Where to Start with Rugby Betting – 2024 Guide

Whether you have never bet before or bet on different sports and are now hoping to get into rugby, it is always a good idea to prepare before you place your first bet. Rugby is an electrifying sport that is particularly unpredictable and last minute score changes are relatively common. This is a guide on where to start with rugby betting.

What is rugby

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Rugby is a sport where two teams of fifteen players try and win the game by scoring more points than the opposition. Points can be scored through tries, penalties that are kicked through the posts, conversions and drop goals. It is very much a contact sport with big hits regularly happening on the pitch, but it is also well admired for the respect players give each other and the referees.

Each team starts with 15 players, split between “forwards” and “backs” and generally speaking forwards are heavier players that have trained more in contact and winning ball at breakdowns, whereas backs are generally faster players whos purpose is to run with the ball and avoid contact.

The number 10 on the pitch, know as the “fly half” calls most of the moves for the team, and is generally regardly as the most important player. Having a good number 10 is crucial for success and thus you should keep this in mind when betting, as a number 10 injury or absense can be the difference between a win and a loss.

What can you bet on

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There are many different bets you can place when betting on rugby. Of course, you can bet on which team you think will win the match. This is both the simplest kind of betting, but it also requires research and a shrewd eye to be consistently good. This type of bet is the same as other sports so the odds will be similar to tennis for example.

You can also bet on what a specific player is going to do in a match. For example, you can bet on a player to score a try, the first try, to be booked, to score a certain amount of points, to put in a certain amount of tackles and more. These bets can be a little trickier because there are so many players on the pitch and there are more substitutions. However, this is offset by the odds that the bookmakers offer so there is still value in the right bets.

Additionally, there are betting markets for things such as the number of tries to be scored in the match and handicap results. Handicap results are when you bet on a team to win with either a point lead or a point disadvantage. A bet on England to win with -7.5 would be betting on England to win by at least eight points.


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If you have never bet on rugby before, it is imperative that you remember that it is a unique sport, so any knowledge you may feel you have from other sports does not necessarily apply. Rugby is generally thrilling, but this does not mean that there are always loads of tries, it means that the sport is filled with action and even periods without any points being scored can be exciting.

It is also important to remember the differences between the competition that it is being played in. The World Cup for example is significantly different to a Top 14, the French first division, game. Similarly, players will not play the same way in a friendly as they would in the Six Nations or for the Lions.

Southern hemisphere teams are also worth a having a look at, with New Zealand and Australia competing in the Bledisloe Cup, a competition that has been going since the 1930s. Usually if you were betting on these games you with expect New Zealand to win, as they have won the trophy 48 times, versus Australia’s 12 wins and this success rate continues for New Zealand when you look at their world Cup record of 3 wins which ties with South Africa as the most wins for a country.

Generally successful rugby bettors will stick to one league, that they know and study on a regular basis. Keeping up with team changes, injuries and recent performance is key to making informed decisions and improving the likely hood of a win. With leagues like the Heineken Cup, Premiership and Pro 12 being the biggest in the UK, these are a good starting point. Scaracens as of late have had excellent form in these leagues and thats set to continue when you look at their talent their have in their squad. One issue that has arisen for them this year is their relegation to the second tier Rugby Premiership as punishment for exceeding the salary cap that the Premiership has in place, so as you can imagine they are hot favourites for that league, having won the higher league in 2018 and 2019.

Odds checkers

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If you feel confident enough to start betting on rugby, then the first thing to do is to open accounts with different bookmakers, like Paddy Power and Betfair or the other UK options listed here. This has two main advantages, the first of them being that you can take advantage of all the welcome offers. These are promotions only available for new customers that are designed to be profitable so that they are as enticing as possible to potential customers. You should be making money from these, or at the very least not losing any.

The other reason that you want to start various accounts is to use odds checkers. These are fantastic for making your bets get the best returns that they can. Simply enter the bet you want to make in any of the free online odds checkers and they will return you the best and worst odds that are available. Simply place your bet with the best odds and if you do win, that is more money for you.

Odds checkers allow you to spot errors that the bookmakers may have made in the pricing a certain match our tournament, for example if you saw Italy were heavily favoured to beat New Zealand by a certain bookmaker, you’d know something was not right and there was a potential opportunity to make a good return.