Best Poker Sites in the UK - Where To Play & Who Gives The Best Online Poker Bonus
Online Poker in the United Kingdom
Looking for information on the best online poker sites in the UK? Look no further than PokerUpdate.com. We bring you reviews on the best UK poker sites complete with the best online poker bonus codes. Our reviews come from real players who know what to look for in a world-class poker room. Below we rank the best online poker sites in the UK. One of these sites offers a no deposit bonus (free signup bonus) you can use to play poker for real money -that’s 888poker. Others offer enticing bonuses on your first deposit and other great gifts.
These are the best 2016 online poker sites in the United Kingdom:
Up to 35% via VIP Program Cash Back
200% up to £500, £10 FREE in Tournament TokensUp to 55% Rakeback
Unlimited Rakeback for every 100 Titan Points
Up to 30% via VIP Program Cash Back
Up to 30% via VIP Program Cash Back
35% Weighted Contributed (WC) rake
Is Online Poker Legal in The UK?
Online poker is indeed legal and regulated in the United Kingdom, and has been since 2005. That year, the Gambling Act of 2005 was passed and part of that bill made online poker legal across all of the UK. The Gambling Commission was established to govern all real money gambling in the UK, including online poker.
Part of the Gambling Commission’s job is to issue online gambling licenses to online poker sites wishing to offer services to the UK. Prior to 2014, the Commission only had to license sites based in the UK but now any site wishing to offer services to the UK must be licensed.
Online poker sites wishing to be licensed must apply with the Gambling Commission and then submit to an investigation. If found suitable, they will become licensed. The Commission then continually monitors sites to ensure they meet technical software standards and general regulation.
If you want to ensure that you’re playing at a regulated UK site, all you need to do is check with the Gambling Commission. They have provided this link that players can use to check the licensing status of any online poker operator.
The same holds true for online casinos UK, which fall under the same Gambling Act and must be licensed by the Gambling Commission as well. To make sure you’re playing it safe, always check that your casino of choice has the official stamp of approval. It helps protect your money and personal well-being as well as your peace-of-mind.
What Determines Which Online Poker Sites Are the Best? Here are 7 Things to Look For
Declaring that a site among the best in the industry is not a distinction we make lightly. We use a distinct set of criteria to determine which UK poker sites are the best. They are as follows:
♠ Cash Game Traffic – If an online poker site is popular, they will have a solid stream of cash game players at most hours of the day. PokerScout.com gives a real-time total of daily cash game players and how many you can expect on the site during peak hours. A good rule of thumb is to assume four times as many players are playing tournaments than cash games.
♠ Client Reliability and Design – Players are quick to complain when poker sites become glitchy. If a site has regular complaints regarding glitches, outages or otherwise, you probably should skip it. The same holds true for a client that’s poorly designed. A bad client design will force players to another site.
♠ Poker Game Options – In the early days of online poker, all you needed was Texas Hold’em. Then other poker variants started to make a comeback via online poker and now it is not enough to offer Texas Hold’em or Hold’em and couple of standard variants. The best poker sites offer several variants of online poker and that includes poker tournaments.
♠ Promotional Offers – Giving players a reason to want to play poker online at your online poker site is key to growing your player base. If your promotions at one site are the same as everyone else’s, players will look for sites that will offer them more.
♠ Guaranteed Prize Pools – Poker players always want more and tournament players are among the most demanding. If tournaments are not offering significant guarantees, they are not worth a player’s time. That’s why it is important that the best poker sites offer generous online poker tournament guarantees.
♠ Loyalty Programs – Players want to feel appreciated and the best way that an online poker site can do this is through their loyalty program. The best poker sites have loyalty programs that make it easy for players at all levels to earn rewards. If a player isn’t getting value added when they play poker online, they’ll go somewhere that they will.
♠ Customer Service – The key to retaining your regulars is providing them excellent service, especially when they are having a problem with their account. The best online poker sites offer multiple channels for customer support, including live support via web chat and telephone.
4 Common Questions About Online Poker in the United Kingdom
1) How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Online Poker in the UK?
The gambling age for UK online poker sites is 18 as set in the Gambling Act of 2015. Fortunately, this is the standard for online poker sites around the world. Please note that if you play for live tournament entries for events like the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, you have to be 21 to accept that prize.
2) How Do I Make a Deposit or Cash Out From May UK Online Poker Account?
Making a deposit or requesting cash outs from UK poker sites is simple. First, you need to login to your online poker client. In the lobby, select Cashier and then choose Deposit. You will notice a number of deposit options with some sites literally offering dozens of payment options.
Since the UK has regulated online poker, you should have few problems with any option you select. Make your choice and follow the instructions to make your deposit. Make sure you enter any poker bonus code you may have during your deposit to claim your bonus funds.
When you are ready to cash out, head back to the Cashier and select Withdrawals. You may not have as many options to cash out as you did to make a deposit and this is quite normal. Some options only allow you to deposit funds. Select your desired option and follow the instructions to receive your payout.
3) Do I Need to Deposit Money in Order to Play Online Poker in the UK?
Not at all. UK online poker sites offer freeroll poker tournaments to players looking to build a bankroll without making a deposit. The good news is that these events are free to play and the money can be used as you see fit.
The bad news is that freeroll tournaments often play a smaller portion of the field and the prizes are typically very small. For example, a $100 freeroll with a field of 2000 may only pay 50 players and the top prize may only be $5 or $10. A min-cash could be as little as a nickel. However, don’t let that discourage you from playing as the fields are generally very soft and numerous pros have made their start playing freeroll poker.
