Rugby Betting Sites
Regardless if you are a Rugby League or Rugby Union fan, you will find many different ways of betting and regular offers from UK betting sites when it comes to Rugby betting. The moves of Rugby Union from being an amateur sport to professionalism has caused some changes that have benefitted Rugby betting: there was more television coverage, clubs incomes and wages have increased.
Betting has always been very popular around best essential Rugby events, but in the last Rugby World Cup, the betting has been higher than £100 million with all the major betting sites that have gone the extra mile in providing the best betting odds, markets and promotions. In our Rugby betting guide, we will be looking at the best betting sites for Rugby, the different types of bets that can be made on the game, the major tournaments, payout, history of the sport and lots more.
Best Online Bookmakers For Rugby Betting
The vast majority of UK bookmakers do offer odds on both Rugby Union and League, but it doesn’t mean that their services are the same. Some betting sites are mainly dedicated to Rugby betting and can offer a significantly greater depth of market than others, better odds, promotions and other features like news and statistics. In this page, we have selected what we believe are the best Rugby betting sites so that if you are interested in betting on this sport, you can get the best possible value.
Betfred – Best Regular Rugby Offers
Betfred is a very good bookmaker if you are looking to bet on the Rugby. Not only they are offering a massive amount of markets both on Rugby League and Rugby Union but also allow ante-post betting well ahead of the major tournaments.
Betfred is also running their great Double Delight promotion on both forms of the Rugby game. If you back a player to score the first try and they go on and manage to score another time you will get double the odds. This offer is valid an all the leading domestic and international games, and it is undoubtedly an excellent offer.
Odds and payouts are also very good with this bookmaker as you can get up to £100k which is very good for a secondary betting sport like Rugby. Unfortunately, they don’t have live streaming but have an in play betting section full of markets both for pre-event and in play betting. Betfred Full Review.
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BetVictor – Best Odds And Markets
BetVictor are undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to Rugby betting. They have a vast range of markets available both pre-event and in-play betting stretching all the way from Rugby League to Rugby Union.
Not only they have full coverage of upcoming events, but they do also offer extensive Ante Post markets which are available sometimes up to 2 years in advantage. Odds usually are best of every other bookmaker, and the interface is really intuitive and well designed both in the desktop and mobile version.
BetVictor have a more international pedigree, and this means you will find markets on international Rugby that are not available in UK-only traditional betting sites. As always, BetVictor do not excel in offers, but this is balanced out by the fact that they do offer odds which are significantly better than the competition. Surely BetVictor deserve a space in your Rugby betting sites portfolio so go ahead and sign up below if you don’t have an account to secure a generous welcome offer. BetVictor Full Review.
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Coral – Enhanced Odds On Rugby
Coral has a similar market depth, coverage and streaming of the other top betting sites in regards to Rugby betting. In addition to that, you can also watch live rugby with this bookmaker as they do stream the best games.
Coral have competitive odds that are published well in advance for major tournaments, and the payout is very decent at £100k. It looks like Rugby is more and more a focus sport for Coral as in the last significant events they have pushed a very valuable new customers and regular customers offers. With this bookmaker, you can get great enhanced odds offers (on outright winners for example) and free bets. In addition to this Coral also provide, free of charge, great stats and results service which is the best in class as far as Rugby is concerned.
Since Coral have great odds especially on outright result bets, this is a bookmaker to check regularly around significant Rugby tournaments. Coral Full Review.
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William Hill – Very Good Depth
As you would expect by one of the biggest bookmakers in the World, William Hill has a vast range of Rugby markets and are one of the best especially for Rugby League betting.
The depth of the market is excellent and similar to other bookmakers they do also offer news and stats feature free of charge. We have looked at the odds available, and those are much better than average with lots of games that are live streamed.
William Hill has one of the most comprehensive in-play packages when it comes to Rugby betting, so this is undoubtedly one of the betting sites you want to consider if you are wagering regularly on this sport. William Hill Full Review.
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PaddyPower – Best For Rugby Specials
Paddy Power is without doubts the best betting site as far as Rugby specials are concerned. In addition to having an excellent market depth on Paddy Power, you can find a perfect range of novelty bets available for both Rugby League and Rugby Union.
