We will take the liberty to assume that you somehow wound up on GamStop and ended being banned from a wide variety of quality poker sites. You may have signed up for a more extended period than necessary, or you were forced to sign up by your employee. Perhaps someone signed you up on GamStop without your approval, like a family member that doesn’t like your gambling habits or a friend that’s just playing a cruel joke.
Regardless of how you ended up registered with GamStop, the fact of the matter is that you are now signed up and can’t access your favourite poker sites. So, what do you do next?
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that no matter what you try to do, you won’t be able to get off GamStop’s blacklist until your exclusion period is over. No matter how you try to communicate with GamStop’s customer support, they won’t take you off their blacklist because that’s the whole point of this programme. This is a shame since some of the best poker sites in the world are a part of GamStop’s exclusion programme.
The good news is that not all poker sites are on GamStop. Only those sites that are licensed by the UKGC must be a part of this programme, but there are plenty of other licensing jurisdictions that don’t have any connections with GamStop. That means that as long as you find an offshore poker site that allows you to create an account as a UK resident, you will be able to play real-money poker there. These offshore operators don’t have to abide by the rules of the UKGC, and they won’t ask any questions regarding your GamStop exclusion.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface of what GamStop is and how to circumvent its strict rules. So, if you want to learn more about GamStop and poker sites not on GamStop, you should keep reading our guide that will cover all of these and many other details.
Here is a list of all the topics that you can read about in this guide:
- What is GamStop and how does it work
- Poker sites registered with GamStop
- Poker sites NOT registered with GamStop
- Comparison between GamStop and non-GamStop poker sites
- How we review poker sites that are not on GamStop
- Things to pay attention to while selecting a non-GamStop poker site
- More about GamStop and gambling addiction in the UK
- Our thoughts about poker sites not on GamStop
- Frequently asked questions
What Is GamStop and How Does It Work
GamStop is a self-exclusion programme operated by The National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited.
The programme was created to help problem gamblers and suppress the spreading gambling addiction epidemic in the UK.
If you feel like your gambling habits are becoming a problem, but you can’t restrain yourself from continuing to visit gambling sites, GamStop will be there to help you out.
By registering on GamStop, you will be banned from all websites that are partnered with it. Since recently, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission made it a requirement that all gambling sites (including online poker rooms) licensed by the UKGC must become a part of GamStop’s programme.
That means that your GamStop inclusion covers all UK-based sites and you won’t be able to register on them. It is important to note that registering with GamStop only stops you from playing gambling games over the internet. You will still be allowed to gamble and play poker in your local poker rooms and casinos.
All you need to do to register on GamStop is provide you name, email address, zip code, and some other personal details. You will then be asked to choose the duration of your exclusion period, which can be six months, one year, or five years. It may take up to 24 hours for the ban to become effective.
Registering with GamStop takes only a few minutes, but the effects are irreversible. You won’t be able to get your name off of GamStop’s blacklist no matter what you do. Instead, you will have to wait for the exclusion period to end.
Once your exclusion period ends, you won’t be able to play on UK-based poker sites right away. Instead, you will need to go back to GamStop’s official site and ask for your ban to be lifted, which may take a few hours. Of course, you can also extend your exclusion period if you’d like. Registering with GamStop is entirely free.
Poker Sites Registered With GamStop
There are only a handful of poker sites that are licensed by the UKGC, and are, therefore, a part of GamStop’s self-exclusion programme. Nevertheless, these poker sites are some of the best in the world, offering competitive gaming, impeccable poker software, organising rewarding cash games and tournaments, and more.
Some of the participating poker sites include 888poker, PokerStars, Unibet Poker and Sky Poker. If you’re a true poker enthusiast, you probably recognise these brands and have likely played poker on their websites. Unfortunately, these are legit quality poker platforms that will offer you the best online poker experience possible. So, if you wound up on GamStop, these sites will be unavailable to you until your exclusion period is over.
But don’t worry, as these are far from being the only quality poker sites on the web. Next, we will list some of the best offshore poker sites that accept UK players and are not restricted by GamStop.
Poker Sites NOT Registered With GamStop — The Ultimate List
As we mentioned, only a handful of poker sites are part of GamStop’s self-exclusion programme. The UK Gambling Commission licenses these sites, and according to the Commission’s rules, every site with their licence must be registered with the programme.
