Adjudication Case Studies - Golf : Each-Way Betting Pointers

It is worthwhile making potential backers aware of some of the disputes we anticipate will be presented to IBAS this summer regarding golf markets.

Given the wide range of propositions available in golfing markets these days, no bookmaker undertakes that the counter staff will check a bet to ensure that it is correct or to ensure that the customer fully understands what the bet involves. The onus is always on the customer to check the terms of the bet and ensure they fully understand the settlement criteria on the market in which they are participating.

Bookmakers pay out one quarter the odds on five places in all important strokeplay golf tournaments, which include the Masters at Augusta.

In outright tournament betting non-runner no-bet terms are normal. The winner is determined by play-off holes, where played. For each-way bets, dead-heat rules apply (see below). Each-way terms vary from company to company, so check advertisements. In the event of a tournament being cut short by adverse conditions, bets are normally settled on the official winner regardless of the number of rounds played. But check rules for variations as some companies can offer a different settlement criteria.

In two- and three-ball betting the rules need to be referred to. Bets may stand once the players have teed-off on the first hole or the match may be void if any player fails to complete the round, depending on the company with which the bet has been placed.

Dead heats are commonplace in golf and the basis of settlement is not always understood. Let us suppose three different situations where the place terms are 1-2-3-4.

278 Brown 279 Green 280 Smith, Jones 281 White

In this case, Jones and Smith finish joint third and fourth. Therefore, each-way backers of these two players are due one-half their place stake at full place odds in respect of third place and one-half their place stake at full place odds in respect of fourth place. In effect, you would receive place odds to the whole of their place stake. White finishes 5th and is thus out of the money.

278 Brown 279 Green 280 Jones 281 Smith, White

In this case, Smith and White finish joint fourth and fifth. Thus, each-way backers of either player receive place odds to one-half their place stake in respect of fourth place, losing the other half of their place stake in respect of fifth place.

278 Brown 279 Green 280 Jones, Smith, White 281 Grey

In this case, Jones, Smith and White jointly fill third, fourth and fifth places. Each-way backers of these players are thus entitled to place odds to one-third place stake for third place and place odds to one-third place stake for fourth place, losing the other third of their stake on the fifth place. Thus, their full entitlement is two-thirds stake at full place odds. Grey finishes sixth and is out of the money.

In tourmament match betting if one player misses the cut, the other player wins. If both miss the cut, the player with the lower score wins. If a player is disqualified or withdraws prior to the completion of two rounds or after both have made the cut, the other player is the winner. If a player is disqualified or retires during the third and fourth rounds while the other player has missed the cut, the disqualified or retired player is the winner.

In the case below the backer assumed that a tied match bet would be settled as a dead-heat but in fact the bookmaker was also quoting a price for the tie. That the backer missed it was his oversight and not the responsibility of the bookmaker or his staff.


When placing any bet it is always a customer's responsibility to ensure that they fully understand the terms under which a bet is placed.

In this case the customer has placed a golf bet in a betting shop bet on Padraig Harrington to beat Retief Goosen in a match bet at the US Open. The match has been drawn and the bet settled as a loser.

The customer claims that when he placed his bet there were no specific coupons available in the betting shop that could have informed him that the market included the possible outcome of a draw and he therefore believed that dead-heat rules applied.

The firm have provided an image of the screen information on the tournament which was displayed when the customer placed his bet. It shows the information line that dead-heat rules apply to Group betting and that they offer 16-1 all ties in match betting.

At the time the customer placed the bet it was his responsibility to ensure that he understood fully the terms on offer. Instead, he has assumed that dead-heat rules apply, although there does not appear to be any information to suggest that is so.

The bookmaker has settled the bet correctly as per the terms that were on offer at the time the bet was placed. The win bet is therefore a loser in a market in which the draw was a possible outcome.

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