Poker – The 10 Best Poker Sites UK To Play
What are the odds of finding the best online poker sites for UK players right off the bat in this incredible diversity of casinos and dedicated poker rooms?
Not that great, if you ask me.
Do you think it is easy to find the right one without having your head spun by shiny bonuses or being misguided by an overly praiseful review?
Tempted by the promised riches of affiliate links and other lucrative partnerships, many online poker reviews are exclusively flattering of the poker sites under evaluation, turning a blind eye to obvious shortcomings.
This is a poor practice in itself. Its negative consequences echo throughout the global network, as it becomes very difficult for aspiring poker players to distinguish between the best online poker rooms and much more mediocre offerings. When everything you read is praiseful, finding the actually decent places to play becomes all that much harder.
That’s why we created PokerSites.me.uk.
We don’t beat around the bush and don’t glorify one online poker site or another based on the possibility to partner up with them.
We use our heads and experience to observe and judge critically what each platform has to offer.
We don’t shy from expressing criticism and suggestions as this platform enables us to give such feedback.
We believe that constructive criticism and dialogue breed progress and improvement.
Our hope is that our contribution would:
- Help players find the best poker site for their level and taste
- Help poker sites deliver better product over the course of time
The truth is that it is difficult to point out the best UK online poker sites in an absolutely objective way.
Different players have different preferences, making such rankings rather pointless. Instead, we make as detailed reviews as possible, allowing our readers to judge what appeals to them and what doesn’t.
We compare the different platforms by following the same evaluation process in order to make the poker reviews as comparable and objective as possible, but a personal opinion is always shared.
PokerSites.me.uk is a great hub for players of any ilk to reach a step closer to poker glory. Here you can find out everything about all popular poker platforms, licenced to operate in the UK: welcome bonuses, special promotions, wagering requirements, tournament schedules, details about their software, gaming environment, and much more.
To make navigation in the diverse UK poker scene easier, our poker site reviews can be sorted by categories: the best poker site for tournaments, the best poker sites with no deposit bonus, the best real money poker sites, the site with the best chat rooms, etc.
Such categorisation is necessary because the skill level and personal preferences of poker players differ greatly.
One thing all poker site reviews you will find here have in common is that they cover only poker platforms licenced to operate within the UK.
Poker Regulations and the UK Gambling Commission
Gambling as a whole is very well (as in very strictly) regulated in the UK.
So much so that the latest amendments to the law in 2014 forced some casinos to leave, instead of going through the rigorous application process for a gambling licence.
Prior to that moment many casinos and poker sites registered outside the UK were allowed to operate legally thanks to their local licences, most commonly issued in Gibraltar or another EU country.
Since 2014 gambling establishments have to obtain a licence for each and every game they offer on the UK market. In other words, a casino with slots, blackjack and poker in its portfolio has to go through the application process three times.
If approved, the casino would be taxed 15% flat rate of the income each game generates.
Pretty steep, huh?
No wonder a handful of internationally recognised, reputable casinos simply left the market.
Those who stayed and obtained permission to operate offer top-notch service, though, and the player’s rights are protected well.
That’s why it is highly recommended to play exclusively in establishments licenced by the UK Gambling Commission. If there is anything that all online poker reviews about the UK poker sites agree it would be this:
The best casinos for UK players hold an active licence from the UK Gambling Commission.
While playing at casinos without a licence from the Commission is not strictly illegal (given that the casino holds an actual licence, issued by another respectable authority), the UK players’ rights are not protected equally well.
History shows that any disputes regarding payments or other potential violations of the player’s rights are hard to settle in favour of the end user if the UK Gambling Commission does not regulate the casino.
That’s why I’ll never grow tired of repeating: always play in licenced casinos and poker sites, preferably licenced by the UK Gambling Commission.
Prior to 2014, another set of regulations was enforced. The Gambling Act of 2005 has one major positive implication for the players: winnings from poker are not subject to taxation in the UK.
The Game We Love – Why Is Poker So Popular?
Easy to learn, hard to master, poker comes in many flavours to provide an unmatched adrenalin kick.
The unique blend of strategic decision making under pressure and the possibility to play the players turn this (simple) card game into a truly elaborate affair.
Despite being a relatively new poker variation, it was Texas Hold’em that really brought poker into the mainstream culture.
Making its way from the outskirts of poker for a few decades, it was mainly the Moneymaker effect that put the No Limit version of Texas Hold’em in the limelight.