However, UKGC is far from being the only regulatory body in regards to online gambling and online poker sites.
There are plenty of other licensing jurisdictions that stand behind quality poker platforms that operate offshore.
Not a lot of these sites are as great as 888poker or PokerStars, but they will be your only option if you are currently on GamStop’s blacklist. Moreover, non-GamStop poker sites will be available to you even if you are not on GamStop at the moment.
We have done meticulous research to find the best non-UK poker sites for UK players. If you want to learn more about how we reviewed these sites and why we consider them the best, you should continue reading and get back to this part when you’re done. But if you trust our word and are eager to start playing online poker again, then simply browse our list below and pick a poker site that best suits your needs.
We want to inform you that this list is not final. As new worthwhile poker sites not on GamStop show up on our radar, we will make sure to give them a proper review and update our list accordingly.
How We Review Poker Sites Not on GamStop
Poker sites licensed by the UKGC represent only a small fraction of the online poker world.
While finding a non-GamStop poker site will be relatively easy, we don’t suggest that you go on that venture by yourself. You could easily wind up on a poker site of low quality or a site that is not properly licensed and is unsafe.
By employing some of the best online poker experts, we are competent to review these non-GamStop poker sites and tell you which ones are worth your time and money. Our review process is all but a simple one.
To truly estimate these sites and recommend them to our loyal readers, we must go through every aspect.
Here are some of the main things that we pay attention to when conducting reviews on poker sites not on GamStop:
Licensing and Safety
The biggest concern you should have when playing on offshore poker sites regards licensing and safety. If a poker site is on GamStop, you can rest assured that that website operates under a valid licence and is 100% secure, as all UKGC poker sites are.
However, poker sites not on GamStop operate under various offshore jurisdictions, and some of them are not as secure as they should be. That’s why, before doing anything else, we always check a poker site’s licensing details and safety protocols to make sure that everything is up to the highest standards.
Non-GamStop poker sites you can find on this page own licences from other reputable jurisdictions and use state-of-the-art encryption technology to safeguard your personal details. Moreover, you won’t have to use VPN or other software that hides your location since we handpicked poker sites that accept players from the UK.
Quality of Software
Software is the most important part of any poker website. Quality of software will have a significant impact on your overall poker experience, so we paid considerable attention to this particular aspect.
Unfortunately, poker sites with the best poker software are those that are licensed by the UKGC, and are, therefore, under GamStop’s self-exclusion programme. The reason why so many players choose to play their hands on 888poker and PokerStars is that these sites offer impeccable poker software.
Nevertheless, several non-GamStop poker sites have competitive software that makes playing poker there worthwhile. We made sure to include all of those sites on our list, spending hours on end testing the software and uncovering its capabilities.
We guarantee that you will have a great time playing on our recommended poker sites that are not on GamStop. You will be able to enjoy smooth gameplay with no interruptions, an intuitive interface, and an ability to use live chat, customisation options, and other features.
Available Poker Games and TournamentsPoker is a very versatile card game, as it has more than a dozen forms. The most popular poker games today include Texas Hold’em and Omaha, but these variations come with several sub-variants that mostly regard the games’ betting limits (fixed limit, no limit, pot limit).
We selected poker sites that offer as many different poker games as possible. Apart from Texas Hold’em and Omaha that are offered by almost every poker site that isn’t on GamStop, we looked for some other variants like Omaha Hi-Lo, 7-Card Stud, 5-Card Draw, Razz and others.
While poker cash games are fun and all, most players play on poker sites because of the tournaments. This is where the highest prizes can be won (if you have the skills necessary, of course).
Our recommended non-GamStop poker sites offer daily and weekly tournaments with various buy-in sizes. They also have frequent freeroll tournaments that require no money for you to enter but can reward you with cash prizes or tickets for other tournaments.
Betting Limits and Rake
Every poker player is different in terms of their bankroll size and management. Some only play poker for fun and games in which the blinds are only a few pence suit them very well. On the other side of the spectrum are players with more of an appetite. These players are not hesitant to wager £100 or more per round.
