What Does Each Way Betting Mean?

The each way bet is the second most popular bet type in horse racing after the straight win bet. We get lots of requests from visitors who want to know ‘what does eachway betting mean?’

It’s a very good question, because very few people understand this bet type fully. Most people understand that the each way bet gives you more chances to win, but few understand why?

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Paddy Power Pay Out 5 Places On The Grand National*[/quote] Firstly, we need to understand the difference between a ‘win bet’ and the ‘each way bet’. A win bet is very easy to understand, you bet that a horse will win a race, a bookmaker will give you odds on that horse winning, lets say odds of 10/1. You bet £10 that the horse ‘Lucky Charm’ will win the National. If ‘Lucky Charm’ romps home in first place you’ll win £110! Worked out like this 10/1 = 10x£10 which makes £100, plus you get your £10 stake back. If lucky charm finishes in any other position or falls during the race you’ll lose your £10 stake.


The ‘Each Way’ bet works like this… Instead of backing ‘Lucky Charm’ to finish 1st in the race, you make a bet with the bookmarker that lucky charm can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even 4th! This is known as the ‘Each Way Bet’ Actually it’s two bets in one, a £10 each way bet will cost you £20. You are betting £10 that ‘Lucky Charm’ wins and £10 that he will finish in one of the places (usually 2nd, 3rd, 4th).

Sounds like a great deal for you, right? Well, bookmakers aren’t in the business of giving money away. So to compensate for your increased chances of winning they reduce the quoted odds on the place part of the bet. Usually by ¼, If ‘Lucky Charm’ comes home 1st you’ll still get 10/1. However, should he only place, you’ll only get odds of 2½/1. So the place or each way bet, pays out £35 if Lucky Charm finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th – The return is made up like this £10 @ 2½/1 = £25, plus the £10 portion of the place stake is returned giving you = £35.


However, few realise that the Each Way betting is only really worth considering when the odds are greater than 4/1. The reason you don’t want to bet on a horse with odds of less than 4/1 is because even if the horse places (finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th) you will win less than you bet! Luckily you’ll never see a horse priced that low in The Grand National! But it’s worth remembering if you bet on other races.


For the Grand National and other selected races Paddy Power Online Bookmakers will pay out on the 5th place. Most other bookmakers will only pay out on the first 4 horses home. If you’re interested in betting each way with Paddy Power then check out this video to learn how to place the bet online.


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Updated: January 24, 2014