Online Poker Sites

Online poker has become much more popular in the UK in recent years, and it’s all because of Online Poker Sites. They offer a huge variety of different poker games and variations to keep players interested. In addition to this, most Online Poker Rooms offer great promotions and bonuses.

At Casinostoplay.com, we have managed to round up the Best Online Poker Sites to help you find the best room for you. We’ve gone through and individually reviewed each and every aspect of the casinos to make sure you get the best possible experience.

Take a look at our Best UK Sites below.

What Are Online Poker Sites?

Poker websites are pretty self-explanatory. It’s basically a platform that offers different poker games for players to play. It includes popular poker games and multiple variations too. Some of the games found at Online Poker Sites include:

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is one of the best-known poker games around. The Texas Legislature states that the game was created in Robstown, Texas, sometime in the early 1900s. It was introduced to Las Vegas in the early 1960s and became popular at casinos such as Golden Nugget, Stardust and Dunes. By the 1980s, other states had become interested in the game, causing it to spread over the US and internationally in the years after.

A normal game of Texas Hold’em uses a standard 52-card deck that is shuffled before each hand. It’s played on a single table with between two to ten players. The goal of the game is to win as many chips as you can by either having the best hand or by forcing the other players to fold.

Setting Up

Once you’re sitting down at the table with your poker chips, it’s time to select a dealer. Texas Hold’em uses what’s called a rotating dealer, in which one player plays as the dealer for one hand, passing the role over to the player on their left when the hand is complete. To select a dealer, you can either deal every player one card or make players select a random card and the player with the highest-valued card starts as dealer.

After establishing your dealer, you will need to issue out blinds which come in two forms; small and big. The player directly to the left of the dealer is responsible for putting out a small blind. Then, the player to the left of the small player will put out a big blind, usually double the amount of a small blind.

Many people decide to play 10¢/25¢. Once the blinds have been set, the dealer is responsible for passing out the casino chips required for the game. When this is done, you’re ready to play the game.

Playing the Game

A round of Texas Hold’em consists of at least one and a maximum of four betting rounds. A hand ends when all players have folded or the fourth round ends with multiple players still in the hand. When this happens, players enter the showdown and the player with the highest hand wins everything. However, if two players share the highest hand the winning is split equally.

To begin the game, the person dealing the cards deals to the player to the left of whoever is holding the dealer button and rotates clockwise around the table giving one card to each player until everyone has two cards, known as your hole cards. When all players have their hole cards, you’re in what’s called the pre-flop betting round.

During the pre-flop betting round, each player looks at their cards and decides what action to take. Starting with the player to left of the big blind, you have three options:

  • Fold: Pay nothing and throw away your hand
  • Call: Match the amount of the big blind
  • Raise: Raise the bet by doubling the amount of the big blind

Once each player has made their action, the pre-flop betting round is complete and the flop is dealt. This is done by dealing the top card in the deck face-down on the table (Where it becomes the burn card), followed by an additional three cards face-up in the middle of the table. Once this is done, players then begin the flop betting round and it follows the same rules as the pre-flop betting apart from two exceptions:

  • The first player to perform an action is the next player with a hand to the left of the dealer
  • The first player can check or bet

When the post-flop betting round has been completed, the dealer deals one card facedown following by another card face-up, known as the “burn and turn”. Players then begin a third betting round which plays the same as the post-flop betting round, but the size of a bet is now doubled.

Throughout the above rounds, players can fold if they think their hand isn’t high enough to continue. Then, when the third betting round is completed, the dealer deals the river where one card is dealt facedown and another face-up. Players then begin the fourth and final betting round.

The surviving players after the end of the fourth and final betting round enter the showdown. At this point, whichever player has the highest hand wins the game. However, there are several rules you need to follow:

  • The player who bet on the river is the first player to reveal their hand
  • If no betting happened on the river as all players folded, the player closest to the left of the dealer must show their hand
  • If the player is holding a losing hand, it’s their option to reveal their cards or fold

Whoever has the best hand then wins the game. However, if two or more players share the best hand, they equally split the winning prize.

You can find out how to determine the best poker hands by scrolling down. 