A quality poker site should cater to both low-limit players and high-rollers, as well as everyone in between. Luckily, there are plenty of non-GamStop poker sites that fit that description, and you can find the best of them on our top list.
One of the things that we haven’t discussed thus far is poker rake. For those of you who are new to online poker, a rake is a commission that the poker operator takes for hosting the game. The rake can be anywhere between 2.5% and 10%, depending on the game, betting limits, and the website’s rules.
We made sure that poker sites on our list have a reasonable rake and that you won’t lose too much money out of your winnings while paying this commission.
Player traffic is another critical aspect that you should look into when choosing to play on offshore poker sites. But this is where poker sites not registered on GamStop might have an advantage.
Namely, popular poker sites, like those licensed by the UKGC, attract a lot of skilled players and poker pros. This makes winning on these sites a formidable challenge for someone who is just there to play for fun.
By having lower player traffic, offshore poker sites are less competitive, giving you a real shot at taking the pot. In other words, playing on non-GamStop poker sites pays off more since it’s easier for you to beat your opponents.
Of course, player traffic on a poker site should still be optimal for that site to even function. If there aren’t many players who visit a given poker site, then you won’t be able to find opponents at all, and you might have to wait longer to see an open table than on some more popular sites.
Poker Bonuses and PromotionsA strategy that all poker sites use regardless of whether they are registered with GamStop or not is to offer their players a lot of bonuses to attract them. This is not only the case with poker sites but casino sites and online sportsbooks as well.
In any case, offshore poker sites are full of advantageous bonuses and promotions that can extend your bankroll or get you to pay a smaller rake. Some might argue that non-GamStop poker sites have better and more valuable bonuses than those licensed by the UKGC.
Almost every offshore poker site has a welcome sign-up bonus reserved for their new players. These bonuses are usually in the form of free bonus cash that you can spend on a variety of poker games. The prerequisite for getting this bonus involves the player completing a minimum deposit, although there are some no deposit bonuses you can run into as well.
However, poker bonuses and promotions are not only reserved for new players. There are also reload bonuses that you can get every week or month, and that are designed for regulars. Some offshore poker sites have VIP/loyalty programmes that come with special benefits depending on your account status.
Rakebacks are another exciting type of poker bonus. By becoming eligible for this bonus, you will pay a smaller rake than usual.
Just like everything else we look into, bonuses are a big part of our review process. If a poker site not on GamStop has rewarding bonus offers, we immediately consider adding it to our list.
Mobile Site and App
While most online poker players play on their desktops, the number of mobile players is still increasing. Recognising the demand for mobile poker, many poker operators started to develop mobile-friendly sites and apps.
Playing poker on your mobile device is beneficial in many ways. The most significant advantage of mobile poker is that you can play wherever you are, as long as you have a stable internet connection. This is quite handy if you just want to play a few hands while taking a break from work or any other suitable situation.
Every non-GamStop poker site on our list can be accessed through a mobile device. While these sites are designed to work even on some older smartphones and tablets, the newer the device, the better your mobile poker experience will be. Mobile poker sites look exactly like their desktop versions; only they are designed to fit on a smaller screen.
Even though mobile poker sites are functional, there’s no doubt that playing poker through a mobile app is better. Apps work faster and provide a better user experience, so if you’re given the option to download an app, you should do it. However, the keyword here is if. Not all poker operators offer a mobile app, but we’ve made sure to list some of the ones that do.
UK-Friendly Payment Methods
A lack of convenient payment methods can create an obstacle to gambling online. A poker site can have great games and tournaments, a quality software, and rewarding promotions, but that doesn’t mean a lot if you can’t find a way to deposit using your preferred banking option.
Being that this guide is primarily targeted at UK players, we made sure that our list of recommended non-GamStop poker sites includes only those operators that offer safe and reliable payment methods that UK players are familiar with.
Among those methods are credit and debit cards, various e-wallets, direct bank transfers, and cryptocurrency. Of course, our banking research didn’t end there. We also wanted to check the deposit and withdrawal limits, the potential existence of fees, and the duration of transaction processes.
Only when we were satisfied with all of the aspects we mentioned earlier would we deem a poker site UK-friendly. While we tried to find as many non-GamStop poker sites that accept GBP currency, we couldn’t find many, but most of these sites will be happy to convert your pounds into one of the accepted currencies.
