How Does Each Way Betting Work?


Betting is a favourite pastime of many people, but it can be confusing at times, especially if we’re talking about each way betting (also known as EW betting or E/W betting). Wondering how does each way betting work? Worry not – this article will explain all the intricacies of this type of betting, teach you how to make an each way bet, and provide the answers to any unanswered questions you still might have on the subject. 

Horses racing

What Is an Each Way Bet?

An each way bet consists of two parts – a win bet and a place bet. The two bets have to be equal; the same amount of money is placed on both bets. This type of betting is most commonly used to bet on horse racing, but an each way bet can be made on various other sports, such as golf, football, and even reality TV shows! 

So, what does each way mean in betting?

Each way means that the punter needs to place one bet on a selection to win, and another bet on the selection to place. This is best illustrated with an example – and we’ll discuss examples of an each way bet in terms of horse racing, as it is the most popular sport for this type of betting. 

The first part of an each way bet requires that you place one bet on a horse to win, and another bet on the same horse to place, i.e. the horse finishes the race in one of the top positions. The exact number of places (or positions) you can place an each way horse bet on depends on the bookie, but generally, you can bet on the first 4 or 5 positions

When you place an each way bet of £10, you’re not only staking £10 but £10 each way, i.e. on both bets, so the total stake would amount to £20!

DID YOU KNOW? Horse racing began in the 17th century in the UK – and it has been a popular betting sport among the British public ever since. In the era of online betting, many betting sites have been established where people can place bets on their favourite horses. 

How Does Each Way Betting Work?

The first thing you need to do before you place your bet is to make a selection and decide on the amount you want to bet each way. 

One bet needs to be placed on the horse to finish the race in the first position. The other bet needs to be placed on the same horse to either win or to finish the race in one of the offered top positionsusually, these are the first five positions in a race. 

If you’re still wondering what does each way mean in betting in terms of money, what you need to remember is that you need to double your stake and bet the same amount on both bets. You cannot place more money on one of the bets – the stakes must be equivalent. However, you’re not only doubling your stake, but you’re also increasing your chance to win and the potential profit you can make if one of your bets is successful. 

If you want to grasp the each way bet meaning, there are three things you need to know:

  • The betting odds – the winning odds for each horse are displayed on the right side, next to the name of the horse. If you still have difficulty understanding the odds, you should focus on understanding betting odds if you want a more successful betting experience. 
  • The number of places – the places are displayed in the top right corner and they represent all the positions in which the horse has to finish the race for the place bet to be successful. The number of places depends on the number of runners in the race – the Grand National race has more offered places because there are a large number of runners
  • The each way fraction – an each way bet in horse racing has fractional odds for the place bet – these are displayed as 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, or 1/5. Since the chances of the horse finishing in first or in second place are much higher, the place odds are reduced by the fraction (1/5 for first place or 1/4 for second place). 

If the selection finishes in first position, the punter receives a return from both the win bet and the place bet. However, if the selection doesn’t finish first, but in one of the top positions specified in the bet, the punter only receives the profit from the place bet

The odds for betting each way depend on the type of sport, the tournament, and the bookmaker, so they need to be carefully checked before placing a bet. Each way betting is in essence insurance betting, because even if the selection fails to win the race, the punter still receives a return if the selection comes close to winning. 

DID YOU KNOW? The most successful gamblers in the UK live in London, Liverpool, and Manchester based on the amounts they’ve won gambling or betting, while the least successful ones are located in Leicester, Sheffield, and Newcastle

How to Calculate Each Way Bets

If you’ve decided to bet each way, you probably want to know how much you’re entitled to win for each possible outcome. What you need to remember is that if your selection wins, you are entitled to the winnings of both bets, not just the win only bet

You can calculate your winnings with the following equation: 

(Bet x Odds) + (Bet x 1/4 of Odds) + 1/2 Stake + 1/2 Stake = Each Way Winnings

This is probably too vague, and you need the each way bet explained in more practical terms. 

  • The bet is the amount of money you wagered – for example, £100
  • The odds indicate the probability of winning – 3 to 1 odds
  • The stake is the total amount you placed on the each way bet – £200

If we use the equation to calculate the winnings, with the aforementioned numbers, it would look like this:

(£100 x 3) + (£100 x .75) + 100 + 100 = £575

However, if you’re wondering how does each way work if your selection doesn’t win, you need to keep in mind that you need to use a different equation to calculate the winnings you’re entitled to from the place bet, but you lose half of the stake. In that case, the equation would be as follows:

(Bet x Odds x 0) + (Bet x 1/4 of Odds) + 1/2 Stake = Each Way Winnings

If we use the same variable from the above example to calculate the winnings from the place bet, we will get the following results:

(£100 x 3 x 0) + (£100 x .75) + £100 =£175

In this case, when we have each way explained, it becomes obvious that the punter would lose money since the initial stake was £200 and the each way odds for the place bet were too low to turn a profit

If it so happens that the selection neither finishes first nor in one of the selected places, the punter loses both bets and doesn’t receive a return

Each way betting is not the only way of placing more than one bet at once – you can place multiple each way bets on separate selections and events, for example, Trixie bets, Patent bets, or even a Yankee bet, which is placed on 11 different selections!

