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Betting on Rugby League

As the sport of Rugby League becomes increasingly more popular in the UK, so too is its association with betting – Ladbrokes and, more recently, Betfred just two well-known bookmakers who have taken the mantle as chief sponsors. Due to such public interest, it’s not hard to see why Bookies have invested heavily into sponsorship and enhanced their overall sportsbook offering. Rugby League is a sport that not only presents many different betting angles, but keeps customers entertained for the full match duration. There can also be ‘value’ in many of the markets which sometimes can be difficult to find elsewhere. One example being, betting on the first try-scorer favourite in Rugby League will return odds of around 8/1. Compare that with Football, and the average price on a first goalscorer favourite can be as little as 3/1. Of course, there is a difference between the number of players though, as anybody who follows Rugby League will know, it’s rare a prop forward opens the scoring! There are many other markets popular markets to bet on, here are just a few:

Popular Markets

Win-Draw- Win

Otherwise known as match betting. This is the most popular market in any sport not just Rugby League. Win-Draw- Win betting allows customers to bet on the home team winning, the away team winning or, the more uncommon result, a draw. In simple terms, if your team wins, you win.

Handicap betting

Another popular choice for customers looking for potentially a bigger price on the match result favourite, or a points advantage on the second-favourite. See example below.

Example: Warrington (-6) v Wigan (+6)

You back Wigan (+6) to beat Warrington. The final score is Warrington 22-20 Wigan. Warrington have won the match, but when you take the handicap into account, Wigan have scored 26 points which means your bet has won. If the match finished Warrington 26-20 Wigan the market would be settled as a handicap draw.

First Try scorer

Fancy your chances of picking the game’s first try-scorer? Well this market is for you! If your selection crosses the white-wash first in the match, you win!

Anytime Try scorer

If you’re struggling to pick a player to score first then why not back them to score anytime? Although this type of bet is much shorter odds (than the former), it is much easier to predict and can provide some great value when adding to an accumulator.

Points +/-

The points market, although perhaps not as popular as outright betting, is a good way to get involved without having to choose the match winner. Bookies will price up a line in which customers can either go under or over that points figure. Here is an example.

Warrington v Wigan

Under 42.5 points – 10/11

Over 42.5 points – 10/11

Using the example above if the match finished Warrington 22-20 Wigan, then punters backing ‘under’ would win. Those backing over would not as there was a total of 42 points in the game. It is that simple.

Now you know more about betting on Rugby League, here a guide into the sport and its most successful teams.

The famous New Zealand Haka

A Rookies guide to Rugby League

The game of Rugby League originated back in 1895, when northern clubs controversially split from the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The clubs wanted to compensate their players for time away from work (tours, injuries etc.) however the RFU refused and as such, lead to the creation of a new game: Rugby League. To differentiate the two, many different rules were introduced such as a reduction in the number of players by two (forwards), and a play-the- ball to replace the rucks used in Rugby Union. Since then, Rugby League has gone on to become one of the leading contact sports around, and is watched by millions predominantly on Sky Sports and the BBC.


League is a simple sport to grasp. Each side is made up of thirteen players with four substitutes and an 18 th man (in case of a pre-match injury). Having only six plays, otherwise known as tackles in each set, it is the offensive teams aim to score a try which is worth four points or get as close to the oppositions line as possible – this, to reduce the risk of conceding points. Once a try is scored, like Rugby Union, the opposing team will have the chance to add a further two points by an attempt at conversion (kicking the rugby ball between your opponents sticks). There are two 40-minute half’s in a match which is officiated by a referee and two touch judges.


Prior to 1996, Rugby League was a predominantly a winter sport known as the RFL Championship. Wigan Warriors were the most successful team of this era, winning 16 championships and 16 Challenge Cups (a knockout competition involving all amateur, semi-professional, and professional clubs). Since then, and largely due to broadcasting reasons, Rugby League became a summer sport under the title competition Super League and would go on to rival Australia’s premier competition: NRL. Leeds Rhinos have won the most Super League trophies (7) with South Sydney Rabbitohs winning the most NRL titles (21).



  • Super League – 14 teams
  • Championship – 12 teams
  • League 1 – 16 teams


  • NRL – 16 teams