Strategies

The Each-Way Sandwich

Why You Should Cross Check Bookmakers & Betfair

Originally this morning I thought that I was going to be writing about a strategy based on taking advantage of bookmakers being forced to give the wrong odds on the place portion of each-way bets.

It’s not a new approach, but it’s still effective and nobody talks about it anymore.

Why?

Because it requires… effort!

Oops, that’s a kind of swear word amongst punters.

Effort Michael? Surely you must be making a mistake!

As punters we don’t need to put in effort. We just place bets and make money. Don’t we?

That’s what a lot of punters think. And guess what?

Those punters are all going to be ones feeding the bookmakers with their money.

As a Race Advisor reader you know different.

You know that if you want to make a profit then you’ve got to put some effort in. The more effort you put in, the more you get out. Like anything in life.

So I’m going to remind you about the each-way strategy 🙂

It’s very simple, it won’t make you a fortune overnight, but it works and will add a bit more profit to your portfolio of approaches.

All you needed to do was go through the races at your bookmaker and take the favourite, or the first few in the betting, and work out what you’d be getting in place odds as part of the each-way bet.

How A Bookie Calculates Place Odds on Each-Way Bets

Take Bet365 as an example. On the Win market, underneath the fixed odds you can see this:

The Each-Way Sandwich 2As you can see in the circle above, they are paying two places (1-2) on the place part of the each-way (E/W) bet, and they’re paying out a quarter (1/4) of the win odds. That means as the win odds on Cape Of Good Hope are 3.50, you would get:

3.50 – 1 = 2.5 / 4 = 0.63 + 1 = 1.63

You would be getting place odds of 1.63 on your each-way bet for the horse to come in the top two on the market.

Taking Advantage Of The Bookmaker

In order to take advantage of the bookmaker you would go through all the races and look for bets where the place odds in an each-way bet at the bookmaker are higher than the place odds on Betfair.

When you find one, you place an each-way bet with the bookmaker. Trade out the win portion of this bet on Betfair and you’ve got a value bet. Simples!

Not following?

Let me run through an example 🙂

If you place £10 each-way with the bookmaker on Cape Of Good Hope at odds of 3.50, you will have £10 on the horse to win at odds of 3.50 and £10 on the horse to place at odds of 1.63 (which we just worked out).

Only place this bet if the lay odds for the horse to win on Betfair are 3.50 or less.

Then you head over to Betfair and place your lay bet on Cape Of Good Hope in the win market for £10, let’s assume odds of 3.50. This has the effect of voiding your £10 win portion of your bet the bookmaker. If the horse wins you would have returned £35 with the bookmaker, and lost £35 on Betfair. If the horse loses you would have lost £10 with the bookmaker and won £10 on Betfair.

Yes… there’s Betfair commission to take into account, but don’t worry about that for now.

This means you only have the £10 place portion of your bet left open with the bookmaker, and you know it’s a value bet because the odds for the place portion at the bookmaker you worked out as being higher than the odds on Betfair.

And value betting means… long-term profit for you. Yay.

An Easier Way Of Place Value Betting

But now there’s an easier way.

Don’t be fooled by it’s common place appearance, not everything is as it seems!

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the approach above, that’s also valid, and you should be using as many profitable strategies as possible in your portfolio.

How do we make this easier?

Take a look at these two screenshots:

The Each-Way Sandwich 3 The Each-Way Sandwich 4Do you notice anything?

The place odds on Betfair are waaaaay lower than on Bet365!

This phenomenon seems to occur when two events align…

  1. Mid-morning odds
  2. On races with extra place markets

In the race example above, according to standard racing rules there would be no each-way or place market. However, Betfair is offering a two place market anyway, which it’s been doing on these types of races for a long time.

The change is that a lot of bookmakers, like Bet365 above, also now offer place betting on these markets. Bet365 call it Each-Way Extra, other bookmakers have slightly different names, but they’re one and the same thing.

And the good news is… the bookmakers are currently making some huuuugge mistakes in their odds in the morning!

They’re offering 1.80 on a horse while it is currently available on Betfair at 1.28.

You don’t need to wonder about the fact that the market on Betfair isn’t fully formed. You don’t need to worry about the fact the odds on Betfair may drift.

Heck they can drift if they want to.

Bottom line is this… with a disparity that big, you’re going to be getting a value bet and I’d be soaking them up all day.

Once you’ve placed your bet you can decide whether you want to trade them out on Betfair later in the day when the markets are more aligned or leave them running.

One thing’s for sure, they’re not going to leave these bets lying about for very long, so take advantage while you can.

A Word Of Warning

You will get your accounts restricted very quickly at the bookmakers doing this if you’re not careful. So… with any profit you get you should place a bet in a different sport where you can get pretty much exactly the same lay odds on Betfair as the win odds with the bookmaker.

Over time you will lose the bets at the bookies and win the bets on Betfair. This will move your profit from the bookmakers to Betfair and keep your bookmaker account in a losing position. By doing this you should be able to reduce the chances of being flagged by the bookies and restricted as quickly as normal.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help punters improve their betting profits and think outside the box with their betting strategies. To date he has written over 450 articles on the site and recently started UK Racing News which has become a leading news site for horse racing in the UK and IRE. Check out my personal blog or my Google+

4 Comments

  1. Interesting article, but do have one question…why?

    Seems to me that you may as well just bet with the bookmaker, particularly since (as you say), many bookies now offer place only betting, and usually enhanced place terms (paying 4 places rather than 3, for example).

    It should be noted that they do shave the odds, though (paying 1/5 rather than 1/4 a place).

    So surely, since your article really is about profitable betting on the place only market, as any win bet with the bookie is offset by the lay bet on Betfair, it would be just as easy to just bet place only with the bookie?

    Or am I missing something (an entirely reasonable conclusion)?

    Many thanks

    Dandy

    1. An entirely reasonable question Dandy 🙂 It is about profitable betting on the place market, however there are two approaches. Sometimes you will find, closer to the off, that the bookmaker place odds are no longer offering value, but you can still get place value by betting each-way and laying off the win portion of the bet on Betfair. I always find it’s best to have multiple strategies up your sleeve so that you can implement them in different situations.

      1. It’s the laying off bit I don’t get. Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t get why you would be backing a horse that you didn’t think would win.
        If in doubt, leave it out!

        I understand the place only betting, and have done so myself, particularly betting horses at larger odds, but backing to lay, which means that in the event that the horse does win, you have gained nothing (surely that’s blasphemy!), except a commission against your account from Betfair.

        For example, say the horse is 12/1 in the win/e.w market, the bookie is offering place only odds of 5/2, with enhanced place terms of first 5 (rather than 4), though at 1/5 rather than 1/4the odds a place.
        It makes sense to have £5 place only, with a £1 win bet rather than £3 ew, particularly since the horse is more likely to place than to win ( or in my case, fall at the first).

        That, I can understand.

        But to back a horse only to lay off at the same odds on Betfair?

        Nah, don’t get it.

        Many thanks, but I just don’t get it.

        Yours

        Dandy

        1. The only purpose of laying off is if the place portion of the each-way bet is offering better odds than you can get elsewhere. For example if the place portion of the each-way bet is offering odds of 1.80 and the best place odds you can get in a place market is 1.65, then you’re better placing an each way bet and laying off the win portion of that bet so you’re only left with the place part. That will give you the best odds in the place market and a no-lose bet on the win market. I hope that clears it up 🙂

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