Written by

Siobhan AslettSiobhan Aslett
Published on 28.03.2022
Reading time 14 min

Hurling Betting in Ireland 2022

Hurling is an outdoor stick-and-ball team game of ancient Gaelic origin resembling hockey and lacrosse and long recognized as one of Ireland’s favourite pastimes. It is one of the four local sports that exemplifies the rich history of the Irish people under the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Our team of betting experts at Irishluck has created the ultimate guide to Gaelic hurling sport betting for Irish punters. We will cover the history of hurling in Ireland, how to engage in hurling betting, and much more. So, if you are interested in hurling betting, you should not hesitate to take a plunge and see for yourself what the fuss is all about.

Best Hurling Sportsbooks for Irish Players
RankSportsbookBonusProsSecure Link

You will agree that the digital age brought about a lot of improvements for many industries across the globe, especially the gambling industry. It used to be that a punter could only bet on their favourite games by going to a land-based bookmaker and picking their selections from a list of sporting events pasted on a sheet.  Today, with just a few clicks on their desktop or mobile devices, Irish punters can conveniently place wagers on their favourite sports, and Gaelic hurling is not an exception. As a result, tons of sports betting websites offer all Ireland hurling betting alongside other GAA hurling championship markets. That being said, we should mention that thanks to the proficiency of our sports betting experts at IrishLuck, we have created a list of some of the best sports betting platforms for Irish punters. You can place a bet on your favourite events using any of these sites above.

History of Hurling

Hurling is, without a doubt, one of the oldest spectator sports in the world today. While the game didn’t become an official spectator sport until 1884, when it became one of the sports under the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), it has had a long history on the shores of Ireland. The history of hurling in Ireland is long and often unclear. The game has been a sporting option for the Irish people, stretching back over three millennia. References to stick-and-ball games, which is essentially what the hurling game is, are found in Irish myths and legends. The game is also related to the Shinty game from Scotland, the Cammag game from Isle of the man, and the Bandy game formerly played in England and Wales. 

Many recorded reports show the sport being a go-to option for gentries, farmers, squirearchy, and the Irish people in general, right from the 14th century. The Gaelic Athletic Association, whose sole purpose is to promote local sports of Irish origin, brought about a more organized form to the sport. Since the establishment of GAA, the sport has gradually progressed to being organized, featuring different championship tournaments every year. The most prestigious of these hurling championships is the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, which is dominated by Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny counties. There are also many other top championship tournaments as well as less-known competitions.

How Hurling Works

While the Gaelic hurling sport is not widely known in the international community, unlike sports like soccer, basketball, and many others, it needs no introduction to Irish punters. However, there are many countries outside of Ireland where the sport is gaining traction. That being said, due to the unique nature of the sport, not everyone understands how the game works. 

Thankfully, if you don't know what the Gaelic hurling sport entails, you don’t need to fret, as our team of betting experts at IrishLuck has done extensive research on the matter. This article will look at the rules and other details that you need to know about the Gaelic hurling sport.

Gameplay

Hurling games are played in two halves for a combined playing time of 60 or 70 minutes by two opposing teams consisting of 15 players, also popularly called hurlers on each team. This usually leads to roughly six offensive hurlers (attackers), two mid-field hurlers, six defenders, and one goalkeeper. Each player in the team will have 2 pieces of equipment; the stick (Hurley) and a helmet with a faceguard.

The game is played on a rectangular playing field of approximately 145 meters long and 85 meters wide with two goalposts of about 6.5m long, with the crossbar being 2.5m above the ground. Like most sports, the Gaelic hurling sport aims to beat the opposing team by scoring more points. The team with the highest points at the end of the game wins.

Rules

The basic principle of playing hurling games is straightforward; each team passes the ball around and scores points for their teams. However, there are some dos and don’ts in how players can move the ball around the field.

Dos

A player can:

  • Move the sliotar by hitting the ball out of their hands.
  • Hit the sliotar with the hurley along the ground.
  • Kick the sliotar along the ground.
  • Kick and lift the sliotar with the hurley and then strike it.
  • Run with the sliotar as long as bounces it on the hurley.
  • Catch the sliotar in the air with his hands.
  • Hand-pass the sliotar to a teammate by slapping the sliotar with an open palm.

Don’ts

In hurling, a player cannot:

  • Touch a sliotar on the ground with his hands.
  • Throw the ball or throw the hurley.
  • Take more than four steps while holding the ball.
  • Play the ball from his hands to the hurley twice in a row.

Scoring

The scoring system in hurling is quite similar to that of Gaelic football. To score in the game, a hurler has to use the stick (known as a Hurley) to hit the ball (known as Sliotar) into the goal. If a player manages to hit the sliotar above the crossbars but right between the goalpost’s uprights, this is a point, and the team rakes in one point. Alternatively, if a player successfully hits the sliotar into the net under the crossbar, this is a goal and is worth three points.


