What is rule 4 deductions in Horse racing

rule 4

What is rule 4 deductions in Horse racing

Rule 4 is the most talked about rule from a list of twelve different rules set out by the Tattersalls Committee. A committee set up to settle betting disputes and to stipulate a set of betting rule all on course licensed bookie must abide by. These rules do not necessarily have to be followed by high street and internet bookmakers, but in general they are. In fact several bookmakers off concessions in the punters favour in order to keep customers happy.

What is Rule 4

 What is Rule 4

Put simply, rule 4 is a monetary deduction on bet winnings once a horse withdraws from a race. These deductions are only made to bets once the final declaration of runners has been made, normally 24 hours before the race meeting starts.

Why are Rule 4 deductions made

Rule 4 deductions are made to insure layers (both bookmakers and exchange punters) don’t end up with an over broke book once a horse withdraws from a race. It also gives layers a comfort that you will not get fraudulent withdrawals.

Once final declaration of runners has been made, if you bet on a horse the pulls out of the race before the start you’ll think it only fair that your money is returned. And that is the case, but this means bookies will have been laying the remainder of the field at the wrong odds – as each horse now has a better chance of winning. So a deduction based on the withdrawn horses’ odds is made on any winnings to be paid out. This also stops unscrupulous horse owners from declaring a horse as a runner only to withdraw it once he had punted on other horses.

Anti-post bets will not be subject to rule 4 deductions as bet stakes aren’t returned if horse’s doesn’t run.

 Rule 4 deductions table

Please note that this is the Tattersalls table for deductions, and doesn’t have to be followed by internet bookmakers. In fact you’ll find many bookies make no deduction of the first horse to pull out if it’s in the range of 10/1 – 14/1, even though a 5% deduction is recommended.

Fractional Odds (or equivalent)Scale of deduction per pound
1/9 or shorter90 pence
2/11 to 2/1785 pence
1/4 to 1/580 pence
3/10 to 2/775 pence
2/5 to 1/370 pence
8/15 to 4/965 pence
8/13 to 4/760 pence
4/5 to 4/655 pence
20/21 to 5/650 pence
Evens to 6/545 pence
5/4 to 6/440 pence
8/5 to 7/435 pence
9/5 to 9/430 pence
12/5 to 3/125 pence
16/5 to 4/120 pence
9/2 to 11/215 pence
6/1 to 9/110 pence
10/1 to 14/15 pence
14/1 barNo deductions

 Is rule 4 used in other sports

Rule 4 is now used in many other sports, dog racing being another obvious one, but also any outright market that can be affected by the withdrawal of a competitor or team. Always be sure how the bookies you are betting with handles this and remember rule 4 could also be applied to any each-way and place bets at a percentage set out by the bookies themselves. All our bet calculators have a rule 4 option, so no need to get stressed out with calculations, all the work is done for you.

Working out Rule 4 deductions

Tattersall Rule 4 in full

Rule 4.
Other than ‘first past the post’ bets, all bets will be settled according to the result as announced at the ‘Weighed-In’ with the following exceptions:
(A) Single ante-post bets, being made before 10 a.m. on the day of the final declarations will be void under the following circumstances: –
i) If the race is abandoned;
ii) If the race is declared void;
iii) If the Conditions of the race entry are changed prior to the start of the race;
iv) If the venue is altered; or
v) If a horse is eliminated under the British Horse racing Authority (BHA) Rules of Racing, schedule 8 of the Race Administration Manual (F).
However, in any such circumstances accumulative ante-post bets (win or place) will stand and be settled at the ante-post price(s) laid on the remaining horse(s). Any race in which a horse is supplemented does not affect Rule 4(A).

In the event of a race being postponed to another day, ante-post bets placed before the entries have closed will stand and will only be made void if the race is abandoned or made void, if the horse is balloted out or eliminated under the previously mentioned schedule 8 of the BHA’s Rules of Racing or if the venue is changed.

Ante-post bets placed after the entries have closed will be void, except when the race is run at a later date at the same venue and entries for the race are not reopened, in which case bets will stand.

(B) Bets other than ante-post bets will be void if the race is abandoned or declared void. Bets will stand if the race is postponed to another day and final declarations stand. If the final declarations do not stand, bets will be void. Bets on a horse declared by the Starter ‘not to have started’ will be void.

(C) Where a bet has been placed and a price taken on the day of the race and there is subsequently an official notification that a horse has been withdrawn or has been declared ‘not to have started’, the liability of a layer against any horse remaining in the race, win or place, will be reduced in accordance with the following scale depending on the odds current against the withdrawn horse at the time of such official notification: – (see our table above for all deductions)

in the case of two or more horses being withdrawn, the total reduction shall not exceed 90 pence in the pound.

In the case of withdrawals in reformed markets, the total deduction over the two or more horses (i.e. one in the original and one in the reformed market) will be calculated on the prices applicable in the original market.
For bets placed in reformed markets, deductions applied to withdrawn horses in these markets will be calculated on the prices applicable in these markets.

Bets made at Starting Price are not affected, except in cases where insufficient time arises for a new market to be formed, when the same scale of reductions will apply. In the event of the withdrawal of one or more runners in circumstances which would lead to only one runner and therefore a ‘walkover’, all bets on the race will be void. The race will be considered a ‘walkover’ for the purpose of settling bets.

For the purpose of this Rule the non-appearance of a declared runner will be held to be an official notification of the withdrawal of such horse before the race is off. In the case of a horse declared by the Starter ‘not to have started’, a racecourse announcement will be made to that effect. This official announcement will be made before the race result is displayed.
(D) In the event:

i) of an announcement being made that the provisions of Rule 4(C) do not apply on the grounds that no market had been formed at the time of the withdrawal of a declared runner, all bets (other than ante-post bets) will be settled at Starting Price with the exception of bets placed at Early Prices when Rule 4(C) will operate, based on the current price at the time of withdrawal.

ii) of any race where the Starting Price Validators deem that an on-course market has been formed less than 90 minutes before the advertised ‘off’ time of that race, any bets placed will be subject to Rule 4(C) deductions.

iii) that no prices have been transmitted to the off-course industry, but a market is deemed to have been formed on-course by a sufficient number of licensees, Rule 4(C) deductions will apply only to bets made on-course, prior to the withdrawal of a declared runner.

(E) In the event of a reserve horse replacing a declared runner, all bets placed prior to such a replacement and a new market being formed, other than ante-post bets, will be settled at Starting Price.

Scroll to Top