Rugby has long been one of the most popular sports in South Africa. Whether it be games involving the Springboks, Stormers or All Blacks, rugby is now also a leading betting sport. Rugby betting sites are delivered by both domestic and international brands. South Africa’s 2019 World Cup success has only propelled the sport yet further.
Games take place in different leagues and tournaments weekly across the globe. The majority of professional ties are now covered by rugby betting sites. This page will explain just how rugby betting odds work. We will also outline the best bookmakers for rugby betting. So, if you can’t get enough of rucks, mauls, tackles and try scoring, be sure to keep reading.
The number of online bookmakers offering rugby betting odds has increased significantly of late. However, not all rugby betting sites are worth signing up for. We have spent the time testing such sites, before delivering only the very best. Just how do we separate the best from the rest? The following factors were considered when reviewing available platforms:
Rugby Markets – The best rugby betting sites cover a large number of competitions. Whether it be the World Cup, Six Nations, Super Rugby, Rugby Championship or Champions Cup, bets should be available on all matches. Pre-match, in-play and future markets are available with most bookies. As such, punters can place bets before kick-off, during games and months in advance of tournaments. Bet.co.za covers all domestic and international rugby matches. Pre-match, live and futures markets are found. Matches are available to bet on almost daily, with hundreds of encounters being covered on weekends.
Super Rugby Betting – Super Rugby was the club competition involving South African franchises. Despite the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions having agreed to move to the Pro 14, the competition remains hugely popular. Franchises from Australia and New Zealand compete, with betting markets here being a must for any rugby betting site. Super Rugby betting odds are still available with many ZA bookies. 22Bet covers each and every Super Rugby match, with 50+ markets being available. Popular markets include full time result, total points, first tryscorer and winning margin.
Rugby Betting Odds – Regardless of the rugby competition, odds must be appealing to punters. We will discuss in greater detail how rugby betting odds work later on. However, it is quick and simple to see which bookies offer the best prices. Some punters will register with multiple bookies in order to ensure that they always utilise the best odds. Our recommended betting sites all score highly in this area. Hollywoodbets regularly delivers the best rugby betting odds available to ZA punters. Odds comparison sites have the bookie highly ranked on most matches, especially domestic leagues and competitions.
Payments/Currency – For ZA betting customers, it is easier when payments can be made in Rand. A number of payment methods should also be available, including OZOW, SiD or credit cards. Deposits and withdrawals are quick and secure at our recommended sites. There are rarely any fees or conversion costs to worry about. Betwinner is one of the many bookies to accept payments in Rand. As such, new customers can claim a generous welcome bonus without incurring any fees.
Promotions – Having recognised the popularity of rugby betting, some bookies have introduced promotions specific to the sport. Free bets, money back specials and boosted earnings are among the offers available today. T&Cs apply, so be sure to read the small print. However, rugby betting offers can improve your chances of winning. Bet.co.za is one of the leading betting sites for promos. While not many are specific to rugby, bets on the sport are generally eligible for potential rewards.
Key Features of the Best Rugby Sites
There are a number of reasons why punters favour online betting over the high street. One of the reasons is the additional features found at betting sites. Those operating at rugby betting sites are likely to find themselves in a position to take advantage of many additional features. Features include live betting, live streaming, cash out and bet builders. So, before signing up, be sure to check out the table below. Here, we outline what bookies offer in this area:
While not being on the same level as soccer betting in terms of the number of available markets, rugby betting still comes with a host of options. At our top-ranked rugby betting sites, punters can generally find the following markets:
The simplest way to bet on rugby is to wager on the full-time result. This can either be Team A win, draw or Team B win. With draws being less common in rugby, most punters will back a particular team to come out on top. There will generally be a clear favourite and underdog. This is based on home advantage, form, injuries/suspensions and motivation for victory. For those looking for this rugby market, Hollywoodbets is a site worth considering.
Handicap betting is popular in many sports, including rugby. Here, the favourite will be given a deficit to overcome, while the outsider will be handed a surplus. For example, in the event of South Africa taking on Samoa at the World Cup, punters could bet on the Springboks at -21.5. This means that the Springboks must win by at least 22 points for your bet to win. Playabets is the leading site for handicap rugby betting.
