Rule 4 Deductions
If you love betting on horse racing, then you should consider the battle between punter and bookmaker as one in which there should be rules in place that help keep this battle on a level-playing-field – and one of the main rules that helps accomplish this is Rule 4.
What Is Rule 4?
Rule 4 is a rule that determines what happens to bets when a horse is withdrawn when not under starter's orders. Basically, anyone who has backed a horse that is withdrawn will get their stake back under the non-runners rule (unless you placed your bet on ante-post market). However, the absence of that horse now means other horses have a greater chance of success than their odds suggest; meaning that, under Rule 4, the bookmakers have the right to deduct a set percentage of all winnings on that race (apart from bets placed ante-post) – which is fair, if annoying when your horse wins.
Please Note: Rule 4 Deductions will not be applied to any bets struck after a new market has been formed following the withdrawal of the horse in question.
Table Of Rule 4 Deductions
The percentage of winnings deducted in relation to the odds of a horse that is withdrawn are set in stone, as detailed in the table below. If more than one horse is withdrawn in the same race, the percentages are added together and deducted.
However, no matter how many withdrawals there are, the total deduction can never be more than 90% or 90p in the £1.
Please note: Rule 4 Deductions are applied to winnings only, and not to your stake.
|1/9 or shorter||90%|
|2/11 to 2/17||85%|
|1/4 to 1/5||80%|
|3/10 to 2/7||75%|
|2/5 to 1/3||70%|
|8/15 to 4/9||65%|
|8/13 to 4/7||60%|
|4/5 to 4/6||55%|
|20/21 to 5/6||50%|
|Evens (1/1) to 6/5||45%|
|5/4 to 6/4||40%|
|13/8 to 7/4||35%|
|15/8 to 9/4||30%|
|5/2 to 3/1||25%|
|10/3 to 4/1||20%|
|9/2 to 11/2||15%|
|6/1 to 9/1||10%|
|10/1 to 14/1||5%|
Examples Of A Rule 4 Deduction
If you’ve placed a £10 bet on a horse at 5/1 in a race in which the 2/1 favourite is withdrawn not under starter’s orders, you bet will be settled as follows.
£10 Win @ 5/1 = £50 winnings – 30% or £15 = £35 + £10 Stake = a return of £45.
If you’ve placed a £10 bet on a horse at 5/1 in a race in which the 2/1 favourite and a 10/1 shot are withdrawn not under starter’s orders, you bet will be settled as follows.
£10 Win @ 5/1 = £50 winnings – (30% + 5%) or (£15 + £2.50) = £32.50 + £10 Stake = a return of £42.50.
Some bookmakers occasionally or regularly offer a Rule 4 Concession. The most common one is to not deduct any winnings if a Rule 4 Deduction of 5% is announced. These concessions can usually be found in the promotions sections of leading bookmakers, and it is a small concession offered as a thank you for placing your bets with them.