Check out the best poker tournament sites in the UK below and simply click the 'visit site' link to sign up and claim a bonus offer when you join.
Welcome to our definitive guide to the very best online poker tournaments available to UK players. Gambling.com has assembled a team of experienced online poker players to test every legal online poker site in extensive detail. They have presented their expert findings on this page. Read on to discover the best poker tournaments you can play in for real money online, from exciting freerolls to elite tournaments featuring seven-figure prize pools.
|#||Poker Site||Licence Number||Bonus||Visit Site|
|1||Party Poker||54743||Deposit £10, receive up to £40 in free play||Party Poker|
|2||888poker||39028||100% Welcome Bonus up to $888 +£20 free bonus||888poker|
|3||GGPoker||47768||Deposit $20 receive $100 in free play||GGPoker|
|4||Grosvenor Poker||38750||Earn up to 40% rakeback||Grosvenor Poker|
|5||bet365||55149||£365 first deposit bonus (T&Cs apply)||bet365|
|6||Ladbrokes||54743||Deposit minimum £20 for $30 Free Play in $5 tickets||Ladbrokes|
|7||Paddy Power Poker||39411||Bet £20 receive up to £50 in tournament tickets||Paddy Power Poker|
|8||Coral||39071||Get $30 worth of free tickets when you deposit £20||Coral|
Our team of professional poker players will spend several days reviewing each online poker site in an extremely comprehensive fashion. These are some of the key areas we focus on when assessing the quality of sites that host online poker tournaments:
Guaranteed prize pools are important, as you deserve to be amply rewarded for any success you enjoy when playing online poker tournaments. The best poker sites will top up the prize pool to reach a certain level if they cannot attract enough buy-ins.
Buy-in range is also vital. The best organisers of UK poker tournaments online will cater to a broad range of players, from newcomers that want to improve their poker tournament strategy at freerolls to high-stakes players that want to pit their wits against rivals with similar bankrolls.
The best online poker sites offer a strong selection of different games, including options with rebuys, progressive knockouts, deepstack, turbo, freezeout, re-entries and so on. We also assess the size of the field, because the number of participants will influence the prize pools and the tournament length. They essentially need variety and liquidity.
We also focus on the breadth of available deposit methods and the speed and convenience of withdrawals. Our team assesses the quality of the overall user experience, including the quality of the interface, the ease of navigation and the customer support options. We weigh up the attractiveness of the various bonuses, promotions and loyalty schemes too.
We also delve into the ownership of each UK poker site hosting online poker tournaments. We identify trustworthy, reputable operators that are licensed with regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission and have a long history of paying out in full and on time. Our team regularly revisits these sites to ensure they maintain their high standards, and we also review new sites that hit the market, ensuring you are always presented with an up-to-date list of the very best online poker tournament sites in the business.
You will be presented with a broad range of different tournament types when you land in the lobby of the best online poker sites. These are the key categories you will find:
Multi-table tournaments are comprised of several different tables, each of which features a group of players competing for a seat at the final table. The idea is that the best players from each table stay in the game. The core group of remaining players will eventually battle it out for supremacy against one another, and the winner is left with all the chips at the end. MTT poker events are renowned for providing large payouts and thrilling action.
A Sit & Go tournament, known as SNG, is made up of a predetermined number of players that compete at a single table. The tournament only begins after a preset number of players have signed up. They usually feature between six and 10 players and run for less than an hour. There is a fixed buy-in and the prize pool is typically divided between the last two or three players, with the winner taking the largest prize.
A freeroll tournament at an online poker site has no entry fee. They are great for beginners, because they provide the perfect opportunity to improve your poker tournament strategy. If you are among the last remaining players, you will win a prize. It could be cash, merchandise, or perhaps free entry to cash tournaments. While there is no entry fee, you may be required to earn loyalty points at an online poker site and exchange them for entry into poker freerolls. If you want more info on this type of tournament and want to find the best poker bonuses and freerolls, our experts have you covered.
