Getting paid first past the post in horseracing can make a big difference to the outcome of your racing bets, not to mention long term racing returns.
It does so by protecting your winning bets when your horse wins on the racetrack but is later disqualified by race stewards.
In this article we explain what first past the post payments are, why they are important and which bookmakers offer first past the post payments.
What does first past the post mean in horse racing?
In horse racing first past the post (abbreviated as FPTP) refers to the horse that passes the finishing post first in a race.
If you're thinking 'first past the post is the race winner' you'd be wrong.
An official result is determined after the race is completed and is adjusted if race stewards disqualify the winning horse for any reason.
If the winner is disqualified, the runner-up is automatically awarded the race win.
This obviously has implications for punters who bet on horse racing. A disqualified horse could theoretically make its backers lose their bets, while rewarding the backers of the runner-up.
First past the post betting at an online bookmakers
Fortunately many online bookmakers have you covered against your winners being disqualified with a first past the post policy.
This means that if your horse is first past the post in a race, but is later disqualified in the official result, your winning bet is still paid out.
This is quite critical if you bet on horse racing, as it is not unusual for horses to be disqualified from races following a stewards enquiry. Without fptp you could end up forfeiting your win stake on your selections much more often.
At this point you are probably wondering what happens if your horse finishes second in a race, but is promoted to first place in the official result when the winner is disqualified.
That's where it becomes important whether or not your bookmaker has a double result policy.
If a bookie offers double result they'll pay out your horse as winner if it is promoted to first place in the official result where the winner is disqualified AND the bookie will pay out any winning bets on the disqualified horse that was first past the post.
Therefore, if you bet on two horses in a race, with one winning but disqualified, and the other finishing second and promoted to first place in the official result, you'll be paid out two winning bets on the same race!
FPTP betting example
A punter places a race day back bet on two horses in the same race at William Hill.
- Nazwa at 11/4 with £10
- Merry Mistress at 9/2 with £10
The race finishes with Nazwa first past the post, while Merry Mistress finishes in second place.
Following the race a stewards enquiry finds that Nazwa's jockey interfered with another horse, leading to its disqualification from the race. Merry Mistress is then listed as the winner in the official result.
Fortunately William Hill has the punter covered, with its double result policy kicking in.
This means that the punter earns a £27.5 profit on Nazwa thanks to first past the post, and also earns a £45 profit on Merry Mistress thanks to William Hill's double result policy.
If William Hill had not offered first past the post or double result, the punter would have lost both bets.
However, the punter now makes a profit of £72.50 - which is more than they'd have earned if either horse had won without being disqualified from the race.
Recommend bookmakers for first past the post
William Hill is one of the biggest and best known brands in online sports betting.
Needless to say William Hill has its users covered with a first past the post policy on horse racing.
William Hill also offers other value-adds, including:
- best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish racing
- daily racing betting specials
- access to William Hill TV and William Hill Radio for live coverage of racing
- the option to pick your places on all UK and Irish races
- lengthen your odds option on all UK options
- extra places on selected race meetings every week
- the daily William Hill bet boost to use on horses or greyhounds.
bet365 is the world's most popular online bookie, and with good reason.
Apart from first past the post and double result cover, you will also get:
- one of the biggest open account offers in the business
- the bet365 price promise
- best odds guaranteed
- each way extra markets
- live horseracing coverage
- the My Horses feature that allows you to set up a stable of your favourite horses and receive notifications when they run.
Paddy Power is renowned for packing value into its betting products, and horse racing is no exception.
Paddy Power not only offers first past the post and double result coverage for horse racing, it also offers:
- daily extra places
- frequent money back specials
- best odds guaranteed.
Ireland's biggest independent bookie offers fptp to its customers along with a selection of additional offers for racing enthusiasts.
Boylesports racing offers include:
- their free bet if 2nd offers, which pay out a free bet if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite in selected races
- daily extra place specials
- an Acca loyalty program that pays out a #5 free Acca for every five Accas placed at Boylesports
- Acca insurance that pays out a free bet if one leg of a 5+ Acca loses
- best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish racing, with the guarantee applying the day before racing
- a generous new customer exclusive.
