My 888 Poker review provides the opportunity for you to learn more about the site from my own personal experience. However, as 888Poker is offering new players $88 free poker money to try out their software (the amount varies according to your location), you can click on “PLAY NOW” to go straight to the site and begin your own 888 Poker experience straight away.
A Quick Word about 888 Poker
888Poker is one of the most established online poker sites in the world. Although the 888 brand did not come into existence until 2002, the company behind 888 started operations in 1997 as Casino-on-Net. Since then, 888 has grown into a multi-billion dollar company that now offers clients not only the most advanced poker software available, but also a comprehensive range of other betting options.
One of the reasons for the site´s success is its willingness to give away free poker money to new players for creating an account with 888 Poker. There are no special terms and conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for this special offer, although there are certain clearing requirements that have to be met before you can withdraw your winnings.
There is no special 888Poker bonus code to use in order to qualify for the free poker money. However, I recommend visiting the site from the links on this page. This is because, if you subsequently choose to make a real money deposit into your account, pokersite.co has an exclusive arrangement with 888 Poker to offer a 100% match on first deposits up to $600.00. The regular bonus has a limit of just $400.00.
Value: The 888Poker Bonus Package
The 888Poker bonus package may not be the biggest in the world, but at least it is achievable without too much effort in the ninety days allowed. In addition to the 100% match on first deposits up to $600, players also receive seven entries into daily “New Depositors” tournaments – each with a $500 prize pool – an entry into the $1,000 depositor´s freeroll tournaments and a free chance to qualify for the following weekend´s $100,000 Sunday Challenge.
To be fair, most players are interested in the first deposit bonus when they sign up for an account with 888 Poker, so I will explain how it works. The bonus money is not placed into your cash account straight away, but into a “bonus account”. Funds are transferred from the bonus account to your cash account as you earn Bonus Points for contributing to the rake at the cash game tables or for paying a fee to enter an 888 Poker tournament or Sit & Go game.
The bonus is released in increments of $10.00 each time you collect 100 Bonus Points. Bonus Points are awarded at the rate of 2 per $1.00 paid in rake or tournament entry fees, so it does not take very long to start seeing the bonus amounts being added to your bankroll. While you are playing poker, a status bar on each table shows you how close you are to releasing another increment, or you can review the status of your bonus in an excellent admin section available through the poker client.
Value: The 888Poker Club Rewards Program
888Poker approaches player rewards in a much different way than many other poker sites. Rather than relying on a rakeback based scheme, the site sets players challenges that are customized in relation to their previous betting action. The challenges are not exclusively poker-related, and some challenges involve playing at the site´s casino or placing a bet at 888Sports.
As challenges are completed, players move towards the next level. Once a new level is reached, 888Poker rewards players with Gold Tokens that can be exchanged for cash, bonuses and tournament entries, or exclusive 888Poker-themed goodies from the online store. Players who complete five levels within a month are rewarded with a free scratch card with extra bonuses to be won.
In addition to the Gold Tokens and free scratch cards, the 888Poker Club offers players entry to exclusive freeroll tournaments with a total monthly value of $100,000. Not every freeroll is open to every player however. Those who complete a higher number of challenges with a set period of time get to compete in tournaments with a higher prize value.
Value: 888Poker Promotions
888Poker has a varied and constantly changing selection of promotions. Most frequently they revolve around freeroll tournaments to which seats can be won by completing various missions or by following the site on social media. There are also special tournaments in which players can win exclusive gifts and “Team Tournaments” – in which players join a team and win a prize even if they get knocked out from the tournament, but a member of their team still wins.
888Poker also hosts a significant number of qualifiers to live poker events. As well as its own “888Live” series of poker events, you can qualify for events such as the World Series of Poker and the Battle of Malta through 888Poker. Many of the live poker qualifiers offer packages which include flights and accommodation, and 888 Poker has an excellent reputation for hospitality when hosting its own live events.
One area that also deserves a mention – although not strictly speaking a “promotion” – is the “my.888Poker” community. The “community” comprises of a blog, forum and exclusive social media platform through which players can ask questions and share knowledge. It is also a good location to find out about promotions not yet generally announced or which are exclusive to the community. Although not widely advertised, the “my.888Poker” community has over 50,000 members.
Software: Poker Games and Tournaments
The range of cash games, Sit & Go games and poker tournaments at 888Poker is extensive. Cash games are offered in Fixed Limit and No Limit Texas Hold´em (including the site´s fast-fold “Snap Poker”), while you will find plenty of action at the Fixed Limit and Pot Limit games of Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo. Not quite as popular, but worth checking out if you fancy a change, are the Fixed Limit games of 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Hi/Lo Stud.
