Betting Strategies
18.09.2023, 04:32
27.05.2024, 04:54

Rugby Betting 101: A Comprehensive Guide to the Sport and Wagering

Rugby is a contact team sport that originated in the UK in the first half of the 19th century as a variation of football where hands can be used. Depending on the type of discipline, rugby is played with 15, 13, or 7 players in each team.

You can place bets on rugby in most Nigerian betting shops. With knowledge of the discipline's specifics and skilled analysis, rugby bets can be profitable over the long term.

The objective of rugby is to throw the ball over the H-shaped goalpost above the crossbar or carry it into the opponent's scoring zone. The side that accumulates the most points from scoring actions wins the game. While draws are possible in rugby, the likelihood of a tie in a match is extremely low. Points can be scored in the game in 5 ways:

  • Try - 5 points for carrying the ball into the scoring zone.
  • Penalty Try - 7 points awarded in situations where a player could have scored a try, but an opponent committed a severe foul that prevented it.
  • Conversion - 2 additional points after a successful try if a player kicks the ball over the H-shaped goalpost above the crossbar.
  • Penalty Kick - 3 points for successfully kicking the ball over the H-shaped goalpost above the crossbar following a rule violation.
  • Drop Goal - 3 points for any accurate kick at the goal during open play.

Rugby is a predictable sport, and upsets are rare.

Rugby as a Sports Betting Option

Rugby is an exotic sport in Nigeria but popular in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, and several other countries. For instance, rugby is more prevalent in the UK than basketball and hockey. The main features of betting on rugby in bookmaker's offices are:

  • Importance of Pre-Match Analysis: Considering past results, the form and motivation of teams and individual players are crucial because upsets in the sport are rare.
  • High Injury Risk: The injury of just one player can significantly alter the course of a match.
  • Scoring in Matches: The average totals are within the 40-50 range, depending on the league.
  • Strong Influence of Weather: Adverse weather conditions can level the playing field, increase the risk of injuries, and decrease the number of points scored in a match.

Bookmakers offer bets on three variations of the sport:

Rugby-15 (Rugby Union)

Also known as rugby union, this is the classic version of the sport with 15 players on each team. Matches consist of two halves, each lasting 40 minutes. Players are allowed to use their hands.

The ball cannot be passed forward to a teammate closer to the opponent's try line than the player passing the ball.

Rugby-13 (Rugby League)

It is a variation of classic rugby involving 13 players on each team. Unlike the union version, rugby league has a limited time to attack – after 5 phases of offence, the ball must be handed over to the opponents.

Rugby League is popular in England, Australia, New Zealand, and France.


A variation of the classic version featuring 7 rugby players on each team with shorter playing time. Players compete in two halves, each lasting just 7 minutes.

Rugby-7 is included in the Olympic sports roster.

Unlike Rugby-15 and Rugby-13, upsets in Rugby-7 are not uncommon due to only 7 rugby players on the field for each side.

Types of Rugby Bets Available in Bookmakers' Lines

Despite the sport's low popularity in Nigeria, many bookmakers provide detailed listings for rugby matches:

  • Outcomes - Victory for the first team, a draw, or victory for the second team.
  • Match Winner - In case the tournament regulations do not allow for a draw.
  • Total Points - Whether the combined points of both teams will be over or under a specified number.
  • Individual Total Points - Whether the points scored by one team will be over or under a chosen value.
  • Handicap Betting - Betting on a victory with a predetermined advantage or deficit.
  • Total Tries - Whether the combined number of tries from both teams will be over or under a given value.
  • Individual Total Tries - Whether the number of tries scored by one team will be over or under a chosen number.
  • Half/Match - Predicting the result of the first half and the overall match outcome.

Additional betting options in the bookmaker's lineup include races to N points, result and total points, final score difference, the team earning the first or last point, the method of earning the first point, and half-time results.

