Top 10 UK Poker Sites : Best UK Online Poker Rooms for 2021
British poker fans are truly born under a lucky star. The UK is one of the most gambling-friendly countries in the world and this is reflected in their liberal gambling laws that allow Brits to take a punt in pretty much every online gaming establishment there is.
This means that UK locals can enjoy real money poker as they please.
A plethora of world-class poker sites welcome UK residents with open arms, offering them a full assortment of games, as well as a number of lucrative promotions to enhance their overall poker experience. Don’t believe me? Read on and see for yourself!
Recommended UK Online Poker Rooms
My list of the best UK poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2021:
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
100% upto $1000(T&C apply. 18+)
Payout Speed1-3 days
Deposit $10, Get $10 in SPINS tickets(T&C apply. 18+)
Payout Speed1-3 days
Visit bet365 for the latest offers(T&C apply. 18+)
Payout Speed1-3 days
£100(T&C apply. 18+)
Payout Speed1-3 days
To assist in you finding your perfect online poker home, we have listed below for you the top 10 online poker sites for UK players, and we guarantee you will get a very warm welcome no matter at which of the sites listed below you decide to play at.
My name is Adrian Sterne, and today I present you my exclusive guide to real money poker in the UK. This resourceful handbook will show you how to find elite poker rooms, as well as how to take the first step in these top-notch poker venues.
Here is a brief rundown of all the stuff you’ll learn once you’re done reading this article:
Let’s get down to business fellas, we have a lot of catching up to do!
UK Poker News
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Online Poker rooms, as well as other types of online gambling portals in the UK are widely spread all over the place. This popularity makes it easy for anyone to guess that there are numerous such sites available in the country. However, in order to serve the Brits properly, it needs to fulfill some requirements.
Namely, the site needs to be properly adjusted to the specific needs of UK players. These may be in relation to money conversion or money transfer process. In any way, these sites need to be in their top game, 24/7. Moreover, they need to be properly organized and functional, delivering the best service possible at all times.
Latest UK Online Poker Stories
The UK poker scene had a busy summer. During September, poker enthusiasts and pros participated in Coventry, Leeds, Westgate, and Edinburgh events. The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour began on July 15 and will run until December 5, with the grand finale taking place in London.
Luke Wensley won the GUKPT Coventry Mini Main Event and went home with £42,930. However, the Coventry Main Event victory went to Steve Jelinek, who outlasted 606 opponents and claimed £105,050. It’s worth mentioning that this was the biggest-ever GUKPT Coventry main event with 607 participants.
In other news, Stephen Chidwick, UK’s most prominent poker pro, took part in the 2021 Poker Masters. He earned his first 2021 title by winning the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em high roller event and claimed $183,600. Chidwick increased his earnings to $36.6 million with this win, ranking him 7th on poker’s all-time money list.
Most recently, Paddy Power owner, Flutter Entertainment, reached a deal to settle a decade-long dispute with Kentucky. The state accused PokerStars, a renowned online poker platform, of offering gambling services to Kentucky residents between 2007 and 2011. Flutter, which now owns PokerStars, agreed to settle and pay the state $300 million.
How We Rate and Review UK Poker Sites?
To earn a spot on my deluxe list, every poker operator must be approved by my team of poker specialists. These guys have been around the industry for decades now, and know exactly which characteristics a poker site should possess to be truly considered the best.
How do they determine that a poker site has what it takes to get a recommendation from us? Well, it’s rather simple. First, they scour the web in a quest to find the most reliable poker sites available for Brits. Then, they set aside all the applicants that meet their strict criteria and are able to deliver the best poker experience to UK residents.
These are only the cliff notes, of course. The entire selection process is much more complex than this and it takes countless hours of analysis and comparisons. Take a peek at the sections below and you’ll gain a better understanding of how we rate and review UK poker sites.
Safety and RegulationBefore we even consider putting a certain poker site on the list and recommending it to you guys, we make sure that it’s 100% safe to play on. How do we do that? First, we check out its license. A license from a respectable regulatory body is a testimony to the operator’s dedication to provide players with a safe and secure poker environment.
But a license from a corresponding jurisdiction won’t cut it — we need more proof that the brand runs a trustworthy business. That’s why we also analyse its security measures. These include all the protocols that are put in place to ensure maximum protection of players’ data and money. If a poker operator is SSL-certified and employs advanced firewalls to safeguard its servers, then it’s one step closer to earning a spot on our list.
