Playing poker for real money is a popular pastime in the United Kingdom! The UK has a colourful online and land-based poker scene and is home to some World Series of Poker bracelet winners.
Due to the popularity of this card game, it’s no surprise that there are a number of casino sites and online poker rooms that offer Brits an exciting poker experience. Of course, finding a site that is safe, legal and offers the best games, promotions and tournaments is a must! Here, we’ll provide you with what you need to look for when searching for the top poker destinations in the country.
Get started by having a look at the best online poker sites.
Like most Brits, we’re only interested in playing at trusted online poker sites. For this reason, our experts have high standards. For us to review, test and recommend a real money poker site to you, the site needs to be among the best by meeting our following criteria:
✔️Security & Licensing – We test and review only legitimately operated online poker destinations. We look for a site that has an active United Kingdom Gambling License (UKGC) and up-to-date secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates to ensure maximum security and a safe gaming experience.
✔️Free Rolls & Bonuses – Poker bonuses and tournaments are part of a great online poker experience. We’ll give you the lowdown on the welcome offers, ongoing promotions, free tickets and available freeroll (no entry fee) tournaments.
✔️Poker Variants – Poker has a lot of variants. Beyond having Texas Hold’em, depending on where we play, we expect to see a variety of online poker games like Omaha Hi, 7-Card Stud, 5-Card Draw, Pai Gow, Live Casino Poker, and so on.
✔️Banking Options – Depositing and withdrawing should be a secure, quick and straightforward process. We check for popular and local payments, including credit/debit cards, eWallets, prepaid cards, etc.
✔️Free Poker Games – We look for free poker game options, including the ability to demo games, enter freeroll tournaments, free tickets and if there are no deposit bonuses that let you play real money games without making a deposit first.
✔️User–friendly Poker App – If a site offers a native app for iOS and Android we download and try it for ourselves to make sure it delivers the best UX and offers the same great games, features and promotions provided on the mobile web browser.
✔️Poker Software – Poker software can be very useful in helping you to gain access to statistics, facts and figures that can help you with your game. However, the use of this third-party software isn’t always permitted at poker sites. We’ll let you know if these tools are allowed at the sites we review.
Online poker for real money is easy to find in the UK. That said, there are some destinations that rank better than the rest when it comes to providing a superior online poker experience. Here are the sties that have made our top list!
PokerStars is the world’s biggest online poker room, so naturally it has made our list. It offers a wide range of variants from Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi to Seven Card Stud, Razz and Five Card Draw. It also has a free play welcome offer and freeroll tournaments. We selected PokerStars for its wide range of poker tournaments. With 25+ different types of tourneys available throughout the week, there is something for every UK poker player. Plus, its Sunday Million event has a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.
888 delivers both an online poker casino experience that includes virtual poker games powered by its proprietary software Dragonfish and live poker powered by Evolution Gaming. There is also 888poker, which is a dedicated online poker room powered by its software platform Poker 8. In addition to its incredible variety of poker games, including unique variants like SNAP, as well as various cash games and tournaments, 888 also has a generous welcome bonus and a no deposit bonus. The main reason 888 made our list is for its high-functioning and easy-to-use mobile app.
Using Playtech’s iPoker Network, Bet365 is a great destination offering a generous welcome bonus for new players, and a variety of games and tournaments including Twister Sit & Gos. We chose Bet365 Poker for being one of the best in the industry for beginners. It offers Beginners’ Cash Tables that are open to players for only 90 days after they sign up. The tables have low blinds so they aren’t likely to appeal to advanced players who sign up, meaning a greater chance that beginners will play against opponents with similar skill level.
Ladbrokes’ poker offering is powered by Playtech. You’ll find a great range of games (e.g. Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, etc.) along with huge tournament guarantees, cash games, and even jackpot Sit and Gos. There are also other perks like a free play welcome offer and automated weekly cashback. We selected Ladbrokes for having the best daily freeroll tournament as well as other freerolls where there are different prizes on offer, including free sports bets offers.
