Online Poker – A Guide to Best Bonuses and Sites

Poker table in a casinoSince online poker exploded in the early 2000’s prime-time TV shows such as Poker Night as well as world class tournaments like World Series Poker has led to a huge increase in the number of players worldwide. Online poker rooms are a significant development for poker fans, available to all and round the clock, even if you live in the most faraway of places, or want to play on the go, since most casinos have specially developed apps for you to download and play on your mobile device as well. There’s also a far greater selection of games available than in a bricks-and-mortar poker room.

With the rise in popularity came an increase in the number of operators to choose from, each offering exciting bonuses, tournaments and games. It’s all very well having a flashy site with some tantalising offers, but there’s plenty more to online poker besides. The aim of this article is to guide you through selecting the right one for the most entertaining and potentially rewarding poker experience, there’s also a helpful section to guide novices through the classic games and how to play. Players familiar with the standard wheels can check out some of the more interesting variants and the best poker room in which to find them.

Our Top-Rated Online Poker Sites

The smart online poker players will keep in mind the essential needs before jumping straight into the game. It goes without saying that picking a safe casino is the most important factor, only those which are licensed and authorised are discussed on this page. Each casino has its own unique qualities ranging from the bonuses they offer, to their awards to date and the software powering their games.

As you can see from the table above, there are subtle differences in what you can gain from operator to operator. When one casino may have won award upon award historically, their current product may be missing the edge on availability of other key functions, such as the number of tournaments available to join, and the selection of unique games on offer. Finer details such as the availability of tables, free chips, tournaments and quality of poker rooms will be discussed later. Webcam poker for instance can only be found at 888 Casino: this exclusive game gives you the ability to see other players faces and reactions over webcam, which in poker can come in useful! Another reason to head to the 888 poker rooms is their free money offer for new members.

Considerations When Selecting an Operator

There’s also more interesting matters to be concerned about, for instance, what’s the casino’s reputation? Is the software any good – you want to be playing first-class games, right? There’s also the matter of betting limits, and finding someone where which fits your pockets. Casinos offering something to suit all playing styles, from low stakes low risk games to those suitable for high rollers, expecting to deposit large sums and play with high limits. Last of all, there’s bonuses to consider.

Poker Rooms

Most poker rooms are available for download through the main casino site. Simply install the software and login to find the full range of online poker services at your fingertips. Typically, there’s a landing page with shortcuts to the most common games and promotions tabs, a figure with the player pool size and available tournaments to take part in.

Special Bonuses for Online Poker Rooms

Since there are many online poker rooms to choose from, we suggest that, to get off to a good start, your best strategy for finding the optimal gambling experience is to choose a reputable operator that has great bonuses. Luckily, our top picks below offer just that.

As you can see from the information above, bonuses come in different shapes and sizes. These can vary from a few hundred to well over a thousand pounds. Tempting as these larger sums may be, it’s wise to check out the terms before diving straight in. The wagering conditions will affect how much you’ll have to play through the bonus and deposit amount before cashing in your winnings. For example,

Tournaments to Join

The availability of tournaments is a defining feature of an online poker room. There’s nothing worse than being ready and willing to play, but there are no tournaments to get involved in. There should be a wide range of both games and competitions to join. You’ll find that these vary between operator, with variety to fit all schedules from sit-and-go to weekend events.

Player Pool Size

The size of the player pool is key to a bountiful user experience. The larger the pool of players the greater the opportunity to play a larger selection of games without waiting for enough people to join. Even if your chosen operator has your favourite game and a great selection of variants, check your there’s a decent amount of players to compete against.

Safety and Security

Technical Security & Privacy It’s important to check the quality of data handling on any site you share personal details and financial information with, and feel confident you’re playing in a safe enviornment. A quick look into the casinos privacy policy will reveal if they’re sharing your data with third parties.

Licenses There isn’t a licence specific for online poker – the key requirement is that all casinos offering a gambling product, including poker, must be certified by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Operators typically include the logo and their licence number at the foot of their homepage.

Credibility You can generally gauge how credible a casino is through their reputation. This isn’t to say new casinos aren’t credible, since all casinos will seek to limit any harm to their reputation by bad practices. How they’ve fared at award ceremonies is also a great indicator of their product. Big names include the eGaming Review (EGR) and the International Gaming Awards (IGA).


Given an extensive look into the spectrum of online poker sites online, we are happy to recommend Winner Casino as our top choice in poker rooms. We’ve found their bonuses to be amongst the best around, with the most favourable wagering conditions.

The Rules – How to Play Poker Online

Poker players have an incredible imagination, hence the variety of games available to players over the years and although they all follow similar principles, there are noticeable differences in play between the most popular variants. To keep you up to speed we’ve included a brief introduction to the rules of the most popular games to date below.

Aces and poker chips

Texas Hold’em:

The ultimate game of luck and strategy with a full deck of 52 cards. Each player receives 2 cards face down known as ‘hole cards’ and a round of betting commences. Once betting is finished  3 community cards are added to the table, followed by another 2 with 1 community card added each round. The winner has the best hand from their hole cards and the cards in the middle.

View of players four card hand


There are only 2 differences between Omaha and Texas Hold’em. Instead of the 2 face down cards players received in Texas Hold’em, players are dealt 4. Also, just 2 of the 4 cards can be used to make a combination with the dealer’s cards on the table. Omaha Hi/Low is a popular variant where in a slight twist of fate, not only the best hand wins, but the lowest does also.

A spread of 7 cards

7 Card Stud:

7 Card Stud is regarded of one of the purest poker variations, it’s more difficult to master, but well worth learning. This 7-card offering has lots of little rules, but remains a simple game at heart, played starting with a hand of 2 downcards and one upcard, there are 3 further betting rounds, with an upcard added to each and a final downcard before the showdown with the best five-card hand winning the pot.

Accelerating speed o'meter

Fast Fold Poker:

Each operator has a different name for this poker variation, you’ll come across, rush, zoom, speed, and fast forward for example but the essence of the game is the same; more poker in less time! This is the world’s fastest poker game because players are able to fold at any time during play, by folding, they’re switched to a new table then dealt a new hand and you’ll go up against a random group of opponents.

Practice Online Poker with Free Play

There are a few casinos which offer free play poker – these include demo modes where no money is involved and, free play cash, gifted to players on signup. 888 are hands down the best place to get your hands on a deposit-free bonus. Start as you mean to go on, with a bounty of extra cash when you opt in to the new players £20 free poker promotion. It’s best to keep in mind that there are indeed drawbacks to playing for free, namely, the thrill of gambling isn’t the same when real money isn’t involved. We found that free play money comes with wagering conditions to cash out is often harder to achieve than using a regular deposit bonus. For more information on the types of bonuses offered by our top pick casinos, head on over to our casino review page.

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