Sports Hurling Betting Ireland

Hurling GAA Championships

As soon as the Gaelic Athletic Association was established in 1884, various tournaments were created to promote this local Irish sport called hurling. Today, several hurling events are taking place throughout the year in Ireland. Here is an overview of all the major GAA hurling championship tournaments in Ireland, along with a glimpse of the teams that have won the most championship titles.

ChampionshipFoundedOrganiserMost Successful TeamNo of TeamsTrophy

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

1887

Gaelic Athletic Association

Kilkenny (36 titles)

12

Liam MacCarthy Cup

Munster Senior Hurling Championship

1888

Munster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Cork (54 titles)

5

Mick Mackey Cup

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship

1888

Leinster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Kilkenny (73 titles)

6

Bob O'Keeffe Cup

National Hurling League

1925-26

Gaelic Athletic Association

Kilkenny and Tipperary (19 titles)

35

Dr Croke Cup

Galway Senior Hurling Championship

1887

Galway County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Castlegar (17 titles)

24

Tom Callinan Cup

Stadiums for GAA Hurling

As the second most popular sport in Ireland, Gaelic hurling gets a lot of attention from far and near. So, it is not surprising that there are many venues where the sport takes place in Ireland. The table below shows information about the top 5 stadiums for Gaelic hurling in Ireland.

StadiumLocationCapacityOwner/ Tenant

Croke Park

Dublin

82,300

Gaelic Athletic Association

Semple Stadium

Thurles

45,690

Tipperary GAA

Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork

Cork

45,000

Cork GAA

Gaelic Grounds

Páirc na nGael

Limerick

44,023

Limerick GAA

Casment Park

Belfast

34,578

Antrim GAA

GAA Hurling Betting Odds

Like any sports betting market, a punter interested in hurling betting needs to understand how the GAA odds work for hurling betting. The odds format widely favoured by punters in Ireland is the Fractional odds format. It expresses the profit that a player will win against the amount wagered, and it is displayed in the form of 3/1 (or 3-1), 7/3 (or 7-3), and so on. Therefore, let's say you place a €100 wager on Waterford to win in a hurling match against Galway, and you have a 4/1 odds price. If your prediction proves true in this instance, you will get a total payout of €500 (€400 profit + €100 returned stake). It is noteworthy that due to the unique nature of the hurling game, you tend to find that betting sites usually come with slightly varied odds, with some being significantly higher when compared to others.

Sports Hurling Betting Ireland

Betting on GAA Hurling Games

Now that you understand how the hurling GAA odds work, we should look at betting on hurling itself.Like most sports, betting on hurling games is relatively easy, and you predict what will happen in competitions between two opposing teams. However, due to the unique nature of the sports and the fact that it is not as popular outside of Ireland as other international sports, the betting market for Gaelic games hurling betting is not very wide. But, make no mistake, depending on the online bookmaker you access, you will find multiple types of wagers that you can place when it comes to hurling games. Our team of experts at Irishluck have extensively researched what the market looks like for hurling betting. So, this guide will look at some of the most popular hurling betting markets that Irish punters can access.

Match Betting

The match betting option is perhaps the most popular gambling option you will find for most sports betting, and hurling betting is not an exception. It is also the simplest to use for most Irish sports betting punters, and most bookmakers who host GAA hurling betting on their sites offer this. Within this market, a player can place a bet on the overall outcome of a GAA hurling event.

  • Home win: In this market, a punter bets on the outcome of a hurling match ending up in a victory for the home team. Here, you will only win the wager if your selection or selections win(s) the game.
  • Away win: The away win market is just like the home win market, except that in this case, punter bets on the away team winning the match.
  • Draw: A hurling match, like most sports, will end up in both a win for one team and a defeat for the other. It can also end in a draw for both teams. So, another betting market that hurling GAA games enthusiasts can take advantage of is the draw market. Here, you place a bet on the match results ending in a draw. Due to the high-scoring nature of hurling games, making it quite rare for ties to happen, these markets often come with relatively high odds.

Outrights

GAA hurling outright betting is by far one of the most common sports wagers that most sports betting sites and perhaps the most popular betting option amongst GAA hurling fans throughout Ireland. This is because outright bets is the most straightforward type of bets involving punters making bets on the outcome of whole competitions rather than single matches. As a result, Irish bettors can make wagers on the team they believe will come out on top during hurling championship tournaments like Munster, All-Ireland, Leinster, and other hurling leagues. Irish punters can also use outright betting to make wagers on markets like who will be the top goal scorer in the competition, leading teams to finish, and others. Outright hurling bets are usually placed before the season of the hurling league tournament in question starts. It can also be set even during the competition. However, the GAA betting odds before the start of the competition will not be the same as the one during the game. The odds are regularly updated after each match, with some increasing and others decreasing.