Creating an account on a new poker site is like visiting a new restaurant. Naturally, you would want to hear about the special offers, which seats are available and when, and other details.
Just like a friendly waiter is there to get you familiar with the restaurant, there should also be a professional customer support agent that is ready to answer all of your questions in regards to the poker site you ended up choosing.
More than being professional, well-mannered, and patient, customer support agents should always be available to you. While reviewing poker sites that are not on GamStop, we tried reaching their customer support to see how responsive they are and whether they can answer basic questions.
We can safely say that every offshore poker site on our list has excellent customer support that works around the clocks and can be reached through live chat, email, or phone. Moreover, every poker site we listed has support agents that are fluent English speakers.
Best Legal Licensed Online Poker Sites
Comparison Between GamStop and Non-GamStop Poker Sites
Now that we’ve mentioned some poker sites that are and aren’t on GamStop, it comes the time for us to speak a little bit about the main differences between them.
Both of these poker site types share a lot of similarities.
They are both, in essence, online platforms where you can play poker.
So, what exactly are the things that set them apart?
Pros and Cons of GamStop Poker Sites
Playing on GamStop poker sites is beneficial in many ways, so let’s check out the advantages of these poker platforms:
- UKGC poker sites include some of the best online poker brands in the world like PokerStars and 888 Poker
- Poker sites on GamStop are tailored to UK players
- GamSpot poker sites are 100% safe and regulated
- Great player traffic
- Excellent poker software
- Limited number of payment methods
- Tough competition that makes it hard to win
- Tournament spots get booked rather quickly
- Not a lot of bonuses and reward schemes
Pros and Cons of Poker Sites Not on GamStop
Being a poker player on GamStop is not the end of the world. A vast majority of poker sites will still be accessible to you. Let’s see what the most significant advantages of these sites are:
- A potentially higher chance of winning due to weaker competition
- More banking options available with potentially higher deposit and withdrawal limits
- Better selection of poker bonuses
- Looser gambling regulations
- Most non-GamStop poker sites accept UK players
- Not all non-GamStop poker sites cater to UK players (not being able to perform transactions using GBP, for example)
- Inferior poker software
- Not all non-GamStop sites are safe or properly licensed
Tips for Selecting a Great Non-GamStop Poker Site
Our list includes the cream of the crop when it comes to offshore poker sites.
But you need to select a single site, so how do you narrow it down to that top choice?
To help you with your selection, we’ve listed a few suggestions that might help you out:
- Choose according to your skill level — Depending on how good you are at playing poker, you will choose a site with optimal player traffic. The higher the traffic, the bigger the competition, and so are the rewards. Lower player traffic means weaker opponents but not a great flow of cash.
- Bonuses are not that important — Even though many poker sites highlight their bonus offers as something that it’s going to make a significant impact on your game, that’s just a marketing trick to attract you to that website. Poker bonuses are excellent, but they are one of the last things that you should concern yourself with when selecting a quality poker site. Never choose a site solely because it has a better bonus.
- Look for poker apps if you like playing on mobile — If smartphones and tablets are your primary devices for playing online poker, you should look for a poker operator that has a dedicated mobile app. While mobile sites can work just fine, mobile apps provide better user experience and are more stable.
- See which games are available — If you like playing Texas Hold’em, you should have no worries, as almost every poker website offers this highly popular game. However, if you like playing some less popular ones like Razz, for example, you should dig a little deeper and find a site that hosts that type of game.
- Check how big the rake is — Rake is a commission that every online poker operator charges for hosting the game. Depending on the operator, type of the game played, and the betting limits, rake usually varies between 2.5% and 10%. Go through all poker sites and try to find one with the smallest rake.
More About GamStop and Gambling Addiction in the UK
GamStop is an online self-exclusion programme designed to help gambling addicts in the UK. By signing up for the programme, players are banned from using all gambling sites under the UKGC jurisdiction.
This programme was created as a response to the UK’s gambling addiction problem that has increased rapidly since the introduction of legal gambling sites. As a country in which most forms of gambling are legal and regulated, it’s only natural that there will also be a high number of gambling addicts.
