Online Poker

Updated June 5, 2024
Poker is the most popular card game in the world and is unique when it comes to gambling games as when you play online poker with real money, there’s a real chance of you upping your bankroll if you have the skills to know what you are doing, and how to play.

In poker there is an element of luck involved, but a decent poker shark will always have the edge over a fumbling fish. This page will introduce you to the basic concepts of poker, and what types of game are available. If you want to know more in-depth details on the game check out our guide How to Play Poker and we can help you with that too.


Here are some of the best places where you can play at online poker UK sites.

BEST ONLINE POKER BRANDS

No Deposit
Welcome bonus
$8 Free Bonus No Deposit
Our Score
4.5
1

18+. UK new players only Bonus will be granted in Tournament Tickets gradually over 7 days after the claim date • Each Tournament Ticket will expire 24 hours after it was granted. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. Begambleaware.org #AD

Welcome bonus
100% up to £100 + 20 Bonus Spins
Our Score
4.0
2

18+. New players only. Min deposit £10. 20 Bonus Spins valid on Book of Dead. Bonus funds are 100% up to £100. Bonus funds + spin winnings are separate to cash funds and subject to 35x wagering requirement. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. £5 bonus max bet. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days, spins within 10 days. Affordability checks apply. Ter​ms Apply. Gambleaware.org​ #AD

Welcome bonus
100% Up to £200 on First Deposit + 50 Bonus Spins
Our Score
4.0
3

*18+. New players only. Min. deposit £20. Max. bonus bet is £5. Bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Winnings from Bonus spins credited as bonus funds and capped at £100. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Welcome Offer is 100% match up to £200 plus 50 bonus spins on your 1st deposit, 50% match up to £50 on your 2nd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. Affordability checks apply. Terms apply. Please gamble responsibly. Gambleaware.org. #AD

Welcome bonus
Deposit £20, Play with £50
Our Score
4.0
4

*18+. New customers only. Min deposit £20. Paypal excluded. Max non-withdrawable bonus £30. Playable on selected games only. 30x dep and bonus wagering required. Expires within 30 days. Max win £2,000. T&Cs apply. Please play responsibly. Gambleaware.org #AD

No Wagering
Welcome bonus
Wager On Any Slots and Get up to 200 Free Spins!
Our Score
3.4
5

*18+. New customers only. Receive free spins in the 5 days after your first deposit of £20, if you wager at least £20 on slot games. Spins on Book of Dead. 40 Free spins per day will be awarded on the game ‘Book of Dead’. The winnings from the Free Spins hold no wagering requirements but have maximum withdrawable winnings of £250 in total free spin play. Winnings from free spins over £250 are not withdrawable and will be forfeited. The value of the free spin is £0.10 per spin. Full T&Cs apply. Please play responsibly. Gambleaware.org #AD

Welcome bonus
100% Upto £100 + Always 10% Cashback!
Our Score
4.5
6

*18+. Welcome bonus for new players only. Maximum bonus is 100% up to £100. Min.deposit is £20. No max cash out. Wagering is 35x bonus. Maximum bet while playing with a bonus is £5. Eligibility is restricted for suspected abuse. Cashback is cash with no restrictions. Skrill & Neteller deposits excluded. Cashback applies to deposits where no bonus is included. Please gamble Responsibly | T&Cs apply | Gambleaware.org #AD

Welcome bonus
Up to £1250 in Welcome Bonuses
Our Score
4.5
7

* 18+. New players only. The minimum deposit amount is £10 for all deposits. A 200x wagering requirement applies on the first and all subsequent welcome bonuses. Certain games contribute a different percentage to the wagering requirement and standard terms and conditions apply. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. Gambleaware.org. #AD

Welcome bonus
100% Up to £100 + 20 Free Spins
Our Score
3.5
8

18+. New Players Only. Wagering occurs from real balance first. 50X wagering the bonus or any winnings generated from free spins. Contribution may vary per game. Available on selected games only. The wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus is valid for 30 days / Free spins valid for 7 days from issue. Max conversion: 3 times the bonus amount or from free spins: £/$/€20. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full Terms Apply. Please play responsibly. Gambleaware.org. #AD

