Best Live Dealer Poker Casino 2020: Tournaments, Poker Types, Poker with Friends

Most Important

Improve your poker knowledge by trying different forms of poker

With our poker tournament guide, take a look at the different types of poker tournaments

Educate your poker brain with our FAQs section

Read how to set up a private online game with friends

Top poker sites UK

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Poker Casinos

Poker is massive. Massively fun and massively popular. There’s a fantastic social aspect to the game that you don’t get with other casino games, one of poker's greatest attractions. Poker players often say that, rather than poker being a microcosm of life, life itself is a microcosm of poker. The way we interact with people, negotiate and occasionally bluff are all great examples of how poker spills out into our everyday lives.

The social aspect of this poker can also, of course, be found online, with poker communities across a huge range of sites. Not only is this a good way of getting to know other players, it’s a great way to improve your game. Every hand you play and every poker-based decision you make, will, in turn make you a better player. Seeing an improvement in your game (and bankroll) is one of the most exciting elements of the game.



There ain’t no party like a poker party. Opening its doors way back in 2001, this is the one of grandfather of poker sites. Launched by PartyGaming, at its peak, the site hosted up to 80,000 players and was the World’s largest online card room until 2006. Endorsed by poker legend Mike Sexton, amiable host of the World Poker Tour television, this is a site with considerable heritage and integrity.

Partypoker provides an exceptional selection of games, hosting various tournament formats from single-table tournaments (STTs) to multi-table tournaments (MTTs). Sit & Go tournaments (SNGs)  are also incredibly popular on this site, running around the clock with buy-ins from as low as £1 and ranging from heads-up (two player) tables all the way up to 50 player tournaments. If you’re looking for a site with an easy-to-use interface, excellent customer service and a great choice of games, then stop looking. You’ve already found it.


888 Poker

Originally operating under the name Pacific Poker since 2002, 888 Poker later rebranded and is a world leader of international poker sites.

888 Poker offers a tasty selection of poker variants from Texas Hold’em, Omaha (High & Low) and 7 Card Stud Poker, along with Sit & Go and other tournament structures.

Available on all platforms including PC, iOS and Android, in 2013, 888 Poker revealed MTTs on their mobile app and has been a resounding success. The first online poker site to integrate webcams to their tables, this operator is constantly one which is constantly breaking boundaries technically.

The ambassadors of 888 Poker lists as a who’s who of poker royalty. Names such as Dominik Nitsche, Martin Jacobson, Chris Moorman Sofia Lövgren, Kara Scott, Natalie Hof, Parker Talbot and Vivian Saliba represent the 888 Poker brand. Sports stars such as former Australian international cricket bowler Shane Warne have represented 888 Poker, as well as UFC Welterweight champion George St. Pierre.

888 Poker understands players and what they expect from a game. It’s not just sitting around and folding 80% of hands. 888 Poker anticipates the needs of their players, appreciates the community aspect and social elements of the game, keeping players returning, not just to flop quads, but also to catch up with poker buddies.



Owned by the Stars group and one of the most widely-played sites worldwide, PokerStars is an awesome site to play on. One of the websites most appealing features is the ability to customise your tables, change your position on the layout and choose a 4-colour deck (always recommended as board reading at speed can cause errors and a 4-colour deck reduces potential mistakes).

In 2003, PokerStars caused an explosion on the poker scene by introducing the world to the poker player, Chris Moneymaker (yes, that is his real name). By taking part, and subsequently winning an online World Series of Poker satellite tournament, Moneymaker went to be crowned the 2003 WSOP champion. The win was seen by many as fuelling the mid-2000s poker boom with the poker press dubbing this phenomenon the “Moneymaker effect”.


 Unibet Poker

Perhaps not the first name that springs to mind when you think of an online poker site, Unibet Poker is a site that is gaining a formidable reputation in the poker community.

Established in 1997, Unibet Poker has evolved over the years and now focuses on purely recreational players rather than grinders or poker professionals. The site's ethos is a fantastic one – that poker is supposed to be fun and the site, not taking itself too seriously from the overall design to table action, this is a site for players that not only want some red-hot poker action, but also a fair serving of fun while they play.

Due to its welcoming and easy-to-use design, players just beginning their online poker adventure will feel really at home on this site. The lack of sharks circling the tables is perfect for the beginner player. Also, Unibet Poker offers generous promotions for new players, bringing a daily mix of rewards for customers.

