Hannah Hendricks
Last updated: April 14, 2023

Where Does Poker Come From?

Playing poker is something that the majority of us have tried and definitely have seen at one point in our lives. Whether it has been in a film such as Maverick starring Mel Gibson or perhaps the legendary The Card Counter, most have surely encountered Poker at some point. Poker is thought to have been invented sometime in the early days of the 19th century in the USA. The game grew popular among settlers and townspeople around the country. Since its early beginnings, poker has grown to become one of the most recognisable pastimes in the world.

The name Poker likely originated from the Irish Poca or French Poque, Germany is another source with its Pochen. Still today nobody knows exactly the beginnings or who is to credit for the game itself. The earliest known written source mentioning Poker is Hildreth, J. (1836) “Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains”, Wiley & Long, New York.

Why Should I Play Online Poker?

Online Poker offers several beneficial aspects compared to the land-based ditto other than the avoidance of getting dressed up. Playing at home or on mobile units is convenient and there is more variety at the online poker sites as well. Furthermore, instead of playing against people in your local area, online gives you the chance to take on players from across the globe. This makes it easier to find players with similar bankrolls and who want to play at a similar speed as you do. When playing online, the option of enjoying free games exists on all respectable poker sites which gives you a chance to hone your skills. It is common knowledge that even the best players in the world practice to make it perfect.

Online poker on gambling sites with a recognised license from a proper jurisdiction is very secure. The fairness is upheld by the operators but there is more to it when playing online. Bonuses can be received at online poker sites which one does not find when playing in-person poker. In other words, the value of playing online now increases a lot, yes poker sites do charge a fee for hosting poker tournaments. Yet, what is often overlooked is the fact that the travel costs, entry fees, and physical equipment are avoided which then cancels out that small fee by a mile.

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How The Best Online Poker Sites Work

When playing poker online the registration process should be as simple as spreading butter on a sandwich. Only the best online poker sites with a quick way to the tables after registering an account and offering a convenient deposit method will be listed on our site. An attractive welcome bonus is imperative for luring new players to the tables.

Any player in the UK should be able to find good action and a wide selection of poker tournaments that suits all budgets. In the online poker world players of all sorts exists, from beginners to high-rollers to casual poker player. All these players create a large volume of traffic which is very important when choosing the right poker site. The best online poker sites only offer fair and secure games on a site that cannot crumble under the sheer volume of traffic. 

Poker as a game comes in many forms, especially online which makes the choice somewhat difficult sometimes. In general, there are certain leading categories that dominate the online poker table universe. These are in no specific order related to the traffic volume of popularity:

  • SNG - Sit & Go
  • Satellites
  • MTT - Multi-Table Tournaments
  • Freerolls
  • Multi-Flight
  • Bounty Tournaments - Progressive Knockout

At poker sites of quality, you should be able to find a myriad of options to play exactly what you prefer. Freeze-out tournaments, re-entry tournaments, rebuy tournaments, and multi-buy tournaments should be available. Really serious gambling sites can offer Hyper-Turbo games, Deep Stack, and Turbo games. All of this variety should appeal to most players in the UK.

After finding a suitable poker game and perhaps on a winning streak the payouts are extremely important. You should enjoy the perk of reliable, quick withdrawal direct into your bank account or E-Wallet. To find out how quickly there should be qualified, professional customer support to ask. In other words, the poker site should offer an all-around experience from the registration to the withdrawal and everything in between.

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The Popularity Of Online Poker In the UK

The advent of online poker sites has helped the game soar in popularity in the UK over the past few years as the latest gambling data from the UK Gambling Commission shows. Of course, you can now play in a broad range of poker tournaments at any time of day or night, without having to leave your house.

Online poker is that game where you and your skills make such a difference compared to slots. It is possible and somewhat inevitable you learn as you go and hone your skillset. The UK poker enthusiasts refine their strategies, study books, and watch poker games on Youtube just to mention a few tricks up their sleeves. Anything that could elevate the skill before they pit their wits against the competition.

Online Poker Types In The UK

The wide variety of games has also helped boost poker’s popularity in the UK. Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud and Five-Card Draw are among the most popular variants within a UK poker room, but players can also enjoy games like Caribbean Stud, Three-Card Poker, and even Pai Gow Poker at the best Pai Gow Poker sites.

