Rugby Union is just as popular as football in the UK; hence no reliable betting site in the UK would want to leave it out as part of its offerings. Punters in the UK enjoy betting on Rugby Union because of the sport's numerous markets.
This review takes you through all you need to know about rugby union betting, including the top 10 Rugby Union betting sites in the UK, how we rank the best Rugby Union bookies, Rugby Union tournaments to bet on, popular rugby union betting markets and rugby betting tips and strategies.
Rugby is one of the most popular sports played around the globe. The sport is divided into The Rugby League and Rugby Union. Teams playing Rugby Union comprise 15 players each with no maximum number of tackles. In this sport, a line-out is used with scrums and mauls happening regularly.
Initially described as a game of hooligans played by gentlemen, Rugby Union is a fast, furious and fun sport to watch. But it's also a perfect sport for punters — its blend of bruising and high-speed skill provides numerous opportunities to bet on.
Since most bettors in the UK are multi-faceted, any Rugby Union betting site can only be considered great if it's a quality operator in other sports offerings. That said, rugby union betting sites that make it to this list are the best in the market. Whether you're drawn to competitive odds, great security, a variety of markets, betting features, or customer support, these top 10 Rugby Union betting platforms have it all.
Betfred are the official Super League sponsor, making them one of the best UK Rugby Union betting sites. Betfred backs up its position on this list with daily price boosts and a great variety of Rugby Union betting markets for punters to choose from.
This betting operator also has a PickYourPuny feature that allows you to request a specific market you might find missing among the available options. Besides, their Double Delight promotion feature doubles the odds of your bet when you wager on a player to score the first try, and you win.
Betfred also offers decent odds and higher payout limits of up to 100k. Unfortunately, there is no live streaming, but punters can still enjoy the thrill of in-play betting on their favourite Rugby Union matches.
Paddy Power is one of the outstanding all-rounded gambling sites in the UK. The bookmaker excels at event-specific promotions, making it the go-to platform whenever there are big RU tournaments in the UK and worldwide.
Commonly referred to as the novelty speciality Rugby Union betting site, Paddy Power also has other popular features. This includes cashout on most rugby markets, first scoring play, winning margin, and over/under points.
This is also one of the few betting sites that offers an excellent live-streaming service for Rugby Union matches. Hence, you can easily place your in-play bets on the backdrop of an analysis. Moreover, the amazing markets can be further stretched with YourCall special feature to request a unique market.
Being one of the oldest and most established bookmakers in the UK, it is little wonder that rugby features heavily at William Hill.
They have quality rugby betting markets with attractive ACCA promotions and Double Your Odds among the weekly betting offers. There's even a chance to regain 10% of your wager as a free bet in losses made on an in-play bet.
Additionally, punters can take full advantage of the useful tip service, where crucial details about upcoming matches are shared. The platform is also well pronounced regarding safety, and its 24/7 customer support makes it a reliable choice.
Ladbrokes has a long-standing reputation in the UK sports betting industry. The platform covers Rugby Union pre-match, in-play, outright and match special in great detail. If you're looking for a platform that competes well with others in terms of promotions, Ladbrokes never disappoints. Their free bet welcomes bonus, daily price boosts and other additional offers making this a worthy Rugby Union betting site to consider.
Punters on Ladbrokes are treated to over 40 RU betting markets with the best odds in the industry. There is also a live-streaming feature for rugby matches, making in-play betting much more interesting.
Unibet is among the best online betting sites with a gambling license in Malta and the UK. Unibet provides excellent sports betting, which includes rugby-related markets. For instance, the Unibet odds for the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup are among the highest compared to other bookmakers.
Besides offering great value for money, Unibet is the Rugby Union betting site to check out if you want an easy signup process with a low minimum deposit. Unibet also has one of the highest payout limits set at £500,000.
Unibet also entices customers with numerous promotions lined up for the Rugby World Cup and other daily offers.
Betfair is a unique entry because it operates both as a betting exchange and a traditional sportsbook. Therefore, it provides an edge for customers who choose it for Rugby Union Betting.
Betfair features RU matches worldwide, including the English Premiership, Lions Tour and Pro 14. Handicap, a popular betting market in rugby, is well covered in all matches, which includes first-half options and alternative 2-way options.
Being both a betting exchange and sportsbook, Betfair's live streaming feature enables punters to keep up with all the Rugby Union live-action.
Spreadex was first introduced as a spread betting bookmaker, being the first to offer this type of betting. It has grown to establish a competitive presence among Rugby Union betting sites.
The platform holds an operating license issued by UKGC and FCA, making it a safe and legal option for anyone looking to bet on Rugby Union matches in the UK.
Spreadex has a bet builder, fast markets and cash out feature. It also has a great offering of RU markets for both pre-match and in-play bets.
To complement in-play betting, this betting platform enables punters to live stream and watch a select number of Rugby Union matches across the world. Besides, this platform has no minimum deposit nor maximum payout limit, making it suitable for high-risk takers and punters on a budget.
