An each-way bet is a bet most commonly seen in horse racing. It works as two separate bets. If a customer places £10 each-way on a horse, his stake will total £20 (£10 to win and £10 to place).
If the horse wins, the customer wins both parts of the bet. If it only places, the customer will receive the returns of the place half of the bet. If the horse fails to place, the backer will receive no return.
When a race has four runners or fewer, bookmakers only take win bets on a race. If there are between five and seven runners, the first two runners place, with the place terms offering a quarter of the odds taken. In a field of eight or more, bookmakers offer three places, with place terms commonly seen at 1/5th of the odds. For example, if a £10 each-way bet is struck in an eight-runner race at a price of 10/1 and the horse wins, the punter will receive a total of £140 return (£10 win = £100 profit + £10 stake and £10 place = £20 profit + £10 stake). If the horse only places, then £30 will be returned.
When handicap races occur with at least 12 runners, the odds improve for a place to ¼ of the odds and in handicaps with 16 runners or more, bookmakers offer four places, also at a ¼ of the odds. However, bookmakers often offer enhanced place terms for terrestrial televised races and big festivals such as Cheltenham. In races such as the Grand National, bookmakers have been known to offer five or six places. It’s always worth checking who offers the best terms for these races and checking your chosen bookmaker’s terms and conditions.
When a horse is backed in an eight runner field, all eight runners must start the race in order to receive the place terms advertised. If a horse is withdrawn before the race, place terms would be reduced to two places in this instance as place terms are usually set on the number of runners that start the race rather than the place terms at the time of betting. The exception to this is ante post betting. If a horse is backed each-way, most bookmakers will commonly pay three places no matter how many horses start the race but a terms and conditions check is always advisable.