Best Rugby Betting Sites 2023
Rugby is one of the most watched sports in the world. It is also one of the most popular, with punters enjoying a sport that is easy to bet upon. Rugby betting can be as simple as picking the team to win a game, making it a great place to start.
For new punters to the sport looking to place their first rugby bets, finding the right site to bet at is crucial. So, let us guide you through the most important factors to consider, the top betting sites, and the teams and tournaments you can place a bet on.
Understanding Rugby Betting
Many new punters make the mistake of betting on something they don’t understand. Before placing a bet on rugby, it is essential to know that the three different strands of the sport have slight differences.
The first is Rugby Union, with 15 players per side. Teams can hold possession for as long as they can, which makes for a slightly more tactical and cagey game. It is the oldest form of the sport with widespread worldwide popularity.
Rugby League games are made up of two teams of 13 players. The main difference is that after six tackles, possession changes hands, so after five if a try has not been scored, the team will generally kick the ball away and try to pin their opponents deep. With fewer players, it tends to be a quicker and more open game without contesting the ball after a tackle.
As the name would suggest, Rugby Sevens is a format where there are just seven players per side. The game is played on a full pitch and comprises seven-minute halves under union rules. The speed of the game and its high-scoring nature make it a popular format, a returning part of the Olympics since 2016.
Scoring varies by format. In union, a try is five points – in league, it is four. A conversion following a try is worth two in both, with a drop goal worth three points in union but only one for league. Punters need to know the scoring system, which significantly affects total points and handicap bets.
Rugby bets are easy to place. From finding the winner of a particular match to deciding who will score the first try, there are several options open to punters that we will discuss further below. With all rugby betting markets, finding the bookmaker with the best price to use is crucial, so let’s look at 15 of the best.
Comprehensive Review of Top Rugby Bookmakers
We take a closer look at the top rugby bookmakers below, including their pros and cons.
SBK: A Mobile-Focused Bookmaker
The sportsbook arm of Smarkets is only available on an app, fitting for a company whose tagline is ‘rewriting the sportsbook’. Part of their mission has been to provide better prices than their competitors with a reduced profit margin. We found they stack up well in this regard, with price movements tracking what happens on the exchange. In addition, they offer a solid range of rugby markets, including futures for the following season.
Top-rated betting app
Smaller margins provide better odds
Wide range of betting markets
No live streaming
Rhino Bet: The New Kid On The Block
Although a newcomer to the bookmaker game, Rhino Bet have quickly gained a good reputation with rugby punters. Their prices are solid compared to their competitors, with a clean and easy-to-navigate website. Both union and league are well-covered with multiple handicap lines on games, which we found a great option so punters can pick one to suit them.
Very competitive prices
Wide range of markets
No live streaming
Sky Bet: The Free Bet Club
The sheer permutations that a punter can create with Sky Bet have always been something we’ve enjoyed. Click on ‘Rugby’ to see the yellow boost icons everywhere. They provide long lists for rugby accumulators like bookies do for football, making creating multiples easy. Add to that a vast volume of markets, and punters are onto a winner before starting.
Daily price boosts
Huge range of betting markets
Free Bet Club
Odds could be more competitive
BetGoodwin: Expanding Their Horizons
An on-track horse racing bookie, they have recently expanded into an online site. For betting newcomers, BetGoodwin‘s rugby offering is decent in Europe and Australia, with union and league well-serviced. They are still a work in progress but are moving in the right direction. We hope they will have Rugby World Cup specials as extensive as those they have for the Premier League.
Continually expanding their betting range
Competitive in-play odds
Horse racing is their primary focus, lacking promotions in other sports
Betway: Pioneering Responsibility
Accessibility is excellent at Betway. The current top events can be found via quick links, ideal for when the big rugby tournaments are in play. Punters can join the Free Bet Club, which offers £10 in free bets if you stake £25 in trebles or accas at 2/1+ each week – ideal for the World Cup or Six Nations.
Free Bet Club
Lots of in-play markets
Live chat is not easy to find
Kwiff: Supercharged Odds
Kwiff is best known for its price boosts. These are randomly applied and range from tiny to
2000x your price. Now, the latter is very rare, but we like any chance of a boost, whatever the size. Kwiff may also supercharge your cash-out amount at the other end of your bet. Rugby markets are fair in terms of quantity and prices – it’s the hope of a boost that brings customers back.
