Understanding Legal Poker Options For UK Players
Playing online poker has become one of the most popular gambling activities in the UK. For many online poker players, finding a reliable and secure poker site that is legally licensed to offer their services to UK players is top priority. An online poker site with large bonuses is really of no use if you are not assured that you can get your money when you win. The best poker websites offer multiple secure banking methods with high levels of encryption and strict separation of all funds and winnings by players. When deciding the best online poker sites to play, there are some factors that you need to take into account, namely:
- The software used by the poker site
- The reputation of people who play on the site
- Whether the site is verified to hold legitimate licensing
- The overall reputation of the poker site and its performance
Is Playing Online Poker Legal in the UK?
Online poker sites in the U.K. are legal and are licensed and regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission. The body makes sure that the players are treated fairly at all times and requires the online sites to maintain excellent reputations and abide to all UK gambling laws. The website will usually display this information in the ‘About Us’ section.
One of the best ways to know whether an online poker site is fair is simply to check its credentials and online reviews issued by industry professionals and other players. The very first element in our review process is to verify that a site is licensed, subject to regulatory oversight, and whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission. This ensures that the brand is monitored for fair game play and held to strict standards regarding the quality of their security profile, software, performance, banking functions and customer support.
Serious poker sites take the security of their client’s accounts very seriously. Some clients playing legal UK online poker store significant amounts of money in their poker accounts and any security lapse could jeopardize their money. It’s generally advisable to pay your deposit using e-wallets such as PayPal or Skrill because of the extra protection they provide, but many domestic banking options are just as secure. You will of course have to give out your name and ID details to help you withdraw your funds. Avoid doing any transactions over public Wi-Fi. There have been numerous cases in the past of loss of private information to hackers on such networks.
The online poker sites listed in this guide have been vetted by industry professionals and found to comply with all the requirements laid out by the UK Gambling Commission for licensing and regulatory standards.
Top Rated UK Online Poker Rooms
How Do I Access Legally Licensed UK Online Poker Sites that are Safe?
There are several security measures that top poker sites in the U.K. and elsewhere use to ensure their clients are protected from hackers. One of these is SSL encryption for all data transfer between the site’s servers and those of the client. Legal U.K. online poker sites also include 1024-bit CA and RSA certificate keys. Some sites go even further and employ complex technology such as thermal noise to design their random number generation. Questionable card randomization is one of the popular dirty tricks that are used by the dishonest poker sites. By limiting your online poker gaming to sites that are approved by industry professionals eliminates this risk to players.
Legal online poker sites accepting UK players also work hard to eliminate collusion. This is the type of cheating that is performed outside the poker website whereby players exchange information about their playing cards in a bid to gain an advantage over other players. The top poker sites allow the players to report any such suspected incidences fast.
Can Online Poker Software Be Rigged?
It’s generally difficult for software programmers to intentionally design poker software that favors the house or cheats the players because the cards pulled out of the deck are random. The kind of decision tree that would be required to cover all the possibilities would be so large that the fastest PC processors might take a few months to think it through. While it’s true that the programs could be designed like online chess games that mainly rely on heuristics, the task is simply beyond the capabilities of most software companies and would take many months or even years to complete. The resulting time and financial investment would simply make no business sense for the average poker site. In many cases, what appears like rigged software might really be only a case of bad run for the player – something that all players, including very experienced ones, face from time to time. Also, once exposed, a poker site using questionable software practices would be put out of business quickly.
There have been a few cases though where the software certainly looked rigged. A popular case was the infamous ‘super accounts’ that allowed certain players to see every other player’s hole cards when play was in progress. The results were that it played in an unusual fashion and won huge amounts of money. Relying on vetted and approved poker sites such as the ones featured in this guide eliminates this type of risk as well.
What Types of Games Will I Find at Legal UK Online Poker Sites?
Some of the top games in the best online poker sites in the U.K are:
- Texas Hold ‘em
- 7 Card Stud
- Omaha High
- 7 Card Stud 8
- Omaha 8
- Deuces Wild Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
- Caribbean Poker
Some legal online poker sites for UK players offer huge bonuses to players – sometimes as much as 200% or more. Strictly speaking, you should not blindly go for the largest bonus without checking out the other requirements of the site since there could be a catch somewhere. All other things being held equal, a large bonus is undoubtedly very welcome, the larger the better. Our reviews include a thorough examination of the legitimacy of each bonus offer and promotion offered by legal UK poker sites, and we only recommend those brands which offer fair and reasonable wagering requirements and terms.
Of the few sites we recommend to players, some of them offer many gambling options to their players including legal UK online casino action, UK sports betting, UK bingo and much more. These are huge companies that are traded on the stock exchange with extremely deep pockets, so you should find comfort in the fact that you will be playing at the most reputable legal UK betting sites.