Rugby Union Betting in New Zealand

Welcome to the world of Rugby Union betting in New Zealand, where sports enthusiasm meets exciting wagers. Discover how to bet on your favorite teams and players in this guide. Whether you're new or experienced, find insights and tips to enhance your betting. Don't forget to compare the best sports betting sites for Rugby Union bets below. Get ready for an exhilarating journey both on and off the field!

Best Rugby Union Betting Sites

Best NZ Rugby Union Betting Sites (2024)

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Best Bookies for Rugby Union Betting

Whether an online betting site offers in-play or cash-out features is equally crucial. That is pertaining to placing bets while the game is underway or having the option to bail out if the team you’re wagering on isn’t going as well as you had envisaged. No doubt, some Kiwi bettors’ eyes will light up from the bonuses or number of free bets bookies will dangle, especially to entice newcomers.

Here is a list of some of the best bookies we came across during our research on rugby union sites before you go shopping for the best odds:

  1. LeoVegas
  2. Betway
  3. 888Sport
  4. Bet365

#1 22bet

With a 98.7% payout percentage, 22bet is asking its rivals to match up or shut up. While the online betting site is a relative newcomer in the Kiwi cyberspace, it’s making the right noises with its “accumulator-of-the-day” feature that boosts wins by 10%. However, while this type of betting enables them to wager on several unconnected events based on a probabilities equation, we highlight to Kiwis that if one segment of an accumulator falters then they stand to forfeit the entire stakes.


#2 888sport

While its welcome offer to newcomers isn’t that attractive, this bookie makes up for it with a plethora of handsome bonuses and promotions. 888sport isn’t on the lips of every Kiwi bettor but it is making some key inroads with its bet-building options, and the live-betting avenues.


#3 Bet365

It’s hard to argue with a bookie that lays out a spectrum of online sports markets than any other rival in New Zealand. Defectors from TAB tend to find their happy place here. It’s not difficult to gauge why. That’s because bet365 odds are unrivalled in New Zealand. Its live-betting and live-streaming capabilities are the envy of other bookies. Add the snazzy mobile experience and its rugby union betting heaven.


#4 Betway

Don’t let its landing page put you off. Just because betway is creating waves on the global circuit it doesn’t mean it neglects its New Zealand market. Its cash-out and multi-builder facets add to the lure of the weekly free-bet promotions on top of the sign-up offer to Kiwi newbies. The variety of Kiwi and global markets are gripping.


#6 LeoVegas

This bookie chimes in at the 98.2% threshold of payout percentages. While renowned for its stellar online casino service, LeoVegas sportsbook tees up rugby for a confident conversion between the goal posts for its infectious interface appeal. Despite its late-bloomer status as a bookmaker, LeoVegas has some of the most competitive odds in the online betting market. Its live streaming isn’t that grand, but it makes up for it with enlightening graphics.

Rugby Union Betting in NZ

Rugby union holds a unique place in New Zealand's online betting landscape. Beyond being a sport, it's a cultural phenomenon that resonates deeply with the nation. This guide is your window into the world of rugby union betting, where the fervor of the game extends to exciting wagering experiences. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or new to both rugby and betting, join us as we dive into the dynamics of this thrilling combination.

Whether you're a dedicated follower of rugby or a curious newcomer, this guide offers an insightful journey into the landscape of rugby union betting in New Zealand. It's not just about placing bets; it's about immersing yourself in a culture where every try, tackle, and pass carries weight. We'll navigate through the foundations of rugby, helping you grasp the basics of the game itself and how it translates into the dynamic world of online betting.

As you delve into this guide, you'll uncover the strategies, tips, and nuances that can elevate your betting experience to a new level. From understanding the odds to dissecting team dynamics and player performances, we'll equip you with the tools to make informed choices that resonate with the pulse of the game. Whether you're looking to add an extra layer of excitement to your match viewing or aiming to master the art of rugby betting, this guide promises to be your companion on this thrilling journey.

Know Your Rugby Betting Markets

To understand rugby markets requires comprehending what types of wagers bookmakers offer to Kiwis on their online betting sites. Rugby can be quite a complex game for those who haven’t got a firm grasp on the rules. To recognise why a referee awards a freekick or penalty requires a keen eye for the subtle infringements in lineouts, rucks and mauls, scrums, and head-high tackles.

Here are some of the common rugby markets that bookies offer to Kiwis:

  • 1X2 betting
    This is the world’s most popular type of wagering. New Zealand rugby is no exception in picking home-and-away team victories. The “1” denotes a wager on the home team. The “X” equates to a draw although Kiwi bettors must note that stalemates in rugby matches are a once-in-a-blue-moon outcome. A penalty kick or dropped goal in the dying minutes can nullify a draw. The “2” symbolises a win for the visiting side. Note that some sportsbooks simply use teams’ names instead of the numbers.
  • Championship/season bets
    These are outright wagers on which team is likely to claim the competition title or at the end of a season. Nothing offers a better lesson to Kiwis than the Super Rugby Pacific final between the Blues and the Crusaders in 2022. The former had gone into the final on a 15-match winning streak while the latter had an admirable history of a dozen Super crowns. The season’s form gave way to history as the Crusaders bagged their 13th crown.
  • Combining bets
    Some online bookmakers provide bet-building modules to weave several aspects of a game, or different games, into a wagering bundle. The minute you start banking on numerous elements the risk factor rises, especially if you opt for longer odds. Bookies always come up with novel ways to keep Kiwis interested. A classic example is picking the shirt numbers off the back of potential try scorers to see if those digits would add up to the final score of their team during a match.
  • Handicap betting
    Nothing encapsulates rugby wagering better than the gargantuan odds of the favourites thumping the underdogs. This also is known as line or spread betting. Akin to golf handicapping, bookies offer the underdogs a points buffer of beating or losing by a narrow margin. For example, if the All Blacks are a 10.5 favourites to beat Fiji and you place a handicap bet on the latter, then should the Pacific Islanders win or lose under the 10.5-point margin, you’ll come away richer.
  • Individual player betting
    Kiwis who find straightforward wagering boring will welcome the variety individual betting offers. Who will score the opening points of a match? That can come from a kick between the sticks or a try, although it’ll be interesting to see what a bookie makes of a referee awarding a penalty try. What about the first try scorer? Wingers and halfbacks will have shorter odds over burly props and hookers. Even picking a yellow (10-minute sin bin) or red card (early shower) recipient is fair game. Know which players lack discipline.
  • Outright betting
    This is a beginner’s delight. Simply select who’ll lift the silverware at the end of a tournament/championship. Some sportsbooks allow for picking teams that’ll make the playoffs. If you picked the Crusaders to go all the way in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific, then you’re ready for something more challenging.
  • Over/under betting
    Also known as “totals betting”, this has the appeal of outright betting. The over/under betting dumbs it down to a simple equation of how many points both teams will register at the final whistle. If the bookie opens betting on a 50.5 threshold, you can opt for exceeding that ceiling or staying below it to collect wins. Selecting a fraction can edge out rival bettors.

Rugby League VS Rugby Union

At first glance, rugby league and rugby union may seem similar, but key differences set them apart. Rugby union emphasizes strategic plays, while league employs a pick-and-go style with fewer players on the field. Understanding the distinctions in scoring and gameplay is essential for informed betting decisions.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian NRL stands as the pinnacle of rugby league. The Warriors, based in New Zealand, add local excitement. The UK's Super League and international events like State of Origin and the Rugby League World Cup elevate interest globally.

For thorough insights, consider bookmakers like 888Sport and Bet365, renowned for their expertise in rugby league. Remember, the odds and advice we offer for rugby union apply equally to rugby league. Plus, bookies offer odds on league awards. Betting early in the season can be rewarding, as odds evolve with each round.

Working Out The Best Rugby Odds

When it comes to rugby betting, bookmakers in New Zealand offer odds that can be either short or long. Short odds favor favorites, giving smaller returns, while long odds reward those who bet on underdogs.

Some prefer the safety of short odds, while others enjoy the thrill of backing underdogs. With countless online bookmakers, choosing the right one can be tough. That's where we come in with guidance.

Our tip? Pick around three to five favorite bookmakers. This lets you bet on different outcomes, as odds can vary. Just like shopping around for the best deals, comparing odds ensures you make the most of your bets. It's like driving a bit further for cheaper gas – the extra effort can pay off big.

Popular Rugby Events To Bet On

New Zealand's rugby scene has expanded beyond just the All Blacks. Kiwi fans now closely follow players abroad and in international teams. This has boosted the betting market, with Kiwis seeking detailed insights on their rugby heroes' performances. Understanding foreign markets empowers them to bet confidently.

For Kiwis, the basics of online betting are honed in domestic competitions like the NPC, Farah Palmer Cup, and Heartland Championship. This fervor continues in tournaments like Super Rugby Pacific. International friendlies and the Rugby Championship also draw massive interest, while markets like the Six Nations Championship and leagues in Canada, Japan, and the US hold their attention.

From the Women's World Cup to rugby sevens, New Zealanders are invested. With the Olympics every four years, the excitement grows. This variety explains why Kiwi bettors prefer bookies with live streaming, graphics, and statistics. Knowledge is power, and in rugby, it's key to successful bets.

Tips & strategies in rugby betting

Like anything in the world, if you know the subject matter and stay abreast of the latest news, then you’ll prosper. In our tips to wagering Kiwis, we advise them to do thorough research. Here are some key pointers:

  • Climate: Does the wet, cold, and windy Wellington favour the Warriors more or the Brisbane Broncos? How will the All Blacks find Mbombela Stadium where they have never played before when the Springboks host them in 2022? Research conditions.
  • Follow head, not heart: No matter how much you like a team or players, study the bookies’ odds and the sides’ head-to-head record.
  • History: Favourites tend to have a psychological advantage over the underdogs on account of titles won. Bookies disclose such details. Failing that, surf the internet.
  • Line-ups: It pays to check if the key players are available or out due to injury or some other reason. An inexperienced injection or a rookie/replacement coach can also upset the rhythm of a dominant team.
  • Tactics: Some teams play running rugger to entertain while others prefer to kick up-and-under balls or keep it in the tight five to grind their way to victories. Some sides peak for the world cup while others want to show they’re the world’s best year in, year out.
  • Wagering mark: Decide on your stake and stick to it, especially if you’re combining bets or engaging in in-play.


Ijeoma Esther is an iGaming content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the New Zealand mobile casino industry. While initially diving into online casino gaming as a hobby, she soon found herself immersed in the enthralling world of mobile slot and live casino games.Through the years, she discovered that writing about her favorite pokies was just as fun as playing them.