Casino Hold’em

Casino Hold’em, sometimes known as Casino Hold’em Poker or Caribbean Hold’em Poker, is a gambling game created by Stephen Au-Yeung in 2000. Au-Yeung created the game in the late 90s as a way to help train his partner to play Texas Hold’em Poker. Following the training, it was developed into a House game and officially launched in 2000.

The main difference between Casino and Texas Hold’em is that you play against the dealer in Casino Hold’em, not against other players. The objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand.

Playing the Game

Casino Hold’em is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The game begins when each player makes an Ante bet, a compulsory bet. The dealer and player are both dealt two cards facedown and three cards are dealt to the board.

After checking their cards, the player has the option to either:

  • Fold and lose the Ante bet
  • Make a call, doubling the Ante bet

If one or more players make a call, then a further two cards will be added to the board for a total of five. Once all players have made an action, the players and dealer must make their best poker hand from their two personal cards and five board cards. When this is done, the players’ cards are compared to the dealer’s.

The dealer must qualify by having a pair of 4s or higher. If they do not qualify, the Ante bet is paid accordingly. If the dealer does qualify, one of the following scenarios will occur:

  • If the player’s hand is better than the dealer’s, the Ante bet is paid to the player
  • If the dealer’s hand is equal to the player’s, it’s a draw
  • If the dealer’s hand is better than the player’s, the player loses all bets

You can find out how to determine the best poker hands by scrolling down. 

Omaha

Omaha Hold’em Poker, sometimes known as Omaha, is a poker card game similar to Texas Hold’em. The exact origin of the game is unknown but it has become the second-most played poker variation in the world due to its similarity to Texas Hold’em, making it an easy game to learn and play.

The aim of the game is similar to Texas Hold’em, in which players must make the best hand combination against other players to win the game. The main difference between Texas Hold’em and Omaha, is that players are dealt four hold cards and are required to use two of them to form a hand combination with three of the community cards. The rest of the game plays the same way as Texas Hold’em.

Playing the Game

Omaha Hold’em Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards and is played by two to ten people. Before the game can begin, a dealer must be selected. This can be done by drawing cards or if someone volunteers. When this is done, the two players to the left of the dealer put out a small and big blind.

The dealer then deals the cards from the player on their left and around the board until each player has four cards. Players then began a betting round known as the pre-flop starting with the player located to the left of the player who made the big blind. Like Texas Hold’em, each player can either fold, call or raise the bet.

Once everyone has had a chance to act, the first betting round is over. The dealer then discards the top card on the deck and deals out three cards face-up in the middle of the table, known as the flop. A second round of betting begins and each player who hadn’t folded previously can make one of the same three actions shown above.

Once the flop betting round is finished, the dealer discards the card at the top of the deck and deals one card face-up onto the table. When this is done, players begin a third round of betting. Then, when this finishes, the dealer discards one final card from the top of the deck and place a final card onto the table, known as the river.

Players begin the fourth and final round of betting. When it finishes, the surviving players enter the showdown where the player with the best hand wins.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker, also known as Casino Stud Poker, is a popular poker game that was allegedly created in 1982 by David Sklansky under the name ‘Casino Poker’. According to Sklansky he was unable to patent the game due to patent laws.

However, several years later, he was approached by a poker player who brought to the King International Casino (Known today as the Excelsior Casino) and had it patented. However, the player and casino owner changed the rules somewhat from Sklansky’s version to create the Caribbean Stud Poker we know today.

In this variation, you actually play against the house or dealer rather than other players. However, the game still uses a standard deck of 52 cards and follows the same hand rankings from other games.

Playing the Game

To play Caribbean Stud Poker, players are required to make an Ante (Compulsory) bet on a marked spot on the table. Once each player has made a bet, five cards will be dealt facedown to the player and dealer. The dealer will then turn over one of their cards, allowing players to check their own cards.

Players can then either fold or raise in which they must bet twice the amount of their Ante. When all players have acted, the dealer reveals all four of their cards. At this point, the dealer only qualifies is they their hand either contains an ace and a king or forms a pair or any other high-ranked poker hand.

