What is Each Way (EW) Betting and How Does it Work?
This page will answer the question, what is each way betting? We’ll explain all you need to know about one of the most popular bets in horse racing, so read on and find out how EW betting works and how you can use it to place bets.
Horse racing first began in the UK in the 17th century and the public have never fallen out of love with it since. It’s one of the markets which unifies regular and casual bettors, especially during big events such as Aintree, Ascot and Cheltenham Gold Cup. Each way betting is synonymous with horse racing and can be a crucial tool in your arsenal when trying to spot value and get an edge.
Many people who don’t bet frequently can’t resist having a flutter on some of the biggest sporting events of the year and why not? With lots of expert tipsters offering their opinions, there’s no shortage of guidance for even the most inexperienced punter. We here at Yesbets even have a free horse racing tips section to help you with selections.
However, when faced with a field of 40 horses, picking a winner can be pretty challenging. It only takes one small mistake to lose by a nose - and wave goodbye to your lucrative bet! A good alternative to betting on a horse to win is placing an each way bet. Most people will have heard of an each way bet but do you know exactly what is means?
Here at Yesbets we’re on hand to explain.
What Is an Each Way Bet?
Each way betting is most frequently associated with horse racing and is only available when there are more than four runners in the starting line-up. When you place an each way bet, you’ll get a payout if your horse wins but also if it finishes within the top places too. Depending on the number of horses running this could be anything from the top two finishers to the top six horses.
The key point about an each way bet is that your horse doesn’t have to win the race outright in order to bag you a payout.
An each way bet is actually two bets combined. Half of your stake goes on the horse to win, while the rest of your stake goes on a place bet. A place bet pays out if your horse finishes within the agreed top finishing positions.
The number of places included in an each way bet depends on the number of horses in the field. As a very rough rule of thumb, if there are between 5-7 runners each way will cover 1st and 2nd place, for 8+ runners bookies will include 1st-3rd places while bigger races with more than 16 runners will pay out on an each way bet up to 4th place.
It’s worth looking around as an each way bet can extend to 5th place on the large races, and very rarely, sometimes even 6th place. These are sometimes known as enhanced place races and form part of the numerous horse racing offers that UK bookmakers run on a daily basis to attract more customers.
Understanding the Odds on Each Way Betting
Often referred to as E/W bets by bookies, an each way bet can be pretty confusing when you’re trying to figure out the potential payout. Remember above when we said it was two bets combined into one? That’s the reason why it’s a bit more challenging to calculate.
If your each way bet finishes the race in 1st place, you’ll win “both” bets. You’ll receive a payout for the win bet, and you’ll also receive a payout for the place bet too. Of course, this is paid just as a single transaction so not everyone will realise it’s actually two bets which have been combined.
If your horse finishes third, and the bookmaker is covering up to third place (or even more), you’ll lose the win bet but score a hit on the place bet. This means the payout will be much lower but you’ll still walk away with some cash.
The win bet receives the full odds but the place bet only gets a fraction of the odds. The amount of odds offered for the place portion of an each way bet depends on how many runners were in the field and the type of race. Typically the place odds are 1/4 or 1/5 of the full odds.
As you’ll only receive a fraction of the full odds, most people don’t bother placing an each way bet unless the win odds are pretty high. Horses that have short odds will pay a pittance when backed as an each way bet.
The number of positions included in an each way bet and the odds offered are frequently standardised across all bookmakers, but it can be possible to find someone who’s got a better deal for punters. Check out Yesbets horse racing page to stay in touch with the bookies offering the best rates and free bets.
Getting the Strategy Right
As mentioned above, an each way bet on a horse with short odds is not worth your while as it will only offer a minimal payout. In some cases you could even lose money when you consider the stake that you’ve lost on the win portion of the bet. Therefore it’s essential to carefully choose your strategy when placing an each way bet.
There are some scenarios when an each way can be extremely profitable. If the odds are long you can afford to take a punt on an each way bet because you’ll still get a good payout if they are placed.
But surely backing a horse at long odds is a mug’s game? Remember, the odds are calculated based on the chance of winning. Your each way horse may be unlikely to beat the favourite to the line but it doesn’t need to finish first. As long as your horse makes it round without a fall and can nudge into the top 3 or 4, you could still collect a hefty win.
And of course, it’s worth remembering that steeplechase races such as the Grand National tend to produce unusual outcomes. The 2019 Grand National produced a thrilling finish with the second position going to a horse with a starting price of 66/1 - very worthy for an each way bet. Cheltenham offers will also include plenty of extra place races which are perfect for EW betting, so keep an eye out for these too.
Find the Best Each Way Deals
You’ll find some bookies offer more generous each way terms than others so it’s worth comparing the odds and places included in a payout. Check the Yesbets page for the hottest tips on horse racing as well as the best offers from the UK bookies.