Rugby Betting – Complete Guide

Written by: Kurt Blakeway, Sports Betting Analyst and Writer
Last updated:
7 minute read

Rugby Betting

Rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world, and in many ways like American football, but with far less padding and no helmets and obviously, many different rules. Rugby is most popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, but the game is played in dozens of countries worldwide.

Like most sports bet online, rugby markets and betting handle seem to increase nearly every year. There are many domestic Rugby Leagues across the world, and there is also a Rugby World Cup held every four years, like the FIFA World Cup of soccer.

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How To Bet On Rugby Matches Online

Step 1 – Create An Account At An Online Betting Site Or Bookmaker

Online sports betting sites have grown massively over the last decade. At this point, no matter which country you live in across the world – there is always an option available. Australian, European, and United Kingdom sportsbooks will have the most betting markets when it comes to rugby, but just about every sportsbook online has odds on the game, especially for big events or tournaments. We have ratings and detailed reviews for just about every sportsbook online.

Step 2 – Fund Your Account

Depending on your region or country – your cashier options will be different. We recommend Americans use Bitcoin or a credit or debit card and that Europeans and those from other nations use, an e-wallet, such as Neteller or Skrill.

Step 3 – Place A Rugby Wager

Find the Rugby betting menu and choose your wager. Enter your wager amount and be sure to check your bet before you make a final confirmation.

Best Rugby Betting Sites

The best betting sites or bookmakers for rugby depend on their markets and odds. Other considerations should be cashier speeds and security of funds. The best sites to bet on rugby will likely be the best online bookmakers, in general. Online bookmakers that cater to residents of countries where rugby is most popular will usually be the best when it comes to betting markets and options.

Rugby Betting Odds And Bet Types

Rugby betting in its most basic form is moneyline wagering. It’s the simplest form of betting and requires bettors to pick the team that they win the game outright, nothing more. Handicap betting is another option where both teams are assigned a “point spread” similar to football or basketball game. There are three outcomes to a handicap bet if there is not a half-point in the spread, which is a win, lose, or push. Finally, totals are mostly self-explanatory. It’s a bet on the number of points scored in a Rugby match.

Many betting sites will also offer rugby propositions which can be some things, including the number of tries scored by a team or player, the number of conversions completed, and many more. Live or in-play betting is also going to be available for most if not all rugby matches at sportsbooks.

Rugby Union VS. Rugby League – Key Differences

The first thing that bettors should know before they dive into rugby betting is that there are two different forms of the game. Rugby Union is what most of the world know as rugby. That game originated in England in the first half the 19th century. However, there is another form of rugby, called Rugby League. The two forms are quite different regarding rules. If you’re interested in betting both games, then it’s important to know the differences.

Rugby Union – What Is It?

A Rugby Union match consists of two 40-minute halves and two teams of 15 players. The goal is to down the ball in the sections at each side of the field. It’s sort of similar to American football where the ball must cross the line for a touchdown, except that in rugby, the ball must be downed on the grass.

Moving the ball forward is done by passing the ball backward to teammates and them running forward. The defending team tries to stop the opposing team from moving the ball. Once an attacking player falls, a “ruck” is formed. If the attacking player can stay on their feet, a “maul” is formed.

When a penalty occurs, the opposing team can put the ball in for a “scrum,” throw the ball in on a “line out” or opt to take a kick at goal. The kick at goal would remind American football bettors of a field goal in that it is required to go through two uprights and is worth three points. Also, after each try, they will have an attempt to kick a conversion which is worth two points.

Rugby League – What Is It?

The Rugby League format is the less popular version of rugby, and while it still has many similarities, the games have major differences to be aware of if you’re betting both sports. Rugby League is a bit more, and one noticeable difference is that tries are worth only four points in Rugby League and kicks at goal or “drop kicks” are only worth one point instead of three.

The biggest difference between Rugby League and Rugby Union is the lack of “rucks” and “mauls” in Rugby League. In Rugby League, if a player is tackled and brought to the ground, the attacking side retains possession if he controls as it goes to the ground. The attacker simply puts the ball under his foot and rolls it back to a teammate.

Without rucks and mauls, it’s easy to see why most people prefer the rougher, more exciting, Rugby Union to Rugby League. The field is the same size as Rugby Union, and the length of the game doesn’t change either. Both two 40-minute halves, but only 13 on the field for each side, rather than the 15 in Rugby Union. It’s also worth noting that possession must be given to the other team after the attacking team is tackled for the sixth time in their possession. There are also no line-outs in Rugby League. Instead, there is a scrum when the ball goes out of play.

Most Important Rugby Tournaments

The biggest international competitions for Rugby are the World Cup and the Six Nations. There are also nearly a dozen domestic leagues around the world in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Major European competitions include the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The most popular form or Rugby, by far, is Rugby League, which is the game that is played across most of Europe. Rugby League is most popular in Australia and New Zealand. The biggest competitions each for Rugby League are the Four Nations, Rugby League World Cup, and the European Championship.

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Most Recognizable Rugby Teams And Players

Rugby New Zealand All BlackThe New Zealand All Blacks, English Three Lions, and the Irish Lions. These teams have had the most success in the Six Nations Championship. South Africa and Australia aren’t far behind. The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men’s rugby union, which is known as the country’s national sport.

Jonah Lomu - RugbyJonah Lomu is probably the most widely known rugby player in history and is easily one of the best. He catapulted the game’s popularity in the 1995 Rugby World Cup with amazing strength and speed and undeniable talent. He was regarded by many as the world’s first rugby global superstar by many. Lomu scored one of the best tries in World Cup history as he steamrolled England’s defense.

He scored seven in the 1995 World Cup and did even better in the 1999 World Cup scoring 15 tries for New Zealand’s All Blacks. Unfortunately, for Lomu, he was diagnosed with rare kidney disease in 1996. It ended his career, but he received a transplant in 2004. Unfortunately, due to complications from his kidney failure, he suffered a heart attack in 2015.

About the Author

Kurt Blakeway

Kurt Blakeway

Sports Betting Analyst and Writer

Kurt is a Sports Analyst focused on providing updated and relevant betting content for MLB, NFL, NBA and other major American sports.

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