In the world of betting, there are many ways to place your wagers, and one of the most popular options is the “each way” bet. But exactly what does ‘each way’ mean in horse racing?

In this article, we’ll break down the basics of each way betting and help you to understand how it works.

With any luck, you can use it to potentially increase your chances of seeing a return on your bet.

Whether you’re new to horse racing or want to expand your betting knowledge, we’ve got you covered.

What Is An Each Way Bet?

Betting on the Grand National is worth over £250m and is the single biggest betting event in the country.

And whether somebody gives you a tip or you just like the sound of the horse’s name, betting on it is almost a given.

However, a huge amount of people only bet on the National. That’s it. They don’t bet throughout the year, so navigating the various bookmaker sites can be tricky.

Like anything you’re not familiar with, placing a bet online can be daunting. One of our biggest questions is, ‘what does each way in horse racing mean’? So I’m here to explain it to you.

Each way is a specific type of bet. If you think a horse will win a race, you can put a straight ‘win bet’ on it. This means if the horse wins, you win. If the horse loses, you lose. It’s very straightforward.

However, the Grand National has 34 runners, and as one of the largest races in the world, anything can happen.

As we all know, sometimes you need a sprinkle of good luck on the day to get you over the line. That’s where the ‘each-way’ bet comes in.

You are making TWO BETS. The first bet is for the horse to win. The second bet is for the horse to place. That means finishing in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th place.

So if your horse doesn’t win but finishes in 3rd place, you still get paid out by the bookmaker.

You lose the first part of the bet because the horse didn’t win. But you get 1/4 or 1/5 of the quoted odds for winning the place part of the bet.

An Example

Imagine the horse you want to bet on has odds of 20/1.

You decide you want to place a £5 each-way bet on it. The bookmaker is paying 1/4 odds on the each-way part.

That means you are betting £5 on him to win and £5 on him to place. As a result, your each-way bet will cost you £10.

Now pretend that he finishes in 3rd place. You lose the first £5 bet because it didn’t win.

However, you still have your £5 place bet at 1/4 odds. 20/1 (the odds) x £5 (your wager) = £100. Divide that by 4 (a quarter odds), and you will get £25 plus your £5 each-way stake back.

That is how you calculate an each-way bet.

What Are The Benefits?

As I mentioned before, the Grand National is a notoriously difficult race. On its day, any horse can have a shot at winning.

Even the best horses can struggle over the fences. That is why, to maximise your chances of getting some return on your bet, the each-way is so much better.

With some bookmakers paying out to six places, you give yourself six chances of winning.

When it comes to the maths, it is never recommended to bet each way on a horse with odds of less than 6/1.

With the Grand National, this is rarely a cause for concern as so few ever go off on odds that short.

That means there is usually no reason why you wouldn’t bet each-way in this instance.

When To Avoid Each Way In Horse Racing?

Like everything, there are, of course, some exclusions. Races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup are different. It is not a handicapped race, so all horses carry the same weight.

In this case, the best or fastest horse will win or come very close to it.

Sure, you might get a close finish, but it’s rarely between the favourite and a 40/1 horse. That’s just not how the race typically goes.

So for a horse race like that, the odds for the runners will be much lower.

In 2023 Galopin Des Champs was the favourite on odds of 7/5F. He won as predicted and the second place was Bravemansgame on odds of 6/1.

Both were so short in the betting market that an each-way bet on either would have been pointless.

Strategies and Tips for Successful Each Way Betting

One key strategy in each way betting is identifying races where the odds provided by bookmakers offer genuine value.

Look for situations where you believe a horse’s chances of placing (or winning) are better than the odds imply.

This requires understanding form, conditions, and other race day factors.

Understanding Bookie Terms

Different bookmakers might have different terms for their each way bets. Some might offer a quarter of the odds for a place, while others might offer a fifth.

Being aware of these differences can affect your returns significantly. Always read the terms before placing your bet.

Making Use of Bonuses and Promotions

Another tip is to take advantage of bookie promotions. Many bookmakers offer promotions to attract punters, especially during big race days.

These can range from enhanced each way terms to money-back offers.


So there you have it. A quick summary of what does each way mean in horse racing. You are hedging your bets.

You end up with more chances of making a few quid from the bookies but only in certain races.

Each way betting provides a versatile tool in your arsenal. For those navigating the tricky waters of horse racing betting, it offers a blend of risk reduction and potential reward.

But like all strategies and tips designed to give an edge, its effectiveness depends on the specific race and how much knowledge you have.

As always, betting should be approached with caution, knowledge, and a clear understanding of the risks involved.

Whether you’re a seasoned punter or a newbie, each way betting provides another avenue to explore in the thrilling world of horse racing.



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