Horse racing might ‘only’ be the second-biggest sport to bet on in the UK, after football… but it is still enormous business. Having been a popular pastime for centuries, by 2018 some £4.3 billion was being wagered annually on the sport of kings.
It’s not hard to see why bookies put so much focus on horse racing, therefore, alongside football. This is done not just through a huge number of markets, but through a wide range of promotions too. Of those, one of the most popular is the ‘extra places’ offer. In this article, we’re going to detail exactly what extra places are, identify a few bookies who offer them, and explain how you can start making money from them.
What are Extra Places Offers?
Extra places offers are inextricably linked to each way bets. If you don’t know what those are, check out the ‘What is Each Way Betting?’ section below.
Essentially, extra places are a way to enhance a standard each way bet. When you stick down an each way, you’ll obviously have a ‘win’ part of the bet, but you’ll get a certain number of places too. How many places you get depends on the number of runners, but most bookies follow the same basic system: two places for up to seven runners, three for 8-16, and four for 16+.
Extra places offers – as the name suggests – add extra places onto these standard terms. So, on a race that would normally only pay out three places, for example, they will actually end up paying out four places. While you might not get rich from this offer (unless you have an extra place matched betting strategy in place), extra places will help to minimise your losses, by extending the range in which you can still make a return.
Best Bookies That Offer Extra Places
This is easily one of the most popular non-football promotion types around. Log onto any major bookie which takes horse racing seriously (which is most of them!), and you’ll almost certainly find an extra places deal amongst their promotions.
With that said, here are five of the bookies we like best for their extra places offers. Each of them regularly offers extra places on the biggest horse racing events of the year, including Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, and the Grand National.
Paddy Power Extra Places
Paddy Power have long been renowned for their commitment to horse racing. They display this not only through real-world advertising, but via a consistently excellent selection of promotions too.
Extra places are offered every single day on Paddy Power, not just for British and Irish races, but for international ones too. They do a great job of regularly updating the offer page, to ensure bettors always know which races are eligible, and these events are also clearly marked via a green icon on the daily meetings page within the sportsbook.
Betfred Extra Places
In terms of sheer visibility, Betfred have historically been of the biggest sponsors of horse racing in the entire UK. They’ve cut back a little since 2017… but are still the official bookmaker of Ascot Racecourse and the Royal Ascot festival, which is pretty impressive!
Also impressive is the Betfred extra places offer. Like Paddy Power, Betfred offer extra places on races every day, with eligible races clearly displayed on both the offer page and the list of daily events. They offer a standard number of extra places, usually paying out at odds of 1/5 (which, again, is industry standard), but – like most major bookies – don’t offer extra places on ante-post markets.
Ladbrokes Extra Places
One of the most historic brands in all of sports betting, having been in business for over 130 years now, Ladbrokes has still done a great job of sticking with the times. This is perfectly displayed by their thoroughly modern list of ongoing promotions, which – of course – includes an extra places deal.
Ladbrokes do an exceptional job of getting their eligible races posted early, allowing you to actually place extra places bets from 6pm the day before the race. The range of supported markets is also excellent, with races from the USA and further afield sitting alongside the usual UK & Ireland events.
888sport Extra Places
They might be the newest name on our list, but 888sport certainly deserve to be mentioned alongside these titans of the betting scene. One of the keys to their ascent has been smart sponsorships, with deals on horse races at the likes of Fontwell Park, Doncaster and Sandown Park particularly impressive examples.
While its general coverage of horse racing is excellent, 888sport don’t offer extra places every single day, unlike the other bookies on this list. They do, however, step up with some extra places for the calendar’s biggest events, like the Cheltenham Festival.
Bet365 Extra Places
In British betting at least, Bet365 are the defining success story of the 21st century. They might only have launched in 2000, but they have managed to dominate the scene in a way that much older bookies could only dream of. Horse racing has been one of the cornerstones throughout this meteoric rise.
When it comes to extra places, Bet365 do things a little differently. Rather than a standard extra places offer, they have ‘Each Way Extra’. This innovative feature lets you decide for yourself how many places you want, with the odds being updated accordingly. It’s easy to both access and use, and gives you an unparalleled level of control over your each way betting.
How Do Extra Places Offers Work?
In general, ‘extra places’ is one of those lovely offers in which most of the hard work is done by the bookie. The odds, number of places and eligible markets will all usually be decided for you; all you have to do is… pick the right horses!
To make things clear, though, here’s a quick guide on how to use one of the best extra places offers around, Paddy Power’s.
- Learn which markets are eligible for each way extra places bets
- To do this, either visit the Extra Places promo page, or look for the green Extra Place marker on the full list of ‘Meetings & Results’
- See that the 22:27 at Fonner Park is offering extra places
- Road Show is 13/2 to win. Click the odds to add it to your betslip
- Enter a £5 stake, and tick the ‘E/W’ box to make this an each way extra places bet, for a total stake of £10
- Road Show finishes fourth
- Normally, only three places would be paid out for a race this size.
- Because of the offer, though, Paddy Power pay out four places
- You return £11.50, good for a £1.50 overall profit
What is Each Way Betting?
