What is a Bad Each Way Race?

What is a bad each way race



In most instances, bookmakers are more than happy to lay each way bets on all manner of races. There is, however, a certain category of contest where our good friends, the bookies, aren't quite so keen – falling under the imaginative title of “Bad Each Way Races”.

Of course, if something is bad for the bookmakers, it is usually good for the punters. So, what are these Bad Each Way races? And how do they tilt the odds in favour of the bettor?

What Makes a Bad Each Way Race?

The vast majority of Bad Each Way races are those featuring a short-priced favourite and, ideally, 8 or 9 runners. As the favourite takes up so much of the market in these events, all other runners must be pushed out in the betting to create a fair book.

The problem arises as, whilst the win odds may be accurate, the automatically calculated place portion of an each-way bet may underestimate the runner's chances of hitting the frame. The best way to demonstrate this process in action is via an example.

The 2023 edition of the Dewhurst Stakes is a good example of the ideal Bad Each Way race, whereby there is one short-priced favourite, two runners at single-figure odds deemed likely to be placed, and a host of runners at larger prices.

The table below shows the general decimal odds for the contest, followed by the odds for the place part of an each-way bet. (As a non-handicap event with eight runners, these odds are 1/5 of the win odds). The final column shows the Place Only odds available at a leading exchange.

Bad Each Way Race example


When judging the actual chances of an event occurring, the close to 100% markets of the betting exchange are often the best guide. If the Exchange Place Only odds represent the True Odds, the Placed Prices offered by the bookmaker are bigger than they should be – representing a profitable opportunity for the punter. But how to take advantage?

Profiting from Bad Each Way Races

Of course, all of the above comes with the obvious drawback that, when placing an each-way bet, half of our stake goes on the horse to win. Taking a £10 each way bet on Iberian at odds of 5.0 as an example, the 1.80 place odds may represent great value but will still result in a return of £18 on our £20 investment – unless he happens to lower the colours of the red-hot jolly. There are, however, a few ways in which this theoretical advantage can be translated into actual profit.

Power of Multiples

Sticking with Iberian as an example, those Place Odds of 1.80 are 100% bigger than the 1.40 True Odds implied by the betting exchange. Not enough to secure a profit on its own, but what if we could find three Iberians and place a £10 each way treble?

Provided all three of our value place options do the decent thing and finish in the frame, this would result in a return of £58.32 to a £10 ew treble and a profit of £38.32 on our £20 investment. Using the True odds of 1.40, a £10 treble would return only £27.44. Even using the whole £20 stake for a place-only treble at odds of 1.40 would return £54.88, and also come with the drawback of losing the chance of a bumper payout if all three horses won. Any opportunity to squeeze out more profit than would otherwise be the case benefits the punter in the long run.

Laying Off on The Exchanges

Another method is to use the exchanges to create a free bet on these races. The trick here is to find a horse available to back at very close to the same price with a bookmaker and on a betting exchange. Next, back the horse each way with the bookmaker and lay off to the same stakes on the exchange.

Again, using Iberian as an example, placing a £10 each way bet with the bookmaker at 5.0 and laying a £10 bet at the same price in the exchange win market, and a £10 bet at odds of 1.40 in the exchange place market would create the following scenarios:

  • Iberian Wins the Race - Win £50 on the win part of the bet but lose £50 on the exchange lay bet. Win £18 on the place part of the bet, lose £14 on the exchange place lay bet = Overall £4 profit
  • Iberian does not win but finishes placed - Lose £10 on the win part of the bet but win £10 on the exchange lay bet. Win £18 on the place part of the bet, lose £14 on the exchange place lay bet = Overall £4 profit
  • Iberian Finishes unplaced - Lose £10 on the win part of the bet but win £10 on the exchange lay bet. Lose £10 on the place part of the bet, win £10 on the exchange place lay bet = Break Even

The above is a simplified example but illustrates how the process works to create a no-lose scenario for the punter.

Look out for Extra Place Offers

One final aspect to look out for is when bookmakers offer additional places on races. This most commonly occurs in handicap contests with 16+ runners, where many firms regularly pay out each way on the first six places. However, the standard Place Only Exchange markets only cover the first four in 16+ runner handicaps. By backing with the bookmaker and laying on the exchanges, as outlined above, you will win on both sides of the place bet if the horse finishes fifth or sixth.

Bookies Well Aware of These Races

Whilst it is perfectly legitimate to bet on bad each-way races - whether that be as single bets, multiples, or with the intent of laying off on the exchanges – doing so consistently may well see the bookmaker take action by restricting your stakes, limiting all your bets to Starting Prices, simply refusing your bets or even closing your account.


