Best 5 Rugby Betting Sites
Sky Bet are well known by its UK customers for being one of the best betting sites online, and in particular they have a quality product when it comes to rugby betting. They have a large range of rugby betting markets, covering both Rugby Union and Rugby League matches from all around the World. The rugby betting odds are always good and they regularly boost the prices for selected feature bets. In play betting is pretty much standard and they try to offer live streaming of as many games as possible.
Parimatch is a new rugby betting site and straight away it has become known as one of the best. What has helped is that they are using the same back-end system as BetVictor so have the same rugby betting odds and markets. You will notice a lot of other similarities such as the same odds boosts and general site design and navigation. They have some great existing user promotions, excellent customer service if required, and super fast payouts too.
Paddy Power are one of the largest bookmakers in the UK (and Ireland) and have been operating since 1988 from their high street shops. They moved into online betting more recently in 2004. They have brought with them a huge range of sports and markets and have everything you could need for betting on rugby. As well as boosted odds and Acca refunds NEW customers get a refund as cash if the first qualifying bet loses.
BoyleSports are another high street name in the UK and Ireland, but mainly Ireland. They have a great product if you are looking to do some rugby betting online, with a simple account reg process being rewarded with a generous Free bet offer. They have ongoing bonuses and promotions on all the major rugby events, along with some great odds on a huge number of different bet types.
Rugby betting fans have it all when it comes to Betfred, as well as general sports betting promotions they have several specifically for rugby. Their rugby odds are often the market leader and they have more rugby markets available to bet on than most. Their headline offer of Double Delight and Hat Trick Heaven applies to the first try scorer market for almost all games.
How We Rank Rugby Betting Sites
When trying to rank the best rugby betting sites there is a number of different factors to be considered. It is also important to remember that how much weight each variable carries will vary from person to person and what is the very best rugby betting site will also vary accordingly. Some of the main factors to be looked at are:
Markets - Obviously the basics like who will win the game, and probably also who will win with a handicap are rugby betting markets that every bookmaker will have. The best rugby betting sites will have a lot more variety though and give the option to wager on things such as First Try scorer, When the first Points will be scored, How the first points will be scored, etc, etc.
Odds - This one should not be overlooked, due to the nature of some matches, especially internationals, it is common to have one short odds favourite and the other a very long shot outsider. This causes the odds on the favourite to be very competitive (because so many people will be betting on that) but for the outsider they can choose any price because it is only really fun bets going on it for the most part. It is not uncommon to see some bookmakers offering 40/1 where another is 100/1 or more. In this case, you clearly want to be doing your rugby betting where you can pick up the competitive odds of 100/1 or more.
Promotions - It is not as common as with other sports such as football but there are specific boosted Welcome bonuses around the time of the Rugby World Cup. For existing users it is better with some Free bets and Odds boosts available for rugby bets all year round. It is most common to see a refund on losing bets if your team scores over a certain number, but also you can get Double Delight / Hat Trick Heaven on 1st Try scorer bets which pay double the odds or triple the odds if they score again. In the example below there is just a straight odds boost on the outright betting for Saracens to win the Rugby Premier League (known as the Gallagher League).
Mobile - Betting on the move is increasingly important, and you will probably want to be able to place your bets at any time and anywhere to take advantage of any last-minute betting opportunities. This is where rugby fans look to see if their top rugby betting site has a cutting-edge mobile App. Being able to quickly and easily navigate to the right rugby events and then find the right rugby markets is what we are looking for. Then being able to use it for live betting and in doing so watch the game through the Apps live streaming feature (which we come onto next).
Live Streaming - Not all matches can be live streamed but the top rugby betting bookmakers will cover as many as they can. Prestige events such as the Rugby World Cup or the Six Nations should be available, which will really complement live betting on the games.
Support - You hope that you will never need them but sooner or later it is likely that you will. UK customers of all the top rugby betting sites should expect 24/7 support, and being able to quickly talk to a real person not just an AI bot, who stretches the definition of "I"!
Betting Features - There are several features that have become increasingly popular recently, one of which is the ability to "cash out" bets before their natural conclusion. Another would be bet builder, allowing in effect an Acca bet on the same match, or some betting sites have "Request a bet" where you can get customised bets priced up just for you.
How to Place a Bet on Rugby
To place a rugby bet is a pretty simple task, certainly there is no surprise for anyone used to sports betting. Assuming that you have already opened an account and deposited some funds what you need to do is:
Locate "Rugby" from the sports available at your bookmaker, making sure you pick the correct option between Rugby Union and Rugby League.
