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Rugby Betting Explained

Rugby Betting Explained

South Africans love their rugby. But what many of them don’t know is that there’s a better way to bet on the game than simply having a six-pack bet on the outcome with your mate. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular betting markets for Rugby Union.

Match Winner

The most self-explanatory of bets to take on a rugby match. You are simply betting on the outcome of the match with three options: home win, draw, or away win.

Draw No Bet

The draw is quite rare in Rugby Union, but it does happen from time to time. If you’re worried about the draw scuppering your bet then take a Draw No Bet market. Your bet will be refunded if the match result ends in a draw. Be aware, though, that you will get slightly lesser odds than the normal match winner market.


The most popular bets on rugby are handicap bets. This is often where some of the best value is to be found. The handicap is an advantage that bookmakers give one team to make the game more balanced. The team given the positive handicap can win, draw or lose the game by less than the handicap to cover the bet and win. The team with the negative handicap must win the match by more than the points set out in the handicap to win their bet.

Example: In a match between England and South Africa the handicap is England -3.5 or South Africa +3.5.

For your bet on England to land they would need to win by 4 or more points (covering the -3.5 cap) and alternately if you bet on South Africa they would need to lose by less than four points, draw the game or win the match for your handicap bet to land. As you can imagine, handicap betting can add excitement and interest to even the most one-sided of rugby matches as you look to see whether your team can perform better than the expected handicap.

Half Time / Full Time

This market allows you to predict who will be leading at half time and then who will win the game. You can get any combination of either team to be leading or draws (9 different options in total) and this also provides you with added value on the odds.

1×2 1st Half

Bet on the first half result. Here again you have the option of the home team, away team or the draw.

Handicap 1st Half

Handicap betting, but on the first half. Particularly interesting if you favour a team to play well from the start of the game. Often an enticing bet if you think a strong team will blast a weaker team from kick-off or that a weaker team will manage to keep things tight in the first half.

Half with Most Points

This bet is to see which half will be the higher scoring half of the game (first half versus second half). If you think the teams will grind each other in the first half before things open up then go for the second half bet. If you think things will lose momentum in the second half as substitutes are made then opt for the first half to be higher scoring.

There are lots of other markets on offer for all domestic and international rugby matches, so be sure to try them out after you’ve played the markets explained above.

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