GAA Handball Betting - Odds, Betting Sites, Tips and Predictions

Original banner featuring a hand and a ball and ball next to logo of the GAA HandballOriginal banner featuring a hand and a ball and ball next to logo of the GAA Handball

Author: Lewis Humphries,

In this detailed Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) handball betting guide, I’ll explore the sport’s premier competitions while appraising the best sports betting sites from the perspective of odds and the range of betting markets available.

💯 GAA Handball Betting Odds (2023)

The jewel in the GAA handball crown remains the All-Ireland 4-Wall Championships, which this year concluded in the first weekend in March. Here, the legendary Robbie McCarthy continued his dominance of the 2022/23 campaign, clinching his fifth All Ireland crown (and third successive tournament win since December) with victory over the 2022 champion Diarmaid Nash. However, you can access national and international action all year round, and I’ll return to update the latest GAA handball betting odds below as soon as they’re published!

🏆 Best Gaelic Handball Betting Sites

Despite the enduring popularity of the discipline in Ireland, it remains hard to find Gaelic handball betting sites that offer truly competitive markets. However, there are some operators that offer access to such markets, so here’s my pick of the best Gaelic handball betting sites at the time of writing!

1️⃣ Betway

Logo of Betway chosen as the best bookmaker for user experience next to a player on a courtLogo of Betway chosen as the best bookmaker for user experience next to a player on a court

I’ll start with Betway, which is certainly among the best handball wagering sites in Ireland and home to a broad selection of Gaelic handball betting markets. Because of this, you can bet on all the major GAA handball tournaments here, while accessing competitive and often enhanced odds in the process.

You can also qualify for Betway’s coveted ‘Free Bet Club’. This rewards you with €10 free bets when you wager €25 or more on sports trebles and accumulators between Saturday and Friday each week. This promotion also requires you to opt in, while you’ll need to ensure that you place single line multiples including three or more selections to qualify.

The Betway welcome offer also comprises a free bet bonus worth up to €30. To qualify, you simply need to place a qualifying deposit and wager of between €5 and €30, at which point Betway will reward you with a free bet of equivalent value.

2️⃣ BoyleSports

Logo of Boylesports chosen as the best GAA handball betting site next to an image of a handball playerLogo of Boylesports chosen as the best GAA handball betting site next to an image of a handball player

No list of this type would be complete without referencing BoyleSports, which is Ireland’s market leading sportsbook both on and offline.

To this end, the operator offers handball as one of 40 different sports categories, while it also features a huge choice of GAA handball betting markets. You’ll certainly find guaranteed Gaelic handball betting odds online at BoyleSports, along with bespoke promotions and even a bet calculator feature to help you set optimal stake amounts.

You can also claim up to €50 in free bets when you complete the two-stage registration process at BoyleSports. Just place a qualifying wager of €10 at minimum odds of 2.00, while noting that the free bet bonus expires after a period of seven days.

3️⃣ TonyBet

Logo of TonyBet chosen as the best bookmaker for design next to a player reaching for a ballLogo of TonyBet chosen as the best bookmaker for design next to a player reaching for a ball

TonyBet Sports has emerged as a popular sportsbook in Ireland, having started out life as an online casino. To this end, it now offers some 37 sports categories to punters, including recent additions like horse racing and GAA handball.

This site also offers an extensive forecast betting feature, through which you can win up to €1000 if you successfully predict 10 results in your chosen sports category. Then there’s the weekly ‘Bettors Tournament’, which boasts a €1500 prize pool and enables you to compete with other players and climb the leaderboard.

As a new TonyBet customer, you can also qualify for a 100% first deposit match up to the value of €100. Just be sure to wager a minimum of €10, while ensuring that your qualifying bet is placed at odds of 1.50 or greater.

4️⃣ 888 Sport

Logo of 888Sport chosen as the best site for enhanced odds on GAA handball next to an image of a handball player in an action poseLogo of 888Sport chosen as the best site for enhanced odds on GAA handball next to an image of a handball player in an action pose

Next up is 888 Sport, which offers a particularly large selection of GAA betting markets and some of the best (and most consistently available) enhanced odds promotions around.

These odds apply to both ante post and in-play betting markets too, with 888 Sport considered to offer the best value when wagering on GAA sports, football and even horse racing.

As for the welcome offer, this rewards you with a €30 free bet when you initially deposit €10 or more into your account (and opt in using the dedicated promo code 30FB). You must also place a qualifying wager of at least €10 on an outcome with minimum odds of 1.50 to become eligible for the welcome bonus.