BetVictor may not be a household name in betting, but its Rugby Union sportsbook is quite competitive. It has a full range of betting lines for both pre-match and in-play betting.
The ante-post markets on Rugby Union are available up to 2 years in advance, and their odds are rarely matched.
The BetVictor online betting site also has a user-friendly interface, making it suitable for new punters of Rugby. While not keen on offers and promotions, BetVictor is worth considering for its unbeatable odds and great live betting features.
888Sport is an international sports betting site with a great customer base in the UK. The platform provides excellent Rugby Union betting options. Its odds on offer are highly appealing, especially when betting on outrights. These huge odds are available on RU tournaments, including Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa, State of Origin Series, NRL, and British markets.
888Sport also offers free bets and price boosts. Besides, punters can enjoy betting while live streaming their favourite Rugby Union matches throughout the season.
Betway is one of the UK's most popular and well-established gambling sites. It provides a great avenue for punters to bet on Rugby Union with access to exclusive betting tips and decent odds. This bookmaker also provides statistics that enable you to place a bet based on team form.
There are free bet offers up for grabs for punters. In addition, there are Rugby ACCA boosts, and undeniably the best Rugby Union live streams.
The quality of Rugby Union betting varies from one platform to the other. Here are the important factors we considered when highlighting the above betting sites.
Rugby Union is a dynamic and high-action sport; hence contains a variety of events and markets to bet on. A Rugby Union betting platform can only compete for a diverse customer base by ensuring they've covered all markets. Whether a punter is looking to bet on outright, handicap, specials or in-play bets, they should never be left out.
Moreover, Rugby Union is a popular format across the globe. This means there are plenty of international matches taking place at any given time. A worthy Rugby Union betting site should always have these games featured among their offerings.
Rugby is among the few sports where punters can take advantage of in-play betting. The relentless pace of this high-intensity contact sport means there are bound to be scrums, infringements, lineouts or other forms of action at regular intervals. All these are great opportunities to benefit from smart live betting.
This is only possible if your rugby betting platform allows you to watch the live action before recognising a value bet and acting on it. In case a favourite is already up and running in the game, you can take advantage of the handicap in-play bets, which tend to have decent odds and are low risk.
All the featured Rugby Union betting platforms have a user-friendly in-play interface that allows you to punt easily. Even better, they have a wide variety of in-play betting markets. Most of them have HD quality live streaming services that allow you to follow the live rugby action on your desktop or on your mobile device through a dedicated app.
Mobile betting has become the norm. If you're looking for the best betting site, ensure it has dedicated native betting apps for iOS and Android users.
For web-based operators, they should still ensure their sites are optimised for mobile users with the same interface, ease of use, range of sports, betting features, and promotions.
Cash-out is an important feature on any betting site because it allows you to settle your bet early for a profit. All the betting sites listed above have this option.
The value of the cash-out amount falls or rises depending on how well your bet is doing. When you see the amount exceed your wager, you can cash out. Some of these betting sites offer a partial and full cash out.
Betting sites with the cash-out option are more attractive than those with fewer opportunities for cashing out.
The sports betting industry in the UK is already crowded, with hundreds of betting operators competing to make a name for themselves. This has made it very difficult for new entrants into the market, let alone be the best Rugby Union betting site.
To win customers over, rugby betting sites run a series of promotions and offers aimed at rewarding new and existing customers. These promotions can help punters save on their betting expenses when smartly taken advantage of.
Bookies such as Betfred pay double odds, Betway have an ACCA price boost, while Ladbrokes and William Hill have generous welcome offers.
Generally, promotions aim to retain existing customers, while bonuses are driven towards attracting new punters. The most popular promotions and bonuses include
That said, punters need to look out for the terms and conditions that apply to these bonuses and free bets. An offer might look similar across different platforms, but a keen look a the terms will reveal which offer has more value. Look at the wagering requirements, the minimum odds you can bet, and the minimum deposit.
Gambling is legal in the UK, but all betting operators must hold a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission to provide gambling services in the UK market.
Rugby Union bookies that the UKGC licenses are regulated to ensure they conform to fair gambling practices. They are also required to provide punters with responsible gambling. In this regard, all the Rugby Union betting platforms listed here have a Responsible Gambling section that helps bettors deal with gambling addiction and other harmful gambling behaviour.
Odds make all the difference when it comes to any type of betting, and rugby betting is no different. Before placing your bets, you must be extra vigilant when comparing odds between different platforms.
Each bookmaker listed above can boast of having the highest odds prices for any Rugby Union market.
We compared the odds offered for Argentina to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup and found the following results.
However, after running a thorough odds comparison in general, we found that Betway has the best payout for Rugby Union bets while Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill and 888Sport offer similar odds as outlined below.
By comparing odds, punters can take advantage of the best odds offered. This is also an important criteria to consider because certain bookies offer an odds boost — you'll be able to tell if there's value in it or if better odds exist elsewhere.
