Online Poker UK
Whether it be in dimly lit card rooms or the floors of the world’s grandest casinos, players have always loved testing their poker skills against one another. It’s a game that not only tests your ability and knowledge but also your resilience under pressure, and those that can withstand the heat have the chance to walk away with huge sums of money.
Now though, you can experience all that this casino table game has to offer in a secure digital environment from the comfort of your own home. As such, we decided to set our team of experts the task of finding the best UK online poker casinos that currently offer a variety of different games, explain the subtle differences in their respective gameplay and also offer up some helpful tips that you can use to better your opponents.
So, if you’re looking to get in on the action, be sure to continue reading our guide to UK online poker for all of the details.
Best UK Online Poker Casinos
To get started, you’re first going to need to find a trustworthy casino where you can play online poker. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of your best options below. Simply choose your preferred site from our top recommendations, click the respective link and you’ll be hitting the tables in no time at all.
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What Is Poker?
Although there are many variants available, each of which slightly alters the overall gameplay, poker is ultimately a casino game that requires skill, patience, bluffing ability and knowledge of the hierarchy of hands – provided you’re playing against real players, as opposed to the live dealer and/or RNG-based alternatives, of course.
Depending upon which version you choose to play, betting can vary; some games call for multiple wagers, whilst others simply require a one-time ante. In essence, though, your goal is to make the best possible hand using the cards at your disposal, as per the hierarchy of hands.
The Most Popular Types of Poker
Poker is a diverse genre that includes all sorts of different variants. Some game types are admittedly much more popular than others but the best UK poker sites offer comprehensive portfolios that provide all sorts of gameplay opportunities. Below, we’ve outlined some of the more familiar versions of the game so you’ll know what to expect.
Texas Hold’em is arguably the world’s most popular form of poker, played in local and global tournaments and ranking events. Players are dealt two hole cards and must then wait for up to 5 community cards to be revealed. Betting begins with the small and big blinds, and then 4 additional betting phases occur: once after players receive their hold cards, once after the first three community cards are dealt (the flop), once after a fourth community card is revealed (the turn) and, finally, once after the final card comes into play (the river). The goal is to make the best 5-card hand possible using any combination of your hole cards and the community cards.
Just like Texas Hold’em, the action begins with the small and big blind before any cards are dealt. After this, all players receive 5 cards and betting starts with whoever is seated to the left of the big blind. Players take it in turn to either fold, call or raise and those that remain can attempt to improve their hands by exchanging 0-5 cards. After this takes place there is a final round of betting before all players involved reach the showdown, where the highest-ranked hand wins.
Omaha Hi-Lo is a split pot game, which means at showdown the pot is divided in half, with one half awarded to the best winning hand and the other to the best qualifying low hand. Qualifying low hands are defined as five unpaired cards, all with ranks equal to or less than 8. Aces are considered low for the low hand, whilst flushes and straights are ignored.
In 7-Card Stud, each player is dealt 7 cards, three face-down and four-face up. Again, your objective is to create the best 5-card hand using what you have available. The key difference here is that there are no community cards, each player receives their own hand of which certain cards can be seen by everyone else at the table.
Razz is a form of Stud poker where the gameplay is flipped on its head and players attempt to make the lowest hand possible. Betting continues in several stages, with all remaining players receiving an additional card per round, either face up or face down depending on the stage of the game. Once the final card is dealt, and the final betting round concludes, showdown is reached and the player with the lowest hand wins.
Instead of being a separate version, HORSE is a game that includes 5 different poker variants – Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Stud (Stud Hi) and Eight-or-Better (Stud Hi-Lo). This is most often played in high-stakes tournaments such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) but is often available at top poker sites. You’ll play through each game type in order until cycling back to the start to begin the sequence again. It’s also worth noting that all game types are played as fixed limit, with the same stake/structure used across each variant.