Last but not least, we make sure that the site has been tested and audited for fairness. There are certain independent auditory agencies that conduct frequent tests and make sure that a poker site offers games that are genuinely random or, in other words, not rigged.
When the poker site passes all our safety checks, we proceed to evaluate its other aspects.
Quality of BonusesThe bonus roster is probably the first thing that every UK player looks for when signing up with a poker site. At first glance, all poker bonuses seem extraordinary and generous, but my team knows better than that. Sometimes, poker bonuses are massive in size but are subject to ridiculously high wagering requirements that make it impossible to actually win anything.
We make sure that our recommended poker sites have a versatile bonus section that consists of perks and freebies for both new and existing customers. Also, we go through the fine print of the T&C, making sure that these bonuses are truly worthwhile, and they’re not used as some cheap advertising trick to lure players in.
Diversity of GamesThis is what poker is all about. Having a diverse gaming portfolio at your disposal means that you’ll have more chances of finding the right fit. To that end, the game library on poker sites must be adjusted for both recreational players and high rollers.
In terms of competitions, all our sponsored operators provide a number of SNGs and daily tournaments with jaw-dropping prizes. The buy-ins on these events start from a couple of cents to thousands of pounds — depending on the competition.
Feel and Usability of the SoftwareThis is arguably the most significant item on our evaluation agenda. The quality of the poker client is often overlooked, but it’s just as important, or even more important than other factors. A top-notch poker client must work smoothly on all devices.
The site should be easy-to-navigate and well-optimized, which means that all those excessive graphical elements that you might see in casino sites are off the table. It’s paramount that the software works glitch-free, and for that to happen, it should be responsive and user-friendly.
Furthermore, we handpick only the poker sites that support mobile devices. In terms of compatibility, you should be able to access it via all popular mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The mobile version of the site should be of the same quality as its desktop counterpart and offer the same cool features. A mobile app is optional, and if it has some exciting extras like multi-table play or bet-sizing, it will rank higher on our list.
Balanced TrafficWhen you see that a poker site has poor traffic, that should tell you two things. First, it’s not particularly popular among the poker community. And second, you’ll need an eternity to find a decent poker game.
For this reason, we opt to track down poker sites with well-balanced traffic. During peak hours, you should be able to find an open seat with ease and face a competition that’s tailored to your skill, regardless of what that might be.
Customer SupportWhy is customer support so important to us? Because support representatives can provide you with the assistance you need in case you fall into some kind of trouble during your stay on the UK poker site. If you have any questions concerning registration, bonuses, payments, or tech stuff, these professionals can quickly solve your queries and help you get back on track.
We expect a poker site to have polite, resourceful, and efficient customer support. To that end, live chat is a must, and if there is also toll-free phone support, better yet.
Well-Equipped Banking SectionYou can find the best poker site in the world and, if it doesn’t have the payment method you need, it’s all for nothing. Because of this, we ensure that our featured poker operators provide a sufficient number of UK-friendly payment solutions, including debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards and even cryptocurrencies.
Also, all deposits and withdrawals must be processed free of charge or with minimal fees be it in British pounds or some other currency. This is handled through a quick process of conversion to and from your preferred currency, according to the current exchange rate.Finally, we don’t want you guys to have to wait forever to get your hard-earned winnings, which is why we set apart the operators that facilitate lightning-fast payments.
Blacklisted Poker Sites
Unfortunately, not all poker sites available for Brits are honest and transparent about how they do business. Inexperienced players often fall into promotional “traps” and get lured into a shady poker site. You need to look beyond flashy promotional offers and play in a tried and tested poker site.
During my decade-long experience of reviewing poker sites, I’ve stumbled upon a few poker rooms that are notorious for scamming players by conducting rigged games, not paying winnings, or cheating in some other way.