When you are in the correct variation for your bet, find the specific league you want to bet on. You will find leagues from all around the world and often also Women's rugby is an option too.
Once in the correct tournament or league you will see the upcoming matches that are available. You will likely be shown what day and time the game is being played, the teams involved and at the best rugby betting sites shown where you can watch if they do not have live streaming themselves.
Once you are in the game you want to bet on you will see all the bet types that are available. You are shown what the market is and also the odds you can get on those selections.
Click on the bet you wish to place and a new Bet slip will open. Enter your desired stake amount and then place the bet.
You will get a confirmation message that the bet has been submitted and you will be able to review it in the "my bets" section of your account.
Most Popular Rugby Betting Markets
Exactly as it says on the tin, you are betting on who will win the match in the regulation 80 minutes. Although it is a lot less likely than in other games it is possible for two teams to draw, so one of our rugby betting tips is to bet on a team with a 0.5 Handicap, the odds will be either the same or very similar, but you will now win if it is a draw as well.
It can happen that one team is a lot better than another team to such an extent that nobody wants to bet on the underdog (because they won't win) and also nobody wants to bet on the favourite (because the odds are so low there is no point). To counter this bookmakers will put up handicap markets for people to bet on. What this does is give one team a head start by a certain amount of points, the aim of which is to get the odds closer to evens, which will then prompt more people to wager on the match.
A variation of handicap betting really winning margin bets allow you to bet not on who will win but how much they will win by. If your team is a heavy favourite and you think that they will run away with it you can bet on a high amount, but if you think it will actually be close, and that team will win but not by many you can bet on a lower winning margin.
Team/Player to Score the First Try
Much like the first goal scorer in football there is also a first try scorer bet in rugby. As the name suggests you can pick who will score first with wingers and fullbacks likely to be the favourites for this, because of the way tries are scored the ball is usually passed out to the edges of the pitch where a winger will run down the line, or it is just smashed through the middle and then carried over the op by one of the full backs.
It is also possible to bet on which team will be the first to score a try, which will add excitement to the beginning of any match but there is very little skill or the strategy behind predicting who that will be.
Time of First Try
How long it takes to score a try is also a betting option, with two teams that play aggressive attacking rugby likey to score quickly but a cagey defensive side who likes to build positions and have an excellent fly half more likely to kick conversions to get their points. Something to consider with this bet is what is the weather like? If it is windy a try will come a lot quicker than if it is a calm day, because if it is blowing a gale then a try is the ONLY way a team will be able to score.
Half Time/Full Time
This bet is basically two "to win" bets in one. You have to predict who will be leading at Half time (or if it will be a draw) and also who will be winning at the final whistle. It can be used to get better odds on heavy favourites, or if you think one team is going to start well but are more likely to tire towards the end than their opponents.
What type of game do you expect and what is the weather like? These are the things that will affect the total points score of a game. This combined with how good the defences are compared to the attack of the opposition. The range of total points scored in a rugby game is massive, certainly compared to a football game which will range from 0 goals scored to 11 being the highest ever scored in a Premier League game (Portsmouth 7 - 4 Reading). In rugby, there are no recorded examples of 0 points being scored but the lowest International match score was when Australia beat Western Samoa 9-3, the highest ever was New Zealand vs Japan which finished 145-17!
Highest scoring half
The differences between the two halves can be pretty large depending on who is playing, how they play, and what the score is at halftime! To do more than just guess this you have to really look at the make up of each team, think about what their tactics might be, and how this will play out in the game., and this allows you to pit one against another.
You can get more bang for your buck and a longer run for your money by betting on who will win a tournament rather than an individual match. There is not just the tournament winner bet available there is also top point scorer, top try scorer, etc, etc, but to win outright is one of the largest betting markets. There can be good odds on these bets but the main benefit is you get several chances to cheer on your team, all for the price of one bet.
In-Play Rugby Betting
In play rugby betting is not really that different to pre match bets in terms of the betting markets available. The main difference you will note is that the odds will not be as good and they will change more frequently. There will be some new markets available with micro timeframes, "will there be a try in the next five minutes" and such like which can add to the excitement of watching a game played live. In play betting is faster paced and should be treated with more caution, perhaps by lowering your average bet size and remembering to play responsibly at all times. For the best In play, experience look for rugby sites that have live streaming of the games so you can watch along whilst you bet.
