Known for its no-deposit bonus, busy cash tables and a wealth of soft players, 888poker is one of the oldest poker rooms in existence and boasts it is the second busiest room in the world. If you are looking for reliability and trust then look know further than 888poker
History of 888poker
You have to go back to 1997 for the first iteration of 888poker. It began when Virtual Holdings Limited was founded and for the first few years existed using their first proprietary product, Casino-on-Net. Fast forward to 2002 and the 888 brand was launched following the purchase of Pacific Poker. Following more acquisitions and mergers, by 2010, 888Holdings (as it became known) emerged as the umbrella for a strong set of brand identities 888casino, 888poker, 888sport and 888bingo.
888poker has evolved slowly since then. Never really being at the forefront of technology, but rather quietly assessing developments in the poker industry and pointing their software in the direction poker players want. The poker room tends to follow behind the rest of the industry. This is not a criticism but don’t expect major innovations at 888poker. The parent company 888Holdings is listed on the London Stock Exchange and from June 2020 was included in the prestigious FTSE250 Index.
888 Poker – Reputation
For such a long established company, 888poker has been almost free from any major poker scandal. Whether this is by luck rather than judgement is open to question but the room must be doing something right to avoid any negative publicity whether through decent pr or overall security.
Own software or network?
888poker uses its own proprietary software based on the old Pacific Poker software. It is updated regularly. The last major update happened in 2019. This gives the room more flexibility over campaigns, promotions and bonuses.
Does 888poker accept Bitcoin?
The site does not currently accept Bitcoin to deposit into a poker account. On one level this can be frustrating for some players, on another it is a useful security tool because it makes it much harder for a player to play anonymously. Players can use Bitcoin by Skrill as a deposit method but can not withdraw using the same process.
Can I play with 888 if I live in the United States Of America?
Anyone in the US can register an account, however only people based in New Jersey are allowed to currently play for real money. A small loophole is that if you register an account then travel to New Jersey then you are able to deposit and play for real money. The regulatory rules in the US are fairly fluid currently so it is worth checking periodically whether it is legal in your state of residence.
888poker is not particularly renowned for great customer service but that is not to say it is bad. Best way to contact them is by email or using the contact form on the website. Before contacting them it is worth perusing the comprehensive Help and FAQs section which also has a search function. Anecdotally, the support is thorough but occasionally a little slow. Customer support also has an active representative in the popular 2+2 poker forum and can be found by navigating to the Internet Poker board and tracking down the **The New and Official 888poker (ROW) Players’ Thread**.
Have they got a gambling licence?
Being a FTSE250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange it is no surprise that 888 Holdings PLC holds a current gambling licence which is issued in the EU country Malta. UK-based players come under the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission..
888poker have a rota of poker ambassadors with the most famous being UK online legend Chris Moorman.
888Poker No deposit Bonus
888 poker is famous for being one of the only poker sites to offer a no deposit bonus – usually headlined as $88.
As my mother was fond of telling me “If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”
On closer inspection the $88 no deposit bonus is in reality a $1 totally free, real money giveaway. Included in the $8 bonus is $7 worth of tournament tickets.
The extra $80 bonus is a play through bonus. However you can only unlock this if you deposit real money OR have made any profit from the free $1 and free tournament tickets.
Still, while peeling away the truth of the bonus, it is free money! You have just 14 days to use your no deposit bonus.
As well as the no deposit bonus there is a deposit bonus worth up to $400. It is based on how much you initially deposit and is released in $10 increments as you earn Bonus points.
Official lingo – Your Welcome Bonus will be granted in $10 portions each time you collect 100 Bonus Points. You can collect bonus points by playing live poker and casino games:
What are bonus points?
Players earn two bonus points for every $1 of contributed rake in a poker cash game. They can also earn two bonus points for every $1 in poker tournaments fees and finally can earn one bonus point for every $10 spent on casino games (though this must be played from your poker wallet). A player has 30 days to reach his bonus target.
There are more generous deposit bonuses with slightly less onerous play-through conditions but on the whole it is pretty much industry standard.
Is there a promo code for 888Poker?
yes – You need to use the promo code WELCOME100.
