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The Best Rugby Union Betting Sites for 2021

Whether you want to bet on the Rugby World Cup, Six Nations or domestic competitions, the rugby union betting sites listed on this page will tick all your boxes.

At SBO.net we give you an advantage over other bettors by directing you to online bookmakers that offer competitive rugby betting odds, generous welcome bonuses, and much more.

Keep reading our rugby union betting guide to learn:

  • How rugby union and rugby league differ
  • How to bet on rugby union online
  • How to win more with our rugby betting tips

Join one of our recommended rugby betting sites to bet on your favourite team:

the USABest Online Bookmakers for Rugby Betting in the USA - August 2021
1
100% up to $1000
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Accepts Large Bets Accepts Large Bets Signup Bonus Signup Bonus In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos
2
100% up to $500
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Bitcoin Bitcoin Signup Bonus Signup Bonus Regular Promos Regular Promos
3
50% Up to $1000
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In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos Signup Bonus Signup Bonus
4
50% Up to $250
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Accepts Large Bets Accepts Large Bets In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos Partial Cash Out Partial Cash Out
5
125% up to $3,125
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Welcome Bonus Welcome Bonus Mobile Website Mobile Website Live Chat Live Chat In-Play Betting In-Play Betting
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+2 more

The Differences Between Rugby Union and Rugby League

Rugby is divided into two main codes: rugby union and rugby league. It was a debate over broken-time payments that led to the 1895 split between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Northern Rugby Football Union, now known as the Rugby Football League, and left us with two forms of rugby.

Although there are many similarities between the two codes (such as both using an oval-shaped ball, matches lasting for 80 minutes, and both forms using H-shaped goalposts), the bitter split resulted in the rules of rugby league being tweaked, resulting in two different forms of the game.

Before you bet on rugby online, let’s discuss the key differences between rugby union and rugby league:

  • Rugby is all action for 80 minutes. No ad breaks after every play, which is the reason a typical American football game lasts four hours.
  • Rugby is played by two teams of 15 players. American football teams rotate between three groups of players: attack, defence, and special team players.
  • Rugby union players absorb bone-crushing hits with almost no protective gear. American football players wear helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, and other equipment.

Rugby Union

Rugby union is played in teams of 15. Unlike rugby league, there is no maximum number of tackles before the ball exchanges hands. When the ball goes out of play, a line-out takes place, and scrums and mauls happen regularly. A try is worth five points in rugby union, with conversions worth two points. Penalty kicks and drop goals are both worth three points.

Rugby League

Rugby league is played by teams of 13. The oval ball used is small and heaver than the union ball, meaning it can’t be kicked as far and the bounce is less predictable. After six tackles, the team in possession must hand the ball over to the other team. When the ball goes out of play, a tap and go takes place. A try is worth four points and conversions are worth two. Penalty kicks are worth two points, while drop goals are worth a single point.

Why Rugby is Better Than American Football

Many visitors also ask us whether rugby is a better game than American football. The favourite contact sports of England and the United States have always been held up for comparison, but we admit we prefer watching and betting on rugby union because:

  • Rugby is all action for 80 minutes. No ad breaks after every play, which is the reason a typical American football game lasts four hours.
  • Rugby is played by two teams of 15 players. American football teams rotate between three groups of players: attack, defence, and special team players.
  • Rugby union players absorb bone-crushing hits with almost no protective gear. American football players wear helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, and other equipment.

Now that you know why we prefer watching and betting on rugby union over American football, let’s compare two teams from each sport. We have created the following infographic to compare 2018 Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the England national rugby team.

Click the image to compare their trophy cabinets, player characteristics, team records, and much more:

Rugby or American football? Click here to find out which sport is the best!

american football vs rugby

The Most Popular Rugby Union Betting Markets

One of the fundamental lessons of learning how to bet on rugby is understanding different bet types.

