Besides soccer, rugby union is the most popular and widely played form of football, boasting one of the biggest viewership numbers of all sports and making up a big part of the global sports betting revenue. It’s no secret that online gambling in rugby union is prevalent, and in this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about it, including:
- Where to find the best rugby union betting sites?
- How does online betting on rugby union work?
- Which rugby union bets can you place, and which are the most popular?
- What are interesting facts about the sport and its history?
List of the Best Rugby Union Bookmakers
Before you start thinking about gambling on rugby and placing your first rugby union bets, you need to find a sportsbook that will accept your wagers. Since rugby union is one of the most popular sports globally, finding a website to check that mark isn’t tricky. However, not all rugby union bookmakers will offer the same quality experience.
As any betting guide will tell you, making a profit from wagering starts with finding the right sportsbook to bet on. But realistically, you should only keep an eye on a few things.
The best rugby union betting sites should have competitive rugby union betting odds, enough market depth and an occasional promotion, bonuses or free bets. Beyond that, you should register on bookmakers with rugby union betting apps, in-play wagering, and live streaming.
If you’re wondering which is the best betting site for rugby union, there is no clear winner, albeit many sportsbooks are top-rated among rugby bettors in 2023. These include Boylesports, Ladbrokes, Bet365, William Hill, and Paddy Power.
Rugby Union Betting Bonuses
Most, if not all, online sportsbooks will have promotions and bonuses ready for their customers. They rarely discriminate between sports, so you can rest assured that free bets and other bonuses will be ready even for rugby union.
Admittedly, bonuses and promotions aren’t the most important thing you should look for in a sportsbook. However, they are the best and easiest way to get extra value for your money, so you should take advantage of any offer.
Rugby union bonuses often include free bets, Acca bonuses, parlay insurance, deposit rewards, and odds boosts. And they will be most common during big events such as the Rugby Union World Cup. But while we encourage you to take advantage of all the bonuses, you can remember to check the terms and conditions to ensure you’re eligible for the offers.
How Does Rugby Union Betting Work
Rugby union is not that different from betting on any other sport, at least as basics are concerned. Match betting is the most popular form of betting on rugby union, as it’s the simplest type – requiring you only to pick which of the 2 teams will win.
There are also many other bet types and betting markets for rugby bettors to explore, including spread betting, futures, over/under, handicaps, margin bets and much more. So you can rest assured that there is more than enough variety.
Moreover, if you’re somewhat familiar with betting on any other football code, betting on rugby union should come as second nature. There aren’t any unique bets or particular rules you need to learn.
Suppose you have never bet on rugby union but are familiar with how gambling works, have access to websites that can provide you with enough information about the next games and are willing to invest some time to learn about the players and teams. In that case, you should be set to start placing your first rugby union bets.
Rugby Union Odds
Rugby union betting odds will be readily available on all major online sportsbooks, so you can rest assured that you won’t have a hard time finding them. And if you have a basic knowledge of what sports betting odds mean, you won’t have a hard time reading them either.
But you should know that the odds formats will differ depending on the bookies you choose. An American bookie will display odds in the American format (+300), a European bookie will display them in the decimal format (4.00), and a UK bookie will use a fractional form (3/1).
Still, no matter where you bet from, be it Canada, the UK, France, or even Tanzania, you will be able to change the odds in the format you like, so you only need to know how to understand one of the 3. However, you should know that the betting odds will not be the same across all sportsbooks.
Bookies get rugby union betting odds using their formulas and systems, which creates a discrepancy in the market, where William Hill could have Wasps RFC priced at 2/1 to defeat Exeter Chiefs. At the same time, Betway could offer 9/4 on Wasps.
The price differences will mostly be relatively small but can add up long-term. That is why it’s highly advisable to only wager with the best rugby union betting sites with the best odds and have accounts with multiple bookies, so you can price shop and bet with the best odds.
