How To Bet On Rugby League — Beginner’s Guide To Rugby League Betting

Everything You Need To Know About Betting On Rugby League

The sport of rugby began in England but has become hugely popular all over the world. While the version known as rugby union may be the better-known with its four-yearly World Cup and the annual Six Nations plus continental club contests, to many people across the world “Rugby” means something different.

Rugby league may be the less popular of the two codes, but still attracts audiences across Northern England and in France, with the summer Super League, Championship, and Elite One and Two Championship. It’s also very popular in Australia, where the National rugby league and Super Premiership NSW are the two biggest competitions. On an international level, rugby league offers the Four Nations, World Cup and European Championship.

If you are looking to learn more about rugby league betting, our comprehensive guide to rugby league will give you all the knowledge you need to make the best of your rugby betting. We’ll tell you about the game, and clear up the confusion between rugby league and Union. We’ll also let you know about the different rugby bets available and point you in the direction of the best bookmaker for rugby betting. By the end of our guide, you’ll know exactly what to expect when betting on rugby league.



Rugby: How It All Began

The modern game that we know as rugby league originates from Rugby school in England. The story goes that in 1823, 16-year-old Rugby student, William Webb Ellis, was playing a game of football when he picked up the ball and ran with it. From here, the game of rugby began. This is likely to be a simplified version of how the sport began, but Webb Ellis is still remembered as the father of the sport. The rugby union World Cup trophy is called the Webb Ellis Cup in his honour.

The Code Split

There’s a great deal of confusion over rugby because there are two forms of the game; rugby union and rugby league. rugby union is the original game, but a difference in rules of the game played in the north of England led to the two different variations of the game. Eventually, in 1895, northern teams formed the Northern rugby league. Since then rugby union and rugby league have been classed as different codes; similar, but distinct entities from one another.

How Rugby League Is Played

The basics of rugby union and rugby league are somewhat similar. However, if you want to know how to bet on rugby, you do need to have an understanding of how distinct the two codes are from one another.

Both games involve two teams, with the aim of running and kicking the rugby ball to the opposition’s goal line to score a try (ball placed in the scoring area) or conversion (ball kicked between goal posts). The ball can be moved forwards by running with or kicking it, but can only be passed backward. The opposition attempt to tackle the player with the ball to gain possession.

In rugby league, teams have 13 players, as compared to 15 in rugby union. Scoring-wise, tries are worth four points, conversions two, and a drop goal is worth one point. The same scoring methods exist in the 15-man game, for five, two, and three points respectively. After a tackle, the tackled player gets up and rolls the ball back to a team-mate. After six tackles the ball is turned over to the other side. Unlike rugby union, league does not have a “ruck” where players from both sides compete for the ball after each tackle.

Now that you have a better understanding of what each game is, it’s time to find out just how rugby betting works. Read on for our simple guide to how to bet on rugby.

Different Types Of Rugby League Bets

The majority of online bookmakers will cover both rugby union and rugby league betting. However, as both codes are smaller in terms of fans than the big hitters of football and horse racing, you’ll find that many bookmakers don’t cover rugby in great depth. You’ll often only be able to find simple win bets on offer, but there are a great deal more betting markets out there for rugby— you just have to know where to find them. Read on to get a quick overview of the main types of bet for your rugby betting.

Match Odds / The Money Line Bet

Match odds, also known as a money line bet, is the simplest type of bet available for rugby betting. The match odds bet will be the betting market you most often see at all online bookmakers. With a match odds bet you are simply placing a bet as to who will win your chosen game of rugby. The bookmaker will give you odds for each team involved to win, with the team they see as more likely to win getting lower odds compared to the other team. It’s up to you to decide whether to bet on the favourite or the underdog. Some bookies will offer a draw option as well, or void your bet if there is a draw. As you may note, rugby isn’t as popular as sports such as football, horse racing. With those sports, the odds are pretty much the same whatever bookie you visit due to competition between bookies. However, with fewer bookies focusing on rugby, you can find some great odds if you’re willing to look. Or, if you’re clever, you’ll use the Odds Comparison Tool to do the work for you!

Handicap Bets

Rugby handicap bets work pretty much the same as all handicap bets. Basically, when you’re looking at a handicap bet, it’s the bookie’s way of levelling out the playing field. They’re essentially removing the advantage of the favourite and giving the underdog team more of a chance. The favourite will need to overcome the handicap in place while the underdog effectively gets a head start. In rugby handicap bets, the favourite team is given a negative points handicap and the underdog given a positive advantage. The team with the negative handicap must win by more than the handicap figure in order for your bet on them to win. The positive handicapped team must win, draw or lose by less than the handicap figure for your bet to win.

For example, if England plays Australia in the World Cup, the handicap in rugby league betting might be +5 England as the underdog. If Australia wins 30-27, the final handicap score would add five to England’s score. That means you would have won if you bet on England.

Totals Betting

In rugby league betting, totals betting is all about the bookmaker deciding what they think the total number of points scored in the game is going to be. As a punter, you then have to decide if you think the bookmaker has set the points total too high or too low. For example, if the bookie has determined the total points in a Super League match will be 30.5, it’s up to you to make the over or under bet. The over bet would be you betting that the final points total would be 31 or more. If you take the under bet, you are betting that the final points total is 30 or less. If the bookie is correct with the point total, it’s called ‘the push’. If this happens, the bookmaker usually refunds you your stake, which is why the points total is usually set at a half value.

