Part of poker’s appeal and popularity comes from its rich history with global influence. In many countries and in many iterations poker has become a worldwide phenomenon, but it is only in the last quarter of a century that it has become a favourite in the UK. It may have originated somewhere other than the United Kingdom, and it may have taken over a century to catch on – let alone become popular – once it was introduced in the UK, but poker has certainly found a popular home here.
Britain’s best poker
PokerStars was launched in 2001 and by 2006 had become the biggest online poker room. Their history has been filled with record breaking occasions, such as setting the record for the biggest online poker tournament back in 2009. PokerStars dominates the market for a reason – it provides a wide range of free and live tournaments. There are no options here.
888 Poker has been around for more than 20 years and has built a loyal base of returning players thanks to its wide range of games and attractive promotions. Some of its standout features include giant freeroll tournaments which show prizes of over half a million dollars!
William Hill Poker is a very popular online poker site because of its great bonuses, huge variety of games which appeal to all skill levels, and the proven security of the website. It is also a member of the established iPoker network.
Types of poker games
- Texas Hold’em
Let’s first discuss what Texas Hold’em poker is. Texas Hold’em is the best known and most popular form of poker today. A standard deck of 52 cards is used to play Hold’em; the deck is shuffled before each hand.
To start, each player is dealt two holes, or so-called ‘pocket’ cards. The players then go through three rounds during which public cards are laid on the board. They are dealt face up and can be used by all participants. Bets are placed after each round. The best five-card hand wins: this is any combination of five community cards and two pocket cards.
This game is usually played in 6-max or 9-max format, but sometimes there may be fewer players at the table.
Omaha is another poker game that has become very popular with players around the world, mainly because of the large number of possible combinations. It is very similar to Texas Hold’em in terms of rules and structure, but has some differences. In Omaha, for example, players are dealt 4 moon cards, not 2 (like in traditional hold’em). The game also requires a 52-card deck to be played.
The winner is determined at showdown or during betting rounds (flop, turn and river), where the best combination of 5 cards wins. When making your hands, be sure to use two pocket cards and three community cards.
- Chinese poker
Chinese poker is a popular card game which bears little resemblance to the classic variations of poker (Omaha and Texas Hold’em). There are no betting rounds, community cards, and a traditional pot to compete for. Nevertheless, the combinations and methods of making them have been preserved.
The aim of the game is to put together the strongest combinations in all three boxes, while the principle of the combination must be respected. The bottom box must be placed with the strongest hand, the middle box with the second strongest hand and the top box with the strongest hand.
After the boxes are completed, all combinations are compared so that there is no “dead hand”. A dead hand is counted as one in which the seniority of the combinations is broken. The winner is determined by calculating the points, which are then entered into a special table.
Registration and ability to play without an account
When you sign up for a poker account you only need to provide a small amount of information such as your name, age, email address, where you live and so on.
All that poker rooms expects is that you enter the correct information, so that they can make sure you are a legitimate user and can contact you with any questions that may arise between you and the poker room. This is so that the room can keep you and your money safe at the tables, so double check that everything is correct before you enter your details.
Also, like many other games. poker allows everyone to play games without registering, but excludes the possibility of playing for real money without your personal details.
Types of bonuses and promotions
There are plenty of bonuses offered these days, and the ways to get them can vary. Some of them are given when you first visit an online poker site:
- A sign-up bonus is a fixed amount of money given once on the site when you create an account.
- A deposit bonus is given when you make your first deposit on an online poker site, but it is more difficult to assess on each site. The amount you receive is calculated as a percentage of your deposit, capped at some maximum. For example, to get a 100% deposit bonus, up to a maximum of $1000, you need to deposit $1000. A smaller deposit gives a lower percentage.
- The no deposit bonus is the most advantageous starter bonus. With it, you can try out a poker site without the risk of making a deposit. There are usually a number of game requirements to get it. The way you get the bonus varies from site to site. Some sites will automatically credit your account. Others require you to request it via email or chat. Others provide coupon codes that you have to enter when you talk to the casino cashier.
Other bonuses continue to pay dividends as long as you keep playing:
- A free bonus may be available when you sign up and as you continue to bet on the online poker site.
- The Refer a Friend Bonus is usually paid out as a fixed amount to both you and the person who named you when you signed up. You are rewarded for bringing more customers to the online poker site. The more people you attracted, the more you get.
- The loyalty bonus is awarded every time you play. It is usually a small amount, but it can increase over time. You will usually be notified by email that you have earned a loyalty bonus.
You’ll find the best tournaments on online poker sites that offer a wide range of formats, including:
- Guaranteed (Prize Money)
- Double or nothing
The best online poker sites also frequently publish and update tournament schedules, including those starting at small regular intervals during off-peak times. Some sites even sponsor players who qualify for major poker events. This can mean free food, accommodation and buy-ins.
Types of payment
There are many different ways to fund your UK online poker account. All UK poker rooms have their own preferred deposit and payment methods, which can vary greatly from site to site. The most common deposit methods are credit and debit cards.
