In this article, I'll break down the differences between Union and League rugby, as well as the things that unite them. Additionally, I list the many great bookmakers which service rugby betting fans all across the world in our table below.

  • Competitive rugby odds
  • Trending bets, enhanced accas & boosted markets
  • Comprehensive sportsbook
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Established in 1994
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Established in 1994
18+ New Customers Only. Opt in and bet £5 on sports (odds 2.00+) within 7 days. No cash-out. Get 4x£5 Free Bets for set markets, which expire in 7 days. Selected payment methods only. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
  • Huge amount of rugby betting markets
  • Widely available Cash Out
  • Great selection of live markets
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Established in 1946
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Established in 1946
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10  on any football market at minimum 1/1 odds. No cash out. Get £40 in Free Bets on selected events. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Debit card / Apple Pay payments only. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
  • Wide range of rugby betting markets
  • Competitive and consistent odds
  • Cash Out and Bet Builder features
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Established in 1923
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Established in 1923
18+ UK only. Sports: Place a minimum 2x £10 pre-match 4 leg acca cash bet where odds accumulate to 3.0 (2/1) or more and get a £10 bonus funds to use on multiples (3 or more selection, min odds per selection 1.5 (1/2)). Cashed Out, Asian Handicaps, Draw no Bet wagers or bets with void legs do not qualify for this promotion. Free Bet credited every Monday by 12pm. Maximum 1 free bet per customer per week available from this promotion. Casino: New players only. 1 welcome offer per customer. Deposit and Stake £10 on casino slots and receive 100 Free Spins on ‘Big Catch Bass Fishing’. Spin value is £0.10. No wagering on winnings. Free Spins 7 day expiry. Full T&C's apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
  • Consistently high-quality rugby odds
  • Amazing selection of rugby betting markets
  • Stats available for live bets
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Cryptocurrency
Established in 1997
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Cryptocurrency
Established in 1997
18+ New players only | Available until 23:59 GMT 31.12.2025 Each challenge has its own TCs. Eligible Bets must be placed for each respective Challenge during the Promotional Period including the following: ACCA, Football, In-Play, and Casino. Each challenge has its own set of TCs and can only be completed 1x. Available to claim: 20 Free Spins, £10 Free Bet, 50% Back up Free Bet up to £20, £10 Casino Bonus when you wager £50+. If all are completed you will receive Max £20 Free Bet to be used on any sport. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
  • Competitive rugby odds
  • Industry-low commission fee of 2%
  • Unique spread betting service
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Cryptocurrency
Established in 1999
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Cryptocurrency
Established in 1999
18+ Free bets and spins must be claimed within 28 days of opening. Free bet/spin stake not included in any winnings. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
  • Broad sportsbook with good rugby coverage
  • Great odds
  • Multiple welcome offers
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Cryptocurrency
Established in 2012
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UK Gambling Commission
Live Stream
VIP Programme
Cash Out
Bet Builder
Support 24/7
Native App
Cryptocurrency
Established in 2012
18+ New cust only. Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 Free Bets: 1 x £10 Horse Racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. 7 day expiry. Stake not returned. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad

Rugby, especially popular in the UK and Europe, is a major player in the betting world. Having said that, many rugby fans enjoy diverse sports betting markets, so our picks here do not only have a strong focus on rugby but also excel overall, especially regarding security. However, our primary emphasis remained on the League and Union markets. Take a look below!

1. Parimatch

Screenshot of Parimatch Rugby Betting Markets.
Parimatch Rugby Betting Markets (Source: Parimatch)

Considering the many areas of betting in which Parimatch excel, it should be little surprise that they are at the top of our list of best rugby betting sites as well. They are fantastic if you’re looking for the best coverage on top events, including ultra-competitive odds.

However, where they really go above and beyond is with their coverage of lesser-known markets, highlighting them with trending bets to really steer you in the direction of betting opportunities you might overwise overlook.

This is a prime pick if you to want the full buffet of betting opportunities from major rugby events from the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup to lower leagues and more obscure markets.