If the dealer qualifies, the players compare their hands with the dealer’s hand one at a time. Like with Casino Hold’em, one of three scenarios can happen:

  • If the player’s hand is better than the dealer’s, the Ante bet is paid to the player
  • If the dealer’s hand is equal to the player’s, it’s a draw
  • If the dealer’s hand is better than the player’s, the player loses all bets

That’s it!

You can find out how to determine the best poker hands by scrolling down. 

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker, also known as double-hand poker, is a version of pai gow that is played with poker cards. It was created in the mid-1980s by Sam Torosian, the owner of the Bell Card Club.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and a single joker. Up to seven people can play, including a dealer, and the aim of Pai Gow Poker is to defeat the banker by making one five-card hand and another two-card hand.

Playing the Game

After all players have made their Ante bets, seven cards are dealt to the players and the dealer. Each player, including the dealer, must separate their cards into a five-card high hand and a two-card low hand. The five-card high hand is ranked according to ordinary poker rules.

When the players have organised their hands, the dealer then reveals his hands which is set in a specific way known as the House Way. The dealer’s and player’s hands are compared one at a time across the table. When this happens, one of three things can happen:

  • If both of your hands are better than the dealer’s, you win
  • If one of your hands are better than the dealer’s, it’s a draw
  • If both of your hands are worse than the dealer’s, you lose

But what are the rules regarding hands?

Pai Gow Hands

As mentioned, you have to arrange your cards into a five-card high hand and a two-card low hand which can only be two high cards or a pair and cannot outrank your five-card hand.

If you’re dealt a joker, it can substitute for a card in three different ways. For your five-card hand they include:

  • Can be used as any card to complete a straight
  • Can be as any suit to complete a flush
  • If it can’t be used as either of the above, it’s used as an ace

Jokers can only be used as an ace in your two-card hand.

You can find out how to determine the best five-card poker hands by scrolling down. 

Live Poker

Live Poker games are generally any of the above games but played online and with a real-life dealer. The dealers are streamed to you over the internet, providing you with an authentic casino experience. You can message and interact with the dealer by messaging them and also interact with other players too.

Hands

Depending on the poker variation being played, you need to make the best possible hand using a combination of your hole cards plus the community cards on the table. For example in Texas Hold’em, you can use both, one or none of your hole cards along with the community cards. In Omaha Hold’em, however, you’re required to use at least two of your hole cards.

The poker hand rankings from highest to lowest are:

  • Royal Flush: A straight ten to an ace with all cards of the same suit
  • Straight Flush: A straight with all five cards of the same suit
  • Four of a Kind: Any four cards of the same rank
  • Full House: Any three cards of the same rank together with another two cards of the same rank
  • Flush: Any five cards of the same suit
  • Straight: Any five consecutive cards of different suits
  • Three of a Kind: Any three cards of the same rank
  • Two Pair: Any two cards of the same rank with another two cards of the same rank
  • One Pair: A pair of cards of the same rank
  • High Card: The highest ranked card in your hand with an ace being the highest and a two being the lowest

Online Poker Tournaments

In addition to the above games, many UK Online Poker Sites offer tournaments in which players compete against each other like an ordinary game. Online tournaments follow the same rules as real-life tournaments, but there are some slight differences between the two.

For example, online poker tournaments have no restrictions on the number of players that can take part in the game. Besides, people from different countries can join in on the competition as long as the Online Poker Site is available in their country.

Most online poker tournaments offer better prizes than those at real-life tournaments. Smaller Online Poker Sites, in particular, offer great bonuses, promotions, and rewards because they want more people to register and join them. However, it’s important to remember that a smaller Online Poker Site may have a limited selection of players.

There are three main types of online poker tournaments, they include:

Rebuy Tournaments

Rebuy tournaments allow players to rebuy casino chips in order to stay in the game and continue playing. In tournaments without rebuys (Known as freezeouts) you’re eliminated once you’ve run out of casino chips.

However, the rebuy period is limited as it only runs for the first few early levels of the tournament. In fact, many casinos only run the rebuy period for the first hour of the tournament. Once the rebuy period is over, players cannot buy more casino chips, meaning they’ll be excluded from the game. The number of rebuys available depends on the casino as some offer a fixed number while others offer an unlimited number of rebuys. However, they generally work the same way.

