The main point to understand with each way betting is that basically you are placing TWO equally sized bets one part is a bet on the horse to win the race and the second part is a bet on the horse to place in a race i.e. finishing in the places 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th in some types of races.
Thinking about Each Way Betting in this way as two separate bets will make it far easier for you to understand each way betting.
If you placed a £20 EW (each way) bet on a horse in a race your two bets are a £10 bet on your horse to win and a second £10 bet on your horse to finish in the places, so the total cost of the bets is therefore £20. The win part of the bet is fairly easy to understand it is the same as if you had put £10 to win bet on the horse concerned. Explaining how the place part of the bet is settled by your bookmaker is a little bit more complicated and depends on the type of race you are betting in. The following explains how the bookmaker’s rules for settling each way bets works.
- 2-4 Runners – No place betting allowed
- 5-7 Runners – 1st and 2nd pay 1/4 of the odds
- 8+ Runners – 1st, 2nd and 3rd pay 1/5 of the odds
- 12 – 15 Runner Handicap Races – 1st, 2nd and 3rd pay 1/4 of the odds
- 16+ Runner Handicap Races – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th pay 1/4 of the odds
As you can see from the above example, races with up to 4 runners are win only (so each way betting is not offered by Bookmakers). W88
You will also notice that handicap races are treated in a different way. Theoretically all the horses are given different weights to carry. The ‘weighting process’ is compiled by an Official Handicapper and its his job to try to arrange for all the horses in the race to actually finish together in a straight line! Therefore forecasting which horse will finish placed is considered a more difficult task (the handicapper may make a mistake with one or two horses but surely not with the whole field.) So for the purposes of Each Way Betting in handicaps the bookmakers offer improved place terms i.e. one quarter of the odds instead of one fifth and in fields of over 16 runners they generally offer one extra place position (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th).