In this article, we will list the best UK online poker sites and provide a complete online guide, so that you will have everything you need to know to start playing online poker today.
“Poker takes five minutes to learn but a lifetime to master”, said Mike Sexton, Poker Hall of Fame member with over $6.7 million in live tournament winnings to his name. And, of course, he is absolutely correct.
Table of Contents
- The Best Online Poker Sites UK Ranked
- Best Poker Sites UK – Ranked
- Best Online Poker Sites UK Reviewed
- What is iPoker?
- Poker Guide – How to Play Online Poker
- Different Online Poker Types
- Blinds, Stakes, Bets
- Online Poker Sites UK Tips
- Poker Tax and Legality in the UK
- Online Poker UK FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
Unibet Sports – Money back as Bonus up to £40 + £10 Casino 18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 35x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply. #ad
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New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. #ad
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New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. #ad
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18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £5 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 2 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply. #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply. #ad
Best Poker Sites UK – Ranked
#1 – GGPoker
#2 – Party Poker
#3 – PokerStars
#4 – bet365
#5 – 888poker
#6 – Unibet
#7 – Paddy Power
#8 – betfair
#9 – William Hill
#10 – Coral
#11 – Ladbrokes
Best Online Poker Sites UK Reviewed
Online Poker UK Site #1 – GGPoker
GGPoker was launched in 2014 and is fast gaining on its number one rival Pokerstars. The site has plenty of innovations, including peaking your hole cards and insurance when going all-in. While the site was previously licenced in Curacao, it has moved its licence to the UK and Malta, making it available to UK and European players. The site offers plenty of promotions, including monthly giveaways, a daily freebee and generous welcome offer of $100 in rewards, or $600 matched welcome bonus.
Online Poker UK Site #2 – Party Poker
Party Poker is one of the oldest poker sites around and is the fifth most popular site in terms of traffic. The site re-entered the UK poker market, with a UKGC licence and has since become one of the most popular options. The site offers one of the best cashback promotions for any online poker site, with a guaranteed 40 – 60% cashback. The site is best for recreational players, though there are plenty of pros who love it as well. New players will get £40 free play in tournament tickets after making a £10 deposit.
Online Poker UK Site #3 – PokerStars
In terms of traffic, Pokerstars is the number one poker site in the UK and the world. They have the biggest offer of poker games and tournaments available to UK players, with 26 types of tournaments. Their most prominent tournament is the Sunday Million, with a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.
Beginning players can enjoy 2 major welcome offers:
- Play for free and win up to £10,000
New players will get 10 spin and go tickets, each of which has a chance to win the top prize of £10,000 (existing players will get 3 tickets). No deposit needed! Use Promo Code 10KSPIN
- £20 Free Play for first deposit
New Players who have never made a deposit can get a £20 welcome offer. Deposit £10 and you will get £20 in tournament tickets as a bonus. Use Promo Code TWENTY
Online Poker UK Site #4 – bet365 Poker
Bet365 is of course one of the top UK betting sites. Besides sports and casino, they also offer a great poker client. Bet365 has its own, unique poker setting, where you can play against players on tables unique to the site. Players can enjoy mostly smaller tournaments, with prizes up to £1,000. This makes it a great site for beginning players. New players can get €365 welcome bonus, plus a spin on the Welcome Prize Wheel.
Besides all these promotions, bet365 also has a fun promo that combines football with poker. The bet365 Premium League lets you predict football outcomes for a chance to win cash, Twister tickets, bet365 Coins or tickets to the £500 Premier League Freeroll.
Online Poker UK Site #5 – 888poker
888 is famous for its sports and casino sites, but the company also has its own unique poker site. 888poker is a global brand, with players from virtually all corners of the world. The site boasts modern safety features, and has a wealth of tournament options. The site is great for beginning players, as you can use the free to play mode, and the site has plenty of tutorials. The software is intuitive to use.
The site is used by famous players like Dominik Nitsche, Chris Moorman, Vivian Saliba, Martin Jacobson, and Kara Scott, and that says a lot.
New players can get a £20 no deposit bonus to try out the site, plus you can get a 100% bonus up to £100 (Use promo code WELCOME100) for your first deposit.
Online Poker UK Site #6 – Unibet Poker
Unibet is one of the largest online bookies in the world. While the company originated in Sweden, it has become of the most popular betting destinations in Europe, the UK and beyond. Part of its success is owed to the quality and diversity of betting options. Besides sports, casino and bingo, Unibet players can also play poker on one of the biggest networks in the world. Unibet offers its own poker client, though you can also play on the website with no download needed.