A completely anonymous, amateur player rising to the top of the game, while collecting a huge check in the process, was just too good a Cinderella story to not capture the imagination of millions.
On top of that Hold’em has simple rules and dynamic gameplay that make it perfectly suitable for TV, while the fine balance between luck and skill make it attractive for players of any skill.
Ideal for TV broadcasting, the perfect balance of skill and luck makes Texas Hold’em perfect for players of various skill.
With the necessary experience, over the course of time a skilful player is bound to be profitable, but even with limited skills one can be victorious frequently enough to maintain the interest in the game alive and kicking.
The combination of all the above factors made NL Texas Hold’em the absolute king of poker and card games online.
Indeed, Omaha and 7-Card Stud also can be found at all the best online poker sites, UK and worldwide, but their complexity deters many starting players.
All the same, if you have some experience with Texas Hold’em, I’d strongly recommend learning to play the other variations too.
I promise you that they will deepen your overall understanding of the game and will improve your Texas Hold’em skills considerably.
UK Poker Sites for Beginners
Indeed, the poker scene is so rich and diverse that categorisation of the various sites and platforms is necessary.
Some poker sites are much more suitable for beginners, while others provide tough competition and tight games. Some have great tournaments, others an insane variety of stakes and tables.
Play poker at your skill level. In due time, you’d be able to raise the stakes of your games.
What makes Hold’em ideal for beginners, who want a taste of the action is its simplicity: it takes minutes to grasp the core mechanics of the game. Additionally, many poker sites offer freeroll tournaments and tables with play money to show new players the ropes.
Then again, the best poker sites for beginners UK players can enjoy would hardly be suitable for seasoned players, who prefer high stakes and tight action.
Consider the following example: Bet365 Poker has a decent poker app, with a great many tournaments and a respectable number of players. However, the freeroll tournaments are few and far between. On top of that, you cannot gamble with play money, making this platform unsuitable for beginners.
As a result, Bet365 Poker would be ranked rather low when considering the best poker sites for beginners, despite its numerous virtues for more experienced players.
Simple or not, poker has its learning curve. I strongly recommend to read some basic strategy and to get to know the odds, as they are absolutely crucial in the correct decision-making process.
Getting to know your way around the poker table takes some time, but playing properly and knowing how to read the situation can bring home many victories and a nice side income.
Now, don’t get overexcited as setbacks and bad beats are an inevitable part of the game. The road to poker mastery is sprinkled with disappointments and tilts, which is why managing your bank well is of crucial importance.
In fact, managing the bankroll properly might potentially be the most difficult part of the poker strategy. It requires a lot of self-discipline and honesty, especially if you have to lower the stakes.
Many poker players struggle to admit to themselves that for the sake of their bankroll it would be better to play at lower levels for some time. Fragile egos and hurt pride often stand in the way, as people tend to take the bankroll as a direct reflection of their skills.
In their eyes, the damaged bankroll translates into low skills. Consequently, the urge to prove yourself grows; the end result often is a reckless decision or two.
Bad beats are unavoidable. Learning how to keep your cool and how to manage your bankroll is what counts in the long run.
But I am getting ahead of myself, as bankroll management is something absolute beginners don’t really have to deal with.
Just the same, never forget that poker is a nice diversion, a source of entertainment, but nothing to lose your sleep over. In case you sense that the urge to play slips out of control, visit GamCare, talk to friends and family about it, take a timeout.
Give yourself the necessary time and distance to put things into perspective.
I know better than most how much losing sucks and that losing money can be particularly painful. But reflecting on the game and analysing the situation with a cool head can only help you become a better player.
Poker Sites, UK, No Deposit Bonuses and Other Perks
Bonuses are a major point of interest when picking up a new poker site.
The offerings of generous and reliable poker sites – no deposit bonus or rakeback bonus, paired with decent welcome bonuses – can be very appealing.
For many players, regardless of their skill, the promotions are the leading factor when searching for a place to play. In this context, ranking poker sites according to the bonuses they offer only makes sense.
Word of caution: big bonuses don’t necessarily translate into good experience around the poker table.
Big bonuses don’t guarantee quality experience.
Playing poker with real money, however small the sums might be, is infinitely more exciting than gambling with play money.
Luckily, there are casinos and poker sites licenced in the UK that offer no deposit bonuses for newcomers.
Still, the most common incentive for new players is the deposit bonuses. They match the first few deposits made by the player, effectively doubling or tripling the bankroll.
Virtually all of the biggest poker sites have running promotions and special offers, season discounts and other ways to attract and retain players.
