How to Bet on Rugby

Rugby is one of the most-watched and beloved close-contact team sports in the world, with its origins dating back to England in 1823. Since then, the game has grown in popularity, spreading across the British Empire and evolving into a professional sport played internationally. The fervour surrounding rugby has led to the emergence of online bookmakers offering an array of betting markets for rugby matches. If you’re new to the world of rugby and intrigued by the idea of betting on this thrilling sport, then you’re in the right place! This comprehensive online betting guide for rugby has got you covered, explaining how to bet on rugby, analysing various rugby markets, and unveiling effective strategies to maximise your chances of success. Moreover, we will delve into the most common betting mistakes and how to avoid them, ensuring you embark on your rugby betting adventure with confidence.

Rugby Betting – How Does it Work?

Rugby betting revolves around predicting the outcomes of rugby matches, much like betting on other sports. Online bookmakers provide a range of betting markets and odds for different rugby events, offering you the opportunity to place wagers on the Match Winner, Handicap bets, and even long-term events, as we will explore later in this guide.

To enjoy a seamless and enjoyable rugby betting experience, it is crucial to choose a reliable and reputable sportsbook that offers extensive coverage of rugby matches. Top online betting sites with excellent bookmaker ratings will provide access to matches from prestigious competitions such as the Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup, ensuring you never miss out on the action-packed moments of top-notch rugby events.

Understanding Rugby Formats

To make the most informed betting decisions, it is essential to grasp the differences between various rugby formats. Here are the primary rugby formats you need to familiarise yourself with:

Rugby Union

Rugby Union is the most widely recognised and played format, tracing its roots back to the early 19th century. A standard Rugby Union match is played by two teams, each comprising 15 players, with up to 8 substitutes allowed. This format has given rise to several competitive tournaments such as the United Rugby Championship (URC), Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby, Gallagher Premiership, Six Nations Championship, Rugby Championship, and European Champions Cup.

For in-depth articles and extensive information about rugby union in New Zealand, visit

Rugby League

Another prominent variant of rugby is Rugby League, a close-contact sport played by two teams, each fielding 13 players. Rugby League emerged in 1895 after a split from the Rugby Football Union due to payment disputes. Today, Rugby League enjoys global popularity, but it is particularly prominent in Australia and Europe. Notable competitions under Rugby League include the Super League and the National Rugby League (NRL).

Rugby Sevens

Known as seven-a-side, Rugby Sevens is an exhilarating variant of Rugby Union, featuring two teams of seven players each. The fast-paced nature of the game, with events featuring two seven-minute halves, has contributed to its popularity in Asia, Africa, and parts of America. Surprisingly, Rugby Sevens dates back to the early 1880s in Melrose, Scotland. The format has since led to the establishment of various tournaments, including the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens and the annual World Rugby Sevens Series. The inclusion of Rugby Sevens in the Summer Olympics in 2016 further fuelled its popularity worldwide.

Understanding Rugby Odds

In the realm of rugby betting, odds play a pivotal role. Rugby odds represent numerical values attached to each betting market and are used to calculate potential payouts in case of a successful wager. Moreover, odds provide valuable insights into the favourites and underdogs in a match, as well as the likelihood of a particular event occurring.

Before placing any rugby bets, it is essential to grasp the concept of rugby betting odds. It is worth noting that odds may vary depending on the markets and the sportsbook you choose. As a wise bettor, always compare odds across multiple bookmakers to find the most favourable ones, as this can significantly impact your potential returns.

What are the Most Popular Rugby Bets?

The world of rugby betting offers a multitude of betting markets to cater to different preferences and strategies. Whether you are betting on the prestigious Six Nations or local rugby events, operators provide a plethora of betting options to guide you. Here are some of the most popular rugby betting markets to take note of:

1. Outright (Winner) Bets:

This market allows you to predict the team that will emerge victorious in a specific tournament. Unlike Match Winner, which focuses on the outcome of a single rugby match, outright betting lets you wager on the tournament’s overall winner. This market often offers competitive Rugby Union odds, especially if you place your bets before the competition commences. For instance, you may bet on the Crusaders to win the entire Super Rugby tournament, and if they come out on top at the end, you win your bet.

2. Handicap Betting:

To level the playing field, operators often employ handicap betting markets. This is an ideal option when you seek better odds on the favourites. In handicap betting, the stronger team is handicapped with a negative point value, while the weaker team receives a positive point value. For example, in a match between the Blues and Brumbies, the operator may handicap the Blues with -12.5 points and favour the Brumbies with +12.5 points. If you back the Blues to win, they must defeat the Brumbies by 13 or more points for your bet to be successful.