On the negative side, though, raw odds are not particularly good so, unless you top them up with enhanced odds, then you should always check them against other betting sites.
If you are a professional punter then maybe Paddy Power is not for you, however, if you only bet on Rugby from time to time, then the Irish bookie is probably the best option due to the abundance of rugby specials. Paddy Power Full Review.
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A Brief History Of Rugby Betting
Rugby was firstly played at Rugby School in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire. Back in the 1820’s the game of Rugby was very similar to the modern game of football as the ball was round. The main difference was, of course, the option to catch the ball with the hands. Initially scoring a try didn’t give any points but it gave the opportunity to ‘try’ to score a drop goal.
William Webb Ellis was the first boy that in 1823 pick up the ball and start running with it. By 1830 this was an acceptable way to play the game, and in 1845 the first written rules arrived on Rugby. Things like ‘offside’, ‘knock on’ and ‘touch’ were introduced.
The first amateur English league was formed in 1871, and it was called Rugby Football Union (RFU). In 1892 the Northern Rugby Football Union was also established and it was a professional body that was paying players to contribute. The RFu started to issue sanctions against any players, club or officials that participated in the new league and eventually there was a division of the two leagues: Rugby Union and Rugby League were formed.
Rugby Union is managed at a global level by the International Rugby Board (IRB) while Rugby League International Federation manages the Rugby League. Rugby Union is the most popular form of Rugby worldwide, and in some countries, like Wales and New Zealand, it is the national sport.
Similarly to other sports that have originated in Britan the aristocracy were involved. In recent times things have changed but in the past Rugby was a game associated with the upper class.
Like many sports of British origin, there is a historical element of aristocracy and establishment in the game of Rugby. A game associated with public and grammar schools in England it has long been seen as an upper middle class to the upper-class game. In modern times the game has become far more open, played in most state-run schools and through TV, and even online betting has become a far more accessible sport. If you want to know more about the types of bets available and how to place them keep reading this page further.
How To Bet On Rugby
Rugby is a game that lends itself pretty well to online betting. You can either place long-term bets like for example on the result of an entire league (or tournament, or top try scorer) or you can bet more short-term on a single game.
The fact that a single match is an 80-minute length is significant as you can place a bet on a game result and then sit back and enjoy the action. As for other popular sports, you will have plenty of pre-event and in-play markets like, like for example, the exact time a try will be scored, half-time / full-time results, winning margins and so on.
Around big Rugby games, you can get something like 100’s of lines available, so there are fantastic betting opportunities to be found. Keep reading, and we will guide you through some of the common bet types and promotions you can expect to see in Rugby League and Union matches. If you want to know more about bet types check out our dedicated guide.
Outright Result Betting
Outright Result Betting is by far the most popular type of bet in Rugby. Similarly to football, you can bet on the result of a game, England to beat Italy for example. Since outright betting is very competitive, you can get some quality odds if you shop around some of the best Rugby betting sites. Draw is very rare in Rugby so the majority of outright Rugby betting is on the overall game result. If you wish you can also bet on the draw in Rugby but, since statistically, this is not very common, you will get very high odds.
Betting sites are competing fiercely to attract punters during outright major league an tournament betting. We know for a fact that some bookies prefer to run at a loss as long as they get and retain as many players as possible. So during the Rugby World Cup, for example, you will be able to find some fantastic enhanced odds offers directed to new and existing customers. Above we have listed all the best bookmakers for Rugby so make sure you have an account with them and check odds and promotions regularly during main Rugby events.
An Accumulator is a series of linked singles, and Rugby lands itself well for this type of betting. Every weekend many games are played in the domestic leagues and tournaments, and for this reason, there are tremendous opportunities available as far as multiples are concerned.
Rugby accumulators can be but don’t have to necessarily be on outright markets only: you are free also to mix and match different markets like outright, 1st try scorers, halftime results and so on.
Differently, from football, you won’t find many accumulator bonuses and money back acca insurance. However, this tends to change when there are major tournaments. There are many bookmakers that are offering all sports acca insurance so you can use those type of promotions also for Rugby betting.
