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What is Each-way Betting in Horse Racing?

When you bet on a horse, it isn’t all about selecting them to win the race. That is a common bet to make but there is also each-way betting available. This article will look at just what each-way betting is and how to win money using it.

  • Each-way Betting Explained
  • How to win money using it

Each-way Betting Explained

Most bets are placed on horses to win the race they are competing in. The problem with this bet is that if your selection isn’t the winner of the race, then your entire wager is lost. You need to be a bit brave when making that bet, so instead you can use each-way betting.

With this bet, you aren’t just betting on your selection to win the race but also to be placed. To be able to place an each-way bet, you need there to be at least five runners in the race for a place bet to be made. The more runners in a race, the more places will be paid out on. A minimum eight runners generally sees three places paid out. Larger races with 16 runners or more, particularly handicaps pay the first four home. That’s not the case wit maidens (horses that haven’t won a race) or novice races (inexperienced horses).

Keep an eye on the various bookmakers when there is a major race such as the Grand National or a top event at the Cheltenham Festival. They may offer to pay out on five or six places in a bid to get more custom. Always check the race card to see exactly how many places are being paid and the percentage, usually a quarter of a fifth of the SP.

When to use each-way betting

You might think that your selection is going to win the race, but there is doubt in your mind that it won’t. In this case, you can bet each-way as your opinion is that it may win but could end up finishing in the places instead. It’s a kind of safety net for those not quite certain their selection will be a winner.

Many races have short-priced favourites, for example 6/4 or even odds on, say 4/7. It is not a profitable idea to place an each-way bet on these horses. If it wins, then that’s ok you will make a profit. However, if it is only placed, only a fraction of those already short odds will be paid out on. If a horse has odds of 1/2, then a quarter of that is 1/8, so whereas, you will get some return from your each-way bet, it will not be enough to break even. 

You should use each-way betting when the odds of the horse you want to back are reasonably high. If the race pays out a quarter of the odds for a place, then if you back a horse that has odds of 4/1, your bet will break even if it is only placed. For example, £5 each-way on a 4/1 selection sees a total wager of £10. If it is only placed, the £5 win bet is lost but the £5 place bet is a winner at the reduced odds of 1/1, returning £10, the original stake.

Each-way betting is advised in races such as handicaps that have good odds. You may fancy a horse that is 12/1 in the market. Again, stake £5 each-way and if it doesn’t win, your £5 stake is lost. However, if it is placed and the odds for that are a quarter the normal odds, your £5 place bet is a winner at odds of 3/1 (a quarter of 12/1). With your place stake being returned, you will receive £20 (£5 x 3 + £5 stake returned), an overall profit of £10.

The higher the odds, the more an each-way bet can win. You might fancy a 40/1 outsider to be placed. Again, with the £5 each-way bet, if it doesn’t win, your £5 is lost. If it does get placed and it is a quarter the odds, you will have a £5 place bet at 10/1, giving the bet an overall return of £55, a £45 profit. 

You can see therefore, that there is plenty of appeal to each-way betting (and in other sports too). It’s possible to make profits without even picking a winner, so that has to be appealing.

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