Each Way & Place Betting Explained

Gold And Silver CupsWhen placing a bet, one of the main driving forces is a belief that your selection, whatever that may be, will win. However, each way and place betting are a great option for times when you expect your pick to do well, but aren’t perhaps wholly confident it can go all the way. Here we explain what each way and place betting are, how they work, the differences between them, the key terms and conditions to be aware of and when the best time is to use each of them.

Each Way Betting

We will consider each way betting first of all as this is the more common sort of wager of the two. An each way bet is actually two bets rolled into one, with one stake going on your pick to win and the other going on it “to place”.

What Can You Bet On

Each way bets can be placed on virtually all sports and on a huge range of markets but for the sake of our example, let us consider a bet on the FA Cup outright winner market. In this particular market, and indeed in most wagers where there is a final contested by two teams, individuals or competitors, “to place” effectively means to finish in the top two – in other words to make the final.

As we will see later, the number of places being paid is one of the key aspects to consider for both each way and place betting but in the FA Cup, or, to give another example, a tennis tournament such as Wimbledon, the place element of the bet refers to a top-two finish.

Each Way Bets Are Made up of Two Parts: Win & Place

An each way bet is split into two equal stakes, such that a £5 each way bet on Arsenal to win the FA Cup will cost you £10. “£5 each way”, means you are betting £5 on Arsenal to win the FA Cup and £5 on them to place, in this case to make the final (as opposed to £5 in total, with £2.50 on each portion of the wager).

The “to win” part of the each way bet works just like a standard “win single”, so if Arsenal are 10/1 when you place your bet you would receive £50 in winnings and your £5 stake. The each way half of the bet is slightly more complex, however, in that each way bets pay out at a percentage of the full odds that differs according to the event on which you are betting. With bets such as the FA Cup winner and similar two-team final events, this is invariably one half of the normal odds.

If Arsenal win the FA Cup, both portions of your each way bet are winners. This means that you get your £55 return as described above for the win but you also get a win from your place stake. In this instance this would be a return of £30. The 10/1 odds are halved to 5/1 and your £5 place stake then returns £25 profit, plus the stake, for a total overall return of £85 from the original £5 each way (sometimes written e/w) bet. This gives you a tidy profit of £75 from a total stake of £10.

If Arsenal had, by contrast, got beaten in the semi final (or indeed at any stage prior to the final for that matter) both portions of the bet would lose and you would lose your entire £10 stake. If, however, Arsenal were to make the final but lose, you would win with the each way or place portion of the bet but lose the win half.

This would give you a total return of £30 for a profit overall of £20. Your £5 place bet would pay out as described above, at half-odds of 5/1, whilst the £5 assigned to Arsenal winning the FA Cup would be lost.


  • Arsenal Win - Here you win both bets for a return of £85 (£5 at 10/1 plus £5 at 5/1) and a profit of £75.
  • Arsenal Place But Don't Win - Here only the place portion of your bet wins for a return of £30 (£5 at 5/1) and a profit of £20 (£30 minus £5 stake minus £5 win bet).
  • Arsenal Don't Place - And here both bets lose for a return of £0 and a loss of £10.

Place Betting

Place betting is a similar thing to each way and is a newer creation. As opposed to two bets, it is just a single wager on a team to place. As before, the exact details of what “placing” means, will vary from event to event and sometimes between different bookmakers. In the example above, of Arsenal winning the FA Cup, your place bet is a winner as soon as they make the final.

The result of the final itself is irrelevant and you win no more or no less if they win, than you do if they lose. A £5 place bet on Arsenal will cost you £5, not £10 and it’s worth noting that the odds are calculated differently than the each way equivalent. This means that place odds alone are often lower than the corresponding each way prices, although this is not always the case and they can sometimes even be higher, depending on how the bookie sees things shaping up.


  • Arsenal Win - You win your £5 bet at 5/1 for a return of £30 and a profit of £25.
  • Arsenal Place But Don't Win - The win is irrelevant, so identical to the returns if Arsenal won. Return of £30, profit of £25.
  • Arsenal Don't Place - Your bet loses for a loss of £5.

Differences Between Each Way and Place Betting

Hopefully our explanations of what both each way and place betting are and how they work have highlighted the differences between the two markets but just to recap and clarify:

  • Each way bets consist of two bets and a place bet is just one
  • Odds for each way stated as a fraction of the win odds
  • Odds for place bets are a separate market and calculated independently of the win odds
  • Place bets pay the same for a win as for a place

Terms and Conditions to Note

Each way and place betting are simple enough but there are always a few things to be aware of with any bet and when it comes to this type of wager the two crucial things are:

  1. How many places are the bookies paying to
  2. What odds they are paying at

The first of those applies to both place and each way betting, whilst the odds issue is only applicable to each way betting. 

Number of Places

The number of places an event pays to determines whether your bet wins, or loses. If you place an each way bet on a horse race with 4 places and your horse comes in 5th, your bet loses. But if it had paid to 5, then it would have won.

Most of the time industry standards are followed with everybody paying to the same number of places. For example, nine times out of 10 a place will be considered as making the final of a major cup (ie: top 2), tennis tournament or similar, the top five for golf tournaments and either the top two, three or four for horse races.

With racing this depends on the race (handicaps and non-handicaps are treated differently) and number of runners, with the smallest fields paying just for the top two and handicaps with 16 or more horses paying out for a top four finish. It’s worth noting that races with between two and four horses will not offer each way or place betting.

