If you’re a regular follower of tipsters or betting systems then you may well have come across occasions where your winnings haven’t turned out to be as much as you thought they’d be.
Maybe you put £10 on an 8/1 shot and were expecting to receive winnings of £80, but instead received only £60. At first you may think there’s been a mistake or you didn’t put the right wager on. But in fact it could mean you have encountered what is called a “rule 4 deduction.”
This is when a horse (or horses) drops out of a race before the start, thus increasing the chances of the remaining horses to win. To compensate for this, the bookies make a deduction from the winning horse’s odds depending on when people put their bets on.
So if a horse is second favourite and the favourite drops out, it means that the second favourite will become the favourite.
The amount of the deduction is calculated by working out the chances of the horse of winning based on its odds. So if a horse was 4/1, that means it had a 20% chance of winning and if it drops out, the other horses will have a 20% greater chance of winning.
So under a rule 4 deduction, you would see your winnings reduced by 20%.
One of the major difficulties in rule 4 deductions though is that they are generally not recorded in the racing results. So if you look at sites like the Racing Post, Sporting Life, the BBC or RacingUK, you won’t see any details of rule 4 deductions. This can be a little frustrating if you are trying to work out how much various horses would have had their odds affected by horses being withdrawn, particularly if there are multiple withdrawals.
We see this quite a bit with tipsters, who don’t take into account rule 4 deductions in their results, thus making their results look much better than they actually are.
Horse racing betting at top UK bookmaker William Hill also applies Rule 4 according to Tattersalls Committee. Of course, you will also find the latest odds for today’s races, ante-post bets as well the full horse racing results and much more.
There are websites that record all rule 4 deductions in their entirety and allows you to see what the deduction is depending on when you put your bet on such as the top bookies. At least this is something we should be thankful for.
It is good to see this kind of transparency and it is a website we often use ourselves. We make sure that all the tipsters we are trialling have rule 4 deductions included so that results are accurate. It may not sound like a big thing, but if a horse that was a 20/1 shot then has the favourite at 5/4 drop out of the race, it will greatly affect the winnings on that horse was 20/1.
So do keep an eye on that in results and it is worth asking tipsters you encounter whether they include rule 4 deductions in their results.