Dead Heat Rules Golf Betting

Want to learn more about dead heat rules for golf betting? Find out details on dead heat rules for top 5, top 10, 3 ball, and first round leader bets.

The sixth green at the PGA National Champion Course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A dead heat in golf is when two or more players finish with the exact same score and, therefore, in the exact same position. This is significant for bettors as if your player is on the edge of where you need them to finish; it impacts your payout.

What is a the Dead Heat?

A dead heat happens when two or more golfers get the same score in a round or competition. If you have backed a player to finish in a particular position or to win a matchup and the result is tied, your payout will change. How much your payout changes depends on how many players are tied for the same position.

What are the Dead Heat Rules in Golf Betting?

The dead heat rules will vary between bookmakers for golf, so always read the terms and conditions before betting. For the most part, betting sites will cut your stake in the event based on how many places are involved in the dead heat and how many players. You won’t get your cut stake back and will just be left with your remaining stake and profit.

Dead Heat Golf Betting Examples

The best way to learn is by practicing. Here are some examples of how dead heat rules with different bet types apply:

Top 5 Dead Heat Example

With top 5 betting, you predict which players will finish in the top 5 of a particular competition. Here’s an example of a potential competition leaderboard:

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1Colin Morikawa +1000
2Phil Mickelson +3300
T3Justin Rose +1500
T3Jon Rahm +800
T3Rory McIlroy +900
T3Justin Thomas +2000

In this case, if you bet $100 on Justin Thomas to finish in the top 5, you now effectively have a $75 wager on that finish. So rather than making $2,000 in profit, you make a $1,500 profit.

Top 10 Dead Heat Example

Top 10 betting works the same as top 5 betting, except you’re trying to predict which players will finish in the top 10. To show how dead heat rules in other scenarios, let’s look at a different leaderboard:

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1Scottie Scheffler +300
2Patrick Cantlay +500
3Bryan DeChambeau +400
4Rickie Fowler +600
5Viktor Hovland +350
6Rory McIlroy +300
7Hideki Matsuyama +800
8Gary Woodland +1500
9Cameron Smith +900
T10Tommy Fleetwood +1000
T10Billy Horschel +1500
T10Max Homa +2000
T10Sam Burns +2000
T10Adam Svensson +2000

In this example, there are more players in the dead heat, with five golfers sharing If you’ve bet $10 on Tommy Fleetwood, you only get to use $2 of this stake in your bet. So effectively, you’ve bet $2 on odds of +1000, and your profit will be $20 rather than $100.

3 Ball Example

Here’s an example:

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Matt Fitzpatrick-9 +800
Will Zalatoris-9 +1600
Tom Kim-4 +2000

That $5 wager on Fitzpatrick will net you $40 in profit rather than $80. Likewise, the dead heat $5 bet on Zalatoris would score you a $80 profit rather than $160.

First Round Leader Example

For example, at the 2023 US Open, the first-round score was tied between Xander Schauffele and Ricky Fowler. The odds for Schauffele were +1800 and effectively paid out at +900. The odds for Fowler were +5000 and effectively paid out at +2500.

Tom Jacobs

In addition to hosting the Lost Fore Words golf podcast, Tom Jacobs has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, and has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer on the weekends!