Horse Racing - Non-Runner & Rule 4



What is a Non Runner?

Put simply, a Non Runner is a horse that is named in a race but doesn’t go on to take part in it.


How will I know if my horse is a non-runner?

  • In the race-card, any selections which have been declared non-runners will show as NR

  • In your betslip, the selection will show as a V (void)


I bet on a non-runner, what happens to my bet?

  • Bets placed on Future Racing will be settled as a losing bets.
  • Bets places on Non Runner Money Back markets will have their stakes returned once the non-runner is declared.
  • If you have placed an accumulator, the line related to the non-runner will be void, and you will not receive your stake for that line back. The rest of the lines in the accumulator will still stand.

What does non-runner, money back mean?

  • NRMB is our safety guarantee to you. Place your bets without worrying about your selection not running.
  • Future Racing betting ceases at 10am on the day of the overnight declaration stage and all bets placed after that stage will be 'non-runner money back', ie. your bet stake will be refunded if your horse fails to compete. Tattersalls Rule 4 may apply.
  • Betfair Sportsbook offer Non-Runner Money Back on selected Ante-Post races all year-round. After a race becomes Non-Runner No Bet, any Ante-Post bets placed on the Win or Each-Way market will be refunded if your selection does not run.
  • This refund will apply to bonus cash and free bets, as long as the free bet was not due to expire before the refund is issued.

Another horse in the race was a non-runner, why has my win paid out for less?

Sportsbook treats non-runners the same as every other bookmaker, by applying a 'Rule 4'. The 'Rule 4' deduction values are industry standard, deductions are measured by a number of pence in the £, based on the odds of the horse at the point of withdrawal.

For bets where a price is taken, the application of Rule 4(c) will be determined by the last Betfair price available at the time the relevant horse is withdrawn.

  • If there are two or more withdrawals in one event, the deduction will not exceed 90p.
  • If the price of a withdrawn selection is not quoted in the above table, then Rule 4(c) will be applied at the next highest price quoted. For example 21/5 would be classed in the 9/2 bracket for Rule 4 purposes.

Sportsbook Example:

If you had a bet on a horse for £10 at 10/1 that went on to win, but in the same race the favourite (priced at 2/5) pulled out, your total return would be:


Pre 'Rule 4'

£10 x 10 = £100 (profit pre 'Rule 4')

£100 + £10 = £110 (total return pre 'Rule 4')


Post Rule 4

£100 less 70% (70p in the £) = £30 (profit post 'Rule 4')

£30 + £10 = £40 (total return post 'Rule 4')


This is different to the Exchange, which applies a separate non-runner reduction calculation.



I bet on a non-runner, what happens to my bet on Exchange?

  • Bets placed on Future Racing/ Ante Post will be settled as a losing bets.
  • Bets placed on Day of the Race markets will have their stakes returned once the non-runner is declared.

My bet was a winner, what are non-runner deductions?

Non Runner deductions (Rule 4) are pretty much the same on Sportsbook as they are on the Exchange. The difference is that the reduction factor will be applied to the prices of all matched bets, for both backers and layers. This is to ensure that layers are not unfairly treated and exposed to large liabilities when the chances of other horses winning have improved. The reduction factors are designed to be fair to both backers and layers.


How is the reduction factor applied on Exchange?

When a bet is struck, the price that it was matched at will be recorded on the system. If there is a subsequent withdrawal (non-runner), we will reduce the matched price by the reduction factor of the withdrawn horse.

If you want to calculate the new price once a reduction factor has been applied, this is how:

(Decimal odds / 100) x reduction factor of non-runner = amount to reduce original price by

Subtract this amount from the original price to calculate the new price.

  • You matched a back bet on the horse 'Diamond Night' for £10 @ 8.6.
  • Your liability is £10.
  • A horse in the same race is now withdrawn with a reduction factor of 16.2%


(8.6 / 100 ) x 16.2 = 1.39 (this gives the amount to be reduced from the original price)


Example Layer:

  • You matched a lay bet on the horse 'Diamond Night' for £10 @ 8.6.
  • Your liability is £76.
  • A horse in the same race is now withdrawn with a reduction factor of 16.2%

If the reduction factor for a withdrawn horse is less than 2.5%, then the price reduction is not applied, as the horse was not really a material runner and if withdrawn, the difference to the betting would be negligible.


The reduction factor work slightly different on 'Place' markets. Please view Exchange: How do reduction factors work on place markets?


What happens to a Betfair Starting Price (BSP) bet if there is a late non-runner?

If you place a Betfair Staring Price (BSP) bet and we are unable to remove the non runner until after the race has completed, we will delay settlement of the market whilst we manually reconcile the Starting Price. To do this we apply the non runner's reduction factor to the original SP odds generated. This will return new, revised odds for your bet.

This instance rarely occurs, usually when a horse is withdrawn very close to the off of a race and we are unable to remove the non runner from the market before the race is off.

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