Rule 4 Deductions at Bookmakers

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Instructions for printing a copy of the rule 4 table are at the bottom of this page.

When there is a non runner in a race the bookmakers need to adjust their odds to account for the increased chances of the remaining horses winning. They also need to adjust the odds of bets that have already been placed. There is a standard procedure for this, known as “Rule 4?.

The table below shows the deductions made by bookmakers for a non runner, which are based on the odds of the non runner at the time of its withdrawal. Some bookmakers do not charge more than 75p, others may charge upto 90p as shown below.

Price of horse at time of withdrawal Deduction from winnings
1/9 (1.11) or shorter 90p in £
2/11 to 2.17 (1.18 to 1.12) 85p in £
1/4 to 1/5 (1.25 to 1.2) 80p in £
3/10 to 2/7 (1.3 to 1.28) 75p in £
2/5 to 1/3 (1.4 to 1.33) 70p in £
8/15 to 4/9 (1.53 to 1.44) 65p in £
8/13 to 4/7 (1.62 to 1.57) 60p in £
4/5 to 4/6 (1.8 to 1.66) 55p in £
20/21 to 5/6 (1.95 to 1.83) 50p in £
Evens to 6/5 (2.0 to 2.2) 45p in £
5/4 to 6/4 (2.25 to 2.5) 40p in £
13/8 to 7/4 (2.62 to 2.75) 35p in £
15/8 to 9/4 (2.87 to 3.25) 30p in £
5/2 to 3/1 (3.5 to 4.0) 25p in £
10/3 to 4/1 (4.33 to 5.0) 20p in £
9/2 to 11/2 (5.5 to 6.5) 15p in £
6/1 to 9/1 (7.0 to 10.0) 10p in £
10/1 to 14/1 (11.0 to 15.0) 5p in £
There is no rule 4 deduction for odds over 14/1. If two or more horses are withdrawn before coming under Starters Orders, the total deductions shall not exceed 90p in £ (or 75p, depending on the bookie).Example – £10 win bet, taking an early or board price of 9/1

2 horses withdrawn before the start.

One horse trading at 3/1 (deduction 25p), the second horse trading at 14/1 (deduction 5p)

Total Rule 4 deduction will be 30p in the £

£10 @ 9/1 = £90 WINNINGS on the bet before rule 4.

Deduct £27 from the winnings part of the bet (90 x 30p) so the bet now wins £63 (SP 6.3 /1)

Then add on your original stake of £10

Total Returns would be £73 making a profit on the bet of £63

Note that some bookmakers do not charge a 5p rule 4 BUT if there is another non runner, even if that is also 5p, they will always add the 2 together, so 2x 5p rule 4 will be 10p. It is therefore not safe to take an arb (or adjust a bet) on the basis of a bookie not charging 5p rule 4s.

To print a copy of the rule 4 table, click on the image below, then press ctrl-P.


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