3. Over/Under Markets:

Over/Under markets are among the most popular betting options, requiring you to wager on specific variables rather than the final result. For instance, you can bet on the total points scored by two Rugby Union teams, such as Leinster and Bulls, to be Over or Under 41.5 points. If you predict that the total points will be Over 41.5, you win if the combined points of both teams equal 42 or more. This type of betting is common on both new and established sports betting websites.

4. Player Bets:

Rugby’s team-oriented nature also allows you to place bets on individual players’ performances during a match. These player bets revolve around the statistics of a particular player, such as the first try scorer, a player to score a try at any time, man of the match, and top-scoring player. Keep in mind that different player bets carry varying odds, so be attentive when dealing with player markets.

5. Team Bets:

In contrast to player bets, team bets focus on the overall performance of a team during a match. These options allow you to bet on various team-related events, such as the first team to score a try, the winning margin, whether a team will score a try in the match, the team that will score the last try, and the winning team. As with other markets, thorough research is crucial to making informed decisions.

What are Long-Term and Special Rugby Bets?

To add an extra layer of excitement to your rugby betting experience, consider exploring long-term and special rugby bets. Long-term bets involve predicting events that will occur in the future, such as tournament winners or the most valuable player of a season. Examples include betting on the Man of Steel award, where you predict the most valuable player to receive the prestigious Man of Steel trophy at the end of the Rugby Super League Season.

On the other hand, special bets involve gambling on specific events that may or may not occur during a particular rugby match. For example, you may predict whether a team will score the first 10 points in a game or who will score a drop goal – the team or a specific player. These types of bets add an extra element of excitement to the match, as you root for specific events to unfold in your favour.

Understanding In-Play Betting for Rugby Matches

In-play betting, also known as live betting, enables you to place wagers on rugby matches while the games are in progress. This thrilling feature is available for various rugby events, including Rugby Union tournaments, providing an opportunity to capitalise on dynamic odds that fluctuate based on the game’s developments.

To enjoy the benefits of in-play betting, it is essential to have a good understanding of regular rugby betting markets like Handicap and Draw No Bet. In addition to traditional markets, in-play betting introduces live odds that shift throughout the match. Some sportsbooks even offer live streams of rugby matches, allowing you to watch the game closely while gathering relevant statistics for informed live betting decisions.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Betting on Rugby

Embarking on your rugby betting journey can be a thrilling experience when armed with the right knowledge and steps. Let’s walk through the process of placing a rugby bet in a detailed, step-by-step manner:

  1. Sign In To Your Account: To start betting on rugby, log in to your sportsbook account using your credentials. If you don’t have an account yet, take a few minutes to register on the platform of your choice.
  2. Fund Your Rugby Sportsbook Account With Some Cash: Once logged in, deposit funds into your betting account using your preferred payment method. Ensure that the sportsbook accepts your chosen currency and offers secure payment options.
  3. Open The Rugby League Or Rugby Union Section: Navigate to the section of the sportsbook that covers rugby events. Sportsbooks usually categorise their sports events for easy access.
  4. Select A Rugby Game: Choose the rugby match you want to bet on from the list of available events. Consider researching the teams’ recent form, player injuries, and head-to-head statistics before making your selection.
  5. Compare The Odds: Now that you have selected a match, compare the odds for different betting markets offered by the sportsbook. Finding the best odds can make a significant difference in your potential returns.
  6. Add Your Desired Prediction On to The Bet Slip: Once you have chosen the market and odds that you want to bet on, add the selection to your bet slip by clicking on it.
  7. Wager Some Cash: In the bet slip, specify the amount of money you wish to bet on your chosen market. Ensure that your wager adheres to your bankroll management strategy.
  8. Place the Bet: Double-check your selections and the bet amount before confirming your wager. Once you are satisfied, click on the “Place Bet” button to finalise your bet.

What are the Most Popular Rugby Tournaments To Bet On?

Rugby enthusiasts are spoiled for choice when it comes to prestigious tournaments to bet on. The sport’s popularity has led to the organisation of numerous rugby competitions across the globe, offering a myriad of opportunities for rugby betting. Here are some of the most sought-after rugby tournaments that attract bettors from all corners of the world:

Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious rugby competitions, bringing together national teams from around the world to compete for the ultimate glory. Held every four years, the tournament features intense battles and remarkable performances from rugby powerhouses, captivating audiences globally. The Rugby World Cup is a favourite among bettors, offering a plethora of betting markets and opportunities.

Six Nations Championship

As the name suggests, the Six Nations Championship is an annual Rugby Union tournament involving six nations – Wales, France, Italy, Scotland, England, and Ireland. This longstanding competition dates back to 1883, originally known as the Home Nations Championship before adopting its current name in 2000. With a rich history and fierce rivalries, the Six Nations Championship entices rugby fans and bettors alike.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby is a premier Rugby Union tournament that showcases some of the best club teams from Fiji, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and New Zealand. Launched in 1996, the competition underwent various format changes over the years, adding to its allure. With thrilling encounters and nail-biting finishes, Super Rugby offers a myriad of opportunities for rugby betting enthusiasts.