More Betting Guides:

Each Way Betting and Place Terms Explained

How to Calculate Horse Racing Margins

Top 20 Betting Offers

Copybet
Copybet
Bet £10, Get £50 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Full T&Cs apply. New UK customers only. The qualifying bet should be either a single or multiple bet, start at £10, and have 1.9 or greater odds. 5 Free bets include: 1 x £10 Free bet on horse racing, 1 x £10 Free bet on football, 2 x 10 Free bet in-play, 1 x £10 Free bet Acca. Max payout – £500. 7 day expiry. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.org.

Betfred
Betfred
Bet £10 and get £50 in BonusesClaim Offer

New customers only. Register (excl. 13/04/24) with WELCOME50. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get Free Bets: £20 In-Play, £20 Acca & 50 x £0.20 (£10) Free Spins on Fishin’ Frenzy within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

William Hill
William Hill
Bet £10, Get £40 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £40 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

Virgin Bet
Virgin Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free betsClaim Offer
£10 min deposit. First bet mins odds 1.5 placed within 14 days of sign-up. 2 x £10 in Free Bets: valid for 7 days, free bet stakes not returned. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+ T&Cs apply.
talkSPORT BET
talkSPORT BET
Get up to £40 in football free betsClaim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in & bet via mobile up to £40 (min. £20) on any football market at odds of 2.00+, in 7 days. Get up to £40 in free bets on selected markets. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments & Apple Pay only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

Bzeebet
Bzeebet
Bet £10, Get a £10 Free BetClaim Offer

18+. New Customers Only. Max one £10 Free Bet. Qualifying bets at Odds of 1/1 or greater. Paid as Bonus Token Min 4/5 Odds Req. Skrill, Neteller, Paypal not eligible. T&Cs Apply

LiveScore Bet
LiveScore Bet
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

*New members. £10 min bet on sportsbook (ex. virtual) 1.5 min odds, settled in 14 days of sign-up. Free Bets: accept in 7 days, valid 7 days on sportsbook (ex. virtual). Stake not returned. Full Terms apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+

FafaBet
FafaBet
Sports Offer - Free Bet up to £50 + 20 Casino BonusClaim Offer

New Customers only. Deposit and bet on any Sportsbook Markets with min odds of 2.0. Get 50% Back of your first days' losses as a Free bet up to £50+£20 Casino Bonus.

Coral
Coral
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 1 x 20 free bet. Stake not returned. Free bets expire in 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

BetMGM
BetMGM
Bet £10, Get £40 in BonusesClaim Offer

New cust only. 7 days to opt in by placing a £10 qualifying bet at 1/1 (2.0) odds or greater, to receive 4 x free bets. 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder, 1 x £10 Acca and 1 x £10 Football. 7 day expiry. Exclusions apply. Stake not returned. T&Cs apply.

Bet365
Bet365
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Registration required

32Red
32Red
150% Casino Bonus up to £150!Claim Offer
18+. BeGambleAware.org. New accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit card only. Up to 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7 day expiry. See full terms. #AD
Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes
Bet £5 Get £20 in Free BetsClaim Offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £5 free bets. Stake not returned. Restrictions + Free bet T&Cs apply.

BetVictor
BetVictor
Bet £10 Get £30Claim Offer

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. Click for T&Cs. Please Gamble Responsibly.

SBK
SBK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10 upon settlement. Further £10 Multiple token will be credited after 24 hours and a further £5 Horse Racing Multiple token and a £5 Football Bet Builder token will be credited after 48 hours. Full T&Cs apply.18+. BeGambleAware.org.

BetZone
BetZone
Up to £60 in Free Sports BetsClaim Offer

Promo Code: NEWWELCOME60. For NEW UK customers only, deposit using UK debit card, and certain qualifying bets of Evens or greater. Terms apply 18+

NetBet
NetBet
Bet £5 Get £10Claim Offer

New Customers, deposit and place a qualifying bet with bet builder, min stake £5, min odds 3/1 (4.0). Receive a £10 free bet, valid for 7 days. Full Terms apply, 18+ begambleaware.

Bresbet
Bresbet
50% Bonus up to £25Claim Offer

T&Cs apply. 18+ New customers only. You must place 3 x £10 sportsbook bets to qualify. Money back as free bets up to £25. Must use code welcome25afs when creating an account.

SportingIndex
SportingIndex
Bet £10 Get £20Claim Offer

New customers place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets. 18+ begambleaware

BetUK
BetUK
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free BetsClaim Offer

New customers, Deposit & Place a bet of £10 at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Free bets expire in 7 days. Stake not returned. T&C’s Apply. 18+ begambleaware.