Clarified – what does e/w mean in football betting?

Ever experimented with ‘each way’ bets? These are exciting, two-part wagers that are typically associated with horse racing. However, a little-known fact is that each way bets can be used in football betting. Of course, the description of ‘little known’ is why I am addressing a common question today – what does e/w mean in football betting? 

If you’re feeling sharp, you’ll have noticed that an introduction to the answer has been given already. To state once more, each way bets are two-part wagers. So by nature, these wagers involved an individual bet placed on two possible outcomes. With that in mind, I’m not talking about back and lay bets, and I’m not talking about covering possible outcomes to give yourself the best chance of a profit.

Each Way Football Betting

Instead, each way bets in football are bundled together to create a combined wager. Yet since football isn’t a sport you’d normally associate with each-way bets, this concept takes a bit more explaining than it might do for a sport like horse racing, for example. But fear not, for I have provided a comprehensive answer to this question below.

Each way bets in football – a breakdown of how these wagers work

Here’s the bottom line, you want an answer to the question – what does e/w mean in football betting? So rather than dancing around the topic and glancing over things that don’t have too much relevance, let me get right to the point. After all, the sooner you understand each way bets in football, the sooner you can take advantage of them and bet on such markets. So let me begin with an explanation of the wager before we dive further into this topic.

As referenced earlier, each way bets consist of two parts. Therefore, the first thing you need to know is that your selected stake size is doubled for these wagers. For example, if you enter £10 in an each-way football market, your total wager would be £20. And that’s because the bets are split into two, so just keep this in mind to avoid any unwanted surprises once you’ve made the wager. 

Now, with that clarified, let me cover the two outcomes that each way bets relate to. 

Part one – your chosen team to win

If you’ve engaged in horse racing betting before, you’ll have a head-start in the knowledge department here. Anyway, here’s part one of your each-way football bet – your selected team to win the competition in question. Just like horse racing, when you place an each-way bet, you are backing that horse to win with one portion of your stake. Yet, in football, such bets relate to competitions as a whole rather than individual matches. 

If you think about it, this is the only way such bets can work, as there are no ‘show’ or ‘place’ options for a team when going up against another. But a comparable scenario can be carved out if the second part applies to an overall league or competition, as detailed next.

Part two – your chosen team to ‘place’

Note that I’ve described this as a ‘place’ bet purely for simplicity. However, this ‘place’ portion of the bet could apply to the first two, three, four, or five places, depending on your bookmaker of choice. But what does all of this mean? Well, using a Premier League each-way bet as an example, let’s assume you’ve backed Manchester United in the each-way markets, and you’ve allocated £20 as the total stake.

As you’ve just read above, £10 of the £20 goes on Manchester United to win the Premier League. Yet the other £10 goes on Manchester United to achieve a top ‘X’ position at the end of the season. The ‘X’ relates to how many places your chosen bookmaker will pay out on, and this is always shown in the terms on the site. 

Each way football bets – the outcome explained

Since each way football bets have two parts, you’ve got several possible outcomes from your wager. To make this as clear as possible, let’s use the same example from above, meaning you’ve backed Manchester United to win the Premier League. For clarity, let’s say that the odds of Manchester United winning the league were 10/1 at your chosen bookmaker, whereas the odds of Manchester United achieving a top-five finish were shortened to 1/4. 

This is actually pretty common with ‘extended’ place offerings, and with these odds in mind, it’s possible to determine the outcomes of your each-way bet as follows:

  • Manchester United wins the league at 10/1 odds – £100 return on £10
  • Manchester United achieves a top five finish at 1/4 odds – £12.50 return on £10
  • Manchester United doesn’t achieve a top-five finish – zero return (£20 loss)

As you can see, through the shortened odds, thanks to extended place offerings in this example, the only way your wager would be in the green is if Manchester United won the league. Yet if this did happen, both parts of your bet would win!


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Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.