Note that players depositing via the Neteller or Skrill payment methods will not be entitled to receive the welcome bonus.
As always it is worth giving the bonus terms and conditions a thorough going over especially as they can vary depending on from which country you sign-up. I.e there are specific terms and conditions for UK-based players.
Ongoing promotions at 888 Poker
The promotions change a few times a year but all revolve around rewards for the more you play, whether that be free tournament tickets or bonus points (which can be redeemed for cash).
888poker seems quite innovative in their ongoing promotions which is a refreshing change from leaderboards or rake races.Once you are signed up you will receive an email explaining when promotions are updated.
Does 888poker offer rakeback?
Does anyone do rakeback these days? Plenty of younger players will have no concept of what rakeback actually is. As with most sites, 888poker has a rewards programme effectively rewarding players with redeemable points based on how often and at what stakes they play. At 888 it is called 888 Poker Club.
Reading the terms and conditions of the 888 Poker Club is a job in itself but suffice to say, the more you play, the more you are rewarded. Every real money depositing player is automatically enrolled in the Club and rewards can be redeemed in the official 888 store. Here you can swap rewards for gadgets, clothing, luxury items as well as tournament tickets and credit to play in cash games.
The loyalty program has ascending levels and each time you reach a new level you are rewarded with Gold Tokens which are used in the online store as above. Once you reach the lowest reward level you are entitled to take part in freerolls. The higher your level, the more freerolls you can enter.
Payouts at 888poker
The biggest complaint you hear from anyone about 888poker is the speed of payouts. It takes at least three days. This is unusual for a poker site. In one sense it is frustrating especially if you need the money urgently; in another way it is quite a useful security tool.
Suppose there had been suspicion of collusion or bot activity. The three-day withdrawal method allows the security team a little bit of time to investigate. Possibly to be able to return money lost by yourself to nefarious practices.
One more cynical reason for the delay could be in the hope that a player reverses the withdrawal. This option is available to all players except those from the UK. The regulators there have banned such a practice under safer gambling regulation.
Whatever the reason, if playing on 888poker expect that short delay before being paid.
If you can wait at least three days then the 888poker payout method is smooth and secure with plenty of ways to withdraw.
All the usual suspects are available as you would expect from a FTSE250 Index listed company. However, it is worth checking carefully on the deposits page on the website because many of the deposit methods don’t allow a player to withdraw using that method.
Also, deposit and withdrawal options can vary from country to country. A bit of due diligence can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
As with all poker sites, it is a good option to contact them directly to see if your favoured deposit/withdrawal option is available.
Paypal poker at 888poker
Not all poker sites accept Paypal but it can be used for depositing and withdrawing on 888poker. The best part of this method is that there are no fees paid, so whatever you deposit is what will be sitting as your poker balance.
The minimum deposit when using Paypal is 10 euros, 10 dollars or 10 pounds.
As you would expect from a poker site that has been around for so long, the software is very comfortable and easy to use. It is not loaded with bells and whistles but it does the job. It was given a much needed facelift as recently as 2019 and is updated on an ongoing basis.
The lobby is easy to navigate and filter into the games and stakes you want to play.
They have gone slightly overboard on the customisation options but once players have their preferred view locked-in there is no real need to change. It’s good to have options, at the very least.
One neat feature of the software is they have removed the chat box and replaced it with chat bubbles. This has the result of making the table seem less cluttered.
No poker software is perfect for everyone. 888poker has tried its best to accommodate the likes and wants of as many of its users as possible.
The bottom line, this is good solid poker software to play on and connectivity issues are relatively rare.
Can I use a HUD?
Yes. 888poker allows the use of HUDs which can be invaluable for analysing your own play but also to get some clues about your opponents.
The debate about the use of HUDs has been raging for a long time. Grinders like them because they can use them to get an advantage over the recreational players.
Most recreational players are not aware they are at a disadvantage playing at sites like 888poker. If they are looking for fairer games with anonymous tables they should check out the partypoker software or other sites that offer this recreational player friendly feature.
One nod to fairness is players are automatically seated at cash tables, a measure introduced to stop regulars targeting weaker players known as ‘bumhunting’
Can you play private home games on 888poker?
