Is Poker Online Legal Or Rigged?

How Safe Are Poker Sites

Is online poker rigged? Are online poker sites safe? If you’re a newcomer to the world of online poker then these are the kind of questions that you are probably asking yourself. Here at Betting.co.uk, as you might expect, we can provide expert answers to those questions for you. Online poker has exploded in popularity in recent years, so it is no wonder that many punters are wondering whether or not playing the game online is safe.

In this article, we’ll outline how you see whether a site is legitimate and safe. A site should hold a reputable licence, have proper security systems in place, and also look to provide protection from addiction for all customers.

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5 Things to Check the Legitimacy of Poker Sites

When it comes to answering the question, ‘Are online poker sites safe?’ there is a range of factors to take into account. Here, we’re going to outline five key aspects of a site that you should look at to make sure that it is legitimate and safe.

  1. Licence
    Licensing is obviously a great way of answering the question, ‘Is poker online legal?’ Every operator offering you the chance to play poker online in the British market should hold a licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. A UKGC licence guarantees certain standards of fairness and security, as licence holders are regularly audited to ensure that they are adhering to the required levels. If a poker site you are considering using does not have a UKGC licence and you are resident in the UK you should tread carefully.
  2. Payment Methods
    A major way to check the safety of a poker site is to look at the range of payment methods that is provided for you to deposit and withdraw funds. Visa and Mastercard debit cards should be valid, as well as a good range of ewallets like Skrill or PayPal. If a site only allows you to use one method, for example, crypto currency, then we would urge caution. Being able to use secure and safe payment methods is essential for a site to be properly legitimate.
  3. Customer Service
    A good online poker site should always be transparent and easy to contact when you have queries or issues. The customer service team should be readily available at convenient times of day, and should be reachable by live chat, email and, ideally, telephone when you have an issue that needs to be resolved. Your queries should also be resolved quickly and politely.
  4. Bonus Terms and Conditions
    Everybody likes to receive a nice bonus offer when we sign up for a poker site. But you should always tread carefully before committing to claiming a bonus. The terms and conditions can often contain hidden dangers – especially when it comes to wagering requirements – so always make sure that you check the poker rules and terms and conditions carefully. No one wants to have to spend days and weeks playing poker just to turn a bonus into real cash.
  5. Site Security
    As well as checking the licensing arrangements of a poker site, it is vital that you check their security systems. All of your transactions need to be properly encrypted, using SSL technology. Good poker sites will display this information prominently on the site’s pages, but if you are in any doubt you should check with customer services.

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How to Choose an Online Poker Site

When you’re looking to play poker online for real money, now that you know for sure that poker online is legal, there are several things at which you should be looking closely.

  • Quality poker sofware
  • Poker site design
  • Poker variants
  • Poker rake
  • Brand reputation

Software

In our reviews at Betting.co.uk you’ll notice that we always give details about the software that a poker site uses. The software provider should be a recognisable name with a good reputation for quality. We can tell you about many of the top software developers here at Betting.co.uk.

The Site’s Usability, Look and Feel

No one wants to be squinting at a screen or waiting for a site to load when you play poker. Equally, you don’t want your eyes to be screaming in protest at garish colours. In our reviews here at Betting.co.uk, you’ll notice that we pay close attention to how a poker site is designed.

Range of Games

A good poker site should offer a good mix of variants of poker at its tables. No one wants to get bored by playing the same games over and over again, and as your experience as a poker player develops you will want to test yourself against better players in different forms of the game. Does it offer a good poker bonus on your favourite games?

Rake and Limits

In our reviews of poker sites here at Betting.co.uk, you’ll notice that we always include details about the rake that a site charges. The ‘rake’ is basically the commission that the site charges on all the bets placed on games of poker on its site. You don’t want the rake to be unreasonable.  You should also look at the minimum and maximum stakes that are allowed for wagering on the site, and make sure that they are reasonable. Our reviews can help you check this.

Reputation

You can check the overall reputation of a site by talking to other online poker enthusiasts and checking out reviews on social media. If a site has a reputation for processing withdrawals slowly, or its rake rates are too high, other players will let you know. Make sure you take advantage of their knowledge. Is online poker rigged? No, it isn’t, but if any site is trying to pull a fast one, experienced players can spot it quickly.

