- Best Online Poker Sites UK
- List of Best UK Poker Sites
- English Online Poker Legality
- UK Poker Taxation
- Factors To Decide Your Best Poker Site
- Best UK Poker Sites Wrap Up
Best Online Poker Sites UK
We have selected the Best Poker Sites in the UK where both laws & tax systems are probably the most gambling-friendly regulated country in the world.
We use various criteria such as Popularity, Bonus Attractiveness & Easiness of Winning on top of Safety to conclude 5 top UK online poker sites.
Since every player must have unique preferences when choosing a poker site, we highlight the Key Outstanding Feature on each poker site title and list the best sites in each criterion later.
List of Best UK Poker Sites
888Poker – The Best Poker Site Overall
888Poker Welcome Offer
£20 ($32) No Deposit Free Play & 100% 1st Deposit Bonus up to $888 with promotion code of “NEW888”
+ 7 Tickets to $500 First Depositors’ Free Tournaments + 2 Tickets to $1,000 Depositors’ Free Tournaments
888poker Club Freeroll events, full range of cash games & big weekend tournament schedule
PokarStars – The World Biggest Poker Brand with Widest Poker Rooms
PartyPoker – The Best Tournament Poker Site
PartyPoker Welcome Offer
Weekly $250k Cash Games Hold’em & PLO leaderboards, Daily $12k Guaranteed Cash Tournament, and $60M in GTD (guaranteed prize money) Tournament!!
Betfair Poker – Unique Private Home Game Facilitate
Betfair Poker Welcome Offer
Alternatively, you may get a New Premium Offer of 35% Rakeback and €30,000 Exclusive Bi-Monthly Rake Race plus Exclusive €250 Weekly Loyalty Freeroll
+ Several On-Going Offers such as Weekly €12,500 Twister Races & Sports Cross Promotions etc
English Online Poker Legality
“Is online poker legal in the UK?”
Therefore, the gambling sites are heavily scrutinized for security and fairness, set Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service such as The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) in case any despite arises between the customers & the operator.
Besides, your deposits and withdrawals are required to protect by segregating your fund (although you need to know the reality, see Customer Fund Protection Section).
Bottom line, the poker sites regulated by UKGC are pretty safe, and all the poker sites we list in this guide are licensed by UKGC like this PokerStars page.
UK Poker Taxation
“Do I have to pay tax on UK online poker winnings?”
No, Poker, despite its skill-oriented nature, is considered gambling in the UK. And in the UK it’s the gambling operators that carry the responsibility to pay taxes. Both domestic and foreign online poker sites are taxed at 25% but that doesn’t affect the individual player.
So, you don’t have to even declare and pay any taxes on your poker winnings at all.
This tax exemption applies not only to a casual player but also to a professional poker player whose poker winnings are the sole source of income since it still wouldn’t count as a job (see BIM22017 – Meaning of trade: exceptions and alternatives: betting and gambling – the professional gambler).
So, Stephan Chidwick never paid tax in the UK despite being ranked 6th as shown in the below All-Time Money List;
So, HMRC will not bother you however winnings you make from the poker rooms we list in this guide.
Factors To Decide Your Best Poker Site
On top of the safety, we used the following criteria for our Best UK Poker Sites selection,
1) Poker Site Traffic (Popularity)
Traffic is an important factor to assess poker sites because If traffic is high, there are a lot of players who actively take part in online poker games offered on the site, so you can play anytime. On the other hand, if traffic is low, you’ll not be able to choose your opponents, and tournament prizes might be very limited.
UK poker sites’ setting is quite international and a large part of the player base comes from European countries and the rest of the world (except the US where they set separate settings), but yet the bulk of players come from the United Kingdom.
According to Pokerscount, the below is the UK Poker site traffic;
PokerStars holds the largest player pool followed by 888Poker & PartyPoker, all these are independent poker sites (for GG Poker, see later).
iPoker Network is one of the biggest poker networks, where the UK’s giant betting sites such as Betfair, William Hill & Bet365 belong. These sites are called ‘skins’ as they share the player pool and are all based on the same poker client. The main differences between iPoker skins are their promotions, exclusive events & the offers of other betting services namely Sportsbook & Casino.
When it comes to GGPoker, popularity is not necessarily represented quality, thus we don’t include it in our list. We constantly receive terrible feedbacks from our members, some seriously believe GGPoker is rigged.
We intentionally sent a bit complicated inquiry, then they kept neglecting even after the 5th reminder, never experienced such unprofessional customer support. Such a negative reputation is confirmed by below Trustpilot;
It’s better to avoid.
2) Easiness Of Poker Rooms (Fish List)
Although Poker is considered gambling in the UK (therefore tax-exempted) but it’s pretty much skill-oriented.
So, if you’re a beginner, you want to avoid the site filled by skilled players a.k.a. Reg, Grinder, or Shark, and search the sites for recreational players.