4) Do UK Poker Sites Offer Poker Bonuses?
When signing up for an account on a UK online poker site, the terms can be a bit confusing. For example, a common question is the difference between a signup bonus and a no deposit bonus.
A signup bonus is simply free money that you receive for registering for a real money online poker account. Once you enter your information and your account is verified, your money is available for use on the site. These bonuses generally do not have restrictions and range anywhere from £5 to £20.
No deposit bonuses are straight bonuses that do not require any special action on your part other than to accept them. For example, a site offered a £15 no deposit poker bonus with the requirement that you either accept it from a popup window in the client or going to a page and accepting the terms of the offer.
No deposit bonuses generally come with terms, such as a wager requirement. This means you have to wager a certain amount, generally 10 to 20 times the bonus amount, in order for it to become available for withdrawal.
888 Poker presently offers a no deposit signup bonus for new players. Register for a new account and check your email for your free £20. This money can be used on any games spread on 888 Poker.
You may have noticed that most sites offer deposit bonuses. These reward you for making a deposit. UK poker sites offer plenty of payment options to fund your account. Those options include Ukash, PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill, EntroPay, Visa, MasterCard and internet bank transfer.
If you decide to make a deposit, check your site to see what deposit offers are available and read the terms carefully.
How to Play Online Poker in the UK
Ready to start playing online poker in the UK? It’s quick and easy to setup your account. First, get on a PC and head to the website of the poker room you wish to play. We recommend using a PC because most sites will not allow you to register via a mobile client.
Once at the website, download the poker client and install it to your computer. Once the program is installed, launch it and you will be greeted by a login box. At the bottom of this box is an option to register. Click this option to begin signing up for your account.
You will need to enter several key pieces of information to identify yourself. You will need to enter you name, address, phone number and email address. Please note that it is a crime in the UK to setup a fake online poker account, so please use your own information to create your account.
If you have a poker bonus code, enter that during registration to take advantage of your bonus. Don’t have a code? Get one from PokerUpdate. Finally, you will setup your username and password that you will use to login to the site. Submit the information and your account is setup.
UK Poker Site Reviews
There’s few sites in the UK with a better track record than 888 Poker. One of the oldest names in online poker, 888 Poker is presently the #1 online poker network in the world. Only PokerStars is larger and with 888 Poker you don’t have to worry about battling against the game’s top pros on a daily basis.
Unlike PokerStars, 888 Poker offers soft competition. How’s is that possible? That’s because a lot of their poker traffic are rollovers from the sportsbook and casino games. They aren’t poker players, which means more money in your pocket.
If you don’t have a PC, you can still play on 888 Poker. The client is available on numerous platforms, including Android and iOS devices. You can even play real money online poker tournaments on your mobile devices, a feature offer by very few online poker sites.
Sky Poker may not be the largest online poker room in the UK, but it is probably one of the most popular. If you have ever watched Sky TV, then you know all about Sky Poker. The network features multiple programs each week featuring online poker games and the Friday Main Event is live broadcast weekly.
Sky Poker offers a solid spread of online poker cash games and online poker tournaments with buy-ins available from micro stakes all the way to mid stakes. They offer a wide variety of Sit & Go tournaments and their nightly Main and Mini Events are among the most popular games on the site.
Sky Poker also offers amazing online poker promotions and their welcome package is among the best in the industry. Signup today and you can receive £10 in free tournament tokens along with a 200% first deposit bonus up to £500.
Founded in 2001, PartyPoker is one of the oldest online poker sites on the web. The site merged with bwin a few years back and is presently the third largest online poker network in the world. PartyPoker has been long famous for providing a world-class online poker experience and has some of the softest cash game and online poker tournament action.
The latest version of the PartyPoker client is among the best in the industry and players have the advantage of accessing the site through several mediums. In addition to the PC client, PartyPoker offers a Mac client, web based client and mobile clients for iOS and Android devices.
PartyPoker promotions are often geared towards low-limit players and casual online poker players. For example, new players can receive $20 to try out casual cash games on PartyPoker.
William Hill Poker
Bwin Poker has always been at the forefront of innovation in online poker technology. The first to offer players a Mac poker client, bwin was also the first to offer real money online poker on mobile phones.
The company merged with PartyPoker to become bwin.party and since that time, the PartyPoker network is the third largest in the world averaging around 2,400 cash game players daily with close to 10,000 players competing in online poker tournaments.
The bwin poker client has a unique look and feel that gives players a realistic poker experience and the client has many of the creature comforts you’d expect from a top online poker site.
In addition, the site has over $1.6 million in weekly online poker tournament guarantees and some of the best promotions in the game. New players will enjoy a generous signup bonus along with the chance to earn extra money via new depositor freerolls.
What do you get when you put one of online poker’s most recognized names on the second largest online poker network? You get Betfair Poker. As a member of the iPoker Network, Betfair Poker enjoys high volume traffic in cash games and online poker tournaments, which means that players will always be in the game.
If you love big payouts, then you need to play at Betfair. They offer the popular JackPot Sit and Go Tournaments, where players earn a massive jackpot prize if they can win six sit and go tournaments in a row. Betfair also has Twister Poker where players can earn up to 1,000 times their buy-in in events that last an average of 15 minutes or less.
Betfair also offers generous promotions for new and existing members. New players will receive a welcome pack that includes a €20 bonus on your first deposit, 5 Rookie Sit & Go tokens and €5 free play for the Betfair Casino.