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Rule 4 Deductions

Published on: 07/04/2017

This is a common question asked by punters and it is to do with calculating prices for a specific horse racing market that has had non-runners in it.

When a bookmaker prices their book, the chances of each horse winning relative to the likelihood of the other horses in the field are taken into account based on all horses running the race.

But, for a number of reasons, horses are often withdrawn and this can happen at the last minute - when the majority of bets have already been placed. So what happens in this situation? Well, one option would be to void all bets - but that wouldn`t be much fun, would it?

An alternative would be to force the bookmaker to pay out on the price of all bets placed up until that point. However, this rule would undoubtedly be abused. So to protect the bookmaker, while also being fair to the punter, the Tattersalls Rule 4c Scale of Deductions was introduced.

How does it work?

If a rank outsider is withdrawn, most bookmakers are of the opinion that it is unlikely to affect the outcome of the race - and there are fewer things more frustrating than an outsider reducing your winnings. However, if the favourite is a non-runner, the pictures changes greatly.

(Some bookmakers are limiting the deductions to 75p in the pound to cover all horses priced 3/10 or lower, while some deduct up to 90p in the pound for extremely short-priced favourites.)

In general, the official deduction table is as follows:

Price of horse at withdrawal Deduction from winnings
1/9 or shorter 90p in the £
2/11 to 2/17 85p in the £
1/4 to 1/5 80p in the £
3/10 to 2/7 75p in the £
2/5 to 1/3 70p in the £
8/15 to 4/9 65p in the £
8/13 to 4/7 60p in the £
4/5 to 4/6 55p in the £
20/21 to 5/6 50p in the £
Evens to 6/5 45p in the £
5/4 to 6/4 40p in the £
13/8 to 7/4 35p in the £
15/8 to 9/4 30p in the £
5/2 to 3/1 25p in the £
10/3 to 4/1 20p in the £
9/2 to 11/2 15p in the £
6/1 to 9/1 10p in the £
10/1 to 14/1 5p in the £

The liability would be unchanged if the odds are more than 14/1. If more than one horse is withdrawn before coming under Starter`s Orders, the overall deductions shall not exceed 90p in the £ (or 75p).


To calculate the new winnings of your selection after a non-runner, follow this simple method (it can be used in any sport where a Rule 4 is applicable):

Original winnings x (1 ¬- (Rule 4 / 100))


You backed a horse at 6/1 with a £10 stake. Within that race, there was a 3/1 non-runner, which would be 25p Rule 4.

60 x (1-(25/100))
= 60 x 0.75
= 45
Then add on your stake to work out your total return.

It is that easy! If there is more than one non-runner, just add up all the Rule 4sand use the total in the above equation.

Published on: 07/04/2017 © Bet Bind