The Best Rugby Betting Sites in the UK Market for 2020

Since becoming a full-time, professional sport back in 1995, rugby union has undergone significant growth, both in spectatorship and participation, and established itself as a widely popular betting market among punters in the UK. As well as on the Aviva Premiership – the highest level of competitive rugby in England – you’ll find that the best rugby betting sites also offer a wide range of bets on overseas competitions that include the annual RBS Six Nations, the Rugby Championship, the French Top 14 and the Super Rugby tournament from the Southern Hemisphere.

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When on the hunt for the best rugby betting sites it’s worth bearing in mind that different operators each have their own plus points. Some offer match bets on a number of different leagues from around the world while others only support outright betting; some offer special rugby bonuses and promotions that coincide with popular competitions, while others come with great in-play platforms and a whole host of in-play bets. For a complete breakdown of rugby betting in the UK, including where to find the best odds, bonuses and live streams, keep scrolling down to the sections below.

The Best Rugby Betting Odds

Just the same as with any other sports market, with rugby betting it’s important to consider the different odds price offerings at the bookies before you go ahead and start placing wagers. The table below shows the average odds prices at our top 5 best rugby betting sites.

Which Site Has the Best Rugby Betting Odds?
Betting Site Average Odds Levels
93.79%
91,89%
91.28%
90.03%

Each of the chosen bookmakers listed above can boast to having good pay out prices, however with odds levels of 93.79%, Betway’s rugby betting odds offer the most outstanding value for money. However, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill all offer competitive prices ranging from 91.28 – 90.03%. If you’d like to get a more general breakdown of the odds price offerings at our featured bookmakers head over to the main sports betting page.

Competitions

As mentioned earlier, the top rugby betting sites out there all allow you to bet on a number of major competitions from around the globe. The overall market selection is not as extensive as, perhaps, football, however you will still find bets for the most popular competitions from the northern and Southern hemispheres, as well as some age group competitions and international women’s fixtures.

One thing to consider when betting on rugby is that not all operators offer match bets for every competition. Many of the top betting sites allow you to place outright bets on which team you think will be the overall winner of a tournament, or season-long competition rather than on the individual matches. In most cases, you will find match betting for the more popular competitions, such as the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship, or for one off competitions such as the Lions Tour or the Rugby World Cup. However, for the French Top 14, the Guinness Pro 12, and sometimes even the Aviva Premiership, you will only find outright bets. If match betting is your thing, be sure to have a good look around and check to make sure that you can place individual match bets at a given bookmaker before you hit that sign-up button – Paddy Power normally offer a good range of match bets on the European Challenge Cup, the European Champions Cup and on the Super 18 League.

Rugby Union Betting Types

Due to the high-action, dynamic nature of the sport, bookmakers are able to offer a sizeable number of rugby bet types that can add an extra element of excitement to a game. From 90-minute match bets, outright bets, specials bets and in-play bets, there’s a whole host of ways in which you can get creative and think of ways to get the better of the bookie.

Head to Head

rugby playersProbably the most straight forward bet type. Head to head is when you bet on who you think will win the match – extra time is included here. Most betting sites apply dead heat rules if the match ends in a draw. Your bet is only successful if your selection goes on to win the fixture.

Double Result

double result betThis is when the outcome of a match is split into two halves. There are nine possible outcomes: Win/Win, Win/Draw, Win/Loss, Draw/Win, Draw/Draw, Draw/Loss, Loss/Win, Loss/Draw, Loss/Loss. For the bet to be successful both halves must be guessed correctly.

Winning Margin

electric scoreboardOne of the most difficult rugby get types to get right is the winning margin. To win you’ll need to correctly guess how many points will separate the two competing teams at the final whistle – margins normally start from 1-5 points and go up to 46-50, but can vary depending on the teams.

Line Betting

line bettingLine betting is often used by bookmakers to level the playing field when one side is expected to win by a sizeable margin. The bookmaker handicaps the stronger side by a certain number of points and you then wager on whether you think they will win by more than – or the weaker side will finish the game within – the specified margin.

In the section above we’ve highlighted some of the most common 90-minute bet types so that you can get a taste of the kind of wagers that are offered at the bookies. Other attractive bets include: first point scorer, highest point scorer, total drop goals, and points margin markets, as well as specials bet types where you can decide on whether you think certain players will receive a ban or where you think future competitions will be held.

Live Rugby Betting

Rugby is the kind of sport where you can really take advantage of the in-play betting arena. The non-stop action and relentless pace of the professional game means that there’s bound to be a scrum, a line out, or an infringement of some kind at regular intervals during the game. To add to this, the new World Rugby initiative, which insists that referees must clamp down on dangerous tackles and tackles made in the air means that there are now several more opportunities to cash in on yellow and red card markets.

How Does In-play Rugby Look at the Betting Sites?
  • in-play betting at bet365The bet365 in-play platform looks great
  • in-play betting at William HillThe William Hill in-play area is user-friendly and allows quick and easy access to the cash out option
  • in-play betting at Paddy PowerThe Paddy Power in-play platform looks great and performs well
  • in-play betting at LadbrokesThe in-play platform as Ladbrokes comes with a whole host of stats
  • in-play betting at BetwayThe Betway live betting interface features a great live infographic and plenty of stats

By navigating through the slideshow above you can get a good idea of how the in-play arenas look at the top rugby betting sites. Each of the featured operators can boast to having aesthetic, user-friendly in-play platforms that allow you to place your bets with ease. Furthermore, each of the featured betting sites offer a wide range of exciting in-play bet types and sometimes even live streams. If you are new to the world of in-play betting and would like to gain a deeper insight into how it works be sure to head over to our live sports betting page.

