Prior to the start of the inaugural IPL season, many considered the Royals as possibly the weakest team in the IPL, giving them little chance of competing well in the tournament. Evidence of the latter opinion seemed to be confirmed when the team lost its first match against the Delhi Daredevils in a 9 wicket loss. However the Royals won their next game by defeating the Kings XI Punjab and continued to win the next five games in a row. The Royals built up an impressive 11–3 record after their fourteen preliminary round matches; this included a consecutive 5-game and 6-game winning streak with an undefeated record on their home ground and a spot at the top of the points table. They were also the first team to book a place in the semifinals with their 65 run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Shane Warne's captaincy and simultaneous coaching was praised and well received by everyone, including opposition teams. In addition, many players of the Royals team had consistently played well. The Royals secured a place in the finals with a victory against the Delhi Daredevils.
The Rajasthan Royals became the winner of the first IPL tournament, when they defeated the Chennai Super Kings by 3 wickets in the final played on 1 June 2008. With the scores level with one ball remaining, Sohail Tanvir scored the winning run and therefore prevented the match from being decided on a bowl out.
Each player and representative on the team was awarded a medal and the team was presented with the DLF Indian Premier League trophy along with a cheque for US$ 1.2 million prize money. Many of the Royals' players also took home individual awards for their performance during the tournament; Yusuf Pathan claimed the Man of the Match award for the final match, Sohail Tanvir finished the tournament in possession of the Purple Cap (the IPL's leading wicket taker) and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was declared the Man of the Series.
The Royals did not have a good start during the 2009 season. In their opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were second last in 2008, the Royals obtained the lowest score in the tournaments history. Rajasthan started to gain momentum slowly with Yusuf Pathan's explosive performances in victories against Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils giving hope to the Royals and their fans. However, inconsistency became a major factor; much was expected of South African captain Graeme Smith who was playing in front of his home crowd and who in last season's scored 441 runs, he together with Swapnil Asnodkar were not able to string together strong consistent performances. The absence of previous year's stars Sohail Tanvir and Shane Watson was also a major factor. Tanvir was not eligible in this season due to the political strain between India and Pakistan, and Watson was called up to play for Australia in the series against Pakistan in the UAE. Many also considered the sending of Mohammad Kaif back to India a poor decision as his batting could have contributed to the team's batting performance. The Royals failed to make it to the semifinals after losing their last two matches against Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders.
On 14 May 2009 it was announced that Rajasthan Royals would meet Middlesex Crusaders in a one-off Twenty20 for the British Asian Cup. It was the first time that an annual charity series to be played between the Twenty20 champions of the two countries. The match took place on 6 July 2009. The Squads were announced on 3 July 2009 with Rajasthan Royals included Mohammad Kaif and also saw a comeback of Sohail Tanvir. The match was won by Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs after scoring 162/5 in 20 overs and successfully defending it by 46 runs (Middlesex 116/7). The MoM was Dimitri Mascarenhas.
Rajasthan started the season looking to emulate their success in 2008 but suffered a three-game losing streak at the start of the tournament. They bounced back well with a four-game winning streak but they were knocked out after a defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their final game of the third season of the IPL.
The Rajasthan Royals, and the Kings XI Punjab were temporarily ejected from the league due to issues with their unreported ownership changes. The teams were reinstated with involvement from the High Court. Their owners were broken into several legal entities when the BCCI required the incorporation of the companies. Kochi was also at risk of ejection for the same reasons before BCCI cleared their new ownership pattern for the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals did not make it to the play off stage by winning only six games out of fourteen, losing seven and one went without any result. They finished sixth in the point table.
Rajasthan Royals were the least active franchise during the players' auction. The team didn't have a designated icon player, which saved a lot of cap space for the franchise. However, the franchise was surprisingly low key during the auction, and in the end got penalized by the IPL committee for failing to meet the minimum bidding criteria of $3.3 million. The highest bid by Rajasthan Royals was for the Indian middle order batsman Mohammad Kaif, who came off the board at $675,000. Shane Warne was named the coach and the captain of the side. The Royals were unique during the 2008 season as they were the only side to have an English cricketer in their squad, Hampshire's all rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas who played only one match, against the Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur on 11 May, before returning to England. The Rajasthan Royals also selected Justin Langer and Morné Morkel in the player auction, but both declined to instead play county cricket. In 2009 Season the team has cut down six Indian players from the previous year's squad. They are batsman Mohammad Kaif and other relatively unknowns Dinesh Salunkhe, Anup Revandkar, Srideep Mangela, Ashraf Makda and Azhar Malik.
Rajasthan Royals home venue is the iconic Sawai Mansingh Stadium(Hindi: सवाई मानसिंह स्टेडियम).The Stadium is a cricket stadium in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II who was also known as SMS, hence the name of the SMS Stadium. It is situated at one corner of the Rambagh Circle. The stadium seats 30,000 and is one of the best in India, after the 2006 renovation.
The BCCI decided to expel Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL. The expulsion baffled captain Shane Warne who stated that he suspected that there might be some foul play and that the BCCI might possess some ulterior motives. The Rajasthan Royals however filed an appeal against the decision and the two parties went to the Mumbai High Court to decide  The Mumbai high-court adjourned that case until 29 October 2010. Both parties then agreed to adjourn the case again to 15 November because they didn't want it to coincide with Diwali celebrations from 1 to 14 November Later it was announced by the Royals that they told the Bombay High Court that they would be negotiating with an arbitrator to see if they could reconcile with the IPL  The arbitrator announced that while the investigation was ongoing the Royals would remain apart of the IPL for six-weeks and the BCCI would not be allowed to change rules which might go against the Royals. The six-week period included the player auction in which Rajasthan Royals participated. After this the Bombay High Court rejected the appeals of the BCCI against keeping the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL for six-weeks while the case was sorted out. It was estimated because of the losses in court cases and damaging reputation the BCCI decided not to pursue any further legal action against Royals' or Kings XI Punjab and announced they decided to keep them in the IPL.
On 16 May 2013, three Rajasthan Royals players Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested from Mumbai by Delhi Police along with eleven bookies on charges of spot-fixing in the tournament. The fixing happened in the matches against Pune Warriors on May 5, Kings XI Punjab on May 9 and Mumbai Indians on May 15. Later BCCI suspended the three players.