Rugby League Betting

Rugby league, or as the full name says, rugby league football, is one of the most exciting sports on the planet. It is a hard-hitting and fast-paced team sport that requires tons of attributes from players, including speed, strength, courage, as well as determination. 

Some say that it doesn’t get more physical than rugby league, and it is hard to argue against that. Over the years, the popularity of the sport has grown immensely, and today, it is one of the most watched in the world.

For that reason, many bookmakers offer various betting options for rugby league. If you are looking to start your betting adventure with rugby league, keep reading to find out everything about it.

Brief History of Rugby League

Rugby league has a very long and rich history. We can trace its roots back to 19th-century England. Several clubs from northern England were participants in a unified rugby code at that time, but they became unhappy over time.

That is when they started their own competition due to their frustration with the rules of the Rugby Football Union. 

Those rules didn’t allow them to pay players for their time off work or even when they weren’t present due to injuries.

Therefore, 21 clubs broke away and formed their own league on August 29, 1895. Of course, over time, the rules of the league changed, and they all helped differentiate rugby league from the previous league.

The name “rugby league” was adopted in 1922, and by that time, it had been exported to countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and France. Nowadays, you can find this sport in more than 30 countries around the world, with its popularity increasing all the time.

Rugby League Rules and Gameplay

Rugby league has a very simple rule that newbies won’t have a problem understanding. The aim of the sport is straightforward – score more points than your opponents. Two 13-player teams battle to win.

On top of those 13 players, teams can use up to 4 reserves. All substitutes can get themselves substituted up to 12 times. Of course, referees are in charge of governing the game in rugby league.

As for scoring, there are three methods:

  • Grounding the ball in the opponent’s try-line – you get four points
  • Kicking at goal – six points
  • Penalty – two points

Players in rugby league can pass the ball as often as they wish until they get tackled. Each time in the game can make six tackles before the release, after which the team in possession must play the ball.

When it comes to scrums, they restart the game following a rule break. Six players from each team can perform the push in a scrum. 

Finally, we have to mention the offside rules in rugby league. Defenders and attackers can be offside in rugby league. A defender is offside if:

  • He is less than 10 meters from the play-the-ball as the ball is played
  • He is closer to the opponent’s try line than the ball
  • He is less than 5 meters from the base in a scrum

However, there are different rules for attackers in rugby league. They are offside if:

  • They are in front of the ball
  • They are in front of a ball and then the ball is kicked

Difference Between Rugby League and Rugby Union

You might be confused about whether rugby league and rugby union are the same, but we want to point out that they are not. There are some important rule differences in both sports, grouped into the categories below.


As mentioned above, there are 13 players per team in rugby league, while rugby union consists of two 15-player teams. Moreover, unlike rugby league, teams in rugby union can make up to 7 substitutions.


All of the above-mentioned methods of scoring are valid for both sports, but the points accumulation differs:

  • You get 5 points for a try in rugby union
  • Drop goals and penalties get teams 3 points


The main difference between rugby league and rugby union comes with tackling. In rugby league, a player needs to have the ball between the legs after a tackle and then roll it to a teammate. 

Teams can do this up to six times in possession. As mentioned above, if the ball goes out of play, the game restarts with a scrum.

When it comes to rugby union, if a player suffers a tackle, he needs to release the ball, but any player can get it as long as they are standing and onside. Furthermore, if the ball gets out of play, a lineout restarts it—eight players scrum. 

Popular Rugby League Betting Markets

Thankfully, if you are looking to start betting on rugby league, you have plenty of options at your disposal, which speaks volumes about its popularity.

To save you some time on research, we have come up with the most popular betting types for rugby league that are more than enough to get you started. Let’s take a closer look.

Match Bets

There are various match bets that you can choose from if you want to bet on rugby league. Match bets can mean anything, from a winner of the game to teams reaching a certain amount of points first, a team leading after certain minutes played, or a team winning both halves.

Future Bets

As is the case with other sports, reputable rugby league bookmakers will offer you the chance to place future bets. 

You can place them well in advance of a major tournament or competition taking place. From lower leagues to glamorous international tournaments, the best sports betting sites will offer you future bets on everything. 

As an example, you can place bets on the outright winner of a certain division or back a player to get individual honors.

Handicap Bets

There is always a favorite in rugby league games, and match handicaps are there to offer better value for money than the standard result markets. 

Here, bookmakers will set a points line that gives one of the teams a head start in terms of points. So, a win is not enough here; instead, the team needs to win by a margin set in the handicap market.

Margin Bets

To get even better odds and potentially bigger payouts, you can also choose to combine the match result and the winning margin. 