Editor’s Recommendation

If you want to play poker online, legal and safe sites are pretty easy to find. If you pushed us to recommend one site to you then we would have to say 888Poker. This operator has a superb range of poker variants and tables, and the rake rates are very reasonable. There is also a very tempting 100% matched deposit bonus offer for new customers that can award you are much as $400 of bonus credit to use. Throughout the year, you might even find a poker bonus no deposit bonus too.

To find out more about 888Poker, you should check out our 888 review here at Betting.co.uk. That will tell you all about the operator, and give you the key details you need about whether they are the poker site for you or not.

Where to Find Poker Help

Here at Betting.co.uk we can provide much more than just answers to questions like, ‘Is online poker rigged?’ or ‘Is poker online legal?’ You may have found us because you wanted to know are online poker sites safe, but we can give you much more than that. For starters, if you’re seeking out a new poker site then our reviews give expert and detailed information about every key aspect of a poker site’s service.

As well as looking at the types of games they offer, and how easy it is to get a seat at a table, we also check out the bonus offers that you can claim at a poker site. In fact, our detailed bonus reviews help you identify where the best offers can be found, and give you a few tips on making the absolute most of each bonus that you claim.

As your poker knowledge and skills develop, you will want to find some advice about how to increase your chances of winning when you’re playing at the online poker tables. You shouldn’t be wondering is online poker rigged by this stage. You will have seen that online poker is a legitimate test of poker skill. Before you venture onto the tables, make sure that you have used the full range of online poker resources here at Betting.co.uk. For example, you can check out our UK casino deposit bonus and free mobile casino bonus guides to ensure you boost your poker playing experience!

Improving Your Chances of Success

Anyone asking are online poker sites safe or not should also note that safety is not merely an issue of data security when you are gambling online, though these are of course important factors. One very simple way that you can keep yourself safe from over-spending is to set limits on your account. The vast majority of the best live casino providers and the best online poker sites will have a facility in place on your account that allows you to do this very easily. It can be a very effective way of keeping your spending under control.

  • Budget your poker gaming
  • Never get emotional
  • Know when to walk away

Manage Your Bankroll Carefully

Always keep a close eye on your bankroll when playing online poker. If you’re managing your bankroll carefully then you are likely to be making better decisions in the game. It is always preferable to take a cautious approach and bet according to what is in your bankroll.

Keep Emotion out of Things

Negative emotions like greed, anger and frustration are the enemies of successful online poker playing. Are online poker sites safe when you are feeling sad or angry? We would have to say no. Negative emotions will lead to you making unwise decisions at the poker table, leading to you losing games that you could have won on another day.

Walk Away from the Table at the Right Time

Knowing when to stop is a vital skill in any kind of gambling, but especially so in poker, where the temptation to play just one more game can be very great indeed. Recognising when it is time to stop and come back to fight another day is a key skill of the successful poker player. If things are just not going well on a particular table on a particular day, remember that there will other days. Walking away is not a sign of failure, it’s a sign that you’re thinking properly about your poker decisions. Come back when you feel fit, fresh and raring to go – you’ll be much more likely to win.

You’ll probably know that there are thousands of online poker sites out there. This means that you’re free to pick and choose a poker site that meets your online gaming needs. However, there is one thing that you should always look for in any poker site – full licensing and regulation. Yeah, looking at a poker site’s licensing might seem like the most boring thing that you can do. But we’re pretty sure that only fully licensed and regulated poker sites are going to be able to keep you safe and secure. Don’t believe us? Then just take a look at these top four reasons as to why you should only play at regulated poker sites.

  • Legitimate online poker gaming
  • Play within UK gambling laws
  • Enjoy fair and transparent poker gaming
  • Get paid whatever winnings you make

Enjoy poker without the threat of criminal activity

OK this might sound like we’re overdoing it. But any online poker site that isn’t licensed is essentially an illegal operation. The last thing that you’ll want to be doing when playing poker is to be breaking the law. But many unlicensed poker sites are actually pretty dodgy. You don’t have to look too far under the covers of these unlicensed poker sites to realise that they might be involved with lots of nasty activities like money laundering and so on.

This is in direct contrast with what you’ll find at a licensed poker site. Here, you’ll see that each of these poker operators has been verified by the UK Gambling Commission to be a legitimate online gaming business. This means that you can play at this poker site without worrying about whether it is part of any kind of criminal network. As a result, you can enjoy safe poker gaming in the UK without having to be looking over your shoulder the entire time.

