What Are the best casinos to play Live Poker in the UK?
There are hundreds of online casinos operating in the UK, the best of which offer various types of virtual Poker, Video Poker, and Live Poker.
The below are a number of online casinos that come highly recommended for their choice of games, promotions, and services.
All of the below online casino operators are licensed within the UK with excellent reputations to back them up:
Is playing Poker online legal in the UK?
Poker is certainly legal in the UK, and it is one of the staples of land-based casinos all over the country.
There are hundreds of online casinos offering online poker, however, we recommend our visitors to always choose to play with an online gambling platform that has sought to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission.
This is the government body that regulates online gambling and ensures players have a safe and fair environment to play in.
Is Poker Online rigged?
If you choose to play with a licensed online casino, you don’t need to worry about their poker games being rigged.
Such operators would have partnered with equally licensed game developers, whose RNG computers are checked frequently both by the provider and an independent auditor.
Furthermore, if you opt to play at one of the recommended casinos on CasinoHawks, you’d be joining a platform that has been operating internationally for many years and with great success too.
Moreover, if you play live poker by a reputable studio, like Evolution Gaming and Playtech, you can rest assured that no rigging will take place during the game, as these are highly reputable companies with licenses from various gambling jurisdictions.
Why play Poker at an online casino?
Playing Poker online provides you with all the thrills you might otherwise experience when playing Poker in person but without the additional hassle of having to physically go anywhere.
All you need is a fully-functioning device, a good internet connection, and to log in at any of the online casinos in our catalogue that offer Live Poker, and you’re ready to play for wins!
We also have to point out, that in most cases when you play online games like RNG Poker and Live Poker, you are playing against the house. Nevertheless, there are still some advantages to playing online that are worth exploring.
Live Dealer Poker VS Online Poker Rooms
|Live Dealer Poker||Online Poker Rooms|
|Play from your home||Yes||No|
*Did you know?
Most online casinos run on a 24/7 basis, so you can visit them and try out your favourite Poker games or other types of table games.
Live Dealer Poker – Online experience of a classic game
As mentioned earlier, Online Poker offers you the fantastic experience of playing Poker in person without compromising your comfort.
Virtual interfaces make it possible for you to place bets and chat with the dealer and players during a Poker game at several online casino platforms, or by using apps, which we will speak more about later.
Difference between Live Dealer Poker and Virtual Poker
The best casinos offer a selection of virtual poker and Live Poker. Although in essence, the games are the same, there are some major differences between these two, which determine player preference.
In virtual poker, players are faced by a computer program, which generates random card draws.
This RNG version is a one-player game, which is available at any time of the day or night. Players can also choose between the play for fun version or go straight for the real money game.
Live Poker is a more authentic version of the game, which is streamed live from a provider’s studio. The game involves a real flesh and blood croupier who sits at a proper Poker table and deals real cards in real-time.
The players can place bets digitally through the on-screen interface, and can even interact with the dealer.
Although other players might be sitting in on the game with you, your adversary will always be the dealer.
This type of poker is favoured, in particular, by players who prefer the authentic casino experience and these days, there are various variants of Live Poker to choose from.
Live Poker Tables
Live Poker is a more recent phenomenon, however, the selection is by no means poor.
Each poker variant they’ve come up with has its own set of particular rules with exciting twists to the game that keeps players hooked for hours.
We’ve visited LeoVegas Casino, a platform with a well-established Live Casino, and focused our attention on the Live Poker selection.
Poker players are likely to come across various online Poker games, one of them being Online Poker Rooms.
Online poker rooms require each participating player to download the software to gain access to a special space where they can play against other players.
Virtual Online Poker Games
Virtual Online Poker Games don’t require any kind of download and are launched in instant-play mode, just like Blackjack and Baccarat games.
Unlike Poker Rooms, however, players can only play either against the computer or the dealer.
How to Play Poker?
Starting a game of Live Poker isn’t difficult at all. The following steps should be all you need to get you started:
- Find the best online casinos by browsing through our casino catalogue or reading our online casino reviews which cover some of the best ones on the UK market.
- Once you’ve picked a suitable online casino for you, visit the site and register a player account.
- Some online casinos offer a casino bonus that covers Live casino games, so make sure you’re on the lookout for those once you sign up.
- Browse the Live casino lobby and pick the Poker game of your choice.
- Once you’ve clicked on your choice, wait for the dealer to place your bet.
*Did you know?
The very first Poker game in History took place in New Orleans in 1929. According to the English actor Joseph Cowell, the original Poker game had a deck of 20 cards.
2 important tips to know before playing Poker Online
When it comes to playing Poker, there are a few important things to bear in mind.
Here are some of the most important rules to consider when preparing to play a game of Poker.
1. Master the rules, positions and poker hands
On some occasions, one or two Joker cards might be added, commonly referred to as the wild. The game starts when each player is dealt 2 cards while 5 cards are dealt for the centre of the table.
These are referred to as the Community Cards and each player must use 3 of these cards to combine them with his own to form the best 5-card poker hand.
The list starts with the strongest hand and continues on to other lesser combinations.
- Five of a kind – 4 ten-value cards and a Joker
- Straight Flush – 5 cards belonging to the same suit in sequence eg. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of hearts.
- Four of a Kind – 4 cards of the same value and suit eg. 4 kings and a 2.
- Full House – 3 cards of the same value while the other 2 have an identical value eg. 3 Aces and two 8s.
- Flush – 5 cards of the same suit but not in sequence.
- Straight – 5 cards of different suits but in sequence
- Three of a Kind – 3 cards of the same suit together with two cards of a different suit
- Two Pairs – a pair of cards of the same rank, together with an additional pair of cards of the same rank, and a completely different card eg. 2 Queens, 2 nines and a 4.
