When it comes to placing bets on horse racing, most people are aware that you can bet on a horse to Win or you can have a wager on the Each-Way market. There is also the option to bet on the exchange, which will allow you to bet on the field rather than the horse.
What not everyone realises, though, is that there is such a thing as Place betting, which is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than placing two bets, which is what you need to do when you bet Each-Way, you can place a single bet on your horse to finish in the places but not win. Afterall an Each-Way bet is just a packaged bet containing a Win bet and a Place bet, just as you can bet on the win on its own you can bet on a place on its own.
This is a great option when you think a horse has a good chance but you don’t think that it will win outright for some reason. Perhaps it is because there is a clear favourite in the race, but the ‘Without X Horse’ market isn’t very appealing. Whatever the reason, knowing that you can opt to bet on the Place is a good option to have in your back pocket.
Effectively, if you are backing a horse that you think will place but has a decent chance of winning go for Each-Way, but this will cost you 2x the stake. If the horse wins you win both of those bets but if the horse places you will only win one of those bets – the Place bet.
If you think the horse is unlikely to win but will finish in the places it could be better value to wager a single Place bet instead, costing half the amount it would return the same as the each-way bet for a horse finishing in the places.
What Is Each-Way Betting?
To begin with, it is worth having a quick explanation of what Each-Way betting in order to see how Place betting differs from it. When you place an Each-Way bet, you’re actually placing two separate wagers: one on your horse to win the race and the other on your horse to place.
This is why you’ll find that your stake is doubled when you tick the box to say that you want to make your wager an Each-Way one. Equally, if your horse finishes in the places but doesn’t win then you’ll only be paid out on half of the original stake.
You can place Each-Way bets on virtually all sports that have a finishing order, to say nothing of a good range of markets. Obviously we’re only really interested in horse racing here and that is fine because it is a good example of how the bet works and in fact where the bet type originated.
If we imagine that you’re placing an Each-Way bet on a horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and select a stake amount of £5, your actual bet will cost you £10 as £5 gets placed on the Win market and another £5 goes on the Place. If the horse was 10/1 to win, that means you get £50 back in winnings plus the £5 stake for the Win and £10.00 back for the place, plus the other £5 stake, assuming 1/5 odds (although some bookies do offer 1/4 odds for a place)
Place Betting Explained
Though Each-Way betting includes a wager on the horse finishing in the places, Place betting says that the horse will finish in the places for the race in question. How many places they can finish in will depend on the bookie, with many offering as many as five or six places in the biggest races.
In other words, you’ll win your bet if your horse finishes in any of the places (first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc.) in the event that you’ve placed a wager on. This might seem like a great thing, but remember that the odds will be lower than a Win bet.
Though you’ll be pleased to see your horse win, you might end up kicking yourself for not placing an Each-Way wager, which would have cost more but also paid out more than a Place bet will.
It is tricky to know what the right bet to place is at any given moment, but as long as you understand how the wagers work then you’ll be well-placed to make a sensible decision, no pun intended. That is to say, you might be frustrated that you didn’t win more money, but you can be relaxed in the knowledge that you’d have won no money if you’d bet on the Win and the horse had come fourth.
Which One Is Better?
The obvious question that you might want to ask yourself is which of the two bet types is the best one to place. The answer depends entirely on what it is that you’re hoping to achieve from your wager. It is common for people to place an Each-Way wager on a horse that they don’t think will win the race, probably because it is offered with quite large odds, but that they believe will have a solid chance of at least getting close. When you think about it, placing a bet Each-Way is a silly thing to do if you don’t think that it has a good chance of winning.
This is because you have the option to go for a Win and a Place as two separate wagers on your own terms, rather than see your stake doubled as happens when you bet Each-Way.
Imagine that you’re betting on a horse that is 20/1 to Win. That suggests that the horse doesn’t have a massive chance of winning the race outright, which might tempt you into placing an Each-Way wager, covering the possibility of it finishing in the places. Your stake of £5 is now doubled to £10, but you don’t really think it has £5 worth chance of winning.
Rather than placing that bet, therefore, you might instead decide to place a wager of £3 on the Win and £7 on the Place, increasing your Place stake because you think that’s the more likely outcome. Here is a look at the different amounts that you might win depending on the bet that you place and presuming that the horse wins the race:
|Each-Way||20/1||£5 (£10 in total)||£135|
If you were to place an Each-Way bet on the 20/1 rated horse, you could win £135 if the horse was to win the race – this is also assuming a more generous 1/4 odds each way rather than 1/5.
If it finished in the places, you’d be paid out at 1/4 of the odds, in the specific example that we’re looking at, which would mean odds of 5/1 and winnings of £25, plus your original £5 stake back (£30 total). That would mean that you would have bet £10, lost the £5 part of the bet placed on the Win and won the other £5, giving you a total net positive return of £25 for a horse finishing in the places for the race.
If you were to bet on the Win and Place as separate bets, meanwhile, you would win £42 + £52, or £94, if your chosen horse won the race. If it only finished in the places then you would get back £44 in winnings plus the £8 stake, or £52 total, but you would only lose £2 if you’d split your £10 stake up into £2 bet on the Win and £8 bet on the Place. This gives a net positive return of £50, £25 more than the each-way bet.
Obviously you stand to win more with the Each-Way bet if the horse wins, but you are also risking more capital in doing so and are fairly dependent on the horse winning the race in order for you to make a bigger return in this example.
The other thing to consider is whether you even want to place the Win wager. If you really don’t think that the horse has any chance of winning, you can instead place the entire £10 on the Place option. This would payout £65 if the horse was to finish in the Places, which would be a positive return of £40 compared to the horse placing after you’ve placed an Each-Way wager on it.
You might obviously kick yourself if it ended up winning, but considering you don’t think it’s got an chance it might be the road worth taking.
Look At What The Bookies Are Offering
The value of the bet that you’re looking to place depends entirely on what it is that the bookmaker is offering. The reality is that each bookie will offer different payouts depending on numerous factors, including how many horses are taking part in the race and how big the race is.
It is not uncommon for bookmakers to only pay out on the first two places in a race with a small field, for, example, which applies to both the Each-Way and the Place markets. Similarly, some will pay out at 1/4 odds in the Each-Way market, whilst some will pay out at 1/5 odds.
The best thing that you can do as a punter is to sit and do your sums after you’ve seen what it is that the bookies are offering. There is no point getting too excited about placing an Each-Way bet that pays 1/4 odds for a horse that places if you’re convinced that it has no chance of winning.
Though the odds will be lower when betting on the Place market, you are more likely to make a get a return if you bet straight on that and don’t split your stake. Are you costing yourself money just on the off chance that you’re wrong about the horse winning? This is the question you need to ask before choosing a Place or Each-Way bet.