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GAA Betting Guide - How To Bet On Gaelic Games

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The Gaelic Games comprise six different sports which include Gaelic football, hurling, handball, rounders, camogie, and ladies' football. Whilst these sports are played worldwide, they are particularly popular in Ireland where ongoing competitions are played during the season before the overall winners are crowned at Croke Park every year during an event called the All-Ireland finals.

Needless to say, the ever-increasing popularity of these unique sports has led to a greater interest in how to bet on Gaelic games. Read our GAA betting guide to help shine some much-needed light on the quirks of betting on GAA.


Which Are The Gaelic Games

The Gaelic games can be best described as celebrating the best of Irish sporting culture and is a tradition that spans back to 1884. At least, it was on the 1st of November 1884 when a group of determined Irishmen came up with the concept of the Gaelic games in a bid to preserve the native sports of the country that were in danger of being lost in time.

Fortunately, there were many like-minded people in Ireland who also felt passionately about protecting the identity of the country’s indigenous sports and within six months, a host of GAA clubs had popped up all over the Emerald Isle. The rest as they say is history with the GAA games now the most popular sporting pastime in Ireland.


Hurling is a game that is played on a field between two teams of 15 players who use a stick, which is referred to as a hurley, and a ball called a sliotar. As for the goalposts, picture a mixture between a football net and rugby poles on top of each other - are you with us? Good. Crucially, players who strike the ball into the bottom of the net earn three points for their team whilst any ball that goes over the crossbar and through the poles gives a team one point. To successfully score a goal, players must use a striking motion or drive the ball through the net. It's a lot to take in but it's also extremely captivating and will leave you on the edge of your seat. Now, onto Gaelic football.

Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football is played on a field with a football that can be kicked, caught, and passed to another player by way of hand, making it a cross between football and rugby. The football in question is marginally smaller than a traditional soccer ball and when a player has it in hand, they can only carry it for four steps at a time. Once these allotted steps are up, the ball must be bounced or dropped onto the foot so that it can be kicked back into the hand of the player. Scoring is the same as hurling, with players aiming for a football net with rugby posts on top of them. One point is awarded for a shot over the crossbar whilst three are given for any ball driven in the net. Again, parts of this Gaelic football betting guide can sound complicated but once you get the hang of the rules you'll be swapping your Premier League football for a Gaelic football in no time.


The easiest way to grasp the goings-on in Gaelic handball is to think of the game of squash. Only in this variation, players use their hands and not rackets to hit the ball against the wall. As in squash, a point is scored when a shot cannot be returned by the opposing player. In Gaelic handball, the game can be contested by two or four players. Needless to say, only the fittest prevail in Gaelic handball as this is an extraordinary test of stamina and endurance, with players only able to use their hands to generate the speed that a winning shot requires. Just try using your hands next time you're at your local squash court and you'll soon be amazed at those who play Gaelic handball.


It is believed that baseball was derived from rounders, with the first Irish settlers taking the concept over to the United States. So, when you think of how rounders could work, you only need to picture the game of baseball. Indeed, a point is scored when a player is able to complete a run after touching all three bases on the field. Conversely, a player is out when they fail to hit the ball three times, are caught in the outfield, or run out after failing to make their ground before they get to the base in question that the opposition is guarding.


Essentially, camogie is the female version of hurling. The field, the number of participants and equipment used are all the same. There are, however, a few changes to the rules in camogie, with players able to score goals that are passed by hand. The other noticeable difference is that players are allowed to drop their hurl when doing this. This is not accepted in hurling, with the men required to hold on to their hurley. Otherwise, the game of camogie is almost identical to hurling in every other way. It is played by over 100,000 women in Ireland and across the globe.

Ladies Football

Again, similar to the previously discussed hurling and camogie that we've just dived into, ladies' football is virtually the same as Gaelic football. There are only a few key variations separating the two codes. In particular, competitors playing ladies' football are allowed to directly pick the ball up from the ground. Crucially, the shoulder charge is not permitted when the ball is being contested. Apart from those changes, ladies' football is similar in almost every other way to Gaelic football. The players, size of the field, and equipment are all the same.


