If your horse wins the race, then you would receive the winnings from both of these bets and your returned stake, taking your total to £170. 

Advantages of each-way betting

Each-way betting’s biggest selling point is that it increases your chances of making a return on your selection, even if that does have the potential to be a lower payout. 

To a lot of gamblers, when a favourite is not clear, and there is a good range of odds available on several outcomes, then an each-way bet is likely to be a good option. 

Each-way betting is also incredibly common among those who do not gamble often and only tend to have a flutter during events like The Grand National or The Kentucky Derby. This is because, in many ways, an each-way bet is seen as a much safer way of betting. 

Disadvantages of each-way betting

The biggest disadvantage to each-way betting is that while you do decrease your chances of losing, you also stand the chance of winning less money. 

Unless you are willing to part ways with some serious cash, then placing an each-way bet is not necessarily going to be the most fruitful unless your selection wins.  That being said, those with a good eye for these things can certainly make each way betting work in their favour. 

There is also the fact that your stake for the bet is effectively doubled when you go to place it, which can come as quite a nasty surprise if this is your first time placing such a bet.  

Most common types of sports the bet is placed on

The most common type of sport that an each way bet would be placed on is horse racing.

It is an incredibly popular way of betting on horse racing, especially the races that attract casual and first-time punters such as The Grand National, The Kentucky Derby and The Cheltenham Gold Cup, to name a few. 

While most bookmakers may only offer each way bets on their horse-racing markets, many bookmakers will also offer the type of bet on golf as well. 

You may also find the option to bet each-way on major sporting tournaments such as The FIFA World Cup, which have a placing system down to fourth place. These are also becoming more common among the bigger bookmakers. 

Any sport that has a clearly defined placement system should be eligible for each way betting. You won’t, however, be able to bet each way on any individual sporting match such as football, rugby or boxing where there is simply one winner and one loser.