How can we help you?

13. Horse Racing rules

Smarkets general betting rules (1-11) will apply unless superseded by the Terms and Conditions or sports specific betting rules.

13.1   General

13.1.1    Markets will initially be settled according to which horse is first past the post. The ‘weighed-in’ result will then be considered the official result. Subsequent appeals, amendments etc to the result will not be taken into consideration.

13.1.2   Horses are identified by their names. Bets on a named runner will count for that runner regardless of race-card number. While Smarkets endeavour to ensure information on silks, jockeys etc are accurate, this information is provided as a guide only. Smarkets offers no guarantee to their accuracy and accepts no responsibility for bets made using this information alone.

13.1.3   Bets are placed on the individual horse. Coupled horses do not count for betting purposes.

13.1.4   If a race is declared "void" by the stewards or abandoned, or in the event of a walkover, all markets pertaining to the race will be voided.

13.1.5   Smarkets reserves the right to use its judgement should an incident that falls outside of these rules occur.

13.2   Place Markets

13.2.1   The places counted in a place market will typically be as follows:

  • 5 to 7 scheduled runners: 1st, 2nd;
  • 8 to 15 scheduled runners: 1st, 2nd, 3rd;
  • 16 or more scheduled runners (non-handicap): 1st, 2nd, 3rd;
  • 16 or more scheduled runners (handicap): 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.

Please note, however, that these numbers are not definitive and the number of places shown in the market name will take precedence in case of any inconsistency. 

13.2.2   A horse withdrawing from a race and becoming a non-runner does not affect the number of winners in each market.

13.2.3   If the number of places offered is equal or greater than the number of runners, all bets in this market will be voided.

13.2.4   Exposures are not combined between "to win" and "to place" markets.

13.2.5   Commission is payable separately for "to win" and "to place" markets.

13.3   Reduction Factors

13.3.1   The Reduction Factor Rule is the equivalent to the rule 4 deductions employed by racecourse bookmakers and governs what happens when a horse is withdrawn from a race.

13.3.2   A reduction factor is assigned to each runner according to Smarkets’s estimate of each horse’s percentage chance of winning.

13.3.3   If a horse withdraws from a race and becomes a non-runner, all bets on that horse will be voided.

13.3.4   A horse will be considered to have withdrawn from a race if they are scheduled to run, but do not come under Starting Orders.

13.3.5   In a win market, if a horse withdraws and becomes a non-runner, and has a reduction factor less than 2.5%, all bets on other runners will stand and remain unaltered. If the reduction factor of the withdrawn horse is equal to or greater than 2.5%, matched bets will be adjusted by this factor and all unmatched bets will be cancelled. The market will then be reopened.

For example, a bet matched at odds of 4 subject to a reduction of 25% would be reduced to a bet at odds of 3.

13.3.6   In a place market, if a horse withdraws and becomes a non-runner, the reduction factor will be applied to all winnings and unmatched bets will be cancelled, regardless of the size of the reduction factor. The market will then be reopened.

For example, a bet matched at odds of 4 and subject to a reduction of 25% in the place market would be reduced to a bet at odds of 3.25, thereby reducing the liability of the laying party and the potential winnings of the backing party by 25%.

13.3.7   Only horses scheduled to race will be assigned reduction factors. If a reserve horse becomes a scheduled runner, reduction factors may be adjusted accordingly.

13.3.8   Reduction factors may be applied after a race if it becomes apparent that a horse was a non-runner.

13.3.9   Reduction factors are subject to change, and may be adjusted at any point during the course of betting.

13.4   Ante-post Markets

13.4.1   Once the race has been declared, ante-post betting is deemed to be finished. All bets stand whether the horse runs or not unless the horse is balloted out, in which case all bets on that horse will be voided.

13.4.2   Reduction factors are not applied to ante-post markets.

13.4.3   Exposures are not combined between ante-post and day-of-race markets.

13.4.4   Commission is payable separately for ante-post and day-of-race markets.

13.4.5   If a horse listed in an ante-post market dies, all markets where the horse is declared as a runner will be suspended while Smarkets determines the accuracy of the information and the time of the horse's death. If this information is confirmed, the runner will be removed from the market and, if appropriate, all bets placed on the market from midnight on the date of death will be voided. If an accurate time for the horse's death cannot be ascertained, Smarkets may, using its discretion and all information available, decide to void bets from a more reasonable time.

13.4.6   Additional horses may be added upon request.

Last modified: June 9, 2020

Still not on Smarkets?

Trade sports, politics and current affairs with an industry-low 2% flat commission. All new customers get a £10 welcome bonus.

Join Smarkets