If these calculations seem too difficult, there are online calculators you can use to calculate the potential winnings of your each way bets.

DID YOU KNOW?: 65% of betting losses in horse racing are due to a jockey error – 33% are prescribed to track bias, while 2% are due to punters reading the odds incorrectly. 

Key Takeaways

Betting each way means that two equal bets are placed on the same selection.
An each way bet consists of a win bet and a place bet.
The betting each way meaning is that you minimise your potential losses – you win either way.
There’s an equation you can use to calculate your winnings – or you can use an online calculator to help you.
You should bet each way if the odds are 5.0 or higher to secure a winning bet.

Is Each Way Betting Profitable?

Each way betting is popular because it decreases the chance of losing all your money wagered on a bet – but is it profitable? The answer to this is yes, it is – and it’s more profitable than placing only a single bet! 

What Does Each Way Mean in Horse Racing and How Is It Profitable?

When an each way bet is placed on a horse, it gives punters better chances of winning because the place odds are not determined based on probability; they are tied to the winning odds. Even though the place odds are only a fraction of the winning odds, punters still have a better chance of turning a profit than with a single bet, even if they win only the place bet. In this way, the risk of losing the entire wagered amount on each way horse racing is lowered, although the potential winnings might be lower too. 

DID YOU KNOW? If the odds shorten on the horse you’ve selected, stats show that it will win 9 times out of 10. You shouldn’t back out of the bet even if the odds have been shortened. 

When Should You Bet Each Way?

Although we’ve already established that each way betting is profitable, there are certain situations when you should and shouldn’t bet each way, although there are no strict rules or guarantees. 

You should bet each way when the odds are 5.0 or more – these odds are in your favour since you’ll be turning a profit even if only the place bet is successful. You should also consider betting this way if you’re not 100% sure that your selection will finish in first place, but you’re confident that it’ll finish in one of the specified places. Another situation is if a selection has high odds, but you’re confident that it’ll finish in one of the top positions.

What Does Each Way Betting Mean for Punters if the Odds Are Less Than 5.0?

In case the odds are lower than 5.0, there’s no value in placing an each way bet since this would only minimise losses, instead of covering the whole amount of the initial stake

DID YOU KNOW? A study as to why British people gamble showed that they have many different motivations for engaging in this practice – 83% gamble to win big money, 78% do it for fun, 59% want to earn money, and 51% do it for the thrill. 

How to Place an Each Way Bet

These types of bets can’t be placed on every betting market or platform, and they’re not available for all sports and games – bookies and betting sites have marked games you can place an each way bet on. 

There’s a small box on the betting slip that provides you with the option to place an each way bet. If you decide to go for it, you need to check the box and your original bet will be doubled into two identical bets

What Does Each Way Mean on a Betting Site? 

Whenever you visit a betting site, you will recognize the each way betting odds, since they are displayed as fractions – when you see these odds, you can click on the selection and choose ‘each way’. 

You could also opt for an each way double bet, with which you can pick two selections from two different races – or, go for an each way treble, where you’ll need to place each way bets on three separate selections. 

DID YOU KNOW? Most games where you can place bets each way are marked with E/W – and it’s also possible to convert a standard bet into an each way bet


How does an each way bet work? Simply put, it’s a profitable betting strategy. If you utilise this strategy in the right way and bet when the odds are high enough, not only will you ensure that your losses are minimal or nonexistent, you can also make a profit

Disclaimer: Enjoy betting, but always practice betting responsibly.


Is an each way bet worth it?

It’s widely accepted that an each way bet provides good value for the money that’s been placed on it. However, whether a bet is worth it depends on many things, including the type of sport and event – an each way bet on the Grand National is usually a good idea.

What does each way 1/5 mean?

Each way 1/5 signifies that the odds for the place bet are 1/5 – that means that the punter will receive winnings for the place part of your bet at 1/5 of your odds.

Can you lose money on an each way bet?

If you understand how does each way betting work, you’ll be aware that you can lose money on an each way bet if the odds are low – for example, if they’re lower than 5.0. 


Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

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