Special Rugby Bonuses

Unfortunately, you won’t find as many regular bonuses and or promotions for rugby as you would for say, football or horse racing. However, at certain times of the year, most noticeably around the time of the annual Six Nations tournament in February and March or in the month of June and July where there are special summer tours, you can find a handful of worthwhile offers.

rugby players
  • top live betting
  • competitive odds
  • numerous betting markets
EssaIBASLicensed by: Government of Gibraltar

Overall, we think it’s pretty safe to say that Paddy Power offer the best selection of bonuses for rugby. As well as a good value-for-money welcome bonus worth £30, they are also the most reliable bookmaker when it comes to rugby-specific deals. Be sure to stay on the lookout during the peak season time as you can often find great bet refund deals and price boosts that coincide with the most major competitions.

Rugby Union Betting Strategies

Unlike horse racing or football, there aren’t really any recognised rugby betting strategies that are generally perceived as being able to increase profits over time. The most important strategic approach we can advise when betting on rugby is to make sure that you have a firm grasp of the rules and the structure of the game itself. If you understand the game it is, in essence, very simple. It is, however, unlike say football as there are far more complex rules and varying set-piece components that directly influence the outcome of the game.

Before you think about wagering on a game make certain that you are confident with all the rules and regulations and that you stay up-do-date with IRB (International Rugby Board) rulings – the IRB have been known to introduce new sanctions and rulings at varying points of the season; these rulings, such as the recent introduction of harsher sanctions for high tackles, can lead to a higher penalty counts and affect the outcome of a game.

Another important factor to keep in mind is varying playing styles. Say, for instance, a team has an expert kicker, you may want to consider that there may be one or two more drop goal attempts than usual. Or say a team has a particularly dominant forward pack with a strong scrum, the possibility of a penalty try, or even a yellow card may be higher. Different playing styles will inevitably mean that a game is played out in a certain way, making some of the different bet types more or less likely.

It goes without saying, but just like any sport, studying the current form of a team and knowing a little bit about their history is hugely important. Get to know the teams, take the time to find out whether certain players are injured, suspended, or not available due to international duty and think about how this may influence the outcome of a fixture.

Rugby Trivia

At present, rugby is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet – particularly in the UK. The 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia was a momentous occasion for English rugby as it was not only the first time that England, or any northern hemisphere nation had won the tournament, but it also generated new interest in the sport and boosted participation levels. Similarly, the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England saw the RFU (Rugby Football Union) reap huge financial profits and install plans to further expand the domestic game.

2015 Rugby World Cup Pay-out

Japan vs South Africa 2015 Rugby World CupRemember that epic group fixture between South Africa and Japan on the opening weekend of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at the Falmer Stadium in Brighton? Japan entered the game as overwhelming underdogs and were expected to come off clear second best against the Tri Nations side. One lucky punter from Coventry wagered £100 on the unlikely result of a Japan win at the odds price of 33/1. The Cherry Blossoms, as they are known, went on to Triumph in truly dramatic style with a late try in the 83rd minute of injury time, leaving the bettor with a healthy return of £3,300. The match has since gone down as a world cup classic and is widely regarded as one of the most unexpected upsets in the history of professional sport.

RFU – the Wealthiest Union 

England Rugby UnionThe RFU is the union with the biggest overall bankroll in world rugby. Despite England’s untimely exit from their own tournament, the 2015 Rugby World Cup saw the RFU reap over £400million in revenue after the event, an increase of 37% from the previous financial year. After an inital investment of around £100million, the RFU has plans to reinvest the profits back into the sport to try and improve access to the game across the country and boost participation at the grass-roots level. They’ve also signed a new deal worth £200million with Premiership Rugby, which has been put in place with the end goal of making England rugby the best in the world both on the international and domestic stage.

Racing Metro Doping Scandal

keep rugby cleanAfter reports surfaced of two All Blacks legends, Joe Rokocoko and Dan Carter, having tested positive for banned corticosteroids after the French Top 14 final it was feared that the accusations may have led to the two great’s careers being forever tarnished. Later investigations proved that Racing 92 had completed all the nnecessary medical protocols by obtaining therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for the two players from World Rugby. It was therefore ruled that the club had administered the substance to the players in full accordance with anti-doping laws; racing and the former all-blacks were cleared of all charges. At the closing of the case, a representative of Racing Metro declared: “We’re on the side of law, ethics and love of a clean sport.”

Our Best Recommended Rugby Betting Site

With each passing year bringing more interest and increased participation to the sport, there couldn’t be a better time to start thinking about betting on rugby. We’re confident that this page has provided you with all the right insights you need to start making informed decisions and given you a good idea of where to find the best rugby betting sites.

Overall, Paddy Power managed to perform the best in our testing areas and emerges as our #1 recommended betting site for rugby. The great bonus range, market coverage and bet type selection means that it’s a great choice for beginners and experts alike. Head over to the full Paddy Power review for a more complete round-up of the betting site.

FAQ

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There are so many rules to learn in rugby! Where is the best place to search for a complete run down of all the regulations?

If you're new to the game of rugby it's completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed by all the different rules. A great place to start your research is on the official World Rugby site. Here you can learn all the laws, rugby definitions, principles, referee signals and new directives; watch how these laws are applied via helpful video examples, and download the most up-to-date World Rugby law book.