Futures Bets

A futures bet in rugby involves placing a bet in advance, hence the clever name! Like the match bet, it’s a very simple form of rugby bet to make. You simply look at tournaments, events, competitions, cups and leagues and attempt to predict which team will win them. The various large competitions usually fix the competitor lists well in advance and begin offering overall winner markets early. For example, if you think England are going to be the eventual winners of the rugby league World Cup competition, you can make that bet when you want. Futures bets are available well before the tournament or league begins, but can also be made during the competition or tournament. There are obvious advantages to both strategies. Early bets might often get you the very best odds, but waiting until the first couple of results gives you more betting knowledge to make a winning bet.

Prop Bets

Those four types are the main rugby bets available to you. If you’re learning how to bet on rugby, we’d advise you to go slowly, starting with the match bet or futures bets before attempting anything more complex. And when you find a bookmaker that really goes for it on their coverage of rugby league betting, you’ll find an enormous number of other betting markets available to you. Most of these are classed as proposition, or “prop”, bets.

Prop bets tend to be the sort of bets that aren’t directly related to the outcome of the game. So, for example, you could find bookmakers offering odds on the team to score the first try, first team to score, what the first scoring play will be, time of the first try scored in the game, and so many more. There are also many variations of bets using the first and second half instead of the total game; for example, you could have a totals bet on just the first half points total.


Best Bookmaker For Rugby League Betting

As you would expect, there are many online bookmakers offering rugby league bets. If you’re not sure where to begin your search for the right bookmaker for you, don’t worry: we’ve got just the solution. Give the independent bookmaker reviews a look so you can browse the best sites and see if any take your fancy.

However, there is one bookmaker who rises above the rest when it comes to rugby league betting. In our opinion, you need look no further than 888sport. This reputable bookie offers an excellent range of markets for all of the major rugby league competitions, tournaments, and leagues from around the world. Additionally, and particularly impressively, they offer an incredible depth of rugby league markets.   You can find all of the usual bets on offer, including match bets and handicap bets, but they go further than most in the number of prop bets they offer. So, whether you are looking for a simple match bet on a team to win the Super League, or want to try your luck in a prop bet market, 888sport have the options you need.

888Sport Freebet Frenzy

Popular Rugby League Betting Terms

Now that you’ve learned about the wonderful sport of rugby, we’re sure you can’t wait to be off and betting. But hang on for a moment, because we’ve even more help to give you here at! Coming up, we have a great set of top how to bet on rugby tips, but first, a quick recap on the popular betting terms you will find yourself coming across when you start your rugby betting.

  • Match odds — Pick the winning rugby team in any match.
  • Handicap bet — Favoured team given handicap to overcome before bet is payable, underdog given an advantage.
  • Totals bet — Bet against bookmakers chosen points total, over or under.
  • Futures bet — Pick final winning team of a future tournament or rugby tour.
  • Prop bet — All other bets not specifically connected with winning tournaments. For example, time of first try.
  • Parlay bet — Accumulator bet on two or more markets, combined on one betting slip.
  • Two-way market bet — Bet involving two outcomes in rugby, for example win or lose.
  • Three-way market bet — Common in rugby when the addition of the draw is involved in your betting.
  • Double bet/ double result — rugby two bet accumulator. For example, first predict the team to win the first half, second predict the full time winner.
  • Race to… bets — these sort of bets involve the first team/player to reach a certain event. For example, first team to score, first team to score five tries.

Top Tips For Betting On Rugby League is all about helping you get the very best from your betting. That’s why we’re always looking to give you the best advice and information about bookmakers. But we’re also all about helping you make your rugby bets so much better. There’s no point making the same rookie mistakes everyone else makes, so read on for our top five tips for how to bet on rugby!

Make Sure Your Odds Are The Best They Can Be!

Of all the great tips we can give you, this one’s the best. When you place your rugby bet, you want to be certain that you’re not going to find better odds at another bookie, because better odds means more cash in your pocket when your bet wins.

But finding the best odds always used to be a time-consuming and frustrating thing to have to do. Not anymore! Not with the Odds Comparison Tool. This is the perfect way to make sure you’re never worried again about getting the best odds for any rugby bet you want to make.

Know Your Team Before You Bet!

Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. It’s a very important thing. There’s no point making a bet almost at random, with no idea of what you’re doing. Instead, we’d always recommend you have a good look at the teams you’re thinking about betting on. What is the team’s form coming into this game or tournament? Has the team invested heavily in the off-season making them stronger, or have they had to offload some of their better players? What about injuries? These can prove absolutely vital in crunch matches, so it’s worth checking out social media or rugby news sites for the inside knowledge you need!

Look To The Skies! Conditions Have A Huge Role To Play

Rugby is a game of great skill, but it’s also a game where conditions can really mess things up! Again, it’s all part of knowing about the teams playing. If you’re thinking of putting a bet on a team that usually plays in hot, dry conditions, and their tournament opening games are against teams more used to winter rugby, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before laying down your bet. The weather can turn a match-up that looked an obvious win into a free-for-all; it really is a great leveller!

Learn To Study The Draw Of Any Tournament

The major tournaments publish the official draw well in advance, meaning that the bookmakers will put early odds online. It’s definitely a great idea for you to study this draw well. Take a look at the routes for teams who you think are going to have a chance of winning the tournament. You might find that one part of the draw has a heavy weighting of top teams, whereas another part of the draw only has one really excellent team. Take the time to plot a course through the draw and you’ll soon see some possible money-making bets coming out!

Know When A Match Is Important And When It’s Not!

Sometimes you’ll find a tournament matchup that involves a complete favourite playing an absolute outsider. Or perhaps it’s the group stage of a tournament and there’s a final match between a team that’s already qualified and one just playing for pride. The temptation for the favourite’s coach is to rest some of his star players for later, more difficult matches. In both occasions, the normal idea of favourite and underdog is thrown out the window. Again, it’s all about knowledge. Get the inside track on a team that might field a weakened side early so you can alter your betting strategy accordingly.


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