Enhanced fixed odds accas are also very common around main Rugby events: you can find for example things like ‘England, Scotland and Ireland all to win at 8/1’ when the raw odds for this treble would be for example 4/1 or 5/1.
Full Cover betting is possible on Rugby however it is unlikely you will find promotions around those.
Try Scorer, Total Points, Cast Betting
Some of the most popular betting markets on Rugby are First and Last Try Scorer and any time try scorer betting. The reason is that, also, to be thrilling markets, these lines are very competitive and punters can find very valuable odds and offers.
Betfred is a bookmaker that is running regular enhanced odds promotions for first try scorers in Rugby. Another two or three betting sites also have regularly enhanced odds offers for this Rugby market. In most bookmakers, you will also find other related bets like the team to score first, team to score the first try, the number of trials attempts in a match and total team tries.
Another popular Rugby bet is to predict what will be the total points during a match. On football, the correct score is a famous market, but in this case, we are talking more about guessing things like winning margin, the total number of tries, points range, the time a point will be scored and so on.
Other common bets include higher scoring half, the team that scores the first try and win the game, rate to 10 points and many more. So on Rugby, you can bet on every score outcome in every way, especially for the most prestigious matches.
Cast betting is somewhat popular in Rugby: in this case, you are predicting two events to happen in a single game. An example of Rugby scorecast bet is ‘Player X to score the first try and Ireland to score more than 30 points’. Wincast is also rather popular and is in the form of ‘Player Y to score the 1st try and England to win the match. Timecast is also used and could be ‘Player Y to score a try in the first 10 minutes’.
Similarly to try betting you can also bet on the number of penalties that will be awarded, the number of drop goals scored, the percentage of conversions, scrums numbers and a lot more.
Half Time / Full Time
These type of bets will allow you to predict the result at half time and full time in a Rugby match. Usually, odds for this type of bets are better than outright result betting. To make an example of a bet of this type, you can have ‘New Zealand to win the first half’ while a double result bet can be ‘Figi to win both halves’ or ‘England to win the first half and England to win the second’.
A variation of this type of bet is that you can also choose to bet on a team to win the second half in terms of points, but they could still lose the match. There are too many others lines that you can bet on like for example most tries, half with most penalties, half with the most bookings, and so on.
Halftime and full-time bets are also common choices for accumulator betting as the odds are particularly attractive: for instance, you could place a four team accumulator just on the first half results and those type of solutions give a lot more ways to win on any given Rugby game.
Over/Under And Winning Margin Points Bets
Since Rugby is a very high score game, markets like over/under points are trendy. In this sport it is common, for example, to predict a team to score more or less than a specific value. As you will be able to see, there are bets available for over/under on nearly any score total. In case you don’t find those listed on the betting sites, you can always contact the bookmaker customer service, and they will quote you odds for any total.
Another great bet to place on Rugby is the winning margin: all you need to do is predicting the points gap between the winning and the losing team. As for other types of bets you can bet on every connotation you can think of, and if you don’t find the bet you would like to make, contact the bookmaker, and you will get quoted.
Usually, promotions are not available for those type of bets but always check around especially on big games.
Cards, Offsides And Substitutes
Rugby betting has evolved with the arrival of online gambling, and now you can find odds for lots of different lines that previously you may never expect to be able to bet on. Especially around top tournaments and leagues finals some bookmakers are going the extra mile and are offering lines for specific players to be carded, number of cards received by a team, number of offsides, time of substitutions and so on.
The best betting sites tend to incentivise those innovative Rugby bets with excellent odds, and it is not surprising to see that more and more punters are taking advantage. One thing to consider when betting on those markets is that they might have lower payout limits so if you are going to place a large bet check the terms and conditions first.
Handicap And Asian Handicap
The Rugby scoring system is perfect for handicap bet, and it will make a game where there is a firm favourite, a lot more interesting. Points handicaps are assigned to the teams that are expected to win comfortably and as a result, odds get bigger. So let’s say you want to bet on a game like England v Fiji where the odds of England to win are let’s say 1/80 with Fiji that is at 20/1.
Now if you give England a 30 points handicap and Fiji a +30 point handicap this will rebalance the market, and you can probably get odds such as 10/11: this will make betting on the Three Lions a much more attractive proposition. In this situation though, England will need to win by more than 30 points, and Fiji would need to lose by more than 30.