5️⃣ Unibet

Logo of Unibet chosen as the best bookmaker for GAA Handball live betting site next to a player in actionLogo of Unibet chosen as the best bookmaker for GAA Handball live betting site next to a player in action

Unibet is another huge sports betting brand in Ireland and Europe, and one that’s perhaps best known for its incredible live coverage of global sporting events.

In fact, Unibet’s platform streams as many as 40,000 live events every year, with this number including selected GAA sports and matches. Unsurprisingly, the site also offers highly competitive in-play betting odds, enabling you to enjoy a rewarding and enriching experience when wagering online and on the move!

Unibet’s unique welcome offer also comprises a €40 ‘back up’ bet. This means that when you deposit and wager at least €10 as a new customer (at minimum odds of 1.40) and this proves unsuccessful, you can receive your stake back in the form of a free bet. Depositing and wagering at the minimum amount automatically qualifies you for the bonus, so there’s no need to opt in with a code.

6️⃣ William Hill

Logo of William Hill chosen as the best bookmaker for GAA handball free bets next to an image of a handball player in actionLogo of William Hill chosen as the best bookmaker for GAA handball free bets next to an image of a handball player in action

Last, but not least, we come to William Hill which is another high street stalwart in Ireland and one that offers a huge selection of GAA handball betting markets.

This includes a particularly large range of in-play markets, while William Hill streams more than 60,000 live sports events each year. The operator even provides commentary and insight through its live radio channel, while running regular guaranteed odds promotions across many of its 33 sports categories (including GAA handball).

In addition to its viable Gaelic handball betting bonuses, William Hill’s welcome offers also comprises €30 in free bets. More specifically, you can earn three separate €10 free bets as a new customer, when you place a qualifying wager of €10 at odds of 1.50 or greater.

Best Handball Betting Sites by Category

🥇 Best GAA Handball Betting Site:

BoyleSports

🎁 Best Free Bet Offer:

William Hill

📡 Best GAA Handball Live Betting Site:

Unibet

💯 Best GAA Handball Enhanced Odds Betting Site:

888 Sport

📱 Best GAA Handball User Experience Site:

Betway

⚡ Best GAA Handball Design Site:

TonyBet

✔️ Gaelic Handball Betting Tips for 2023

No Gaelic handball betting guide of this type would be complete without some advice on how to leverage the available wagering markets to your advantage. So, here’s some expert Gaelic handball betting tips to keep in mind, regardless of who you choose to back and the amount of money that you stake.

1️⃣ Consider Player Form and Historic Performances

As with all individual sports, player form and their historic performances in specific formats can have a key bearing on future results. This is why a detailed Gaelic handball preview will always focus on individual player form and their past performances in selected tournaments, in addition to the respective head-to-head results between the competitors.

The aforementioned 2023 4-Wall Championships certainly went to form, with the legendary Robbie McCarthy beating rival and defending champion Diarmaid Nash to the title. The Westmeath icon also claimed yet another All-Ireland 60x30 Singles hardball title in June, with McCarthy starting both of these tournaments at the top of the Gaelic handball odds list.

Players Like McCarthy are also inclined to raise their game and reserve their best form for events like the Gaelic Senior Softball Singles Championship, and it’s important to bear this in mind when engaging in moneyline or outright wagering.

2️⃣ Understand the Full Range of Betting Markets on Offer

When betting on Gaelic handball, of course, moneyline and outright wagering are just two of the markets available to punters.

As GAA handball tournaments usually feature a knockout format, for example, you can also use accumulator bets during the early rounds to create value and wager at extended odds.

With acca bets, you can include between four and 20 selections within a single wager, with the respective odds of each outcome then multiplied together to create an elevated price. All of your picks must be successful for the acca bet to prevail, so it makes sense to restrict your accumulator to between six and eight selections depending on the size of the competing field.

I’d also recommend prioritising short price favourties where possible, as this enables you to optimise your chances of winning without overly compromising your returns. You should also note that operators like William Hill offer so-called “acca insurance”, which allows you to bank a payout even if one of your selections prove to be unsuccessful.

3️⃣ Understand the Different GAA Handball Tournaments

Not only are there a broad range of Gaelic handball bets and markets in play, but the sport also boasts four distinct codes.

In this respect, GAA handball is similar to rugby, in that there are different codes and formats that you can wager on, each of which has its own unique challenges and rules of engagement.

The four widely played codes in Ireland include 4-Wall and 1-Wall, while you’ll also find 60x30 tournaments played with soft and hard balls which introduce different gameplay dimensions and have variable bounce. Interestingly, the 4-Wall and 1-Wall codes underpin international tournaments, while the 60x30 formats are traditional Irish games that remain enduringly popular on the Emerald Isle.

