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Horse Racing Extra Places


Extra places is a Horse Racing promotion offered by many bookmakers at the weekends and on big Horse Racing festivals such as Cheltenham or Royal Ascot. Typically there is one feature race on these days, where all of the bookmakers will be paying out an extra place. This means that instead of paying out say 1st to 4th place, they will pay out 1st to 5th place. You can profit from this offer simply by the difference in rules between the bookmaker and the exchange as both will be paying out different places. To understand how, you firstly need to know what an "Each way" bet is.

  • Extra Places offers are sometimes on throughout the week, however the odds aren't great. This promotion is best done at weekends and big festivals.

What is an Each Way bet

An each-way bet is where your bet splits into two different bets; one bet on the horse to win, and one bet on it to place. To place simply means to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th etc (the amount of positions the place market pays purely depends on the race).

For example if you bet £10 each-way on Ladbrokes on a horse, you would be actually be betting a total of £20. £10 will be on the horse to win the race, and the other £10 will be on the horse to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc (the amount of places depends on the race).

When you place an each-way bet on a horse using Matched Betting, you will have to lay both of the bets separately. Firstly you will lay £10 on the win market to cover the win half of the bet, then you would lay £10 on the place market to cover the place part of the bet.

There's just one rule you need to remember; You will always need to make sure that exchange places paid are the same, or less than what the bookmaker is paying. The exchange places can never be more than the bookmaker or your funds will be at risk.

For example:
- 5 places paid by bookie & 5 by exchange = Fine because if the horse is 1-5th you will win one bet and lose the other.
- 5 Places paid by bookie & 4 by exchange = Fine because if horse is 5th you will win both bets, and if 1-4 you will win one and lose the other.
- 4 places paid by bookie & 5 by exchange = NOT fine, your funds are at risk if the horse is 5th as you will lose both the back and lay bets.

  • Remember whatever you type in the "stake" box when placing an each-way bet is doubled, as you're betting on both the win and place markets

How Do You Make Money From Them?

You can make money from Each-Way bets when the bookmaker is paying more places than the exchange market. For example, Skybet may be paying out 5 places and the place market on betfair may be "4 to place". These different rules mean that you can make a profit if your horse finishes 5th, as Skybet will pay you out because they are paying 5 places, and your betfair laybet on 4 places will also win.

Sometimes the bookies will pay out 2 extra places, or even 3. This can be extremely lucrative as you can hit multiple extra places in one race! Just remember that whatever the place says on the exchange, the bookmaker places have to be the same or higher. The bookmaker can not be paying less places or your money will be at risk!

For example, Ladbrokes are paying places, and on Betfair you lay places. Your money is at risk here when the horse finishes 4th! Your back bet on places at ladbrokes will lose, as the horse is 4th. You will also lose your Betfair lay bet at 4 places as the horse did indeed finish 4th. So always make sure the bookies are paying the same place, or more!

How to lay an each way bet

An each way bet is different to a normal bet as explained above because you are splitting your bet into 2. One of your bets will be on the horse to win, and the other will be on the horse to place (1st 2nd 3rd 4th etc...). All you need to do here is place 2 lay bets, one on the win market, and one on the place market - it's that simple!

The win market bet is the same as you will have done before on horses; Just put the back and lay odds into the calculator and lay the amount that comes up. The place part of the bet is slightly different as you will need to work out the odds. To do this you need to check the e/w terms for the bookmaker in question. They will look something like this.

From the above photos, you can see that all 3 of the bookmakers have the exact same each-way terms. They are paying places 1,2,3, and they are paying at odds of 1/5 (one fifth). Do not confuse the 1/5 as places 1 to 5, as it is not - it is the fraction of odds they are paying. What this means is that if the horse is odds of 10.0 to win, they will pay 1/5 of that for the horse to place.

To work out exactly what the place odds will be, you take the original win odds, minus 1, divide by 5, and add 1. So in this example, the back odds would be 10.0, and the place odds would be 2.8. ( 10 - 1 /5 +1). If the e/w terms were 1/4 odds, then you'd divide by 4 instead of 5.

In this race all of the bookies are paying 3 places, so in order to make profit you'll need to lay 2 places - that way if your horse comes 3rd you will win both the back and lay bets on the place market. Below is an example of what market to select. Remember, the lay places need to be equal to or less than what the bookie is paying, or your money will be at risk.

Standard Method

Team Profit recommends a method to approaching extra place betting, where only a few horses are picked in any given race, based upon their qualifying loss and expected odds of hitting the extra place.   By only backing a small number of horses in a race, you aren’t guaranteed to make a profit, and may go through periods of not hitting any extra places, but the method is reasonably straightforward, qualifying losses should be kept low, its quick to do, and in the long run, the method should be highly profitable.

How To Pick Which Horses To Back?

