Upoker Net is one of many play money poker mobile apps that exploded onto the scene since 2017. It’s similar to PPPoker app and PokerBROS clubs app since it’s based on an agent-club-union model. Circumventing legal poker restrictions via play money chips purchases instead of real money poker games. That’s why you can easily find it on Google Play and the App Store. It’s a relatively new app (launched in 2019), which has kept running - for now. However, we don’t foresee it lasting much longer and competing with the major online poker rooms today.
The number of UPoker Clubs available to join are quickly increasing - especially in the US, and many clubs and unions operate in America. But without proper regulation, there’s no stopping such apps from scamming players and taking their money. We don’t want that to happen to you - so here’s the full disclosure in this review.
UPoker Blacklisted Poker App
UPoker is not safe and we strongly advise against playing here.
Not licensed by any recognized legal body.
Ponzi scheme layout with no rules nor player safety
High rake and fees charged to players
Scams and cheating allegations denied or ignored
Withdrawals are not guaranteed.
No control of cheaters and hackers.
Third-party info sharing via external services, like payments.
Players use HUDs for unfair advantage
About the UPoker App
UPoker is owned by The Optimizer Investments Limited and developed by Calian Tech Marketing PLT. You can find a UPoker download designed for Android via Google Play or for iOS in the App Store. There’s no UPoker for PC per se, unless you use an emulator to shift to UPoker Windows. This poker app was released in 2019, and it offers a decent interface. Easy to use, smooth design and features and simple multitabling up to four tables with portrait mode.
Most Clubs have over a 100 tables available at micro and higher stakes. And there’s steady traffic 24/7 because the app is available across time zones. Including Europe, the US and Australia. Games are similar to PokerStars Home Games and you can buy-into a UPoker MTT, cash game or SNG in different formats:
All using play chips - the virtual currency you’d also use to purchase features and extras in-app. Some clubs may also offer rakeback deals, but there is no actual guarantee for this. You need to rely on the good faith of the club and agents you’re dealing with. Also rakeback may be whittled down by clubs charging tax percentages, withdrawal fees, and similar impositions.
How UPoker Works
Here’s the rub - this app is actually a ponzi scheme with multiple levels between players and games. Instead of dealing with the platform directly, players must negotiate chip values, games buy-ins, Upoker rake, fees, and withdrawals with agents, club admins and unions independently. So the ones running the show actually make the rules. They have no legal responsibility and are not obliged to offer support for app issues, payment difficulties, cheating / collusion and hacking.
Even more, the app is free, but there are loads of in-app purchases. There is a UPoker HUD you can purchase for stats display to customize software. This in itself offers an unfair advantage to some players over others. Chip packages have no fixed value, and can’t legally redeem them for cash. Basically UPoker provides chips to private clubs, and their agents decide how to distribute these chips among members / players. As well as payments and withdrawals which happen outside the app. Thus creating a backdoor opportunity for fraud and money laundering, leaving players vulnerable to losses.
There have been such accusations against this app which players speak out about but are mostly ignored because they have no protection. Unlike Global Poker, this play money app is not regulated.
- Real Money Loopholes
Essentially, there are no real money games. Instead, the app uses play chips which you can purchase in private clubs. This is how they can bypass the many anti-gambling laws and have UPoker online in “gray” regions like the US, Australia and other restricted jurisdictions. But we need to clear this up.
These private clubs are shady because all interactions are between the club owner and member - shifting risk onto players. This includes the game formats, schedule, play money chips value and transactions. This makes it hard to track and report and support will never intervene. Although the app claims to be a virtual/ play money platform, it’s known to actually have real money gaming. Because players buy chips from club owners or agents and ’sell’ back their winnings.
- Agents Profit Off Players
There are Union varieties, which are essentially congregations of clubs that share player traffic. Whoever is running the union takes some of the UPoker rake - up to 10% at times. This covers their costs and efforts but also makes a hefty profit. Meanwhile, agents recruit players in exchange for a percentage of the player’s rake. If you sign up, your agent gets credit and you’ll be considered a member of their downline.
- Rake and fees exploitation
The rake can be 3-5% depending on the game, but club owners may decide on higher rake up to 10-12%. And even charge players additional fees - which are uncapped. The fact that it’s play money obscures how much money players actually lose along the multiple levels of this platform.
U Poker Withdrawal Options
You’ll need to contact your agent to withdraw winnings to either Bitcoinor an e-wallet like Skrill, outside of the software. Since this is a play money app, withdrawing to real money is illegal. You may lose your account and funds if caught. In fact, all players communicate transactions via third parties. Again there’s no fixed procedure, so lots of agents slow-pay players - or just don’t pay out. We’ve seen complaints of four and five-figure sums that can’t be covered because nobody oversees these transactions.
- No Financial Liability
If the app shuts down, every player’s money disappears and you can’t cash out. There’s no proper licensing nor regulations, therefore no security for your money. The terms state that The Optimizer Investments Limited, who own and offer a U Poker download, is not held liable for any loss of funds. Since they only offer the social gaming platform, they can turn a blind eye to external transactions.
Legit, Real Cash Poker Checklist
The main purpose of PokerListings is to serve as a complete guide for poker players. So it’s in our best interest to only point you towards safe, reputable online poker sites. Our team has decades of online poker experience to be able to spot the bad eggs. So when we’re recommending a poker room, you can rest assured that it has the following:
- License/s: Official licensing seals, made public as proof
- Audits: External auditors, like eCOGRA, testing them
- Security: Up-to-date security measures and protection policies
- Value Offers: Some of the best poker bonuses and promotions
- Reliable Payments: Fast, trusted deposit / withdrawal methods
- Segregated Accounts: Player funds kept separate for payout reasons
- Support: Responsive, helpful customer support team on-hand
Is UPoker rigged?Upoker Net has a Certificate of Integrity from Gaming Labs meaning their RNG is random and games should be fair and safe. However, the system leaves doors open to players being scammed by agents and admins, money laundering, and high rake. Withdrawals are illegal based on their concept and actively discouraged.
Is UPoker legit or a scam?Upoker gets around poker legality by having clubs offering games for play chips instead of real cash. So players from the USA and other restricted regions can play. However, it isn’t properly licensed and/or regulated. You have to buy chips through agents who have no liability and control clubs any way they want. They decide the chip distribution, games, transaction fees and additional ‘charges’/ profits. Thus you have no player protection and have no leg to stand on if/when funds go missing or things go wrong.
Is UPoker real money?It’s more of a social poker platform which offers play money games, so players can’t legally play poker for real cash. Instead, you agree on how to deposit funds with an agent or club owner and follow instructions. You’ll also have to negotiate withdrawal with the club owner or agent outside the platform, which is shady. And opens up risks of losing profits to untrustworthy agents since UPoker doesn’t regulate or monitor this activity.
Who owns UPoker?The Optimizer Investments Limited own it, while it’s developed by Calian Tech Marketing PLT. However, the platform operates with hundreds of private clubs, each owned by third-party agents.
Which is better - UPoker vs PPPoker?If you download UPoker, it has visibly better software and features since it’s more recent (2019) while PPPoker has more clubs and players. Unfortunately, we cannot in good faith recommend either of these poker apps. Instead, check our legal poker apps for real money or free.