Each of these formats features unique gameplay dynamics, placing different demands on competing players. For example, 4-Wall tournaments are incredibly competitive and require cat-like reflexes as the small rubber ball can travel at speeds of up to 100mph, whereas 1-Wall alternatives is the fastest growing iteration and far easier to play.

🎁 Best Gaelic Handball Betting Offers

I’ve already shared bookmaker reviews of the best GAA wagering sites, with these operators’ home to the most competitive Gaelic handball betting offers and free bets. To help you choose the right welcome offer for you, here’s an overview of the best Gaelic handball betting offers in the current marketplace.

Betting SiteOfferClaim
TonyBet LogoTonyBet Logo
Get 100% first deposit match up to €100Visit TonyBet Sports
Betway LogoBetway Logo
Earn up to €50 in free bets if your first bet losesVisit Betway
888 Sport Logo888 Sport Logo
Bet €10 and earn €30 in free betsVisit 888 Sport
Unibet LogoUnibet Logo
Earn a free bet of up to €40 if your first sports wager losesVisit Unibet
BoyleSports LogoBoyleSports Logo
Bet €10 and get €30 in Free Bets Visit BoyleSports
William Hill LogoWilliam Hill Logo
Bet €10 and earn €40 in Free Bets Visit William Hill

📆 Gaelic Handball All-Year Round - A Glance at the Calendar

Most GAA handball action is crammed into the period between May and August every single year, including the Irish 1-Wall season and the 60x30 Hardball and Softball tournaments. However, 4-Wall handball is an international outlet for the sport, and is currently played in over 10 countries across the globe. This season runs from November through until the following April. Here’s a detailed GAA handball betting guide to the upcoming events in 2023 and major calendar dates for the following year!

ChampionshipNext DatesCompetitorsMost Successful PlayersCurrent Champions
Gaelic Senior Softball SinglesAugust - September 2024 (TBC)32Michael Ducksy Walsh, Kilkenny (16 titles)Robbie McCarthy, Westmeath (10th title)
All-Ireland Senior 4-Wall Singles ChampionshipsFebruary - March 2024 (TBC)TBCRobbie McCarthy, WestmeathRobbie McCarthy, Westmeath
Irish Wallball NationalsAugust 19th – 20th 2023400 (TBC)D King (Carlow), C McElduff (Tyrone) - 4 titles eachM Mulkerrins, Galway (2nd title)
Gaelic All-Ireland Senior Hardball SinglesAugust 2023 (TBC)32JJ Gilmartin, Kilkenny (10 titles)R McCarthy, Westmeath (2nd title)
Irish Collegiate Handball AssociationFebruary 2024 (TBC)21N/AN/A

Alternative Bookmakers for Gaelic Handball
1.
Boyle​Sports
Bonus:
€30

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2.
Mr Green Sport
Bonus:
50€ In Free Bet

18+ New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org

3.
Betinia Sports
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18+ | New players only | Min. deposit 20EUR | The wagering must be met within 30 days | Additional wagering, banking, terms & conditions apply | Play Responsibly | www.begambleaware.org

☘️ The Best Handball Players in Ireland

I’ve already discussed some of the world’s best and most accomplished handball players, many of whom have previously excelled in multiple formats of the sport. Here’s my take on the best three GAA handball competitors and their career achievements!

Robbie McCarthy (Mullingar, Westmeath)

Westmeath’s iconic Robbie McCarthy remains the world’s number one player, with the 36-year-old having enjoyed a typically dominant 2022/23 campaign. In March, for example, McCarthy claimed his fifth All-Ireland (40x20) four-wall Handball Championship crown, as he avenged his 2022 final defeat to Claire’s Diarmaid Nash. This was also McCarthy’s third successive tournament win of the season, while he followed this up by securing his 10th Senior Softball Singles crown with a victory over Martin Mulkerrins in June. Interestingly, this saw him draw level in the tournament’s roll of honour with fellow legend Eion Kennedy, further reinforcing his greatness in the sport.

Dairmuid Nash (Tuamgraney, Clare)

Tuamgraney and Clare prospect Dairmuid Nash shot to form with his 2022 All-Ireland (40x20) four-wall Handball Championship win over McCarthy, with the latter even describing the aggressive, left-handed 32-year-old as his toughest ever opponent. To this end, he has maintained a consistent GAA ranking of second through 2022 and 2023, while he also has the distinction of being one of the world’s best doubles players. In fact, he has won two prestigious World Senior Doubles’ titles during his career, with this showcasing the depth and range of his talent.

