888 Poker Review

100% up to $400 Signup Bonus

888 Poker is one of the leading online poker sites. Famed for their easy to beat games, they are the number one company in online gaming when it comes to signing up new recreational players.

They regularly offer generous promotions and regular bonus deals and offer the best mobile poker app I've played to date. Overall, 888Poker are a top notch choice of online poker sites and one you should definitely try your hand at.

888 Poker Positives
  • Loose action with plenty of fish.
  • Good selection of games
  • Known for innovative ideas and technology
  • Best mobile poker app of any poker site.
888 Poker Negatives
  • Ewallet cashouts can be a little slow.
  • MTT payouts are pretty top heavy.
  • No player search feature.
  • Tables can remained unbalanced deep in MTTS

888 was founded in 1997 and obtained a gaming license in Antigua where all of its gaming and staff were based. Casino-on-Net was their first project, and it was launched in the same year. They waited 5 years before launching their second casino product, Reef Club Casino in June 2002. This coincided with the launch of 888.com and their poker brand, Pacific Poker. Virtual Marketing Services Ltd was also set up in London 2002 to source offline advertising in the UK.

By 2010 888 relaunched and rebranded their 4 core gaming products, 888casino, 888poker (previously Pacific Poker), 888sport and 888bingo. They also purchased Mytopia, a social games development studio, which included Facebook games like Bingo Island and a Pacific Poker branded poker application.

888.com were sponsors of Middlesborough Football club between 2003-2007, and towards the end of that deal, they also sponsored Seville F.C for 4 years until 2009. They also dabbled in Snooker, sponsoring the World Championships from 2006-2008, and Darts, sponsoring the Premier League in 2005 and 2011. They also sponsor current sports stars such as Shane Warne and George St Pierre on their 888poker platform.

The 888 Poker Software and User Interface

While I love playing at 888Poker, in my opinion, some of the software features are a bit too intrusive. For example, when you log into the client, your Cashier opens automatically in Internet Explorer (which is a pain in the first place) and then you get the odd random chat popup looking for you to deposit. You’ll get tons of email offers from their casino and poker that may seem pretty good on first look, but 95% of them end up in the bin because they either a) don’t apply to me for one reason or another, or b) you need to earn a ridiculous amount of points to release the bonus in stages.

All that said, once you get into the client, 888poker is one of the easiest and most colourful poker sites to navigate around. From the main screen, there are ~20 tabs to make it easy to select which games you’d like to play. Whether it’s Beginners, Cash, MTTs, Private Games or SNAP (888’s speed poker variant), they are all just 1 click away. 888 are big on colours, and this helps make the different types of games stand out in the lobby. The status of games will also change colour when they have started, or due to start so that you’ll be able to easily identify them from games not due to start for the a few hours. It’s a nice touch and one that more sites should adopt.

Once you’re in a game, the sounds and animation can be a little too in your face. However, I find the sound is essential, even more so when playing 888poker alongside some other sites. Occasionally, I have run into bugs where my laptop freezes when changing tables in MTTs. This can force the table on top of other windows and you need to close and reopen your table before you can select the windows it was covering.

The 888Poker client offers various customisable options including table, cards and images that can be changed to suit your own personal style; 888 are definitely not lacking in options in this department. These weird and wacky setups can be a big attraction for recreational players which is great news for anyone who plays poker to win money!

Another funky element that 888 used in a recent tournament was that the winner of each hand had their hand exposed after the hand had finished. No other sites offer these kind of quirky features which is why 888 seems to attract alot more recreational players than other sites.

If you don’t want to download the software, you can play 888poker directly in your browser. The playability factor is pretty much as good as playing on the client. You have access to all the options and graphics that you do on the client, so your gaming experience won’t be hampered.

A Top Class Mobile Poker App

888poker have a mobile app available on both Android and Apple devices – both smartphones and tablets. I was very impressed with the app. The colours look great, it runs really smoothly and the majority of options that you’d have on the client such as sounds, game effects, 4 colour deck, auto muck hand etc are all available. You have the option to play Cash games, SnGs and Scheduled tournaments for both real and play money.

The only cash games available are Holdem, with NL up to $3/$6 and FL up to $10/$20. There is no option to scan the tables to find a preferable table before you sit. Once you select your limits and the number of players, you’ll be taken to a free seat and begin. You’ll be able to chat and tag players, and it’s very easy to make decisions as all the options are clearly laid out. Unfortunately, there is no multitabling option, so players using mobile devices will be restricted to playing 1 table at a time.

