Best Poker Apps in the UK May 2024

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The best poker apps in the UK allow you to quickly find a table that matches your level and budget, and offer fast and smooth gameplay. Having easy access to games and promotions can dramatically increase your chances of being successful playing real money poker apps. Stick around, and I’ll explain why.

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Why Play on a Poker App?

In a nutshell, the best poker apps in the UK put the juiciest games and promotions within easy reach at all times. Although there are certain benefits to playing poker on a desktop computer, a lot of players prefer the convenience of playing on a mobile device. Here are a few advantages to whet your appetite:

  • Mobile poker apps give you easy access to generous welcome bonuses and rakeback.
  • You can enable additional secure features such as Touch ID and Face ID logins.
  • Mobile poker apps connect to banking apps so you can make quick deposits and withdrawals.
  • Having quick access to games makes it easier to target weak players.

How To Choose the Best Poker Apps in the UK – Seven things to Look For

The best poker apps in the UK must be reputable, reliable, and readily available on all devices. Sprinkle in a generous helping of games, promotions, and payment options, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Let’s take a look at these qualities in more detail so you’re able to choose the right poker apps for your needs.

Usability

Usability

The best poker apps are easy to use on any device. Easy, in this context, means the gaming lobby has plenty of filters so you can pinpoint the tables and games you want to play. Another quality that I look for when it comes to poker apps is table data.

You should be able to see the number of players at a table and basic statistics such as VPIP and PFR percentages* before you ante-up. Finally, I like apps that have quick-action buttons and commands so you can make pre-sized bets with a single tap. Naturally, all of these features should be legible on all screen sizes.

*VPIP = voluntarily put in the pot/PFR = pre-flop raise (both stats tell you how active players are).

Game Variety

Game Variety

Games form the foundation of every poker app, so I would expect real money poker apps to cover the main bases and more. I’ll talk more about poker variants in a moment. For now, just know that the best poker apps in the UK will offer cash games and tournaments for all major variants.

There will be free-play options for cash games and tournaments, which means you can compete against other players using virtual chips. For those who want to play for pennies and pounds, I recommend using a real money poker app that has cash games starting at £0.01/£0.02.

For tournaments, freerolls should be available to new and existing players. Then, when it comes to real money poker tournaments, entry fees should start at £0.10 and exceed £1,000 at the top end.

The final thing to consider when it comes to game variety is rake. All poker operators charge a small fee for playing real money games. This fee is known as the rake, and it’s taken from cash game pots and tournament buy-ins. My tip for getting maximum value is to use real money poker apps with the lowest rake charges.

Bonuses and Promotions

Bonuses and Promotions

The best UK poker apps give new customers welcome bonuses in the form of freeroll/tournament tickets, cash game credit, and rakeback. Welcome offers are par for the course, so I tend to judge the overall quality of a poker app by its ongoing promotions.

Regular freerolls and VIP rewards are great, as are reload bonuses. However, the best poker bonus you can get is rakeback. These promotions give you back a percentage of the rake you pay over a given period of time.

Anything around the 20% mark is excellent, but rakeback at any percentage is a real selling point. So, if you’re looking to earn rewards based on the amount of effort you put in, I suggest using poker mobile apps that give you rakeback. Playing poker not on gamstop can prove to be more lucrative in terms of bonuses.

Action and Liquidity

Action and Liquidity

Poker isn’t played in isolation. The exception to this rule is video poker, but that’s not the focus here. We’re looking at the best poker apps UK players can use, which is why you need to choose platforms with an active playerpool.

In technical terms, you want a poker app that’s connected to a network with high liquidity. Indeed, there’s no point in using an app that has plenty of games but no one to play against. That’s why the best poker apps in the UK are home to thousands of players of varying skill levels to test yourself against.

Secure and Flexible Payment Options

Secure and Flexible Payment Options

It’s entirely possible to win money in freerolls and turn it into a huge bankroll. However, for most players, you’ll need to deposit money to play on real money poker apps. Similarly, when you win, you’ll want to withdraw money.

That’s why the poker apps I recommend have a variety of secure payment options. Put simply, you want safe and fast payments. I like online poker apps that allow you to deposit fiat currencies via debit card, bank transfer, and eWallet.