It is important to use the Oddsmonkey Extra Places Matcher as it will do most of the work for you and find you the best odds constantly. You can set it to refresh every 30 seconds meaning you will never miss a match.  The Extra Place Matcher is updated every day with each race that is offering an extra place.  Oddsmonkey has produced a video on using the Extra Place Matcher,  which can be found here

We can scroll through these races and choose the best matches to get on that day. In order to pick these matches, we recommend comparing the qualifying loss, the profit if the horse finishes in the extra place/s, and the lay odds of the horse.   Oddsmonkey makes this easier by giving us an implied odds column, which compares the extra place profit with the qualifying loss, to give a suggested odds of the horse finishing in the extra place. We make an assumption at this point, that the exchange lay odds of the horse winning the race are likely to be fairly close to the odds of the horse finishing in the extra place.

Therefore we can assume that, if the implied odds of the horse finishing in the extra place are significantly higher than the lay odds, that there is value to us taking that match. 

Another important consideration is that, if a horse is a very strong favorite, the chance of it finishing in the extra place is going to be quite low, therefore we would generally avoid backing horses for extra places with odds of less than 3.0, unless the qualifying loss is very low.

A Good Example

In the above we have a result from the Oddsmonkey extra place matcher on a horse, ‘River Arrow’.   The matcher suggests that, based on on our extra place profit, and the qualifying loss, the implied odds of the horse finishing in the extra place are 59.17.   In comparison, the lay odds of the horse winning the race on Matchbook are 26.00 Because the implied odds are significantly higher than the lay odds, we believe that such a match is profitable in the long run.   To place this bet, we would stake £10 each way (£20 total stake) on River Arrow on 10bet, lay £8.08 on the win market on Smarkets at odds of 26.00 (giving liability of £202) and lay £10.91 on the Smarkets place lay market (four places) at odds of 5.5.  Our qualifying loss is £1.01, and we profit £58.99 if the horse finishes in 5th position.

A Bad Example

In comparison, the above match, also taken from the same race, on the horse ‘Coded Message’ has implied odds of 10.59, compared to exchange lay odds of 32.00 at Matchbook.  Given the implied odds are lower than the win lay odds, we believe that such a match would be loss making in the long run, and should therefore be avoided.

Backing Multiple Horses

This method does not mean that you should only bet on one horse in a race.  If there are multiple good matches, and you are happy with the qualifying losses, then you can back as many horses as you wish to try and hit the extra places.  However you should probably avoid backing more than 2-3 horses with a single bookmaker. You could opt for a cautious ratio approach, where the implied odds always have to be 1.5x, or 2x the lay odds for you to take the selection, allowing you to be confident that you are saving your qualifying losses for the matches that present the best value.  

What about when bookmakers are paying multiple places?

In some cases, particularly for very high profile events like Cheltenham and the Grand National, bookmakers may pay 2 or even 3 extra places compared to the exchange.  In these cases we can adjust our expectations slightly when selecting matches. For instance, in the below two examples, Option A would be preferable over Option B, even though the implied odds are lower, because there are 3 chances to hit an extra place compared with one.

  • Option A: Implied Odds: 20, Win Lay odds: 10, bookie paying 3 extra places
  • Option B: Implied Odds: 30, Win Lay Odds: 10, bookie paying 1 extra place

Therefore when bookies are paying more than one extra place, we should be happy to take matches with a lower ratio of implied odds to win lay odds - as long as we are still happy with the qualifying loss and that it presents good value overall.  

Advanced Method

This is a method of backing every horse within a race in order to guarantee a profit, regardless of the outcome of the race (because one horse must finish in the extra place).  This method can be highly profitable, but because it requires you to bet on every horse, it relies on there being a number of bookies offering the extra place/s, and the odds at these bookies being reasonably good compared to the exchange.  It is therefore likely to only be suitable for high profile events, like Cheltenham Festival, and perhaps some ITV TV races.  This method can require a significant bankroll to place bets on every horse within a field, it is significantly more complicated than the Standard Method, and more time consuming. Not recommended for a beginner to extra place betting! We recommend getting a good understanding of the standard method first, before attempting this method.

You should try to cover the whole field using multiple bookmaker accounts.  You can use a combination of the Oddsmonkey Extra Place Matcher, and Oddschecker, found here, to find which bookies are paying the best odds on each horse, and what extra place terms they are offering.   Oddschecker is a free service showing current odds on every horse with each of the main bookmakers, and looks like this:

You should then record how much you bet, what the odds were, what your losses were, and how much profit you'll make if each horse comes in the selected place. Below is an example.

As you can see from this example, every horse has been covered for a slight profit of £5.02, with a guaranteed minimum profit of £67.50 for the place result and up to £185 if certain horses finish in the desired place.

When you are attempting extra places you will inevitably find some horses that are impossible to get on for a low QL. The best way round is is to start from the bottom of the list, so in this example, the horse Deor, and then simply look at Oddschecker and see who's offering the highest odds. Work out if it's worth it, place the bets, then move on to the next horse and repeat. When you get to the top of the list, start from the bottom again and do it over and over until you've covered most of the field. When you've covered most of the field you can then decide whether or not to take a higher QL on the remaining horses just to cover your back, or you can just leave it with what you have.

The money is made when the horse you bet on finishes in the extra place. So if the bookie was paying 5 places and you layed 4 places, you will make money when your horse finishes 5th, as both your back and lay bet will both win.

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