Rule 4 Deductions

What is a Rule 4 Deduction?

When one or more horses are withdrawn from a race, bookmakers make an adjustment to amount of winning money received, for all bets placed prior to the horse being withdrawn. This usually happens when you have taken a price on a horse, but can also be applied to Starting Price (SP) bets, when a horse is withdrawn just before the start of the race and there is no time for the bookmakers to form a revised market.

Why are Rule 4 Deductions made?

When a horse is withdrawn from a race it makes it easier for the remaining horses to win the race, especially if the withdrawn horse was one of the favourites to win the race. The Rule 4 deduction reflects this fact. The more the withdrawn horse was fancied to win the race (the lower it's odds when it was withdrawn) the bigger the Rule 4 deduction. For example if the withdrawn horse was the evens favourite at the time it was withdrawn, there would be a R4 deduction of 45p for every pound won. Where as if the horse was less fancied at odds of 5/1 the R4 deduction would only be 15p for every pound won. See the table below for the full official range of deductions based upon the odds of the withdrawn horse, at the time it was withdrawn.

If more than 1 horse is withdrawn the deductions are added together and then applied to the winnings. For example if a horse at 7/4 and a horse at 4/1 were withdrawn. The R4 deduction would be 35p + 20p = 55p. If the market has been reformed between the 2 horses being withdrawn the amount of R4 deduction for the 2nd horse should be based upon it's odds in the original market.

Why is it called a Rule 4 deduction?

In the original rules of racing, the rule related to horse withdrawals was 4th in the list of rules.It's full title is actually Rule 4(c).

5p Rule 4 Deductions

If there is only 1 horse withdrawn and the deduction is only 5p some bookmakers now ignore making the deduction. The following bookmakers do not apply the 5p Rule 4 deduction, if there's only one deduction and it's only for 5p:

Ladbrokes, Racebets, bet365, Stan James, Coral, William Hill, Skybet.

Rule 4s based upon odds

1/9 or shorter
2/11 - 2/17
1/4 - 1/5
3/10 - 2/7
2/5 - 1/3
8/15 - 4/9
8/13 - 4/7
4/5 - 4/6
20/21 - 5/6
Evens - 6/5
5/4 - 6/4
8/5 - 7/4
9/5 - 9/4
12/5 - 3/1
16/15 - 4/1
9/2 - 11/2
6/1 - 9/1
10/1 to 14/1
Over 14/1


No Deduction