What is an each way bet in horse racing?

An each way bet is a type of bet composed by 2 parts of an equal stake named the 'Win' and the 'Place'. Thus a £1 each way bet will have a total stake of £2 which will be split in £1 on the 'Win' and £1 on the 'Place'.

The 'Win' is the part of the bet where your selection is supposed to win, the 'Place' is the part where your selection is supposed to finish either first or in one of the places, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc., number that will depend on the overall number of the horses in the race as you can see here below.

How is an each way bet paid?

If your horse wins, you will win both the 'Win' and the 'Place' bet. If your horse only places, you will lose the 'Win', but you will win the 'Place'.

The odds for the 'Place' are given as a fraction of the odds for the 'Win' and they will be shown to you when you place your bet.

Let's assume that a £1 each way bet is placed on a horse priced at 12/1 and the horse finishes 2nd; returns will be broken down as follows:

The £1 win part of the bet is lost
The £1 place part of the bet is settled by dividing the price by the fraction offered before the race (usually either 1/4 or 1/5th)
12/1 @ 1/4 the odds: 12 divided by 4 = 3/1. £1 at 3/1 = £4 returns
12/1 @ 1/5 the odds: 12 divided by 5 = 2.4/1. £1 at 2.4/1 = £3.40 returns

How many places are paid in the 'Place' bet?

For Horse and Greyhound racing, the 'Place' element of Each Way bets will always be governed by the following place terms:

Non-Handicap Races
2 - 4 Runners: Win Only (1st place only)
5 - 7 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st and 2nd place)
8 or more Runners: A 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)

Handicap Races
2 - 4 Runners: Win Only (1st place only)
5 - 7 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 2 places (1st and 2nd place)
8 - 11 Runners: A 1/5th the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)
12 - 15 Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 3 places (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)
16 or more Runners: A 1/4 the odds over 4 places (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place)

Usually the place terms (1/4, 1/5 and number of places paid) will be determined by the number of horses coming 'under starter's orders' and not by the number of declared runners when the price was taken.

You can also see how many places are paid on your bet receipt of course.