2. BetVictor

Screenshot of BetVictor Rugby Betting Markets.
BetVictor Rugby Betting Markets (Source: BetVictor)

They might be our ultimate choice for live betting, and when you consider the best betting sites for rugby candidates, that’s no small compliment. BetVictor’s razor-sharp updates mean that you don’t miss anything in terms of the action nor betting markets, with in-depth graphics and the best live streaming wherever possible.

They’re also as generous with their cash out returns as they are with the betting odds generally, meaning you’ve got a truly fluid experience that can be crafted to how you like to play. When you back this up with one of the most user-friendly, promotionally generous, and versatile online bookmakers out there, it’s a near ideal rugby betting experience.

3. The Pools

Screenshot of The Pools Rugby Betting Markets.
The Pools Rugby Betting Markets (Source: The Pools)

As the name suggests, The Pools might be best known for their football pools markets, but they have proven themselves to be incredibly well-rounded for all kinds of different sports. Rugby league betting and rugby union betting standing tall amongst them.

It’s now common for The Pools to stand atop industry favorites with the top odds on all kinds of markets from rugby handicap betting to the winners of major tournaments.

And the deal is sweetened further thanks to one of the most giving collections of promotions around. They are possibly the greatest overachiever in online rugby betting and one of our all-round favorites.

4. SportingBet

Screenshot of SportingBet Rugby Betting Markets.
SportingBet Rugby Betting Markets (Source: SportingBet)

Always a site which puts the fundamentals of great betting above all else, SportingBet deliver yet again for rugby betting markets.

You’ll not only discover a huge array of creative and interesting markets to bet on, but also an amazingly consistent market selection. No site can have the top odds for every market, but SportingBet are certainly going to try.

Another area where they stand out is the detail they provide for each game. With their stats and live updates, you could learn something here which could make the difference between success and failure.

5. Spreadex

Screenshot of Spreadex Rugby Betting Markets.
Spreadex Rugby Betting Markets (Source: Spreadex)

If you’re looking for the best spread betting site for rugby, then the case for Spreadex is hard to argue with. They offer an incredibly low commission fee of 2%, which can often mean the best possible returns on rugby betting markets.

That said, while their distinctive spread betting service may be able to provide unbeatable deals on many popular events, it isn’t for everyone.

What really puts Spreadex over the top as being among the best rugby betting app and sites all round is that they also provide an enticing array of fixed-odds markets as well. You can shop around for the most competitive odds here without even having to leave the site.

Other Great Sources for Rugby Betting in the UK

Our picks of the finest betting sites for rugby should satisfy even the most ardent fan. However, they are far from the only excellent bookmakers offering great rugby betting markets. Alongside our top 5, here’s 15 other great options:

Bet UK

This fantastic UK-based bookmaker is wonderful when it comes to providing local rugby betting markets that others might miss. You’ll be amazed by how well they stack up against the industry pillars in variety and returns!

kwiff

One of the best things about this operator is that they offer supercharged odds on many rugby betting markets (alongside other sports). This is backed up by intuitive site design and great customer service for an all-around top choice.

COral

One of the heavyweights of UK betting, Coral further earns their reputation by providing an amazing selection of relevant rugby markets with strong odds throughout. In fact, market variety is so broad you can even #callyourshot and request any market you want.

betfred

It should be no surprise that when it comes to rugby league betting, Betfred's sponsors are a top choice for both international and domestic leagues. And don’t worry, Rugby Union betting fans – they’ve proven themselves just as adept at both versions of the game!

bet365

There are few lists of any sort of top betting site that don’t include bet365. A wonderful customer experience with great markets on all sorts of events, being among the finest rugby betting in the UK options is par for the course for this legend.

boylesports

If you’re a newcomer who wants as straightforward an online experience as possible, BoyleSports may be your perfect pick. They manage to balance immense detail with top-notch useability.

sbk

This pick is only available on mobile, but if you enjoy betting portably, they are a wonderful choice. Their apps, whether on Android or iOS, are wonderfully interactive, especially important considering the vast rugby betting markets available. No wonder they are often considered the best betting app for rugby.

betway

A true all-rounder, Betway not only offer a massive number of sports to bet on but incredible variety for every event they cover. Both pre-match and live, the choice here is among the best in the world for rugby fans.

