Those starting out in betting will typically wager ‘on the nose’, i.e. the thrill of backing a winner in horse racing or in outright football, tennis, golf or cricket markets, to name a few.
But as time passes, inexperienced punters begin to ponder the question: should I be betting each way rather than win only?
What is Each Way Betting?
Take a look at the image below.
This is the betting market for The Derby, featuring all the horses in the field and their respective odds to win.
Now examine the text highlighted in red at the top of the picture. These are the each way terms, which confirm that those that place e/w bets will secure a payout if their pick finishes first, second or third – denoted by the 1-2-3.
The place terms, which here are 1/5 of the odds, confirm how much you will return if your horse finishes inside the places but does not win.
If you wanted to wager £10 on Passenger at 5/1, you can back the horse to win only or tick the ‘each way’ box on your betslip. You will then be placing £5 on Passenger to win and £5 on the horse to place at the terms outlined above.
What are the Advantages of Betting Each Way?
The advantages of betting each way speak for themselves: you will still secure a payout if your selection wins or benefit from a consolation prize if they finish within the places. So, you can still get a return even if your pick does not prevail, which in itself is appealing.
Of course, the amount you will return on an each way bet depends on the odds of the selection, how much you stake and where specifically they finish in the race. The higher the odds, the greater your payout is likely to be.
The main disadvantage of each way betting is in the staking.
Instead of wagering, say, £10 solely on your selection to win and enjoying a full payout if they do, with each way punting you only bet half your stake on the win and the other half on the place part – therefore, you will win less if they your selection does go on to prevail.
What are the Best Odds for Each Way Betting?
As alluded to, your decision on whether to bet each way or not should largely be determined by the odds of the selection in question.
At around the even money mark, there’s little reason to bet each way, as we will discover shortly. But for picks at 10/1 or longer, the maths stacks up somewhat better.
So let’s take a look at a few examples of different price points. Remember, we’re betting £10 each way – £5 on the win part and £5 to place – at 1/5 place terms.
Each Way Bets at Even Money
Let’s first run the numbers for an each way bet on an even money chance:
- Win = £5 -> £16 (net win of £6)
- Place = £5 -> £6 (net loss of £4)
As you can see, if you’re betting on an even money chance it really is worth going win only – yes, you will get a return should your pick place, but it would be an overall loss.
Remember too that even money chances have an implied probability of winning of 50%. That doesn’t mean that they will win, of course, but the percentages are pretty strong in their favour – an even money horse in an eight-horse race, for example, would be typically well-fancied to prevail.
Each Way Bets at 3/1
As the odds of your picks start to increase, that’s when we start to see an uptick in our potential each way returns too:
- Win = £5 -> £28 (net win of £18)
- Place = £5 -> £8 (net loss of £2)
By backing a 3/1 shot each way, we can enjoy a handsome payout if they win and a consolatory return – albeit a net loss – if they place.
The issue here is that 3/1 chances have an implied probability of winning of 25%, which means they are more likely to place than they are to win.
Each 3/1 pick is different of course, but the general consensus is that if you do fancy a selection at this price point, you really do need to think whether the chance of winning is greater than the implied 25% before choosing whether to bet on the nose or e/w.
Each Way Bets at 8/1
An 8/1 selection has an implied probability of winning of around 11%, so automatically we’re thinking about hedging our bets and opting for an each way flutter:
- Win = £5 -> £58 (net win of £48)
- Place = £5 -> £13 (net win of £3)
As you can see, 8/1 is something of a sweet spot for each way betting as it delivers a win whether your selection wins or lands in the places.
You shouldn’t just wager blindly on 8/1 chances each way, of course, as some can be considered more of a value bet than others. But if there is a selection at this price you like, using the e/w option is a smart way to go.
And if your picks are at odds of greater than 8/1, your net win for placing will increase exponentially.
Should I Bet at Enhanced Place Terms?
As you may know, some bookmakers offer enhanced place terms for some of their markets.
As you bet more in an each way fashion, you will quickly learn which place terms are agreeable and which aren’t – especially as you will typically take lower odds to secure enhanced places.
Here’s an example.
We want to bet on a horse called Invincible Tiger in the 2:50 at Hamilton. His standard price is 5/1 – just about workable from an e/w perspective – with place terms of 1/5 for 1-2-3.
But under an enhanced places promo, Invincible Tiger becomes 4/1 but with four places paid at 1/5.
Is this a good deal?
Let’s run the numbers from a £5 e/w (£10 in total) punt:
- Win = £5 -> £40 (£30 net win)
- Place = £5 -> £10 (break even)
- Win = £5 -> £34 (£24 net win)
- Place = £5 -> £9 (net loss of £1)
By taking the extra place, you would win £6 less should your selection prevail but net a small loss should they finish fourth – as opposed to a complete loss of stake if they finished fourth under the standard 1-2-3 place terms.
Once again, it’s a question of determining the likelihood of your pick winning or placing and whether their odds are fair value or not.
Enhanced place promos can work if you are betting on long odds chances that you think will sneak into the places – we certainly wouldn’t recommending taking anything less than 5/1 though, even if you add extra place positions into the mix.