How We Rank The Best UK Online Poker Sites

There are several criteria that define a great poker site and there are some bullet points that are considered when assessing said poker haven. What is important at all times can be explained in a short list:

  • Reputation in general
  • Smooth and easy registration
  • Poker game variety
  • Site traffic and liquidity
  • The overall quality of the website
  • User experience
  • Range of games in different skill levels
  • A great mobile app is important
  • Wide range of buy-ins
  • Bonuses and other promotions
  • Security
  • Customer support

An all-around experience for the player is the key to a successful pool of daily users and only the best poker sites excel in the above list. All are fully licensed and have no issues with paying out winnings, being regulated as they are the security is not a problem in any way. Every single gambling site should offer a quick registration process together with convenient deposit and withdrawal methods.

Regarding the choice of poker sites, there are many since a myriad of online casinos offer poker games as a part of their portfolio. All are not good and all do not suit every single player. To make the best choice, the poker site should have certain criteria in place. An array of games to suit all bankrolls and you should be able to play the games you enjoy. Buy-in rates that you feel comfortable with, against players on the same level as you, at any time of the day. A comprehensive game variety is imperative, also a broad spectrum of buy-in range, guaranteed prize pools, strong liquidity, and a large field.

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Online Poker Or Live Poker

With Live Poker we mean the version where you actually have to dress up and sit at the table with strangers, drink a drink, and hear the noise around you. The live version is somewhat different from the online ditto, most noticeable is the slower pace. You sit at one table at a time, online Poker gives you the chance to sit at several at once. At the table, the gameplay tends to be about half as fast as online.

You might see approximately 30 hands per hour at a normal live table. Online poker often sees 60-100 hands per hour, this might become a nuisance for many who are used to the faster pace of playing online. At the table, you can try to read your opponents to figure out their next moves but online this has been eliminated. There are certain tools online where tracking software might help gain an advantage at the tables.

Poker Tournaments Online

No other test exists for a poker player than the tournaments where you test your skillset against other players from around the world. The variety of tournaments is wide in a range of formats. A poker site will host the games and charge a small fee with the goal of bringing together players who will battle it out for the ultimate glory. The tournaments range from free-to-enter events where modest prizes are handed out to WSOP online poker festival, a measly prize pool worth $28 million a few years back.

Online poker tournaments come in variations where you can choose from freezeout tournaments that only permit a single entry or rebuy tournaments that allow you back in the action. Deepstacks for the players who enjoy a steady pace and then the hyper-turbo games for the very fastest of minds. Why not play progressive KO tournaments or perhaps bounty hunter games? Satellite events and the major series along with shootout tournaments. Whatever you choose, all these forms of poker will be explained in detail before you start and are fair, secure, and safe, in every single game.

Poker Software

The best online poker sites are using only the best software developers whereas Playtech and Games Global are two giants which power iPoker and MPN. Other excellent operators such as 888 Holdings and Entain equally produce top-notch poker software. The standards of the UK online poker market are overall of the highest quality and do stand the test of time and traffic.

As before mentioned, a smart player raiding the tables online can use poker software specifically designed for individual players. HUD poker tracking software is a tool for a seasoned poker player. Other useful tools are Poker Tracker, Hold´em Manager, ICMIZER, GTO Trainer, and PIO Silver. All these secret weapons give you the chance to analyze and therefor learn which then leads to honing your skills. In a skill-based game with opponents of humankind, the opportunity of using an external wingman for gaining leverage over other players is priceless.

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Poker On Your Mobile Unit

The sign of the times is that people today do a majority of their daily chores online and especially on our mobile units. Today even grandmas and grandpas own a smart mobile and/or a tablet. The technology is so advanced that there is almost no difference between them or compared to a stationary computer or laptop. Sure, the screens are smaller but the brains perform in the same way.

Poker can then be played in the palm of your hand, entering tournaments when sitting on the bus or on holiday up in the mountains. The leading poker providers in the UK will invest vast amounts of cash to offer a high-quality poker app that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. If they don´t offer a specific app, then you should be able to play straight in the web browser. Every single online casino will make sure the mobile version of poker is mobile-optimised.

Online poker mobile apps are a smart and easy way to entice people to play wherever they are. However, make sure the internet connection is stable enough to avoid any lagging in the middle of an online poker tournament. Some poker apps come with exclusive promotions but do remember that tools like HUD on a mobile device might be somewhat tricky, multi-tabling could also present some difficulties due to the size of the smaller screens.