Lately, many casinos and poker sites have adopted a gamifying approach, rewarding the players for certain actions like consecutive logins, a certain number of games played and others. Essentially, they have incorporated a role-playing element to stimulate regular play and reward loyalty.
To get some more information about poker sites, no deposit bonuses and other nice perks, check out the list assembled at the end of this article.
Whatever you are looking for, don’t forget that poker is a game of skill that takes time and dedication to master. Play responsibly and strategically, with money you can afford to lose and in moments when you are focused and relaxed.
Approach the game with respect and patience, if you want to enjoy it truly and / or to become good at it.
Choosing the Best UK Poker Site
Finding the best poker sites in the UK is not a straightforward endeavour, largely because of the incredible diversity of casinos and dedicated poker websites.
Objectively, there are many things to consider: poker promotions, software used, statistics provided, payout times, player base and tournaments.
Most casinos and practically all specialised poker sites have a downloadable client software. More and more websites have mobile applications, too.
The diverse poker scene has brought about countless captivating, functional and entertaining platforms.
Not all poker applications are created equal, though. For instance, the Bet365 app takes a considerable amount of time to install, whereas the Ladbrokes platform is very well optimised. They run similar software, but the latter performs much better.
Other than that, both have all the functionality you’d need, including statistics of the hands and tournaments you have played.
Then again, they feel much less intuitive than PokerStars.
Worldwide, PokerStars is the biggest online poker site and their platform provides one of the most comprehensive experiences there is. Optimised, with a rich interface and numerous filters, menus accessible at any time and a ton of features, it is easily one of the most pleasant places to play.
But is the PokerStars platform the best? It’s hard to tell.
More information about the best UK poker sites can be found at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind that we evaluate the objective factors, with as little bias as humanly possible.
We take into account the following factors:
- Level of competition
- Games offered
- Software technology
- Mobile app
- Customer support
These are largely objective factors that allow us to compare different sites at a glance and to rank them accordingly.
But that’s far from all.
Subjectively, the factors in determining the best poker platform for you are also numerous.
Only you can tell which is the best poker site for you. What we can do is provide all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Are you looking for free poker sites for fun? Or do you want to experience fully the best poker online, with real money and real thrill?
Are you a beginner or an experienced player, who is looking for fresh challenges and a change of scenery?
Do you feel comfortable playing at many tables simultaneously?
Do you like to play on the go or from the comfort of your couch?
These are questions that only you, dear reader, can answer.
Read on, create an account or two and find out for yourself which online poker site suits your style the most.
Best Poker Sites UK
- 888 Poker – 100% Deposit Bonus Upto $888
- Ladbrokes Poker – 200% First Deposit Bonus Upto £1200
- Coral Poker – Deposit £5 Get £20 worth of tournament
- William Hill Poker – 200% New Player Bonus Upto £1,200
- Sky Poker – 200% first deposit bonus up to £500
- Party Poker – Get $20 Free Welcome Bonus
- PokerStars – 100% Signup Bonus Upto £400
- Paddy Power poker – Deposit €5 Get €20 in Bonuses
- Betfair Poker – Deposit €10 Get €20 Bonus
- Full Tilt Poker – 100% 100% Deposit Bonus Upto of £400
- Stanjames poker – 100% deposit match bonus up to £100
Here are previews a few of the best poker sites UK players can safely enjoy. For more details, you can visit our review section and read in-depth analyses of each platform.
Bet365 is a respectable casino, with an excellent support team and a great variety of games. Its poker platform is OK for experienced players (no play money) and the player base is decent, with about 5,000 players online at all times.
A reasonable number of tournaments await those, who are ready for some serious competitive play.
New players are welcomed with up to £100 sign-up bonus and tournament tickets, but novices might find out that the Bet 365 crowd is rather tough.
Ladbrokes Poker app is similar to the one deployed at Bet365, but inexperienced players have the option to test their blossoming skills with play money.
The number of tournaments is staggering, and the player base is respectable, with at least 5,000 concurrent users at all times.
Newcomers are welcomed with hefty bonuses: 200% up to £1200 on first deposit. The ongoing weekly boosters, tournament tickets and more will make you love the place.
William Hill Poker
Just like the previous two casinos, William Hill Poker is powered by Playtech software. The client offers a similar experience, with no free play and plenty of tournaments to choose from. Decent statistics are accessible as well.
William Hill Poker welcomes newcomers with up to £1200 matched deposit bonus and many ongoing promotions and rewards.