Most commonly, sports betting sites offer “big win or little win” bets, where you can choose from two point spreads for the team you back. Exact margin bets and point brackets are also interesting examples here.

Tryscorer Bets

Online sports betting sites also offer various prop markets, and there are tons to choose from. Tryscorer bets are very common, and you can choose to back the first tryscorer or anytime tryscorer. Of course, the former gives you better odds than the latter.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets are also known as accumulator bets, and they feature several betting types in a single bet. Of course, the more markets you include, the better your odds and payout will be, but the risk is also higher. To secure a win here, you need to correctly guess all inclusions on your bet slip.

Live Betting Experience

Finally, we have to mention the live betting option for rugby league. All world-class operators make sure to offer live betting options for all rugby league games on the site.

You can place various live bets, from player props to match props. All you need to do is follow the match closely and act fast if you think something is about to happen next.

Top Rugby League Tournaments

Australia, Asia, and Europe emerge as the continents where rugby league is played the most. Bookmakers offer various betting markets for tournaments in all these regions, with some of the most popular ones being:

  • State of Origin – annual rugby league series in Australia between two sides – New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons. The format is best-of-three.
  • Rugby League – introduced in 1998, it features 15 teams from Australia and one from New Zealand. These teams compete in a league and knockout system for a place in the National Rugby League Grand Final 
  • Super League Rugby – now, we head to the UK and Europe where the Super League Rugby takes place. Teams from the north of England, London, Paris and southern France participate in a multi-tier league system with promotions and relegations. 
  • Rugby League World Cup – active since 1954, but it got today’s format in 1995. As you would expect from a world cup, punters and fans follow it with much interest.

Of course, there are tons of other rugby league tournaments in the world, but much of the focus is put on the above-mentioned.

Rugby League Betting Tips

Before we mention some rugby league betting tips, you need to be aware that none of them will guarantee you a win, no matter the circumstances. There is always an element of luck involved in any bet you place.

However, our guidelines can help you at least shift the odds a bit in your favor. With that in mind, some of the general rugby league betting tips you can follow are:

  • Do your research on teams and players – don’t even think about placing a bet before doing your homework. Take a look at what is the form of teams and players, and whether there are any injuries;
  • Bet on major tournaments – when major tournaments take place, bookies will offer plenty of interesting betting markets. Therefore, it is a good idea to always take major tournaments into consideration when betting on rugby league;
  • Check the weather – as is the case with all outdoor sports, the weather has a big role in any rugby league match; 
  • Don’t bet on your favorite team – the logic here is very simple-by betting on your favorite team you might let your emotions cloud your reason and place a bet that is anything but objective;
  • Don’t always back favorites – upsets do happen in rugby league, so do your research and back the underdogs from time to time, you might get nice returns;
  • Control your spending – finally, budget control is vital in sports betting. You need to set a budget limit and never step out of it. That is how rugby league betting will remain a nice pastime activity.

How to Bet on Rugby League

Now that you know all the essentials of rugby league betting, it is time to walk you through the process of placing a wager. That process is not complicated at all, as all you need to do is follow the next few steps.

Create an Account at a Bookmaker

First off, you need to find a trusted rugby league sports betting site and complete the registration process. If you provide the necessary information correctly, you will be done here in just a couple of minutes.

Make Your First Deposit

All bookmakers will ask you to top-up your account before you start your betting adventure. Choose from the list of payment methods and make your first deposit. Keep in mind that different bookmakers have different deposit limits.

Claim the Welcome Bonus

A good way for bookies to attract new punters is to offer a handsome welcome bonus for new players. Take a look at its terms and conditions, and if you are okay with them, feel free to opt-in and use the bonus for your rugby league bets.

Start Betting

You are now done with the formalities, and your betting journey can start. Open the sports section on the site, find rugby league games, and choose a betting market. Hopefully, you will secure your first win shortly after.

Is it Safe and Legal to Bet on Rugby League?

There is a very simple answer to this question. To ensure that you have a safe betting journey, you need to register with a reputable and licensed bookmaker. As for the legality, this mainly depends on where you live. Some countries allow online sports betting, while others oppose it.


Do I get a welcome bonus at rugby league bookmakers?

Yes, all reputable sports betting sites offer welcome bonuses for newly registered players. Of course, what type of bonus you get depends on the platform.

What is the best betting market for rugby league?

This depends on what type of punter you are. If you are a newbie in the betting world, then simple match bets are always good to get you started.

Can I place live bets on Rugby League?

As live betting grows in popularity in the sports betting community, rugby league bookmakers offer plenty of live betting options for all major events and tournaments.