Possible Betting Strategies

Additional betting options in the bookmaker's line include:

  • Race to N Points - Which team will be the first to reach a certain number of points?
  • Score Result and Total Points - Predict the final score and whether the total points will be over or under a specified number.
  • Final Score Difference - Predicting the margin of victory by which one team will win.
  • Team to Score First or Last Point - Betting on which team will earn the match's first or last point.
  • Method of First Point - Predicting how the first point(s) will be scored, for example, a try, penalty, or drop goal.
  • Results by Halves - Predicting the outcomes of individual halves of the match.

What to Consider When Making Predictions

Rugby is a complex sport for betting, requiring an in-depth pre-match analysis taking into account:

  • Tournament Standings and Team Levels - Understanding where each team ranks in the tournament and their overall skill levels.
  • Recent Results and Head-to-Head Matchups - Historical data on how teams have performed recently and their record against each other.
  • Team Line-ups, Player Form, and Injuries - It is crucial to know who is playing, how they've been performing, and if key players are out due to injuries.
  • Individual Performance Metrics - Analyzing the performance indicators of specific players to predict their impact on the upcoming match.
  • Opponent Motivation and Tournament Significance - Assessing how vital a match or tournament is for the participating teams can indicate their potential performance levels.
  • Weather Conditions - The state of the weather can affect play style, player performance, and overall match results.

Experienced players advise against betting on handicaps, as predicting the score difference can be challenging.

When choosing to bet on over or under-total, examining the opponents' statistics and considering the weather conditions is essential.

Pros and Cons of Rugby Betting


  • It's an exciting and spectacular sport.
  • A large number of tournaments in the bookmaker's line and varied match listings.
  • The possibility to find value odds.
  • High predictability and a low frequency of upsets.


  • Dependence on weather conditions.
  • The need for in-depth sports analysis.
  • Smaller maximum limits for bookmakers compared to more popular disciplines.

The main recommendations for betting on rugby are to understand the sport's specifics, devote time to analysis, and consider weather conditions.

Sports betting: rugby, beach soccer, futsal, speedway, and other disciplines previously unfamiliar to the player are less risky if you employ financial management strategies. For example, using the "Flat" strategy – betting 1-5% of your bankroll – won't allow you to lose your entire bank in the event of a losing streak.


What is rugby?

Rugby is a contact team sport that originated in the UK in the first half of the 19th century as a variation of football that can be played with hands. Depending on the type, rugby can have 15, 13, or 7 players on each team.

How does the scoring system work in rugby?

Points can be scored in rugby in five ways:

  • Try (5 points for carrying the ball into the opponent's in-goal area).
  • Penalty try (7 points when a player could've scored a try but was prevented by a foul).
  • Conversion (2 extra points after a successful try by kicking the ball through the H-shaped goalposts).
  • Penalty goal (3 points for a successful kick through the goalposts after a rule violation).
  • Drop goal (3 points for any successful kick through the goalposts during open play).
What are the primary forms of rugby?

There are three main types:

  • Rugby-15 or Union Rugby (classical variation with 15 players).
  • Rugby-13 or League (with 13 players and a limited attacking phase).
  • Rugby-7 (with 7 players and shorter playtime, part of the Olympic sports).
How is rugby affected by weather conditions?

Weather plays a significant role in rugby. Adverse weather conditions can level the playing field, increase the risk of injuries, and reduce the game's scoring.

What are the primary betting options for rugby matches?

Bettors can wager on outcomes, overall scores, individual team scores, point spreads, try totals, and individual halves or full-time results.

How can I increase my chances of winning rugby bets?

Understanding the sport's intricacies, dedicating time for thorough analysis, and considering weather conditions are essential. Knowing the teams, players, and tournament situations is crucial.

Are there any financial strategies recommended for betting on rugby?

Yes, employing financial management strategies like the "Flat" system, where you bet only 1-5% of your bankroll, can protect your bank from significant losses during a losing streak.


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