Besides a great poker client with stable software, Unibet also offers some of the best promo’s on any UK poker site. New depositing players will get:
- £20 welcome bonus (4 €5 Unibet UK Tour qualifier tickets, plus + 1 €8 NL4 Cash game ticket)
- Free Entry to 4 x weekly €500 Welcome Free-rolls
- £500 progressive bonus
What is iPoker?
While the sites we mentioned above each have their own, unique poker network, certain sites work together. This gives players access to a much larger network, as they can now play against players registered on various other poker sites in the UK or around the world. One of the biggest and best networks is undoubtedly iPoker, the network used by major UK sites like Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes.
When you play poker on one of these sites, you are playing the same players, games and tournaments as players on the rest of them. The bigger the network, the bigger the prizes, the more promotions, and the more players from which to win cash.
The iPoker network is great for recreational and beginning players, offering low- and micro-stakes Texas Hold’em and Omaha games. With cash games 24/7, Turbo Sit & Go’s, and daily multi-table tournaments, iPoker has some of the best poker offerings.
Best iPoker Sites
Even though iPoker sites use the same software, each site has its own welcome offer and conditions.
Online Poker UK Site #7 – Paddy Power Poker
Besides some of the most diverse betting options, Paddy Power also has an excellent poker offer thorugh iPoker. Play £20 worth of Tournaments, Twisters or SitnGos and you will get a £50 Bonus over the next 5 days.
Online Poker UK Site #8 – Betfair Poker
Betfair is famous for exchange betting, where bettors can choose their own odds and buy or sell bets. However, their poker offering has been getting more attention in recent years. They also use iPoker software. For new players, Betfair poker offers a 200% match bonus up to £200 + 2 €250 freeroll tickets.
Online Poker UK Site #9 – William Hill Poker
William Hill is no unfamiliar name for casino and sports players, and they have an excellent offer for poker as well. New players on their poker page will get up to £100 deposit bonus, plus 6 free twister entries.
Online Poker UK Site #10 – Coral Poker
Coral is most famous for football betting, though the site has a great poker client as well. Besides an excellent offer of Sit & Go’s, tournaments and freerolls, Coral Poker also offers $30 in free tickets for new depositing players, an excellent cashback up to 40% and a $1,200 daily freeroll.
Online Poker UK Site #11 – Ladbrokes Poker
Ladbrokes is one of the top UK bookies and to complete its betting offer, you can also download their poker client. Similar to Coral, new players at Ladbrokes can enjoy $30 in free tickets, plus there is a daily $1,200 freeroll for all players.
Poker Guide – How to Play Online Poker
Poker is one of the world’s most famous card games. It is also considered complex, where success is earned by skill rather than luck. Each week of the year, million-dollar poker tournaments run with thousands of players in attendance, professionals and amateurs alike. Some of these are designed for high rollers, while others are for low stakes players. You can tell the different tournaments apart by their buy-ins and prize pool. The highlight of live poker’s year is the World Series of Poker (WSOP) that takes place every May in Las Vegas and runs until July.
With 2001’s famous online poker boom when, for those that don’t know, an amateur player and full-time accountant from Atlanta named Chris Moneymaker (What a name!) qualified for the WSOP Main Event through an $86 online satellite before winning the whole event for $2.5 million, came an explosion in online payers who thought they could pull off a similar feat.
The Internet revolution meant that poker players who were looking for tables to play but couldn’t get to a casino now had the chance to join games from home, and in the last 20 years, the industry has evolved so much that it is now responsible for at least 10% of the incomes of major gambling networks, a percentage that’s growing.
Playing online poker is as simple as joining a poker room, making a deposit, receiving your cards, and start fighting for the pots.
Different Online Poker Types
Online poker UK sites offer a wide array of games from which to choose. While beginners usually play freeroll tournaments or low buy-in games, high rollers or pro players are more likely to choose Sit & Go’s with high limits, though everyone wants a chance to win a million $ tournament.
In Texas Hold'em, you are dealt 2 hole or pocket cards and there are 4 rounds of betting that each precedes a card reveal. Firstly, players make their blind bets before any community cards have been revealed. This is referred to as pre-flop. When all bets are in, the first three community cards are revealed, this is known as the flop. By now, players have 5 cards to pick from and have a better understanding of their likelihood of winning the hand. Another round of betting ensues before we reach the Turn, where the fourth card is added to the middle, before betting once more prior to the River, the final card reveal. The aim of the games is to make the best five-card combination using any of your 2-hole cards and any of the 5 communities. Or, if your best possible hand is really weak, make it look like you have a strong hand by bluffing.