Powered by the iPoker Network, William Hill Poker provides plenty of classic and unique poker variants as well as an array of cash games and tournaments, including progressive knockout tourneys. Since it features Playtech software, William Hill offers some interesting poker variants, including Twister Poker, which is a Sit and Go between three players and has a prize pool decided by a lottery. William Hill makes our list for providing a fun Twister experience that includes bonuses related to the game as part of their welcome offer.
New online poker casinos and poker rooms can be great places to enjoy games and tournaments. Our team is always on the lookout for the latest legal sites ready to offer a fresh and thrilling experience.
Should you choose a new casino over an established one? Ultimately, as long as you play at a poker site that is legal, secure, fair and responsible, it doesn’t matter how established it is. The primary differences are that a new brand does not have the reputation to back it up and may offer fewer products than an established brand. That said, it tends to be more competitive, offering better bonuses, especially bigger sign up offers.
You can play online poker for real money at these exciting new sites:
There are many online poker games that you can play. In fact, this card game has one of the largest ranges of variations compared to any other. In terms of online play, the following are the most common variations you’ll find in the UK.
♦️Texas Hold’em – One of the most popular variants of poker Texas Holdem is a community card game. In this variation, two cards are dealt face down to each player and a total of five community cards are dealt face up over the course of three betting rounds. The objective is for a player to make the best five-card hand from any combination of the seven cards.
♦️Omaha – Omaha is a community card poker game similar to Texas Hold’em. In this game, players are dealt four cards and there are five community cards. Players must make their best five-card hand using exactly two of the cards they’ve been dealt and exactly three of the community cards.
♦️Seven-Card Stud – In this variant of stud poker, players are dealt seven cards (three face down and four face up) and must try to make the best five-card hand out of their seven cards.
♦️Five-Card Draw – This is a variant of draw poker and is considered the simplest of all poker variants to play. Players receive five cards face down. Each active player chooses the number of cards they wish to discard and replace with new cards (depending on the rules). The objective is to make the best five-card poker hand.
♦️Razz – Similar to Seven-Card Stud, Razz is a stud poker variant in which players are dealt seven cards throughout the course of the hand. However, the objective is to create the best five-card low hand possible.
♦️Pai Gow – Pai Gow is a poker card game variation of the original Chinese game Pai Gow, which uses dominoes. The objective is for players to make two five-card poker hands (using a combination of their seven cards) that rank higher than both the dealer’s hands.
♦️Caribbean Stud – This is a variant of five-card stud poker. However, unlike standard poker games, a player does not play against other players at the table, they only play against the house. The objective is to have a higher hand than the dealer.
There are essentially three main types of online poker playing options available. They include Cash Games, Tournaments, and Sit and Gos. Here’s a closer look at each as well as their main pros and cons.
Cash Games – You buy-in with your own money and the blinds stay the same. You can leave the game whenever you want.
✔️Pro – Flexibility – You can come and go as you like.
❌Con – Complex and competitive – Cash games are not straightforward and tend to attract professional poker players.
Tournaments – Unless it’s a freeroll, you pay a buy-in to join tournaments and obtain chips. The blinds always increase, and the amount you are paid depends on where you finish (place) in the tournament.
✔️Pro – Thrill of the big win – If you win a MTT (multi-table tournament) poker tournament you get a nice chunk of cash
❌Con – You could be in it for the long haul – Tournaments can take hours to play and there’s no guarantee you’ll win.
Sit and Gos (SNGs) – Small online poker tournaments that are quicker, have fewer people and a higher chance of winning.
✔️Pro – Straightforward Play – Easiest way to get an understanding of the game and an easy tournament to multi-table.
❌Con – Can be boring – SNGs tend to be more rigid and predictable than tournaments and cash games, with the same opponents and payouts.
