Non-Runner No Bet

In many ways “draw no bet” is self-explanatory; it “does what it says on the tin”. But it’s not quite so simple.

Draw no bet is a relatively recent kind of wager offered by various bookmakers – and it brings a different twist to scoring sports popular with punters, with football being the most obvious example.

Draw no bet relates to sports like football where a draw is one of the possible outcomes (unlike, say, tennis where one player has to emerge victorious). It has become increasingly popular over recent years.

In its simplest form, this is a type of bet which sees your initial stake returned in the event of a draw. In effect, your bet is annulled and you make neither a profit or a loss.

Non-Runner No Bet (often shortened to NRNB) is a term used in various sports but is most commonly used in the sport of horse racing. It describes the terms of a bet. If the selection doesn’t run in a race and the bet is under the condition of non-runner no bet, then the stake is returned to the customer. If the bet is not NRNB then the stake is lost.

Frequently seen in horse racing, runners will often be withdrawn on the morning of a race. Circumstances of a withdrawal can include such concerns as going, not eaten up (horse has failed to eat their feed overnight) or if the horse is lame. Runners can also be withdrawn before a race if failing to enter the stalls, getting loose prior to a race, or sustaining an injury prior to the off.

If a bet is placed on the day of a race and the horse becomes a non-runner, bookmakers will void the bet. This will often apply with early prices (bets placed the evening before a race) but it would be prudent to always check this applies in your bookmaker’s terms and conditions.

The same rules tend not to apply to ante post betting. If the market doesn’t state clearly “NRNB” then a customer will more than likely lose their stake come race day if the runner doesn’t line up. Bookmakers will often only change the market to NRNB approximately one week prior to the race. Exceptions can sometimes be made for bigger meetings such as the Cheltenham Festival and the Aintree Grand National, but always check with your bookmaker!

A horse named Speculative Bid was at the centre of a NRNB controversy at Ascot in July 2015. As the gates opened, Speculative Bid left the stalls without jockey Jamie Spencer. The race was won by Heaven’s Guest, with the result being announced and no Rule 4 deduction, deeming Speculative Bid a runner. Bookmakers paid out accordingly.

Moments later, a Stewards Enquiry was called and Speculative Bid was declared a non-runner due to not receiving a fair chance from the gate. Backers of Heaven’s Guest should have had their winnings reduced with a Rule 4 and backers of Speculative Bid should have had stakes returned but with the result already announced, the wheels were already in motion. Ugly scenes between bookmakers and punters made for uncomfortable viewing. The situation was made even more farcical hours later as the Ascot Stewards Room declared that Speculative Bid should be considered a runner.