Tip: Watch out for enhanced place offers. Whilst industry standards usually apply, some bookmakers offer enhanced terms for bigger events - with the number of places increased by one (or more). This can make a difference to whether your bet wins or loses, so pay attention!

One final thing to be aware of when it comes to place and each way betting (though also betting generally) is how dead heat rules impact upon payouts. In some sports, with golf the most obvious example, ties for places are common and this means dead heat rules will often apply to each way bets. You can read more about this in our dedicated dead heats feature.

Each Way Betting Odds

With a place bet you have clear quoted odds and these will be paid in full. So if it says 6/1 for a horse to place, that's the price you'll get if it does.

However, with an each way bet it is important that you check what fraction of the win odds the bookie is paying. Usually this will be the same at all bookmakers and varies by sport, format and number of entrants.

For example when it comes to golf most bookmakers pay each way bets at a quarter of the normal odds, whilst in horse racing there are defined industry standards according to what type of race it is and how many runners there are. Sometimes a quarter, sometimes a fifth, sometimes something else. As your payout will depend on what percentage of the odds you receive it is vital you are aware of this, especially as it can vary from one site to another.

Each Way Betting Strategy

A familiarity with each way and place betting is a crucial part of a serious punter’s weaponry. If you only intend to bet on individual football games, for example who will win a given game or whether both teams will score or not, then this is not the case. However, for most sports betting fans who like to bet on a range of sports and markets, this type of wagering can really help you make a profit.

Each way betting is most commonly used in horse racing, where it probably originated, although golf is also ideally suited to it too due to the large fields and decent possibility of a long odds winner. Indeed any sport with lots of runners and no dominant force is suitable for each way and/or place betting.

Other popular markets include top goalscorer betting and tournament outrights, whilst it’s also worth noting that place bets can sometimes be called different things in different sports. For example in Formula 1 you may back a driver for a podium finish, in golf you can back a top five (or top 10, or other finishes) and in most tournament formats you can back a side or player to make the final.

In any sport or market, however, usually both each way and place bets are only used for outsiders. For example, when it comes to Formula 1 and individual Grands Prix, each way bets pay 1/3 of the odds for a top two finish. As such, few punters will back favourites such as the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg each way. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons when the duo were particularly dominant their odds were usually both around the even money mark and at these sorts of prices each way betting is not really sensible.

This is because you will actually lose money unless your driver wins. To break even on a place you would need to be backing a driver at odds of 3/1, with 1/3 of that being evens, creating a win that would cover your losing win stake.

Of course, as an individual you may still want to bet on short odds options each way as a form of insurance but in general we feel each way shots are only worth considering where the odds are big enough to at the very least break even if your selection lands a place.

Some may question the merit even of these relatively low odds. However, as an example, if we imagine a 4/1 favourite in a horse race that pays a quarter of the odds for a top three finish: £10 e/w will give you a total profit of £50 if the horse wins, whilst if it finishes second or third you would simply break even.

Now, some may say that why not just back the horse to win. You could risk just £13 for a total profit of £52 if it won. You’re risking less but winning more and, of course, if you are very confident in your tip then this indeed would be a good strategy. However, the each way bet gives you a nice piece of insurance and is especially useful where you just cannot envisage a scenario where your horse will fail to place (though of course anything can happen in horse racing and indeed sport in general!).

In such a situation your win bet can be viewed as a “bet to nothing”. You’re highly confident the horse will finish in the top three and so effectively you’re risk of losing is very slim, whilst you have the nice added bonus of a decent payout if your pick does indeed manage to claim the victory.

Viewing the each way portion of the bet as a form of insurance is one aspect of place punting but the other is to view the place finish as the more likely outcome. This will tend to be the case on a long odds outsider, where you feel the chances of the horse, golfer, team or individual winning are slim but you suspect the odds are too long and they could yet claim a place.

As an example we may consider a snooker tournament where the vagaries of the draw system have created a real opportunity for a lesser player. Each way bets in snooker normally pay half the odds for making the final and if we imagine the World Championship, you may feel there is real value backing a qualifier each way. The qualifier may offer odds of 100/1 but perhaps you feel the fact they will have played themselves into form means they can sneak past an undercooked favourite in the first round. From there the draw has been kind, with most of the best in-form players in the other half of the draw. You doubt your choice will have the class to cause a major upset in the final but an each way bet gives you a great way of backing them to go close.

In this instance the win part of the bet is once again considered as something of a bonus but even the e/w portion will deliver a win. If your player makes the final a £2 each way bet will deliver a profit of £98 which in itself would be a good win. However, if he causes yet another upset in the final your profit would be a huge £300!

Place or Each Way?

Deciding between a place wager and an each way bet very much depends on whether you think the selection has any real chance of winning. To some extent the fact you think they can place automatically means they must have at least some hope of winning but in some instances this may not always quite be the case.

One example of a time it may be better to opt for a place bet as opposed to an each way punt is when your pick is a huge, huge outsider. Perhaps a golfer at 500/1 or a horse at 100/1 who, realistically, would be seriously overachieving if they were to place, let alone win. Of course, your pick could always “do a Leicester” (who started the 2015-16 Premier League season as 5000/1 outsiders only to go on to win the title!) but rather than risking double your stake by including a win bet, the place may make more sense.

Another time you may prefer a place bet is where there is a very strong favourite at very short odds. Whatever the sport or market, if there is one outstanding competitor that seems unlikely to be beaten but you think you know who will finish behind them, a place bet may be the perfect option.

Ultimately deciding between a place and an each way punt will be a personal decision but hopefully you are now fully familiar with both options, how they work, how they differ and what their respective advantages are.