How To Win In Rugby Betting: Strategy & Tips
First of all, it is not a great idea to bet because you expect to win. You can hope to win, sure who doesn't? But if you do it should be a happy surprise rather than the expected result.
That being said there is one universal truth when it comes to making a long term profit when gambling, and that is that it can only happen if you bet on value. Betting on what you think will happen is not going to do it. What you must do is bet only when the odds bookmakers give you that something will happen, are greater than the true probability of it happening. You must bet on that even if you think it won't happen! What you think is most likely to happen is irrelevant all that matters is the ratio of the odds to the true probability. Therefore it follows that in order to win in the long run the strategy you need must be one that can accurately identify the true chances of something happening. There are several ways you can do that, but they are probably for another article rather than here and now today. Just trust us on the general rule... bet on value!
For all gambling, not just rugby but for any sport, it is a very good idea to set a budget, maybe even putting it inside a separate E-Wallet account or opening a new bank account. This way your gambling funds will not cross with your real world expenses and you can easily keep track of your wins and losses.
As well as budget a sensible staking plan is essential to keep your gambling structured and prevent you from going on tilt and busting out. We have heard some people say a rule of "bet no more than 5% of your bankroll per bet" is a good idea before. Well, it is not bad as a start but we would actually suggest no more than 1% is a better idea.
Research as much as you can, knowledge is power. The more you know the better you can assess the probability of each event occurring, and back to our original point, this is how you find value bets. You can check things like the weather and will it have an effect, you can look at the team news both official but also do not forget social media to get extra info about the state of the players. A final thing when betting on certain tournaments, the 6 Nations is one, check the overall position of the teams in the league not just related to this game and also look what difference a bonus point will do. In 6 Nations scoring a team will get 4 points for a win and an extra point if they score more than 4 tries in a game. If that team needs 5 to win the tournament then they will not be playing defensive and the bets to consider are on the total points scored in the game and the total number of tries being scored both being high!
Available Payment Methods
All sports betting websites have their own selection of payment methods which they choose to accept. Some have a huge range, whilst others have only one or two options. If you intend to bet on rugby online then you will need at least one of the following:
The vast majority of UK current accounts come with either a Visa or Mastercard debit card for use as either a contactless payment method or for use online. As far as we know every UK licenced bookmaker accepts this payment method and funds are added instantly. The main advantage though is that Welcome bonus Free bets have T&Cs which will usually say "payment method exclusions apply", and you will see Free bets valid only if you use a debit card.
PayPal is a household name in the UK and the majority of people have an account, originally probably because of its close ties with eBay. The company has expanded into all areas of Ecommerce, notably servicing the gambling industry. An advantage of using PayPal is that withdrawals are quick but make sure that you will still be eligible for any Free bet offer you may be taking part in for using it. Also although your deposits and withdrawals to and from a bookmaker may be free PayPal is known to charge a lot of other fees for operating an account further along the line.
Neteller was the main way to fund online gambling accounts in the early years of the century when the internet was still a new thing to most and there was uncertainty about using a debit card online. Back then they were the quickest and cheapest way to deposit at American gambling sites if you were in the UK but legislation has prevented that now. There is no longer such a compelling reason to have a Neteller account but many places still accept it.
Skrill is owned by the same company as Neteller and the two have a similar backstory. Skrill used to be the best way to fund European bookmakers if you were based in the UK but again that is no longer an issue as all bookmakers that accept UK players must have a UK licence and part of that includes accepting £s. Many sites still accept Skrill and it can be used an E-wallet in order to ringfence your funds when you are gambling so you play responsibly and do not lose the money you can not afford.
Trustly (Online banking)
It is possible at the majority of bookmakers to deposit and withdraw funds with online banking. You normally have to fill in a few fields to get started but once set up it is quick and easy to move money around. There is usually higher minimum and maximum transfer limits when online banking so it is usually only suitable for high rollers.
Rugby Leagues & Tournaments to bet on
There are a large number of rugby leagues and tournaments to bet on but despite being a global game they are not played all year round (there is an "off season"). The biggest tournaments are played every four years but many more are annual.
Rugby Union World Cup
The tournament is played every four years and by most is considered to be the pinnacle of Rugby sporting success. The next time it is held will be in France in 2023 and already many teams have already qualified with the favourites such as Ireland, France and South Africa seeded and put into groups with the underdogs such as Chile, Namibia, and Romania. The international nature of the contest makes it a great betting spectacle with many of the players never having played against each other before. This makes for some wildcard upsets as you watch Rugby Union games being played for the first ever time. In total twenty teams will take part and there is one space still available, teams from across Africa, Asia, and the Americas where rugby is not generally played as much will contest the final available place in a round-robin tournament, in Dubai, in November 2022.