Most Popular Rugby Union Competitions & Tournaments
Many rugby union leagues and tournaments worldwide, but only a few stand out as the most popular. These leagues and competitions are also very popular among rugby league punters, mainly because many online betting sites offer special promotions that add even more value to your gambling experience.
Some of the most popular rugby union competitions include:
- European Rugby Champions Cup
- English Premiership Rugby
- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Top 14
- Pro 14
- Rugby World Cup
- Rugby Championship
- Six Nations Championship
History of Rugby Union
The history of rugby union started way before the 19th century and was followed by various football games that were played well ahead of our time. However, it wasn’t until mid 19th century that the rugby union rules were formulated and codified, so it’s not too wrong to say that rugby union started about 200 years ago.
The beginnings of rugby union can be traced to 3 events:
- The first set of rules was written in 1845;
- The Blackheath Club’s decision to depart the Football Association in 1863;
- The official formulation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
Interestingly, “Rugby Union” was used to differentiate it from the original rugby. Moreover, rugby was initially a strictly amateur football code, and it wasn’t until 1995 that the rugby union was finally declared an “open” game.
Over the next years, rugby union as a sport hasn’t changed much, albeit it has been gaining in popularity, making it one of the most popular sports worldwide. Admittedly, as of 2023, rugby union has yet to reach the same status as football or basketball. Still, it has a sizeable fan base across many countries, including England, Canada, Australia, and even Tanzania, largely because the current territory on which Tanzania stands was a former UK colony.
Although it’s unclear when the first rugby union bet was placed, the sport’s increased popularity worldwide has helped rugby union become one of the most popular sports among bettors. That also explains why you can find a rugby union betting line on any sportsbook you visit, be it a wrestling sportsbook, a football bookie, or anything in between.
Rugby Union Rules
Rugby union is a fairly simple game to understand, but obviously, there are a few basics you need to learn about it.
Rugby union is a full-contact sport involving 15 players on each team and 7 substitutes who start the game on the bench. The game aims to score more points than the opponents, accumulated through conversions, penalty klicks, drop goals, and tries.
The game is played on a rectangular field and lasts 80 minutes, split into two 40-minute halves. The half-time is a mandatory break for players – much like in soccer – and can last 10 minutes.
Those are elementary rules all teams must follow, but rugby union also has some unique things in its rulebook. Most notably, the players can only pass the ball backwards or sideways, and no blocking is allowed. Instead, the players must use a variety of phases, such as mauls, rucks, lineouts, and scrums, to retain possession during play.
After each try, worth 5 points, the team that scores has a chance to kick the ball through the posts for an additional 2 points (named “conversion”). Specific penalties will earn the non-offending team a kick through the post, worth 3 points.
The unique thing about rugby union is that the play continues even after the players are tackled. And unlike other football codes, rugby union players can only move the ball forward by kicking the ball.
Rugby Union Bet of the Day
There will be many betting opportunities for you to look at and wager on with the best rugby union betting sites during the rugby union season. With that also comes the tedious task of picking the right bets. Luckily, there is such a thing as the bet of the day.
It is often offered by online sportsbooks, which promote specific rugby union games, mainly in bigger tournaments such as the World Cup of the Premiership. The rugby union bet of the day is not only a wager with the highest chance of winning, but it’s also often accompanied by free bets, odds boosts and other bonuses.
So if you come across the offer on any rugby union bookmakers, we encourage you to take advantage of it. Alternatively, you can follow our link to the website with the best bet for today!
How to Bet on Rugby Union
Anyone can place rugby union bets, but not everyone will make a long-term profit from it. It’s hard work to come out ahead of the sportsbooks over several years, but here are a few tips and tricks to help you get there.
- First and foremost, you need to use the best betting site for rugby union. That means it has a solid offer of rugby union gambling markets and competitive odds.
- You should always research the games you plan to bet on, but it helps if you listen to what betting experts say, so we encourage anyone to read through a gambling preview or 2 before you decide.