Online bookmakers offering first past the post
The majority of large bookies like William Hill, bet365 and Paddy Power offer first past the post as well as double result cover. We've provided a table summarizing top UK and Irish bookies offering fptp below.
|Bookmaker||Do they pay first past the post|
First past the post rules
While fptpo can make a difference to your racing profits it is important to keep in mind that there are some exceptions to this policy that will differ from one bookie to the next.
First past the post rules typically list some exclusions where the policy will not apply to disqualified horses. This includes:
- horses disqualified because they failed to weigh in properly
- horses disqualified for taking the wrong course on the way to their win
- races which which are declared void
- races where tote dividends apply, for example jackpots and placepots.
Note that some bookmakers may not apply first past the post policies to ante post bets. Visit your bookmaker to get more information on their first past the post rules.
First past the post FAQ
Do all bookies pay first past the post?
The majority of bookmakers pay first past the post. However, to ensure this is the case check your bookmaker's terms and conditions. Also note that first past the post rules do not generally apply to tote bets or exchange bets.
Do on course bookmakers pay first past the post?
No, on course bookmakers will not pay first past the post. Their bets are only paid out once the result is announced as 'weighed in' by the racecourse.
What is double result?
Double result, not to be confused with double result betting, is an extension of first past the post rules. If you bet on the first and second place finishers in a race and the winner is disqualified, both bets will be treated as winning bets and paid out accordingly.
Which bets qualify for first past the post?
Fixed odds horse racing bets qualify for first past the post. First past the post will generally not apply to tote bets and exchange bets. Note that different rules apply to greyhound racing.
What happens when you bet on a disqualified horse?
That depends on where your horse finished in the race. If your horse won the race most fixed odds bookies will pay out your winnings on the horse.
If your horse was included in multiple or combination bets your bookie's policies on these bet types will determine whether your horse is treated as a voided bet or losing bet.
Do you get money back if horse is disqualified?
If your horse won the race you bet on, then you should be paid out the winnings on your bet if:
- you bet was placed on a qualifying fixed odds markets
- your bookmaker has a first past the post policy.
Separate rules will apply to disqualified horses in multiple or combination bets. You'll need to check with your bookmaker what their policy is on applicable bets.
Does first past the post apply to ante post bets?
This depends on which bookmaker you are using. You will need to check if ante post bets are covered by fptp policies with your bookmaker.
How does first past the post affect each way bets?
First past the post covers all fixed odds bets on horse racing. So, if your horse wins a race and is disqualified in the official result your full each way bet will be paid out.
Do William Hill pay first past the post
Yes, William Hill is one of the world's leading bookmakers and offers its customers first past the post protection along with a number of other great horse racing betting incentives.
Do bet365 pay first past the post
As you'd expect from the world's most popular online bookie, bet365 does offer its users first past the post protection when betting on horse racing.
Do Paddy Power pay first past the post
Paddy Power is never shy when it comes to offering extra value to its customers and first past the post is no exception, with the Irish bookie offering first past the post on all horse races.
Do Boylesports pay first past the post
Boylesports is always finding new ways to offer its users an edge in the horse racing betting markets. This includes offering first past the post on all horse races.
Do Ladbrokes pay first past the post
Ladbrokes is one of the biggest betting brands in the UK and covers its horse racing customers for disqualified winners with a first past the post policy.
Do Betfred pay first past the post
Yes, Betfred offers its customers first past the post payouts when their horse racing winners are disqualified in the official result.
Does Betfair sportsbook pay first past the post
The Betfair sportsbook does offer first past the post payments. However, note that the Betfair exchange does not offer first past the post and all horse racing bets in the exchange are settled according to the official race result.
Do 10bet pay first past the post
10bet is a relative newcomer to the online betting scene, but keeps up with the big names in the industry by offering first past the post to its users.
Do Coral pay first past the post
Yes, Coral offers first past the post horse racing bet settlements to its customers.
Do Betvictor pay first past the post
Betvictor has its customers covered when it comes to horses that win races and are later disqualified with a first past the post policy.
Do Unibet pay first past the post
Unibet pay out first past the post, which means you are covered if your horse finishes the race first but is disqualified in the offical result.
Do Betway pay first past the post
Yes, Betway offer their customers protection against disqualified winners with a first past the post policy.
Do Skybet pay first past the post
Sky Bet does offer payouts on fptp bets.
Do 888 sports pay first past the post
888port pays out horse racing bets on a first past the post policy. This means winners that are later disqualified will stay pay out on their horse racing bets.