Not to be confused with Pai Gow, a Chinese dominoes game, Pai Gow Poker is a seven-card variant where the goal is to create the two best poker hands using standard rankings – a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. If both of your hands are better than the dealer’s, you’ll receive your bet plus even money back. If only one hand is better, the round will push, and if both of your hands are equal to or worse than the dealer’s you will lose your stake – tied hands are not pushed according to Pai Gow Poker rules.
Like many casino table games, Caribbean Stud is played against a dealer. It’s effectively a streamlined version of poker, insofar that everyone at the table, including the dealer, receives 5 cards. There is one key difference, however: the dealer must qualify to compete, which means their hand must include at least Ace-King. One of the game’s key attractions though is that it often offers a progressive jackpot side bet – hit a royal flush and you could be walking away with a massive payout!
Just like Texas Hold’em, the main objective of Casino Hold’em is to create the best possible five-card hand using a combination of two hole cards and five community cards. However, you’re not competing against other players here, instead, it’s you versus the dealer. The game begins with the player placing an ante bet, along with any optional side bets. You and the dealer are then dealt two cards each, along with a further three community cards. At this point, all side bets are resolved. Afterwards, you must decide whether to fold your hand or keep playing. To continue, you must make a call bet which is double the stake of your original ante, and after doing so two more community cards are dealt. It’s at this point that the hands are compared and the highest-ranked hand is determined as the winner.
Video poker is more of an RNG-based subgenre of the game, rather than its own variant. Playable at both online and land-based casinos, you’ll often find multiple versions such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild, in both single-hand and multi-hand formats. Irrespective of which you play, the idea is that you choose how many coins to wager per hand, and you’ll earn respective payouts for each ranking hand as per the game’s paytable.
Poker for Real Money vs. Free Poker
Due to poker’s popularity, there are now numerous casinos and apps that allow you to play for free. Of course, there are obvious drawbacks to doing so though, with the main difference being that you cannot win real money unless in very specific circumstances. Still, it’s a great way to practice your skills, so we’ve outlined the pros and cons of playing real money poker and free poker in the table below.
- Potential to win significant amounts of money
- Claim welcome bonuses and offers to earn extra cash
- A true experience that allows players to showcase their skills
- Mistakes can be extremely costly
- Certain variants may not be as widely available
- Offers a risk-free environment in which you can hone your skills
- Test out different variants before risking real money
- Enjoy more laidback gameplay
- Cannot win real money, with the exception of freeroll tournaments
- As there is no financial risk, players might not behave as you may expect
Why Play Poker Online
Ever since the poker boom, more and more players have flocked to casinos for the chance to go head-to-head with like-minded opponents, and whilst playing live offers an undeniably thrilling experience there are multiple reasons why many choose to play online.
One reason is that because there are so many tables, tournaments and variants available you always have instant access to a game. Another is that because you’re in a digital environment, you’re not limited to playing one game at a time, you can load up multiple tables simultaneously to reduce your potential downtime between hands. Finally, online poker bonuses tend to be much more rewarding than what you’d potentially get for playing live. So, if you’re looking to make the most out of your funds, playing online is the way to go.
How to Play Poker and Win
Taking a seat at a table and playing poker is one thing, but walking away with all of the chips is an entirely different beast. Ultimately, you can employ all of the strategies you want but understanding where and when to bet comes down to experience. Poker is a game that’s easy enough to learn but one that takes years to master, and even then you still need to run well to end up at the top.
So, when it comes to player versus player poker, unfortunately, no method guarantees you’ll win. However, the RNG-based and live poker variants usually offer fixed payouts, so as long as you understand the rules, along with your chances of winning, you can potentially maximise your returns.
There are never any guarantees when playing poker, but to help you get started we’ve listed several handy tips below.
Before you play for real money, try out free poker games to gain some experience at the tables. It may not yield a cash return but it’s one of the best ways to hone your skills.
Online poker is a varied genre and it’s worth checking out the multiple variants. Yes, Texas Hold’em is immensely popular but Omaha may be better suited to your playstyle – you’ll never know until you try.
