Rugby League Betting

For its entire existence, rugby league has rather been played in the shadow of its more popular counterpart – rugby union. The two codes have obvious similarities but somehow, union has always had a bigger following and therefore gets bigger exposure from the TV companies and from associated advertising.

Rugby League does, however, have its dedicated fans and in some parts of the world it is actually more popular than the 15 man game. 2017 has seen another edition of the Rugby League World Cup and the sport is thriving and growing all the time.

And, League has its backers among the betting community who know that this sport can provide them with tons of value and opportunities. Like all sports, it pays to do proper research and to choose your bookmaker wisely so here is a brief guide to the game along with some of the best bookies for your rugby betting.

History and Major Events

Italy – France 1954

Like many sports where there are conflicting codes, rugby league formed as a split from rugby union and its history in this respect can be traced back to England in 1895. At the time, rugby union was a staunchly amateur sport and it stayed that way for many years and league was effectively set up as a professional alternative.

Even in the present day, the majority of English rugby league clubs are based in the north of England and this is no coincidence. Back in 1895, the best players in the north were from traditional working class areas and they simply couldn’t continue to play without some form of financial compensation.

There have been some subtle rule changes over the years that really separate league from union in the modern day. The most obvious of these is that rugby league is played with 13 players as opposed to 15 in union and the league game has no line outs – these were abolished in 1906 – and this is one of the reasons why league is a faster paced version of rugby.

From those early origins the game of Rugby League started to spread and now it is played all over the world. In fact, the Rugby League World Cup pre-dates its union counterpart by over 30 years. The very first tournament was held in France in 1954 and the 2017 renewal was its 15th edition.

Australia are by far the most successful team in the history of the World Cup with ten wins ahead of the 2017 competition, followed by three victories for Great Britain and a solitary success for New Zealand in 2008.

So, now you know a little bit more about the game, who are the best bookmakers for Rugby betting?


Genting are a more established name than others as their casino brand was set up many years ago and that’s certainly a benefit for any punter. But that needs to be backed up with those key areas of choice and value and once again, this operator scores very highly.

Prices are strong and there is just a marginally better set of choices in the side markets where Genting will frequently list some options for total points in the bigger rugby league matches. Once again, all of the top games are covered along with a solid set of smaller fixtures from around the globe.


If that choice of side markets is the most important factor for you when considering a list of rugby league betting sites, RedBet may well be the market leaders in this respect. For the big games such as those in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, it’s common for them to have over 40 different betting options for one game.

Looking at prices, the other bookies on this list might just have the slightly longer odds but there is little to choose between them and RedBet are certainly competitive in this respect. Value is therefore on offer here but it’s that huge selection of side markets that make this bookmaker really stand out

William Hill

Of the more established bookies, we feel that William Hill are right up there in terms of rugby league betting. Most of the older brands will offer a set of options but it’s maybe not a sport that is given the same coverage as its Union rival.

Again, side betting is plentiful and the prices, particularly in the result betting are really strong. Hills also have the obvious benefit of being listed on the main odds comparison sites and while that shouldn’t deter you from using the other names in this round up, it means that you can see how good those odds are when stacked up against other brands.

Each of these bookmakers stands out in a slightly different way but as we keep mentioning, it’s all about choice and value and all of them score highly in that respect. Whether you are a regular punter on rugby league or you’d like to get involved with an occasional bet, any of these names would provide good homes.