It’s also nice to have cryptocurrency payment options, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, while pay by mobile casinos allow you to fund your account using your mobile contract.

Server Reliability

Server Reliability

Poker mobile apps need to be reliable. If games are constantly being disrupted by glitches and server outages, it’s going to cost you money. That’s why the best poker apps in the UK I recommend have been around for a while. There’s nothing wrong with using new poker apps. However, there’s a certain value to apps that have stood the test of time.

Poker Tip and Guides

Poker Tips and Guides

I know that most of you are novices. That’s why you want to know what the best online poker app for UK players is. Many of my favourite poker sites have guides that cover the basics, as well as intermediate poker strategies such as bluffing, 3-betting, and pot odds. The more resources you can access via a mobile poker app, the better it is.

Popular Games on Online Poker Apps in the UK

poker community cards
Image: Dylan Clifton/Unsplash

Every UK real money poker app will cover the basics in terms of variants. The best poker app real money operators go beyond the basics. Below is a list of popular poker variants and games you’ll only find on top-tier apps.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variant in the world. Everyone gets two hole cards (cards only they can see), and the aim is to make the best five-card hand. You can make the best hand by combining one or both of your cards with any of the five community cards (cards everyone can use).

Alternatively, you can “play the board,” which means you’re using the five community cards to make a hand. Having the best hand at a showdown isn’t the only way to win in Texas Hold’em. You can also force everyone to fold by betting. Therefore, you’ve two ways to win when you play Hold’em.

Omaha Poker

Omaha is a community card game similar to Hold’em. The main differences between Omaha and Hold’em are that you get four hold cards and have to use two of them. The addition of two hole cards means there are more possible hand combinations in Omaha.

This creates a more volatile dynamic because it’s easier to make hands. That means weak hands are beaten more often. Thus, you’ve got a frenetic game that requires a lot of thought, hand selection, and measured aggression.

Stud Poker

Stud is one of the original poker variants. Unlike Omaha and Hold’em, there aren’t any community cards in Stud. Instead, everyone gets five or seven cards (depending on the variant). Some of these cards are visible to everyone on the table, while the others are concealed.

The main skill in Stud is working out what opponents might have based on the cards they’re showing and the cards in your hand. As it is with other variants, you can win pots by having the best hand at a showdown or making everyone else fold.

Draw Poker

Draw poker is very similar to video poker. So, if you’ve used any of our recommended UK online casinos, you might know how to play already. The mechanics of this game are simple: you receive five cards that only you can see, and you can exchange as many as you like.

Exchanging cards allows you to draw new ones, hence the name. Like other poker variants, your goal is to make the best five-card hand at a showdown or make everyone else fold. The skill in this poker game is to determine what players have based on your cards and the number of cards they draw.

Other Poker Variants on Mobile

The top UK poker apps have variants that others don’t. These variants are either new or novel versions of established games. A variant is novel if it has a unique betting system or hand rankings.

For example, 6+ Hold’em has a different hand ranking system to traditional Hold’em because all cards with a value lower than six have been removed from the deck. Similarly, H.O.R.S.E. is a novel variant because it’s a mixture of five different games, which means the rules change after a predetermined number of hands.

Some poker variants to look out for if you want something a bit different are:

  • 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck Hold’em)
  • Pineapple (a Hold’em variant where you start with three hole cards)
  • H.O.R.S.E (Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo)
  • Badugi (a lowball draw poker variant where you play with four cards)

Bonuses for Real Money Poker Apps

I said before that bonuses are a big part of playing online poker. To give you an idea of what to expect and the things you need to consider, here are the three most popular poker bonuses you can claim via the best online casinos.

Sign-Up Bonus

Sign-Up Bonus

A sign-up bonus, aka a welcome bonus, is what you get for creating a new account. I stress that this needs to be the first time you’ve used the poker app. Assuming you’re a complete newbie, you’ll get a bonus that may consist of freeroll tickets, cash game credits, and entry to special tournaments.

