20/1 – How To Work Out Your Bet

We all have a friend who will give you a good tip every now and then and sometimes you are going to check out the form and odds of this horse. Now odds can seem; odd – so let’s break this down in a simple way for you. Let’s say the tip that has been given to you is running at 20/1 and you are asking yourself, what will you get back if your horse comes in? 20/1 or any other odds that your horse is running at for that matter work like this…

The first number (20) is the amount you’ll win from wagering the second number (1). Whether this is in dollars, pounds or smarties, it doesn’t really matter. For example: a £1 winning bet at 20/1 will pay out £20 (plus your £1 stake is returned). If you increase the stake to £2 you’ll get £40 back (plus £2 stake).

20/1 provides a very sound profit on a wager and a horse with odds of 20/1 would be classed as an ‘Outsider’ or ‘Longshot’. You will see a lot of runners in races like the Grand National or Cheltenham Gold Cup valued up at 20/1.

So you have been told to place the bet each-way and you are looking at the odds of 20/1 – this is where things seem a little more complicated. Now you do not need to be a brain surgeon to figure out what you will get from your each-way bet. You just need to understand a few racing rules and basic maths.

Placing your bet each-way means that your chosen horse can come across the line in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and in some races even 4th place (over 16 runners or more) and you will still win. Each part of the each way bet is an equal stake, e.g. a £1 Each Way bet will have £1 on the ‘Win’ and £1 on the ‘Place’ (a total stake of £2).

If the horse is ‘Placed’ which means it finishes in 2nd, 3rd or 4th you’ll get a quarter of the quoted odds – in this case the quoted odds are 20/1 so you will be paid out at 5/1. A £1 each way bet (total cost £2) will win you £5 + £1 stake returned. However, you will lose the £1 part of the stake that was on the win.

If your horse finishes first you’ll win £20 (Win bet) + £2 (Stake) + £5 (Place at quarter odds of 20/1 = 5/1).

Well that makes it easier for you next time you are checking out the Hot Tip a friend passes on – but just to make it even easier for you I have given some more examples of 20/1 pay-outs below and you are welcome to try out the free bet calculator too to check out a winning bet at any stake you can think of.


£1 @ 20/1 = £20
£2 @ 20/1 = £40
£5 @ 20/1 = £100
£10 @ 20/1 = £200
£25 @ 20/1 = £500
£50 @ 20/1 = £1000
£100 @ 20/1 = £2000

20/1 EACH WAY BETS (2nd, 3rd or 4th Place)

£1 @ 20/1 = £5
£2 @ 20/1 = £10
£5 @ 20/1 = £25
£10 @ 20/1 = £50
£25 @ 20/1 = £125
£50 @ 20/1 = £250
£100 @ 20/1 = £500

Amounts above do not included returned stakes.

If your each way bet wins the race you can add together the win bet column and place bet column to get the correct amount. For example: a £10 win at 20/1 pays = £200 and £10 each way at 20/1 = pays out £50 giving you a total of £250 plus your stake is returned. You can learn more about betting with our useful guides – try our ‘how to bet eachway‘ tutorial or find out why horses are sold in guineas.

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