Betting on the total number of points at the end of a rugby game is another popular market. If two attacking teams are going head to head, it could well be worth staking on a high number of tries, conversions and penalties. Generally, bookies will accept bets on different score ranges, i.e. 10-19 or 40-49. Check out 22Bet for rugby total markets.
Half Time/Full Time
As with other sports betting markets, it is possible to bet on the score at both halftime and full time in the same bet. For example, in a Six Nations clash between England and Wales, you could bet on the match to be a draw at halftime, with England winning at full time. Nine different options are available in all. These include win/win, win/draw, win/loss, draw/win, draw/draw, draw/loss, loss/win, loss/draw and loss/loss.
Similar to the total points market, punters can bet on the winning margin at the end of a rugby match. Options range from 0-5 and 46+ at some rugby betting sites. While this is a difficult prediction to make accurately, it does reward winners handsomely. Supabets offers winning margin markets on everything from the World Cup to the English Premiership.
Away from pre-match and live markets, rugby fans can also place future/outright bets. Here, punters are generally betting on the winner of specific leagues and tournaments. For example, betting on South Africa to win the 2023 World Cup. This market is already available with many bookies, along with other outright markets. Interbet offers a good number of future rugby markets.
Rugby Betting Offers
Rugby betting online is the preferred option for many punters, largely due to the promotions available. As opposed to high street bookies, those operating online can normally claim a generous welcome bonus, as well as ongoing promos. Some promotions are specific to rugby, with the following being examples to keep an eye out for:
Both new and existing customers at rugby betting sites will likely be in a position to claim free bets. Awarded to those meeting the qualifying terms, as well as sometimes seemingly at random, free bets are never sniffed at by punters. Not many such offers are likely to be specific to rugby, however, rugby markets will still be eligible in most cases.
Getting your stake back on losing bets is always welcomed by punters. Such an action can result after particular actions. For example, Bet.co.za offers customers their stake back as a free bet, up to R500, in the event of full-time handicap or full-time total points bets losing by just 0.5 points.
Many betting sites now offer enhanced winnings on multiple bets. Accumulator bets are very popular. For example, you may wish to bet on five different rugby teams winning over the weekend. For those doing so, you may well wish to check out Playabets. Here, punters can earn up to 30% on multiples, with rugby markets being eligible.
Similarly, punters can claim refunds in the event of their Acca being let down by just one leg. Minimum odds and selections are likely to have to be met in order to qualify. Sunbet refunds half of their customers’ stake in the event of 5+ rugby multiples losing due to just one pick. Paid out in free bets, the maximum amount is R500.
How to Get the Best Rugby Betting Odds
Rugby betting odds differ between bookmakers. While price differences will appear minimal, even the smallest difference can be significant. As such, it is important to place bets on sites offering the best odds. Whether you view them in decimal, fractional or American format, odds will ultimately determine winnings from successful bets. Having compared the prices with our top-ranked rugby betting sites, the following offer the most appealing odds:
Bookmakers who offer a betting app are likely to hold an immediate advantage over their competitors. Betting apps make wagering on mobile devices quick and simple. Available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, apps are generally significantly quicker than sportsbooks accessed via mobile internet browsers. However, the time and investment required to develop and introduce betting apps are significant. Therefore, not all bookmakers will do so. Those looking to place regular rugby bets when on the go should consider the following apps:
There are no guarantees when it comes to rugby betting. However, there are certainly some steps that punters can take in order to give themselves the best possible chance of success. So, before placing any rugby bet, be sure to follow these simple guidelines:
Tip 1: Learn the Game
Whether you are a newcomer to rugby or have been following the game for years, there is always room to learn. Be sure to keep up to date with leagues, tournaments, teams and players. Rugby transfers happen regularly, with new players potentially enhancing a team significantly. Meanwhile, an injury to a key player could well have a negative impact. Such information is readily available online, so there is no excuse.
Tip 2: Alternative Markets
Rather than constantly placing full-time result bets. It is often more worthwhile to search for value elsewhere. Total points, handicap and winning margin markets are among those worth checking out.
Tip 3: Play the Field
There are no rules when it comes to the number of betting sites you can sign up with. Some customers will register with a hatful of bookies in order to claim their welcome bonuses. However, being a member on more than one site means that you will always be able to utilise the best odds available.
