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What's the Deal with Time Zones?


In this article
  • What are time zones and who are they affecting
  • Daylight savings times and winter times
  • How to avoid confusion caused by time zones or time changes

You may have been in a situation where the daylight savings time or time zone differences gave you a hard time and kept you from enjoying a particular tournament/freeroll/promotion. You wanted to play a particular freeroll and you missed it because your calculations were wrong and you were supposed to be there one hour earlier - it has probably happened to all of us at one point or another.

How can you prevent that from happening? After all, if you have your current time zone, but you want to play two or three nice freerolls/tournaments and they're all on different rooms, you know already that this is not going to be that easy.

About time zones

The time zone menu on PokerStars
Click to enlarge
Let's talk first about the concept of time zone. They all revolve around Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so any local time can be translated as "GMT +/- x", where x is the difference in hours (up to 12). For example, if you are living in Berlin, then your time is GMT + 1 during standard times. If you are in Moscow, your clock will be 3 hours ahead (GMT + 3).

Of course, time zones mainly affect tournament players, whether we are talking about buy-in tournaments or freerolls, since they have specific starting times. However, cash game or Sit and Go players can also be affected by this issue: If you are interested in playing a pool of players from a particular region (North America, Asia, Australia, etc.), then you may want to pay attention to time zones and see when they are most likely to show up at the tables.

The PokerStars software, for example, gives you the option to select a particular time zone. With over 20 time zones to choose from, there should be one that's right for you.

Daylight savings times and how to work with them

Most of you are probably aware of the concept of "daylight savings time": set the clocks forward one hour in March, then set them back in October. However, this change is different, depending on where you are from.

For example, most European countries will start it on the last Sunday of March and will end on the last Sunday in October. In North America, the daylight savings time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November.

Due to the fact that North America makes the switch earlier than Europe, you will have two to three weeks in March and one week in November during which there might be some problems for you.

Time zones
Standard time zones in 2010

Converting a tourney starting time to my time zone

Let's say that during these particular weeks of March, you are living in Central Europe, and therefore, your time is GMT + 2. This means that a tournament starting at 14:00 GMT will be 16:00 CET for you. However, since North America has already made the switch to daylight savings time, they will use GMT - 4, which is 10:00 EDT in this case.

Same thing goes for the first week of November. When playing a tournament there, you need to be aware that Europe has already switched back to standard time, while North America is still using the daylight savings time. Therefore, a tournament starting at 10:00 EDT translates to 14:00 GMT, which would be 15:00 CET.

Note: Please pay attention to these times if you plan on playing at poker rooms such as PokerStars, PartyPoker or Cake Poker.

Poker room
Server time
(standard time)
Server time
(daylight savings time)
PokerStars PokerStars GMT - 5 (EST)
GMT - 4 (EDT)
PartyPoker PartyPoker GMT - 5 (EST) GMT - 4 (EDT)
Cake   Poker Cake Poker GMT - 5 (EST) GMT - 4 (EDT)
William Hill William Hill
Everest Poker Everest Poker GMT GMT
bet365 bet365 GMT GMT
Titan Poker Titan Poker GMT GMT
Mansion Poker Mansion Poker
Betfair Poker Betfair Poker
bwin bwin
GMT + 1 (CET)
GMT + 2 (CEDT)
888poker 888poker
Unibet Unibet
Poker Heaven Poker Heaven
24hPoker 24hPoker
GMT + 1 (CET) GMT + 2 (CEDT)
Betfred Betfred Poker
Ladbrokes Poker Ladbrokes Poker
EuroPoker EuroPoker GMT + 1 (CET) GMT + 2 (CEDT)
Paddy Power Poker Paddy Power poker

Example: During standard times, a tournament that starts at 12:00 GMT translates to 07:00 EST. During daylight savings times, the same tournament will be set to start at 08:00 EDT. Also, 12:00 GMT will translate to 13:00 CET during standard times and 14:00 during daylight savings times.


It's easy to get confused by these time changes, but that's no reason to give up. Don't let that freeroll or tournament get away from you just because it's played at a weird time. Just use the table above to make the conversion and you should have no more problems with registration.

Comments (17)

#1 WillShakes, 16 Dec 10 16:49

okay article, but while you mention Greenwich MeanTime (GMT), what's CET? EDT? etc? (as others, not what does ETC mean!!) ;)

#2 eteris, 16 Dec 10 18:17

when I choose EET time on fulltilt my client crashes, when I choose any other time zone everything is working fine. Have any of you had same problem? On pokerstars eet timezone works just fine.

#3 eteris, 16 Dec 10 18:18

oh and another thing, when I choose EET timezone on fulltilt client crashes only when I'm in standart loby view, when I'm in basic it works just fine.

#4 gadget51, 16 Dec 10 20:01

My head hurts. I think it's B.E.D. time....or is it? Lol.

#5 Snuggles666, 16 Dec 10 21:53

Will, CET = Central European Time (the time which a ton of European countries use.
EDT is Eastern Daylight Time afaik, aka the time the US-friendly poker rooms use.

#6 Skeat, 16 Dec 10 23:47

CET = GMT+1, the normal time in germany, france and many other countries.

#7 suvex, 21 May 14 21:04

#1 Just google it next time :) It's a great tool!

#8 ShawnlovesShawn, 26 Jul 14 00:28

One more good thing to know!

#9 NextChamp, 25 Aug 14 02:42

Hmmm really interesting, thanks...something I have never thought about...Noted.

#10 Dedees89, 20 Oct 14 01:41

When i play poker the time dsnt exist :)

#11 Nhoxalone, 18 Feb 16 15:58

cảm ơn

#12 Nhoxalone, 18 Feb 16 16:00

CET = GMT + 1, thời gian bình thường ở Đức, Pháp và nhiều nước khác.

#13 arcnagett, 27 Apr 16 13:31

gotta pay attention to it

#14 muska411, 12 Sep 16 16:24

good times

#15 anTe58, 26 Apr 17 19:18


#16 AlekseyTan, 31 May 17 21:34


#17 laszlo780127, 20 Nov 17 13:49

ügyelni kell az idöre