Three rice cultivars (RS3M, RS4H and RS5L) differing in resistant starch contents but similar in genetic background were chosen to study the effects of gamma irradiation on starch physicochemical properties and digestibility. Irradiation increases the resistant starch content in all the three cultivars and in a dose-dependent manner in rice with low-resistant starch content (RS5L). Irradiation decreases apparent amylose content and gelatinisation temperature and changed the starch granule structure, while increasing V-type crystallinity. Starch enzymatic hydrolysis rate was reduced following irradiation, and the effect of irradiation on reducing starch digestibility was negatively correlated with resistant starch content. Treatment with gamma irradiation has therefore a potential for increasing resistant starch content and producing low digestibility of starch in common rice.