The biggest price boosts on the market
Excellent customer service
The site is a bit clunky
bet365: The UK’s Number 1 Bookmaker
Bet builders are widely available, but many bookmakers will only provide them on football. On bet365, you can pick out your bet builder on rugby union and league. A new feature, ‘ extra time extra chance’, allows pre-match bets to roll over into extra time. Add to that the size and scope of the biggest bookmaker, and they are a great option.
Bet Builders are available on rugby
Live streaming across a wide range of games
Top-rated betting app
Site navigation could be better
Bet UK: The Acca Club
Bet UK is another who goes down the road of a Free Bet Club – a £5 free bet when £20 is spent per week on accas with 5+ selections. This is geared more towards football but is also ideal on the Rugby World Cup pool stages.
Excellent range of markets
Competitive betting odds
Free Bet Club
No live streaming
Betfred: The Super League Sponsor
As is fitting for the sponsor of the Super League, Betfred‘s rugby league offering is strong. That’s not to say they are lacking on the union side, but it feels that league is more loved. Another with a free bet club, but theirs runs Monday-Thursday, bet £20 and get £5 in free bets on a Friday. Gaining the free bet before the weekend action is a savvy ploy. Look out for price boosts at the top of their rugby menu.
Rugby league specialists
Free Bet Club
Competitive rugby league odds
Promotions are heavily football and racing-focused
Paddy Power: Marketing Innovators
We love the way Paddy Power goes about its business from a marketing standpoint. The irreverent humour helps them stand out and makes customers want to use them. It is just as well then that when customers go to their site, there is plenty to enjoy. As an Irish bookie, rugby is prominent with in-play markets and special price boosts across various markets.
Highly-rated betting app
Odds are not always as strong as competitors
Ladbrokes: The Oldest Bookmaker
One of the biggest names in the industry, Ladbrokes has a vast array of markets for punters to check out. We found on their rugby markets that they are cautious and rarely top-price. They have a wide range of rugby markets to bet on, with plenty of futures options and day-to-day action on both union and league.
Daily price boosts can be used as you wish
Tweet them to get a price on personalised bets
Wide range of payment methods
Site navigation could be improved
William Hill: Daily Price Boosts
YourOdds are a popular part of the experience of betting with William Hill. They have these on rugby, so you will get special odds and be able to request your own combinations. Hills provide a vast range of markets, including match winners, handicaps, try scorers and lots of futures options.
Superb range of betting markets
Very competitive prices
Excellent customer service
The website feels a little cluttered
Unibet: Live Betting Leaders
Their bet builder offering is yet to stretch to rugby, but they have added more football leagues and sports. However, rugby betting at Unibet is strong, with over 1000 markets on league and more than 250 on union. Unibet also offers a refer-a-friend bonus which might interest some out there.
Daily Uniboosts for users
Massive range of live betting
Popular betting app
Live streaming could be improved
888sport: Exciting Concepts
One exciting section at 888sports is the BetFeed – a ticker that shows what other people have just backed on the site. If you struggle to decide, find the rugby markets there and see what other punters are backing. The specials tab was empty on the rugby when we were on the site, but they will have them for the big tournaments. Markets are plentiful, and prices are very competitive.
BetFeed is an exciting concept
Strong prices across a wide range of markets
Excellent in-play betting range
The site layout could be improved
Betfair: The Original Betting Exchange
With both a sportsbook and an exchange to choose from, Betfair offers an excellent combination for punters. Multiples on the sportsbook and singles on the exchange, they have plenty of rugby markets to pick from. There’s also the odd special to look out for, with boosted multiples for future events.
Betting choices galore across the two sites
Market range is as big as it gets
Excellent ongoing promotions
A high premium charge on the exchange
Comparing The Best Rugby Betting Sites
The table below compares the best rugby betting sites across several parameters with ratings from 1-5, 1 being the worse and 5 being the best.
|Bookmaker||Odds||Promotions||User Experience||Customer Support||Special Features||Overall Rating|
Popular Rugby Betting Markets Explained
When it comes to rugby betting markets, there is a lot to choose from. These are some of the main ones to know.
