Rugby is one of the most, if not the most, popular sports in South Africa. Due to this it has fast become one of the most popular choices for sports betting online and offline. There are very strong patriotic feelings towards the national Springbok team as well as the provincial rugby teams such as the Blue Bulls, Sharks and Lions, and punters enjoy betting on exciting rugby tournaments and matches.

Rugby Betting

There are many ways in which to bet in Rugby, we have however highlighted a few different rugby market options below for ease of reference:

Match result – as the name suggests this is pretty straight forward type of rugby betting and bettors will place their bets on who will win the match or if both teams will draw. Match result betting will often look something like this:
Lions (2/1) – if you like the Lions and bet R100 on them your bet will be 200/100, which means if the Lions win you will win R300 (R100 stake and R200 profit)
Bulls 16/10 (or 1.6/1) – if you like the bulls and bet R100 on them your bet will be 160/100, which means if they win you would win R260 (R100 stake and R160 profit)


Winning margin – simply put, this rugby betting option allows you to choose which team will win and by how many points. A bracket of points are usually used here for example 1-5 or 6-10.

Team to score first or team to score last – Betting on this option is fun and simple. As the name suggests entails betting on which team scores first and/or last.

Handicap – In this market a bookmaker will set a margin that they think the team will win by. This is usually done when the opposing teams differ in strength and performance. It keeps the betting very exciting as your team either has to beat the other team by a certain margin or prevent the other team from winning by a certain margin. In South Africa, this is probably one of the most popular ways of betting on a rugby game.

There are many more types of rugby betting but the above four are probably the most popular. It is useful to research all your options before placing any bets. Below we briefly give you some rugby betting tips and strategies once you’ve decided where and how you will be betting.

Place a Rugby Bet


Rugby Betting Tips

Sports betting enthusiasts worldwide keep their eyes closely on events such as the Rugby World Cup, the Absa Currie Cup, the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, the Six Nations, the European Champions Cup and more. There are a few points you can take into consideration if you’re wanting to bet on the upcoming Rugby events, such as:

Know your team – Due to Rugby being an international sport it is probably best to choose a league or two to focus on and bet on these together with Rugbys main events such as the Rugby World Cup. By doing this you will make it easier to track a players progress as well as a teams performance and ultimately when it comes time to place your bets on major events such as the Rugby World Cup, you will have a far more informed frame of reference to use.

Look at past results – there are many instances where previous meetings results will give you a good indication on the outcome of a game. Some teams will have been evenly matched when you look at the statistics, and have similar win lose ratios. However some teams will be clear favourites. For example, in a total of 28 test matches starting in 1905 the All Blacks have never lost to Ireland. So placing a rugby bet on Ireland to beat the All Black might offer some good betting odds, but in reality the All Blacks will likely win.


Look at each teams strengths and weaknesses – when particular teams play against each other each will have specific strengths and weaknesses. Certain conditions, venues and team selection will give you a better idea of what the likely outcome of the event will be, allowing you to make an educated rugby bet. For example the team playing might have a super home venue win ratio, or play an extremely tight, low risk game, which can be favourable in wet conditions.

Keep track of the news – in order to practice effective rugby betting you will need to know the team selection, which players are injured, suspended or not playing in that particular match. Often when international tournaments are taking place, teams can be without several first team players and on those occasions great value can be found in betting in favour of their opponents. For example when Dan Cater was injured during training in the 2011 Rugby World Cup and ultimately ruled out of action for the remainder of the tournament, many pundits felt New Zealand’s chances of the winning the world cup took a major blow.

Understanding Rugby Betting

Topic #1 How to Read Rugby Betting Odds

How much do I bet, and how much will I win?
Common questions, and great questions for new sports bettors to ask!
There are two ways that you will typically see odds displayed, as a fraction 2/1 (or 2 to 1) or as a decimal 2.00.
How you chose to view the odds is a personal preference.
If you chose to view odds as a decimal, you take the first number and divide it by the second. So if your odds read 7/4, you simply divide 7 by 4, which equals 1.75. That is the decimal form odds, now you simply multiply 1.75 by whatever your stake amount is to figure out your potential profit. In this case, if you were to risk R100, then your potential win would be R175 profit. In addition, you will receive your initial stake amount of R100 as well, for a total of R275 in your hand.