Ready to discuss the Gaelic games' betting markets? Let's go.

GAA Betting Markets

Now that you’re up to date with how every sport works, it’s time to take a deeper dive into this Gaelic Games betting guide to see how all the bets work. Read on to find out more about how to bet on Gaelic games and what the different types of betting markets mean.

Match Betting

Match betting is the simplest form of wagering when it comes to the Gaelic Games. It requires only to choose who will win a potential match, or if there will be a draw. Yes, it is that straightforward. So let’s say Mayo and Tyrone are going head to head in a game of hurling, you simply need to choose which county will win the game, or whether a draw is the most likely outcome. Easy-peasy.

Handicap Markets

One of the most intriguing sections in any GAA betting guide is the handicap market write-up, given that in the beginning stages of the championships, there is a noticeable discrepancy in ability between the teams. This is why the handicap market, which allows you to bet on how much a team will win or lose, is the great leveler to one-sided affairs. A quick example will be a match between hypothetical favorites Cork, and outsiders, Roscommon.

Given that Cork is tipped to win heavily, you would be able to bet on them winning by a margin of more than four points at generous odds. However, you could also bet on Roscommon losing by fewer than four points. Notably, if Cork won by five points, you would be successful. You would also be successful if you bet on Roscommon, and they lost by just two points.

First Goalscorer

The first goalscorer market is a self-explanatory one, as you are simply betting on which player will score the first goal in a game. When doing so, it’s best to look for players in good form and whether the team in question that they play for has a history of getting off to a fast start in games by scoring first.

2-Way Total Points

The 2-way total points market is ideal for the punter who can’t settle on which team will win. Instead, they can opt to choose if there will be over or under a certain amount of points in a game. So let's look back on the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Football Final between Cork and Down, when there were 31 points scored on the day. You would have won your bet if you had predicted over 30 total points, and lost it if you had bet on there being fewer than 30 total points scored.

All-Ireland Winner

Betting on an All-Ireland winner market lets you pick an outright county winner in a certain sport for the season. Yes, you are choosing which county will be crowned champions at Croke Park at the end of the season to win the likes of the Liam MacCarthy Cup in hurling or the Sam Maguire Cup in Gaelic football.

Hurler and Footballer of the Year

In the Hurler and Footballer of the Year market, you are picking which player will be awarded this prestigious honor at the end of the season. For more context, cast your mind to the MVP market in the NBA where one individual is voted the most valuable player of the year. It is similar to this, in the sense that only the players who contribute the most in games will be in the running to win this award.

Gaelic Games Competitions

There are 23 Galiec games competitions available to bet on annually. Below, we’ll look at the biggest ones that attract the most bets every season:

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship

The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship was first played in 1887 and has been held every year since 1889. All in all, 33 teams compete for the Sam Maguire Cup every season, with Kerry, the county that has won the most titles, having racked up 38.

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was first played in 1970. It is a competition that is contested by four teams, with the final taking place on the third Sunday in January. The eventual winners receive the Tommy Moore Cup. Ballyhale Shamrocks are the most successful team to have played in the event, having won eight titles.

All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship

The first All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship took place in 1974. These days, teams compete for the Brendan Martin Cup during the final at Croke Park in the summer. Counties Cork and Kerry are the most successful to have played the event, having won 11 titles each.

All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

The All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship was first held in 1932. Nowadays, the final is held at Croke Park, and is traditionally played on the second Sunday in September. This is when players try to win the O'Duffy Cup. Cork is the most successful county to have played in the All-Ireland senior Camogie Championship, having won 28 titles.


GAA Betting Guide Round-up

Right, there you have your comprehensive GAA betting guide. With any luck, you should now be up to date with how to bet on GAA like you have been watching the Gaelic games since its inception in 1884. The only thing left for you to do is to take this newfound information and share it with your mates. Sláinte!