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What is Rule 4?

You’ll often see those in the world of horse racing talk about Rule 4 and you might not know what it means. Well, as you know, we at FRT are always here to help and we’re going to explain just what Rule 4 is.

Basically, Rule 4 is a deduction made on a horse when another horse is the race is declared a non-runner after the final declaration and your bet is at a fixed price.

So, let’s say you backed a horse at 6/1 on the morning of the race and the 2/1 favourite is pulled out of the encounter just an hour or so before it gets underway. This then means your 6/1 is now looking incredibly generous as you have a much better chance of winning.

For that reason, there does have to be a deduction to your bet to make sure that the betting is fair and as mentioned, the 6/1 you got earlier in the day is no longer the correct – or fair – odds.

What you do need to know is that Rule 4 deduction will only apply AFTER the final delectations for a race is made. Usually, this is around 24 hours before a race. Also, if you back a horse and it is declared a non-runner after the final declarations, you will get your money back. Ante-post punters do not get their money back on non-runners, however.

To make it all a little bit easier, there’s a handy explanation here and it describes just how much of your bet is deducted, depending on the odds of the non-runner.

a) If the current odds of the non-runner are 1/9 or shorter at the time the non-runner withdraws from the race, then 90p in £/E/$ is deducted (or 90% of winnings)

b) If over 2/11 up to and including 2/17, 85% of winnings deducted

c) If over 1/4 up to and including 1/5, 80% of winnings deducted

d) If over 3/10 up to & including 2/5, 70% of winnings deducted

e) If over 2/5 up to and including 8/15, 65% of winnings deducted

f) If over 8/15 up to and including 8/13, 60% of winnings deducted

g) If over 8/13 up to and including 4/5, 55% of winnings deducted

h) If over 4/5 up to and including 20/21, 50% of winnings deducted

i) If over 20/21 up to and including 6/5, 45% of winnings deducted

j) If over 6/5 up to and including 6/4, 40% of winnings deducted

k) If over 6/4 up to and including 7/4, 35% of winnings deducted

l) If over 7/4 up to and including 9/4, 30% of winnings deducted

m) If over 9/4 up to and including 3/1, 25% of winnings deducted

n) If over 3/1 up to and including 4/1, 20% of winnings deducted

o) If over 4/1 up to and including 11/2, 15% of winnings deducted

p) If over 11/2 up to and including 9/1, 10% of winnings deducted

q) If over 9/1 up to and including 14/1, 5% of winnings deducted

r) If the non-runner is over 14/1 then there is no deduction

We do have a good example of when Rule 4 has come into play as on October 7th, one of our Little Earners was 8/1 when we tipped him in the morning, but the 4/1 favourite being withdrawn meant that there were going to be deductions when he eventually won.

The horse went off with an SP of 2/1, so he was a popular bet anyway, but those who backed him at 8/1 would only lose 20% of their winnings. So, a £10 win bet that would have paid £80, ended up paying  £62, which is still good profit.

It’s easy to work out the deductions, as all you have to do is look at the table above, see that the non-runner was at 4/1 and then see that deducts 20% of your winnings.

Rule 4 can be frustrating for punters, but more often than not, it’s better than taking the SP.