A freezeout tournament permits a single entry, with no potential for rebuys or re-entries. If you enter a rebuy tournament, you can buy more chips if you lose your stack or come close to going bust. A re-entry tournament allows you to go back into the tournament with a starting stack, but you will need to pay the full buy-in again.
The size of the blinds will increase as the online poker tournament progresses. If you opt for a deepstack tournament, the blinds will increase roughly every 10 minutes. A deepstack tournament is a reasonably slow affair. Make sure to check out our large stack strategy guide before playing this type of tournament.
If you would like to speed things up, you can go for a turbo poker game. You would then expect to see the blind increase every five minutes. The next step up is hyper-turbo, where the blind goes up every three minutes. A hyper turbo game can last for less than an hour, whereas a deepstack tournament would typically go on for more than six hours.
A bounty tournament rewards you for eliminating another player. This is an exciting option for UK poker players, because it adds a great deal of intrigue and drama to each pot. Many players enjoy these tournaments, as you can earn money without having to wait for 85% of the field to be eliminated. It can lead to a lot more short-term fun.
Bounty tournaments are also known as bounty builder events, or bounty hunter tournaments. They tend to have large prize pools. The bounty mechanic can also change the dynamic of the game, because players often follow a more aggressive strategy in a bid to earn a bounty.
One popular form of a bounty hunter tournament is the progressive bounty tournament. In this case, half of your buy-in forms your bounty. When you eliminate another player, you get half of that player’s bounty in winnings. Bounties ramp up as the progressive KO tournament develops, and certain players become major targets due to the size of their bounties. Survival is the name of the game in a progressive KO tournament – also known as an ultra KO tournament – but aggression can also be rewarded.
Phase tournaments are played in sections. In some ways, they resemble satellite poker tournaments, because you must play in Phase 1 to reach Phase 2. However, they differ from satellite poker tournaments, because you take the stack you earned through to the next stage.
Phase tournaments, also known as flight tournaments, often form the basis of major poker series. They are designed to ensure a large overall prize pool and a broad pool of entrants. You do not need to stay awake all night and play for more than six hours. You can also unlock multiple opportunities to qualify for a major event, as you can try your luck several times before Phase 2 commences on the second day.
Shootout tournaments are a hybrid of MTT and SNG online poker tournaments. There are multiple tables, but they are not balanced as players are eliminated. Instead, play continues until there is just one player left at each table. They progress to the next round, and eventually the best players sit around the final table to vie for the first prize.
A satellite tournament is a qualifying event for a large, prestigious poker tournament. UK players can enter satellite events with relatively low buy-ins in an effort to win an entry into a higher buy-in tournament as qualifiers.
The most famous satellite poker tournament winner of all time is the aptly named Chris Moneymaker. The 28-year-old accountant from Tennessee paid just 10,000 buy-in. Moneymaker went on to win the tournament, turning his 2.5 million prize. He ended up becoming an ambassador for PokerStars.
The leading organisers of online poker tournaments run flagship tournament series. These events generate a great deal of excitement and publicity and are run by multiple websites. Here are some of the leading series you can enter:
You can win life-changing prizes and a great deal of if you prevail in a poker event of this size.
Your poker tournament strategy should vary according to the type of event you are playing in. For example, players are often rewarded for showing greater aggression in a bounty hunter poker tournament. However, there are some key poker tournament strategy tenets that should always serve you well:
Broadly follow a tight-aggressive approach.
Start slow and progressively ramp up your aggression.
Play the right starting hands.
Protect your stack.
Learn to read opponents.
Use cutting-edge software to gain an edge.
Know when to bluff.
Use your breaks effectively.
Avoid unnecessary distractions.
Avoid making rookie mistakes.
In a cash game, each chip has a cash value. Players can cash out their chips if they need to leave before the game has ended. In a poker tournament, your eventual payout is determined by your final position in the game.
The money raised from the buy-ins goes into the prize pool, and you will be informed of how the funds will be divided prior to the tournament commencing. Some games are winner-takes-all, but there are usually prizes for the runner-up and other players that reach the final stages of the online poker tournaments.