Unibet Poker is also an amazing provider of restriction-free freerolls, not requiring a qualifying deposit. The prize pools are modestly-sized, but as there’s no need for a buy-in, if you’re lucky enough to win, you can withdraw your balance without wagering restrictions.


Paddy Power

In a completely positive way, Paddy Power is a hilarious site. They run one of the most entertaining blogs and host an impressive youtube channel. Branded as a fun site, much like Unibet, the Irish gaming behemoth encourages players to have an entertaining experience while they sit patiently as they wait for the button to come around.

Founded in 2005, Paddy Power is a brilliant site for beginner poker players. With an intuitive design that won’t overwhelm new players, the overall user experience of the site is one of the best around.

Paddy power has more satellites than NASA. As the headline sponsor of the ultimate in Emerald Isle poker shenanigans, the satellites for the Irish Poker Open offer exclusive qualifying satellites to its players. The ability to offer live qualifiers is one of the benefits of the site, and one that gives it an edge over other poker providers.


Different Forms of Poker Game Structures

One of the most popular games in the world, poker comes in many forms, each with its own distinctive character.

As the adage goes: “poker – minutes to learn, a lifetime to master”. The simplicity of the game is one of its greatest appeals and why it’s such a hugely popular game globally.  In this article we’ll take a look at Texas Hold ‘em Poker, 3-card Poker, Carribean Stud Poker, 7-card Draw, Video Poker and Omaha, whilst giving you a few pointers on how to improve your game.

We touched on different poker tournament structures earlier, and now it’s time to go deeper into the myriad of poker formats that are out there for you to enjoy.

  • Cash games – a continuous game of poker where the blinds are set and do not increase as gameplay continues.
  • Tournaments:
    • Single-table tournaments (STTs) – tournaments of between 2 and 9 players battle it out for poker superiority – STTs are really convenient if you have between 30 minutes to an hour to kill (and of course, improve your poker game).
    • Multi-table tournaments (MTTs) these games can range from between 18 players and run into the tens of thousands. Players slog it out until they bust out or make the money. Just don’t be the bubble boy (or girl).
    • Rebuy tournaments These can come in MTT and STT formats where players have the chance to buy more chips, should they decide to go all in preflop with 7-2 off.
    • Multi-buy tournaments – If you like a deep stack game, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, then multi-buy tournaments give you the opportunity to buy in with a deeper stack than a tournament would usually provide.
    • Freerolls – As the name suggests, these are free to enter, although some poker sites may require you to make an initial deposit to qualify to join. These tournaments are full of maniacs, making some very weird moves. Fold or sit out for the first couple of hours until these nutters have busted out.
    • Guaranteed Tournaments (GTD) – Regardless of how many players there are in a tournament, with a GTD, the prize pool is a guaranteed amount and not dependent on the number of players or buy-in amount.
    • Freezeouts – The opposite of a rebuy tournament, once your chips have gone, they’ve gone for good. Well, at least until your next buy-in.
    • Bounty Tournaments – also known as knockout tournaments, bounty tournaments structured so that if you knock a player out (of the game, not literally), you receive around 20-50% of your original buy-in back. This is a wildly popular form of poker tournament and loads of fun. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting paid out by eliminating a player who sucked out on you a few hands earlier.
    • Live satellites an inexpensive way of joining a live tournament, satellites have buy-ins starting from as little as 50p. If they’re good enough for Moneymaker, they’re certainly good enough for us.

You may find that your poker site offers an even further variety of games. Rapid, short-stacked SNGs are currently the rage. We recommend avoiding these kinds of tournaments as the short stack (usually around 500) and super-speedy blind increases turn the game into a crap shoot with players frequently calling all-ins with trash hands, and of course, they’ll often outdraw you. As they say though, that’s poker.


Poker Types/Poker Kinds

Stacked chips - online poker

Stacked chips and deck of cards (Image: © fielperson )

There are more variations of poker than there are actual poker players in the world, fact. Okay, don’t quote us on that, but there are indeed a whole bunch of different forms of poker. We’ll take you through the games you’re most likely to see playing online at your chosen casino(s).

