In this article, we break down the differences between Union and League rugby, as well as the things that unite them. Additionally, we list the many great bookmakers which service rugby betting fans all across the world in our table below.
Best Bookmakers We Recommend for Rugby Betting
18+ New customers only. Opt in, and bet £10 on football markets (odds 2.00+). No cash out. Get 6x£5 football free bets at specified odds for set markets, which expire after 7 days. Offer valid from 12:00 UK Time on 25/08/2023. Card payments only. Full T&Cs Apply | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly. . Click for full T&Cs. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C's apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
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. Gamble Responsibly. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
New customers & 18+ only. Min. deposit of £10. Qualifying real money bet of £10. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Offer awarded immediately but could be issued the next working day in exceptional circumstances such as technical fault. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New UK+ ROI Customers only. Deposit & Bet min £5 as first bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x £20 Free Bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. Offer available between 16:00 BST on 11th July 2023 and 16:00 BST on 26th October 2023. Min £10/€10 first deposit in a single amount to be eligible for the offer. Max £30 in Free Bets. £10 bet at min odds of 1.5 required to receive £10 Free Bet. A further £10 Free Bet will be credited to your promotional balance 7 days after the first qualifying bet and then a further £10 Free Bet will be credited 14 days after the first qualifying bet. Free bets expire in 14 days after credited. Payment Terms and Conditions apply. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other sign-up promotion. Full T&Cs apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org #ad
Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements, bonus Spins only available on selected games and expires 7 days after being awarded. Debit card deposits only (exclusions apply). 18+. Full T&Cs apply. . Bet The Responsible Way. Full terms apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
Key terms – New players only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via “My Offers” page within 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits excl. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play. Max. extra winnings £100. 18+ | BeGambleAware.org | LeoSafePlay.com | Play responsibly! Full T&Cs apply BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ Opt in & bet £20 on any sport at 2.00+ odds within 7 days. No Cash out. Get 2x £10 Free Bets on any sports market. Free bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly. #ad
18+ | New UK players only | Min deposit req. £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Place 1 sport bet (3+ selections) | Excl Horse Racing | Min stake £10 | Max stake £20 | Min Odds 2/1 (3.0) | Max FreeBet £20 for football only | FreeBet valid for 7 days | FreeBet stake not returned | Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
Significant T’s & C’s The User must enter Bonus Code ‘COMMFREE90’ during registration Only available to users whio deposit via credit or debit cards New Customers Only. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Code: PLAY10; 1x per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; valid 60 days; Min odds 4/5 singles, 2/5 per acca leg; Some bet types excluded; See full terms 18+ #ad
Use code COMMFREE to trade with 0% commission for 60 days. Min. £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Instant Banking. Full T&C’s apply.18+. BeGambleAware.org. Full T&Cs apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.org #ad .
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. MAX ONE £25 FREE BET. MIN QUALIFYING STAKE £15. QUALIFYING BETS MUST BE PLACED AT ODDS OF 1/1 (2.00) OR GREATER. PAID AS BONUS TOKEN WITH MIN 4/5 (1.80) ODDS REQ. SKRILL, NETELLER & PAYPAL ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
What are the Most Popular Rugby Betting Markets?
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.
The simplest way to bet is by backing whichever team you think will win. The option of a tie is also generally available; however, considering that these tend to be high scoring games, the odds for this are usually fairly low in both League and Union.
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.
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.
Half Time/Full Time
The physical nature of rugby means that, more than many other sports, you can see huge shifts in momentum in the first and second half. This allows you to bet on either in a vacuum.
Team/Player to Score the First Try
This is a very simple bet: you can pretty much understand it from the title alone. Pick who you think will score the first try. Pick teams for shorter odds and player for longer ones, at least in the vast majority of instances.
First Scoring Play
This expands the previous market by also including any kind of goal or penalty.
Time of First Try
A great example of the extent of the market variety, this allows you to pick when you think the first try will happen. These are usually within 10-minute segments, so it’s quite similar in methodology to winning margin. It is also the first market of many which are about how the game is played, as opposed to which teams come out on top.