- Familiarize yourself with the players, teams, and leagues/competitions you plan to bet on.
- Even though rugby league has the same rules across all competitions, each league or tournament has its traits and characteristics.
- Take advantage of any betting offers, free bets and other bonuses.
- Once you get comfortable with betting in rugby league, consider in-play betting, as it can be a very lucrative way to bet on the sport.
- And lastly, find a betting strategy that suits your style, never overbet or let the emotions get the better of you, and learn how to manage your bankroll, as only this way you can ensure long-term profits.
Most Popular Rugby Union Betting Markets
You can approach betting on rugby union in many different ways. Plenty of betting markets are available for you to keep the experience as exciting and variety-filled as possible. Here we will check some of the most popular.
If you want to bet on rugby union tournament winners, you will have to explore the futures gambling markets, which, as the name would suggest, are wagers made on a future event.
Some sportsbooks also call them outrights, but no matter how the bookies name these betting markets, the idea is the same – they allow you to bet on something that will happen in the future, be it on which team will win the Premiership, which player will be the MVP of the World Cup and more.
Match bets are the simplest bets you can make on rugby union, as those are wagers you make on the next game’s outcome. You need to pick which team will win, and it doesn’t matter by how much they do it – the only thing that matters is the outcome.
The favorite team will always be priced at shorter odds, while the underdogs will always have bigger rugby union betting odds. But you should know that the match wagers can be 2-way or 3-way, with the former allowing you to pick a winner and the latter betting market also including a draw.
Margin bets are similar to match wagers but offer more variety, allowing you to predict which team will win and how much. For example, the margin bet markets will often be set at 1-12 and 13+, so you can bet on Team A to win by 1-12 points or more than 13 points.
Some rugby union betting sites will offer different margins, which can be as big or small as the bookies set them to be. Alternatively, some sportsbooks also allow you to wager on the exact winning margins, which are tougher to predict but often offer excellent rugby union odds.
Try Scorer Bets
Try Scorer rugby union bets are prevalent, just like the first scorer wager is one of the most popular bets you can make in soccer. It’s a very straightforward bet type that needs no explanation, but there are many variations of the try scorer bets, including anytime tryscorer and multiple tryscorer.
Acca bets, also known as parlay or multiple bets, are wagers that combine 2 or more single stakes into one slip. With that, you combine the odds of all your selections for a higher potential payout, albeit you have to hit all your choices for the Acca bet to win.
Although Acca bets are much tougher to predict correctly, accumulators are highly popular. They are often accompanied by excellent rugby union betting offers such as odds boosts or pay-back if just one of your legs misses.
Rugby union handicap betting is one of the most popular ways to approach betting on rugby, and it’s often recognised as the most effective wagering strategy. Rugby union handicaps, also known as line bets (or spread betting), are bets that bookies use to balance the odds by giving the underdog team an imaginary advantage or handicapping the favourites.
For example, if Team A is expected to defeat Team B, rugby union betting sites might offer a -4.5 handicap on Team A and a +4.5 point handicap on Team B to level the playing field. The line (or handicap) can be as small or large as the sportsbooks make it, but it will always reflect the team’s implied probability of winning.
Handicap betting in rugby union is the same as any other sport, so if you were to place a rugby league bet on the handicap market, you wouldn’t see a difference.
Rugby Union Live Betting
Live betting has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades, almost parallel with the advancements in technology and the introduction of rugby union betting apps. As the name suggests, live rugby union betting is wagering on rugby league or any other sport. At the same time, the games are being played, which in contrast to the pre-match betting, offers an entirely new betting experience.
Not only is placing bets in-play exciting, but if done correctly, live betting can also be highly profitable, granted it’s not for everyone. To succeed at live betting, you need 2 things: good knowledge of the sport, teams, leagues, and players.
