It might be something of a mystery to many people living outside of Ireland, but GAA is a way of life for Irish sports fans - and betting on GAA matches is very popular as well.
Most betting sites that allow people from Ireland to sign up offer GAA betting to some extent - such as Paddy Power, Boylesports and Bet365, Betway and Betfair - although some naturally are stronger in this department than some of their rival operators.
Some Irish sports fans might be completely new to betting on GAA and unsure where to get started, with questions such as which are the top bookmakers for GAA in Ireland and what GAA sports and events are available to bet on throughout the year.
As the profile of the GAA continues to build, it is expected that GAA betting is going to become more and more popular - so now is a great time to learn about it all and get up and running. Our complete guide to GAA betting options in Ireland will provide all of the necessary knowledge and information to start up, so read on for all the details that you need to know about betting on GAA.
Ireland is exceptionally proud of what makes the country unique - and rightly so - with its sports and pastimes part of what makes Ireland so great. The GAA - which stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association - includes a wide array of popular Gaelic games and pastimes including sports such as football, hurling, handball and rounders.
Founded more than 135 years ago, the GAA now has more than half a million members with Gaelic football and hurling the most popular sports to go and watch being played live in Ireland. GAA clubs can also be found around the world, having been set up by Irish people who are now living in locations such as in the United States, Australia, China and continental Europe.
As rule 4 of the GAA's official guide states: "The Association shall actively support the Irish language, traditional Irish dancing, music, song, and other aspects of Irish culture. It shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, and assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs."
Competitions in GAA sports are played at a range of levels: divisional, county, inter-county, provincial, inter-provincial and All-Ireland. Large GAA venues can be found across Ireland, but Croke Park in Dublin - which has a capacity in excess of 80,000 - hosts the biggest GAA sporting events on the calendar. Other major GAA venues include Semple Stadium in Thurles, County Tipperary, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, and Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is in County Cork. They all hold over 45,000 people and other venues of note include Fitzgerald Stadium, in Killarney, MacHale Park in Castlebar and St Tiernach's Park in Clones, County Monaghan.
Naturally, major annual finals in Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular matches to bet on at GAA betting sites in Ireland, with an increasing number of bookmakers now making these markets available to their customers. At some sites, only major events such as the All-Ireland football final are available to bet on, but the number of GAA betting markets at bookmakers in Ireland is generally trending upwards. This is good news for fans of GAA sports who want to be able to bet on the big game as they now have more and more options to do so.
Various GAA sports are available to bet at Ireland's top bookmakers, including the following:
Gaelic football, which is quite similar to Australian rules football, is the most popular of the GAA sports in Ireland. Croke Park draws a capacity crowd of more than 80,000 people for the final of the All-Ireland Senior Championship, which is the biggest game of the year in Gaelic football. Markets at GAA betting sites can also be found for the National Football League and the All-Ireland Senior Championship, as well as the All-Ireland Club Championship.
Though not actually run by the GAA itself, ladies' football is also popular for betting in Ireland. Instead, it is organised by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association and has been played since 1926. The All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship is the top ladies Gaelic football betting option, while the Ladies' National Football League may be available on some sites as well.
Just behind Gaelic football when it comes to the list of the most popular sports in Ireland is hurling. The final of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship is one of the biggest days of the year on the country's sporting calendar. Irish sports fans also love to watch National Hurling League matches and place bets on the action, with other top events for this GAA sport including the Nicky Rackard Cup, the Christy Ring Cup, Féile na nGael and Poc Fada.
A variant of hurling played by women across Ireland, camogie has even been listed as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Camogie events of note include the annual All Ireland Camogie Championship, which was attended by more than 33,000 people one year. The All Ireland Club Championship is also popular among camogie fans all over the country.
Gaelic handball, which is similar to American handball, is another of the main GAA sports. Confusingly for those new to Gaelic handball, there are four main types of handball as the sport can be played in a range of settings. Top Gaelic handball events that are available to bet on in Ireland include the Gaelic Senior Hardball Singles and the Gaelic Senior Softball Singles.
Rounding off the list of the main GAA Sports is rounders, which has some specific rules in Ireland that means it is broadly comparable to the sport of softball. Senior and minor rounders championships are played across Ireland with markets offered at leading GAA bookmakers.
GAA betting markets are available throughout the year, with betting sites running ante-post markets on the top events even during the off-season. Top GAA bookmakers in Ireland allow sports fans to bet on events such as the All-Ireland Senior Football, Hurling and Camogie Championships. Additionally, markets on GAA competitions such as the Allianz Leagues and the All-Ireland Club Championships are offered by a lot of the best GAA betting sites as well.
Anyone who wants to bet on GAA events in Ireland will have to sign up for one of the growing numbers of bookmakers that run these markets on their sportsbooks.
The good news is that GAA betting markets are becoming a lot more common, whereas not that long ago it was very hard to find bets on even the biggest events in top GAA sports.
