Guide to Rugby Betting

Introduction to Rugby

Rugby is a game with several variants, of which League and Union are the main two. The game is played on a rectangular pitch measuring around 100 x 70 meters (109 x 77 yards). The general object of the game is to retain the ball while gaining ground to the opposition line, called a try-line.

Having approached the try-line, a player may dropkick the ball between the posts, above the crossbar, for a drop goal. Ideally, though, a player attempts to reach the actual line and press the ball down to gain a ‘try’, which is analogous to a ‘touchdown’ in American Football. During play, there are a number of offences that may also result in a penalty, which a team might kick for territorial advantage or place-kick between the posts for points.

If you like to drop a bet on American Football, for example, you will easily find the same markets online. You could make the very same over/under you normally place, or maybe your favourite spread bet. The market you trust for football can be found for rugby, and then you’ve got yourself another great sport to follow too.


Main Rules

Rugby League Rules

In Rugby League, a total of 13 players take the field for each team. The distinction between the backline and the forwards is minimized because the tackling rules are different. The ground game is similarly limited because once a player is tackled, he/she must be released by the tackler for a tackle restart.

The tackled player’s team retains the ball for a total of five such tackles before having to dispose of it, usually through kicking for territory. The opposing team can then progress up the field for their allotted five tackles, and so on.

In this way, opposing teams incrementally gain territory until the ascendant team crosses the try-line or dropkicks the ball between the uprights. In League games, a try is worth 4 points, while a dropkick is worth only 1. Once a team scores, the game is reset to the middle of the field again.

Rugby Union Rules

Rugby Union is distinct from Rugby League in one major structural respect, which leads to several differences in the style of the play. In Union, there are no allotted tackles and no restarts from tackles either. This means that the ball remains in free play at all times until the play is stopped by the referee.

Since the ball is in open play, much of a Union match is conducted in a heavy ground game for possession of it, which in turn creates a strong distinction between forward and backline players. There are 8 forwards, 6 backs, and a half-back coordinating between them, for a total of 15 players. The forwards are the power-players, who engage in the scrums, rucks, and mauls in order to secure the ball and feed it out via the half-back to the faster runners in the backline.

As with the League game, the aim is to cross the line for a try or dropkick the ball between the uprights (and above the crossbar). A try is worth 5 points in Union, and the dropkick is worth 3. Additionally, after a try has been scored, there’s an opportunity to add 2 points by place-kicking between the uprights from a position in line with where the try was scored.

A successful try and place-kick is thus worth 7 points. At any time in the play, the referee may penalize a team for an infringement of the rules, and the opposition may then either kick for territory or place-kick for the posts. If successful, a penalty kick is worth 3 points. After scoring, the game is reset to the middle of the field again.

Main Competitions

rugby bets

There are many regional competitions and traditional tours in Rugby Union, but there are three main contests around the world, which stand above the rest. There’s a northern hemisphere competition called the Six Nations Cup, a southern hemisphere competition called the Rugby Championship, and an international tournament called the Rugby World Cup.

While there are many 2nd-tier teams around the world, the Six Nations features only the six top-tier teams (England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, and France). Similarly, the Rugby Championship features the four top-tier southern teams (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina).

These top teams are all automatically included in the Rugby World Cup, along with several 2nd-tier teams subject to qualification criteria. In terms of Rugby League, there are two main competitions. The Rugby League Four Nations includes England, Australia, New Zealand, and a qualifying guest team.

The Rugby League World Cup includes teams from around the world, subject to qualification criteria. Six Nations Rugby betting odds are always up for grabs, and the Rugby World Cup betting scene is thriving online, so if you’re in the mood for it, the tips, lines, and odds are waiting.

Where to Bet on Rugby?

Rugby has long been very popular in the Commonwealth Countries, where it’s been played for well over a century. In these regions, there’s a busy gambling scene surrounding the sport. Ladbrokes and William Hill have offered rugby odds for decades now, as have Betway and practically all the big players in the industry.

The online rugby gambling scene has evolved in tandem with this general interest, and it is now possible to bet on rugby no matter where you are. There are many online gambling sites that offer rugby odds on all the major championships and even a host of the more minor ones. Maybe Rugby League handicap betting takes your fancy, or perhaps straight Rugby League betting is more your thing. You’re covered for tips and odds, either way.

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Rugby Facts and History

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In the English County of Warwickshire lies the town of Rugby, with a school of the same name. It was at Rugby school in 1823 that a boy named William Webb Ellis picked up the football that he and his friends were playing with and ran with it in his hands. So it was that the game was invented, and the boys named their new game Rugby Football after their school.

For this reason, the highest award in the game (the World Cup Trophy) is called The Webb Ellis Cup and is awarded every four years. Since his time, the game has diverged into several variations, including the two main types. One such variation is the very popular ‘Sevens’ game, featuring only the sprinting backline players without forwards.

Despite these variations, the Union game remains the most popular. A recent innovation within the sport today has been the rise of the women’s game, which now runs alongside the men’s. It has garnered serious attention of late and boasts a vibrant fanbase of its own.


If you like sports that are fast-paced, tactical, and full-contact, then rugby is the game for you. For those who enjoy placing wagers on sports, rugby betting has all the features we look for.

There’s a lot to get into, too. Besides the major national and global competitions, there are many professional club championships across the world, with large followings. From Six Nations Rugby betting odds to in-game Rugby League betting, the excitement is right there online.


How to bet on rugby games?

As with any sports betting, you should familiarise yourself with the game first, and when you get the feel of it, you can easily find an online bookie to take a wager.

Is there an in-play feature when betting on rugby games?

Yes! If you enjoy the extra thrill of the in-play feature, it is widely offered for the sport of rugby, wherever you place your bets.

Can I find any dedicated rugby betting apps?

There are quite a few options out there for betting apps that feature a great range of games and tournaments to place a wager on.

Can I place an over/under wager on rugby?

Absolutely. The markets for rugby betting are plentiful at the best online sites, and they cater for rugby odds of all kinds.

How can I win big on rugby betting?

The trick is to know your teams. In rugby, a small thing can cause a large upset, and if you’ve noticed something, you could stand to find great odds.

Elica Martinova
Betting expert
Certified Betting Expert
Elica Martinova
Ellie is in charge of writing, editing, and publishing reviews in Bulgarian, English, and German. She has a long track record as a journalist and is passionate about writing. Also, she is quite experienced when it comes to bookmakers as well.