The operators below have a bad track record for poor security measures, inefficient customer support, bad regulations, rigged games, or stalled payments. You should stay away from these sites at all costs.
|Operator||Why it got blacklisted||Explanation||Status|
|Carbon Poker||Slow or frozen payments||Was previously shut down for suspicious activities, Charges fees on BTC payouts|
|OddsPoker||Confiscated bonus winnings||Poorly regulated, Unresponsive customer support|
|SwC Poker||Stalled withdrawals||Unsafe gaming environment|
|Poker Baazi||Unpaid winnings||Dreadful customer support, Canceled tournaments without proper explanation|
Online Poker in the UK — Laws and Regulations
The online poker industry is governed by several licensing jurisdictions — institutions that oversee poker operators and make sure that they run legitimate, fair, and safe business. These organizations also protect players, making sure that they’re treated respectfully and in a polite manner.
The leading licensing jurisdiction in the UK is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The UKGC makes sure that the licensed operators employ top-notch safety protocols and take all the necessary measures to prevent underage gambling and fraudulent activities. What’s more, they ensure that poker sites offer appropriate tools to help their members solve problems.
The UKGC has recently announced that gambling operators will be required to sign up for the GamStop self-exclusion scheme and offer the service to those who have a gambling problem. Operators that don’t integrate with GamStop will have their licenses revoked.
As you can see, the UK online poker market is fully regulated, and the UKGC makes sure of that. It’s mandatory for UK poker operators to meet these strict stipulations and thereby ensure that players get a safe and fair gambling environment.
As for poker sites that are licensed outside the UK, they are supervised by other licensing jurisdictions. These include:
The Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the biggest and most respectable gambling regulator in the EU and the first to introduce regulation of online gambling in Europe. Malta belongs to the “white list” of the UKGC, which means that poker sites with the MGA license are able to provide their services to UK residents.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the first gambling jurisdiction to be established in Canada. It was created in 1998 and has since issued licenses to a plethora of betting and gaming companies around the globe. It regulates all forms of gambling and collaborates with other licensing authorities.
Curacao began issuing licenses for betting and gaming companies back in 1996, which is when the Curacao eGaming licensing authority was formed. It’s one of the oldest organizations of its type and it’s known for its relaxed rules and regulations that include low tax rates and appealing licensing fees.
After the forming of the Online Gaming Act in 2002, the Gaming Control Board in Panama was formed. This organization monitors the licensees and makes sure that they operate within acceptable standards. Several top-tier US poker sites are licensed in Panama.
Online poker is regulated differently in various countries in the world. The organizations I was just talking about are created to oversee poker operators, but each country has its own gambling laws that either allow its residents to access and play in poker sites or forbid it.
As we previously mentioned, the UK has a relaxed stance towards gambling, and Brits are allowed to register and play real money poker in a wide array of poker sites.
Legal Real Money Online Poker in the UK
In 2005, the UK Parliament enacted the Gambling Act that was designed to govern all forms of gambling. This is also when the UKGC was formed, and it acts as a regulatory body that oversees and ensures that all gambling operators licensed in the UK abide by stipulations as per the Gambling Act.
According to the 2005 Act, it’s legal for UK residents to play online poker in both country-licensed and offshore-based poker sites. To access the poker site and play real money games, you have to be 18 or over and must have the permission to operate the device you’re playing from.
This means that Brits can play online poker in pretty much any poker site they come across. Needless to say, some operators are more reliable than others, which is why you should choose wisely.
The latest update on the UKGC regulations — as of April 2020, all poker operators that are licensed in the UK are obliged to promote responsible gambling. Namely, all UKGC license holders must be registered at GamStop, meaning that players that have excluded themselves with the self-exclusion scheme will not be able to access poker sites licensed in the UK.
Also, the UKGC has announced a ban on gambling sites that allow UK residents to use credit cards for gambling activities.
There is a way for UK online poker fans to circumvent these requirements — signing up with an offshore-based poker site. In our exclusive list, you’ll find several poker operators that are licensed outside the UK and provide exceptional services to residents of the United Kingdom.
Taxation Policies For UK Poker Players
Taxes in the UK are a player’s definition of paradise. Not only are they exempt from paying any type of tax on any potential winnings, but they are also allowed to gamble and win as a sole source of income, and it still wouldn’t count as a job.
However, there are two sides to the story, and the websites can’t be overly pleased with the one they we’re shown. Namely, poker sites and other gambling websites have always been obliged to some kind of tax, but only because they were located in the UK. Offshore sites were spared the trouble as they solely needed to pay taxes for UK players.