Live in-play betting is available for major GAA matches such as the All-Ireland Senior Championship on the above sites, which might also have live streaming available as well.
When betting live in-play, the best GAA betting sites in Ireland have a good range of markets to pick from, which ensures users have flexibility when they are trying to pick winning wagers.
As with other sports, there is a range of markets available as well as obvious ones where users can pick the winner of the All-Ireland Senior Championship in advance. Footballer of the Year is one of the common betting markets in Gaelic football as well, while markets for individual GAA matches are likely to include player of the match, winning margin and the first goalscorer. Handicap betting markets are particularly popular in hurling and Gaelic football due to the fact matches tend to be quite high-scoring, which creates plenty of opportunities to make a profit.
When deciding what to bet on GAA events in Ireland, it might help to read bookmaker betting blogs, which often feature GAA betting tips ahead of top events in sports like hurling. Plenty of other GAA betting tipsters can also be found across the internet, for anyone interested in them.
As with any other sport, it is possible to place a range of wagers on GAA sports. Accumulators are popular with a lot of Irish sports fans who are hoping to land a big win from a small stake. The actual process for having a bet on GAA events in Ireland is exactly the same as placing any other wager - simply make a selection, deciding how big the bet should be and confirm it.
Bonuses and promotions such as free bets are also offered by some of the leading GAA betting sites in Ireland while acca insurance is widely available as well. These leading GAA betting operators in Ireland typically have generous welcome bonuses that can also be used to place wagers on the big game of the day. It is always worth ensuring a welcome bonus boost or promotion is applied when signing up for a new account to bet on GAA events in Ireland.
While there are now a lot of good quality GAA betting sites in Ireland and more operators are joining the list all the time, there is a small group that are ahead of the pack.
These are as follows: Paddy Power, Boylesports, Bet365, Betway and Betfair. Let's take a look at what each of them has to offer when it comes to GAA betting in the next part of our guide.
Paddy Power is known as one of the biggest betting brands in Ireland, so it is no surprise that GAA betting has been made a top priority at this bookmaker.
GAA fans signing up for an account at Paddy Power will find a fantastic range of markets to pick from, with the options going surprisingly deep in terms of levels of play. As an example, U20 hurling is available at Paddy Power, which is not the case at a lot of GAA betting sites in Ireland. Provincial championships and cup betting is also included in the hurling betting at Paddy Power.
Paddy Power has also run special GAA betting promotions in the past - such as money back as a free bet on losing the first goalscorer bet if they score at a later point in a game - so anyone who is hunting for bonuses on the big football or hurling game should check out PP offers before a bet.
Another tick in the box for Paddy Power is the bookmaker's blog. Always a good read, it publishes betting tips for both hurling and football as the seasons come towards a close.
Odds for GAA betting at Paddy Power tend to be some of the best in the business. Those Irish sports fans who prize value prices highly will therefore find Paddy Power to be a strong choice.
The bookmaker's #WhatOddsPaddy feature can also be used to request your bet if there is a particular GAA wager you want to put on with this GAA betting site. There is no doubt at all that Paddy Power is one of the leading GAA betting options in Ireland.
As a betting brand that was founded and developed in Ireland, Boylesports has always taken GAA betting very seriously and is one of the top betting sites in this area as a result.
Boylesports account holders can get access to markets on everything from the SFC and HFC to ladies Gaelic football, which is sometimes forgotten by GAA betting sites in Ireland.
At Boylesports, Irish sports fans will find GAA betting odds to be right up there with the most generous available in Ireland. Those who want to make sure they get the biggest price on a particular hurling or football game will not be short-changed at Boylesports, that is for sure. Scorecasts and wincasts are among the GAA betting markets routinely available on the site.
Like at Paddy Power, Boylesports publishes a betting blog that can be a handy resource for anyone who is interested in GAA betting. GAA experts are featured heavily on this site.
Indeed, at the start of 2021, Boylesports announced that the GAA betting site had signed up six-time All-Ireland winner Diarmuid Connolly to be a new ambassador for the betting brand.
The Dublin legend helps to provide video and written content for Boylesports and he said: "I know BoyleSports strive to be the best in the industry and I am looking forward to making my own contribution to their growing success."
Ireland's largest independent bookmaker is known for its GAA betting promotions and they will no doubt have something special up its sleeve in time for the new season getting started.
Unlike Paddy Power and Boylesports, Bet365 has no particular history in Ireland, but its GAA betting offering is strong, reflecting the fact this is one of the biggest betting brands in the world.
At Bet365, as is the case with most sports, the range of GAA betting markets is outstanding. There are probably more betting options here than on any other GAA betting site in Ireland.
As well as the basics that all operators tend to cover, Bet365 typically runs extra GAA betting markets such as first player to score/winning margin doubles, plus race to 10/15/20/25 points.
It is worth noting that the most a Bet365 customer can win from GAA betting is just £25,000. This is quite low, especially when compared to a £2 million maximum win limit for soccer.
