What is each way betting and why is it important in horse racing?

by Staff & Contributors

Each way betting is a popular betting technique as a way of increasing the chances of seeing a return. While it’s popular in other sports, it’s especially common in horse racing. With an each way bet, you spread your entire stake across more than just one outcome. So, instead of betting on one horse to win, you make two bets – one for it to win and a place bet, which involves betting on the horse to finish within a predetermined number of positions. These horse betting selections can really come in handy later, if you’re indeed into horse racing.


How Does an Each Way Bet Work?


Firstly, the important part of an each-way bet is that each part must be equal, so split 50/50. For example, if you place a £5 each way bet on a horse, you will have £5 on the win portion and £5 on the place portion, totalling a £10 stake overall. The bet will pay out if either portion of the bet is successful, so if a chosen horse wins a race, both portions of the bet payout because the horse won the race and therefore must have finished in the top positions by default. If the horse does not win outright but just places, you’ll receive the place portion only.


Why Is Each Way Betting Important in Horse Racing?


Each way betting basically involves betting twice on the same horse. It’s sometimes referred to as an insurance bet – while it doesn’t always offer great value, it is a useful bet to place if you’re just starting out with betting and unsure how to get started. By placing two stakes on the horse, you’re minimising your risk of seeing a loss. But this bet is particularly useful if you are feeling confident that the horse you’re backing is going to win, as this way you get a greater profit.


Consider the Race Before Placing Your Bets


Depending on the number of horses running in the race, the payout odds will differ. For example, five to seven runners pays out on first and second place and 1/4 odds. If there are eight or more runners, there are payouts on first, second and third place at 1/5 odds. In handicap races, the payout is 1/4 odds, as follows: 12 to 15 runners pay out on first, second and third place at 1/4 odds, while 16 or more runners pays out on the first four places at the same odds. Some of the bigger races will also offer extra places, such as the Grand National which pays out to at least 5th position but sometimes up to 7th.


Because of the reduced payout on the place portion of an each way bet, it doesn’t usually pay to back a horse in this way if there are odds of less than 5/1 on them, as you would get less back than you initially staked. Each way bets should be reserved for when the extra stake means you’ll at least break even with a place or profit if the odds are higher.

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