The best poker bonuses in the UK are those that provide you with the chance to enjoy more real money thrills without risking your own cash, and that are not tied to outrageously high wagering requirements. Here’s a look at the top types of online poker promotions:
🎁Poker sign up bonuses – This is a welcome offer for new players that gives you bonus funds for poker games. You may be required to make a first deposit to claim a poker sign up bonus or the bonus may be given after sign up without a deposit required.
🎁No deposit bonus – You are not required to make a deposit to claim a poker no deposit bonus. It is often given to new players after they register an account. No deposit bonuses are typically much smaller than deposit bonuses.
🎁Rake Chase Promotions – A promotion that a poker site or affiliate offers players to encourage them to rake more and get rewarded for doing it. Rake chase prizes (usually cash) are awarded to players when they reach rake requirements for different target levels.
🎁Poker Reload bonuses – A special bonus offered to existing customers that awards them with bonus funds and possibly other perks (e.g. tickets to a tournament, etc.) when they make a deposit.
🎁Free tournament tickets – These are virtual vouchers with a fixed value that can be used for selected tournaments. Free tickets can be a part of a promotion or be awarded in Tournament prize pools. Depending on the free ticket, they can be used for entering scheduled tourneys, exclusive freerolls, SNGs and more.
Live poker for real money is something that you can enjoy at most online casinos that offer live dealer games, which includes all the top casinos that we recommend.
Like other live casino games, live dealer poker is broadcasted from a licensed, land-based gambling studio and features a professional human dealer. Via your computer or mobile device, you can join live games, place bets, get paid out potential winnings and interact with the dealer via live-chat, all in real time.
While there are a number of providers of live casino poker games, in the UK, the leading poker live casino providers include:
Most popular sites that offer mobile poker, also offer a dedicated poker app for Apple and Android devices.
An app may be worth downloading if you’re seeking the best user experience on your preferred iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet device, but might not be for you if you want or need to keep more space on your device’s hard drive.
If you do want to try an app, here’s an idea of what to expect from the best real money poker app:
When you play online poker for real money, you’ll find that all variants are based on the basic poker card hand ranking system as follows (ranked from highest to lowest):
With that said, the following is how to play poker online using Texas Hold’em as an example:
Remember, to get the most out of any online poker strategies you choose to use, make sure you know the specific rules of the poker variants you play.
You will easily be able to find all the rules and terms you need at the UKs top online poker sites, including at those sites we recommend. However, if you’re very new to the game, the following are the most common bets you’ll come across when you play poker online.
If you’re new to the world of real money online poker, here are a few poker tips for the beginners that you might find useful:
⭐Study the game – If you want to play online poker real money games for the chance to win, you need to understand the rules, positions and poker hands ranking that applies to the variant you pick. Study the game.
⭐Take advantage of bonuses – No deposit poker bonuses, freerolls, and free tickets are great ways to get a feel for real money poker without risking your own cash to start.
⭐Use tools – Use poker tools to help you improve your understanding of the game, such as poker odds calculators and poker timers.
⭐Play the game you enjoy most – Don’t just play poker for the money. Play it because you love the game. When you like what you play, your experience is likely to be more positive and the most successful.
⭐Start with SNGs – Sit & Go online poker tournaments are ideal for newcomers because they don’t cost much to enter and are typically between 30 – 60 minutes long. They will give you a feel for tournament gameplay, including shifting hand values, importance of chip stack sizes, position and aggression.
⭐Have good bankroll management – Beyond not betting more than you can afford to lose, good bankroll management is also about making sure that you can play the maximum limit your bankroll can support to maximize your long-run potential
If you’re an advanced player, here are a few quick tips that you might find useful the next time you hit the online poker rooms:
⭐Don’t always play your favourite hand – If you have a favourite starting hand, don’t always give it preferential treatment and make a bad play because you’re superstitious.
