There’s always been a strong Rugby League betting market in the UK, even if it’s yet to reach the same levels of commercial omnipresence as football betting.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s easy to imagine that some seasoned punters find betting on Rugby League rather more appealing because it’s a little bit leftfield and offers punters a slightly different challenge. So, if you’re bored of betting on football or love Rugby League but haven’t familiarised yourself with it as a betting sport, here’s our brief guide.
What can I bet on?
Most UK bookmakers offer an extensive selection of Ruby League markets covering most of the major European competitions as well as odds for Australian Rugby League. Betfair.com offers odds on the Super League, Challenge Cup, Championships 1 and 2 as well as the NRL, Holden Cup, World Club Challenge and most internationals, plus plenty more besides.
Types of Bet
The most popular and arguably the simplest way to bet on rugby league is to bet on a match outcome. Once you have decided which team to back you then pick home win, draw or away win, although of course draws are pretty rare in Rugby. Simple as that!
Handicap betting is a popular feature of betting on Rugby League and may be unfamiliar to those more used to the football betting market. Essentially it is a method used by bookmakers to level up unevenly matched fixtures by offering handicap odds. This effectively entails giving the underdogs a head start. So, for instance, St Helens are playing Warrington Wolves. The Match odds are St Helens: 8/11, Warrington: 11/10. With a +10 handicap however (which means 10 points are added to Warrington’s total and St Helens must now win by more than 10) St Helens are now 19/10 to win and Warrington are 2/5.
The process can benefit bookmakers because it is often effective as a generator of money and interest on both sides of a fixture, even if it looks like a mismatch. It can also add interested and increase opportunities for punters.
An outright bet is placed on the outcome of an entire league or competition rather than on an individual game. Ante-post outright bets are often placed before the season starts but you can also bet on outright markets during the course of the competition. Quite often outright odds are longer and therefore offer bigger returns.
As with most sports betting you can bet on all sorts of permutations. Many of these markets will be familiar to those who have bet on football before and there are typically plenty of opportunities to bet on individual players. Tryscorer bets offer a variety of different betting opportunities – First tryscorer (who you think will score the first try of the match), last tryscorer (ditto with the last try) or anytime tryscorer (a player you think will score at any time in the match). You can typically also bet on markets like Man of the Match ot you think a player will score a hat-trick.