The Each Way bet is the go-to choice for many when it comes to the Grand National. It's a popular bet because it covers your horse finishing in any of the top four spots. Some bookmakers even extend payouts to fifth and sixth positions for this iconic race.

In this article, we're not just focusing on the National; we'll also explain how each-way betting works in horse racing more broadly.

How Does an Each Way Bet Work?

In most horse races, the goal is straightforward: pick the winner. However, the Grand National is a different beast altogether. With a sprawling field of 40 runners, accurately pinpointing the winner becomes far more challenging.

That's where the Each-Way bet offers an advantage. This bet not only pays out for a 1st place finish, but you'll also get a return if your horse fails to win but finishes in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th places. For the Grand National, some bookmakers even extend their payouts to include fifth and sixth positions.

Each-way means you are betting on two outcomes. The first is that the horse will win. The second is that it will finish in the places.

Because of that, your bet is made up of two parts: the ‘Win’ and the ‘Place’. Each part of the bet must be an equal stake, e.g. a £5 each way bet will have £5 on the ‘Win’ and £5 on the ‘Place’ making a total of £10.

The ‘Win’ part of your bet is on your horse to finish first, and the ‘Place’ part is on your horse to finish either first or in one of the places, e.g. 2nd, 3rd, 4th (5th or 6th with selected bookmakers).

This works the exact same way for any horse race that you can bet on throughout the year.



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How Do I Win?

There are specific rules that bookmakers must follow for each-way bets in horse racing. They are based on the number of horses running in a race.


1 – 4 runners – No Places – Win Only bet
5 – 7 runners – 1/4 Odds – 1st & 2nd place only
8+ runners – 1/5 odds – 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
12 – 15 runners (handicapped races only) – 1/4 odds – 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
16+ runners (handicapped races only) – 1/4 odds – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place

If your horse comes home first (wins), both the ‘Win’ and ‘Place’ parts of your bet will pay out. But if your horse only places, you will lose the ‘Win’ part of your bet.

You will still collect on the ‘Place’ part of your bet if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th or 6th*.

Just note that with any horse race, if it is a handicapped race and there are more than 16 runners, the bookie must pay out 1/4 of the odds.

However, if they extend that to 5th or even 6th place, the payout is reduced to 1/5 of the odds quoted.

How Much Do I Get?

The amount won depends on a number of factors. Most importantly, did your horse win the race, or was he just placed? And what odds did you get when you placed the bet?

Let’s assume your horse wins (1st) at 40/1 and you’ve backed him for £5 eachway, which is £10 in total.

The £5 ‘win‘ portion of your bet pays out £200 (£5 x 40/1) plus the original £5 ‘win’ stake is returned, giving you £205.

You’ll also get paid out on the ‘place’ part of the bet too! However, bookmakers will typically only pay out 1/5 of the quoted odds on the ‘place’ portion of the bet for big races.

The £5 ‘place‘ portion of your bet pays out £40. Worked out like this – a fifth of 40/1 is 8/1, £5@8/1 = £40.00, and your original £5 stake is returned, giving you £45.

Add that to the £205 ‘win’ portion and you’ve got £250 in winnings.

Now let’s assume your horse came third, bear in mind that it doesn’t make any difference to the payout if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th with some bookmakers.

As your horse didn’t win, you lose the ‘win’ portion of the bet and £5. But you collect £40 on the ‘place’ portion of the wager plus the £5 place part of your original bet – as explained above.

Example Payouts

The examples below show payouts at 1/5 of the quoted odds for an each-way bet where your horse placed 2nd,3rd,4th, (5th or 6th selected bookmakers only). Returned stake included in winnings. 

Each Way - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, *5th place (£2.50 each way = Total Stake £5)


5/1 - £5
8/1 - £6.50
10/1 - £7.50
12/1 - £8.50
16/1 - £10.50
20/1 - £12.50
25/1 - £15
33/1 - £19
40/1 - £22.50
50/1 - £27.50
66/1 - £35.50
100/1 - £52.50

Where to Make The Bet?

You can place an eachway bet at any high street bookmakers or online. However, you should be aware that not all bookmakers payout 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.

Want to learn how to place each-way bets? click here.

Difference Between Win and Each Way Bets?

A win bet is a type of bet where you are placing a wager on a particular selection to win the event outright.

If your selection wins, you receive a payout based on the odds assigned to that selection.

An each way bet, on the other hand, is a two-part bet. The first part is a bet on the selection to win, just like a win bet.

The second part is a bet on the selection to place, which means finishing in a position that is considered to be a payout position by the bookmaker (usually the top two, three, or four depending on the number of participants).

Basically with a ‘Win' bet, if you back a horse to win and it does, then you win. If it doesn't win, then you lose.

Each-way covers you if the horse doesn't win but finishes in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place. It's a smaller payout, but you do get some money back!

Each Way Bets on Other Sports

Of course, 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 an offer of extended places.

As an example, in most Golf tournaments, bookmakers will pay out each way bets to the first six players. However, as the event draws closer, this can be ramped up to at least 10 places.

This is an excellent opportunity to back a golfer you think will come close to winning but may just be edged out into the places.

Likewise, for big football tournaments. You may fancy a team to win the World Cup or the Euros, but an each-way bet will cover you if they finish second. Just remember that picking each-way bets for football tournaments will only include the winner or the runner-up.

How to Place the Bet on Your Phone

Below is an example of how to place an each way bet with online bookmaker Paddy Power, on your phone. Most other online bookmakers work in a very similar fashion, too.

Once you've logged on to your chosen bookmaker, go to horse racing and the Grand National tab. Here, the horses running in the race will appear with their odds.

  1. Click the odds and a ‘betting slip' will appear at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Click ‘Bet Slip‘ and it will open, allowing you to enter how much you want to bet.
  3. You must tick/check the box marked EW. Remember this will double your stake, so you may want to adjust it.
  4. Once you are happy with your bet, click ‘Place Bet‘ button and you are done!