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Understanding Rule 4 Deductions in Online Betting

Rule 4 is a deduction applied to winning bets when a horse is withdrawn from a race after your bet is placed but before the start of the race.

Understanding Rule 4 Deductions in Online Betting
Understanding Rule 4 Deductions in Online Betting

In the world of online betting, understanding the nuances of various rules and deductions is crucial for punters, irrespective of how much or how often they place a bet. This is especially true in horse racing betting. One important aspect that often perplexes many is the "Rule 4" deductions, a term many will have come across during last week's Cheltenham action.

 At betting.bet, we go to great lengths to empower our community with all the necessary information to make informed betting decisions. This blog aims to simplify Rule 4 deductions and explain how they could impact your betting experience. 

What is Rule 4?

Rule 4 is a deduction applied to winning bets when a horse is withdrawn from a race after your bet is placed but before the start of the race. This rule is implemented by bookmakers to protect themselves against losses in the event of a late withdrawal, which alters the odds of the remaining horses. The name "Rule 4" originates from the Tattersalls' Rules of Racing, where it's listed as the fourth rule.

How Does Rule 4 Work?

When a horse is withdrawn from a race, the chances of the other horses winning increase, which would mean the bookmakers potentially paying out more than they should based on the true odds. To counteract this, Rule 4 applies a deduction to the winnings based on the odds of the withdrawn horse at the time of withdrawal.

The deduction is expressed as a percentage, which is deducted from your winnings, not the stake. It's important to note that if the odds of the withdrawn horse are long enough, there may be no deduction applied.

Examples of Rule 4 Deductions

To explain, let's consider a few scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: You place a £10 bet on Horse A at 5/1. Another horse, Horse B (at 4/1), is withdrawn. The Rule 4 deduction for a horse at 4/1 is 20%. If Horse A wins, instead of receiving £60 (£50 winnings + £10 stake), you'd get £50 (£40 winnings + £10 stake) after the 20% deduction from your winnings.
  • Scenario 2: You've bet £10 on Horse C at 8/1. Horse D, with odds of 10/1, is withdrawn. In this case, the deduction might be as low as 5%. For a winning bet on Horse C, you would receive £75.50 (£65.50 winnings + £10 stake) after the deduction.

At betting.bet, we understand that deductions like Rule 4 can be frustrating. That's why we go to great lengths to ensure that our punters are fully aware of all aspects of betting, including the less straightforward ones like Rule 4 deductions. We aim to provide clear information and updates, especially in scenarios where deductions apply, to ensure you're never caught off guard!

Tips for Punters

  1. Stay Informed: Always check the terms and conditions related to Rule 4 deductions on your chosen betting sites.
  2. Keep Updated: Pay attention to any notifications or updates from your bookmaker, especially close to the start of a race.
  3. Understand the Impact: Use Rule 4 calculators available online to understand the potential impact on your winnings.
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