Another perfect option if you don’t want to back either team, Total Points allows you to simply bet on how many points you think will take place over the course of the match.
Half with Most Points
As we said, the differences between the first and second half can be vast, and this allows you to pit one against another. This really tests your ability to understand the strategy of individual teams on a deeper basis.
There are all kinds of different tournaments bets, but of course, picking an overall winner is the most obvious and most popular choice. This can give you a reason to be excited about every game in a tournament, and, if you want to utilise multiple tournament bets, can provide threads of interest throughout.
A natural addition to our previous point is the inclusion of accumulators. Some people avoid accumulators because of their complexity, but they can be a really interesting way to maintain interest across long tournaments or form a cohesive betting strategy.
These are markets which will come up on certain bookmakers during in-play betting, and they are bets you can put money on based on the events that are happening right then and there. A perfect example would be whether or not a penalty kick is successful.
Best Rugby Betting Sites Reviewed
Rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially throughout the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. When you consider this, as well as the incredible competition you can find in betting sites in general, it should be no surprise that the picks for the best rugby betting sites also read like a who’s who of the greatest betting operators in the industry.
What’s great about this is that rugby betting fans have plenty of other markets to check out and enjoy, because we know many of you – most of you in fact – are multi-faceted in your sports passions. For that reason, every and all picks here must be great not just for rugby markets, but also be quality operators in general to make this list.
That means if an operator provided great rugby betting odds but was very poor on other key areas, especially the likes of security, they would not be eligible for a spot here. Those high standards still apply. That said, our key focus is on those League and Union markets.
With both a betting exchange and a traditional sportsbook for rugby fans to enjoy across both Union and League markets, Betfair naturally has an advantage over much of the competition, as they do in most sports.
Not only that, but it’s also the world’s biggest betting exchange and, as we have discussed on many occasions here at ThePuntersPage, an absolutely incredible traditional sportsbook more than capable of standing up to the best in the industry. When you combine this with the fact that they have one of the broadest varieties of markets and consistently rank amongst those with the best rugby betting odds available, you have our number one pick.
This should not really be a surprise. If whatever you're looking for has to do with betting online, then chances are that bet365 rank somewhere among the absolute best. In fact, we weren’t sure whether to go with this or Betfair, but eventually sided with the latter based on the exchange.
However, with brilliant markets all across the world, and the world-class odds that bet365 are known for, they did come first in our extensive betting odds comparison, so it was a tough pick. Not only that, but the excellent bet365 sign-up offer can be utilised on rugby betting markets, apart from being an all-around brilliant welcome for new customers.
Nowhere in the world is rugby betting more popular than in the United Kingdom. It’s fitting, then, that the British high-street juggernaut, Coral, makes our list of the best of the best for rugby betting operators.
Not only are League and Union markets covered extensively with in-play matches, competitions, and future matches, but there’s also a whole bunch of smart boosts regularly available. Rugby League alone had close to a dozen boosts at the time of writing this article, meaning more value for money. There’s also #yourcall specials and a huge amount of market variety for each and every game.
4. Paddy Power
It was incredibly tough to pick between Coral and Paddy Power. Indeed, pretty much everything we have said for the former could be said for the latter. In the end, Coral's smart boosts helped us finalise our decision, but have no doubt that Paddy Power has an absolutely phenomenal amount to offer when it comes to rugby betting markets, which should come as little surprise considering how excellent their betting product is across the board.
One thing that Paddy Power really excels at – although there were no rugby betting specific examples at the time of writing – is event specific promotions. When there’s a big rugby tournament on, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for something special.
Considering they are the sponsors of the Super League and one of the best British bookmakers in general, the fact that the mighty Betfred only ranks 5th here is an indication of just how stacked the competition is.
Some people worry that their bookmaker may only cover Rugby Union, as it is the most popular form of rugby, but there’s no worry about that here. Indeed, it would be embarrassing were that the case, considering their position as sponsors. Not only are the markets there but they are backed up by daily price boosts, promotions and the PickYourPunt feature, which means if you don’t see a market you want, you can request it.