Conversely, if you’re such a predator, you seek the poker rooms with a lot of unskilled players called Fish to prey on them.
In any case, we call the Softest Poker Site assessment based on “Fish Radar” must be an important & useful factor for you to decide the UK poker room (for worldwide, see Softest Online Poker Sites – Latest List to Prey Fish)
Shark Unfriendly Rules & Banning HUD
One of the easiest factors to find fewer shark poker sites is each poker site’s unique rules. If the site sets the rules prohibiting players from multi-table to say more than 4-6 tables, it’s clear that such sites have fewer pros.
Another rule is allowing not to use screen names but anonymous. Anonymous tables discourage advanced players and help casual players feel more comfortable.
You may have heard HUD (Heads-Up Display). HUDs collect data on everyone you play against and then put it into numbers displayed right next to your opponent’s seat at the table as below example; HUDs allow sharks to identify fishes. Blocking the tracking software like HUD shows also the sites’ efforts to create a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment for recreational players by discouraging pros from targeting and taking advantage of weaker players.
In other words, for the players who want to win online poker consistently, HUD is an essential tool. Anyhow, the 2 most reputable HUDs for high volume grinders & for beginners are;
Since: 2012 (by PokerTracker Software)
License: Lifetime up to 3 PCs
Feature: Light Software / Compatibility with Windows & MAC
Support Sites: Major Poker Sites
Price: $99.99 for the most popular package (see a full price list)
Payment: Card, PayPal, Neteller& BTC
Offer: 14 Days Free Trial
Note: With in-depth analysis of wide data collection coupled with real-time adjustment function during in-play & Free New Features for Heavy Serious Grinders, PT4 is next to none (Active forum is available).
Since: 2007 (one of the HUD pioneers)
License: Lifetime up to 3 PCs
Feature: Easy to install / Multi-language support
Support Sites: 12 Major Poker Sites + Free Hand Grabber
Price: $100 for the most popular package (see a full price list)
Payment:Card, PayPal, Neteller & BTC
Offer: 15 Days Free Trial
Note: With all the features of Full stats (customizable to make the feed less cumbersome), In-depth analysis (adjustable based on skill level) & Post Game Analysis (focusing on your core skills by finding your leaks) make HM3 the best HUD for Beginner/Casual Players (Active forum is available).
Remember, these are the poker tracking software not only for HUD but can also analyze your poker hands namely finding your leaks & studying opponents to spot their weaknesses.
We explained full details about this excellent tool as well as a multi-tabling tool in Best Hud for Poker – Head-Up Display Software.
UK Poker Sites Fish Ranking
Considering the above factors, the UK easiest poker room ranking is;
- 1st: 888Poker – Fairy Soft, with many beginners induced by NDB & HUD partially banned
- 2nd: Unibet Poker – Fairy Soft, HUDs disallowed & name can be changed
- 3rd: Betfair Poker – Relatively Soft, heavy spillover from Sports & Casino but HUD allowed
- 4th: PartyPoker – Relatively Soft, many low cash games, anonymous tables but HUD allowed
- 5th: PokerStars – Tight, actually depends on tables but a lot of sharks & HUD allowed
3) Attractive Welcome & Recurring Bonuses
Obviously, the bonuses enhance your winnings or compensate for your loss. We don’t suggest you waste lucrative opportunities, thus we separately prepared a Complete Guide to Online Poker Bonus Hunting for Dummies, which explains online poker bonus types & how to evaluate each bonus to cash out them efficiently.
Best UK Poker Welcome Bonus
Deposit bonuses are a great way to build your bankroll and earn extra spending money. The best bonuses are;
Best UK Poker Rakeback Site
Rakeback is a re-distribution of those funds to the players. The Rakeback % varies and average around 20% – 40%, which is periodically offered. You may consider Betfair Poker’s new welcome package of 35% Rakeback.
Best UK Poker Freeroll
To participate poker tournament, you need to pay an entry fee.
Poker Freeroll is the tournament you don’t need to pay such “Buy-In” cost while you are entitled to get a wide variety of prizes including cash. It’s one of the best ways for beginners to examine their ability & practice without risking money. The best poker freeroll sites are;
Best UK Poker Sites Wrap Up
Many of our members asked us if Poker is the way to make serious money. Well, it depends, Play Online Poker For A Living is getting tougher & tougher nowadays so, we don’t suggest.
However, Make $1,000 a Month from Online Poker is something you may achieve as long as you are committed & disciplined.
In any case, the UK is a safe & heaven place to play poker for real money.
However, many UK players are said to take TAG (Tight Aggressive) playing style, which is not necessarily a strong player but usually difficult to beat. So, suggest you study basics (Texas Holdem Strategies For Beginners – 15 Minutes Crash Course) before betting your hard-earned money.
Joshua Walker (bio)