Tip 4: Cash Out
Those familiar with rugby will know just how quickly games can turn. One intercept try or red card can flip a game on its head. As a result, it is important that you track your bets. Upon an unexpected in-game event occurring, it may be worth cashing out your bet. This feature is used to cut losses or guarantee a profit.
Tip 5: Bet Responsibly
As is the case with any form of gambling, punters must stick to a budget and know when to quit. So, before placing your first rugby bet, be sure to come up with a budget, based on your disposable income. Failure to do so could well lead to financial struggles. Remember that betting is about enjoyment first and foremost!
Popular Rugby Betting Leagues & Tournaments
Rugby matches take place at a professional and amateur level daily. However, some leagues and tournaments stand out for both bookies and punters. The following competitions will generally come with the greatest number of markets at rugby betting sites:
Rugby World Cup
Held every four years, the Rugby World Cup is an international tournament featuring the leading nations. South Africa are the reigning champions, having beaten England in the final in 2019. 20 countries compete, with some qualifying automatically, while others must qualify through playoffs. The women’s World Cup is also growing quickly, with the next tournament being held in New Zealand in 2021.
The Rugby Championship
Another major international competition, The Rugby Championship involves South hemisphere countries South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Held annually, the All Blacks have dominated over the years, winning three consecutive titles between 2016-2018. South Africa were the winners in 2019.
In the Northern hemisphere, the international scene is dominated by the Six Nations. Involving England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy, the Six Nations also takes place annually. Each team plays a total of five matches, with the tournament dating back to 1883. Wales have a record 40 titles to their name.
British & Irish Lions
Every four years, the best players from the UK & Ireland come together to tour the Southern Hemisphere. Whether it be New Zealand, Australia or South Africa, the tour is the most unique form of competition in the sport. The Lions recorded a 1-1 Test Series draw in 2017, while they will tour South Africa in 2021.
On a domestic level, Super Rugby is the biggest league in the Southern hemisphere. Having previously involved clubs from South Africa, Argentina and Japan, the league currently only features Australian and Kiwi franchises.
Rugby World Cup Betting
In terms of Rugby Union, the World Cup is viewed as the pinnacle for most players and fans. South Africa’s success in 2019 has made the sport even more popular. The next Rugby World Cup is set for France in 2023, with betting sites having already introduced outright markets on the tournament. With the event having been founded in 1987, the battle to win the Webb Ellis Cup has never been greater. 20 nations compete in total, from both the Southern and Northern hemispheres.
New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and England are the only teams to have won the World Cup to date. As such, it should come as no surprise that the quartet feature heavily in the World Cup rugby betting odds. Betting on the World Cup intensifies during the tournament itself. Those looking for the best betting odds Rugby World Cup should check out 22Bet and Betwinner.
For many, rugby is regarded as the national sport in South Africa. While cricket and soccer are hugely popular too, rugby is a way of life for many. This has unsurprisingly led to the sport being a major player with online bookmakers. Our recommended rugby betting sites offer plenty of markets, competitive odds and generous promotions. As always at Safebettingsites, our top-ranked sites are completely secure and trustworthy. So, be sure to check them out for yourself, before claiming your welcome offer and backing your favourite rugby teams.
Rugby Betting South Africa FAQs
Is it only Rugby Union that can be bet on?
Rugby league is also available with many bookies today. However, with Union tending to dominate in South Africa, this is likely to be the format of the game that grabs the attention of punters.
Which are the most popular rugby betting markets?
Final result, totals, handicap, winning margin and half time/full time are some of the markets regularly taken advantage of by punters. The exact number ranges between bookies. Be sure to look at all available options before staking.
Is live rugby betting available online?
Yes! All of our recommended rugby betting sites offer live betting options. Here, bets are placed on games that are already underway. Odds will fluctuate as points are scored and other incidents take place.
Which are the standout leagues and tournaments to bet on?
The Rugby World Cup is the most famous event in the calendar. However, with the tournament taking place every four years, the Six Nations, Rugby Championship, Super Rugby and European Cup are other more regular competitions to keep an eye on.
Can I watch rugby live with online bookmakers?
Potentially, yes. This depends on the betting site though. Some operators now offer live streaming as one of their additional features. For those offering rugby streams, a qualifying bet or funded sportsbook account will be needed for punters to gain access.
About James Fuller
About James Fuller
James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.