Each way betting

Welcome to our each way betting guide. Heard the phrase, but not been entirely sure what it means? Carry on reading down this page to get a true understanding of the term. It will also help you to establish whether this particular type of betting strategy is right for you.

Each Way betting in horse racing

Horse racing is where each way betting is more commonly known and used. Each way betting in horse racing is two bets in one.

It’s a bet to win, coupled with a bet to place. If you bet £5 “each way” on a horse that has odds of 4/1 to win, you’re betting £5 on the horse to win, and another £5 for it to place. The number of places that quality varies from race to race. Usual qualifying places range from top three to top five, depending on how many horses are participating.

If your horse fails to win but places, you receive a predetermined percentage of the full price. Usually a third or a quarter (i.e. £5 at 4/1 @ ¼ odds = £10 returned). If it wins you receive the full price (i.e. £5 at 4-1 = £25 returned) plus your winnings for the place.

Horse Race Betting Each-Way

How are each way bets calculated?

The below breaks down the bet entirely for you. The example is based on a £5 each way bet on a 4/1 horse where rules dictate that placed positions are rewarded at quarter odds of the original price.

Horse wins

BET 1  £5 x 4/1 = £20 + £5 stake back = £25


BET 2 £5 x 1/1 (quarter odds) = £5 + £5 stake back = £10

Total staked = £10

Overall return = £35

Overall profit = £25

Horse Places

BET 1  LOSER = – £5


BET 2 £5 x 1/1 (quarter odds) = £5 + £5 stake back = £10

Total staked = £10

Overall return = £10

Overall profit = 0

Each-Way-betting explainedA few things to highlight at this point. As a £5 each way bet consists of two bets, the stake is also doubled across the selections. A £5 each way bet indicates £5 to be placed on the winner and £5 to be placed on the placed positions. Therefore making the stake for this bet £10.

So if you have a £20 budget and want to place an each way bet, you would be looking to place a £10 each way bet, not a £20 one.

Another point is that it doesn’t matter which place your horse finishes if it places, but fails to win. That is as far as returns go on each way bets. If a race is offering ¼ odds for placed horses within the top five it wouldn’t matter if your horse finished 2nd or 4th. You would still see the same return of quarter the odds of the original price.

To win vs each way

Something else to consider is the fact that if you had staked the total amount of an each way bet on a winning horse to win, you would receive a greater return than backing it each way. Let’s take a look at why below.

£10 to win on a horse at 10/1 in a race that offers 1/4 odds for first 3 places

£10 x 10 = £100 + £10 stake back = £110

Total staked = £10

Overall return = £110

Overall profit = £100

£5 each way on a horse to win at 10/1

£5 x 10 = £50 + £5 stake back = £55


£5 x 2.5 (1/4 odds) = £12.50 + £5 stake back = £17.50

Total staked = £10

Overall return = £72.50

Overall profit = £62.50

Therefore if you believe wholeheartedly that the horse you are backing is going to win, the best value is always going to be ‘on the nose’. This means to place the horse to win outright.

Which Betting Company Offers Each Way Betting?

All betting companies will offer each way betting. Each way bets are usually offered in events with a large field – typically horse racing. You may be able to bet each way at the start of longer events with large fields, like the US or UK Open in golf, or Wimbledon.

You will likely be offered an each way bet for your chosen golfer or tennis player to either win or finish in the top four places, i.e. at Wimbledon for your chosen player to at least reach the semi-finals.

When considering an each way bet, you need to find a company who offer good percentages of the odds for a place bet. Poor companies may offer a percentage of only ¼ for a place bet for a top two finish in a medium-size field. It pays to do your homework with each way betting and go with the larger betting companies, such as the William Hill app or Ladbrokes.

18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 

Is Each Way Betting Right For Me?

There are two main reasons for each way betting – to protect your stake and to get good odds on a competitor that is likely to finish high up in the finishing order but is unlikely to win. If you bet each way on a horse that is expected to win with low odds, you will recover some of your stakes back if the horse fails to win but does place. However, most of the time this strategy still results in a loss situation, should the horse fail to win.

Take the example of a horse with odds of 2/1 in a race that offers 1/4 odds for the first four places. The horse finishes second.

£5 each way on a horse to win at 2/1

BET 1  LOSER = – £5


£5 x 0.5 (1/4 odds) = £2.50 + £5 stake back = £7.50

Total staked = £10

Overall return = £7.50

Overall profit = – £2.50

You should also feel free to wager a larger stake if you are confident that your selection is likely to win, is almost certain to place, and has good odds. Finally, you may discover an outsider whose offered price is better for the punter than the competitor’s current form deserves. In this case, you are likely to ‘cash in’ if the outsider comes good and places, with the added bonus of a slight windfall if it wins.

What is a place bet?

An each way bet is not the correct bet to place if you don’t believe the horse has any chance of winning. Even if you strongly believe that the horse will manage to finish within the places. In this situation, it makes much more sense to simply back the horse ‘to place’. This eliminates the ‘to win’ section from the each way bet to leave a single bet on the backed horse placing. There is a specific market for this and odds tend to reflect those offered within the each way terms of the race in question.

Football Betting Each-Way

Each way betting in football.

Each way betting is possible in the football markets too, across different markets. For example large tournaments such as the World Cup, Champions League, etc. In this situation, you can back a team to win the tournament ‘each way’ and then see a return on the bet even if the team fails to win the tournament.

Normal offerings here in terms of each way terms tend to be on 2 places at 1/2 odds. Scanning around may lead you to find a bookmaker offering 3 places at 1/4 odds. Betway is one example of a bookmaker who is more generous with their place positions, but more lenient with their odds.

Each way betting is also offered within the first goalscorer market. Certain bookmakers provide this option as a little safety net for those who would like it. In this situation the each way part of the bet becomes the anytime goalscorer option for the same player.


Each way betting is a great way of both increasing your gambling earnings and minimizing your losses. You will lose more often if you simply bet on everything to win. True, the actual amounts you will win are greater, but over the long run, and on average, you will make more and lose less if you place more each way bets then bets “on the nose”.

Experiment with each-way betting and see how you perform in the long run. Compare your results with how you would have done if you’d simply made all your bets “to win”. You’ll almost certainly find out each way betting is a preferable strategy.