All top UK online poker sites are officially licensed and regulated, monitored by regulatory bodies for fair play and financial security and offer special advantages for UK players. As the largest online poker guide we've negotiated the highest UK online poker bonuses for you as a UK or European player. Simple click a "Play Now" button below to take advantage. Find the top UK poker sites with tax-free winnings for all UK & European players below! If you're looking for free online poker sites, check our Best Free Poker Sites page. The UK is one of the best places in the world to play online poker. With a fully licensed and regulated market poker players have access to a wide variety of poker sites, myriad deposit & withdrawal options, a ton of different games and stakes and some of the most lucrative promotions.
The biggest and most popular UK poker sites are the poker branches of well-established UK gambling companies. William Hill Poker, Ladbrokes Poker and 888Poker are just three examples of UK sportsbook and casinos. In some cases, companies which have been in business for over 100 years. As an added benefit UK poker sites also often offer promotions directly aimed at the UK market such as satellites to live tournaments around the country (the Irish Poker Open and the GUKPT, for example).
Despite the title, "UK poker sites" are not exclusive to British citizens. UK poker sites don't accept players from the USA but the setting is still quite international and a large part of the player base comes from European countries and the rest of the world. The bulk of players, though, come from the United Kingdom and it's the Brits that frequent the Texas Holdem and Omaha tables the most.
Best UK Poker Sites
The biggest of the UK poker sites - 888 Poker UK, William Hill Poker, Betfair Poker, etc. - are predominately the poker channels of huge sportsbetting and casino companies which are extremely profitable and secure. Party Poker, once the largest poker site in the world and now the third-largest, is also a casino provider and a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange. Poker Stars is privately owned and based on the Isle of Man off the UK coast and is also subject to strict safeguards regarding player deposits and gaming regulations. By far the UK online poker industry is the most advanced and progressive when it comes to official government licensing and regulation.
How Can I Play on UK Poker Sites?
With all of that official government licensing and regulation comes another benefit – the ease of moving money on and off the site. As it’s an officially licensed, regulated and taxed business, all of the normal channels for financial transactions are available to consumers as they would be for any other business. Making a deposit or withdrawal to or from a UK poker site is more often than not a simple five-minute transaction with a standard credit card like Visa or Mastercard or even a bank debit card. Third-party processors like Neteller and Skrill, prepaid gift cards, wire transfers … the ways to get money online with a UK poker site are plentiful and secure. More on online poker deposit options:
UK Poker Rooms & Tax
Plenty of poker pros from around Europe have taken advantage of this fact and relocated to the UK to play full-time. The spin-off of this is two-fold:
- Better round-the-clock action at virtually every UK poker site and
- A consistently fed live poker scene, particularly in poker hot spots like London.
There are a few exceptions to tax-exempt status, and tax law can get somewhat murky whenever there is a substantial amount of money moved across borders, but for the most part European Union players can play and withdraw tax-free. Interestingly UK players also get some of the best tax breaks when they play prestigious live tournaments like the World Series of Poker. Unlike Americans they pay no tax on their winnings. There have been rumblings for years that professional poker players would be taxed but for now online poker remains blissfully tax free in the UK. It is best of course to check specifically with the poker site and your local jurisdiction to see if any exceptions apply.
UK Poker Sites, UK Currency
It’s a minor point but it’s just more convenient to play and win money in your own currency. When you play on a licensed UK poker sites you don't have to deal with fluctuating exchange rates and you’re not paying points on every transaction to change money back and forth. On UK poker sites the predominant currency is naturally the Pound Sterling rather than the US dollar. The Euro is of course standard as well and if you're from another part of Europe you most likely will be able to play in your own home currency if you choose.
Can I Win Live Poker Packages on UK Poker Sites?
For sure. And that's actually one of the best parts about playing online poker in the UK. All of the major UK poker sites regularly feature low buy-in satellites with packages to play in lots of local live poker tournaments or in nearby sunny destinations.
The Battle of Malta, the Estrellas Poker Tour, the GUKPT, 888Live and 888Live Local, Unibet Live Tour, Dusk Till Dawn Deepstacks, the EPT, the WSOP, the WSOPE ... those are just a few of the amazing tournament series you can win packages to playing online poker in the UK.
