Online poker is currently one of the most popular pastimes for people in the United Kingdom. The uniquely accommodating environment has made the country a poker hub of sorts. Skilled poker players living here have access to lots of great sites and regular massive tournaments. Not many online gambling markets have matured that much.
That said, for beginners looking for a guide to online poker, this is a great place to start. Here we will break down all the important details. By the time you are done, you will be able to confidently step out and enjoy some online poker action in the UK.
Legality and Regulation
Generally, online gambling including online poker is legal and regulated in the UK. This is largely thanks to the introduction of some extensive gaming policies back in 2014. Implemented in a two-step process, the move greatly rationalized the country’s iGaming market. It necessitated online gambling operators to obtain licenses from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Many of the operators complied with this decision. As such finding legal UK online poker sites is easier than ever before. Players can trust these operators to operate within the laws. They also get to enjoy consumer protection in case any disputes ever arise during their online poker adventures.
While locally-regulated sites still dominate the online poker market, some operators are yet to receive UKGC licenses. Most of them are regulated in other jurisdictions by third parties. These include the Isle of Man Casino Control Commission, Gibraltar Gaming Commission and Alderney Gambling Commission. Others also fall under some non-legally recognized gambling jurisdictions like the Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling and the Government of Curacao.
Finding the Best Online Poker Sites in the UK
There are lots of online poker sites and each is built to cater to a diverse group of players. Considering the number of sites available, choosing one that is best for you can be a little overwhelming. Newbies are especially affected by this issue. However, you do not have to worry. All you need is a checklist of things that will help you choose the right site.
Reputation. – The best online poker sites are usually licensed and regulated. They also have little to no bad reviews which indicates that they offer just what they promise. Reputation can also be measured by how the iGaming site you choose handles customer support services.
Bonuses and Promotions. – These are very important value-adding perks that nearly every online casino has in store for its users. Players just need to make sure that the bonuses are accompanied by reasonable terms and conditions. Make sure you read the fine print for this.
Safety and Security. – Like many modern online businesses, online poker sites often handle huge sums of player funds and a ton of sensitive information. The casino you choose should do its best to protect these using the latest encryption technology. Regular audits from third parties can help with this.
Fairness. – For games that require Random Number Generators, having a fair one is very important. One of the ways of ensuring this is by checking for a seal from a third-party iGaming auditor.
The Game Collection. – Even for people who just love to play poker, variety is very important. The best sites will have different variations of the game for you to choose from. Popular poker types for UK players include Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold’em, and Sit and Go’s. Players also get to indulge in knock-out bounty games as well as action-packed tournaments.
Payment Methods. – Making deposits and withdrawals is easier in the UK than in many other parts of the world. Still, it is very important to make sure the site you choose specifically caters to the payment method you prefer to choose.
Cross-Device Compatibility. – Having the chance to play across a wide range of devices makes the experiences even better. Mobile gaming, in particular, is growing very popular and the best sites are optimized for this.
Some of the sites that check the right boxes in terms of the criteria listed above include:
- Ladbrokes Poker
Tips to Get You Started with Online Poker in the UK
Poker stands out for being one of the casino games that also involves some level of skill in the gameplay. If you are new to the game, it will take some time for you to build up a strategy. Even for avid players, there is a need to keep improving as the game is very dynamic.
As such, the best tips you need to pay attention to will mostly revolve around how you carry yourself. To begin with, make sure you take advantage of bonuses and promotions. These not only let you play for longer but also add some value to your winnings. Also, you need to figure out which games work best for you and optimize how you play. Above all, it is very important to know when to stop playing especially if there is real money at stake. As with all forms of gambling, you never want to lose more than you can afford to.
Playing poker in the UK is certainly a worthwhile pastime for you and your friends. You just have to figure out how to get the most out of the experience. This guide should be enough to begin that exciting adventure.