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A Beginner's Guide to Rugby League Betting Online


Rugby has long been a sport that wagerers have gone to in order to maximise their bets, and while rugby union remains the prominent code of rugby; league also offers its incentives to wagerers. The sport has been taken to new levels across the world, with the National Rugby League in Australia and the Super League in the United Kingdom/Europe being the two most popular club competitions.

Internationally, the pinnacle of the sport is the World Cup, and this is held every four years. The dominant countries on the global stage are New Zealand, England and Australia; with no other countries having tasted success in the competition. But, when looking at betting on the sport, what options do punters have in placing their bets?

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Competitions to Bet On

Before going into detail about the types of rugby league bet that bettors can place, first you must understand which competitions are the most prominent. Without doubt, the World Cup is the best international competition for a flutter on online sportsbooks, but for frequent rugby league betting options wagerers shouldn’t look past the Super League, Challenge Cup and the Championship in the UK.

The second-tier is where you will find the Toronto Wolfpack (now recently promoted to Super League) and Toulouse Olympique, which just highlights the international involvement in the sport. The French also have the Catalan Dragons in the Super League. There might also be a second professional team playing in Canada as the English Hemel Stags are considering a relocation to Ottawa.

Wagerers can also lay stakes on competitions such as the NRL, Holden Cup from Australia, and the World Club Challenge. Also, the Colonial Cup is a significant event that takes place every year between the USA and Canada, and punters can lay a stake on this event too.

Match Betting

The most common way of betting on most sports, including rugby league, is simply placing a match bet. This means that a punter would simply lay a stake on the team that they believe will win the match. This is the easiest way to place a bet for novices. For example, you could place a bet on the Toronto Wolfpack to beat Toulouse Olympique, and the bet is a winning one as long as Toronto win. Of course, draws are also an option and these could be incredibly lucrative since they are pretty rare.

Handicap Betting

This type of betting is only beginning to get more popular in other sports because of the dominance of the better teams. However, it has always been a frequent option for those that bet on rugby league. In essence, the handicap betting is way to bridge the gap between the better teams and the worse sides. For the fixtures that are anticipated to be a one-way encounter this is the best kind of way to maximise bets as they will give the underdog a head start.

For example, if the Warrington Wolves are facing the Catalan Dragons, the Wolves would be priced at 1/7 to win the match, while the Dragons are priced at 9/2 in the match betting. However, the handicap can be utilised here, and bettors can put a -16 handicap on Warrington at odds of 10/11, which would ensure a bigger amount of money won back should that bet win. For the bet to be a winning one however, Warrington must win by at least 17 points.


Both of the betting types that we have already discussed are singles, but a bettor can combine multiple selections into one bet called an accumulator. The most common variation of this in rugby league is to select three or four teams and then place a wager on all of these teams winning. However, there are also other options such as Lucky 15’s and Yankees. Both of these bets will consist of multiple types of bets; including singles, doubles and trebles as well as all of the selections winning. It is a good insurance way of betting that ensures that the wagerer can at least win a certain amount back as long as one selection wins.

Other Match Specials

The fun doesn’t stop with just picking the winner, as wagerers can also lay stakes on first try scorers, the team that will score the most tries and the player that will win the man of the match award. All of these markets ensure that punters remain interested in the game throughout and could present extra value for money.

Outright Betting

One of the most common ways to bet to keep engagement throughout the season are the outright markets, or ante-post betting. This is where a punter would lay a stake on the team that they believe will win certain competitions such as the World Cup, Super League or the NRL. You can also place each-way bets on these competition which would see the bettor win 1/3 of the price should the selection come second. However, the each-way selection is most typically used in horse racing and not rugby league.

Top Rugby League Competitions

Challenge Cup (August)

Super League Semi-Finals (September)

NRL Semi-Finals (September)

Super League Grand Final (October)

NRL Grand Final (October)

Colonial Cup (September)

World Cup Repechage Qualifiers (November)

Four Nations (2020)

Rugby League World Cup (2021)

Betting Do’s and Don’ts

Before betting on the upcoming rugby league fixtures, there are a few things that wagerers must be aware of to ensure that they have made a smart bet.

  • The first of which is to do your research. You should read up on the latest form, head to head records and the latest club news of the teams involved. These are all essential aspects of what could transpire in the game, so this stage is imperative.
  • The big thing to avoid is simply betting on teams that you support because you like them.
  • The same goes with betting on teams because they have a player that you know, or because you like their strip.

All of these are aspects that are not important to the game itself, and you should be more astute than that.

Start Betting

These are the general guidelines to remember before beginning to place your bets on rugby league, but practise does make perfect. You can begin your online sports betting journey now, but if you’re just starting out, remember to start small until you understand fully.

Being responsible will ensure that you enjoy your betting experience when staking money on rugby league.

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