Whenever you run out of chips, you’ll be offered a rebuy if it’s available. At online casinos, you can choose an option which automatically rebuys chips whenever you run out. When you do rebuy, your account will be charged and your casinos credited immediately. You can also rebuy at any time if your chip stack is less than or equal to what you started with. So, if you started with 1,000 chips, you can buy whenever you have 1,000 chips or less.

However, some players confuse rebuys with a reentry. In a rebuy, you’re able to buy more chips right at the table and continue playing in the seat you’re in. In a re-entry tournament, you need to leave the table, buy an entirely new entry and then draw a new seat as if you’re a brand new player.

Rebuys are also different from add-ons, which allows players to purchase additional chips regardless of how much they have. This can only be done at specific times such as the first break. However, it is possible to mix both rebuys and add-ons to ensure you never run out of chips.

Also, the prize pool in rebuy tournaments can grow quite large as the fees for rebuys and reentries are added to the overall prize pool.

Freezeout Tournaments

Freezeout tournaments are the most common type of poker tournaments. In this version, players are excluded after running out of chips. The World Series of Poker Main Event is a freezeout tournament as are most online poker tournaments. Also, most rebuy tournaments become freezeouts when the buyout period is over.

However, some freezeout tournaments do allow for reentries and rebuys, but this occurs before the first break and is very rare. Many people prefer playing freezeout tournaments because they’re shorter in duration than rebuy tournaments. In this version, the defeated player is dropped out of the game and cannot Buy-In.

The biggest disadvantage to buyout tournaments is that the prize pool doesn’t grow because rebuys generally aren’t offered. This could lead to a very small prize pool at smaller tournaments.

Knockout Tournament

In knockout tournaments, a cash bounty is placed each player and every time you eliminate someone, you win a cash prize. Like freezeout tournaments, a player is excluded whenever they run out of chips and the last player standing is declared the winner. Along with winning the overall cash prize, the winner also takes home their own bounty.

A player’s bounty is determined by the cost of their buy-in. For example, a knockout tournament may have a buy-in (Entrance fee) of $14 + $6 + $3. From this, $14 would go to the prize pool, $6 acts as the player’s bounty and $3 is the tournament fee.

Choosing A Poker Website

Now you know about the different kinds of games featured on Online Poker Sites, you’ll want to know how to select the Best Online Poker Site. Numerous online casinos offer poker games, and while it’s easy to register and start playing your favourite game, many may find the countless options overwhelming and don’t know where to start.

Well, when you’re looking for poker websites, it’s a good idea to know what to consider. It can include promotions, the software used, payouts, tournaments, games, and variations. You should also look into whether you need to download any software or mobile apps to play the games or if you can just play in a web-browser.

Best Poker Sites

To find out which Online Poker Site may be best for you, take at our three recommendations below. They’ll have all the information you need to know before you get started.

888Poker

888Poker is one of the most well-known online poker sites around. It’s one of the fastest growing online poker rooms as, according to the site, a new player registers every 12 seconds. The online site offers games including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi Lo, 7 Card Stud, Snap and Blast.

You’ll also be able to take part in a variety of tournaments including multi-table tournaments, poker satellite tournaments, one-on-one tournaments and sit and go tournaments. Currently, 888Poker offers the following tournaments: The Whale, The Twister, The Mega Deep, The Mega Dozen and much more.

The online poker site holds a valid license from the UK Gambling Commission and is regulated and audited by eCOGRA. It also works with charities GamCare and GamStop.

When it comes to deposits and withdrawals, 888Poker accepts a number of payment options. Methods that can be used for both deposits and withdrawals include VISA debit and credit cards, MasterCard, ApplePay, ecoPayz, EntroPay, iDebit, MuchBetter, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill and Wire Transfer. 888Poker also accepts Trustly, Bank Transfer, AstroPay and more for deposits.

Upon registering, new players will be offered a no-deposit bonus of £20.