This bookmaker is probably the biggest surprise in our list, just missing out on a top five slot. Now, that’s not because Betiton are lacking in quality of reputation, but just look at the competition that surrounds them. For a bookmaker that was founded in 2020 to be standing up to long term industry favourites like this in any capacity, it's certainly impressive, to say the least.
But when you look at their product, there’s no doubting how far they’ve come in such a short space of time, and their rugby markets are a great example of why. You can choose between Australia, International and European markets for both Union and League, meaning they have a hugely global scope of markets considering how relatively new they are. In addition, all of their sport promotions available at the time of writing, including the Welcome Bonus, Acca Bonus and Cash Out features, are all available on rugby markets.
To give you an idea of the kind of quality you can expect from Ladbrokes, consider that there were two games playing live when we went to check out their markets: one for League and one for Union, with significant price boosts on each. Now that is value for your betting buck.
And, of course, this is Ladbrokes, which means this kind of quality is quite literally an everyday occurrence, as you can get a rugby betting odds boost of your choice every single day. Naturally, you can also get a ton of great rugby betting opportunities here on a daily basis as well.
A consistent favourite here at ThePuntersPage is the wonderful 888sport. You may not view this bookmaker as a natural leader when it comes to rugby betting, considering that they are, to their credit, more of an international site than many of the others on this list. However, you might be underestimating how consistently excellent 888sport is across so many markets.
In fact, this has the additional benefit of not just providing quality rugby betting odds on British markets, but also the likes of the Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa, the State of Origin Series and the NRL, to give a few examples. World-class stuff from all around the world.
9. William Hill
We surprised ourselves by only having the mighty William Hill at number nine. All we can say is that this is down to the incredible strengths of the competition, rather than any weaknesses on their part.
That’s because if you know William Hill, you’ll know that they don’t really make mistakes when it come to their betting offers. This means quality rugby betting markets alongside acca promotions and double #yourodds each and every week. You can even get 10% of your in-play losses back as a free bet. One thing that William Hill does very well is provide promotions that can be utilised on many sports, which is great as bonuses often get overlooked the world of rugby betting.
We promise our choice of ranking for 10bet here is just a coincidence, although we would say they are a perfect 10 (pun intended) when it comes to betting market variety and odds quality. They have daily match list, in-play, top leagues and all leagues for you to choose from on both Rugby League and Rugby Union, so you know that they are committed to covering everything they possibly can about the game we love.
They even have a lovingly written passage about the different markets you can expect, from Race to 10 Points and Winning Margin to their coverage of France’s top 14 and the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand. They seem to have a real passion for rugby betting that really shines through.
One of the things we did in order to decide what we consider to be the best rugby betting sites is compare rugby betting odds across random markets and see who came out on top. NetBet consistently impressed us in this regard, always ranking very well against serious competition and often taking the top spot.
Stats provide users with the ability to immediately gain a better understanding of the markets, and things like their Add2Bet and BetMaker functions make NetBet not only one of the best rugby betting options around, but also one of the more versatile.
Very much the polar opposite of BetBull is BoyleSports. This is a bookmaker that keeps things simple and is very traditional in many ways. They don’t have a mascot, or any niches or gimmicks to help them stand out. Their focus is on providing simple, quality betting markets with competitive odds across as many sports as they possibly can.
That is exactly what rugby betting fans are going to get here, with tournaments across the world being represented by this industry favourite. Plus, their attention to detail – for instance, telling you what channels are hosting all these sporting events – has not gone unnoticed by us.
14. Mr Green
You may be wondering why the ever-fabulous Mr Green ranks so low on our list. Well, a big part of the reason is simply that the others on this list are simply excellent, but there’s also the fact that Mr Green only covers Rugby Union.
Nonetheless, we felt they deserve this spot because they do an excellent job with Union, and many rugby betting fans will only follow that version of the sport. On top of that, their excellence as a casino means that there are plenty of people for whom Mr Green will provide the perfect level of betting content for.
Rugby Betting Sites FAQs
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.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
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.