5 Horse Racing Tips For Beginners

First Past The Post Rules And How It Works For You

First past the post rules are offered by almost every bookie as standard now but what is it and how can it affect your winnings if your lucky enough to back a winner but unlucky enough to have it taken away from you.

Every horse racing punter has been there at some point, finally picked a winner only for there to be a stewards enquiry and then their horse being the victim of an amended result or worse a disqualification.

This used to mean that you would no longer get paid out on your bet, but times have changed and many online bookmakers now offer the first past the post rule.

Below is an example of what happens in the steward’s room after the steward’s enquiry tone goes off after a race that may have had interference or something untoward happen at the finish

There is nothing worse than losing out when you finally pick a winner, I am betting now you want to know more about this so lets go into a bit more detail and where you can get this feature today.

What Is The First Past The Post Rule?

First past the post means that the bookmaker will pay out for the horse which crosses the line first, even if they are later disqualified or downgraded in the race via an amended result or stewards enquiry.

Basically, if you have a bookie offering the first past the post payout you are good either way.

What Bookmakers Offer First Past The Post Payout?

Now that you know what it is and that you should not be backing horses with online bookmakers without it, it’s time to find out who actually offers it as standard.

I have given the basic terms for each Bookmaker offering first past the post but be sure to check with them for full details as each bookie will be different to the next.

  • Betfair

All bets placed on UK and Irish horse racing will be settled on First Past the Post AND the official result on the day. Any subsequent disqualification will not affect the settlement of bets.

This offer applies to winning single and multiple bets and the win part of Each-Way bets placed only.

Exceptions: The exceptions where the double result does not apply and bets are only settled according to the official result are:

A selection taking the wrong course

A selection carrying the wrong weight or the jockey failing to weigh-in

Any bets placed at a Non UK/IRE race meetings

A Forecast or Tricast bet

A void race

Any Tote/Pari-Mutuel bet

OddsBoost markets

A selection given as the winner in error by the judge

All Future Racing bets

1. If the result of a race is amended before the weigh-in, when the official result is declared, any Single bets will be settled in the following manner:

  • If your horse wins but is demoted to a place, Win stakes will be refunded as a cash payment, and Place stakes will be settled fully;
  • If your horse wins but is demoted outside the places, both Win and Each Way bets will be refunded as a cash payment in full;
  • If your horse places but is demoted outside the places, Win stakes will be lost, and Place stakes will be refunded as a cash payment.

2. The Demoted Horses rule does not apply to the following exceptions:

  • The Grand National | ante post bets | forecast or tricast bets | void races | a selection taking the wrong course | a selection given as the winner in error by the judge | a selection carrying the wrong weight | a jockey failing to weigh-in | Totepool bets | favourite points markets | distance markets | bets placed on a two runner race | special match bets | novelty bets | ‘Insurance’ markets | ‘without the favourite’ markets | ‘place only’ markets | match bets.

3. This demoted horses rule is applicable to Win and Each Way singles only. For selections that are included in multiple bets, these rules will not apply.

4. Available on UK & Irish Horse Racing.

5. Staking restrictions do not apply

  • Paddy Power

Horse racing bets are automatically settled on a double result basis unless otherwise stated or as detailed in the double result section herein.

  • Bet365

If all races are not run bets will be void, unless settlement of bets is already determined. Bets are settled on First Past the Post except where horses are disqualified for carrying an incorrect weight or for taking the wrong course. Our Double Result offer does not apply to this market.

  • Betfred

The exceptions where First Past the Post does not apply, and bets are only settled according to the official result are: A selection taking the wrong course. A selection carrying the wrong weight or the jockey failing to weigh-in. Any Ante Post bet. A Forecast or Tricast bet. A void race. Any Tote/Pari-Mutuel bet.

  • Unibet

First Past the Post/Official Result. We pay-out on both the First Past the Post Result and the Official Result on all win and each-way singles and multiples on horse racing in the UK and Ireland. Subject to the following exceptions where we will pay the Official Result only: Antepost Bets.

  • Coral

The double results concession will apply to all single and multiple bets at UK and Irish racecourses.

It does not apply to races in other countries.

Only the official “weighed in” result on the day will apply in the following circumstances:

Ante-post bets;
Forecast and tricast bets;
Aintree Grand National;
Selections which have taken the wrong course;
Races where an incorrect first past the post result has been announced in error by the judge;
Selections carrying the wrong weight;
Selections whose jockey failed to weigh in;
Any Tote or Pari-Mutuel bets;
Challenge bets involving winning favourites and distance betting;
Betting without the favourites markets.
In all of the above examples, the double result concession does not apply and payout is determined on the official result, not the First Past The Post result.

  • SkyBet

First Past the Post is the way in which we pay winnings in horse racing bets. Its means that we will payout for the horse which crosses the line first, even if they are later disqualified or downgraded in the race

  • Quinnbet

First Past the Post is offered for all races in the UK & Ireland (see website for exceptions)


There are other bookmakers that will and probably do offer first past the post but its certainly worth asking them for sure before you start placing any bets on horse racing with them.

Other things you should check your bookmaker offers is

  • Best Odds Guaranteed – gives you the best odds when you place the bet and after the race has ended you get the higher odds either way
  • Acca Insurance – offers your money back if one selection in your acca lets you down (it happens a lot I know)
  • Free Bets – usually when you stake a certain amount good bookmakers offer a free bet in return
  • Odds Boosts – boosts the odds on your chosen selection (sometimes limited to 1 a day or 1 a week)
  • Loyalty bonuses – you should only use bookies that offer you something in return for your loyalty.

When choosing an online bookmaker you want to ensure you get the most value out of your bets.

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