Odds at Bet365 are usually very good and this is no different when it comes to GAA markets. For the majority of GAA wagers, people will find Bet365 ranks towards the top of the prices much more often than not.
However, for outsiders in the ante-post betting markets for the All Ireland Senior Football Championship, Bet365 is not quite as outlandish as some other operators in their odds.
Bet365 does have one of the top welcome bonuses around though, while this betting brand also has a history of providing eye-catching offers and promotions for GAA sports as well.
GAA betting fans can also make the most of the Bet365 mobile app, which is among the best betting apps in the industry and is available to download on to both iOS and Android devices from the App Store and the Play Store respectively.
Another decent choice for Irish sports fans who want to bet on the best GAA action is Betway.
The range of ante-post markets at Betway is not quite as impressive as those that can be found on sites such as Paddy Power and Boylesports, with only the major competitions covered here.
But the prices at Betway will more than makeup for this, with the bookmaker consistently ranking right near the top when it comes to the best prices on GAA betting markets.
While Irish sports fans might not necessarily be able to find the specific GAA wagers they want at Betway all the time, when they are available they are sure to offer a very good price.
Another reason to pick Betway over a rival operator for GAA betting is the company's Free Bet Club. A rewards scheme more generous than most of those offered by GAA betting sites, users at Betway who place €25 worth of accumulators with at least three legs get a €10 free bet.
Add in the fact that the Betway bet builder tool can also be used for qualifying wagers in the Free Bet Club and it is a very rewarding experience for those who like to place bets on GAA action.
Betway boosts are also offered by this bookmaker on a regular basis, so look out for enhanced odds on GAA matches like the All-Ireland Senior Championship.
Part of the same betting empire as Paddy Power nowadays after a major takeover, Betfair completes our list of the best GAA betting options in Ireland right now.
Among the top reasons to sign up for a Betfair account to bet on GAA action is that the site has both a sportsbook and the biggest online betting exchange in the world.
What this means is that GAA fans can both back and lay their bets, providing more flexibility in their wagers, with the Betfair exchange typically having the best GAA odds in the business. However, as is the case with sports that might be deemed more minor, the value on the Betfair exchange very much depends on the amount of liquidity that is present in the market.
While the hurling betting options on some bookmaker websites can be a little limited, there are a huge number of options for those who want to bet on this sport. Like some of the other leading GAA betting options in Ireland, Betfair also has a regularly updated blog where GAA betting tips on the biggest matches can be found.
Another key selling point of Betfair is its market-leading welcome bonus, which GAA fans can use to place wagers on the biggest action of the weekend. Regular promotions are offered to keep sports fans coming back for more at Betfair, while this bookie's mobile app is excellent.
GAA, which stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association, is often used as a catch-all term to describe a wide array of Gaelic games and pastimes that are popular in all parts of Ireland. Among them are hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and even rounders. The GAA also takes responsibility for promoting the Irish language, as well as its music and dancing.
Set up in November 1884 in Thurles, Tipperary, the GAA - now led by its president John Horan - has over 500,000 members worldwide and records tens of millions of euros in revenues each year. Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular GAA sports in Ireland at the moment.
Yes, GAA betting is available across Ireland and it is becoming more and more popular.
Many bookmakers that allow sports fans from Ireland to sign up and place bets run GAA betting markets and not just on the top events such as the All-Ireland club football and hurling finals.
Some of the best bookmakers for GAA betting in Ireland include the following betting brands: Paddy Power, Boylesports, Bet365, Betway and Betfair.
The history of the GAA can be traced back more than 135 years. It was founded by a group of passionate Irishmen who wanted to promote the nation's nique games and athletic pastimes.
Founding members of the GAA were Michael Cusack, Maurice Davin, Joseph K. Bracken, Thomas St George McCarthy, P. J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wyse Power and John McKay.
Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt were asked to become patrons of the GAA along with Archbishop Thomas Croke, after whom the top GAA venue Croke Park is named.
The length of a GAA match depends on the particular sport. In Gaelic football, which in Ireland might just be referred to as football or even Gaelic, most matches last for 60 minutes, which is split up into two halves. The exception is senior inter-county games, which last for 70 minutes.
In hurling, the length of matches is also usually 60 minutes other than in senior inter-country games, which are also 10 minutes longer. Youth games might be just 50 minutes in total. Camogie, a variant of hurling that is instead played by women, also has 60-minute matches.
Gaelic handball is different in that games are not time-limited. Instead, teams have to score a certain number of points before their opponent in order to win a match in Gaelic handball.
In GAA rounders, each side has five innings and this is extended to seven innings when the All Ireland Senior Championship Semi-finals and Finals are being played in Ireland.
While sports such as football in the UK have red and yellow cards that can be shown to players, GAA has something a little bit different: a black card.
In GAA matches, a black card can be shown to a player who has committed a cynical foul. After being shown a black card by the referee, the player must go to a sin bin for a period of 10 minutes, which has the impact of leaving their team at a disadvantage during that time.
At the end of the 10 minutes, they are able to join their team-mates back on the field of play.