Sabong Online Betting- A Popular Sports Betting Activity for Filipinos

Sabong, or cockfight, is a popular blood sport in the Philippines involving roosters, often held in a ring or backyard. The game traces a long and rich history in the country, and some writers date it back to 1634. But it was fully documented and made available to Westerners during Magellan’s expedition and discovery of the Philippines. Today, the sabong derby is a cultural attraction and a sport in the country. You can find sabong online betting in different parts of the country, and even in the face of heavy regulation, many Filipinos still see the host and watch derbies in honor of this centuries-old sport.

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What is Sabong?

In the Philippines, sabong is a popular game sport and a cultural tradition. It involves two roosters or cocks in a ring or open area, and players bet on which will emerge victorious. The game features a referee, which we call the ‘sentensyador,’ or one who judges, and his calls are definite, and appeals in sabong betting are often rare. 

Another participant in the game is the ‘kristo,’ or the Filipino term for ‘Christ’ since he’s always spreading his arms during the game when accepting bets. Trust is sacred in sabong, so no one can question how kristos accept bets. Think of the kristo as the game’s version of the bookkeeper who can memorize these betting lines in seconds.

What is Sabong?

History of Sabong Betting 

Sabong’s history dates back more than 3000 years ago, but it was only during Magellan’s time that it was fully documented. According to Magellan’s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, sabong, or the game sport between roosters or cocks was present in the Kingdom of Taytay, now Rizal. 

Before Pigafetta’s record, there were records of cockfights as an ancient spectator sport in India, China, and Indonesia. Initially, cockfighting in the Philippines was a fun spectator sport, but it soon became a form of gambling to some. Spectators will bet on which rooster will win after the fight. 

Soon, ‘tupadas’ or informal sabong matches in makeshift areas became popular, with the presence of a sentensyador as judge,  with the help of the kristos.

Traditionally, the Local Government Units or LGUs regulate sabong betting where the tupadas or derbies happen. It means that the LGUs can allow or stop a sabong derby. 

Often, derbies happen during important celebrations, like town fiestas, which are hosted in sports complexes. Today, sabong online betting has modernized, thanks to the internet and mobile apps. Online sabong betting is widespread, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, or PAGCOR, now regulates it.

Legal Status of Sabong Betting Today 

In the Philippines, there are two ways you can follow and bet on sabong. First, you can check out local tupadas or sabong betting services brick-and-mortar shops offer. You can check out sabong betting online, provided by offshore licensed sports betting sites. 

For Filipinos and bettors, e-sabong is the better option. But, PAGCOR reiterated its suspension of sabong online betting operations. The order is dated December 28, 2022, and signed by President Ferdinand Marcos. It covers all sabong online betting operations and accepts legal bets from Filipinos. 

Although there’s an option to bet in offshore licensed sportsbooks, some sites may not be legit or run illegal operations.

How to Bet on Sabong Online?

How to Bet on Sabong Online?

So, you’re a fan of online sabong and want to place some bets? If yes, you’ll be glad to know that sabong online betting with real money is fast and easy!

You’ll first need to register a real money account on one of the many legit sports betting sites. Since PACGOR-licensed sites are under suspension, your next option is the best online sportsbooks that are licensed offshore. 

Just click the ‘Register’ button, and complete the online application form to create your account. Once your account is verified, you can now top-up your online betting account using one of the supported banking options. Some popular banking options in sabong betting sites are bank transfers, credit and debit cards, e-wallets, and even GCash or PayMaya.

With a fully-funded account, you’re ready to place your bets! Sabong online betting sites offer a simple layout that even a beginner can easily understand. You’ll find two online betting options on the screen- Meron or Wala. You can wager on either, subject to the minimum bet requirement. When you place your bets, the system automatically computes your potential payout. If your side wins, you win the payout!