Asian Handicap betting is working in the same way as conventional handicap betting but the draw is a void bet, and the stake will be returned. The majority of Asian handicaps are half point handicaps which remove the possibility of a draw.
Forecast, Conditional And Spread Betting
Some bookmakers that have particularly good market depth do also offer Forecast and Conditional bets. A forecast bet is a prediction of a series of results: for example, you can have Wasps to finish first and Leicester Tigers to finish second in the league: this is also called straight forecast, and to get a return, you would need those two teams to complete exactly in the positions you have predicted. If you are betting on reverse forecast you will win as long as Wasps and Leicester will finish first and second regardless of the order.
Conditional bets are not much used for Rugby and it is difficult you will be able to place some in this sport. These bets, also called any-to-come bets are linked singles conditional on a series of results.
Spread betting is used in Rugby as it can better apply than in a lower scoring sport. In Spread Betting you are rewarded based on the accuracy of your prediction: the closer you are to your prediction and the more you can win. On the other hand, though, the more things are moving away from your prediction and the more you can lose. In a spread betting bookmaker, you can buy price and sell a price for example on the winning margin. If you decide to buy at that price then every point they win higher than that margin will increase your profit; if you sell at that price, then every point they were to come under that margin will increase your winnings.
Spread betting is an exciting form of non-fixed odds betting: this means that your potential profit and loss it is not determined at the time that you place the bet. For this reason, you can win more than you have in your account but in the same way, you can lose more as well. This form of betting is not advisable for beginners as the risks/rewards are very high.
There are many special bets around Rugby, especially during significant events and tournaments. As we have mentioned earlier in this page, Paddy Power is the leading bookmaker when it comes down to those type of markets but be careful as in some cases the odds are rather poor. Examples of special bets are ‘England to win from behind’ or ‘Player Z to score and England to win’ and so on.
In Play And Pre-Event
With the arrival of online betting and live streaming, Rugby in play has become very popular in the last few years. As a result, more and more bookmakers are now offering a vast range of in play markets. The majority of pre-event markets are also available in live betting, and there are also some specific lines that are dedicated only to in play like next team to score, the method of the next points scored and so on. There are also some bookmakers like Coral that stream lots of Rugby games and this tend to enhance the in play betting experience.
Around the big tournament, you should see lots of pre-event and in play promotions. Some of those will be like ‘place a £10+ outright bet on the winner and get a £5 free bet in play’. It is essential to take advantage of those deals as they can significantly increase your returns.
Live In-Play Betting And Streaming
The vast majority of bookmakers that we have listed on BestBettingSites.Online do offer live betting on Rugby. Some betting sites have gone the extra mile and are providing a massive depth of market when it comes to in-play betting.
You will find that the majority of bookies will provide you betting options for Rugby Union and Rugby League however some of the domestic games do not receive the same attention as the international matches for example.
All the bookmakers we have listed in this Rugby betting page do offer great pre-event and in play coverage of Rugby. Finding the perfect betting site, it is a subjective thing: our suggestion is for you to read our reviews and then open several accounts to see which operator is most suited to you. It is essential to always double check as some markets might only be available pre-event. Most bookmakers do also now provide the Cash Out functionality on best rugby games.
News, Results And Statistics
The bookmaker’s news and stats coverage of Rugby can be a little hit and miss. Some betting sites like William Hill, for example, they do provide regular news and blog services and generally cover Rugby well. Some other betting sites though only update their Rugby news and statistics section around big tournaments or when there are crucial games.
Coral has an excellent Rugby stats and results service: it is obvious to use, has lots of interesting information and can be easily read on the go with mobile devices. The rest of the bookmakers however only offer basic results and stats features on Rugby.
The good news is that the majority of bookmakers that do provide coverage on Rugby do not charge for it and don’t even require you to have a funded account to access. If you find better odds elsewhere, you can still take advantage of the information and statistics that are on bookmaker A but go and place bets with bookmaker B.
Live Streaming And Commentary
Live Streaming of Rugby is getting better and better however it cannot be compared yet with the likes of other sports such as football, tennis or horse racing. Coral is the top bookmaker to consider in terms of live streaming of Rugby as they have more than 2,000 live streaming events so every week you will find a vast amount to watch.