PartyPoker

PartyPoker is another hugely popular online poker site. It offers the above poker games including Omaha and 7 Card Stud as well as numerous others. You’re also able to take part in its numerous tournaments and cash games including sit and go, multi-table tournaments and much more.

At the time of writing, PartyPoker’s selection of tournaments includes MILLIONS Online, KO Series and Power Series tournaments. Meanwhile, their famous Monster Series and POWERFEST IX tournaments are set to make a return in 2019.

Like 888Poker, PartyPoker possesses a valid license from the UK Gambling Commission and is audited by eCOGRA. It also works with GamStop, GamCare and BeGambleAware charities.

Sadly, PartyPoker only accepts a few payment methods. They include VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Paysafecard, Neteller, Skrill, EntroPay and Maestro. According to PartyPoker’s terms and conditions, withdrawals are made using the same method used when depositing.

PartyPoker also offers numerous promotions. You can earn $22 in tickets with your first deposit of $10 or more. You can also take part in their weekend bets and weekly wagers or play their missions to earn cash rewards.

PokerStars

PokerStars is probably one of the biggest online poker sites available today. The site offers poker games such as Omaha, Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud and much more. PokerStars also offers regular tournaments as well as annual tournaments including the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and the MicroMillions and Turbo Series tournaments.

Regular tournaments available at the site include the Sunday Million, Sunday Billion, Sunday Warm Up, Sunday Storm, Sunday Majors, The Hot Turbos, Omania, Daily Bigs and so much more.

PokerStars possesses a valid license from the UK Gambling Commission and works with charities GamCare and GamStop.

The site offers a great selection of payment methods, most of which can be used for withdrawals too. They include VISA, MasterCard, MuchBetter, Neteller, PayPal and Skrill. Other payments accepted for deposits include Local Bank Transfer, PokerStars TopUp, Paysafecard and Neosurf.

PokerStars also has a fast deposit option which offers an even quicker way to fund your PokerStars account. Options that accept fast deposits including VISA, MasterCard, MuchBetter, Neteller and Skrill.

PokerStars offers regular promotions including trips to Las Vegas and deposit bonuses. Currently, you can earn a 100% bonus of up to £400 by using code STARS400. However, you’ll need to earn redemption points in order to be able to withdraw the bonus funds. The amount of redemption points needed for this depends on the amount deposited and the bonus given.

Are Poker Winnings Taxed in the UK?

Generally, no. Poker winnings normally aren’t taxed in the UK. Before 2001, betting shops charged a tax on a players winnings. However, Gordon Brown introduced changes in 2011 that stopped betting shops and casinos from charging tax on players’ winnings.

However, the 2014 Gambling Act changed this by taxing the poker, betting and casino sites themselves if their customers reside in the United Kingdom. This means that you and your winnings are 100% tax-free. However, there are some instances where you may be taxed on winnings.

For example, if you’re a famous poker player that receives free seats at tournaments. Those free seats could be considered a form of payment and any winnings from those seats could be considered an extension of that payment. However, situations like these are rare and do not apply to most players.

Poker Bonuses and Promotions

Just like so many other online casinos, Online Poker Sites such as Paddy Power, Redbet and more offer special and exclusive bonuses or promotions to entice players to sign up. Some of the promotions sound great and offer new players an enormous sign up while other Online Poker Sites have special loyalty programs or VIP features that allow users to win exclusive bonuses or prizes as they play.

However, it’s important that you check the terms and conditions before being swayed into signing up with one of the many UK Online Poker Sites. You don’t want to register only to discover later on that you don’t qualify for the promoted bonus for some reason.

Security and Safety

People are sometimes cautious about registering with and playing at an online casino or Online Poker Sites. However, the online gambling industry is heavily regulated, and online casinos operating in the UK need to have a license from the UK Gambling Commission or some other regulatory body.

Most casinos also encrypt their websites to avoid third parties from getting your personal information. So, all in all, online casinos and Online Poker Sites are entirely safe.

* Subject to T&Cs. Click to read bonus terms.
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Casinostoplay.com is an online gambling guide for players in the UK. We regularly test and rate new casino sites and report on important topics such as casino games, withdrawal times, and the latest gambling news.