You can’t really understand extra places deals without first knowing how an each way bet operates. Technically you can place these wagers on a few different sports, but we’ll focus on each way horse racing bets here.
With horse racing, you can – of course – place a regular ‘win’ bet on a horse. If your pick wins the race, you win; if it doesn’t, you lose. Many bettors, however, prefer the safety of each way horse racing bets instead. These wagers have two parts: ‘win’ and ‘place’. The ‘win’ part works the same as a regular win bet. The ‘place’ part still pays out if your horse doesn’t win, but finishes within a certain range; usually within the top two, three or four places, depending on the number of runners.
That’s the basics of an each way bet explained, but there are a couple more important things to note. Firstly, because an each way bet is like two wagers in one, you essentially place two stakes. So, if you put £5 into the stake box within your betslip, your total stake will be £10. Secondly, the odds for a place will always be pretty low; normally 1/4 or 1/5. The main purpose of a place is definitely to not lose money, rather than to make a big profit!
What Sports are Extra Places Offers Available On?
So far we’ve only looked at extra places relating to each way horse racing bets, but this offer type isn’t necessarily exclusive to the sport of kings. These are the main sports on which you’ll find extra places deals.
Extra Places on Horse Racing
Horse racing is by far the most popular market for extra places offers. As noted in our introduction, it’s the second-biggest betting sport overall, and that’s why – after football – it has the most promotions dedicated to it.
Even outside of the commercial reasoning, though, horse racing lends itself perfectly to this offer type. The fact that an animal, not a human, has the biggest impact on the result is almost unique in sports, and makes the actual outcome of a race massively unpredictable. That’s why so many people crave the safety net of the ‘place’ part of an each way horse racing bet. In turn, this demand has led to hundreds of major eligible markets each week for extra places offers, with every major sportsbook around desiring a piece of the action.
Extra Places on Golf
Golf might be a distant second when it comes to volume of extra places offers, but it’s still a popular promotion within the sport. That’s particularly true in the major events – the Masters, Ryder Cup, and so on – for which extra places deals form a key part of bookies’ promotions.
For bettors, the sheer number of entrants in these competitions (the Masters has the smallest field… with 100 golfers!) makes it very hard to pick an actual winner. That’s why many opt for a ‘Top 8’ or ‘Top 10’ finish, with extra places giving a valuable boost to that range.
Extra Places on Cycling
Cycling might not have the year-round betting appeal of football or horse racing, but when it comes to the marquee events like the Tour de France, the wagering action goes through the roof.
Sportsbooks love to capitalise on this short burst of interest, and – if you’re lucky – you’ll catch some tasty extra places offers for these events. Some bookies like Betfred have been known to not only offer extra places on overall jersey winners, but on the winners of individual legs too.
Tips for Extra Places
At a basic level, extra places offers are extremely easy to understand. If you know how an each way bet works, you’ll get the hang of extra places in no time!
Actually profiting from extra places deals, of course, is a different matter entirely. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
One of the first things to know about extra places offers is that they are extremely common. Not only will every major bookie have one, but they’ll likely offer extra places on a whole series of races each day.
As such, don’t feel like you have to jump on every eligible race, just to take advantage of the deal. Be as selective as you normally would with an each way bet, and simply enjoy the enlarged safety net of the extra places.
Festival Specific Offers
Most bookies will offer extra places continuously, but when a major event comes around – like the Cheltenham Festival – many will take things to the next level. Whether that’s offering extra places on every race, or even offering them on ante-post markets, it’s always good news for you!
As such, whenever a big contest is approaching, be sure to scan the ‘Promotions’ page of your favourite bookie for a sweet extra places deal.
Check Those Stakes!
If you’re inexperienced in each way betting, this is one of the first pieces of advice to keep in mind.
Please remember that – when you place an each way bet – your stake is doubled. Thus, the £10 you put into the stake box of your betslip will result in a £20 total stake. Adjust your stakes accordingly!
On Matched Betting…
Many veteran bettors make each way betting a cornerstone of their ‘matched betting’ strategy; that is, placing multiple bets on different outcomes, with different bookies, but for the same event.
If you’re an experienced bettor, this can be an interesting avenue to explore, and extra places offers will only increase your profits. If you’re not an experienced horse racing bettor… give matched betting a miss, for now!
Whether you’re a complete newcomer to horse racing betting, or a seasoned veteran, the appeal of each way betting is clear. Rather than risking it all on one single horse – sometimes out of a field of 16 or more – you spread your exposure across a few different runners. The ‘place’ part of your wager won’t deliver a huge return, but it’s much better than ending up with nothing.
If you are looking to place an each way bet, then adding extra places to it is a no-brainer. You’re spreading out that exposure significantly more, even by adding a single runner to your ‘place’ bet… and – because there are no extra requirements on your part – you’re sacrificing nothing to do so!
Extra places offers are simply an easy-to-understand, straightforward way of delivering value to the bettor, which is the point of every promotion. The chances are that your bookie has an extra places offer already, and – if it does – you should really start checking the promotion page each day. If your sportsbook doesn’t offer extra places… sign up with one of the ones we recommended above immediately!