AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 25: A general view during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between Tonga and England at Mt Smart Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Whilst the Six Nations may have come to an end, fans of rugby at least have the long-awaited World Cup to look forward to in the autumn. The ninth iteration of the Rugby World Cup will be hosted in Japan, as teams like New Zealand, Ireland and England compete for the sport’s ultimate prize.

Given this, and with Premiership Rugby and the NRL in Australia also ongoing, there’s plenty for fans of both codes to enjoy and bet on over the coming months. In this respect, the challenge remains to identify the best and most rewarding rugby betting sites, many of which are now available online to gamblers of a legal age.

In this post, we’ll appraise the best rugby betting sites whilst asking how you can identify the very best operators.

  1. Use Odds and Value as key Metrics

As a punter, your ultimate objective should always be to achieve the best possible value for your bets, with the odds provided by bookmakers offering an insight into how you can realise this objective.

After all, the odds provided by bookmakers indicate how much you can expect to win in relation to the value of your stake, and whilst operators often manipulate the price to minimise losses this can at least help to inform your decision as a punter.

If you look on this list of the top rugby betting websites in the United Kingdom, you’ll also notice data that reveals the average payout by specific bookmakers across a host of top-tier rugby tournaments. This is extremely pivotal information, as it offers a deeper insight into the value provided by operators and the odds that they apply to sporting events.

Interestingly, the outcomes vary for different tournaments, so you may want to use alternative bookies to wager on certain events. Whilst Betfair offers the highest average payout across French Rugby championship games, for example, its returns are almost 5% than rival Bet21 for those who wager on the Premiership.

Across the board, Paddy Power arguably offer the highest average payouts, delivering a return-to-player (RTP) rate in excess of 90% for at least three major tournaments.

However, the key thing is to review the data and pick a couple of viable providers for your chosen tournament, before comparing the odds to get the best possible real-time value.

2. Check out the Range of Markets on Offer

As we’ve already said, operators tend to manipulate and exaggerate odds to minimize losses, and this can restrict you in your attempts to achieve real value for money.

If you look at the Premiership match between Bristol and Saracens, for example, you’ll see that the latter were priced at around 8/15 to beat their relegation-threatened rivals. This means that a £2 wager would deliver less than a £1 return, making it difficult to earn serious money without a large initial stake.

One way in which you can overcome this challenge is to seek out alternative betting markets, which enable you to wager on different elements of gameplay as a way of unlocking better value prices.

Once again, however, betting market availability varies from one operator to another, whilst this also fluctuates across different tournaments. Betfair offer an impressive 50 Premiership betting markets, for example, where 21Bet leads the way in the Pro. 14 tournament with a total of 46 markets overall.

Ultimately, the Gallagher Premiership features by far the most betting markets, and from here you begin to compare operators to determine which offers the most impressive range.

Then, take a closer at all available markets in detail before making a final decision and wagering your hard-earned money.

3. Consider the Available Bonus

As the iGaming and online sports betting markets have become increasingly competitive, so too brands have looked to retain their market share through the use of generous welcome bonuses.

Arguably, new casinos tend to offer the most lucrative bonuses, as they cannot call on an existing or loyal player base and instead look to provide overt financial incentives to win custom.

So, it’s always worth checking out new sports betting hubs before placing a wager, as this type of operator may provide a free bet or matched deposit incentives that boost the amount of capital that you have to play with.

Similarly, new casinos may offer bonus bets and promotions that pertain to specific sports and tournaments that you like, including the Rugby World Cup in the run-up to this championship in September of this year.

In the current market, Mansion Bet arguably offers the most compelling welcome bonus for Rugby fans, and one which combines a £50 promotion, a high payout of 93.67% and a broad range of Union and League betting markets.

The key is to always compare the market for new providers and promotions, as this will inform your selections and ensure that you get the best possible deal as a punter.