Total Points Betting

The total points in a match are an easy and pretty common market that many Irish punters bet on when it comes to GAA hurling betting. Points in hurling are scored by sending the sliotar over or under the crossbar of the opponent's goalpost. When the sliotar is sent over the crossbar, a team is awarded one point, and when it is sent into the net under the crossbar, the team will receive three points. This can lead to varied scoring in hurling games, which creates some good odds when betting on the total points to expect. That said, when it comes to placing wagers on total points in hurling, there are two major types:

  • Over/Under: With this type of bet, the sports betting site will set a defined number of points, and you will wager on whether the eventual scores in the match will be above or below this figure. For example, let's say you find an Over/Under (14) market for a hurling match between Wexford and Cork. Betting on ‘Over'' means that you expect the total cumulative goals that both teams will score to be 15 or more. On the other hand, betting on ‘Under' means you expect the total score to be 13 or less.
  • Odd/Even: Many Irish betting sites offer Irish punters when it comes to GAA hurling betting is the Total points Odd/Even bets. Here, a punter needs to bet that the total point that the two opposing teams will score at the end of the match will be equal to an even or odd number. These are pretty much even money bets, so the chance of winning is 50/50, and a bettor stands to lose or win the same amount of money.

First Point Scorer

Another popular bet type that you will come across on many sports betting sites when it comes to hurling betting markets is the first point scorer market. In this market, you are essentially predicting which player or team will score the first point of any particular game. For these types of markets, it doesn't matter whether the goal is scored by sending the ball above the crossbar or sending it into the net under the crossbar as long as they rack up the first point.

Betting Margins/Winning Margins

Naturally, there is always a difference in goals between the winning and losing teams in a hurling game, except when there is a draw. This difference is called the winning margin of a game. And due to the unique scoring system of the hurling sport, you will often see many hurling matches ending with pretty high scores from both teams, resulting in small and high margins alike. The betting market that capitalizes on betting margins of games is the 'winning margin market'. For this market, bettors will predict the winning margin of a hurling sporting event between two opposing teams upon the conclusion of the match. Depending on what the bookmaker offers, this is usually a range of margins like 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12. Generally, the larger the margin a sports betting site provides, the larger the odds a punter will find with such markets, especially for top teams on the same level.

Draw No Bet

Generally, all Gaelic hurling matches end with one of three results for any team; a win, defeat, or a tie.  So, when a bettor makes a match bet for a team to win, but the team loses or ends up in a draw, the bettor loses the stake. The Draw No Bet removes the element of a tie from the match, which means that a draw does not count as a complete loss for the bettor. As a result, if you place a bet on a team to win using the Draw No Bet market, and the game ends in a draw, the stake will be refunded back to your account. This market is pretty popular with GAA hurling betting. Due to the high-scoring nature of this game, leading to the slim chances of draws, the odds that accompany this market is usually relatively high.

Handicap Betting

Like most sports betting, handicap betting is one of the betting markets that most Irish punters use when betting on hurling. Many games in hurling are often one-sided, with the favourite to win the game already known, especially when it comes to knockout stages of championship games. Since they are most likely going to win the game, the odds that come with these favourites are often relatively low, making it a must for players to stake a lot of money before getting a good profit. The Handicap betting market is the market that takes care of this downside. The market assigns some handicaps or conditions to the match, making it possible for punters to enjoy high odds even when betting on the favourites. This handicap will give one team a positive value and provide the other team with a negative value, and the handicap must be overcome for the bet to be won. 

Take, for instance: a match between Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilmacud Crokes is the clear favourite for the game, a bookmaker may offer you handicaps like:

  • Kilmacud Crokes (-5)
  • Ballyhale Shamrocks (5)

Suppose you back Kilmacud Crokes, the favourite to win in this instance. In that case, you will only win your wager if Kilmacud is the winner of the competition and also remains the winner after 5 points are deducted from their final points. On the other hand, if you decide to back the underdog, Ballyhale Shamrocks, to win, you will win your wager if the team’s final score with 5 points added to it is greater than that of Kilmacud Crokes. Handicap betting offers some enjoyable but quite rewarding markets.

Hurling In-Play Betting

One of the betting options that has gained immense popularity in the online sports betting industry in recent years is the in-play betting option. Before this feature came up, the only option available to sports punters was placing bets on a game before the start of the match. However, the dynamic in-play feature, also known as live betting services, changed this status quo. Punters today can place bets on their favourite hurling sporting events while the game is ongoing. Essentially, this betting option allows punters to monitor the flow of the match to see which team has the upper hand before deciding to place a bet on the game. It is noteworthy that the odds system in live betting does not work the same as placing bets pre-match. You don't have a static set of odds predetermined by the bookmaker. Instead, betting odds are updated regularly as the live-action on the pitch changes.