Texas Hold ‘em Poker

The most popular form of poker, due in part to the simplicity of the rules and the luck element (experts rate it as around 50% skill and 50% luck), Texas Hold ‘em poker is huge. With five community cards, each player is dealt two-hole cards, with the aim of making the best possible 5-card hand.

Texas Hold ‘em is an awesome game and the sheer volume of information available on, for example, how best to play position, choosing starting hands and post-flop play to name but a few is astounding. This is definitely a game that takes a lifetime to master. Even Phil Ivey is still learning.


3-card Poker

This is a table game classic, seen both on and offline. Players are dealt 3 cards, with the aim of making the best possible 3-card poker hand. As there are fewer cards dealt to players, the probability of landing trips for example is lower and the payout therefore higher.

Played against the house, rather than other players, 3-card poker is a fast, fun and friendly form of poker. There’s an option to place a progressive bet with 3-card poker but we’d gently guide you away from placing your chips there as it’s a sure-fire way of gobbling up your bankroll with very little returns.


Carribean Stud Poker

The cousin of 3-card poker, also known as 5-card poker, Carribean Stud is a casino game, where, once again, you’re playing against the house rather than the other players. It’s an easy, enjoyable game if you like games of chance. The simple rules are as follows:

  • After placing the ante, each player is dealt 5 face-down cards.
  • The dealer now deals their hand, again, face down and flip over one card face up.
  • The player then decides, based on the dealer’s upcard, whether they are inclined to add an extra bet (usually twice the ante), or fold.
  • Hands are opened, and depending on whether you beat the dealer, you get paid out or your bet goes to the house.


7-card Draw

Sauntering lazily into a saloon, the tinkle of cowboy stirrups and a grumpy bartender grunts at you as you order a drink. You turn around to see a group of rugged rancher folk playing a game of cards. In all likelihood, they’re playing a 7-card draw.

The preserve of many a cowboy film, 7-card draw, also known as Seven-Toed Pete or Down-The-River is a form of poker where players are dealt – wait for it – 7 cards. An initial ante is placed to give the pot a head start and then players decide on which cards they’d like to discard, followed by another round of betting and then it’s on your backs, with the best 5-card poker hand taking down the pot.


Video Poker

Video poker gets a bit of a bad rap in the press, but it’s just a game like any other. Video poker is based on the best 5-card poker hand with a 52-card deck, much like in Texas hold ‘em. There are a few different versions of video poker out there, for example joker wild games will be played with a 54-card deck. Here’s how to play:

  • Place your bet
  • Click the deal button, and you’ll receive your five cards
  • Choose which cards to hold and which cards to discard.
  • Receive your new cards from the deck.
  • Your hand is paid according to the paytable for that specific game

It’s a really simple and accessible foray into the world of poker and a great way of learning hand rankings for the uninitiated poker player.



The slightly oddball uncle of Texas hold’em – Omaha follows the same rules but players are dealt four-hole cards – thus decreasing hand ranking value. It’s very common to see straight flushes and quads in Omaha. The player then decides which two-hole cards and which of the 3 of the 5 total community cards to use.

Omaha is the ideal game for someone that’s a relatively strong hold ‘em player and is looking to widen their poker horizons with a game that’s not too different to their regular poker outing.


Private Tables: Where to Play Online Poker With Friends

If you’re lucky enough to have at least one friend, you can set up a private table at your online poker site. As long as your friends have the same account, you can create your very own poker game, with some tasty bants and a decent dose of trash talk along the way. 888 Poker and PokerStars are excellent choices for private games.


Is poker a difficult game to learn?

Poker is an incredibly accessible game to play and you can learn it in a few minutes. The hardest part is learning the poker hands and their rankings. If you’re a beginner player, it’s best to keep a list of poker hand rankings close by for reference until you’ve got these memorised.

Which is the easiest form of poker to play?

Hmmmm. Good question. If you mean easy, rule-wise, we’d go for Carribean stud or 7-card draw. If you’re looking for a game that’s easy to win money in, well, that depends on your opponents. Online poker used to have a large number of inexperienced players that have sadly now improved their game, making it harder to earn money playing poker online.

What is the strongest position in Texas Hold'em Poker?

Late position. As you are the last to act, you have information on all the other players. The list of playable hands also increases while playing in late position, giving the player a greater selection of playable hands.

What is collusion in poker?