Knowing how each bet works and identifying which bet to place on a specific match is key to profiting from the hard-hitting sport. Should you bet on the match result, or would it be wiser to bet on the number of points scored? Let’s take a closer look at six of the most popular rugby betting markets:

Match Result

Match result is by far the most popular rugby bet. There are three possibilities when you bet on a match result: a win for either side or a draw. If you bet on one team to win, they must end the match with more points than the other team for your bet to win. Drawn matches are quite rare, so the best rugby union betting sites typically offer odds of 20.00 or more on the unthinkable happening.

Match Handicap

Handicap bets are also extremely popular at rugby betting sites. One team may be much stronger than their opponents, and the betting odds may be so small that they aren’t worth backing. Would you bet on New Zealand beating Georgia at odds of 1.05? No? How about betting on the All Blacks to win with a -21.5 handicap at odds of 1.90? This value bet would require the All Blacks to win by at least 22 points.

Total Points

Expecting an action-packed match with lots of tries? Perhaps you expect a match filled with handling errors and few scoring opportunities? You can back your hunch by betting on the total points market. Online bookmakers use sophisticated algorithms to predict the score and set an over/underline accordingly. For example, betting over 39.5 means there must be 40 points or more in the match to win.

First Scoring Method

First scoring method is another popular rugby betting market. In rugby union, points can only be scored in three ways: a try, a penalty, or a drop goal. However, drop goals are rare as it is without them being the first scoring play. This means your best chance of profiting from the first score of the game is to choose between a try and penalty. Each team’s style and tactics should influence your decision.

Try Scorer Markets

With 30 players on the field at any one time, betting on which player will score a try can be extremely lucrative. Rugby betting sites offer a variety of try scorer markets. You could bet on the first try scorer, the next try scorer, a player to score a double, or even a hat trick. Rugby betting odds generally offer short odds on backs as they are smaller and faster. Second rows score fewer tries, hence greater odds.

Double Result

Double result is another interesting betting market you will find at rugby betting sites. You must correctly predict the half-time and full-time result of the match. For example, you might bet on England to lead South Africa at half-time, but the Springboks to finish strong and win the match. As there are so many possibilities, you can take advantage of favourable betting odds – especially if you include a draw.

Rugby betting sites

Win More With Our Rugby Betting Tips

Now that you know how to bet on rugby union, it’s time to help you profit from betting on the sport.

Check the Weather Forecast

As rugby matches are played come rain or shine, it’s important to check the weather forecast before kick-off time. It is much easier for players to pass and catch the ball when it’s warm and dry. If it’s raining, you can expect plenty of handling errors and scrums. Rain leads to lots of scrums and low-scoring matches. Some rugby betting sites provide valuable information on playing conditions.

Analyse Each Team’s Style and Tactics

Although it’s always exciting watching the All Blacks attack and finish in clinical fashion, not every team can produce such performances. Many teams rely on lots of possession, slowly advancing up the pitch before reaching the try line. Some teams take a defensive approach, relying on kicks to gain territory and set pieces to score points. Identifying styles and tactics is key to profiting from rugby betting.

Search for the Best Rugby Betting Odds

Why bet on a team at odds of 1.60 when you can lock in 1.75 elsewhere? It may not seem like a sizeable difference for a single bet, but there is no need to leave money on the table. You can create an account with several sites listed on this page and compare the rugby betting odds available for each match you wish to bet on. This means you can always lock in the best odds and receive the best return possible.

Take Advantage of Major Events

The best rugby betting sites invest large amounts of money in advertising campaigns ahead of major events like the Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations. They promise new customers impressive sign up bonuses and free bets in return for their business. You can take advantage of this generosity by creating an account with online bookmakers you haven’t tried before and claiming these limited time offers.

Bet on Major Rugby Union Competitions

The global appeal of rugby union ensures there is no shortage of betting opportunities. Whether you’re a casual punter who only bets on international events or an avid rugby fan who bets on the sport every week, our guide to rugby union competitions summarizes the best events to bet on.

