- What is an Each Way bet?
- Why is Each Way Matched Betting profitable?
- How to win money each way betting
- No Lay vs Lay Each Way Betting
- How much money can I make no lay each way matched betting?
- How much should I bet?
- Selection criteria
- Each way advantages vs normal matched betting
- Tracking your each way bets
- Each way betting top tips
Each way matched betting is a profitable strategy to create value out of horse racing bets. Betting each way on horses gives us an advantage because bookmakers don’t set the place odds according to probability.
They are simply always tied to the win odds (a 1/4 or 1/5 fraction of the
If you didn’t understand the short summary above, don’t worry. I wrote this guide to explain EW betting step-by-step.
If you’re tired of the “traditional” matched betting and you want to save time and make a higher profit, then this guide is for you. Each way betting can easily add £500-1000 to your monthly profits.
But let’s take things step-by-step. We haven’t even said what an each way bet is!
I recently stumbled upon an OddsMonkey forum post with over 12,000 comments on the subject! My first reaction was “Wow! there must be something interesting here…” And there was, indeed.
Each way matched betting is simply another way of betting on an outcome when having the advantage in terms of probability. This, in other words, is called value betting.
Think of value betting like this: Getting paid because betting odds are higher than what they should be in reality. For simplicity, let’s take the example of a tennis match. Federer plays Nadal and let’s say both have an equal chance of winning (50%).
What should the odds be? Federer (2.00) vs Nadal (2.00)
However, you will probably never see odds like these when betting with Bet365, Coral or other bookmakers. You will see something like this:
That’s because bookmakers offer lower odds than real odds and that’s how they profit. If people stake £10,000 on Federer (1.90) and £10,000 on Nadal (1.90), bookmaker profits will be £1,000 regardless of who wins. That’s because they’d pay £9,000 in winnings and pocket £10,000 in people’s losses.
In that sense, bookmakers are on the winning side of value betting, and we are on the losing side if we take the bet. Isn’t this sweet… Bookmakers take advantage of value betting and that’s how they profit.
Had the odds been 2.10 vs 2.10, and a 50% chance of each side winning, we would be betting on odds higher than the real odds and we’d be therefore creating value. That’s why we will never ever see these odds together.
So simply speaking, value betting is betting on odds higher than the real world odds. Now that we defined what value betting is, on to the more juicy stuff.
What is an Each Way bet?
An Each Way bet consists of two parts: The win part and the place part (the horse to come 2nd, 3rd or 4th). Both are of equal stake. Most races pay between 2-4 places, so if your horse comes in one of the paid place positions, it will pay out.
The win part is calculated as usual, on the horse odds. But the place is always paying a fraction of the win odds either 1/4th or 1/5th, depending on how many runners are in the race.
Example: A £10 each way bet means betting £5 on the horse to win and £5 on the horse to place. Say there are 8 horses in the race. We place a £10 each way bet on a horse, which means betting £5 for the horse to win and £5 for it to place. Say the win odds are 8.00. To calculate the place odds (not that you’ll ever do that), deduct 1 form the win odds (8-1=7), then divide by the place fraction (1/5) and then add 1. So 8.00 – 1 = 7.00 / 5 = 1.40 + 1 = 2.40.
Case 1) Our horse wins: We get paid both the win part and the place part. £5 * 8.00 (win) = £40 and £5 * 2.40 (place) = £12. Overall, net profit = £52 – £10 (our stake) = +£42
Case 2) Our horse places: We get paid only the place part. So £5 * 2.40 (place) = £12 – £10 (our stake) = +£2
So in any case – win or place – we make a profit. To find out more about how many horses are getting paid in each race and at what fractions you can view this OddsMonkey guide.
Now that we know what an each way bet is, let’s see how we can create value out of it.
Why is Each Way Matched Betting profitable?
Each way betting is bookmakers’ Achilles heel.
Place odds are always tied to the win odds. This is very important to understand so pay attention. By having the place odds being a constant fraction of the win odds as opposed to being a separate market allows for arbitrage opportunities. Why is that, you may ask.
Say a horse favourite is very likely to win (like
Smarkets and Betfair in fact, have separate markets for the Win and the Place part of the bets. This is how it should be. The betting exchanges markets represent the real probability of the place happening. That’s because they are a free market made by millions of people, like any other market. To some extent, the exchange odds are as close to reality as possible.
This discrepancy allows us to take advantage of the bookmakers place price without drawing any concern around arbing.