Being a part of the Playtech network, the player base is comparable in numbers and experience to Ladbrokes Poker and Bet365 Poker.
One of the best online poker sites, free $88 no deposit bonus, decent deposit bonuses and tournament tickets expect all new players. Many ongoing promotions make it really hard to bankrupt at this generous site.
888 Poker is suitable for seasoned veterans and novices alike, as free play is available.
Many tournaments are going down on a daily basis. The smooth interface of the 888 Poker app makes long poker sessions a breeze.
Another casino with decent poker platform, Sky Poker has a cumbersome registration process.
Once you pass through it, you receive a £10 welcome bonus in the form of tournament tokens. Not excessively big but a free bonus is always welcome. There is a reasonable deposit bonus too.
The Sky Poker platform is quite nice, but the player base is rather limited. During weekdays and in late hours there are relatively few tables.
A Canadian casino with a great reputation, Bodog has a very seductive offer for new players: simply play and win money. The first 30 days you can generate poker points and get rewarded with up to $1,000 by the casino.
Novices can use play money to practice, but the player base is rather limited and there are not that many tables, overall. There are many tournaments, but the Sit & Go ones experience difficulties gathering players.
The poker app is quite responsive and easy to use. It would be nice if more people joined Bodog EU, as it is a very pleasant and well-designed poker room.
A site dedicated to the game, Party Poker lures new players with very tempting deposit bonuses and user-friendly interface. There are many ongoing promotions and lots of action around the poker table.
As most purely poker-oriented places, it has a very large player base, good resources for studying the game, free play mode and decent statistics.
The number of tournaments is overwhelming; all skill levels are covered thoroughly.
Full Tilt Poker
Owned by PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker comes with one of the greatest platforms the game has ever seen. Excellent school for new players and a huge player base guarantee that you will find worthy opponents for any skill level.
This is one of the best places to start studying the game. There are many rewards and promotions to keep you going, but the best part for newbies is the fantastic poker school Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars have.
A lot of theoretical and practical advice from the best poker players can be found in this extensive knowledge base.
The online poker sites licenced to operate in the UK are quite a lot.
Some of them, despite being established brands in the online gambling scene, are just entering the poker world, while others have a long history of success behind them.
Some offer no deposit bonuses and play money and virtually all would at least double your first deposit, so checking them out is rather easy and safe.
As long as you gamble at a place licenced by the Gambling Commission that you enjoy, there is no right or wrong choice.
Licenced and legal casinos and poker rooms are safe and secure on many levels.
Find the application that suits you the most, read a bit of theory and approach the awesome game of poker with an open mind. The lessons hardly ever cease; fuelled by excitement and cunning curiosity, you will learn to weave complex betting strategies and ingenious traps for your opponents.
Play properly and you will see your bankroll grow over time, despite the fickleness of luck. Inevitably, there will be the occasional setback, but a lot of wisdom can be found in defeat.
Learn to make tough calls, apply careful analysis and keep your head cool if you wish to succeed and enjoy yourself around the poker table.
Q: Can I play poker at any online casino or poker site?
A: It is possible to play at mostly any site accessible on the internet. However, for UK citizens it is best to play at casinos and poker sites licenced to operate in the country.
Q: How can I be sure a casino is licenced by the UK Gambling Commission?
A: The logo of the Gambling Commission should be displayed at the home page of the casino. Normally, it would link to the licence of the site. If the seal is there but it is not a link, visit the Gambling Commission page of licences and search with the name of the site you wish to play at.
Q: How can I play poker online?
A: By downloading the application of the casino or poker site you wish to play at and by going through the respective registration process.
Q: Do I have to provide my real identity when registering?
A: It is advisable to do so because most casinos and poker websites require some form of identity verification to disperse payouts.
Q: Do all casinos provide no deposit bonus?
A: No, only some.
Q: What is play money?
A: Play money is virtual money, used to bet at certain casinos without actually risking your finances. They are good for practice play and for novices.
Q: Do all casinos have play money?
Q: What are Sit & Go tournaments?
A: Sit & Go are small tournaments with a limited number of players. The name stems from the fact that the tournament begins the moment all available seats are taken.
Q: What are freeroll tournaments?
A: Freeroll are tournaments with no entry fee. They are ideal for new players, who wish to experience the tournament format, without any monetary commitment.
Q: How can I improve my poker game?
A: Read theory and analyse the games you play and / or observe. Use statistics to grasp the odds of certain outcomes better.