Calculating the potential returns from any bet can be a time-consuming process, but if you are placing an each-way bet, the calculation becomes a little more complicated.
Each-way betting calculators are one of the many free resources that have been created to help save time whilst betting, and they are freely available at a number of online destinations.
What is each-way betting?
Each-way betting is a popular way to increase the chances of getting a return, and is common practice in events such as horse racing and greyhound racing.
An each-way bet involves two bets: a 'win bet' and a 'place bet'. The each-way bet will provide a payout if either part of the bet proves successful.
The win bet portion of an each-way bet involves backing a selection to win an event, whilst the place bet portion involves backing the same selection - with an equal stake - to finish in a particular place.
If your selection wins the event, both portions of your bet will pay out. If your selection doesn't win but is placed, your bet will pay out on the place portion only.
The odds offered for the place portion of the bet are typically a fraction of those offered for the win bet.
Importantly, each part of the bet must be an equal stake, so if you place a £5 each-way bet, you will have £5 on the win and £5 on the place, totaling £10.
Bookmakers typically determine the places that they pay out on for a place bet, and this can differ not only from bookmaker to bookmaker, but also from event to event. Betfair, for example, extends the available finishing positions out to the first five places of a bet on the Grand National, but not all bookmakers will offer as many potential payouts as this.
Calculating the returns you stand to make from an each-way bet involves combining the odds offered on the win bet and the place bet.
Which sports are available for each-way betting?
Each-way betting requires a sporting competition in which there is a winner, as well as multiple participants who are ranked in place order below them at the end of the event.
Sporting events such as football, boxing, rugby and tennis matches only offer a winner and a loser, whereas horse racing, greyhound racing, and cycling competitions involve multiple competitors who are all ranked in respective positions at the end of the event.
Similarly, tournament-based competitions like the football World Cup offer opportunities for each-way bets, given that the competition ends with a winner, a runner up, and teams finishing third and fourth.
How many places are available for 'place bets'?
The most common structure for each-way betting terms in UK sporting events does not allow any place betting on races with between two and four runners.
If the race has between five and seven runners, place betting is typically available on the first-placed finisher, and also the second-placed finisher at one quarter of the odds of those listed for the winner.
A race with eight or more runners will normally provide each-way betting options that include the first, second, and third place finishers, with the third place offered at one fifth of the odds of the winner.
There are special rules that apply to handicap races when it comes to each-way betting. The task of predicting the place finishes of, for example, horses in a handicap horse race is made considerably more complex by the fact that - in theory at least - every horse has an equal chance of winning the race.
Because handicap races are considered to be harder to accurately place each-way bets on, bookmakers typically offer an extra placed finish as an option in each-way bets on races involving 16 or more runners, at a quarter of the odds of the winner.
What if my bet is a non-runner?
With horse racing being one of the most popular sports for each-way betting, it is worth bearing in mind that each-way bets can be affected by the withdrawal of horses from a race.
If you place an each-way bet on a race in which the odds are 1/5 for the first three finishing places in a field of eight runners, and one of the competitors withdraws from the race to leave only seven runners, the terms of your bet will most likely be altered to 1/4 odds on the first two finishing places only.
If your each-way bet offered options on only the first two finishing places, and a runner withdraws from the race, it is highly likely that your each-way bet will become 'win only'.
The same conditions often apply to other racing events, such as cycling, greyhounds, and motorsports.
How to use an each-way betting calculator
Once you have chosen the event that you want to place your each-way bet on, you can use an each-way bet calculator to help you work out your total outlay, as well as the return and profit you stand to make if you win.
An each way bet calculator will first ask you to enter your stake size, and whether your stake is per bet or your total stake.
You can then enter the number of selection you wish to back, and the odds format you wish to enter your odds in. Your each-way bet calculator will then allow you to enter your predicted outcome, the odds of your win bet, and also your place bet odds. Some each-way bet calculators will also feature a 'Rule 4' option, which you can use to adjust your calculated winnings in the event that runners are withdrawn before the race.
Your predicted outcome for each selection might be a winner, a placed finish, a dead heat, a loser, or a void/non-runner, and your each-way bet calculator will offer you the option to enter any of these outcomes into your calculation.
Once all of your information has been entered, the calculator will present a summary of your total outlay, your total return if your predictions prove correct, and the total profit you stand to make.