Another reason that each way betting is so profitable, is because it can be sometimes combined with BOG (Best Odds Guaranteed) and Extra Places races. BOG means that the bookies will pay us higher odds if the starting price is higher than the one we took. This can significantly boost our profits! Most bookies offer BOG now, including William Hill, Bet365, Skybet, Paddy Power, Coral and others. On top of that, some bookmakers offer an Odds Boost like William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Extra Places is also a great bonus. Some races simply pay more places than the usual 4 (hence the extra place promotion). So if your horse ends up finishing 5th in an Extra Place race, you will get paid.
How to win money each way betting
Not ALL each way bets are profitable. In fact, most of them aren’t. But we can find profitable opportunities using software -> the Each Way Matcher in OddsMonkey. Click here if you prefer video. EW Matcher also provides a handy tool where you get an alarm every time a profitable opportunity comes up so you don’t have to stare at the screen all day.
As you can see, the “Max Profit” column is what you can make on each bet if you lay the win and the place. OddsMonkey also says how much you should stake if you click on the “Open Calculator”.
Each Way Matcher has one column called “Rating” and one called “Arb Rating”. I don’t know why OddsMonkey call it “Rating”, but what they really mean is the “Combined Rating” of the win and place bet combined. “Arb Rating” is simply the win-only rating – if you bet for a normal horse to win (not an Each way). Arb rating >100% means that you’re really placing an arb. That’s one of the things you should avoid if you want to keep your accounts open. But I don’t think it matters that much when placing an Each Way bet, even though it’s an arb.
Anyway, the “Rating” is the only field we care about here. This tells us whether when placing this each way bet we have a positive expected value or not. A “Rating” of over 100% means the bet is profitable. However, even lower ratings are profitable too (>95%), because OddsMonkey deducts the exchange commission from it. So if the win and place exchanges are both Betfair, this means that a 95% “Rating” is 100% in reality if we pay 0% commission. This number is >=98% for Smarkets.
Oh yes… commissions matter! Which is why when I started doing each way matched betting I actually did it without laying the win or the place parts. Now you may ask… Isn’t this gambling? Yes, it is, sort of. It’s advantaged play since we have the odds on our side (remember value?). It’s as if you go to the casino but you are on the casino side 😉 But which one is better? No Lay or Lay Each Way Matched Betting?
No Lay vs Lay Each Way Betting
There are 2 ways you can do this. You can either place the Each Way bet and lay it on the exchange or you can let it run “no lay” style. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method but if you’re going to place a lot of each way bets, I believe the no lay benefits outweigh the risks.
First of all, I’d like to say no lay betting has the obvious risk of losing all your money. Since we’re not laying anything, theoretically speaking, we could lose straight 100 times and go bankrupt. Which is why managing your bankroll is VERY important in the beginning. More on it later.
What are the no lay each way betting risks and rewards?
No Lay Each Way Matched Betting
As you can see, no lay has many advantages. But if consistency is what you’re looking for, then you should avoid no lay betting. There can be several weeks without profit and that’s because of variance. Luck is in our side and as you place more bets the long-term advantage will show up. We WILL be profitable, maybe from the first very moment too.
But in the short-term, think 100-200 first bets, anything can happen. Some of you may be now screaming No Lay is gambling! And technically speaking, it is! There are no guarantees that you’ll make
It’s not unusual to say “this no lay system doesn’t work” and give up when you’re in the red in the first couple of bets. But how often do you hear the casino saying “this roulette thing is crap” when you win big?
If consistency is what you’re after go for the lay option instead. You will be less profitable but you will be in profit straight away. I still prefer no lay thanks to how easy it makes my life. No lay means no hassle placing exchange bets, checking the odds, logging the info etc.
But by laying the bet, we pay exchange commission which is a huge amount if you add it up over hundreds of bets. Think of the hundreds of pounds lost to exchange commissions.
OddsMonkey‘s column Max Profit refers to the profit we’ll make if you lay both the win and the place part. In reality, no lay betting offers a much higher profit over the long term, which is why I’m going with it!
How much money can I make no lay each way matched betting?
I will speak for the no lay method as the lay one is straightforward. Laying all the bets will return exactly the amount shown on the EachWay Matcher tool. That’s usually 1-5% return on your bets, depending on what you bet on. So 5% on £500 each way wagering will make you £25. Bear in mind that’s not a single £500 bet, but many small ones.
