By providing refunds on your stake if your horse fails to run, a Non-Runner No Bet promotion remains one of the best insurance policies against unfair betting losses. Find out everything there is to know about this offer, along with the best betting sites for horse racing right here.

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  • Ideal for newcomers
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  • Provides lists of non-runners
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Screenshot of Paddy Power Help Centre Page on Non Runners.
(Source: Paddy Power)

The basics are simple. Used in horse racing betting markets, “Non-runner” refers to situations where a horse that was scheduled to race is no longer able to. “No bet” refers to what happens to your bet in the event that you have backed such a selection.

So, in essence, what does Non-Runner No Bet (NRNB) mean?

Non-Runner No Bet means that your bet will be voided in the event of a non-runner, and your stake returned to you.

Non-runners can occur for any number of reasons, such as that the horse is injured or unwell. Anything which makes the trainer suspect that the horse is not fit to race is just cause for the horse being a non-runner that day.

Finding out about non-runners is simple. Some bookmakers, like Ladbrokes, provide this information, but if it's not made clear, a quick Google search will provide you with ample results on that day’s races and all known non-runners.

Slightly complicating matters, there are some distinctions between how various operators provide this offer.

Our Top Table list will help you select only the best NRNB sites, so be sure to check it out!

So, what kind of things can distinguish different Non-Runner No Bet policies? Here’s a simple guide to key factors:

  • Whether NRNB is generally available or only available on specific events. For instance, we commonly see it offered for Cheltenham and the Grand National would be fairly typical.
  • What timeframe the offer is accepted within. A standard example would be 24-48 hours.

Aside from that, the offer usually works in the same, simple way. Unlike other promotions, you don’t have to do anything to access this one. Just place your bet within the accepted timeframe and if your bet is with a non-runner, then you will receive your stake back.

But, what if you can’t find mention of Non-Runner No Bet on your bookmaker?

If your preferred sportsbook does not make their NRNB policy clear, then you could always contact customer service to see if you‘ve missed anything. If they also have no information, you should assume that no such policy exists, and there is a serious chance that should your horse not run, your bet will simply be classed as a loser.

There aren’t many terms and conditions to worry about – no bonus codes or almost any of the usual steps. There may be a general minimum deposit, or specifically accepted UK payment methods for this bonus. Other than that, it‘s pretty much a case of betting as you normally would and reaping the benefits of this most useful of promotions.

Example of How Non-Runner No Bet Works

Here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to utilise the NRNB promotion in the majority of cases:

  1. Check if your preferred bookmaker offers Non-Runner No Bet for the event you want to bet on. If they don’t, sign up to one that does. Remember, you can sign up to as many betting sites as you want.
  2. Pick an event and timeframe, and check the terms laid out by your bookmaker.
  3. Place your bet.
  4. Either check for news on non-runners or simply wait for the race to start to see if you’ve backed a non-runner.
  5. If you’ve backed a non-runner, wait for your stake to be refunded. How long this takes depends on the bookmaker, so ask customer service if the refund period isn’t made clear. It shouldn’t take too long.

NRNB and Accumulators

One important caveat to how Non-Runner No Bet terms work is with regards to multiples. In the case of accumulator betting (as opposed to single betting), the non-runner only makes up part of your bet. In this instance, the bet would simply continue as though that selection didn’t exist.

So, if you had a four-fold accumulator, for instance, it would become a three-fold one. It would be the same if you had placed a football accumulator on several games and one was cancelled due to rain. The principle is to revert you back to the state you would have been in if you’d never placed the bet in the first place.

Non-Runner No Bet is such a unique offer that many don’t consider it to be a promotion at all. We’d say it’s somewhere between a traditional bonus and something like site policy. We've listed below five of its benefits that stand out:

  1. It ensures that if you lose, you lose fairly: While losing your bet is never your ideal scenario, it’s a fact of betting. Nonetheless, losing a bet should always be fair. If you’ve backed a horse to win and they fail to do so, it’s fair that you lose that bet. Your prediction was incorrect, thus, your stake was lost. However, if a horse fails to run entirely, well, that isn’t really within the parameters of your prediction. We’d say it feels rather unfair for you to lose your stake without your horse ever getting out of the starting gate. No Runner No Bet ensures that if your bets are lost, they’re lost fairly. Do also keep in mind that sound sports betting strategy may improve your chances of winning, but nothing can guarantee it, so you should remain extremely skeptical of anything that claims otherwise.
  2. You can enjoy it while betting as normal: One easy way to judge the quality of a bonus is the reward to effort (or stake) ratio. In other words, it’s not just about what you get from an offer, but what you must do to get it. This is one of the things which makes this promotion so special, because you can essentially bet as normal – at least in most circumstances – and reap the rewards anyway. No wagering requirements, no betting promo codes, just a simple policy of fairness.
  3. It can be used with other promotions: And that’s not the only way that this bet is different from other promotions. Most bonuses exist in a vacuum – that is, they don’t play well with others. You’ll usually have to wait for one to conclude to enjoy another, especially if they’re both sports-based or relevant on the same markets. That’s not the case with Non-Runner No Bet. You can use the likes of acca insurance and free bets alongside this offer without any fuss.
  4. A great way of testing the quality of a horse-racing operator: Some things are more important than their immediate value. A good example of this are tools to combat problem gambling. You might personally never need or use them, but you should always take them seriously. They’re such a great indication of the quality of the bookmaker generally. An operator which doesn’t take the safety of its user seriously isn’t fit to be used. The same thing can be said about a NRNB policy – which is essentially a showcase of your bookmaker’s commitment to fairness.
  5. It’s becoming more broadly available: Today, we’re seeing this kind of bet more and more – not just across various operators, but also across more events and with more liberal timeframes. This is vital in the usefulness of the offer, as many people like to bet on different horse-racing events across the world, and in advance.