Secondly, you need access to a stable and reliable live stream of the match to follow the action. It can be achieved by watching rugby union games on your TV. Still, you should be able to watch the games via the sportsbook where you plan to place your rugby union bets, which is why it’s advisable to only wager with rugby union betting sites with live streaming options.
Rugby Union Betting Tips & Predictions
Deciding which rugby union bets to place can be tricky and time-consuming since you need to analyze a lot of information and data on the teams and players to find the right wagers. That is why many casual bettors fail to make a profit gambling on rugby union and why rugby union betting tips are so valuable.
Admittedly, you should always choose what rugby match to bet on, but it never hurts to see what other people think, especially if you’re ready to listen to what rugby union betting experts say. A key thing that will help you profit when betting on rugby union is having access to reputable websites that can provide you with rugby union betting tips, gambling previews and in-depth analysis of the games.
Remember, you don’t have to follow what the betting previews say blindly. But at least reading what rugby union wagering experts say can help you decide which rugby union bets you’ll place.
Rugby Union Betting Strategies
No betting strategy will make you rich, and no system can guarantee you profit without putting in some work. However, while we can’t provide you with a secret formula for betting on rugby union, we can share a few tips and tricks.
The biggest mistake someone new to betting on rugby union can make is arrogance. You might get lucky and hit your first, second, or even 5 bets in a row, but you must respect the prices.
You might find odds you believe don’t accurately represent the actual probability of winning, but you need to know that the traders who set the odds have been in the business longer than you. So if you have just started, know that you still have much more to learn from analyzing the markets.
You need to check all the information available to you before you place your bet. Unlike football or basketball, rugby union (from a betting perspective) isn’t analyzed as deeply by the general media, so you will have to do a lot of work yourself.
Checking the latest team news, injuries, weather, scheduling, matchups, and more should be on your daily to-do list if you’re serious about betting on rugby union.
And lastly, do not underestimate the home-field advantage! Admittedly, it’s no secret that teams tend to win more home games than the fixtures played on the road, but the clubs invest heavily into their players doing well in front of the home crowds.
Rugby Union Overview
Before we end our rugby union betting article, check out some exciting facts about rugby union, its past, and its online betting scene.
- The most famous rugby union competitions include World Cup, Calcutta Cup, Six Nations, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, Super Rugby, Premiership, and Top 14.
- The most well-known and popular rugby union players are Dan Carter, Jonah Lomu, Jonny Wilkinson, Richie McCaw, Martin Johnson, and Owen Farrell.
- Rugby union is very popular all over the globe, but it’s primarily played in New Zealand, Wales, South Africa, England, France, and Fiji.
- Many football codes are distinct but similar, including Canadian football, American football, Australian rules, and rugby league.
- The most popular and legal online bookmakers for rugby union betting are William Hill, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Boylesports, and LVBet.
With that, we end our rugby union betting guide, teaching everything there is to know about betting on rugby union and where to find the best betting sites. Now, all left is to choose the best bookmaker and start placing rugby union bets!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you bet on rugby union?
Betting on rugby union is different from betting on any other sport. So if you understand the basics of gambling, how to read the odds and what different betting markets mean, you should be set! However, you will have to invest some time to learn about rugby union players, teams, and leagues if you wish to succeed on your betting journey.
Where can I bet on rugby union online?
You can bet on rugby union online at any betting site that offers rugby union wagering markets. But since rugby union is one of the world’s most popular sports, most sportsbooks will have adequate coverage of the sport and its biggest tournaments.
How many players are in a rugby union team?
There are 15 players in a rugby union team, including 8 players in the tight scrum and 7 players who are scattered across the field. The players also wear jerseys with numbers that indicate their position on the field, but any player can play any role they please.
How long is a rugby union match?
A rugby union match lasts 80 minutes, split into two 40-minute halves. Between the halves, there is a break, which can’t last for longer than 15 minutes, so an average rugby union match will last for about 100 minutes or a little over 1.5 hours, including timeouts and other breaks.