Rule 4 Deductions

What are Rule 4 deductions?

Rule 4 deductions are made to the winnings you receive back when the horse you have backed wins or is placed. These deductions are only made when one or more horses are withdrawn from the race after you have placed your bet.

Rule 4 deductions are normally made in cases where you have taken a price on your horse. Rule 4 deductions can be made from the Starting Price (SP) of a horse when a horse is withdrawn just before the race and there is no time to create a new a market.

Why are Rule 4 deductions made?

Rule 4 deductions are made when a horse is withdrawn from a race because it becomes easier for the other runners to win - each horse in the race will have one less to beat so it is more likely that it will win. Therefore an amount of money is taken out of winnings to balance the effect of the withdrawn runner.

If bookmakers did not make Rule 4 deductions from winnings then in some cases customers would be able to back all the horses in one race and make money whichever horse won!

For example, suppose there are three horses in a race. Horse A is 1/3 favourite, horse B is 3/1 and horse C is 12/1. Now suppose horse A is withdrawn and there are no deductions made to the prices of horse B and C. In this case if you placed £1 on horse B and £1 and horse C you would win more than the £2 staked whichever horse won. If horse B won you would win £4 and if horse C won you would win £13.

Therefore Rule 4 deductions are made to take into account the additional advantage a customer has when a horse is withdrawn from a race.

How much are Rule 4 deductions?

The amount taken from your winnings depends on how likely the horse or horses that were withdrawn from the race were to win. For example, if the favourite in a race is withdrawn it will make it much easier for the second favourite to win. However, if an outsider is taken from the race then it will be still difficult for the second favourite to win as it still needs to beat the favourite.

The exact amount taken out of your winnings is based on the last price of the withdrawn selection at the time of bet placement, in that market. This is because the price equates to its chances of winning. Therefore the shorter its price, the bigger its chance of winning and the larger the Rule 4 deduction is.

This table shows the amount of the deductions based on the price of individual selections. These deductions are the amount of money that is taken from each £1 in winnings. Hence if you win £10 and there is a 10p Rule 4 deduction you will only receive £9 winnings.


 Price of non runner when bet placed


 R4 Deduction

 1/9 or shorter

 1.11 or shorter


 2/11 to 2/17

 1.18 to 1.12


 1/4 to 1/5

 1.25 to 1.20


 3/10 to 2/7

 1.30 to 1.29


 2/5 to 1/3

 1.40 to 1.33


 8/15 to 4/9

 1.53 to 1.45


 8/13 to 4/7

 1.62 to 1.57


 4/5 to 4/6

 1.80 to 1.66


 20/21 to 5/6

 1.95 to 1.83


 Evens to 6/5

 2.00 to 2.20


 5/4 to 6/4

 2.25 to 2.50


 8/5 to 7/4

 2.60 to 2.75


 9/5 to 9/4

 2.80 to 3.25


 12/5 to 3/1

 3.40 to 4.00


 16/5 to 4/1

 4.20 to 5.00


 9/2 to 11/2

 5.50 to 6.50


 6/1 to 9/1

 7.00 to 10.00


 10/1 to 14/1

 11.00 to 15.00


 Over 14/1

 Over 15.00

 No deduction

What happens if more than one horse is withdrawn from a race?

More than one Rule 4 deduction can apply if more than one horse is withdrawn from a race.