Ante Post Betting – How Does it Impact Non-Runner No Bet?

Screenshot of Horse Racing Futures Betting Page at Ladbrokes.
(Source: Ladbrokes)

Most Non-Runner No Bet policies work very similarly. By far, the most common distinction between them relates to how they deal with ante post betting. This is also known as futures betting: in other words, betting on a market well in advance of it beginning.

As an example of the timeframe of ante post betting, consider that Paddy Power – a natural leader in all things related to horse racing – ceases futures betting at 10am the day of the overnight declaration stage.

How does ante post betting impact this offer? Simple, it nullifies it. This means that if your horse is a non-runner, your wager will be classed as a losing bet. However, more and more bookmakers are providing special offers on major events where even ante post bets can enjoy this bonus. A NRNB offer on the Grand National, for example, would no longer be considered unusual.

It’s important to note that the general rules of Non-Runner No Bet tend to be quite general; there aren’t usually different rules across races, and if it’s available on one, it’s almost certainly available on many others.

However, as we mentioned in the previous section, some large events often allow for NRNB policies to be enjoyed on futures betting too. While there are many other wonderful races throughout the UK and the rest of the world – from the King George VI Chase and the Epson Oaks, the following trilogy represents, for us, the best examples of races where you can likely get a refund of your stake if your pick fails to run:

Grand National NRNB

There is no greater event in the horse racing calendar than The Grand National. Every year, four miles at the Aintree racecourse in Liverpool captures the imagination of a nation, making it arguably the most famous and successful jump race in the world. Such a cultural crossover is this race, that many people who would not normally bet on – or even watch – horse racing want to get involved. That makes this the perfect opportunity to utilise any NRNB offers!

Cheltenham NRNB

We have decided to include the entire festival here, not just the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Grand National may be more famous, but there is no greater horse-racing event than this. With the likes of the Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, this is not just a race: it is a celebration of a sport.

And no one wants such a celebration to end with their stake being taken as a result of a horse failing to compete, which is why it is great that there are so many Cheltenham Non-Runner No Bet offers available on a lot of the best Cheltenham betting sites.

Do note that such offers are operator-specific. You may find an NRNB offered on Cheltenham at William Hill that is not available elsewhere, for instance.

Royal Ascot NRNB

Last but not least in our trio of racing juggernauts is the Royal Ascot: another immense festival of racing goodness, perfect to enjoy with this promotion. As far as individual races to utilise it on, none stand taller than the Ascot Gold Cup, one of flat racing's most prestigious events.

Screenshot of Betfair Help Page on Non Runners.
(Source: Betfair)

Before we go any further, we should first briefly explain exactly what rule 4 is. We have a guide which goes into much greater detail, but put simply: if a horse is withdrawn from a race, the odds for the rest of the horses change in accordance with that removal. This is because a horse being removed from a race means the other horses are more likely to win.

As far as non-runners go, this obviously wouldn’t make much of a difference if your only pick was the horse withdrawn – you would simply get your stake refunded. However, if you have other picks in that race, we can assure you that yes, in every single bookmaker we’ve checked this with, rule 4 does indeed still apply. NRNB appears to have no impact on rule 4.

Do note that it’s possible that some operators we’re not aware of have different policies.

Betfred Acca Insurance
(Source: Betfred)

Few offer as much tangible value or are as straightforward as this offer.

However, there are some which are similar to the core of Non-Runner No Bet, meaning they offer some kind of insurance if a bet loses. They fall into two key categories: money back and free bet insurance offers.

Typical insurance offers include things like acca insurance, where you get your money back if your accumulator only wins by a single selection, or money back if your horse loses by a nose. They all work roughly the same way, providing you with your stake should your bet fail for any number of reasons set out by the promotion.

The key difference between them, alongside such terms as maximum stakes or maximum refund amount, is whether they give your refund in cash or free bets. The former, you can withdraw at any time, and the latter is provided to you as free bets, meaning you must bet the refund amount and can only then withdraw potential winnings.

NRNB offers tends to be granted in cash, meaning you can withdraw at once if you wish. This makes it arguably the most generous among almost all comparable examples.

If Non-Runner No Bet interests you, it’s likely these similar bonus offers will too, so be sure to look for them on your favourite operators’ promotional page. Or check out this list of the latest and greatest UK promotions for a broader list of our favourites.

Make sure you get the latest information on Horse Racing Racecards & Results by checking our updated racecards for the day.

This is an offer which provides you with a refund of your stake should your selected horse fail to run in your chosen race.

No, but it’s a very common offer.

Many bookmakers exclude Non-Runner No Bet offers from futures betting, but this is wavered by some operators on certain key events.

Not usually, the multiple would usually simply go ahead with fewer selections.

Consider asking customer service if such an offer exists. If it’s still not clear, assume it’s not available on that bookmaker.

We can’t think of a single other promotion that manages to be so simple and easy to use as this one. The only thing you really have to do to make the most of the Non-Runner No Bet promotion is choose an operator that offers it, understand the parameters of that policy, and ensure your bet qualifies.

Beyond that, you have a powerful tool for making your bet that much fairer with virtually no extra effort.

WRITTEN BY Ben Gibson
View all posts by Ben Gibson

Ben has been writing professionally for over a decade. His articles are a great outlet for his inexhaustible supply of sporting facts and enthusiasm. He resides in Yorkshire, where his work is powered by the ever-present sound of a kettle.

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