- Match Result: An easy start – pick the team you think will win the match.
- Handicap: To level the playing field, the favourites give the underdog a points start.
- Total Points: The bookie will pick a total, and you decide if the game will go over that total or under.
- Try Scorers: Like football, these are split into bets on who will score the first try or score at any time.
- Half-time/Full-time: Pick who will be in front at half-time and who will be in front at full-time. This could be one team for each if you think a team is a slow starter but will still win.
- Winning Margin: Pick how many points the winning team will beat the losing team by.
- Highest Scoring Half: Which half will there be more points scored in?
- Last Team to Score: Who will put the last points on the scoreboard?
- Futures: These are bets made in advance, for instance, backing Ireland to win the Six Nations before the start of the competition.
- Specials: In big tournaments, bookies may have game-specific specials on things to happen during the contest.
Important Rugby Tournaments for Betting
Like football, the Rugby Union World Cup happens every four years, while the League equivalent has now settled into that same pattern. The gaps ensure they are extra special when they come around.
The Six Nations Tournament and Rugby Championship are yearly competitions played in the northern and southern hemispheres. While those are country-based, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the Super Rugby Tournament are club tournaments on the yearly rota.
Rugby League has the Super League in Great Britain and the NRL in Australia as the premier club tournaments. At the same time, there is also the British and Irish Lions Tour to consider when it comes to union.
Top Rugby Teams to Bet On
There are few more famous teams in world rugby than the ‘All Blacks’. New Zealand are a triple winner of the Rugby Union World Cup, so they tend to be a short price to win any game they play in. That is hardly surprising, given that they have been successful in 77% of games in their history.
The other three-time World Cup winners are South Africa. Known as the Springboks, they won their third World Cup in 2019, beating England in the Final. That has been achieved from two fewer World Cup appearances than New Zealand.
Australia are the third major side from the southern hemisphere. The Wallabies are less feared at present than they have been in the past in union, but their league side is utterly dominant.
At present, Ireland are the top team in the world. In 2019, they were ranked number 1 for the first time and have built their strongest side since then. A powerhouse of a team, they are a complete unit but have come up short in previous Rugby World Cups.
France won the 2022 Six Nations and was runner-up to Ireland in 2023. Officially ranked number 2 in the world, they boast arguably the best player in world rugby at this time in Antoine Dupont.
Twickenham is one of the most famous stadiums in rugby. Home of the England team, it has not been such a happy ground recently, given England’s performances. Four-time World Cup Finalists have won just one, Jonny Wilkinson’s famous extra-time dropkick against Australia in 2003.
Few places are as passionate about rugby as Wales, the home to the top atmosphere in the Six Nations. The six-time winners of that tournament are second only to England, who have won it on seven occasions.
Scotland have not been at the peak of their powers for a while. Yet to lift the Six Nations trophy, they have not reached the World Cup’s quarter-final stage since their 1991 semi-final appearance.
Italy joined the Six Nations in 2000. In the 24 editions they participated in, they finished with the wooden spoon in 18 of those years. Despite that, they have provided the odd shock.
Key Factors in Choosing the Best Rugby Betting Sites
What a customer wants from a rugby betting site can vary, but the most common is a wide range of markets and competitive odds. These are the betting basics that keep punters returning.
Beyond that, a site or an app that is easy to use and is well set out adds to the user experience. A rugby betting site that is hard to find what a customer is looking for is liable to struggle for custom.
Always ensure that a bookmaker is UKGC registered and has encryption so that you can bet safely, knowing that your payments and money are secure. If you ever have an issue, the speed and help a customer support team provides is also significant.
Rugby Betting Tips & Strategies
The best strategy for betting on rugby is to watch a lot of the sport. Learn the teams, the players and their quirks and use that knowledge and the stats to form your bets.
In general, it’s best to keep things simple, to begin with, starting with match-winner markets before moving on to more difficult ones. There are lots of places that provide stats and predictions out there. Use those to learn how others look for tips on rugby and use that to help form the best strategy for you.