Rule 4 Betting Guide
Betting Guide

What is Rule 4?

Rule 4 betting is a common occurrence in horse racing betting. It may result in your bet not returning as much as expected, but there is a good explanation for it. It’s not just horse racing bets that can be affected, Rule 4 can also be found when betting on motor racing betting, or any sport that involves a race.

Rule 4 comes into place when a horse pulls out of a race, after you have already placed your bet. As your selection will now have less competition in the race, your odds and returns need to be appropriately adjusted. The amount that your returns will be affected by will be determined by the odds of the horse that has pulled out. For example, if an odds on favourite pulls out, then your returns will decrease more than if a 100/1 outsider pulled out. This is simply because if a favourite pulls out, your horse now has a much better chance of winning.

Why not check out our Cheltenham 2020 Tips if you're wanting to try out Rule 4 betting.

Rule 4 Odds Deduction

Odds Deduction (From Every £1)
1/9 or shorter 90p
2/11 to 2/17 85p
¼ to ⅕ 80p
3/10 to 2/7 75p
⅖ to ⅓ 70p
8/15 to 4/9 65p
8/13 to 4/7 60p
⅘ to 4/6 55p
20/21 to ⅚ 50p
Evens to 6/5 45p
5/4 to 6/4 40p
13/8 to 7/4 35p
15/8 to 9/4 30p
5/2 to 3/1 25p
10/3 to 4/1 20p
9/2 to 11/2 15p
6/1 to 9/1 10p
10/1 to 14/1 5p

When does Rule 4 come into place?

Rule 4 will be shown on your open bets as soon as it has been confirmed that a horse has been withdrawn from a race. A Rule 4 will be applied to your bets, with deductions being made dependent on the odds of the horse at the point it was withdrawn, rather than it’s starting price. This will be displayed on your bet, however your new potential returns will not be displayed until the race has finished.

An Example of Rule 4

You have placed a bet on the 4:20 at Ascot. Your bet is a £5 stake on Horse A at odds of 10/1, meaning your normal winnings would be £50.
2 hours before the race is due to begin, Horse B is withdrawn from the race. Horse B’s odds at the time of withdrawal were 7/4. As Horse B was withdrawn after you had placed your bet, Rule 4 will be applied.
At odds of 7/4, Rule 4 will place a 35p deduction on every pound of the potential winning of your original bet on Horse A. Rule 4 will clearly be displayed on your open bet, but your returns will remain the same. With 35p of every £1 being deducted, that will total £17.50 from your original £50. If Horse A wins, your final winnings will be £32.50.

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