Nowadays, they too need to pay the POC (Point Of Consumption) Tax and hold a valid license. However, poker players and other gamblers are completely free of such taxations.
Choosing the Right Poker Site — A Quick Guide
I’m not going to tell you which poker site you should choose because that’s entirely up to you and it depends on your personal preferences. What I can do, however, is show you my exclusive list of the most trustworthy poker sites in the UK. Take a look at it, and I’m sure that you’ll be able to find one that suits your poker taste.
Don’t get me wrong — all these poker operators are world-renowned; it’s just a matter of which one has the characteristics that fit your playing style the most.
The registration process is similar, no matter which one you choose. As an example, we’ll use TigerGaming — a top-tier poker site in the US that also accepts British customers.
To enter TigerGaming’s homepage, just click on the operator’s icon from the list. Once you find your way to the website, follow the steps below.
Set Up an AccountAssuming that you landed on TigerGaming’s homepage by now, you need to click on the Register button to start the registration process. The procedure per se is nothing that you haven’t seen before. You have to submit some basic information about your identity and whereabouts, and that’s it.
After you have filled out the light paperwork, you should go to your email inbox and click on the verification code to activate your account. The message should look like this:
By verifying your account, you will become a full member of TigerGaming’s network. However, you can’t start playing yet, at least not for real cash. You need to deposit first, and below I’m going to show you how. Bear with me for just a little while — you’ll be able to play your favorite poker games very soon!
This is a tricky part and one that no one feels comfortable with because you’ll be required to disclose your banking account information. But let me assure you that your money, as well as your personal data, will be kept under a locked key 24/7. These sites use the most advanced security measures, and they are constantly monitored by regulatory authorities.
Going back to our step-by-step guide, you will have a couple of options to fund your poker account. The exact number varies depending on the poker operator, but you’ll always find several UK-friendly payment solutions, regardless of who you sign up with.
Being a predominantly US poker site, TigerGaming doesn’t offer all the payment methods you can find in UK-licensed platforms. Still, you can choose from credit cards, ecoPayz, QB direct, and the increasingly popular Bitcoin as a means of making the initial deposit. The UK government has recently imposed a credit card ban on gambling sites, but since TigerGaming is located offshore, you should be able to make credit card payments here. To be on the safe side, make sure to confirm this information with the customer support.
If you want to learn how to make Bitcoin deposits in poker sites, take a look at my Bitcoin poker guide. In the meantime, we’ll stick to a more familiar payment option — ecoPayz. To deposit via ecoPayz in TigerGaming, you need to select it on the list.
When you click on the ecoPayz button, you will be asked to enter the amount you want to deposit, as well as a bonus promo code (optional).
By clicking on the green Deposit Now tab, you will be navigated to ecoPayz where you need to provide the information regarding your ecoPayz prepaid card. All that is left now is to confirm the payment, and the funds will be available in your account instantly.
Do you see? It wasn’t so difficult after all. It takes some practice to get used to it, but it’s definitely worth it.
Once you have topped up your account with funds, it’s time to get in on the action. There are two ways to play poker in TigerGaming — either by downloading their desktop/mobile client or via the instant play version that doesn’t require you to download any software.
Below, you can see all the promotions that are currently on offer on the site. Make sure to claim the welcome bonus to double up your deposit up to £1,000!
That’s it, guys! You’ve learned how to create an account and deposit on UK poker sites. But before you set sail on your poker voyage, I recommend that you take a look at the paragraphs below to learn about the legalities associated with online poker in the UK.
UK residents have an abundance of choices when it comes to online poker. There are a plethora of poker opportunities for Brits waiting to be seized. And, hopefully, my guide has shown you where to find these world-class sites. Be vary though, as not all poker rooms will treat you respectfully like you deserve.
If there is anything else I can help you with, you know where to find me. Just send me an email, and I’ll make sure to answer as soon as possible.
Farewell, my fellow UK poker aficionados, and I wish you all the best in your future poker adventures!
Would I be able to use Mac in order to play all the poker games in UK?
Is real money the only option?
Are my personal details safe and secure at these poker sites?
Which poker games will I be able to play on these sites?
Never be tempted to solely play online poker due to the size of a poker bonus, being accepted at all online poker sites as a player will put you firmly in the driving seat and as such you should shop around for those sites offering you the best of everything.