International Competitions

 

Rugby World CupThe quadrennial Rugby World Cup is the biggest event on the rugby union calendar. The first edition of the tournament took place in 1987, with New Zealand defeating France 29-9 in the final to win the prestigious Web Ellis Trophy. The All Blacks are always firm favourites when Rugby World Cup betting odds are released by online bookmakers.

 

Rugby Six Nations

 

Six Nations – The Six Nations Championship is an annual tournament contested by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy. Each team plays the other five once per tournament, with home advantage alternating each year. Winning every match makes up a Grand Slam, while winning three matches is known as Triple Crown.

 

The Rugby Championship

 

The Rugby Championship – Known as the Tri Nations until Argentina joined the fun in 2021, the Rugby Championship features New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the Pumas. It is known as the Six Nations of the Southern Hemisphere, and the championship is also used to determine the winner of the Bledisloe Cup, Freedom Cup, Mandela Challenge Plate and the Puma Trophy.

 

Rugby British & Irish Lions Tours

 

British & Irish Lions Tours – The best rugby union betting sites also offer odds on every British & Lions tour. The best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are selected to compete for the British & Irish Lions every four years to tour Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in order. Besides tests, you can bet on several warm-up matches during each tour.

 

 

 

Domestic Competitions

Premiership Rugby

 

Premiership Rugby – This is the top division of the English rugby union system. The 12-team league features teams like the Exeter Chiefs, Saracens, and Leicester Tigers. The top teams qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the team that finishes bottom of the league is relegated to the RFU Championship.

 

 

Super Rugby Although teams from South Africa, Argentina and Japan have competed in Super Rugby, the 10-team league currently comprises teams from Australia and New Zealand. These teams include the Crusaders, the Chiefs, the Brumbies, and the Waratahs. Reports suggest Moana Pasifka and a Fijian team could join the highly competitive league in the 2022 season.

 

Rugby PRO14

 

PRO14 – Teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales compete in the 12-team PRO14. As one of the three major professional rugby union leagues in Europe (along with the Premiership and Top 14), the most successful teams qualify for European competitions. Rugby betting sites usually make Leinster firm favourites to win the league ahead of the Scarlets and Ulster.

 

Rugby Top 14

 

Top 14 – Formed way back in 1892, the Top 14 is the premier rugby union league in France. There is promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the second tier Rugby Pro D2. As the name of the league suggests, 14 teams compete for the title each year. These teams include Toulouse, La Rochelle, Racing 92, ASM Clermont Auvergne, and Toulon.

 

A Brief History of Rugby

Rugby started in the 19th century and was a game of football primarily played in public schools. The game started out as a game in which players could pass the ball to teammates but could not run with the ball. There were sometimes no fixed limits to the number of players that were on the field at the same time.

In 1870, the Rugby Boys School devised the first set of rules that allowed players to run with the ball. Today, rugby is played all over the world and is extremely popular among countries of the Commonwealth. Rugby Sevens was included in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 – the first time rugby was included as an Olympic sport since 1924.

Most online bookies today offer rugby betting and provide odds on most professional rugby matches and events that take place around the globe. The popularity of the game has risen to the extent that it has become one of the major sports of the world and betting on rugby is a big business for bookmakers and punters alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

At SBO.net, we have reviewed hundreds of online bookmakers to bring you a list of the best rugby betting sites. Each of these sites offers an array of pre-match and in-play betting markets, competitive rugby betting odds, and generous bonuses for all new and existing customers.

The best betting apps for rugby allow you to bet on matches with the click of a button. These apps are available on all Android and iOS devices, each boasting user-friendly layouts that make it easy for you to navigate to the rugby section and bet on the latest matches.

Sign up at one of our recommended rugby betting sites and navigate to the banking section. Select one of the payment methods and add funds to your account. Next, you must find the rugby union section. Select an event to bet on, add a selection to your betting slip, and enter how much you want to bet.

It depends on the quality of the teams involved. If they are evenly matched and their odds are similar, you can make a nice profit by correctly predicting the winner of the match. If one team is a firm favourite, it makes sense to take advantage of the handicap or total points betting markets.

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