New UK card rooms are few and far between, if you’re looking for a successful poker room that’s gone online in the past 5 years. The best UK card rooms offer a large community of Texas holdem players, proven poker software, a good rakeback percentage, competitive welcome bonus, and an interesting list of tournaments and promotions. It helps if the card rooms in question have a sizable community of Omaha and stud players along with their fair share of soft players. When you’re speaking about a good new card rooms which offers all these things and welcomes UK players with the British pound and United Kingdom payment methods, that list is pretty small.
Best New Poker Room
I’ve included a couple of newer UK card rooms that fit the bill, along with an older poker room which I hardly ever see listed among the roll of UK card rooms. I’m trying to spread the love around to some lesser known card rooms, but I also offer more established alternatives at the bottom of the page if none of the first three poker sites are to your liking. All in all, it’s best not to stray too far from the beaten path when trying out new UK poker rooms, so I’ve tried to list websites which have good affiliations inside the online poker industry.
WSOP Poker Room UK
The WSOP Poker Room is the official card room of the world-famous World Series of Poker. Though this site has only been organizing e-tournaments since 2009, it’s already one of the established poker websites for people wanting to play poker online while living in the UK.
The WSOP Poker Room offers £20 free when you make your first deposit. This is only part fo the 150%, £500 sign-up bonus when you begin depositing at the WSOP poker page. This site has good software and excellent graphics and has the most satellite events for entry into the World Series of Poker held in Las Vegas every summer.
The WSOP Poker Room uses the 888poker software (under the name “WSOP Poker” software), but it’s owned by Harrah’s Entertainment, which since 2010 has been known as Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The Harrah’s brand is still a key part of the corporate branding Caesars Entertainment, so you’ll see the ownership called Harrah’s most of the time. The company owns hotels, casinos, and resorts throughout the world.
One reason the WSOP poker site got so popular so quick is the huge number of soft players at their virtual tables. Brand names attract a mainstream audience and no brand is more famous with the casual poker player than the World Series of poker.
Lock Poker is a UK card room licensed by the Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta. Lock Poker is part of the Merge Gaming Partners network, so it uses the world class gaming platform from the Merge Network. At the time I write this (7:42am in London), Lock Poker shows it has 7,082 players online. One reason a lesser known online poker room has such a large number of players is that it’s now accepting US players again.
This means you’ll have access to poker-starved American players and their wild and crazy Texas holdem playing style. While there are many fine poker players from the USA, we all know that means a lot of loose-aggressive players and therefore a lot of soft competition. The welcome bonus at LockPro Poker is $750. You’ll be able to play all the favorites, such as Texas hold’em, razz, HORSE, and 7 card stud. Current promotions include the daily Freeroll Frenzy and regular depositors freerolls for new players.
The largest weekly tournament at Lock Pro Poker is the $125,000 Guaranteed Freezeout on Sunday. If you finish in the Top 100 of this tournament, you’ll also receive a $109 cooupon to the $100k Guaranteed. Players also should know about the “125 Seats to $125,000” Freeroll, another weekly Sunday event. You’ll need 250 VIP points to enter this tournament.
Coral Poker is an online poker room you seldom hear about, but it has all kinds of established connections within the online gambling world. Coral Poker uses Bwin software and is owned by the Gala Coral Group Ltd. Gala Coral Group has the third largest retail bookmaking business in the United Kingdom, while among UK bingo rooms it has a 34% market share. The Gala casino network lists itself as the third largest casino business in the United Kingdom and the fifth largest online/offline bookmaker in Italy. Still, Coral Poker is listed as only the 69th out of over 300 gambling properties licensed by Gibraltar.
Featured tournaments at Coral Poker include a $100k Guaranteed tournament, a $250K championship event, the $60,000 Euro Grand Prix, and the $50,000 Highroller tournament. One reason is the marketing is less-than-stellar on Coral Poker’s homepage, as their sales print mentions in bold letter than you get a $25 bonus when you deposit $10 on your first deposit. In much smaller print, you also learn you can get bonuses up to $1,000. On most UK poker sites I see, that information would be inverted.
Coral Poker also has four $500 freerolls for new players and a new player points race. Add it all up and the incentives are there. Coral Poker has a good sized poker player community. As of 8:15am in the United Kingdom, roughly 2550 players are online, so you can imagine what Coral Poker has in peak hours.
Old UK Poker Rooms
I’ve seen older United Kingdom poker rooms like Bet Online Poker (1991) and Intertops Poker (1996) listed as “new UK card rooms”, which makes me laugh. The truth of the matter is, most Internet poker rooms you’re going to want to play at have been online for more than 5 years. Occasionally, a good new poker site comes online that makes a quick splash and starts to draw in customers. Almost always, these poker franchises are affiliated with some existing force in the poker playing world. That’s the case with most of the Internet card rooms I’ve talked about today.
If you’re a British card player and you’re tired of the poker rooms you’ve been using, consider switching your loyalties to an established poker room outside the UK which caters to UK poker players. Examples of these include Everest Poker out of Gibraltar and Poker 770 out of Taiwan. If you want to stay loyal to brands headquarters in the British Isles but you don’t want to play at Pokerstars, Ladbrokes Poker, or William Hill Poker, give a try to one of the other poker giants of the United Kingdom, such as Titan Poker or 888 Poker.