Horse racing betting is all about good luck and great judgement—yet sometimes the jargon surrounding the sport can be tricky to decipher.
And one of the weirdest eccentricities in racing betting is Rule 4. This is a weird clause in horse racing that can sometimes catch punters unawares. And while it isn’t regularly used, knowing when Rule 4 in horse racing is being applied will certainly help you out in the future.
WHAT IS RULE 4?
So what’s Rule 4 all about? Well, Rule 4 is simply a deduction that is made to winning bets – often in horse racing – when the race is impacted by a horse not running. It is a fair method of recalculating bets that have already been placed when suddenly a horse is withdrawn.
For example, if you bet on the second favourite to win a race at 5/1, but the favourite withdraws just before the race, then your chances of winning suddenly shoot up. To adjust for the non-runners, Rule 4 calculates what the true odds of each remaining horse now are.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything when Rule 4 kicks in but it’s worth being aware of the clause in case you’re banking on a specific return from the race.
DOES RULE 4 AFFECT MY PAYOUT?
If Rule 4 is implemented in a race you have bet on then your payout might be affected. However, this depends on the horse that withdrew and the size of the race. For example, if a horse priced at 33/1 withdraws from a race involving 18 runners then Rule 4 would not be implemented, as the effect on the rest of the field is minimal.
However, were the 7/2 favourite to withdraw from a race involving just seven runners then Rule 4 would kick in. Effectively, the shorter the odds of the non-runner, the bigger the Rule 4 deduction becomes. Check out more with Paddy Power help here.
RULE 4 EXCEPTIONS
You can get a racing betting exception to Rule 4s if you bet on the ante-post markets. These are odds that are listed before the full race list is announced, and are often used by punters looking to bet on races weeks and months in advance.
HOW TO CALCULATE RULE 4
Calculating Rule 4 can be tricky–and realistically you’re not expected to do it yourself! It all depends on the price of the non-runner and the strength of the field. However, as a general rule this table explains the basic Rule 4 deductions.
You can also use the Paddy Power Bet Calculator and click on the Rule 4 button to help predict your potential payout.
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
- What is a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What does a novice hurdle in horse racing mean?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
- What is the difference between Derby and Oaks races?
- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
- What is a stayer in horse racing?
- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?