My Betfair Poker review identifies several good reasons for playing at the site. A generous welcome package is matched by a simple yet potentially lucrative rewards program and an ongoing schedule of promotions that offer opportunities for players of all standards to add to their bankrolls. If you cannot wait to take advantage of these opportunities, click “PLAY NOW” to visit the site and make your first deposit.
A Little Bit of Betfair History
Betfair is the world´s largest betting exchange – an online marketplace in which gamblers can lay bets as well as place them – and the owner of the world´s horseracing bible “Timeform”. Founded in 2000, the company has an annual turnover in excess of £390 million ($540 million) and currently operates under licenses from the UK Gambling Commission and Maltese Gaming Authority.
Betfair identified the opportunities for online poker early in its existence, and was formerly on the old Cryptologic Network before attempting to run as a standalone site with the purchase of PokerChamps.com in 2005. In 2010, Betfair Poker moved to the Ongame Network, but has since found a more permanent home on the iPoker Network – joining the network in January 2013.
Value: The Betfair Poker Bonus
The site offers players a generous welcome package that is headlined by a 200% first deposit bonus up to €1,000. The Betfair Poker bonus held in a separate “bonus funds” wallet and transferred to a player´s real money account as they earn Status Points for contributing to the rake deducted from cash games or for paying a fee to enter a Sit & Go or Multitable Tournament.
Status Points are awarded at the rate of 25 points per Euro paid in rake and tournament entry fees, and each €10.00 chunk of the bonus is released when players have collected 1,250 Status Points. Players have forty-five days in which to clear the Betfair Poker bonus and, during that time, their progress can be monitored in the “My Account” section of the poker lobby.
Value: The Rest of the Welcome Package
Not everybody has €500 available to take advantage of the maximum Betfair Poker bonus and, acknowledging this, the site offers plenty of other goodies in its Welcome Package. In addition to the 200% first deposit bonus, players can take advantage of:
- A €5.00 Twister entry token, with the potential to win €5,000.
- Ten €1.00 tournament entry tokens for Team Betfair live event qualifiers.
- €10.00 worth of casino chips to play in the Betfair Casino.
In theory, a player could make the minimum deposit of €10.00 and get a €20.00 poker bonus, €15.00 in entry tokens and a further €10.00 in chips to play at the casino. That´s potentially €55.00 to play with for just a €10.00 deposit.
Value: The Betfair Poker Loyalty Club
The site´s loyalty club is simple, but potentially very lucrative. As players are clearing the Betfair Poker bonus, the Status Points they earn accumulate in their loyalty club account. How many Status Points a player earns within a calendar month determines which of the three statuses they achieve.
Everybody starts off at Bronze Status level until they earn 1,250 Status Points. From there they are elevated to Silver Status until they earn 12,500 Status Points in a calendar month – when they are awarded Gold Status. The higher the status, the higher the multiplier applied to Status Points to exchange for VIP Poker Points.
Status Points (SPs) earned at Silver Status level are converted into VIP Poker Points (VPPs) at the rate of 3 VPPs per SP, while Status Points at Gold Status level are converted into VIP Poker Points at the rate of 5.25 VPPs per SP. VPPs can be exchanged for cash at the rate of 375 VPPs per Euro.
A player on course to clear the maximum Betfair Poker bonus would be collecting 125,000 Status Points per month. At Gold Status, this would equate to 656,250 VIP Poker Points, which could be exchanged for €1,750 in cash every month. Like I said at the beginning of this section, “potentially very lucrative”.
Software: Poker Games and Tournaments
The choice of poker games and tournaments at Betfair Poker is determined by what is offered by the iPoker Network. Fortunately, most players will find plenty to satisfy their demands. The site offers cash games in Texas Hold´em poker, Omaha poker, and the new high-action game of Six Plus Hold´em. Players preferring their action a little faster than the norm can also play NL Texas Hold´em at the site´s fast-fold Speed Poker tables.
There is a comprehensive range of Sit & Go games – including the network´s Jackpot Sit & Go games and the three-handed hyper-turbo “Twister” Sit & Go games. In terms of poker tournaments, Betfair Poker has an extensive schedule paying out more than €5 million in guaranteed prize pools each month. The best tournament to try to qualify for on the cheap is the network´s “Sunday Special” that has a €100,000 guarantee and a buy-in of €75.00.
Software: Betfair Poker Download
The Betfair Poker download is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and, despite a good range of features included in the installation package, is remarkably light on your computer´s resources. The installation of the software is managed by a set up wizard, so there should be no technical issues for poker players inexperienced with computer software.
Once up and running, navigation of the site takes a little getting used to because of all the options available. One of those options – the “quick seat” – is a good place for new players to start in order to become accustomed with the poker lobbies and, once familiar with the site, players can use the “favorites” option to add their more preferable games and stake ranges to the opening menu.
Software: Betfair Poker´s Mobile Apps
Betfair offers players the opportunity to play online poker on the go with mobile apps that are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. At present, the apps only support cash games and Speed Poker and the bet slider function is limited to raising the stakes by just one Big Blind.
The Betfair Poker mobile apps can be download free of charge from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, or players can use the QR link on the website to download a link to the apps. Players can also play online from a mobile device through their browser by visiting Betfair Poker´s mobile-friendly site.
Betfair offers players plenty of options for depositing into their accounts from the standards of Visa and MasterCard, and Neteller and Skrill, to a variety of alternate deposit options depending on the player´s country of residence. Unlike many other online poker sites, Betfair allows players in certain countries to withdraw to a MasterCard. Full details of how to do this appear in the Betfair Poker cashier.
For withdrawals, the site operates a “closed loop policy”. What this means is that players can only withdraw to multiple funding sources according to how much they have deposited through that funding source. For example, if you were to deposit €100 via Visa and another €100 via Neteller – and then won €300 – €100 of the winnings would have to go back to each of your funding sources before you could choose the destination for the remaining €100.
Security: Currency Conversions
Accounts can be opened in a variety of currencies – Sterling, Euros, US dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Australian dollars, Danish Krone and Swedish Krona – and Betfair has a very fair policy when dealing with currency conversions. All transactions – whether at the poker tables or at one of Betfair´s other gambling opportunities – are converted according to a fixed daily rate. When you stand up from a table or cash in a poker tournament, your winnings are converted at the same rate as you bought in.
As there is no need for currency conversions between betting and poker wallets, there are no circumstances in which Betfair will charge you a foreign exchange currency fee. However, it is advisable to fund your account using a funding source in the same currency as your Betfair account to avoid being charged for a currency conversion by your bank, E-wallet provider, or credit card company.
Security: Customer Support
Betfair Poker has an exceptionally comprehensive “Help” section on its website where players will find the answers to practically all possible question. If you would like to interact with a real person, Betfair Poker provides customer support by live chat, phone, email and Twitter. Typically you will never need Betfair´s customer support. If you do, the site provides support in sixteen different languages.
My Experience Playing at Betfair Poker
I have actually been a Betfair customer since the days before the site offered online poker, so I have a fondness for Betfair. In fact, it is the only online gambling site that I have used the refer-a-friend promotion – the friend subsequently won €500.00 playing exchange games and I picked up a €25.00 bonus!
As far as the poker product is concerned, it is much better than many of its companions on the iPoker Network due to the superb welcome package, the ongoing rewards and promotions and – very important for me – because it provides an acceptable mobile app. This made the clearing of my Betfair poker bonus more convenient, and I was able to rack up a good number of Status Points in a relatively short space of time.