There are also other betting sites that are live streaming Rugby, and those are William Hill and Ladbrokes. Check out our bookmakers’ reviews to find the best live streaming services and remember that if you have several accounts with few bookmakers, you don’t have to bet with the betting site you are getting the live stream service from.
Rugby Union Vs Rugby League
Rugby Union and League decided to part company in the late 1800’s. The main reason was about charges of professionalism from the RFU against Yorkshire clubs that were found to be paying their players up to 6 shillings to miss work. Clubs in Lancashire decided to support their Yorkshire rivals and created the Northern Rugby Football Union which is also called the NU. The RFU agreed to ban any players who took part in the NU.
The division also reflected the difference of class with the older union game that was seen as a posh sport while the Northern-based league that was seen as more accessible. Those things have continued until today.
After the split, there were also some changes in the laws of the games. The Union remained very close to the original rules of the 1840’s while League reviewed some regulations with the aim to make the game faster and more enjoyable to viewers. League Rugby was reduced to 13 players while Union remains 15: this was done with the intent of creating more space. Union rules have remained remarkably similar however some changes were made to reduce the complexity and also make the game more focused on tries rather than goals.
League removed rucks, mauls and lineouts and these changes have the effect of creating less contesting of possession: this also means that the ball is in play for around 50 out of 80 minutes in League Rugby but only 35 minutes in Union. As a result League players are all of a similar athletic build while in Rugby Union’s players of all shapes and sizes can have a role.
So to summarise we can say that League is a faster and more spectator friendly sport to watch while Union is a more inclusive sport to play. Others small differences do exist between the two forms of Rugby game: League has smaller pitch sizes and gives only 4 points for a try instead of 5 in Union. The primary objective of the game, however, is the same as the teams have to score as many points through tries, conversions and drop goals over 80 minutes. Goals can be scored by kicking the ball between the posts and over the cross-bar. A try is scored when a player touches the ball in the opposition field behind the goal line. After a try, a team has the opportunity to kick conversion which is similar to a penalty kick and will give two extra points if scored.
The ball can be moved forward by being carried, by kicking the ball out of your hands or with a set piece. Only the player that has the ball can be tackled. In Rugby team players are divided into ‘backs’ which are fasters and tend to score most points and ‘forwards’ that are stronger and more physical and are used to defend and tackle.
Major Rugby Competitions
- Rugby Union World Cup – the first Rugby World Cup took place in 1987 in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament is played every four years and has 20 teams that are taking parts: the top 12 teams from previous World Cup plus eight nations that do qualify from regional qualifying rounds: this is the most critical Rugby tournament, and you will find a vast amount of offers for this event.
- Rugby League World Cup – this is played between national teams of the Rugby League International Federation. It is older than the Union Cup and was first played in 1954 in France. Similarly to the Union Cup, this is also played every four years, and it is made of a total of 14 teams: 7 of the top teams of the previous World Cup and seven that have qualified from qualification zones.
- Six Nations Championship – this is also known as Home Nations Championship and was initially called 4 National Rugby Union teams. In 1910 it was renamed five nations after France was included and eventually the six nations with the addition of Italy in 2000. It is a yearly International Rugby Union tournament where each team plays each other once (15 games in total). Home/away is rotated every year. A Grand Slam is called when a team wins all games and winning three games is also known as Triple Crown. Outside the World Cup, this is the most popular betting tournament in Rugby.
- Rugby League Four Nations – this is an annual tournament between Australia, New Zealand, England and one qualifier: this was initially designed to be a tri-nation, but a fourth variable team has now been added.
- The Rugby Championship – this is an annual Rugby Union competition that is played between Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. It was initially called tri-nation until Argentina joined in 2012. It is some equivalent to the 6 Nations.
- Rugby League European Cup – This was played the first time in 1935, and it is one of the oldest Rugby tournaments. There is no final as the winner is the team that top the league group. It is played every two years.
- Other International Rugby Union – There are many more International Rugby Union tournaments where you will be able to find good betting opportunities but maybe not offers. Some of those are the European Nations Cup, Pacific Nations Cup the Nations Cup, the Asian 5 Nations and lots more.
