The two types of bets which are the most popular with racegoers are to win and each-way.
You fancy a particular horse to win the race and if they do, you win your bet!
For example, a successful £2 win bet at odds of 4/1 will see you receive a payout of £8, plus you get your £2 stake back.
Think your horse might win, but is more likely to come second or third? To improve your chances of winning you can bet each-way.
This is actually two separate bets on the same horse – one for them to come first and the other for them to be placed. Because this is two bets, if you ask to put on “£2 each-way” you will be asked to pay £4 in total.
If your horse wins you will get a return from the win bet and also the place bet, because your horse placed in first position!
For example, a £2 each-way bet at odds of 4/1 will see you receive a payout of £8 for your £2 win bet, and then for your £2 place bet you will also receive a quarter or a fifth of that amount on top (dependent on the number of runners and type of race, see Understanding Odds). In addition you will also get your £4 total stake back.
If your horse doesn’t win the race, but finishes in the placings, you will get nothing for your win bet and lose this part of your stake. However, you have won your place bet and you will also get this part of your stake back.
For races with 4 runners or less, bookmakers will normally only take win bets. However, sometimes a bookmaker may choose to offer place terms on the second horse and this will be a fifth of that horse’s odds (see Understanding Odds).