Topic #2 80 Minutes Winner

This is where you simply bet on which team will win the game outright, no handicaps, just the straight up winner.  Although this may appear to be easier, you will pay for it as the odds (payout) will reflect the lack of a handicap. If you bet on a favourite then you will win less than with a handicap, but if you bet on the underdog and win you will receive and even greater win amount based on the greater risk taken.

Topic #3: The Handicaps and Totals

Okay, you look at the games for Saturday and you see something like this:
South Africa (-44.5)    Japan (+44.5)
This is the betting line not the odds.

How to read Handicaps
Whenever you see a team with a (-) number next to them (-44.5 in this case) that means that team is favoured to win by that margin: 44.5 points. So there are two options here. A player can choose to bet on the matchup either South Africa -44.5 points, or Japan +44.5 points. For the player who bets on South Africa -44.5, SA must win by more than 44.5 points for this to be a winning bet. For the player who bets on Japan +44.5, they must either win the game, or lose by less than 44.5 points for this to be a winning bet. You will see the points displayed as half numbers like South Africa -44.5. If you bet on South Africa and they win by 45 you win. If they win by 44 or less you lose.

How to Bet Over/Under
Okay so the other betting option available to you is the total or ‘Over/Under’. You can choose to bet that the total points between the two teams will either be greater (OVER) or less than (UNDER) the projected total.

Topic #4: Exotic Markets

Exotics are bet types under each match that follow that match.
This is a fun way for people to bet on what will happen in the 80 Minutes match.

Markets that we offer include but are not limited to:
• Team to Score Last
• 1st Try Converted
• Anytime Try Scorer
• Number of Tries
• 1st Try scorer
• First half Total Points
• To Win the First Half
• Winning Margin
• Half time/Full time
• Home Team to Win First Half
• Half Time Handicap
• First Scoring Play

Rugby Betting South Africa

Rugby is one of the most popular sports in South Africa, needless to say it is also one of the most popular sports to bet on in South Africa due to its huge viewership. Most South Africans remember where they were during the 1995 World Cup final against New Zealand where Joel Stransky kicked the winning drop goal through the poles. Not only is it an incredibly popular sport in South Africa but also in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, France and Argentina. As most sports betting enthusiasts will know, there are a variety of ways to bet on a rugby match and many matches to wager on.

In rugby betting it is important to immerse yourself in the teams you will bet on as well as the players and their performance. It’s a good idea to concentrate on a particular country or two or three countries to really get to grips with the sport. It is therefore also best to focus on a league or two alongside the games main events. You should however be careful not to spread yourself too thin as it will be time consuming to keep track of everything that will affect a wager such as injuries, winning or losing streaks or player bans.


Some of the popular rugby betting types in South Africa include season points, supremacy, first try scorer, last try scorer, outright winner, futures, match betting and total points. Most of these are self-explanatory forms of betting and are available at most online and offline Bookmakers. Most Bookmakers will also offer their own odds and this is a good indication of which team to bet on. Popular Rugby events to bet on include the Rugby World Cup (which happens every four years), the Six Nations, the Super Rugby, the Heineken Cup and the Challenge Cup. Although betting on rugby matches isn’t as popular as for example horse racing betting, it is definitely gaining momentum particularly in South Africa as fans are incredibly loyal and dedicated to their chosen teams and will often bet on them.

For specialized and comprehensive local and international betting on rugby, horse racing, soccer, tennis, golf and motorsport, as well as extensive in house and online sports betting facilities, visit Keith Ho BetXchange for the most competitive prices and the largest sports betting options available in South Africa.