In Omaha Hilo, each player is dealt with four-hole cards while five community cards are dealt face-up on the table. Like Hold’em, players use exactly two cards from their pocket cards to combine with community cards to form a winning hand. Unlike Hold’em they have four-hole cards to choose from and MUST use exactly half of them. The pot is then divided between the best hand for high and the best hand for low.
Sit and Go’s
Sit and go’s are popular modern online games that come in Hold’em and Omaha editions. They are usually played six-handed and start as soon as all players have bought in. They are single table mini-tournaments whose prize pool is determined by the size of the buy-in.
Jackpot Sit And Go’s
Jackpot sit and go’s are exactly the same as above except that, before play takes place, a spinner decides the prize pool which can be as much as 10-100 times the buy-in. Note, all poker rooms offer their own take on this, the most common among the bookmakers being iPoker’s Twist. In some rooms, players can buy-in for £100 and play for £1,000,000 if the spinner hits the jackpot.
All-in Flip Tournaments
With all-in tourneys, the luck element is re-introduced to poker. The game’s mechanic is such that players are dealt their cards before the computer chucks all player chips into the middle. This keeps on repeating until a winner is found. In some cases, such as in the jackpot sit and go game Blast from 888poker, players have to play under a timed countdown before the game switches to all-in play.
Knock Out Bounty Games
You will find some Multi Table Tournaments (MTT) and Sit & Go tournaments at poker rooms where the prize money is divided between adding to the prize pool and being used to put money on another player’s – or your own – head. This effectively means that you or they have a bounty on your head and whoever knocks you out claims that bounty as an added income from the game.
Blinds, Stakes, Bets
In the lobby, you'll see different formats like we outlined above, such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha HiLo. Then you have your limits, such no limit or pot limit. These can be seen in the way your game is listed in the lobby, i.e. NLHE means that the game will be No Limit Hold’em, while PLO donates Pot Limit Omaha. Then, we have stakes, $0,25/$0,50 which is NL50 for example.
This is related to the maximum bet you can place during a hand. If the table is No-Limit, you can, if you so wish, go all-in and put all your chips into the centre of the table anytime. However, when playing Pot Limit, players can bet up to the total amount already put in the pot.
The small blinds and big blinds are enforced bets at the start of the hand before players know the first three community cards (pre-flop). Which player makes the big blind and which player makes the small blind is dependent on where they are sitting in relation to that hand’s dealer. Blinds represent the minimum bets at the table, and in some games are related to the maximum buy-in you can make. For example, an NL$1/$2 table refers to a No-Limit game with a minimum bet of $2.
What is interesting about poker is that not always the player with the best hand wins. There is always the possibility to bluff an opponent. This means to lead your opponents to believe you have the best hand. This bluff is usually transmitted by your actions and behaviour.
Poker Hand Strengths
|Royal Flush||The strongest hand in poker, consisting of Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all from the same suit.|
|Straight Flush||The straight flush is composed of five consecutive cards of the same suit.|
|Four of a kind||Four of a kind is made up of four cards of the same rank such as tens.|
|Full House||A full house is a combination of two other hands, three of a kind and a pair.|
|Flush||Five cards of the same suit make a flush.|
|Straight||Five consecutive cards are called a straight.|
|Three of a kind||A three of a kind includes three cards of the same rank.|
|Two-pair||Two pair hands are composed of two separate pairs.|
|Pair||A pair is simply two cards of the same rank.|
|High card||If you don't even have a pair, then all you have is a high card, the highest solitary card in your hand.|
Online Poker Sites UK Tips
These days, many people consider making a full time living out of playing poker professionally. While this is no guarantee, there are many online resources out there allowing you to study the game. There are many poker strategies and some players even apply advanced maths to become a poker pro.
However, you should keep in mind that becoming a pro is a job like any other. Playing online poker as a job can be stressful as downswings are common in this career so you'll need to be ready psychologically to face these situations.
Of course, if you were a pro, you would not be looking for a Poker guide. Here are some excellent tips that should have you winning hands and making a profit in a matter of days.
