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Dead Heat: How Bookies Handle Draws in Horse Racing

FAQ
Q: What happens if more than two horses finish in a dead heat?

If two or more horses can’t be separated, the race is declared a dead heat. This means everything is shared between those involved in the draw. From the jockeys and trainers to people making bets, dead heat rules ensure no one loses out unfairly.

Q: What odds do you get for a dead heat?

The best way to think about your odds with regards to a dead heat in horse racing is that they’ll be divided by the number of runners involved in the draw. If it’s two, your odds are halved. If it’s a triple dead heat, you’ll get 1/3 odds.

Q: Can you bet on a dead heat?

In special circumstances, you may be able to bet on a dead heat in horse racing. However, because the draws are uncommon, it’s not a type of bet you can make as a standard. You may, however, be able to request this type of bet.

Q: What happens to combo bets if there is a dead heat?

If you’ve made an each-way accumulator bet, the dead heat bets count in full. In other words, if your pick is part of an accumulator and finishes in a dead heat, that part of the bet is declared a win and, therefore, the whole bet remains live.

Q: What are the most famous dead heats in horse racing?

There aren’t any concrete statistics on how often dead heats happen in horse racing. However, there have been plenty of famous results over the years. Back in 1801, Worthy and Sorcerer crossed the line at the same time in the King’s Plate at Newmarket. Worthy subsequently won the rematch. In modern times, the 2011 Irish St. Ledger ended in a draw when Duncan and Jukebox Jury crossed the line at the same time.

Q: Are there exceptions to dead heats?

In some instances, there may be exceptions to the dead heat rule. Although these typically occur in unsanctioned/smaller events, it may be the case that dead heat finishers are asked to re-run the race in order to determine an outright winner.

Q: Do bookmakers use dead heat rules to their advantage?

No. All licenced bookmakers follow standard rules with regards to dead heats. Indeed, these industry standards are well-known and established, which means bookmakers aren’t able to use draws to take advantage of consumers.

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