A typical online poker tournament can be divided into various distinct stages: early, middle, late, and final table. You should adjust your poker tournament strategy according to which stage you are in. For example, it might be sensible to play tight and wait to make highly profitable decisions in the early stages of a UK poker tournament. You need to stay calm and collected until you reach the middle rounds.
As you move into the middle stages, it is often beneficial to loosen up a little and start 3-betting mid-pocket pairs and high suited connectors in certain positions. This is a great opportunity to bolster your stack with chips ahead of the bubble stage. You can try to steal tight players’ blinds and re-steal more and shove for value, but you must remember to defend your blinds.
Your strategy in the late stages and final table will be largely dependent upon the size of your stack. Have a look at our medium stack strategy guide to find out how to play when you're in the middle of the pack in a tournament.
Once again, your approach must be tailored to the types of poker tournaments you are playing in, but these are some broad tips to help you become a better player:
For more detailed advice on poker tournament strategy, check out our 12 steps to becoming a professional poker player.
You can play online poker tournaments by signing up for an account with one of the reputable sites recommended by Gambling.com. When you have funded your account and claimed your welcome bonus, you will be able to choose from a broad selection of tournaments, including multi-table tournaments, sit and go events, and freeroll tournaments.
You can learn the ropes and hone your strategy by playing in tournaments that do not require an entry fee. They are known as freeroll tournaments, and they are available at most leading online poker sites. You can win cash prizes, tournament-entry tickets or merchandise if you are successful at poker freerolls, but you may need to accumulate player points to gain entry into them.
PokerStars has historically reigned supreme as the poker site with the largest guarantees, but GGPoker has recently started to break records with the size of its prize pools. Sites like PartyPoker and 888poker also have large guarantees for their poker tournaments. UK players can also check out the poker rooms at leading bookmakers such as bet365 and Ladbrokes.
Serious players seeking to flourish at the best poker tournaments can use a wide range of tools to help them succeed. Programmes like Hold’em Manager, Poker Tracker, GTO Trainer, ICMIZER and PIO Solver can help refine your poker tournament strategy and gain an edge over rivals at MTT poker and other tournaments, even at poker freerolls.
Cash games are traditionally played at one table, with chips, and there is usually a minimum buy-in amount and a maximum buy-in amount. Players can cash out their chips if they want to leave. Tournament poker can be played on multiple tables, the poker tournaments go on until one player has all the chips, and players win prizes according to where they finish.
888poker, PartyPoker, GGPoker and PokerStars are among the online poker sites with the best MTT poker schedules. You can read reviews of the sites offering the best poker tournaments UK at Gambling.com and choose the operators that most appeal to you.
The best poker players tend to be tight-aggressive players that know how to read opponents, understand tilt, know when to bluff and avoid the sunk cost fallacy. You need to prepare yourself for a long session and display patience, intuition, focus, poise, control and courage throughout the tournament. Using software such as a HUD can also help, while you should also avoid unnecessary distractions and use your breaks effectively.
The most obvious ways to qualify for major live poker tournaments are to become a successful professional poker player or just stump up the large buy-ins. If you are not rich or a pro, you can consider satellite poker tournaments, such as full package satellites, seat-only satellites, steps satellites and flip or all-in satellites. If you win a satellite, you will gain a place at a major live event.
The organisers of certain online poker tournaments will guarantee that the prize pool will be worth a certain minimum amount. If the tournament does not attract enough players making buy-ins, the organiser will step in and top up the pool to reach the guaranteed amount. This additional funding is known as an overlay.
Entry fees to online poker tournaments are essentially calculated based on demand. There is a great deal of demand for poker tournaments with low entry fees, so those tournaments run more frequently than events for high rollers. Most of the entry fee will go to the prize fund, although a fee is also taken by the site that hosts the tournament.
It is very simple to calculate your return on investment in online poker tournaments. Just divide your profit by your total investment, and then multiply that number by 100. In that regard, it is the same as calculating ROI in any field.