The most popular way to back a horse in the Grand National is the Each Way bet. It’s easy to understand why most people prefer this type of wager on the National, as the bet covers a horse finishing in any of the first four places. In this article we also cover general horse racing so no matter the race you will know how an each-way bet works.
How Does An Each Way Bet Work?
In most horse races the idea is to pick the winner. But when you have an event as big as the Grand National, and with a field of 40 runners, the chances of being right on the money are tricky.
That’s where the ‘Each-Way’ bet makes more sense. It essentially gives you the chance to get a return on your money if the horse you back doesn’t win but instead finishes in 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th place.
Each-way means you are betting on two things. The first is that the horse will win. The second is that it will finish anywhere up to 5th place.
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.
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 With An Each Way Bet?
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.
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). You will also get your place stake back.
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Where To Place The Bet?
You can place an eachway bet at any high street bookmakers or do it online. However, you should be aware that not all bookmakers pay out 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.
Each Way Bets In 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 that 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 With Betfair
Below you can see an example of how to place an each way bet with online bookmaker Betfair. Most other online bookmakers work in a very similar fashion too.
Select a horse by clicking on the odds box next to its name and a virtual betting slip will then open (usually on the right of the page).
Enter your stake (how much you want to bet) and tick/check the box marked EW. Remember this will double your stake, so you may want to adjust it.
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