Rule 4 Betting Guide

Rule 4 is a common feature of horse racing betting. It can occur on any race and will have an effect on all bets that have already been placed.

What is Rule 4?

Rule 4 comes into effect when a horse pulls out of a race, after bets have already been placed on the race. With less competition now in the race, the markets have to be adjusted to reflect that. If you have already placed your bets, then you will notice a change in your potential payout. This is because there is now less horses in the race, increasing the chances of your horse winning, effectively shortening the odds of the horses that are left in the race. The amount that your payout is affected by will depend on the price of the horse that pulls out. The actual amount is determined by the amount of every pound of your potential payout. Check the table below for the amount that will be deducted:

Odds - Deduction (From every £1)

OddsPrice deduction
1/9 or shorter90p
2/11 to 2/1785p
1/5 to 1/480p
3/10 to 2/775p
2/5 to 1/370p
8/15 to 4/965p
8/13 to 4/760p
4/5 to 4/655p
20/21 to 5/650p
Evens to 6/545p
5/4 to 6/440p
13/8 to 7/435p
15/8 to 9/430p
5/2 to 3/125p
10/3 to 4/120p
9/2 to 11/215p
6/1 to 9/110p
10/1 to 14/15p

When does Rule 4 take place?

Rule 4 might not be entirely noticeable until the race has finished and your horse racing bet has been paid out. Initially, if any deductions have taken place, your payout will still be shown as unaffected. Even though you won’t notice any deductions straight away, you can still check the betting markets to ensure that no horses have pulled out of the race that you have bet on.

Rule 4 Example

  • You’ve placed a bet on the 1:50 at Cheltenham. You have bet on Horse A, at odds of 4/1, with 6 different runners taking part in the race. An hour before the race is due to start, Horse B with a starting price of 5/2 pulls out of the race.
  • The race now only has 5 runners, with one of the favourites pulling out of the race. This increases the chances of Horse A, as well as all other runners, winning the race. As soon as Horse B pulling out has been officially confirmed, Bet UK will start to work on applying a Rule 4 deduction to your bet on Horse A.
  • With Rule 4 now applied, the potential payout of your bet on Horse A is now decreased. Horse B’s price was 5/2, meaning that 25p out of every £1 of your original payout will be deducted from any winnings.

Bet UK's Betting Guides help you understand some of our betting markets to help you have the best experience while you bet.

Bet UK's online betting feature offers horse racing betting on all horse racing meets throughout Britain and Ireland including the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot. Our sports betting blog brings you the latest previews, odds and tips for all major sports throughout the year.

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