Collusion in poker is a nasty business, but luckily not too common. This is when players work together online to defraud another player at the table by sharing information on hands, helping to determine which cards are left in the deck and therefore win the pot. Highly illegal, if you’re found guilty of collusion, you’ll be banned from your poker site for life and could face a criminal investigation.

What is Rake?

Not just a gardening tool, rake is the percentage of each pot that goes to the house. A typical rake can range from between 2.5% to 10%, depending on the limit of the game.

How much is poker down to luck?

This is a question of much debate but most poker brains would say it’s a round 50%. That still lends a massive skill element to the game and why players such as Phil Hellmuth can win 15 WSOP bracelets. It’s all about maximising the skill element with your remaining 50%.

Is poker legal in the UK?

Online poker and poker in land-based casinos is, yes. You can play away to your heart’s content without worrying about the 5-0 banging on your door.

Is there poker taxation in the UK?

Yeah! No poker tax! Whoop! Not for players, anyway. Betting companies must pay a whopping 25% to the taxman.

What Live Dealer Poker bonuses can I claim?

You will be just taken by surprise when you find how many different bonuses you would be able to claim as soon as you access this particular game type. The casino bonuses are designed in such a manner that you get the best value in return and can increase the bankroll significantly. You can do your research by accessing different casinos sites before settling for the best bonus offer you can claim. Also, read the terms and conditions to avoid any last minute hiccups while claiming bonus.

Are comps on available for me?

When you are playing the live dealer poker game on your smartphone device or at any online casino site, you will have access to different comp points from the casino provider. It depends on the stake levels, and you can redeem the comp points for cash credits at any point in time. You also need to compare the comp clubs of different casino sites so that you get the best value in return.

Do I have to interact with other players?

With every live dealer game, there is a little chat room box available where you can easily interact with the other players accessing the same game. You can turn on or off the chat room feature depending on your need or preference.

Who licenses live poker sites?

There is a big list of gaming commissions and other regulatory bodies that keep a close eye on the working of the live poker sites. For best gaming experience and winning payouts, it is always recommended that you play live dealer poker game at a licensed casino site.

How do I know the games are fair?

If you are sticking to the casino sites that are regulated and licensed by the gaming commissions, you can have the peace of mind in knowing that the poker games you are playing are entirely random and fair. The logo of the gaming commission is displayed on the official website of the casino site.

Is there a disconnection safeguard?

At any point in time, you get disconnected while playing live dealer poker games; you don’t have to worry the least bit. It is so because when you are connected again to the casino site, the game will start from that same place where it was disconnected.

Can I play Live Dealer Poker games 24/7?

Specific casino sites offer this game to its players at certain times of day or night. But lately, a large number of casino sites are offering to play this game round the clock. It makes that you can log in and play 24/7 without any hassles. Hence you will have no difficulties whatsoever and play at a time that suits conveniently to you.

What Live Dealer Poker games are available?

When you access any casino site that offers live dealer poker, you will be delighted to know that a wide range of different games is available. New games are added from time to time, and you will have a vast selection that you will never get tired. In fact, you will be spoilt for choices which game to play first.

Can I test out the games for free?

It is to be noted that if you want to access the live dealer poker games, you will have to register through real money player. Guest-logging is not available which means you cannot play the games for free. However, the good news is that you can play by paying a small staking amount which is affordable and you will not have any problems financially

Are Live Dealer Poker tournaments available?

There are a few online casino sites that offer Live Dealer poker tournaments either daily or weekly basis to all the registered players. There is no entry fee, and you can play for low stakes. The prize money is right, and if you are lucky, you can return home with a significant cash amount. Do consider taking part in the tournaments because they are fair and random with several attractive opportunities.


The finest thing about poker is that you can see your game improve by how much you’re winning. Or, see how bad your game is by how much you’re losing.

Poker professionals advise you to start with a 1000x big blind bankroll. So, say you’re playing at 25p/50p cash game level, you’ll need a bankroll of £500. Luckily, blinds for cash games can be found at the micro levels, so you don’t need to break the bank. This same rule applies for tournaments, if you play £5 SNGs, you’ll need a starting bankroll of £5,000.

Poker will change your life. Should you start learning about the game, the more you learn, the more in turn you will want to learn, sending yourself down a self-perpetuating 52-card deck rabbit hole of poker study.


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