Take advantage of freerolls deposit bonuses and other promos
One way to learn how to play poker is by taking advantage of the many welcome offers on offer at various UK poker sites. Most have a great no deposit offer, along with a deposit bonus for your first deposit. Usually, this bonus comes in the form of free tickets to major tournaments, so this is a good way to get experience along with a chance to win major prizes.
Know when to fold and do not chase losses
Knowing when to fold is the most important part of poker strategy; it will limit your losses and give you more chances at winning games. At the same time, trying desperately to win back lost cash is the best way to go full tilt and lose everything.
Know when to withdraw
You have not made any profit as long as your winnings are still on your poker account. As long as money is there, you will get tempted to play it. At a certain point, you will need to withdraw. Thus, it is best to have a plan on at which point you will make a withdrawal. Set a goal for yourself and try to achieve it.
Set Up Your Work/Play/Grind Station
Playing online poker doesn’t necessarily require a powerful PC. At least at first. Once you begin to play multiple tables or install third-party software you might want to look into upgrading to a gamer’s PC with plenty of RAM and up to date graphics cards. The size of your monitor isn’t too important, don’t get bogged down looking for a huge screen, especially as a good grinding station will require more than one. Instead, pay more attention to screen resolution and whether or not it is HD.
Keyboards are not as critical as other items in your set up, but remember that MTTs can go on for hours so comfort is key. Other than that, make sure your Wi-Fi is the best possible and that you have back up as well as your perfect desk and the correct chair for the job which basically means that you want it comfortable and supportive.
Shut Out All Distractions
Once you have set up your perfect grinding station, make sure it is free from distractions and is as quiet as possible. Of course, music is fine in the same ways that many live poker players take to the tables wearing earphones. They shut out diversions, such as other players fiddling with their chips, trash talking or some other distraction. Back at your home station, music could shut out personal distractions like TV, kids, pets or other members of your family.
Eat, Drink and Sleep
Many people regard poker as a mind sport, not unlike chess for employing planning and strategies. For those that do, and those that don’t yet, it is worth giving some thought to your diet as it will play a big role in any success you might go on to enjoy. Food, nourishment and nutrition are all important factors if you are to last long in a long running tourney. Preferably, start the day with a breakfast rich in both protein and carbohydrates and sticking to foods with a low glycaemic index such as eggs, beans, grain, whole rice, and of course vegetables, seafood and lean meat. It also goes without saying that you should always stay hydrated and the best way to do this is by sticking to good old fresh water.
Poker Tax and Legality in the UK
The current laws regulating poker tax date to the end of 2014, which is when the UK government implemented various changes in taxation for online gambling operators.
To eliminate all doubt, online poker is still 100% legal and 100% tax free (for players) in the UK
UK gambling taxation laws
Since December 2014, all operators wishing to offer games of chance in the UK must have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. Additionally, they must pay a 15% tax on all their income from UK players. This 15% Point of Consumption (POC) tax applies to all UK poker sites.
Tax paid by operators, not players
The POC tax is focuses only on online poker operators in the UK, individual players are exempt.
Previously, betting shops in the UK used to charge 9% on a player’s winnings, withholding a percentage in order to pay the tax. Luckily, this system had already been eliminated in 2001, when Gordon Brown introduced changes in legislature.
Now, whether you play poker, bet on sports or play casino games, online or in bookies or casino’s, you can claim your winnings tax-free. On top of that, you can be sure you will never need to pay tax on them.
Online Poker UK FAQs
✋ Which is the best online poker site UK?
In terms of best poker sites for UK players, we recommend GGPoker, Pokerstars and Party Poker.
💡 Is online poker legal in the UK?
Yes 100%. As long as you play at a licenced UK poker site, you can enjoy playing legally and tax-free!
📈 Is PokerStars UK the best poker site?
Pokerstars is one of the best poker sites in the UK. The site is number one in terms of traffic and they offer access to some of the biggest tournaments and freerolls. They also have an excellent welcome offer.
💸 Is online poker rigged?
While there been complaints of online poker sites being rigged, these claims are usually the result of frustrated players who cannot deal with losing. Poker sites make money from rake. That means they will make a profit no matter which player at the table wins the hand. As long as you play at a licenced UK poker site, you can be sure the games are 100% real and fair.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
While this site focuses primarily on sports, most sports punters will have at least noticed the poker options on various bookies’ websites. If you already have a sports account, you could consider the poker options, though the above table shows the sites with the best options and promo’s for the game.
Poker is a game that takes time and effort to master, and becoming a pro takes as much time and effort as any ‘real’ job. Still, it can be a fun and profitable hobby, if you practice enough.