Betting Tips and Strategy for GAA Hurling Betting

Due to the sport's unique nature, which often leads to free-flowing and high-scoring competitive games, hurling can be a reasonably challenging sport to bet on. This is why hurling betting enthusiasts must get creative when making their selections. Our team of betting experts at IrishLuck have vast experience in this regard, so what this section of our article will show you is what you need to consider while making your betting strategy to make informed betting decisions:

  • The form of the players in a team and the team itself generally determines the eventual outcome of any match. So, this should be something you consider before making your hurling betting selections.
  • Pay attention to the minutest details: Like most sports, hurling games can be significantly influenced by the injury or suspension of one or more key players. So, you must keep a close eye on anything that could lead to a team not being at its best during the game.
  • If you are a newbie, stick with the teams that you are familiar with before venturing into other markets.
  • Look beyond the major competitions, as there are opportunities for betting in other leagues and championships.
  • Keep a record of your previous hurling bets to learn and adapt from your mistakes.

How Did We Find the Best Hurling Betting Sites

One vital factor that every punter, especially newbies, must know is that while there are hundreds of websites offering all Ireland hurling betting and other forms of hurling betting, they don’t all offer the same betting experience. Some are better than others, which is why a bettor needs to consider many factors before making a choice. Highlighted below are some of the vital elements that our team of betting experts found that you need to consider when searching for the best sports betting platform:

  • Availability of the Gaelic hurling sport: Unlike sports like football, basketball, golf, and others, the Gaelic hurling sport is not well known in the international communities. As a result, not every sports betting website features hurling betting on its platforms. So, the first step towards finding the best platform to place bets on is the availability of the Ireland hurling betting market on the site.
  • Licensing: One of the most critical factors that any punter needs to consider when deciding where to place hurling betting is the licensing status of the sports betting site. When it comes to sports betting for Irish punters, a platform that holds a license from the Revenue Commissioners, which happens to be the gambling commission of Ireland, is the best option. However, when it comes to foreign sites that don’t have a valid license from the Revenue Commissioners, you can opt-in for bookies that are licensed by the gambling commission of Great Britain (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), or any of the top-reputable licensing bodies in the world.
  • Competitive odds: Odds vary from one sports betting site to another, with some better than others. So, you should always consider the sites that offer the best odds, or at the very least, competitive odds.
  • Comprehensive market coverage: As is with most sports betting options, some bookmakers cover more tournaments than the others when it comes to Ireland betting hurling. So, you should always consider the site that offers comprehensive coverage of GAA hurling.
  • Plenty of markets: You should always consider the sites that offer plenty of betting markets for GAA hurling. They should feature the most famous championship tournaments, including All Ireland Hurling, Munster Senior Hurling Championship, Leinster Senior Hurling Championship, National Hurling League, and other championships.
  • Bonuses and promotions: Bonuses and promotions are a great way to have more fun online. So, you can consider platforms that offer the most lucrative bonuses and promotions to their customers.

Closing Thoughts

To conclude, hurling is undoubtedly an impressive spectator sport with many betting opportunities. Without proper education, this sport could appear hazy to most enthusiastic punters. So, take your time to understand the game and how the betting market works, and then start having fun betting on hurling games.

FAQs

Yes, gambling on sports is legal in Ireland, and as such Irish punters can legally bet on any hurling games that catch their fancy.

As one of the games under GAA, hurling is an amateur sport, which means that the players don’t receive payment.

Cork, Tipperary, and Kilkenny counties are considered the most successful teams in the history of hurling, having won 94 All-Ireland Championships between them out of 133 tournaments.

A hurling game is played between two teams with 15 players per side, usually making six attackers, two midfielders, six defenders, and one goalkeeper.

Yes. Many sportsbooks today offer live betting services to punters, giving them the chance to make their wagers based on the flow they observe while the game is going on.

Hurling's history in Ireland is unclear, but different game forms are said to have been in existence in the country for over 3000 years. 

However, the sport only started gaining popularity in different quarters in Ireland around the 13th century.

Hurling is a local Irish sport, and as such, the game is played primarily in Ireland. However, the game is becoming popular in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other quarters across the globe.

Like most sports, you have access to several markets when it comes to betting on hurling games. 

This includes match betting, outright betting, over/under betting, first points betting, and many others.

Like most sports betting, payouts in hurling betting are determined by the odds offered by a sports betting site and the amount that a punter stakes on the market. 

You can calculate this by simply multiplying the odds by the stake.

Not really. Like most GAA sports, no special strategies guarantee wins in hurling betting. 

However, there are tips like the ones we mentioned in this guide that can help punters to improve their winning chances.

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Siobhan AslettSiobhan Aslett

Irish Sportsbook Specialist

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