Recent years have seen the growth of online payment methods such as Paypal, Neteller and others, and many gaming sites now use these deposit methods. With so many different ways of depositing money into your account, it can be a little confusing which payment methods are accepted.
One thing is for sure, using these payment methods in UK poker rooms saves you a lot of hassle when it comes to playing for money online. You never have to use your bank account information or enter your credit card details. You can read all about the different types of real money card game deposit methods here and decide which one suits you best. All of the deposit methods on the poker sites we have reviewed are safe and secure. The best thing about paying with e-wallets is that they are usually instant, so you can play straight away and, even better, get your money right away if you win.
Paypal -is an online payment solution with over 180 million customers worldwide. Not the deposit method that too many UK poker sites use, although it is starting to be more accessible.
Neteller is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and is a common method of depositing money into poker and gambling accounts.
- Debit card
Debit cards are widely accepted by poker sites and are one of the best payment methods for UK players. Customers must have funds available in their account before they can make a deposit.
- Credit card
Almost all online poker sites accept major credit cards. Your card company may charge you a fee when you make a deposit.
A widely accepted credit card for deposits to poker accounts around the world.
Although MasterCard is accepted by almost all online poker sites, there have been instances where banks have denied gaming transactions. However, this has been happening less and less frequently lately.
All major UK poker sites accept Maestro as a payment / deposit method for transactions.
- Visa Electron
Mainly available in UK as a debit card. A limited number of poker sites currently accept this as a funding method.
There are many free game options available:
- Real money sites offering a no deposit bonus. This bonus is real money that you can play with and even win. However, you won’t be able to withdraw your deposit or winnings until you make a deposit and meet the wagering requirements.
- Cash game sites that allow players to enjoy real poker games and tournaments against each other for casino chips.
- Free poker modes of play, such as Casino Hold’em, where players play against the dealer.
You have a diligent and dedicated support team ready to answer all your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Both general and individual questions will be answered here, as well as the best solution or detailed answers.
Every payment is secure and the casino will ensure your privacy and keep your anonymity safe.
Every website designed for poker games has a user-friendly interface which makes the site easy to use and enjoyable to play. Everything is in harmony from the graphics to the voice acting and the selection of games is so wide that everyone should be able to find something to suit them. The mobile apps, on the other hand, are even more user-friendly, and every element of the game is perfect.
The second most important aspect after site software is player traffic. You can choose a poker site with perfect software, but if there is no one to play on it, it is useless. Major poker rooms usually have enough players 24/7, and if you want a site where you won’t agonise about finding someone to play against, choose a solid site.
Variety of games
Look for a site that offers your favourite games and others that interest you. Before you log in to play, you need to research the site properly and find one that offers a variety of games and has good player traffic. Again, a site might have all the variety you would want, but if there are fewer players, you might be disappointed.
Imagine having a great online poker site with a variety of games and great software, but with poor customer service. It may be a long time before you have a problem that requires the attention of customer service, but when it does, it’s good to know that there is someone there to help you. Find out if the poker site has a phone line or chat room for instant response. Without this, if you get stuck, you may be frustrated that you have no one to help you.
Online poker room reputation and regulation
Check whether the poker site is legitimate by the random card generator number. The relevant country issues this number as proof that the poker site is registered. Also check whether the online poker room has the various licences required for gambling. Players have lost their money by not gambling on illegal poker sites. Therefore, you should check the reviews and rating of the site as well as get recommendations from friends and relatives who have experience playing poker on this site.
Level of competition
Before joining a poker room, it is crucial to know the level of competition you will face. The lower the competition, the easier it is to win. Playing against solid opponents will help you improve your game and boost your confidence. Choose a site with professional players so you can enjoy the game.
VIP rewards are more important than high stakes players. This means that if you invest huge amounts of money, you will get extra rewards. Look for sites that have implemented incredible player rewards programs as a strategy for retaining high stakes players.
Various casinos have several types of poker games, both free and paid. A good site offers a wide range of features and many free games, which can be used for practice before making big bets. Check the site for promotions, free bonuses, open tournaments etc.
Easy deposit and withdrawal methods
If you’re a poker enthusiast in the UK, you know how risky it is to fund your poker account with a Visa card. The government forces banks to block gambling transactions, so you’ll have to try something else. It shouldn’t bother you that much: you have other ways to fund your account. You should look for reliable poker sites that make it easy for you to deposit and withdraw.
Attractive sign-up bonuses
Online poker is a competitive game. Therefore, many poker sites offer exceptional offers for customers, and before you sign up with any of them, you should do your proper research and find out who is offering what level of bonuses. Most importantly, look for those whose bonuses have clear terms and conditions. Study the poker site carefully to understand what it offers and exactly how its sign-up or deposit bonus works. Signing up without the right information about bonuses and payouts would be a big mistake.
If you don’t want to download the desktop poker software, you can easily play through upgraded mobile apps that allow you to immerse yourself in the game anywhere, anytime. Apps are now available on iOS, Android devices and other systems. This allows you to always have your favourite game at your fingertips and enjoy the experience wherever and whenever you want.
Pros and cons of poker
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