Rugby League World Cup
Much like Rugby Union, the Rugby League World cup draws teams from all around the world, but is generally dominated but four or five key teams who always seem to either win it or finish there or thereabouts. The 2021 tournament has been suspended as a consequence of the Covid 19 pandemic but will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
Originally a tournament between just the "Home Nations" (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) the tournament has expanded since its inauguration way back in 1883 to include France in 1910 when it became the Five Nations and then in 2000 Italy joined making it the Six Nations. Played every year the most successful country has been England winning 29 times in total, Italy (who only joined recently) are the only team to have never won. It is particularly prestigious to win the tournament without ever losing or drawing a match, known as winning "The Grand Slam".
The Rugby Championship, formally known as the Tri-Nations, is a Rugby Union tournament contested annually by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. These are the four highest ranked national teams in the Southern Hemisphere; the Six Nations is a similar tournament in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand are the current holders and by far the most successful team to have taken part, winning 18 of the 26 tournaments that have taken place.
The Barbarian Football Club is a British invitational Rugby Union club made up of players from all around the World who play for a British league team. The Barbarians play in black and white hoops, though players wear socks from their own club strip. They are the best of the best and play traditional games against the same domestic clubs each year but excitement builds when a National team is on tour. Playing the "baa baas" is often the highlight of the campaign.
Premiership Rugby, officially known as the Gallagher Premiership for sponsorship reasons, is an English professional rugby union competition. The league has consisted of thirteen clubs since 2021 and it is the top division of the English rugby union pyramid.
The Super League, also known as either the Betfred Super League or as Super League Europe, is the top-level of the British rugby league pyramid system. As of now, the league consists of twelve teams, of which ten are from Northern England and two are from southern France. The Super League began in 1996 when it switched from a traditional winter season to a summer season.
|England's tour of Australia||June 2022|
|Sevens at the Commonwealth games (Birmingham, UK)||July 2022|
|Rugby World Cup Sevens (Cape Town, SA)
|Women's Rugby World Cup||Oct - Nov 2022|
|Men's Autumn Nations Series||Nov 2022|
Why Bet on Rugby?
Rugby is a great game to bet on for many reasons. There are all the free bets available to both new and existing users on the major tournaments, there are a huge range of betting markets meaning you can really focus on an area of the game you like, lots of people on Twitter love to give rugby betting tips so you can follow along there if you are ever stumped for something yourself. If you like watching the game most bookmakers have live streaming of the games to at least some degree and you can bet In play as you watch. Handicap markets even up every contest so you can always find something to back that has a good chance and still gives a nice reward if it wins. There is not a lot not to like about Rugby betting.
The top betting sites are…
Here at Legalbet we have also categorised the top betting sites and their features to make them easier for you to find. They are:
Frequently Asked Questions
Almost every bookmaker will offer bets on both Rugby Union and Rugby League. Rugby Union betting is growing quickest as the game spreads around the world. There are now 30 recognised rugby playing nations and 20 of these qualify for the Rugby World Cup. As the fan base grows so does the betting interest, and it is now very common for an international rugby match to have millions of £s wagered on it.
In a word, "No" they are not the same. They are different in many ways such as the number of players on each team (Rugby Union = 15, Rugby League = 13), how many points are scored for a try, the rules around tackling are different, etc, etc. Both are very similar when it comes to the betting markets available but in terms of the game itself really the only similarity between the two is that it is played on the same pitch.
In short probably not. Any strategy you have is likely to be reliant on certain variables and they will change between the different betting markets. It is incredibly unlikely that you will have a one size fits all strategy. Remember to always play responsibly and consider each individual bet, do not just blindly follow any "system".
At every betting site which we have ever reviewed where we are betting on rugby pre match it has also been possible to bet on the game in play. The answer is really just "yes" you can, but like all things there will be incredibly rare exceptions where you can not.
The quickest way to withdraw your winnings will vary from one online betting site to the next but as a rule if your bank is part of the Visa Fast Funds scheme this is likely to be the quickest, taking a matter of minutes. Some online bookies may have certain additional checks to make though so you should check with their customer service or FAQ sections for specific details.