• tbd logo
  • tbd logo
  • Home
        • Live Horse Racing

          Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

        • Visitor Information
        • Event TicketsBuy Tickets!
        • Upcoming Events

        • Live Feed
        • Latest News

Sports Betting News

Understanding Dead Heat Rules in Golf
Published Dec 22, 2023
by Gil Larson

If you have been betting on golf for any time at all, it’s likely that you have run into “dead heat” situations along the way. This rule comes into play when two or more players finish in a tie, which is not uncommon in golf, especially in bets related to placements like top 5, top 10, or top 20 finishes.

three men standing on a putting green

Defining a Dead Heat in Golf Betting

A dead heat in golf betting occurs when two or more golfers finish in a tie for a position that is being bet on. For instance, if you bet on a golfer to finish in the top 10, and they end up in a tie for 10th place with one or more players, this is where dead heat rules apply. It’s a scenario that changes the dynamics of payout calculations, and understanding this can help bettors make more informed decisions. In golf, where the margins can be incredibly tight, knowing how dead heats work is essential for anyone placing bets on tournament outcomes or player placements.

Calculation of Winnings in a Golf Dead Heat

Calculating winnings in a golf dead heat involves adjusting the payout based on the number of players involved in the tie. Let’s say you’ve placed a $100 bet on a golfer to finish in the top 10 at odds of 5/1. If your golfer ties for the 10th spot with two others, the payout is adjusted as your bet is effectively split between the tied positions. In this case, your $100 bet becomes $33.33 (100/3), and your winnings are calculated based on these adjusted stakes. So, instead of winning $500 (5/1 odds on a $100 bet), you win approximately $166.65 (5/1 odds on a $33.33 bet). This fair division ensures that bettors are compensated in tie situations, albeit at a reduced rate compared to an outright win.

Dead Heat Rules in Golf Tournaments

Dead heats are a relatively common occurrence in golf tournaments, especially in bets involving player placements. These situations often arise in bets on top 5, top 10, or top 20 finishes, where multiple players can end up with the same score. Understanding dead heat rules is crucial in these scenarios. For instance, if you place a bet on a player to finish in the top 5 and three players tie for the fifth spot, the dead heat rule will apply. It’s important to note that dead heat rules are standard practice in golf betting and are applied to ensure fairness in the distribution of winnings among bettors.

A Real-World Example of Dead Heats in Golf

To fully grasp how dead heat rules play out in golf betting, let’s consider an example from a hypothetical scenario in a major golf tournament. Imagine it’s the final round of The Open Championship, and you have placed a bet on Justin Thomas to finish in the top 5. The odds for this bet are 4/1, and your stake is $100.

As the tournament concludes, Justin Thomas is tied for the fourth position with three other players – let’s say, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, and Collin Morikawa. This creates a dead heat for two spots (fourth and fifth) among four players. In this scenario, the dead heat rule comes into effect for calculating your winnings.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Your original bet was for Thomas to finish in the top 5, which he did, but in a dead heat with three others.
  • The total stake ($100) is divided by the number of players in the dead heat (4), resulting in an adjusted stake of $25.
  • The winnings are then calculated based on this adjusted stake. At 4/1 odds, the winnings from the adjusted $25 stake would be $100 ($25 x 4).
  • Therefore, instead of winning $400 (which would have been the case if Thomas had finished in the top 5 outright), you win $100 due to the dead heat.

Impact on Each-Way Bets in Golf

Each-way bets, which are popular in golf betting, are also affected by dead heat rules. An each-way bet typically consists of two parts: a ‘win’ bet and a ‘place’ bet. In the event of a dead heat in the ‘place’ part of the bet, the dead heat rules come into play. For example, if you place an each-way bet on a golfer to win a tournament and they end up in a dead heat for second place, the ‘place’ part of your bet will be subject to dead heat adjustments. This means the return on the ‘place’ bet will be reduced in line with the number of players involved in the tie, ensuring a fair payout based on the shared position.

Original Betting Odds and Dead Heats in Golf

When a dead heat occurs, it’s important to understand that the original betting odds you received when placing your bet remain unchanged. The adjustment in a dead heat is made to the stake, not the odds. For example, if you bet on Phil Mickelson at 10/1 odds to finish in the top 5 and he ends up in a dead heat, your potential payout is calculated using the same 10/1 odds, but with a reduced stake proportional to the number of players in the dead heat. This method ensures that the payout reflects the odds at the time of the bet while fairly distributing the winnings among all winning bettors involved in the dead heat.

Hard Rock Bet and Tampa Bay Downs promo

Betting Strategies for Golf Events Prone to Dead Heats

In golf tournaments, especially those with large fields, dead heats can be relatively common. When betting on events like this, you have to make sure and consider the likelihood of a dead heat and how it might impact your potential returns.

One common strategy is to look for players who have a strong chance of finishing in the top positions but might not be the outright favorites, as this can sometimes offer better value in the case of a dead heat. And as with most betting strategies, diversifying bets is wise here. Diversifying your bets across multiple players can spread the risk and increase the chances of securing a payout, even if a dead heat reduces the winnings for a particular bet.


Dead heat rules in golf betting add an interesting dimension to wagering on the sport. While they can sometimes lead to reduced payouts, they are an essential aspect of fair play in betting, ensuring that all bettors are adequately compensated in the event of a tie.

But don’t stop here, take advantage of generous promos and hit your best shot in the sportsbook!