Rule 4 Deductions Explained
A rule 4 deduction is something that you will come across while gambling if you bet on horse racing. No other sport uses the rule 4 deduction, they don’t need to because if a team or competitor cannot play, the game would not take place. However, that isn’t the case with a horse race, with non-runners happening on a daily basis which could give you a rule 4 on the bet you place.
When does a Rule 4 Deduction occur?
A rule 4 deduction will be placed on your bet if a non-runner is declared in the race after you've bet. The other stipulation is that the horse which is a non-runner must be priced up at 14/1 or lower, if the horse is a bigger price than 14/1, no deduction is made.
The timing of your bet and the timing of the non-runner is key. If the non-runner happens just before the off, the rule 4 will apply to every bet placed. However, if it is declared in the morning, at 11am for example, only bets placed before 11am will have a rule 4 deduction. Those placed afterwards will be done so on the new betting market, which takes into account the non-runner and lowers the prices accordingly.
Why does a Rule 4 Deduction happen?
A rule 4 happens to balance the book for bookmakers. They create their betting odds based on a full field taking part, and each horse has a chance of winning which is relative to the others.
The favourite in a race has the most chance of winning, but if that horse doesn’t run, then every other runner in the field will have a better chance of winning, and therefore will need to be a lower price.
The shorter the price on the non-runner, the bigger chance others have of winning when it is withdrawn from the race, so the larger the deductions will be. If the non-runner is something priced up at low double figures, the deduction will be much smaller.
On most occasions you will find that the rule 4 deduction you have is roughly the same as the new price that has been created after the non-runner is known. However, there will be times when betting with a rule 4 works in your favour compared to the new odds, and also times when it doesn’t.
How much is deducted from my winnings with a Rule 4?
The amount deducted from your bet is all based upon the price of the non-runner at the time of withdrawal. It is important to note that if this happens in a morning, different bookmakers will have different odds so the rule 4 deductions may differ.
Here is a table showing the amount of money you lose in each £1 of profit depending on the price of the non-runner. Towards the end of the table, you will see a 5p deduction, it is worth checking with your bookmaker about these, as some bookmakers no longer take off the 5p deduction and they work from 10p onwards.
|Odds of Withdrawn Horse||Rule 4 Deduction|
|1/9 or shorter||90p in £1|
|2/11 to 2/17||85p in £1|
|1/4 to 1/5||80p in £1|
|3/10 to 2/7||75p in £1|
|2/5 to 1/3||70p in £1|
|8/15 to 4/9||65p in £1|
|8/13 to 4/7||60p in £1|
|4/5 to 4/6||55p in £1|
|20/21 to 5/6||50p in £1|
|Evens to 6/5||45p in £1|
|5/4 to 6/4||40p in £1|
|8/5 to 7/4||35p in £1|
|9/5 to 9/4||30p in £1|
|12/5 to 3/1||25p in £1|
|16/5 to 4/1||20p in £1|
|9/2 to 11/2||15p in £1|
|6/1 to 9/1||10p in £1|
|10/1 to 14/1||5p in £1|
|Over 14/1||No deduction|
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