But no lay each way betting can be much more profitable than its lay cousin. That’s because we don’t pay exchange commissions, we spend less time per bet plus we can place more bets with the same bankroll. Our hundreds of pounds locked in the exchange can now be used for betting instead.
Here’s my profit breakdown from doing it almost 4 months in a row.
|Profit (£2 EW) <- Me
|Profit (£10 EW) <- 5x stakes
I placed around 800 bets of £2 (£1 win + £1 place) and I’m up £300. This may sound quite low for the amount of effort I spent (13 hours betting), but I actually like that a lot! It means my ROI is ~20% and each way betting pays me £25/hour.
Now the beauty in this is that ROI is relative to my stakes. So I can make 5x the amount by increasing my stakes 5 times for the same time spent! This is what the second column of the table shows. Had I bet with £10 instead of £2 I would’ve made much more without spending more time.
However, I’m taking it slowly in the beginning as bankroll management and “how much should I stake” is the million dollar question. There are negative swings that can wipe out my bankroll which is why it’s very important to start with low stakes (see next section).
Another way I can increase my profits is by placing more bets. Increasing the number of bets will not only make my “turnover” higher but will also reduce the impact luck has on my profits. Therefore, it should keep me closer to the expected profit which now is 15-20% of what I bet.
How much should I bet?
When I say this is one of the most important questions I mean it. No lay each way matched betting requires discipline more than any other strategy.
Staking size can make all the difference between “This system doesn’t work” and “I can definitely see the value in doing this”. That’s because in the beginning, luck will dominate. So it will seem like each way betting is a totally random thing. In fact, in my first 60 bets I was down -£50 which is not unusual.
But as you place more bets, luck will play a much smaller role in the bigger picture. The expected value will start showing up the more bets you place.
To continue the casino metaphor, the casino may lose in a day because one gambler hit the number in roulette 10 times in a row. But it won’t be down for a long time. As more and more people stake money, luck (on the people’s side) will fade away and the casino’s edge will eventually show its true face.
Now, there are already proven strategies for how much you should bet (i.e. Kelly criterion). But instead of going into probabilities and math I’d like to keep things simple.
If you’re just starting out, start with a maximum £2 (£1 win + £1 place) or even £1 if your bankroll is less than £1000. My first bets were at £0.50p. When I say bankroll I mean the total amount you have available for betting. You want to have a high enough amount available and split between different bookmakers without having to deposit/withdraw all the time. Not only it’s a hassle but can also draw attention and stupid “document verification” checks.
We can easily dream big when winning and conquered by fear when losing which is why starting with low stakes is so important. Otherwise, we will quit because the negative swings will be too much to bear. Then as we build confidence in our strategy and see the results, we can slowly increase our stakes.
So do not start with £20 each way stakes because you want to get rich quick. This is not the strategy! You will more likely become broke in no time. But do start at £1 or £2 and only look at your profits when you’ve churned 200 bets.
We agreed each way betting is a profitable strategy but we haven’t talked at all about how we pick profitable bets. Obviously, we want to only take those bets with positive Expected Value (EV).
I rely on Each way matcher for that as it displays the “Max Profit”. If the number is positive, then the EV is positive. If you’re laying the bets on the exchange (not using the “no lay” method) then just use the “Max Profit” column as a guide and read no further.
But if you’re using the “no lay” method like I do, then there is more value to it. Here’s all my selection criteria:
- Each way “Rating”: 95-200
- SNR Rating: 0-200 (doesn’t matter)
- “Arb Rating”: 0-100
- Back Odds: 6.00+
This filtering is recommended by the legendary Pingus post on OddsMonkey and so far it has paid well! Sometimes, I will demand no lower than 98% “Rating” if the bookmaker is Smarkets (2% commission). But for Betfair (5% comm), I stick to a minimum of 95%.
You can also set your commission to 0% if you have an offer (like Smarkets do now) and then you should only look for 100% minimum “Rating” for that bookmaker. To set your own commissions go to Tools -> OddsMatcher -> Commissions.
Now some people say that “Arb Rating” doesn’t matter and you can go over 100. Maybe that’s true but I’d rather play it safe and look like a normal punter than draw more attention, especially on a healthy account.
Oh yeah… speaking of which… I always start each way matched betting on the gubbed accounts. Gubbed means promotion restricted. I am not afraid of losing the account since I get no promotions anyway. The only harm they can do me is to stake restrict me to 1p which means the account is pretty much dead.