To counter this epidemic, the UKGC stood behind GamStop’s self-exclusion programme and made it a requirement that all gambling sites under the UKGC licence must become the programme’s participants and offer it to their players.
GamStop has helped many people overcome their gambling addictions and has led them to a better path. However, GamStop is far from being an ideal system for the prevention of gambling addiction.
As you could have read in this article, GamStop doesn’t have any control over poker sites (or gambling sites in general) that operate offshore. So, even if a poker player like yourself somehow ends up on GamStop, they can still enjoy online poker on hundreds of non-UK websites.
One thing that we want to get out in the open is that we do not encourage irresponsible gambling by any means. You should play on poker sites that we shared in this guide only if you have your gambling habits under control.
If you do consider that you are a gambling addict (or are on the path to becoming one), you should consider staying on GamStop’s programme and not abuse the fact that many poker sites are still open for you.
Of course, just being registered on GamStop is not enough if you truly want to suppress your gambling urges and get rid of your addiction. GamStop itself is not a gambling therapy programme and does not offer any support in that regard.
Luckily, there are plenty of gambling therapy programmes here in the UK that, in combination with GamStop, can help you overcome your gambling issues. Here are some of the most notable ones:
Deposit and Loss Limits
It can be a tricky business when you are a gambler, knowing which games to play and how to play them, and that is certainly true if you for example love nothing more than playing poker games, and if you have been looking for Poker sites not on GamStop then boy will you be impressed by just how many such sites are readily available to you.
However, as poker is a game of skill as well as a game which does require an element of luck, then the onus really is on you to learn how to play poker strategically, and even though that can take quite some time, it will be time well spent for sure.
If you are someone that is a very avid sports bettor then you need to take a look over the range of Betting sites not on GamStop, for what I have noticed and you will do when you start comparing those sportsbooks is that the odds on offer can widely vary, and you will need to pick a betting site that offers the high possible industry leading betting odds to lock in the maximum betting value.
But one word of warning, if you have added your name and details onto the GamStop self-exclusion register for any reason in the past, then above all else you should also make sure that before you return to gambling you always set yourself some very robust deposit and loss limits at any gambling site you sign up to.
Fortunately these days all gambling sites which by the way do of course include Casinos not on GamStop offer their customers the option of setting their own unique loss limits and also let their customers set some very strictly adhered to deposit limits too, so make sure you make use of those gambling limit option settings as that way you can control your own destiny so to speak and will always be gambling in a very responsible way too.
Those of you that have at one time or another in the past experienced any type of gambling problem need to be aware that recently a new slew of gambling sites have started to appear online, which you will possibly be tempted to gamble at.
Those sites are collectively known as a No Account Casinos, and what they offer you is a way of playing casino games for real money but you are never going to be required to furnish the casinos with your won details and as such there is no registration form to be filled out when you want to play at those sites for real money.
If you are tempted to play at such sites or even play and gamble at Non GamStop Bingo Sites then do make sure you always do avail yourself to heir deposit and loss limit responsible gambling option settings, and configure then in such a way you can never overspend when playing at those sites., that really is the best advice I can pass onto you for sure.
While being registered with GamStop will keep you locked away from some excellent UK-based poker sites, there are plenty of alternatives that will scratch your itch for a quality online poker experience.
As avid poker players, we have put ourselves on a mission to investigate the online poker world outside of GamStop’s brick walls and found some of the finest offshore poker sites that you might find interesting as well.
All of these non-GamStop poker sites have been thoroughly checked for their quality standards. You can expect to find popular cash games and tournaments, optimal player traffic, betting limits that suit all player types, rewarding bonuses and promotions, and many other things that make a poker site worth your time and money.
If you want to find other gambling sites not registered with GamStop, feel free to browse our website for more information. Also, if you have any questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us as we will be more than glad to share some of our knowledge. Good luck!
If you need a quick recap of what we talked about in our detailed guide or are looking for some concrete answers regarding poker sites that are not on GamStop, check out our FAQ section below.
Are poker sites not registered with GamStop safe?
Are non-GamStop poker sites better than those on GamStop?
Both types of poker sites have their advantages and disadvantages, which is something that we’ve discussed in our article above.