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Rule 4 Deductions in Horse Racing


Many punters will first become aware of the Rule 4 deduction in horse racing after it has been applied to one of their winning bets resulting in a lower payout than they were expecting.

On this page we will explain what ‘Rule 4′ means and provide the official list of deductions that your bookmaker may be required to make to your bets.

So what is the Rule 4 deduction?

Rule 4 or Rule 4(c) in horse racing is simply an industry wide deduction that is applied to winning horse bets in the event of a subsequent non-runner or a withdrawn horse before starters orders. It has been in place since 1886.

It is so called as it is the fourth rule of the Tattersalls Rules of Racing, and is considered to be a fair method of protecting the bookies by recalculating any bets placed on the race before a horse is suddenly withdrawn.

The amount of the deduction is tiered and depends on the odds the withdrawn horse (or horses) was trading at the time of its withdrawal. So for example, if the non-runner was priced at 2/1 (3.00) there will be a deduction of 30p for every pound won. The lower the price of the withdrawn horse the bigger the deduction made.

Rule 4 Deductions Table

Fractional OddsDecimal OddsDeduction in the £
1/9 or shorter1.11 or less90p
2/11 to 2/171.18 to 1.1285p
1/4 to 1/51.25 to 1.2080p
3/10 to 2/71.30 to 1.2975p
2/5 to 1/31.40 to 1.3370p
8/15 to 4/91.53 to 1.4565p
8/13 to 4/71.62 to 1.5760p
4/5 to 4/61.80 to 1.6755p
20/21 to 5/61.95 to 1.8350p
Evens to 6/52.00 to 2.2045p
5/4 to 6/42.25 to 2.5040p
8/5 to 7/42.60 to 2.7535p
9/5 to 9/42.80 to 3.2530p
12/5 to 3/13.40 to 4.0025p
16/5 to 4/14.20 to 5.0020p
9/2 to 11/25.50 to 6.5015p
6/1 to 9/17.00 to 10.0010p
10/1 to 14/1 11.00 to 15.005p
Over 14/1Over 15.00No Deduction

The Rule 4 odds used will be unique to the bookmaker you placed your bet with and will depend on the betting odds the non-runner was trading at the time of its withdrawal. These deductions also apply to greyhound racing.

What if I placed my bet at SP?

If you have not taken a price and have placed a bet at SP (Starting Price) and there is enough time for a new betting market to be formed without the non-runners then your bet will not be subject to any deductions and simply settled at SP as per usual. However, if there is no time to form a new market then your SP bet will still be subject to the Rule 4 deduction.

What about ante-post betting?

Ante-post bets are long term bets on future big races and these are exempt from any Rule 4 deductions regardless of any subsequent non-runners. However, remember that with ante-post betting your bet is deemed a loser if your chosen horse does not take part.