What Is Poker Rake

On all gambling sites that offer online poker games, there will be some form of rake, that is the fee the website hosting the poker room takes as a commission. One could call it “rent” as well and this is how poker sites make money and pay for the costs of their own operations. The rake is typically a small percentage of the tournament fee, and it could in some cases be as high as 20%, though this is on certain special events. In general, the fee is usually between 2.5% to 10% of the pot in each hand played. The phenomenon is referred to as pot rake and can be collected via several different methods.

In some cases, the poker site may take a time collection which is instead of a percentage in each hand, a set fee from each player at a specific time, such as every 60 minutes. Another way is the dead drop where every player pays the same fee instead of just the winning players. Other ways are fixed fees, tournament fees, and no rake tournaments. The higher the rake, the lower your expected value, which can change your strategy. For example, many players feel compelled to play a tighter style when the rake is higher.

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The Security Aspect Of Poker Rooms

The online activity requires layers of security when it comes to online poker and the reason is the flow of money. If thousands of players are at it at the same time, the amounts generated could be humongous. Therefore, it´s imperative, to say the least, that the online poker site is using only the very best security.

The best poker sites are fully protected by the latest and military-style aggressive TLS. Transport Layer Security encryption software that keeps you personal details and bankrolls secure at all times. Moreover, the poker sites have security experts who fend off hackers and scammers, how often is anybody´s guess. To stay even safer, use a very strong password for your login and always keep that secret.

Poker Sites Payment Methods

Every good poker site should have a broad selection of deposit and withdrawal methods. They should always accept debit card payments, most debit cards in the UK are powered by Visa, but some banks use MasterCard. To be clear here: credit card payments are prohibited at UK gambling sites.

You should be able to use an e-wallet such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, or ecoPayz, or you could alternatively send a direct bank transfer to poker sites. Some accept PaySafeCard prepaid vouchers, where you buy a card in a shop and enter a code to fund your account. Some also accept pay by phone, where you can top up your account balance and add the cost to your next phone bill via providers like Boku. ApplePay, Google Pay, Trustly, Wise, and Revolut are some of the other options accepted.

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How To Play Poker Step By Step

The following steps can be applied to most poker variants, but make sure you always check for any variant-specific rules before you start playing.


Place your bets: Before the cards are dealt, players will place their bets. These can include ante bets, where all players put in an equal amount of money, and blinds, where the player immediately to the left of the dealer places a small bet and the player to the left of them places a larger one.

Players then receive two hole (face down) cards each. At this point, players must decide if they’re going to check (decline the opportunity to start the betting), bet/call any bets (match another player's bet), or fold if they have a weak hand. Each time a player decides to check, the opportunity to bet or check is passed on clockwise to the next player. Once a player makes the first bet, all remaining players must call, to match that amount.


The community cards: Once betting has concluded, the flop (three face up cards) is dealt. Players can now get a better idea of their hand strength, and another round of betting takes place


Time for the turn: Next, the turn (a fourth face up card) is dealt and can be used by players to build a better hand. Bear in mind that a hand consists of only five cards. This then is followed by another round of betting.


Hands Are Finalised: The river (a fifth face up card) is dealt, and players who are still in can see the actual strength of their hand. Before the showdown, it’s time for one final round of betting


The Winner is revealed: Now it’s time for the showdown when players reveal their poker hands to see who has won the pot. A kicker, the highest card, may be used to break ties.


  • Fun & Fast
  • Exciting Tournaments
  • Large Player Pools


  • Requires Certain Skills & Strategy
  • Experience Brings Leverage
  • Might Require Social Interaction At Times

Online Poker FAQs

    Where Can You Play Poker Games Online in the UK?

    You can choose from a wide range of poker sites that target UK players. However, it is important that you stick to the safe, licensed, trustworthy sites that run poker tournaments. 

    How Do I Know If Poker Sites Are Secure?

    Where Can I Play Poker Live In The United Kingdom?

    Do I Have To Be In The UK To Play On a UK Poker Website?

    What Deposit Methods Do The Best UK Poker Sites Accept?

    Can I Play On Top UK Poker Sites From My Phone?

    Do I Have To Pay Taxes On My UK Online Poker Winnings?

    What Makes UK Poker Sites Safe & Trustworthy?

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