⭐Continue to use bonuses – From the poker welcome bonus to reload bonuses to free tickets and loyalty perks, you’re never too “advanced” not to use the promotions from the biggest poker sites to help you get the most out of your bankroll.
⭐Stay off Tilt – You know it’s important not to let your emotions run the show, this is a rookie mistake, but one still made by many advanced players. Remember, when the cards go south, it’s time to fold and take a break. The game will still be there tomorrow.
⭐Ensure your bluffs are sensible – When bluffing against smart opponents, you need to make sure you think your whole hand through and are telling the “story” of your hand through consistent and logical actions at the table. A well-timed bluff could win you the pot. A spontaneous one is likely to cost you it.
It is important to play online poker at trusted sites with secure and fair RNG (random number generator) software that is regularly audited and certified fair by independent third-party providers. Fairness and high RTP (return to player) is what you can expect from all the sites we recommend.
As for the most popular online poker software providers behind the games at top UK poker sites, these include:
While you can trust that we will only recommend safe online poker casinos to you, it is important to know that not all poker casinos and poker rooms are reputable or safe. Here are some common red flags of scam online poker sites.
⚠️No cash out – The casino claims to have sent you the withdrawals but they never show up in your account.
⚠️Deposit theft – You deposit funds into your account that either disappear or that you cannot withdraw.
⚠️Identity theft – Personal information you provide is stolen.
⚠️Collusion – Two players at the same table cheat by playing together on purpose, sharing card information or discussing hands to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents.
⚠️Poker bots – This is a computer or software that can pose as a player and uses predefined calculations and artificial intelligence. It can play nonstop for hours, without experiencing fatigue, tilt or downswing.
To avoid scams involving money theft, identity theft, and poker bots, always make sure to play poker online at a UKGC licensed and secure casino or poker room. Should you suspect online collusion or another player cheating, contact the site’s support to have the matter looked into.
Yes. You can play poker for real money at both online casinos and in dedicated online poker rooms. There are several variants, including live casino poker. If you choose to play poker for real money, remember to gamble responsibly.
There are a number of UK poker rooms that have excellent software. Our top picks are PokerStars, 888Poker, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet365.
It is not rigged if you choose to play at a legitimately run site, such as one that holds a UKGC license, holds SSL certificates and that has RNG software that is regularly audited and certified fair by independent third-party testing agencies like eCOGRA and iTechLabs.
Sign up at the site where you want to play. Deposit funds into your account (if you’re playing for real money), and choose the poker variant you want to play. Be sure to read the rules of the game to make sure you understand how the game will playout out, how many rounds it has, table limits, etc.
Yes! As long as you are eighteen years of age or older you can legally play online poker. Just make sure that the casino or poker room where you choose to play is licensed by the UKGC.
Yes. Many recreational and professional poker players will play at multiple tables simultaneously. Some online poker rooms even have built-in features that allow for multi-tabling. However, before you decide to multi-table, it is a good idea to first make sure you have a solid understanding of the gameplay and rules of the variant you intend to enjoy. Start off small and, over time, increase the number of tables you play as your skill improves.
It is a type of poker tournament composed of a pre-set number of entrants. The tournament only begins once this number has been met. They can range anywhere from 2 to 360 players, depending on the site. That said, the most common types of SNGs are STTs (single table tournaments) of either 6-Max (6 player) or 9-Max (9 players).
You can play a variety of poker variations online, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud, Draw Poker, Caribbean Poker, Razz, live casino poker, and more.
Residents of the UK have an abundance of choice when they want to play poker online. No matter the size of your bankroll or your level of expertise, there are games, tournaments and bonuses that are ideal for the type of play you desire. The key is to choose the sites that will deliver a first-rate experience and treat you with the respect you deserve, in a reliable, fair and secure gaming environment.
We review the best online poker casinos for the UK player who wants a safe, legitimate and premium experience on desktop or mobile. Check out our recommendations today!