But I bet on healthy accounts too and have not lost any yet. I also quite like betting on events when there’s a clear favourite like in the picture above. There’s even a higher chance my horse will place and at high-odds!
Mobile-friendly bookmakers for each way betting
There are so many bookies to choose from but you cannot have a big amount in all of them. So you’ll have to choose at least 10. You want to go with the ones that offer the most profitable EW odds but are also easy to navigate while at the coffee queue!
No surprise, these are the well-known high street names: Bet365, William Hill, Skybet, Racebets, Betfair Sportsbook, Ladbrokes,
You can also apply a filter on the EW Matcher to only get notifications for your own bookmakers which is great.
Each way advantages vs normal matched betting
I find that I bet no lay each way more and more these days. Once I realised how quick and easy it is, I got hooked. I’m still learning the ropes and I’m afraid to increase my stakes yet. But the results are definitely there and despite the variance (<- a sophisticated way to say luck in statistics) no lay EW betting is the way I took my matched betting to the next level.
I’m even thinking about creating a bot that bets for me while I’m at work. This will take some time to develop but that will be the definition of passive income!
But to sum up, here’s why no lay each way matched betting is my new favourite over the traditional matched betting.
- Works on gubbed accounts. Yes, those accounts that are dead and excluded from promotions. Gubbed accounts are perfect to start with because there is no fear of getting more banned, only stake restricted. But even with stake restrictions, I can bet up to £10 each way which is fine for me so far.
- Each way is so much quicker than finding an offer, checking the T&Cs, laying the bet on the exchange and marking it to revisit. With no lay, I can even bet on my phone while waiting in the queue for coffee 🙂 Then I write the horse name, the time and the EV on my notes app and only go back at some point to check what happened.
- No lay E
achway betting is more profitable than any other strategy I’ve tried. It comes at a cost of negative swings, but the end result is profit. If around 20% of my stakes are profit, then that means for every £1,000 I stake, I get £200. Not bad for little Foxy!
- Matched betting requires offers to work. Each way betting doesn’t. So in dry periods like January and the summer, no lay each way matched betting is gold.
- Each way betting can be combined with traditional matched betting strategies (such as Skybet’s Money back if your horse comes 2nd and Extra Places) for higher profits. So that’s a big bonus.
Tracking your each way bets
I am not fancy when it comes to tracking my bets. I use a custom spreadsheet to track the following columns:
- Race name (e.g. Navan)
- Rating (this is the combined “Rating” column from EW matcher)
- Profit (+/-)
I guess I could track much more such as the Betfair starting price (BSP) for the win and place. This would give me the BSP Expected Value (which is not known until just before the race starts). Number of runners, fractional payout (4 or 5) are also things you can track. I just don’t bother since the above does the job well.
You can even make it simpler by not tracking Result (win/lose), Rating or Race name. But Rating, in my opinion, is quite important for future analysis.
If you’re interested in tracking the BSP then Timeform has the data both for the win and the place SP. You’ll need to register with them first which is free.
I find the above system easy to fill and rich enough to draw statistics. But what if I bet on my mobile?
If I bet on my mobile, I will make a note of the horse name, race time, bookmaker and expected value at the time of placing. Then when I’m on my desktop I’ll visit the bookmaker’s website and backfill the rest.
That’s how I keep track of my bets. You can also use OddsMonkey‘s tracker which is nice. You just click “Log bet” and it will record a lot of the above for you. Then you go back to settle it. I imagine the reporting side of it will get better over time too.
Each way betting top tips
To sum up, let’s make it clear first. Each way no lay betting doesn’t come with any guarantees. It is what it is. Like Suzybeth from OddsMonkey says, it’s like getting something for a better price than it’s worth.
So you need to trust the EV and stay the course in both good and bad times. After a few hundred bets you will have a clearer picture of what’s happening. You need to ride the variance. Here’s Pingus’ profit graph.
As you can see, the profit moves around the BSP EV and the expected value is always positive. So as long as you keep placing bets, your profits will move along this line.
A good time to find opportunities is between 09:00-13:00. Then between 16:00-18:00 you can find some good bets for the evening races. As I said before, the beautiful thing about each way betting is that you can find bets every day all year round 🙂
Another great thing is that you can use EW for getting a high return from your free bets (SNRs). I sometimes do that instead of settling for the usual 80% free bet return.
I hope you found the Each Way matched betting guide useful. It’s about being consistent and staying disciplined. That’s how profits eventually come. All the best to your future matched betting journey 🙂 Share your big days in the comments below!!!