Licensed poker sites for gaming in the UK

You’ll probably know that poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. As such, it’s no real surprise to find that the world’s biggest online poker sites tend to be multinational affairs. This is undoubtedly a good thing as it means that such sites feature larger tournaments with some truly spectacular prize pools. However, it’s worth noting that all countries will tend to have their own gambling laws, and things get even more complicated when it comes to online poker gaming.

This means that an online poker platform will have to apply to get a license in each country that it’s operating in. Such a license will mean that the poker site will have to obey that country’s online gambling laws. By using a poker site that’s licensed in the UK, you will be provided with all of the protection you need to stay safe. This means that you won’t get to fall into the trap of depositing with a credit card and spending too much as UK gambling laws prohibit online gaming sites from letting you add money to your account with this payment method. This is just one example, but it’s yet another reason why you should stick with UK licensed and operated poker sites.

Fair gaming at licensed poker sites

We’re pretty sure that nobody wants to play rigged poker. This means that you’d have to be a raving idiot to use an unlicensed site as there’s nothing forcing these sites to prove that their games aren’t rigged. Many unlicensed poker sites have gaming sessions that are anything but fair and open. You simply won’t get any information about how the game is played fairly and don’t even think about getting any complaints responded to.

This is in direct contrast with what you can find at licensed poker sites. Here you’ll find that all of the poker rooms are fair and open. These operators will go to great lengths to ensure that you get to know exactly who you’re playing against and how the games will be played. We should also note that licensed poker sites will be duty-bound to respond to any complaints quickly and professionally. Failure to do so would mean that the site would be in breach of its UKGC licensing.

Guarantees of getting paid at licensed poker sites

Unlicensed sites will be operating without adhering to UK gambling laws. This means that there is nothing actually forcing them to pay you even if you managed to win a game of online poker. Plus it’s worth noting that these unlicensed poker sites probably won’t have the safest financial protocols. It’s highly likely that an unlicensed poker site would vanish without a trace if it was facing even the slightest amount of financial instability. This would mean that you would have to kiss goodbye to whatever deposits and winnings you’d made there.

However, things are very different at licensed poker sites. These sites’ regulation means that they will have to keep all players’ funds separately from their business accounts. As a result, your real money deposits will always be safe even in the unlikely occasion that the poker site comes into financial problems. Just another reason why you should only use licensed and regulated poker sites.

A quick word about UK gaming tax

You might know that poker players in other countries might have to pay tax on their online gaming. But the good news is that you can play poker online in the UK and keep 100% of whatever you win. This is because current UK gambling laws mean that poker gaming is still tax free.

This applies to newbies who have won a couple of quid, as well as those full-time poker players who regularly win thousands from their online gaming. Such laws might sound surprising, but it’s because the nation’s gambling laws don’t class gambling as being a kind of full time employment. So the key thing to remember is that whatever you win from your poker gaming is yours to keep.

  • UK gamers keep 100% of winnings
  • No tax on your poker gaming
  • 15% point of consumption tax for UK poker providers
  • All UK poker sites must hold a UKGC license

All of this is good news as there was some confusion when the UK government changed the laws regarding the taxation of online gambling sites in 2014. This basically meant that all licensed gaming brands would have to pay a 15% point of consumption tax. Previously, there was no kind of UK tax for these sites apart from the tax that they’d pay on their gross profits.

But don’t let that confuse you. As long as you play at an officially licensed online poker site in the UK, you’ll get to keep 100% of your winnings. Plus you’ll enjoy the highest levels of online security and fair gameplay.

Conclusion

Is poker online legal? Is online poker rigged? Are online poker sites safe? These questions may well have been spinning around in your mind before you discovered this article. We hope that we have provided some answers for you and reassured that playing poker online is legal, safe and perfectly legitimate. It is important that you select the right online poker sites at which to play, though. Hopefully you will use this article as well as our other poker pieces here at Betting.co.uk to guide you on your online poker journey. Our reviews, guides and Poker strategies articles are sure to point you in the right direction when it comes to making your online poker successful and safe. If you’re a poker fan, bookmark Betting.co.uk and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Looking for advice on more live casino games? Take a look at our best online casino for roulette guide!

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