We report on the structural and electronic properties of the Bi/Au(110)-1 x 4 surface, by combining scanning tunneling microscopy, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, and first-principles calculations. The analysis of the precursor 1 x 8 moire structure shows that the 1 x 4 reconstruction forms at an optimum coverage of one monolayer. A hard-sphere model is proposed for the 1 x 4 structure and further confirmed by calculations. In this model, topmost Bi atoms form rows supported by a Bi overlayer, with no significant alloying with the substrate. This has important consequences regarding the electronic properties and the spin texture. The photoemission measurements evidence typical p Bi-induced states, that can have either quasi-one-or two-dimensional character depending on their binding energy. These states show no Rashba spin splitting, in agreement with the results of first-principles calculations. This finding is discussed by considering the role of hybridization with the substrate in the emergence of the Rashba effect.