Welcome bonus
Up to £100 Bonus + 100 Free Spins
Our Score
4.0
9

*18+ new players only. Minimum deposit: £20. Maximum £100 bonus. Max bet with an active bonus: £2. Wagering requirement 100% match bonus: 30 times sum of deposit + bonus. Max redeemable from welcome bonus: £500. 100 Free Spins are given out 20 per day on Book of Dead for 5 days in a row, log in each day is required. Max Free Spins winnings: £100. Winnings from Free Spins are credited as bonus money with a wagering requirement of 45 times. Free Spins expire after 3 days. Some games may not be played with a bonus. Games may contribute differently when wagering a bonus.Full bonus terms apply. Please gamble Responsibly. Gambleaware.org #AD

Welcome bonus
200% Welcome Bonus Up To £50
Our Score
4.5
10

18+. New players only. Wager from real balance first. 50X wager the bonus. Contribution varies per game. selected games only. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus valid 30 Days from receipt. Max conversion: 3x the bonus amount. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply. Please play responsibly. Gambleaware.org #AD

Online poker bonuses

Welcome bonuses

Welcome bonuses are bonuses you receive when you sign up for a specific online poker site. If a poker site is part of an online casino, then it is likely that you will not be able to use your online casino welcome bonus to play in the site’s poker room.

When it comes to welcome bonuses at dedicated online poker real money sites, it usually means free poker tokens or free poker chips. If you make a minimum deposit into your poker account then you may receive a set amount of free poker chips that you can use to play poker, or you will receive a selection of free poker tokens that will allow you to play in tournaments without having to pay any of your own cash.

Poker sites generally are not as keen to offer bonuses as online casinos as they make their money differently. They take a small percentage of chips of every hand that’s played at their site, which is called a ‘rake’. Online casinos rely solely on players playing casino games and losing. Poker sites have a steady streamed income that’s guaranteed, so don’t feel the need to ‘risk’ players taking a hefty bonus and actually winning from it.

Reload bonuses

A reload bonus is simply a bonus that’s paid when you reload your poker account with your own money. Again, at sites that offer online poker with real money, the trend is to offer poker tokens or free chips, just like a welcome bonus.

Free / no deposit bonuses

Dedicated poker rooms very rarely offer free or no deposit bonuses, however, they do offer players entry into free-roll tournaments. These are tournaments where you are given virtual chips to play with, as opposed to buying chips using your own cash. Only the winners (or runners up) of free-roll tournaments win cash, or they may win free entries into tournaments with bigger cash prizes.

VIP / higher roller bonuses

Online poker sites do not generally offer VIP or high roller bonuses.

What to look out for in an online poker site

You need to be secure in the knowledge that when you sign up with a site that offers online poker with real money games, you are in for a decent experience. Here are some of the factors that will contribute to that.

Properly licensed and regulated

An online poker site that offers gaming with real money to UK customers must have a license issued to it by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). If a site you are thinking about joining does not have a UKGC licence, then you should avoid it.

Only using sites that have a UKGC licence will make sure you, your money and your important personal details are kept safe. It also makes sure that the site is properly regulated.

Variety of poker games available

Texas Hold’em is the most popular casino game in the online realm, but that does not mean that is everyone’s cup of tea. Some people enjoy ‘old-fashioned’ games such as stud poker, while offers enjoy more complex ones like Omaha. You should always favour a site that offers more games than just Texas Hold’em.

We have a full rundown of the full range of Poker games that are available to play in our dedicated Poker Games and Rules Guide.

Bonuses

Bonuses are not as common in the online poker world than they are in the online casino and sports betting realms, but it always pays to find a site that offers bonuses such as free entry to paying tournaments, poker chip boosts and free-roll games with large winning pots.