Eion Kennedy (Saint Brigid’s, Dublin

The 44-year-old Eion Kennedy is a true icon of the sport, and one who continues to ply his trade for Saint Brigid’s in the county of Dublin. While this legendary competitor may no longer be the force he once was, he’s still ranked 13th in the world and remains the single most successful active singles’ player with 10 All-Ireland softball titles and 8 All-Ireland hardball titles to his name since 2002. Incredibly, this haul includes a run of eight softball singles’ crowns in nine years between 2002 and 2010, while his last softball single’s titles was won against the odds in 2019 and at the age of 40.

🌍 Global GAA – Handball Across the Globe

Like all other GAA disciplines, handball became a formalised discipline in 1884, quickly emerging as a popular sport across the length-and-breadth of Ireland.

Of course, it also makes sense that GAA Handball should have since become a global export, with Scottish and Irish immigrants having initially taken the sport to England and the US in the late 19th century.

Since then, it has spread to many of the far-flung corners of the globe, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Today, GAA Handball is undoubtedly a global game, and one that’s becoming increasingly popular in nations such as Holland, Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Japan and India (to name but a few).

Each of these countries have the opportunity to enter players into the 40x20 World Handball Championships, which is hosted every three years in various locations across the globe.

In 2012, for example, the ‘worlds’ were held in Ireland at the Citywest International Events Arena in Dublin, while the tournament subsequently moved to Calgary (2015) and Minnesota (2018). The latter iteration, which was held in August 2018, saw Cork’s Killian Carroll and Limerick’s Martina McMahon claim the respective male and female singles’ titles, although the recent 2021 tournament was sadly cancelled by the GAA.

Other international events take place globally throughout the calendar year, with the number of tournaments increasing in line with rising demand. Here’s a selection of the most popular GAA Handball events from overseas.

ChampionshipNext DatesMost Successful TeamCurrent Champions
Euro1Wall Belgium Open 2024TBCN/AN/A
Golden Gloves, Elite 4-Wall EventTBCN/AN/A
US 4-Wall Collegiates 2024February 2024N/AN/A

📜 Gaelic Handball History

While the jury remains out on where Gaelic Handball actually originated; similar games have been portrayed at a number of different points through history. For example, handball-like games were referenced in hieroglyphs in the temple of Osiris in Egypt, while civilisations in Mesoamerica and South America also played a similar sport.

Another early origin for the game in Ireland is supported by recent archaeological finds in the Callan and Mooncoin areas of Kilkenny, hinting at a Celtic antecedent to the sport that we all know and love today!

However, the earliest written record of the game is contained in the town statutes of Galway from 1527, which predates the initial depiction of modern handball in 1785. The GAA subsequently wrote the initial rules for contemporary handball in 1884, with the sport having gone from strength to strength since this time. Hardball remains the most ancient Irish iteration of the sport, with this now primarily played on a 60x30 court.

The enduring popularity of hardball is highly insightful, as the GAA has remained true to its commitment to promote all of its sports, despite the overwhelming and relative recent success of Gaelic Football and (less pertinently) hurling.

To this end, the GAA recently unveiled an initiative to encourage all 32 counties to organise outdoor handball tournaments, in a bid to further drive participation rates and promote tournaments such as the Gaelic Senior Softball Singles Championship.

❓ FAQs - Your Questions Answered

So there you have it; our comprehensive guide to Gaelic Handball, its key betting markets and major tournaments!

What better way to close than with some of your most frequently asked questions, as we look to provide clarity on some of your biggest areas of concern!

Who are the Most Successful Gaelic Handball Players and Counties?

In addition to McCarthy and Kennedy, Michael ‘Ducksie’ Walsh is arguably the greatest GAA handball player of all time. To this end, he won all of the Senior Softball Singles tournaments contested between 1985 and 1997 and 16 such titles in total, while this haul has contributed heavily to Kilkenny being the most successful county in this particular format of the sport.


Is Handball in the GAA?

Yes, it is! Handball is one of the five traditional Irish sports that are governed by the GAA, alongside hurling, Camogie, Gaelic football and Rounders.


How Do You Play Gaelic handball?

While the four handball formats create multiple variables such as the number of walls in play and the type of ball used, the primary objective of the game is to make the ball hit the front wall and bounce twice before your opponent can return it. The size of the court can also vary from one format to another, impacting the tactics and strategies used by competing players.


What Are the Best Brands to Bet on Gaelic Handball?

All of Betinireland’s recommended sportsbooks are ideal for betting on Gaelic handball, as they combine lucrative promotions with a broad range of ante post and in-play wagering markets. Overall, however, Boylesports is arguably the best when it comes to market coverage and accessing the best value odds.

✒️ Lewis Humphries iGaming and Sports Betting Expert

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Lewis Humphries is an experienced sportswriter and tipster from the UK. He writes regularly about key events from across the UK and Ireland. Stick around to read Lewis's expert GAA Handball predictions.