How does an each-way accumulator work?

An each-way accumulator is a very common technique, mainly used when betting on horse racing or for example betting on outright winners of several competitions. A punter would usually use it as a bit of a safety net when backing selections at higher odds (with the hope that their chosen selection wins or at least places). Obviously if your selection doesn’t win, but it still places, you’ll get a return lower than the original amount. Different bookmakers will have different stated odds for an E/W place, for example (1/5, 1/4)

One common misconception with each-way betting is that it’s a single bet, but it’s actually made up of two parts (a ‘Win’ bet and a ‘Place’ bet). For example, if you backed a horse to win each-way, the bet would be placed for both the horse to win and the horse to place. The stake of each bet would be equal, so for example, if you bet £10 each way, your total stake would actually be £20 as you’d be placing £10 on the win selection and £10 on the place selection. It’s another pretty common misconception when betting each-way and many people make the mistake and can’t understand why they’ve staked twice the amount they intended.

How to place an each-way bet

– Find the selection that you want to bet on, whether it be a horse or for this example, a team to win the league.

– You would then place your stake, say it’s £10 each way for this example.

– That would then, place £10 on the team to win the league and also £10 on that team to place. Different bookmakers would give a different number of places to which they pay out on.

– For my example, if I chose Sunderland to win the league @ odds of 16/5 (4.20), that would mean that £10 was placed on Sunderland to win the league at odds of 16/5 (4.20). Alongside that would be a £10 bet on Sunderland to place, using Betfair as an example, they currently pay out the top three places, so if Sunderland were to finish in the top three, the place bet would be a winner.

– The odds that the place bet will be settled at will be stated by the bookmaker, in this example, Betfair state that they pay out ¼ odds for a place winner. Working this one out, you’d get (¼ of 3.2/1 (4.20) = 0.8/1 (1.80))

– So, for this example: –

Sunderland finish 1st – An each-way bet would return (Win = £10 x 4.20 = £42) + (Place = £10 x 1.8 = £18), so a £10 each-way bet on Sunderland to win the league (Stake £20) would return £60.

Sunderland finish 2nd or 3rd – An each-way bet would return (Place = £10 x 1.8 =£18), with the Win selection being settled as a loss.

Sunderland finish below 3rd – Both the Win and Place selections would be settled as losers.

When combining selections into an accumulator and selecting each-way, the same premise would still be used as above. As with a normal accumulator, all the selections odds would still be accumulated to a total, however when using each-way in an accumulator, all selections must win for the Win outcome and all selections must place for the place outcome to win. If any selection doesn’t win/place, then the entire bet would be settled as a loser.

For example, if you had an accumulator of five horses all running on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham with a £10 each-way stake and the first four all strolled to victory, you’d be scratching your head about what to do. Firstly, you’d be offered a very tasty cash-out and that would be one option. However, as I said previously, a lot of punters see using each-way as an insurance policy, as they know that even if their horse fails to win, but manages to place, they’d get a handsome return on their bet.

You see many an example, where people have placed an each-way accumulator on such days as Gold Cup & Royal Ascot etc… The returns on the bet would be in the 10’s of thousands. Two races in and they’ve got two winners, then the next horse fails to win (only places), they don’t understand why their returns would drop so staggeringly. This is obviously down to the fact that the win bet (the brunt of the returns) has been settled as a loser and only the place bet remains.