Not only can you play home games on the desktop software, you can also play home games on mobile.
Setting up games is relatively simple with the option to skype, zoom or email the link to your friends. Importantly, it allows you the ability to set up tournaments and cash games. Some sites only allow cash games which can be frustrating for some.
The rake is the same for normal cash or tournament games and the ability to play on a mobile, sets it apart from some of its competitors.
Sportsbook and Casino?
Poker is just one part of the gaming offered by 888. They also have a full functioning sportsbook and offer a superior casino product. The importance of the sportsbook to poker sites is in the cross-selling of the product to sports bettors who tend to be weaker and less experienced players. On the downside, their betting style can frustrate many regular poker players.
Play anywhere with mobile
As is becoming standard for all poker sites, 888 has a poker app for iPhone and Android.
Almost all the features from the desktop version are usable on mobile including private home games.
Mobile tends to come into its own in fast fold poker and 888poker has its own version called Snap.
Fast fold poker is growing in popularity with players not only wanting to play on the move but also wanting to play without having to wait after receiving trash hands.
Snap poker and mobile seems a perfect storm to play through a no deposit or sign-up bonus considering the amount of hands a player can turnover in a short space of time.
Blast power does for tournaments what Snap does for cash games – everything is done more quickly. Generally these take the format of three-player SNGs with a random prize awarded to the winner of these hyper-turbo events. Blind levels are two-minutes and the random prizes are awarded based on a predetermined multiplier which is modified depending on what stake you are playing at.
With rake at over 6% and luck playing a huge part, they are not the most profitable offering in the lobby but some players find them great fun to play and quite literally …a blast!
Instant play poker at 888
One of the standout offerings from 888 is the ability to play without any downloads and fire up a game straight from your browser. The main advantage is portability. These days, especially those poker players with kids find phones, tablets, laptops and desktops inhabited by any number of people.
Instant play in the browser means you can play on whatever device you are left holding after the kids have taken your laptop to fire up Roblox or your phone to play Brawl Stars!
Instant play is a very useful option to take advantage of.when needed at home or when on the move..
Tournament offering is acceptable but nothing special. There are daily guaranteed tournaments, a weekly $100,000 (monthly $200,00) main Sunday evening event.
As ever it is worth taking note of the promotional emails you will be sent informing you of the latest tournament offers. At the time of press, there is a slew of freezeout tournaments taking place as well as a promotion called Wonderworld series where they expect to get record numbers of entrants given it is a micro-stakes buy-in.
All the main guaranteed tournaments have satellites feeding players into the bigger prize events.
888 and the WSOP
Although cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, one of the main reasons people play at 888 poker is the ability to qualify for various World Series of Poker events online.
888 is the only poker site where you can qualify for any WSOP tournament including the Main Event. Not only can the entrance fee be won but there are also packages including flights, hotels and many other perks.
A player can qualify from as little as 1c – provided you have the necessary patience and time to go by this route but players can jump into the satellites for WSOP qualification at graduated steps of buy-in.
Progressive Knockout Tournaments (PKO)
One tournament hybrid which is getting a lot of attention currently in Progressive Knockout Tournaments (PKO). If you are unfamiliar with PKO then put simply they are like any other multi-table tournament but with every player having a bounty which increases each time a player is eliminated. The PKO rules which see 50 per cent of the prize pool seriously affects the dynamics of the tournament. It is currently the fastest growing tournament variant and 888poker has plenty of scheduled events for players to try their luck.
Poker variants at 888poker
All the usual poker variants are available on 888poker. The most popular is obviously Texas Hold’em but the others are Omaha Hi-Lo, Omaha Hi and 7 Card Stud Poker.
Given the overall player pool size variants other than Texas Hold’em suffer from a lack of players especially outside peak hours. If you are really interested in other variants 88poker may not be the site for you as only at micro-stakes do these games get anything like busy.
Conclusion. Should I play at 888poker?
If superfast payouts are important to you then, no. If reliability, easy to use software, soft players and a desire to play at the WSOP are you thing then 888poker is certainly worth checking out.