In individual sports, there can be only one winner.
When you consider that some golf tournaments have as many as 156 players in them, you can get a sense of how difficult it can be for punters to find that one champion amongst such a large field size – that’s why those who bet on golf in a win only fashion have to be incredibly patient as the inevitable wait for a win goes on.
The good news for more risk-averse punters is that there’s a different way to bet on outright golf markets that offers the same level of excitement of chasing winners, but with the caveat that a return will be paid if their selection finishes inside the places.
Welcome to the world of each way golf betting.
How Does Each Way Betting Work?
Popularised by both horse racing and greyhound betting, the introduction of each way wagers ensured that more and more punters got involved – no longer did you have to simply find the winner in order to gain a return on your investment.
In a nutshell, each way betting requires you to place two bets on the same selection: one to win and one to place. So, a £5 stake would actually become £10 when wagering each way – £5 on the win part and £5 to place.
If your pick wins, then both the win and place parts are paid out – this is, of course, the ideal scenario. If your pick finishes in the places, you will be handed a revised return based on two things: a) the odds taken, and b) the each way terms offered by the bookmaker. You can learn how to calculate each way returns later in this article.
One of the unique things about golf betting is that players can finish tied on the leader board having shot the same score. So, if a bookmaker is paying six places and your selection finishes tied-sixth with a handful of others, the each way calculation will need to be modified further – more on that shortly.
If you want to bet on golf in a way that minimises your risk somewhat but still offers the potential of a winning payout, each way punting is for you.
How Many Places are Paid in Golf Betting?
What’s interesting about golf betting is that the bookmakers have their own rules on how many places they are going to pay out on and the each way terms applied.
For the standard PGA TOUR event, you might see a firm offering only five paid places but at each way terms of 1/4 – meaning that if your selection does finish in the places, your return would be higher than at other bookmakers.
Alternatively, other outfits occupy a different end of the spectrum – they will typically go eight places but with 1/5 terms. So, you have a better chance of securing a place (by virtue of the fact that more players in the field will qualify), but your return will be lower than at other bookmakers because 1/5 takes away more of your payout than 1/4.
When the four golf majors roll around – namely The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship – the bookmakers tend to extend their place offering. Ten and even 12 places will be paid on these big tournaments, thanks to the greater amounts of money wagered upon them and also as an enticement to encourage occasional golf punters to have a flutter.
Interestingly, some bookmakers now even let you pick your own each way terms. They will offer odds at different price points, with five places (1/4), seven places (1/5) and ten places (1/6) as examples of how you can modify your wagers according to your own needs.
How to Work Out Each Way Winnings
To understand how each way winnings are calculated, it’s perhaps easiest if we walk you through a couple of examples.
First off, let’s imagine we backed Rory McIlroy each way at odds of 10/1 to win the 2023 Open Championship, with ten places paid at 1/5. The Irishman would eventually finish sixth on the leader board, securing a place return.
Let’s say we backed Rory at £5 each way for a total outlay of £10. We know that we’ve lost £5 because he didn’t win the tournament, so our E/W calculation is based upon that £5 place bet.
Now we can plug in the numbers. We divide the odds taken by the each way terms, which in this case means we’re dividing ten (10/1) by five (1/5). That gives us an answer of two, or – specifically – 2/1.
Now we multiply our each way stake (£5) by the revised 2/1 odds, which gives us a £10 win. With our stake returned, that gives us a total return of £15 for the each way element of our wager.
Those numbers are nice and round, which makes them easy to follow. Other times the calculation may be harder to do, but the good news is that there’s plenty of each way bet calculators available online to do the math for you.
Now, what happens if our player finishes in the places but in a tie?
Let’s head back to the 2023 PGA Championship, which was won by Brooks Koepka. In our mythical example, we again backed Rory McIlroy but this time with seven places (1/5). Our stake was £5 e/w, so £10 in total.
Rory finished tied in seventh with Sepp Straka, meaning that we have a revised each way payout to calculate. First off, we know we’ve lost the £5 win part of our bet.
With the £5 place part, we must again run the numbers. This time, we have two players tied for seventh so that £5 becomes £2.50 – you divide your each way stake by how many players are in the tie for the last paid place.
So this time we’re multiplying £2.50 by the place terms (10/1 divided by 1/5 = 2/1), so £2.50 multiplied by 2/1 is a £5 win. With our £2.50 stake also returned to us, that’s a total each way return of £7.50.