Sabong betting history and its popularity in the Philippines

The history of sabong in the Philippines dates back about 300 years ago. Currently, the Philippines is one of the countries where sabong betting is both legal and prevalent.

What Is Sabong

Sabong is a Philippine word that refers to cockfighting. The sport involves pitting two cocks against each other in a bid to see which one is superior. The sport is always bloody, and sometimes individuals wrap weapons on the cocks’ legs to make it exciting. Some people refer to it as a fight to the finish since the match only stops when a cock dies. People gather in arenas to spectate and cheer on as the cocks tear each other apart. In the Philippines, sabong is the best pastime sport and the only activity enjoyed by the rich and the poor.

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A Brief History - The Philippines

The history of cockfighting in the Philippines has been ongoing long before they gained their independence in 1898. The activity proceeded from generation to generation. Its ancient beginnings saw people start betting during cockfighting events long before Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the region. Some people even speculate that the sport has been around for thousands of years now.

Being a tradition, the Filipino government has never thought of illegalizing the sport. Instead, it collects revenue from cockfighting events, and betting then uses it for community outreach. So far, there are thousands of cockfighting arenas spanning all across the Philippines. The only challenge the government is facing is the cropping up of illegal cockfighting events. With that said, the sport continues to grow significantly, with its market size increasing every day.

Sabong Betting

Key Individuals

Just like any other sport, Sabong has officials who control the game in the arena. There is the sentensyador or koyme who often acts as the referee. His or her task is to make sure the game proceeds as expected. Before the cocks start fighting, he is the one who is going to pit them against each other. He decides when the match begins and when it ends. He also declares the winner of the match after the vanquishing of the opponent. There is also the kristo who is the person that takes the bets.

These kristos are experts in the game with expertise on how to take bets. They mostly use sign language to communicate with each other about the bets. Each finger sign means a certain amount of pesos. There are also the owners of the cocks and fans who play a crucial role in making the sport entertaining. The task of all the key figures in the game is to make sure the match proceeds remarkably smoothly.

Best Breeds for Fighting

It is important to note that not every rooster can manage a fight. The action requires a strong chicken with a killing instinct. That is why Filipinos use unique roosters, which can easily take on the competitor. For instance, the best breed for fighting includes the American game, the old English game, Gai Noi, and Shamo chickens. These breeds are famous for their strength, speed, and fighting abilities. They are also hard to defeat, and that makes them special. Since every owner is going to get the best breed, the only way to survive the breed is through training.

Fight Day Superstitions

Cock owners are always keen to make sure they adhere to certain rules during the fight day. That is because of the many superstitions that float around. For instance, when driving the rooster to the match, the cock owner should not back the vehicle. Instead, he or she should only move forward. Backing up often means the rooster is going to lose the match.

Other fighters believe that dropping the knife while tying it on the cock often results in a loss. To block it, the individual has to drop the knife and pick it up again. Other people tend to leave the rest stall open when heading to a fight so that their roosters can come back home unscratched. Among the famous superstitions is to avoid fighting a rooster if there is a problem at home. That is because the rooster is going to transfer the bad vibe to the arena and lose.

Differences between Sabong and Tupada or Tigbakay

There is a clear distinction between Sabong and Tupada. Sabong is the legal cockfighting event that takes place in legal arenas. Before the fight, the hosting parties have to obtain the cockfighting license. Tubada or Tigbakay, on the other hand, is an illegal cockfighting event. It usually takes place in rural areas where there are plenty of unlawful arenas. These events never pay fighting taxes nor do they have a permit from the local authorities. People who organize the matches only take their chances by hoping that officers don’t show up.

Sabong Betting Philippines

Interesting Key Facts

  • Sabong in the Philippines is worth billions of dollars according to the recent research 
  • Cock owners can agree to tie blades on the left legs to make the game entertaining Sometimes they also tie both legs
  • The most significant prize money in the cockfighting game can go to or over 15 Million pesos depending on the derby
  • The most expensive rooster is the Ayam Cemani rooster, which costs several thousands of dollars
  • A single cockfighting derby can last for as long as several days in a bid to find the winner of the game

International Stage - World Slasher Cup

The development of the cockfighting sport is remarkable. Currently, the matches take place in world stages with sites such as sabong888live streaming the show live. There are also various derbies available, including the main tournament, world slasher cup, which takes place twice every year. The competition usually takes place in the Smart Araneta Coliseum, which is a huge cockfighting arena. Sabong live 2018 saw many contestants show up to take part in sabong cockfighting events. Due to the significance of the sport, each online sabong site strives to cover the competition to intrigue the players.

Sabong Betting Online

People all over the Philippines are taking bets on various cockfighting matches. They analyze the cocks like any other game and figure out which cock is likely to win the fight. That is the reason why sabong and sports betting online, in general, is becoming popular in the region. Punters stake Millions of pesos with matches happening every day. There are also various online sabong platforms offering statistics and feeds in a bid to keep the Filipinos updated.

Types of Sabong Betting Odds

Anyone who wants to make any cockfighting bets has to understand the sport better before proceeding. Most importantly, he or she has to know more about the types of sabong betting odds. The bets can start at 10% in favor of the people’s favorite cock to 100% stakes. The gambler also has to know the online Sabong betting language, which includes terms like Lo dies, Walo-anim, Doblado, and Onse. With these terms, among others, the bettor can quickly know how to make bets. Online betting, on the other hand, is simpler. That is because the odds are usually plain and easy to understand. Punters can choose a win on a particular team, a loss, or a draw.

Sabong Betting - Where To Bet Online

There are so many sites to bet cockfighting in the Philippines. By searching online, gamblers are going to find various bookmaking websites that have sabong among their online Sabong betting options. Given that the sport is legal in the Philippines, bettors don’t need proxies to access the bookies. It is, however, essential to have a look at the bookmaking site’s odds to know which ones are fair. Once the gambler analyzes the odds, he or she can then go ahead and place bets.

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Live streams

Due to technology and advances made in the sport, people can now stream sabong live. While some bookmakers offer cockfighting streaming services to their clients, other sites only stream the matches. Online sabong sites like Sabong888live provide the best cockfighting streams. People can also stream sabong derby live in the comfort of their homes. Another way to stream is to search for sabong live today on the internet. There are various options for cockfighting enthusiasts.

Other Countries where you can bet on Sabong/Cockfighting

The Philippines is not the only country where gamblers can bet on cockfighting. There are plenty of other nations that allow people to bet on the sport. People thus get to access sabong sports live, watch the matches and place bets. Such countries include Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Mexico, and Columbia. The government regulates online Sabong betting on cockfighting in most of these countries.


No, Sabong is legal in the Philippines, with many people taking part in the competitions.
Yes, individuals can bet on derbies on their mobile phones. All they have to do is select the site.
Yes, there are a variety of apps where cockfighting enthusiasts can watch cockfight at the comfort of their homes.
The best breeds for cockfighting is the American game. People find it reliable with strong legs and incredible muscles.
Just like any other sport, it is quite challenging to spot a winner, not unless players have a look at their past record.