The live and online poker scenes in the UK are getting more and more intricately tied these days. 888poker has a branded live poker room at the Aspers Casino in East London, PokerStars Liveregularly packs the Hippodrome and partypoker has big-time events at Dusk Till Dawn poker room in Nottingham, just to name a few examples.
Qualifying online is truly one of the best ways to circumvent the cost of a big buy-in live tournament. For some tours you’ll be restricted to qualifying on a particular online poker site but there are other live tournament tours that offer satellites on a wide variety of sites.
There are a few different ways you can go about it as many sites run big MTTs where they award a set number of seats. There are also what’s called “Steps” programs where you can start at the bottom, sometimes for as little as a pound or less, and work your way up to a live tournament seat by winning a series of Sit & Go’s. There are very few risks in playing online satellites as you can start as low as you want.
Can I Play Mobile Poker in the UK?
Absolutely. All the top UK poker sites - PokerStars, 888poker, Partypoker, and so on - have first-rate mobile real-money poker apps for both iOS and Android. You can play for your iPhone or iPad or Android phone/tablet anywhere in the UK you can get a signal or wi-fi and barely lose a bit of the experience from the full desktop software.
Depositing and withdrawing via mobile is also very safe and secure. Mobile poker is still best for playing 1 or 2 tables at maximum but with Zoom Poker, Snap Poker and Fast Forward Poker now available you can still get all of the action you need. All UK poker site mobile apps are free to download and you can choose between real money and play money poker. Read more:
UK Poker Sites FAQ
Are UK Poker Sites Legal?Absolutely. In fact the biggest thing going for UK-based poker sites these days is definitely the level of licensing and regulation players can expect.
Sportsbooks and casino gambling are veritable institutions in the UK and the industry has been government approved and regulated for a very long time.
That means your deposits and withdrawals are protected, games are heavily scrutinized for security and fairness and there's a proper process for investigating any claims of fraudulent business practices.
Online there’s less of a history, but most UK poker sites have still been in operation for over a decade and have to run through a full range of tests and approvals before even earning a license to operate. In 2014 the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) enforced a new set of policies for online gambling that made the application and approval process even more vigorous and further safeguarding players.
Game play and gambling control issues, such as underage players and problem gambling, are also taken very seriously and enforced.
Do I Have to Pay Tax on UK Online Poker Winnings?For those that live in the UK there’s another major benefit to playing on a UK-licensed poker site – tax-free winnings. Thanks to an EU rule against double taxation passed in 2001, EU citizens who make a profit at a European casino do not have to pay taxes on their winnings.
If you're a professional poker player in UK - ie playing poker is your job - you don't have to declare and pay any taxes either as it's debatable under UK law whether "poker player" is equal to a full time job.
In the UK it’s the operators that carry the responsibility to pay taxes. Both domestic and foreign online poker sites are taxed at 25% but that doesn’t affect the individual player.
Where is the Best UK Online Poker Action?Given the shifting climate for online poker in the USA and the truly global nature of the game these days, UK poker sites are actually where most of the best online poker action can be found these days.
A large portion of tournament schedules that used to cater to American players and the North American time zone have now been shifted to suit European time zones and the biggest and best prize pools can be found on all of the high-traffic UK and European poker sites.
Most of the action at both the high- and low-stakes cash tables also now happens at prime European hours, or roughly 4 pm-midnight GMT.
Tournament starts times match up extremely well for European players on the weekends and fewer very late nights or early mornings are needed if you run deep.
PokerStars is still by far and away the biggest poker site online but William Hill, PartyPoker, Betfair and bwin Poker are much closer in traffic than they used to be and gaining steadily.
How Will Brexit Affect UK Poker Sites?It’s tough to say. So far there haven’t been any drastic changes although a few operators are considering leaving the market to operate in the EU. Some of the biggest online poker sites in the world are based on the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, which are both special territories so standard EU procedures don't apply.
It seems likely that the UK will continue to be a hotbed for poker activity although some of the operators may move their bases of operation away from the country. There’s a very good chance all UK players would still be able to play on sites that aren’t located in the country since that’s how it works now.