Freerolls

Freerolls

Freerolls are poker tournaments that don’t have an entry fee. What’s great about freerolls is that the money you win is yours to keep. Unlike casino and sports betting bonuses that have wagering requirements (aka playthrough targets), freeroll prizes are paid in cash.

This means it’s possible to start with nothing and turn it into a bankroll. The main caveat to consider when it comes to freerolls is who can enter. Some freerolls are only open to new customers, others require a ticket, and some are available to everyone.

Freeroll tickets can be part of a welcome package, given to players who make deposits, or as part of a loyalty rewards program. Open freerolls typically run on a weekly basis, and even though they attract a lot of players, the average skill level is low. This means you’ve got a good chance of winning some money if you’re a solid player.

Rakeback

Rakeback

As I said earlier, rakeback is a great way to define the best poker apps. I say this because they’re ever-present. They give you money back based on the amount of rake you pay over a given period, such as a week or month.

Therefore, the amount you receive directly correlates with the amount you play. This doesn’t mean you should play recklessly. Responsible gambling is a virtue you should aspire to at all times.

However, the point of rakeback is that you’ve always got a way to get something extra. The best poker apps UK players have access to offer rakeback in one of two ways. Either they give everyone a fixed percentage or the amount you get fluctuates based on your VIP ranking.

Both systems are fine, but the VIP-based ones tend to offer bigger rewards. That’s because poker operators know that some people won’t reach the highest VIP tiers. Because of this, top-ranking VIPs can get upwards of 20% rakeback.

Best Poker App Cash Games

Cash games are distinct from poker tournaments for the following reasons:

  • They don’t have a start or end point
  • The chips in play have an equivalent cash value, i.e. a £10 chip is worth £10
  • The blinds remain the same throughout
  • Players are free to join or leave whenever they want
  • You can refill your stack to the table maximum at any time

These dynamics mean that cash games are often deep-stack affairs, i.e. players have a lot of chips in relation to the blinds. For example, if the blinds are £1/£2, players typically have at least £200 (100 big blinds). Deep-stack poker gives you more scope to implement strategies such as 3-betting and bluffing compared to short-stack play because you’ve got more ammunition (chips) to work with.

The best UK poker apps will have cash games covering all stakes and variants. This means that you can play Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, and other popular poker variants in the following formats:

  • Limit: the amount you can bet and raise is limited to the value of the blinds
  • Pot Limit: the amount you can bet and raise is limited to the value of the pot
  • No Limit: the only limit on what you can bet or raise is the amount of chips in your stack (you can’t bet more chips than you’ve got)

The above variants and formats are available at different stakes. In general, a top-rated real money poker app will offer cash games ranging from £0.01/£0.02 to £50/£100.

Tournaments on the Best Poker Apps in the UK

The overarching systems that govern cash games also apply to tournaments. Specifically, you’ll be able to play the most popular variants, including Hold’em and Omaha, in Limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit formats.

The defining features of tournaments and, in turn, differences to cash games are:

  • Tournaments have a start and end point (they end when one player has all the chips)
  • The chips in play don’t have any value outside of the tournament
  • The blinds increase at predefined intervals, e.g. every 10 minutes
  • Players must enter before a deadline
  • You only get one stack of chips, and, if you lose them all, you’re out

The blinds in tournaments aren’t the same as cash games because they’re constantly changing. Therefore, the cost of entry isn’t based on the blinds but something known as a buy-in. Some tournaments are free to enter, while others cost between £0.10 and £1,000+.

How to Play Poker on a Real Money Poker App

You can join the best poker apps for UK players by following these simple steps:

  1. Use a secure sign-up link. Here at Techopedia, we only recommend safe, secure, and reputable online poker sites, which is why we have secure sign-up links that ensure you get to the right place.
  2. Open the registration form and enter your personal details, including your name, address, email, and date of birth.
  3. Set your username and password.
  4. Accept the operator’s terms and conditions.
  5. Verify your account and log in.
  6. Open the cashier page, enter a promo code (if necessary), and make a deposit.
  7. Choose a cash game or tournament, start playing, and have fun.

Free Poker Apps

Poker apps come in many forms. Some offer real money games, others offer free-play games, and some help you become a better player. Here are some of the different apps you can download if you want to enjoy everything poker has to offer.