leovegas

While they are best known for their casino offering, we have been consistently surprised by how well LeoVegas stacks up against top tier sportsbook icons. This includes their rugby offerings. An ideal choice if you’re looking for a surprising jack-of-all-trades.

talksport bet

Not content with simply providing some of the finest sports coverage, talkSPORT BET have quickly become one of our favourite bookmakers, with promotions, markets, and a live betting experience up there with the best.

bwin

Considering they are part of the biggest gaming group in the world and are one of the oldest bookmakers on our list, it’s no surprise that bwin are a great choice for rugby betting in the UK. They still surprise, though, in going above and beyond with their market selection and quality. All backed by an unbeatable reputation.

matchbook

Although rugby might not be as high a priority at Matchbook as it is some of the others in our list, they remain a fantastic choice if you’re interested in both fixed-odds rugby markets alongside access to odds from one of the best betting exchanges in the world.

10bet

Rock solid throughout, you can expect world-class customer service, a generous selection of promotional offers for existing players and a breezy ride through top quality rugby odds from 10bet.

smarkets

By matching Spreadex at 2% commission, Smarkets already cut themselves above most other betting exchanges. Plus, they offer fantastic statistical analysis of top sporting events including rugby. Quite in-depth, but well worth the extra effort.

luckland

Another overachieving sportsbook best known for its casino offerings is LuckLand, a solid choice for those interested in betting on the big rugby events across all forms of the sport. Especially great for international tournaments.

While there are many differences between League and Union, as we have discussed, one thing they do have in common is that the most popular betting markets remain the same for the most part, whichever version of rugby you’re a fan of. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, considering that although there are many differences, the way in which points are awarded, for instance, are the same.

We've broken down below some of the most popular rugby betting markets you can choose from.

Handicap Betting

There are a lot of mismatches in rugby, especially at the local level, and this means that in order to not have to bet on very low or very high odds, you’ll want to utilise a rugby betting handicap to bridge that gap.

A handicap is where a favourite has to win by a certain number of points, or an underdog only has to avoid losing by a certain number of points for your bet to be successful.

This is, of course, ideal if you want to back your favourites in spite of a mismatch.

Winning Margin

Similar to a rugby betting handicap betting is the winning margin bet, which has the same benefits when it comes to mismatched teams. You can choose a points spread, which a team has to win by for your bet to be successful.

Naturally, betting for a team to win by 10-15 points, for instance, will mean that your odds are significant longer than a normal To Win bet.

Rugby betting often has significant wins even with close teams, so this can be a really interesting one to back.

Flash Markets

These are markets which will come up on certain bookmakers during in-play betting, allowing you to put money based on the events that are happening right then and there. A perfect example would be whether or not a penalty kick is successful.

Rugby betting can certainly appear complex to newcomers, with the sport often split between the Union and League variations of the game. However, one thing that fans of both versions of the sport have in common is the desire to get the best possible value from their bookmaker.

There are many different rules and intricacies to understand, no matter which league or version you prefer. However, we prefer to think of this as depth, rather than difficulty. It’s all these different elements which make rugby such an engaging sport, not only to bet on but to be a fan of as well.

Generally speaking, yes. Rugby Union betting is more popular, so it does have more betting coverage, but there are plenty of bookmakers available for fans of all kinds.

No, but they do have a shared origin and many shared elements.

There are many points and rule differences, but the one which we view as being most significant is that in Rugby League, you must restart play and give the team possession of the ball after six tackles.

Despite the differences between the two sports, the betting markets between Union and League remain largely the same.

Largely, we’d say yes. However, there are some examples where we would view one piece of advice as especially relevant to one compared to the other. You can find details of those kinds of strategies earlier in this article.

All handicap markets aim to level teams perceived as having unequal strengths. This is done using a point handicap, with the favoured team having a negative handicap and the underdog a positive handicap.

The favourite must win above the handicap and the underdog must not lose by below the handicap.

A high-scoring game like rugby is especially good for handicap betting.

WRITTEN BY Ben Gibson View all posts by Ben Gibson

Ben has been writing professionally for over a decade. His articles are a great outlet for his inexhaustible supply of sporting facts and enthusiasm. He resides in Yorkshire, where his work is powered by the ever-present sound of a kettle.

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