How To Calculate Reductions For Ties In Golf

With 150+ competitors in a typical full-field PGA or European Tour event, it’s inevitable that some players will finish on exactly the same score after 72 holes. When this occurs at the top end of the leaderboard this can often lead to reduced returns if the number of players tying for a position exceed the number of paying places remaining.

Let me explain how reductions for ties in golf betting works:

Each Way Payout Reduction

Seeing as professional events are concluded via a playoff in the event of a tie after 72 holes, there’s no scope (except in extreme circumstances) for an overall tie or dead heat. However with 5 places typically being paid for Each Way bets placed before the start of an event, I’d say 50% or more results end up in a reduction for ties in one way or another for the placed players.

Here’s a typical result to illustrate:

  • 1.    Dustin Johnson   -20      8/1
  • 2.    Rory McIlroy       -19      8/1
  • 2.    Viktor Hovland    -19      33/1
  • 4.    Patrick Cantlay   -18      20/1
  • 4.    Ian Poulter         -18      40/1
  • 4.    James Hahn       -18      200/1

Bookmaker terms were 1/4 odds for places 1-5, as is typical on a normal PGA/European Tour event.

DJ has won, so if you placed an EW bet you’ll get both the win element and place element returned (8*stake + stake plus 8/4*stake + stake).

McIlroy and Hovland both receive full Each Way payouts, assuming you placed the bet Each Way, as they filled the next 2 of the 5 paying positions. Returns as follows:

  • McIlroy (8/4*stake + stake) so 3*stake, at £10 EW that’s £30 back
  • Hovland (33/4*stake + stake) so 9.25*stake, at £10 EW that’s £92.50 back

Now this is where it gets more complicated. With Cantlay, Poulter and Hahn sharing the 2 remaining paying places there needs to be a pro-rata reduction for ties. The pro rata rate is calculated by taking the number of paying places remaining divided by the number of players tying for those positions, so in this case 2/3 (or 66.67%). This is the number that’s used to calculate your final returns when multiplied against your original expected return. So:

  • Cantlay (20/4*stake + stake)*2/3 so 4*stake, at £10 EW that’s £40 back
  • Poulter (40/4*stake + stake)*2/3 so 7.33*stake, at £10 EW that’s £73.33 back
  • Hahn (200/4*stake +stake)*2/3 34*stake, at £10 EW that’s £340 back

Remember with Each Way punting you are placing 2 bets at your unit stake, 1 for the win and 1 for the place, and with a placed player the win element has lost.

The same principle applies for different scenarios. For instance if 3 players tie for 5th then the calculation is 1/3 (33.33%) of your original expected return (1 paying place, 3 players in a tie = 1/3); if 7 players tie for 2nd then the calculation is 4/7 (57.14%); 4 players tie for third then it’s 3/4 (75%) and so on.

Betting With 1/5 Odds Instead Of 1/4

An increasing number of bookmakers are now offering either 6,7 or even 8 places each way at 1/5 odds. instead of the traditional 5 places 1/4 odds. Of course this presents the punter with more opportunity to secure an each-way place, however the rules for calculating reductions run on the same principle with a simple adjustment to the mathematics.

Whereas with the examples above we divided by 4 to calculate the original pre-reduction return, in this instance we divide by 5.

So, here’s the extended results for that hypothetical tournament:

  • 1.    Dustin Johnson   -20      8/1
  • 2.    Rory McIlroy       -19      8/1
  • 2.    Viktor Hovland    -19      33/1
  • 4.    Patrick Cantlay   -18      20/1
  • 4.    Ian Poulter         -18      40/1
  • 4.    James Hahn       -18      200/1
  • 7.    Ted Potter Jr.      -17      400/1
  • 7.    Charley Hoffman -17      50/1

Assuming you’d placed the same bet on Ted Potter or Hoffman at 7 places, 1/5 odds then because there was a 2-way tie for that 7th place then the overall expected returns would be halved, so:

  • Potter (400/5*stake + stake)*1/2 so 40.5*stake, at £10 EW that’s £405 back
  • Hoffman (50/5*stake + stake)*1/2 so 5.5*stake, at £10 EW that’s £55 back

Top 10/Top 20 Bets

Exactly the same principle applied to these bets too and reductions for ties are equally common, if not more common, in top 10 and top 20 markets.

So, for instance if 4 players tie for 9th place on a top 10 bet, then you’d apply a pro-rata calculation of 50% as there are 2 paying places (9th and 10th) and 4 players sharing it, so 2/4.

Grab Extra EW Places!

Golf is an increasingly important part of the mix for bookmakers and even on the run-of-the-mill events you may find some bookies offering enhanced each way terms so it’s well worth shopping around.

In 2023, Coral were the bookmaker offering the most extended each-way terms – we keep a tracker of who’s offered what each week here: best each way terms for golf – so there’s no reason to miss out on the best each-way terms.

We’ll detail any offers on our weekly previews, but also keep an eye on our twitter and facebook pages for up-to-date details. Best of luck!