Freeroll tournaments provide you with a fantastic opportunity to play poker for free. Not only do they remove all of the financial risk, but you can also actually win cash prizes and even entry tickets into larger tournaments.
Whether you’re new to the world of online poker or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s always a good idea to try and make your money go as far as possible. One of the first things you should look out for when joining a new UK poker site is what type of welcome bonus is on offer, and how you can take advantage of it to extend your time at the tables. Of course, you should also continue to watch out for other offers and promotions during your time at the casino – you don’t want to leave any money on the table!
Below are some key terms to remember when considering which poker bonus to go for.
The first bonus or bonuses that you receive when signing up can sometimes be used across multiple deposits and cover different game modes, which makes it ideal for players that are still getting to grips with the game of poker. Always check the terms and conditions to avoid surprises.
Making a deposit – especially your first – at a casino will routinely see it boosted, usually by 100% or even more, giving you extra funds for the poker table. Additionally, this type of reward will usually be able to be used on other table games, offering flexibility.
These are simply tournaments with no entry fee, making them especially attractive as some real cash prizes can still be claimed. This also means that freerolls can be incredibly competitive, so walking away with a large cash reward is by no means straightforward.
Poker VIP Programs
If you have reached VIP status at a casino then expect to get offered unique bonuses to enhance your gaming experience. These vary, but you will have options that are not available to most other players, including personalised support and special deposit boosts which can then be used for poker.
Many online casinos, including 888, offer virtual tournament tickets which allow players to exchange them for entry to specific competitions. This gives you control over which tournaments you fancy entering, so keep an eye on top prizes and the level of other players that are competing.
Best Poker Tournaments Online
If you’re the type of poker player that’s willing to commit to longer hours, tournament play may be the way to go. There are all sorts of tournaments available, ranging from the quicker Sit & Gos to larger-scale satellite events and majors such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), World Poker Tour (WPT) and World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP).
You’ll only find the latter events at the largest online poker brands but there are plenty of alternatives available elsewhere, including many of the UK poker sites we’ve listed throughout this page! Whatever you decide, always remember to stick to a budget and keep responsible gambling in mind.
Short for multi-table tournament, this sees tens of players compete on several tables for some huge prizes.
These tournaments do not require an entry fee yet if players play their cards right they can still walk away with a prize. Many UK casinos offer Freerolls with ongoing tournaments.
Satellites are qualifying competitions, with the winning prize usually the buy-in fee to a prestigious tournament; these are recommended for players on a budget.
This dynamic and exciting game mode sees players eliminated and the winner of each table progresses.
In Bounty, players are rewarded with a cash prize for each time that they eliminate an opponent on the table.
This refers to any game of poker that takes place between just two players. The absence of other people adds to the intensity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some questions and answers around poker that will help to further enhance your experience at the table online.
You needn’t spend hours searching for a poker site that you can trust, our team of experts has done all of the necessary legwork to ensure the security and trustworthiness of all of the poker sites we highlight right here at Slotsia!
Yes, you can absolutely play online poker using a tablet or mobile device. Nearly all of the casinos we review and recommend are fully optimised for the smaller screen, so all you have to do is select your favourite to get in on the action.
In no limit poker players can bet or raise any amount of chips from their stack at any point, which means pots can quickly grow to huge sizes. However, in fixed limit poker, players can only bet or raise in pre-decided set increments.
As long as you play at a fully licensed and regulated poker site, you needn’t worry about any of the games being rigged. All of the software and games on offer must pass rigorous testing procedures to ensure fair play standards before they’re released.
Entering a poker tournament requires a single buy-in, once you’ve registered you’ll be given chips to play with and if you lose them all you’ll be eliminated – sometimes, though, you can purchase a rebuy for the same cost as your initial buy-in. Cash games, however, are different in the respect that after buying in for at least the table minimum, each bet you place will be with actual cash. You can play for as long as you want or leave at any point.
When playing live, you’re limited to one table and the pace is typically much slower than any games found online. However, online poker players can play at several tables simultaneously, which results in more hands per hour and much faster gameplay overall.