Sit & Go games and poker tournaments run around the clock. Although practically exclusively hosted at No Limit Texas Hold´em, there is no “graveyard” period at 888 Poker due to the site´s international appeal. Whereas many predominantly European sites only host valuable poker tournaments between the hours of 7:00pm and Midnight, you will not have to wait until “peak hours” to get involved in a worthwhile game – or wait hours for a Sit & Go table to fill.
Software: 888 Poker Download
888Poker has some of the best software in the industry. The full 888 Poker download allows players access to “PokerCam” games, 3D games of poker, and a stunning range of features and customisable options. Available to both Windows and Mac users, the 888Poker download is quick to install and very stable to use. The site´s technical support is also very good if you encounter any difficulties.
Players also have the option of a “no download” instant play version of the 888Poker download client that allows full access to all the cash games and poker tournaments hosted by the site and many of the features. In fact, as far as browser-based poker software goes, 888Poker´s instant play product is the best I have seen anywhere, and it gives you the option to play on any desktop device or laptop using any operating system.
Software: 888 Poker on a Mobile
Previously I was no great fan of playing poker on a mobile, but I tested out the site´s mobile apps for the purpose of this 888Poker review and I might have been converted! 888Poker´s mobile apps are available for Android devices, iPhone and iPad. They offer a full range of Texas Hold´em cash games – including the fast-fold Snap Poker game – and a good selection of Sit & Go games and multi table poker tournaments.
You can use the 888Poker mobile apps to deposit and withdraw from your account, check the status of your poker bonus and customise your avatar. The quality of the graphics is exceptionally good and, if you like playing 888 Poker on a mobile, you might also want to check out the site´s sports-betting app (Android only) and the incredible casino apps.
888Poker offers players dozens of methods through which to fund their accounts. Universally accepted deposit methods include Visa, MasterCard, Entropay, Skrill and Neteller, while players in certain countries can use their PayPal or iDebit accounts to fund their poker action. Players can also make deposits by bank transfer or – where available – Instant Banking. In most cases, withdrawals are returned to the funding source. Where that option is not available, 888Poker will send you a cheque in the post.
One important thing to be aware of is 888 Poker´s withdrawal policy. If, like me, you have played at poker sites that transact withdrawals immediately, you may be surprised at how long it takes for withdrawals to be processed and returned to your funding source. Typically, 888 Poker will sit on your withdrawal request for three working days before processing it. Thereafter it can still take a further two working days for the funds to reach your Neteller or PayPal account, and five working days to show up on a Visa account.
Security: Currency Conversions
Although the majority of cash game tables and poker tournaments are played in US dollars, 888Poker provides players with the option to maintain their accounts in a choice of currencies. When you join a table or enter a tournament in a different currency from that of your account balance, 888 Poker will apply the same exchange rate when you leave the table or cash in a tournament.
Where there are some issues is when you fund an 888 Poker account maintained in dollars from a source maintained in a different currency. The exchange rates applied to currency conversions have been criticised in the past for being in the site´s benefit. My advice would be to maintain an 888Poker account in the same currency as your funding source to avoid foreign exchange rate fluctuations and charges – either from 888 Poker or your credit card/eWallet provider.
Security: Customer Support
Being such an incredibly popular online poker site, 888 Poker tries to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions via its website help pages. However, there are times when you have a question that is not covered by the comprehensive list of FAQs and you need to get hold of a customer support representative.
Throughout the 888Poker website, it is advertised that you can contact a customer support representative by live chat (through the poker client), email or phone. Although the staff who provide customer support through the live chat facility are fairly knowledgeable, it can take ages to get connected. The email support is generally poor and, unless you live in specific countries in which online poker is regulated, there is no phone support.
My Experience Playing at 888Poker
There is a lot to like about playing at 888 Poker. The quality of the software and the community spirit among the players are the standout factors that would encourage me to play at the site more often. The way in which the Rewards Program is structured is also appealing, and I can see how the promotions could be exceptionally lucrative to tournament players of a reasonable standard.
Other advantages that you may want to consider include round-the-clock traffic, a fairly weak database of players at micro and low-stakes games, excellent mobile apps and a good level of player security. The only negatives I could find were the withdrawal policy, the currency conversion issue and the customer support. If you can overlook these shortcomings, I believe you will have a very enjoyable poker experience at 888Poker.