Free Poker Apps vs. Real Money Poker Apps

Free poker apps are sometimes called social poker apps. These apps let you enjoy all the thrills of poker without the financial risk. Everyone gets a bankroll of virtual chips that don’t have any real-world value. What they do have, however, is value within the app, which means you can play tournaments and cash games without spending your own money.

Real money poker apps give you the option to play for cash prizes. I say they give you the option because these apps also have play-money, aka free games. They also have freeroll tournaments. So, what you’ve got with real money poker apps is the option to play for fun or make deposits and compete for cash prizes.

Poker Apps to Improve Your Game

There are dozens of online and mobile poker apps that can make you a better player. These apps fall broadly into three categories:

  • Poker solvers – these programs allow you to run simulations that tell you what the optimal move is (based on mathematics) for a given scenario.
  • Poker training videos and guides – these apps feature poker strategy guides and videos hosted by pros who tell you exactly what they’re thinking each time they make a move.
  • Poker trackers – poker trackers record every hand you play and store them in a database so you can analyse them at a later date. Trackers also record your opponent’s moves in real-time so you can see how often they’re playing hands (VPIP), how often they’re raising, the number of times they go to a showdown, and much more.

Poker Apps for Home Games

A lot of the best online poker apps have a home game feature. This feature allows you to create a private cash game or tournament that only people with an invitation/password can join.

The beauty of home game poker apps is that you set the rules. You can have deep stacks, escalating blinds, high buy-ins, free games, winner-takes-all, or anything else you desire. Put simply, online game games are meant to be competitive but fun.

Poker Apps vs Desktop Poker Sites

You can play online poker on a variety of devices, such as your desktop or mobile devices. I’ve focused primarily on poker apps in this guide, but you don’t have to install software on your mobile to play games or claim bonuses and you can also just play on your mobile browser instead. Here are a few things to consider when playing poker on mobile vs desktop.

Pros and Cons of Poker Apps

Mobile apps and mobile browsers give you access to the same games and promotions as desktop poker sites. Some of the pros and cons to consider are:

Pros pros
  • You’ve got access to games whenever and wherever you want
  • Some poker operators give you special bonuses for playing via your mobile
  • Tapping your screen is tactile, so games feel more immersive
  • You can play free and low-stakes games via your mobile
  • You can use extra security features such as Touch ID/Face ID logins
  • In case your Wi-Fi connection isn’t reliable you can always fall back on 4G/5G
Cons cons
  • You can’t play multiple tables simultaneously, or, if you can, it’s tricky
  • The cards, in-game icons, and bet buttons are smaller
  • You can’t use hotkeys to make pre-set moves with one click

So Should you Play on Poker Apps?

I think poker apps in the UK are great, but they might not be suitable for everyone. So, before you start betting, bluffing, and claiming poker bonuses via your mobile, here are a few things to consider:

  • Poker apps give you access to a variety of games and bonuses, including freerolls, cash games, welcome bonuses, and rakeback.
  • You can ante up at any time, but your experience may be affected by the quality of your internet connection.
  • Cash games and tournaments are available 24/7, but playing multiple games at the same time might not be possible.
  • You can use tracking software in tandem with poker apps, but you may have to manually export hand histories.
  • Having easy access to poker games improves your chances of finding profitable games and earning bonuses.

The Best Poker Apps in the UK – Our Verdict

Should you download the best real money poker apps for UK players? Yes, if you want quick access to games and promotions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use desktop poker sites. However, if you’re like me and never leave home without a smartphone, it makes sense to download the top UK poker apps so you can find potentially profitable situations 24/7.

UK Poker Apps FAQs

How do I play on a poker app?

Can I play poker on my phone without an app?

Is it better to use a poker app or a poker site?

What is the best poker app for liquidity?

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References

Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert
Daniel Smyth
Casino and Poker Expert

Daniel comes to Techopedia.com with a wealth of experience in the gambling sector. Over the last 15+ years, he’s written content for WPT Magazine, CardsChat, and Gambling.com. Daniel has also worked directly with many of the industry’s leading operators, including PokerStars, Betway, and Yggdrasil. If it’s about gambling, Daniel has covered it.