Gallagher Premiership

Established in 1987, the Gallagher Premiership is one of the most fiercely contested Rugby Union competitions. Comprising tough contestants like Bristol Bears, Saracens, and Leicester Tigers, the Premiership consistently delivers captivating matchups that keep fans and bettors on the edge of their seats.

Super League

Rugby League enthusiasts can place their bets on the Super League, a prominent Rugby League competition that was introduced in 1996. The tournament replaced the First Division, which had been active since 1895, and quickly gained popularity, particularly in European countries.


The National Rugby League, commonly known as NRL, began in 1998. This prestigious competition mainly features clubs from New Zealand and Australia. The NRL’s inception followed the Super League War, a popular commercial competition of the 1990s. Today, the NRL comprises 16 teams, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs boasting the most NRL titles.

HSBC World Sevens

Rugby Sevens fans can revel in the HSBC World Sevens, a competitive tournament under the auspices of World Rugby. Launched in 1999, this tournament features 15 core national teams and one regional qualifier. The HSBC World Sevens Series was created to promote Rugby Sevens and elevate the form of rugby to international status, making it a thrilling choice for rugby bettors.

Useful Betting Tips and Strategies for Rugby

As with any form of sports betting, rugby betting requires a thoughtful approach and well-thought-out strategies to increase your chances of success. To enhance your rugby betting experience, consider the following tips and strategies:

Look out for the Best Available Odds

One of the key factors in successful rugby betting is securing the best available odds. Not all sportsbooks offer the same odds for a given market, so it is wise to shop around and compare odds across various platforms to find the most advantageous ones.

Take Advantage of Matched Betting and Arbitrage Betting

Exploring matched betting and arbitrage betting can be lucrative strategies in rugby betting. In arbitrage betting, you cover all outcomes of a specific bet to guarantee a win. To execute this strategy successfully, you will need to sign up with multiple sportsbooks and have a sufficient bankroll. Matched betting involves using rugby bonuses and promotions, reducing the amount of money you spend on bets. Free bets and reload bonuses are examples of offers that can help maximise your returns.

Follow Rugby Tipsters and Expert Predictions

Utilise all available resources when placing rugby bets, including following advice from reputable rugby tipsters and checking expert predictions. These sites often provide well-researched results and betting insights, which can help you identify various betting opportunities and make informed decisions.

Take the Small Wins and Profits

In rugby betting, it is essential to appreciate and pocket small wins. Not every bet will result in significant profits, so it is crucial to celebrate your victories, regardless of the amount. By accumulating small wins over time, you may be pleasantly surprised by the total profits achieved.

Stay Updated With Team News and Injuries

Pay close attention to the latest team news and player injuries. Key players missing from a match can significantly impact a team’s performance and the game’s outcome. Make sure to keep track of any developments that could influence your betting choices.

Common Rugby Betting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Even the most experienced bettors can fall victim to common betting mistakes, jeopardising potential profits. Here are some typical rugby betting errors and how to steer clear of them:

Betting with Your Heart, Not Your Head

A common pitfall in sports betting, including rugby betting, is allowing emotions to drive betting decisions. It’s crucial to maintain objectivity and avoid betting on your favourite team just because you want them to win. Instead, base your decisions on statistical analysis and relevant information.

Chasing Losses

After a losing bet, resist the urge to chase your losses by placing larger wagers in hopes of recuperating the money. This risky behaviour can lead to further losses and erode your bankroll. Stay disciplined and adhere to your betting strategy.

Overlooking Bankroll Management

Proper bankroll management is the backbone of successful rugby betting. Determine a budget for your bets and stick to it. Avoid wagering more than you can afford to lose, as it can lead to financial strain and ruin your overall betting experience.

Ignoring Statistics and Research

Thorough research and analysis are fundamental to making informed rugby betting decisions. Ignoring team form, past performances, and head-to-head records can lead to poor choices and suboptimal betting outcomes.

Betting on Too Many Matches

Placing bets on numerous rugby matches simultaneously can lead to losing focus and spreading your resources too thin. It’s better to concentrate on a few well-researched bets rather than making numerous speculative ones.


Rugby betting offers a thrilling and rewarding experience for sports enthusiasts and gamblers alike. Understanding the different rugby formats, betting markets, and odds is crucial for making informed betting decisions. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can enhance your rugby betting prowess and increase your chances of success. Remember to always bet responsibly and within your means. Rugby betting is about enjoying the sport’s excitement and using your knowledge to make informed predictions.