- One Pair – one of the easiest combinations to get, it consists of a pair of cards of the same rank but a different suit, together with 3 other cards.
- No Pair – a hand where there are no matching hands. When a player has a No Pair, the highest combination of cards is determined by the highest card. Eg. An Ace ranks higher than a king.
2. Understand the key concepts of a Poker Strategy
Some of the Poker variants, both off and online, consist of betting rounds such as is the case for Omaha Poker and Texas Hold’em, two of the most popular poker variants.
Below are some examples of the strategies that are commonly used in a typical Poker game, as well as the expectation of each player.
- Bluff – With the “bluff”-strategy, a player knows they don’t have the best hand and will intentionally request a “raise” to get their opponent to “fold”.
- Fold – The decision to “fold” refers to a player’s decision to forfeit their cards. In this case, they can neither win
- Check – This is when a player refuses to bet if there’s no bet available during a certain round.
- Call – Players normally match the highest bet by calling if someone else has placed a bet during a round.
- Raise – If other players have placed their bets, a player may raise their bet by doubling the amount. In this case, other players will need to either call the raise or make another raise in order to continue playing.
- Pre-flop – This is the initial round of betting and takes place right after the players get their hole cards. The term ‘hole cards’ refers to the 2 cards dealt to each player.
- Flop – This is the second round of betting that takes place only after the first 3 community cards are turned face up.
- The Turn – The third betting round, it takes place after the fourth community card is revealed.
- The River – It only takes place when the 5th and final community card is revealed.
- Value Betting – this is a strategy that is most useful at Brick and Mortar casinos, and is utilised when a player wants to trick their opponent into thinking they’ve got a better hand than them. Furthermore, it’s a bet that will urge the opponent to “call” so a player can profit from their opponent’s weaker hand.
*Did you know?
Texas Hold’em is among the most, if not the most, popular Poker variants that you will find online.
Live Dealer Poker Variants
To get a better idea about what Live Dealer Poker variants UK players gravitate towards, here’s a list of some of them:
- Texas Hold’Em Poker – Each player is dealt two hole cards, thus start the rounds of betting as previously mentioned. Evolution Gaming has a wonderful version of this particular Poker game.
- Omaha Online Poker – Omaha Poker is very similar to Texas Hold’em, with the only major difference being that in Omaha each player gets 4 hole cards instead of two.
The game still involves the 5 community cards and each player must use two of those four cards with 3 of the community cards to form the best poker hand possible.
The winner is usually determined during the showdown, otherwise because everyone else folds.
- Three Card Poker – This is a completely different version of poker from Texas Hold’em and Omaha, but nonetheless, it is one of the most popular variants.
Here, the game is played solely against the dealer and requires the player to place a bet before any cards are dealt. The player receives 3 cards face up, while the dealer gets 3 cards face-down.
Before the dealer’s cards are revealed, the player must decide whether to place a second bet that is identical to the first, to fold, or forfeit the game.
If the second bet is placed, the dealer reveals his cards to establish who has the best hand, while if the player folds, the dealer collects the initial stake.
- Jacks or Better – Jacks or Better is a video poker game that is available at most UK online casinos.
In Jacks or Better, players are dealt 5 cards, the best of which must be held, while the others are discarded in favour of others which will reach the player’s hands during the second dealing.
The hand that has a Jack or a Queen, King or an Ace wins.
*Did you know?
Sam Trickett from the UK is recorded to be the biggest Poker winner, winning a whopping $20 million in live tournament winnings.
How to improve your game
- Play when you feel like it
Playing Poker should be fun, but the moment it stops being a fun experience you may become more prone to making decisions driven by your emotions, instead of by logic.
- Learn & Understand the concept of Game Theory Optimal (GTO)
GTO is a strategy in which you will try to optimize every play following mathematical-based models.
It’s easier said than done, but understanding the basics will greatly improve your skill.
- Play less hands and play them aggressively
New players tend to play way too conservatively, hoping they will stay longer in the game, or too aggressively, throwing off their chips to hop in with every hand. Learning good hand opening and using them to your advantage is an important rule to stick with.
- Be patient
Playing aggressively doesn’t mean wasting all your chips away on every single hand hoping for the RNG god to reward you with a Royal Flush at the River. One thing you need to keep in mind is most of the hands dealt won’t be worth playing, it’s all about waiting for the right time.
- Analyze your opponents
Take a good look at the other players around the table (live or online). If you can’t spot the weakest opponent, chances are that you are the fish! It might be wise to find a better table…
- Practice for free
Mention that players can practice by playing for free and list a few casinos that offer free online poker games with links.
- Watch streamers to discover new tips
Sprag is currently listed as number 1 out of the top 5 most popular Poker streamers on Switch.
*Did you know?
The UK is one of the poker hotspots in the world, and some of the biggest Live Poker players who have won amazing winnings happen to be from the UK.
Playing Live Dealer Poker on your phone
It’s a relief that you don’t have to sit grounded by your laptop or Desktop to play online casino games these days.
Now you can play Live Dealer Poker on the go, on either your tablet or a smartphone; whenever, wherever.
The smaller screen on these devices provides players with an HD experience with everything from a live chat to an Auto-bet feature and automatic commands, so you can check or fold during a Poker game.
Not all online casinos allow for such Poker experiences due to the lack of mobile optimisation, but some of them, like Betsafe, offer apps with Live Poker variants.
Popular Live Poker Table providers
If you are specifically looking for game providers who offer Live Poker games, you need not look further. Here are a few of the game providers where you can play some wonderful Live Poker variants: