What Does Each-Way Betting Mean in Betting?

Each-way betting is closely linked with horse racing, but you can make an each-way bet on any event bookmakers offer, from golf to football and even reality TV. 

An each-way bet means you will be placing two bets of equal cost. The first will be a winning bet on your selection to win the event, and the second will be a place bet on it to finish within places the bookmaker has specified beforehand.

Therefore, when you make a $5 each-way bet, you will need a total stake of $10 consisting of a $5 win and $5 place.

The each-way bet is the most popular way to bet on a horse in the Grand National. Most people prefer placing this type of wager on the National because it’s easy to understand, and the bet covers a horse finishing in any of the first four places. 

This article will cover everything to know about each-way betting and how it works. So if you’re interested, keep on reading! 

How Does Each-Way Betting Work?

In most horse races, the premise is to pick the winner of the race. However, when it comes to the Grand National (one of the biggest horse racing events, with a field of 40 runners), the chances of being right on the money are incredibly slim.

That’s where the each-way bet makes more sense for punters. It essentially gives you the chance to get a return on your money if the horse doesn’t win but manages to finish in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th place.

Essentially, you are betting on two things in an each-way bet. The first is that you are betting on the horse to win the race, and the second is that the horse will finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th place. 

Therefore, the each-way bet is made of two parts: The “Win” and the “Place.” Every part of the bet needs to be an equal stake, which means a $5 each-way bet will have $5 on the ‘Win’ and $5 on the ‘Place,’ making it a $10 bet.

The ‘Win’ part is on the horse to finish in first place, and the ‘Place’ part is on the horse to finish first or in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th place, as selected by the bookmaker. Each-way betting works the same way for all horse races you can bet on throughout the year. 

What Does Each-Way Betting Mean in Horse Betting?

You can place an each-way bet on almost every sport. The larger the field of teams or players, the greater the chance you will get offered extended places.

For example, in golf tournaments, bookmakers will pay out each-way bet to the first six players. However, as the event draws closer, this can be ramped up to at least 10 places. That’s an excellent opportunity to back a golfer you think will come close to winning but may just be edged out into the places. 

In addition, you may fancy a team to win the Euros or the World Cup, but an each-way bet will cover you if they finish second. However, each-way bets for football tournaments will only include the winner or the runner-up.

Keep in mind that bookmakers must follow specific rules for an each-way bet in horse racing, as they are based on the number of horses running in the race. It will be broken down as follows: 


  • 1 – 4 runners: No Places— Win Only Bet 
  • 5 – 7 runners: ¼ odds— 1st & 2nd place only
  • 8+ runners: 1/5 odds— 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place
  • 12 – 15 runners (handicapped races only): ¼ odds—1st, 2nd, & 3rd place
  • 16+ runners (handicapped races only): ¼ odds— 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place

If your horse comes home in the first place and wins the race, both the ‘Win’ and ‘Place’ parts of your bet will payout. However, if your horse only places, you will lose the ‘Win’ part of your bet. But, you will still collect on the ‘Place’ part of your bet if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th

You should remember that if it’s a handicapped race and there are more than 16 runners, the bookie must pay out ¼ of the odds with any horse race. However, if they extend that to 5th or even 6th place, the payout will be reduced to 1/5 of the odds quoted.

How to Make an Each-Way Bet?

You can place an each-way bet at any high street bookmaker or online. However, you should be aware that not all bookmakers payout up to five or six places on the Grand National. Most bookies will only pay on the first four horses past the post, and some bookies will only offer 1/5 the quoted odds if they extend the number of places.

There are three things you should know when making an each-way bet

  • The betting odds:

These are the odds for the ‘Win’ part of your each-way bet, and they dictate, along with the each-way fractions, the odds for the ‘Place’ part of your each-way bet. 

  • The number of places:

These tell you the positions your selection has to finish for your place bet to win. The places offered may differ depending on the bookies.

  • The each-way fraction:

The odds on the ‘Place’ part of your each-way bet are a fraction of the win odds because your selection has a greater chance of placing than winning.   

Once you are aware of these factors, you can tick the each-way/EW box on your bet slip and place your each-way bet. Although, remember that your stake is doubled for an each-way bet.

Can You Do an Each-Way Accumulator?

Yes, an each-way accumulator works the same way an average accumulator does, except— as with the singles – your stake is doubled to cover the ‘Win’ bet and the ‘Place’ bet. Then, all you need to do is head to the sportsbook and make the selections you would like to include in your accumulator. Before you place your bet, be sure to tick the box marked ‘EW,’ which is next to your stake.

Ticking that box will also double your stake to cover the ‘Win’ bet and the ‘Place’ bet— so if you enter $5, you will be staking $10. 

For example, suppose you stake $5 on Tiger King to win the 2021 Grand National, and $5 has been staked on Tiger King to place. The place bet will be available at ¼ odds and will pay out if Tiger King finishes in the top four.  

That means the place bet odds for Tiger King are 3/1—a quarter of 12/1—, and you will be paid out $10 if he finishes in the top four. If Tiger King wins, you will be paid out $35 (the payout from the win bet) plus $10 (the payout from the place bet), which adds up to a $45 potential return for you.  

In an accumulator bet, things will work out the same way. If all of your selections win, you will receive the win bet accumulator payout plus the place bet accumulator payout. However, if any of them only place, the win bet accumulator will be a loser, and you will only receive the place bet accumulator payout as a result.

How to Calculate the Winnings in an Each-Way Bet?

