The Each-Way Betfair Arming Strategy

Today I wanted to write about a strategy that will make a nice addition to your portfolio. In order to use this strategy you have to be available during the day to place your bets.

This strategy will always work because it relies on the fact that bookmakers have to use 1/4 or 1/5 of the win odds for the place part of an each way bet which is not a true reflection of what the place odds should be.

On Betfair there is a separate place market to bet on and this is generally a very accurate representation of what a horses odds to place should be.

As punters we can take advantage of the difference between the two.

When you place an each-way bet with a bookmaker, 50% of your stake goes on the win portion of the bet and 50% goes on the place portion of the bet. Depending on the race conditions depends on what fraction they divide the win odds by to determine the place odds.

The conditions for this are:

  • The following governs settlement of the place part of each-way bets:
  • Handicaps of 16 or more runners: 1/4 odds for the first four places
  • Handicaps of 12-15 runners: 1/4 odds for the first three places
  • All other races of 8 or more runners: 1/5 odds for the first three places
  • All races of 5, 6 or 7 runners: 1/4 odds for the first two places
  • All races of less than 5 runners: all place stakes will be treated as win stakes.

You can find this very easily for a race by going to and opening a race like below.

Each way betfair

Underneath the races you can see the place positions for the each-way bets. The top number, 3 in the example above, is the amount of places that will pay out. So a horse finishing in the top 3 will be winners for the place portion of the each-way bet in this race.

Under the 3 is the fraction of the win odds that will be used to determine the place odds. In this example it is 1/5. That means that if a horse has odds of 4/1 then the place portion of an each-way bet will pay out:

4 divided by 5 = 0.8

The place portion will pay out at odds of 0.8/1 or in decimal odds 1.80.

So how do we make this pay for us?

Because the bookmakers have to follow this division when they pay out the place portion on an each-way bet we can find ourselves value bets on the place market.

The first thing to do is find a horse in the race who you can lay off on Betfair for a minimal loss.

You will find these horses in races where the favourite is odds-on and you will be focusing your bets on laying the second or third favourite in the race.

Ideally you want to find place odds with the bookmaker that are 50% higher than they are on Betfair. We work this out by using our example above. If the horse has odds of 4/1 with the bookmaker then we know it’s place odds in the each-way bet are going to be 0.8/1 (1.80) with the bookmaker.

If we want this to be 50% higher then we do:

0.8 divided by 1.5 = 0.53

So the place odds on Betfair need to be 0.53/1 or 1.53 for the bookmakers odds to be 50% higher.

When you find this you place an each-way bet with the bookmaker. For example at £25 each-way your bet will be £50 as you’re betting £25 on the win and £25 on the place.

You immediately lay-off the £25 win portion of your bet on Betfair. You will often make a small loss on this win portion of the bet, that’s nothing to worry about because you’re getting a big enough edge on the place portion to cover this.

Let’s look at where you are in your betting now. You have made two bets:

Bet 1 – You have placed a £25 each-way bet (total stake £50) with the bookmaker.

Bet 2 – You have placed a £25 lay bet on the win market with Betfair.

That leaves just the £25 on the place portion of your bet with the bookmaker. We already know that your bet with the bookmaker has odds 50% higher than they should be which means that you have placed an excellent value bet!

Place these bets regularly and you will see a consistent growth in your betting bank because you are always placing value bets.

However, you need to be clever because otherwise bookmakers will realise that you’re only placing bets when you have the advantage and shut your accounts.

To prevent that follow the guidelines I wrote about at

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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