- Other International Rugby League – Similarly to Union version there are other International Rugby League tournaments that are played like the Ohana Cup, the Magellan Cup, The Hayne-Mannah Cup, the Anzac Cup, the Pacific Cup and more.
Rugby Union National Club Competitions
- Super Rugby – this is an international club competition that is played between teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 15 top clubs currently play it and it is also called the Super 15.
- European Rugby Champions Cup – this competition has replaced the Heineken Cup as the top club competition from teams from the six nations. It is played every year with 19 teams that qualify based on their position in their domestic leagues. There are six teams from England and France and seven from the remaining countries. The 20th spot is made from a playoff between top placed teams that are outside qualifying positions.
- European Rugby Challenge Cup – This is an annual competition that has started in 2014, and it is effectively the second tier championship to the Champions Cup for six nations. 20 teams are taking part.
- Pro 12 – This is an annual league made up of 12 teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The best teams qualify for the Champions Cup.
- Anglo-Welsh Cup – There are 12 English Premiership teams and 4 Welsh teams that take part in this tournament that started in 1971.
Rugby League National Club Competitions
- World Club Challenge – This is played every year, and it is between the winners of the European Super League and the Australian NRL.
- Challenge Cup – Organised by the Rugby Football League and Ladbrokes sponsor it. It is an annual knockout competition for clubs coming from England, Scotland, Wales, France and Russia. The cup is played yearly since 1896 and has 88 teams that contest the cup. The final is one of the most critical Rugby league matches. For the final, you will find great odds and offers from many bookmakers.
UK Rugby Competitions
- Rugby Union Aviva Premiership – this is the top of the RFU league and has 12 English teams taking part. It started in 1987, and it became popular in 1996 when the league became professional. 4 points are given for a win, 2 for a draw and 0 or 1 for a loss (1 point is given if a team loses by less than 7 points). Every year one side team gets relegated, and one team is promoted from the league below.
- Super League – This is the top level Rugby League professional European club competition. It has 11 teams from England and one from France. It started in 1996 with every team that is playing 23 games. After that, the top 8 teams enter the Super 8 stage and play each other once more. Eventually, the top 4 teams go in a playoff that ends with the Grand Final. The Super League Champions play the winners of the NRL in the world club challenge. Two teams are promoted/relegated from the Championship each year.
- National Rugby League – This is the top professional Australian league, and it is worth a mention as it is very popular with punters and many UK bookmakers are covering it with lots of offers and promotions. It started in 1997 and had 16 teams, 15 Austrailian and one from New Zealand.
Odds And Payouts
Odds on outright Rugby market are competitive, and it is essential that you look around and make sure you get the best possible price: this is especially true when betting on major Rugby games. Be careful when betting on the less prestigious league and competitions as those are sometimes getting odds that we can define poor. A similar warning is on the Rugby specials as these lines can have poor value odds due to the competition between bookmakers in those market being nearly irrelevant.
As you will be able to learn some bookmakers are better for raw odds, like BetVictor for instance, while others have poorer raw odds but they are generally a lot better when it comes to enhanced odds offers (like Coral and Paddy Power). You will find lots of enhanced odds promotions and money back specials around bigger competitions like the 6 Nations and the World Cup so make sure you to be particularly vigilant to make the most of those opportunities.
Rugby doesn’t have the same payout levels as other sports like football and horse racing. Limits are still particularly good as our recommended betting sites will pay up to £100k.
Be careful though as not all lines will qualify for the top maximum Rugby payout so if you are planning to place a large bet it is advisable to check the terms and conditions first: special or novelty markets and more obscure foreign leagues have lower limits.
Below we have provided an example of Rugby payouts from one of the recommended Rugby betting sites:
Rugby Union – £500,000 Internationals, World Cup, Six Nations, Four Nations, Aviva Premiership, Heineken Cup and Super Rugby match winners, handicaps and totals.
– £100,000 – all other Rugby Union markets/Competitions not listed.
Rugby League – £500,000 Super League, NRL, International and World Cup match winners, handicaps and totals.
– £100,000 – all other Rugby League markets/Competitions not listed