Customer support is a critical representation of the online betting site because it helps you know whether you can easily get help from their representatives when necessary. Whether it's a simple clarification or resolving complex issues related to your betting account, customer support needs to be prompt and available 24/7 in various formats. All the sites listed here avail their customer support through the following channels.
Some of these platforms even for a step further to provide a dedicated social media page for customer support. In addition, you should be able to contact Gambleaware for help with gambling responsibly.
Last but not least, it is important to consider the different banking options a betting site supports. This is especially crucial since the ban on using credit cards on gambling sites. This change became effective as of April 14th 2020. However, betting sites are allowed to use all other payment methods, with the more established ones even going as far as accepting cryptocurrencies.
Betting operators may also allow debit cards. However, this payment method takes up to 5 working days to process transactions, so you should consider a site with faster payment methods.
Moreover, E-wallets are also rapidly taking over as the preferred payment since they process transactions faster. In our ranking, we considered betting platforms that support e-wallets to allow punters to make instant deposits and withdrawals. These payment options include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, MuchBetter, and Paysafecard, among others.
The Rugby Union calendar year has plenty of major events punters can wager on. Better yet, most betting sites often tend to provide event-specific offers and odd boosts.
Some of the Rugby Union tournaments and leagues worldwide include the following.
The Rugby Union normally hosts an international world cup event every four years comprising national teams across the world. This six-week event consists of a pool round and a knockout stage leading to a final where teams gun for the Webb Ellis Cup.
The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987 and continues to be the greatest rugby event. In general, it's only third behind Football World Cup and Olympic Games in TV viewership.
Six Nations is a Rugby Union tournament that takes place between the first week of February and March. Six countries participate in this event: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
The teams play each other once. The team with the most points after the final round of play is declared the tournament's winner.
Besides the Rugby Union events featuring national teams, you can also punt on rugby clubs. The best chance you have is the European Rugby Champions Cup which features clubs from different European nations.
Super Rugby is an annual rugby union club competition that features clubs in the southern hemisphere. The tournament involves clubs from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.
Since 1888, the Lions have been touring teams in the southern hemisphere, notably New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.
The travelling team normally consists of the best players in Rugby Union.
This is the top-tier club rugby union in England that normally runs from September to June, with all clubs paying each other home and away.
At the end of the regular season, the top four clubs get into a playoff round to find the winner — the final takes place at Twickenham Stadium. All the top six clubs qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup.
This Rugby Union tournament was established in 2001 with clubs from Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Wales and Scotland. It is a point-based competition, with the end-of-season winner determined through a playoff.
This event takes place between September and May every year, and the top teams earn a place to play in the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Rugby Union betting provides punters will some of the most exciting betting markets. Here are just a few of the popular betting markets you can punt on in Rugby Union matches across the various tournaments highlighted above.
Besides the above markets, Rugby Union betting also offers flash markets. These are markets that pop up during live betting. An example of this type of market is betting on whether a penalty kick will be successful.
Rugby Union betting is not very different from football betting or horse racing betting. Any strategies you might have mastered while betting on other sports might just work out for you. However, if you're new to Rugby Union betting or have been unlucky so far, you might want to try out the following tips.
The most important and foremost tip is to understand the rules of Rugby bets on the various platforms. There are more complex rules and varying set-piece components as compared to football.
The International Rugby Board is fond of introducing new sanctions and rulings during the Rugby Union season, such as having harsher penalties for high tackles. Keeping yourself updated with these rules will help you better deploy your Rugby Union betting strategy.
Before picking on an odd, ensure you have a good understanding of each team in the encounter.
For instance, some teams, such as the All Blacks, always tend to play a high-tempo game, but they won't always maintain this form in all games. Some teams play a defensive game, often relying on kicks to gain ground and set pieces for scores.
Your ability to read each team's style of play and form getting into an encounter will enable you to profit more from rugby betting. This is especially true if you also take time to find out whether key players are suspended or injured because this is likely to affect the outcome of the game.
Rugby Union matches will be played whether it's raining or shining but checking the weather forecast before kick-off can give you some betting options. For instance, players easily catch and pass the ball when it's dry compared to when it's raining.
Rain leads to lots of scrum and low-scoring matches, making it profitable to capitalise on such markets. Several rugby betting sites give you statistics and information about the playing conditions.
Before rushing to place a bet, take your time to compare odds from different betting sites. The same market you're just about to wager on with odds of 1.67 might be given odds of 1.70 by another platform.
The best rugby betting sites invest heavily in advertising campaigns ahead of major events like the Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations. They offer new customers generous signup bonuses and free bets.
By creating an account with such new bookies, you can take advantage of this generosity by claiming these limited-time offers.
Steven is responsible for all content on BettingGuide UK. He is an experienced iGaming content writer working in the industry since 2018. If you have any questions regarding online gambling in the UK, don't hesitate to contact him.