A dead heat is when two or more participants tie for a position. In scenarios where there is a dead heat, some bets can be affected.
Because there isn't a clear winner, any stake placed on one of the selections to win is divided by the number of participants making up the dead heat.
If you’ve placed a bet on a horse to win the race and it’s involved in a dead heat, your stake is divided by the amount of participants in the dead heat at your taken odds.
For example, if you backed a 10/1 horse or greyhound for £10 and there’s a two-way dead heat, your stake would be divided by two (= £5) at the 10/1 taken odds, resulting in a return of £55.
Golf and other sports
Dead heats are common in golf and most tournaments will see golfers tied for a position. But you generally can’t have a dead heat for the actual winner of a tournament because extra holes are played to decide who emerges victorious.
Dead heat example
The leaderboard below shows the conclusion of a fictional championship tournament:
You placed £5 each way on Dustin Johnson at 20/1 for the championship. The each-way terms are 1/4 of the odds for the first five places.
Johnson finished tied for fifth with two other players, resulting in a dead heat for the place. The ‘win’ part of your bet is a loser as he did not win the tournament, but he finished in the first five places so the ‘place’ part of your bet will provide some returns.
To calculate the returns, the following formula is used:
(Stake/total players tied for position) * (odds/four) = return
Firstly, calculate the new reduced stake:
£5 stake divided by three (total players tied for fifth) = £1.66
Then calculate the place odds:
20/1 odds divided by four (the place terms are ¼) = 5/1
Returns therefore equal: £1.66 * 6 = £9.96
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