Terms and Odds of Sabong Online Betting 

There are several terms and language that you’ll need to know when wagering on online sabong betting sites. As mentioned, you should know the two most important terms are ‘Meron,’ ‘Wala,’ and ‘Parehas,’ which you’ll immediately notice on the online sabong betting screen. Picking the Meron means you’re betting on the favorite rooster to win. And choosing Wala implies that you’re putting your money on the underdog. 

In online sabong, like other combat sports, there’s a system of telling which side is better. For example, the sentensyador in the sabong online will check the weight, observe the stance, and look at the breed of the rooster. Then, the system automatically designates the Meron or Wala sides based on the information.

In web betting, there’s also an option to bet on a Tie or ‘Parehas,’ which translates to even-money odds.  This type of wager offers the best payout each round, but the odds of winning are low.

Online vs. Offline Sabong Betting

Online vs. Offline Sabong Betting 

There are two ways to wager on sabong: enjoy sabong online betting, or visit a physical betting shop. Although both options allow you to enjoy sports betting, online sabong differs from offline betting significantly. Read on and discover the main differences between these two betting platforms.

If you’re after convenience in betting, you can’t go wrong with online sabong. You can place your bets in licensed offshore casinos or PAGCOR-regulated betting websites. However, online sabong is better since you can watch the games and bet on outcomes anytime. You can even use your smartphone to top-up your account, place bets, or request payouts. Also, sabong online is often more rewarding thanks to its many promos and deposit bonus offers.

Offline sabong is also a great option if you’re betting from the Philippines. If you play at a PAGCOR-regulated betting shop, you can count on complete security, and they offer betting lines with competitive betting odds. However, you must travel to the nearest shop to make bets.

Tips and Tricks for Making a Winning Bet on Sabong Online

Signing up for a betting account is always a good choice, especially when wagering on sabong online. As mentioned, betting online is fast, convenient, accessible, and safer if you do it on a legit site. As such, one of the first tips you’ll need to follow is to only work with a legit and licensed betting site. 

Check online sabong sites licensed by PAGCOR, or go for offshore licensed casinos with remote licenses from top jurisdictions like Malta, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Governments of Costa Rica or Curacao. Don’t forget to verify if it’s fully encrypted, offers 24/7 support, and supports local banking options.

After picking an online sabong site, always check out the promos and bonuses available. A deposit or signup bonus is a great offer to jumpstart your betting experience. Maximize all bonuses to help grow your bankroll, and let you wager on online sabong risk-free.

And before you place your bets, familiarize yourself with the game’s terminology and learn how to compare roosters or cocks. Aside from the weight displayed on the screen, you’ll need to learn a thing or two about its breed, its stance, and the breeder. A few elite breeders dominate Sabong in the Philippines, so you’ll need to pay attention if these fowls are from these specific groups.

How to Find a Reputable Place to Bet on Sabong?

How to Find a Reputable Place to Bet on Sabong?

As mentioned, your safety and security matter when betting on online sabong. So, your primary concern is finding a reputable place to enjoy the game. If you want to place bets online, we recommend checking the sites’ reputation through their remote licenses and business registration. Most of these websites are licensed offshore, with licenses from Costa Rica and Curacao. 

Also, you’ll need to see if the website is encrypted and works with transparent Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy pages.

If you want to bet the traditional way, only check out the PAGCOR-licensed betting shops. You can visit PAGCOR for its official list of e-sabong operators in the country, and compare them based on reputation, players’ reviews, and banking services. Remember, sabong online is still a contested policy in the Philippines, so you must always stay safe. 

It also helps to verify with your LGUs the latest legislation on sabong. From time to time, some LGUs allow tupadas and sabong betting, particularly during town fiestas or other important celebrations.


Sabong in the Philippines is more than just a leisure activity. It’s also part of the country’s rich culture and tradition that dates back centuries. So it’s no longer surprising to know that many Filipinos love sabong, and many see the game as a sport where they can bet and potentially win cash. 

The government understands this, and it’s the reason why there are now laws on online sabong. But before you get into sabong online betting, ensure you only work with legit sites that comply with existing laws and policies. Online betting like sabong becomes more entertaining if it’s legit and you wager responsibly.