Types, Strategy and Rules of poker

Poker seems complex when you first start out, but once you have learned some of the terms and strategies it becomes more straightforward and then the ‘poker face’ comes into play. The object of poker is to obtain a better hand than your opponents. At the end of each round of poker, the player who remains in the game (i.e. who has not folded) with the best hand is the winner and takes the pot. Poker is also a betting game. To stay in the hand you must bet chips up to the current pot level. If you don’t want to (or can’t) bet the required number of chips, then you must fold.

A poker hand is made up of five cards. The possible poker hands, in order of value, are as follows:

  • Straight flush: A sequence of five consecutive cards of the same suit
  • Four of a kind: Four cards of the same value
  • Full house: Three cards of the same value, plus a pair
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence
  • Straight: Five cards in sequence, but of different suits
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same value
  • Two pair: Two pairs
  • One pair: One pair
  • High card: A hand with no value

We have a full Poker Hands Guide to all the these hands and the best Poker Strategy Guide on how to play them.

The main varieties of online poker with real money are as follows:

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of online poker, and most commonly found at all casino sites.

Omaha

Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em except that players are dealt four hole cards instead of two, and must make the best poker hand using exactly two of their four hole cards, and exactly three of the five community cards. Betting works in the same way as Texas Hold’em.

Draw Poker

Draw poker is a more traditional poker game where community cards are not used. Instead, each player is dealt a whole poker hand of five cards.

Stud poker

There are many forms of stud poker, but the most common form is seven-card stud poker.

See all the rules to all the varieties of poker in our dedicated Poker Rules Guide.

Each variety of poker has its own rules and you will come to know terms such as the deal, the flop, the turn, the river and many more.

Real money poker

Is it possible to win real money playing poker online?

Indeed it is! Plenty of players have become millionaires by playing poker online, and many have moved on to professional poker tours such as the World Series of Poker and become even richer.

Poker is a game of skill with an element of luck. If you want to win money that you really need to know what you are doing, else skilful players will gobble you up. It’s always best to start your online poker real money career by playing at tables with very low blinds, even as low as $0.01/$0.02. Once you are comfortable you can move up to richer tables.

Is it safe to play for real money?

At a properly licensed online poker room, your money is perfectly safe, however, it is only safe if you play responsibly. Never play online poker after a couple of drinks or when you are tired, and never ’tilt’ I.e make rash decisions based on emotion, rather than logic.

NOTE: RTP is no relevant for online poker as players play against each other, not the casino. The RTP also depends upon how skilful a player is. Table limits are not relevant either, as a player is only limited by the number of chips he has.

Different online poker real money playing options

There are other ways of playing online poker than buying chips and using them to play.

Tournaments

A poker tournament is where a player pays a set fee to enter and receives a specified number of chips. All players receive exactly the same number of chips, so everyone starts with on level playing field.

Tournaments usually take place over several tables, and players drop out once they have lost all their chips. If a table runs short of players then players from other tables are called to make up the numbers.

Play continues until only one player remains having won all the other players’ chips. They win a set fee, and there are usually prizes too for other players who remained in the tournament the longest.

Sit and Go

A ‘Sit and Go’ works the same way as a tournament, in that you pay a fee to receive a specific amount of chips. You then sit at the table and wait for other players to join you. When the specified number of people have entered, then commences.

Conclusion

If you are a wizard with the cards and can doing complicated sums in your head at speed, then a successful online poker career awaits you! Even if you just enjoy the game and the thrill of winning real cash, then you should get yourself down to an online poker real money table pronto!

Why not take a look at some of the online poker sites that we have reviewed and recommended for you? You might soon be going ‘all in’ with the best of them, and swimming in virtual poker chips!

Better change
Anita Heffernan Whichbingo Author

Author And Managing Editor

Anita Heffernan

Anita is well-known and respected within the online bingo industry, she loves all things bingo and slots and has been involved with online bingo and gambling sites since the late 1990’s. She has been the full-time writer and Editor of WhichBingo for much of that time and is respected by operators and players alike for her no-nonsense judgments and opinions. Anita has seen the highs and lows of the industry she loves, has seen it grow and develop and contract again into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.