Remember that when making an each-way bet, you have two different bets. There are three possible outcomes of an each-way bet

  1. The horse wins the race
  2. The horse places
  3. The horse doesn’t place 

Example 1You back a horse with $5 EW at odds of 10/1—places pay 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes first:

In this example, both bets win. The winnings can be calculated by adding two bets:

  • Bet one on the horse to win—$55 return ($50 profit & $5 stake)  
  • Bet two on the horse to place—$15 return ($10 profit & $5 stake. The 10 odds become 2/1 when the fraction is applied) 
  • The total winnings are $60, plus the $10 stake is returned 

Example 2You back a horse with $5 EW at odds of 10/1places pay 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes second:

In this example, only bet to place wins. The winnings comprise only the second bet.

  • Bet one on the horse to win—This bet loses ($0 payout) 
  • Bet two on the horse to place—$15 return ($10 payout $ $5 stake. The 10 odds become 2 when the fraction is applied) 
  • The total winnings are $10, plus the $5 stake is returned

Example 3You back a horse with $5 EW at odds of 10/1 – places pay 1/5 1-2-3. The horse finishes fourth: 

In this example, neither bet wins. There are no winnings.  

  • Bet one on the horse to win—This bet loses ($0 payout)
  • Bet two on the horse to place—This bet loses ($0 payout)
  • There are no winnings 

How many places are paid on an each-way bet?

The number of places paid for an each-way bet is specified where the market is listed, at your bookmaker’s discretion. It’s part of the each-way terms along with the place odds. 

In horse race betting, a generally recognized minimum number of each-way places is offered based on the size of the field in the race.   

How many places do bookies payout on?

What constitutes a place position can vary depending on the event or the bookmaker. However, this information will be outlined before placing the bet. It will be marked as EW ¼ 1-2-3-4. You must remember that the final place terms in horse racing depend on the number of runners who start the race.

What does paying four places mean?

This means you will be paid for the ‘Win’ part of your each-way bet at the odds chosen when you placed the bet and the ‘Place’ part of your bet at ¼ of your odds. 

Does 4th place count on an each-way bet?

This depends on the bookmaker, but it will probably be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. Remember, each bet must be an equivalent stake. For example, a $10 each-way bet means your total stake is $20. If you bet each-way, bookies will pay out if your horse places. 

Depending on the type of race, a place will be defined as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th. The place payout is ¼ or 1/5 of the winning price.  

What Are the Advantages of Each-Way Betting?

For some sporting events, there are no strong favorites, and each selection is priced long. It’s harder to predict who will win in such a market, but the long odds result in favorable odds even after the fraction has been applied. Therefore, some would consider each-way betting to be a lower risk, lower gain approach to betting.  

What Are the Disadvantages of Each-Way Betting?

When betting each-way, your stake is effectively doubled, which means that you’re risking a greater amount of money. A second consideration is the odds after the fraction has been applied. 

If the odds are low to start with, the potential winnings may not be so attractive once the fraction has been applied. Some bettors may perceive the lower risk, lower gains as a potential drawback. 

Extra Places and Enhanced Each-Way Terms 

Bookmakers often offer more than the standard number of each-way places or more generous each-way fractions on selected daily races to incentivize existing customers. 

However, bettors are advised to shop around for the best possible each-way terms when it comes to high-profile races like the Grand National or the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where bookies are always trying to outdo each other.  

Will you at least break even if your selection places?

It’s important to consider the winning odds and place odds for your selection when deciding whether to back them each-way. This is because you lose money on an each-way bet that places if the place odds aren’t even (1/1) or more. 

A simple trick to ensure you only bet each-way on horses at odds (that will at least return your total stake) is to find the each-way fraction and invert it to give you the odds at which the each-way bet will break even if it places. 

Are there enough places to make an each-way bet worthwhile?

That’s pertinent, especially in horse racing, where the number of each-way places offered can differ according to the number of runners in a race. As a result, some combinations of field sizes and each-way terms can be more attractive for each-way bets than others.    

For instance, take an eight-runner race and a 15-runner race payout on only three places for each-way bettors as the standard. In the eight-runner race, your 16/1 each-way bet only has to beat five rivals to place, whereas, in the 15-runner race, they have to finish ahead of 12 rivals.

How Do I Decide if an Each-Way Bet is Worth It?

First, it’s important to remember that no bet comes without risk, so it’s important to gamble responsibly. Each-way bets are worthwhile in some circumstances more than others. 

Punters and bettors who have a strong knowledge of a particular sport, market or event, can take advantage of each-way bets to minimize the risk from a bet and gain a greater chance of getting a return. Like the Grand National, big horse races usually see a lot of novice punters betting each-way because of its low risk.  


Is each-way betting worth it?

Each-way betting is worth it because it allows you to win big on some of the biggest horse racing events. However, it also depends on the odds offered by bookies.   

Does each way mean 1st, 2nd, and 3rd?

Each-way means that you will be paid if you bet on a horse that wins the race or places 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th.

How does each-way betting payout?

If you bet $5 on each-way on a horse with win odds of 5/1 (total stake $10) and it places, you lose your $5 win bet. But, the place part of your each-way bet pays out at a fifth of 5/1, which is evens (1/1). So, that means you get back the $5 from the place part of your bet plus $5 winnings ($10) in total. 

What does each-way mean on a betting slip?

If you see the initials “EW” or” E/W” on your betting slip, it means you can place an each-way bet. It’s essentially two separate bids: one for the horse to win, the other for the horse to place in any of the place positions offered in that race. That means you can receive a return on your bet if your selection wins, but also if it places in the race.

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