For SnGs, you’ll only have the option to play NLH with buyins ranging from $1-$55. Once again, you’ll just have to choose between number of players, speed and buyin and you’re automatically taken to your table. For multi table tournaments, all the games that are currently running in the client can be played.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic app. I downloaded it onto my Samsung Galaxy III and incredibly, it’s even smoother than the desktop client. The software and the graphics are fantastic, and if you go busto you can deposit through the app. You can’t resize the screen so if you’re using your tablet to play on 888, then that’s all you’ll be able to do. Overall, this app is great for both beginners and advanced players. I could really see a lot of recreational players using this app to donk off a buyin or 2 when they are on their break in work, or having a pint in the pub so that can only be a good thing!

Important Notes:

1. Not every device is supported so be sure to check their list and see if your Smartphone or tablet is on the list of the 50 or so applicable devices.

2. Downloading isn’t as straightforward as they say it is. The barcode scanner only worked on one of the 3 devices I tried, and even then I needed to set my device to allow downloads from untrusted sites. I ended up downloading it the old fashioned way of entering the URL and going from there.

3. Beware if you’re surfing the net or doing something else while playing poker, as the app won’t jump to the front or notify you if it’s your turn.

The 888 Poker Bonus

888poker offer you a 100% welcome bonus up to $400 so you will need to deposit $200 to avail of the full $400 bonus. For every 100 Status Points you accumulate, you’ll release $10 of your bonus. On top of earning points from playing poker, you’ll also earn them from playing casino and table games. We’ll ignore the casino/table games where you earn 1 status point for every $16 wagered, but concentrate on the poker element where you earn 2 status for every $1 paid in tournament fees or contributed rake. So in order to release your first $10 bonus, you’ll need to rake $50 so it works out equivalent to 20% rakeback.

You’ll also receive $88 free for first time signups. The $88 is available upon signup with no deposit required, but don’t think you’ll get the $88 handed to you though. You’ll receive $2 cash and 6 x $1 tournament tokens upon signup and then the other $80 consists of a bonus which is released in $8 increments for every 250 points ($125 rake) earned. And it’s not $8 cash either. It’s $2 and 6 x $1 tournament tokens each time, so it’s not anywhere near as good a deal as it seems. It’s also only available to 1 person per household or IP address so forget about getting your wife, son, daughter or whatever to sign up, because they be eligible for it.

You’ll also get a few other tokens when you make your first deposit. You’ll receive an entry in their ‘100k 1st deposit freeroll’ where if you can finish in the top 10, you’ll receive an entry worth $90 into their 100k game on a Sunday. You’ll also get 8 tokens into daily freerolls where you can win a share of the $4500 total prizemoney.

Loyalty Program

888 have a 10 tier loyalty program and players climb the ladder based on how many points they have earned over the course a particular month. For example, to reach the halfway mark, you’ll need to earn 100 points ($50 rake) to achieve Bronze level. Once you reach a level, you’ll stay there until the end of the next month. Your status points are reset at the beginning of each month so you’ll need to keep your volume up each month to keep climbing the levels. Their top 2 levels are VIP tiers where you’ll need to earn at least 60k points over the course of a year. Do so, and you’ll remain at that level for the next 12 months.

Depending on what tier you’re on, you’ll be eligible to play in the $64k worth of freerolls each month. There’s 4 x $75 freerolls daily for those on the lowest level, up to a $10k freeroll for those on VIP level. VIP players can play each and every freeroll if they wished, which would total 341 games in total. In addition, there’s games only available for certain levels that require you to pay entry from $1 to $15, so even more chance to reap the rewards.

You’ll earn 1 status point for every $16 wagered on casino games through the poker lobby, and 2 status points for every $1 paid in tournament fees or contributed rake.Status Points are converted to Reward points in order for you to claim cash etc. Status points are earned at the same rate regardless of your level, but your Reward Points are accumulated quicker the higher your level. All cash is redeemed at a rate of $10 for every 1000 reward points.

For levels 1-5, you’ll need to rake $500 to earned the 1000 points required to cash in for $10.

If you make it top level 10, then you’ll earn 18 Reward Points for every status points, so you’ll only need to rake $27 to earn the 1000 points, meaning you’re effectively get 36% cashback.

Available Games and Stakes

At 888, no matter what your bankroll is you’ll be able to find a lot of games at your disposal. Satellites and tournament entries start from under $1 with guaranteed prizepools of up to $5k. For those with deeper pockets, they run a range of games from $90-$215 buyins with prizepools of up to $100k. For everyone else in between, you can still get a shot at $10k for $22, $25k for $35 or $25k+ for $55 in well structured games with affordable buyins. Their flagship tournament is a $530 buyin deepstack game with $200k guaranteed that is held once every 4 weeks. Satellites for this start at 10c so the dream is there for players, even those with the smallest bankroll.

Fans of mixed games won’t be getting rich playing on 888poker. Their biggest weekly PLO game is a $20r $750gtd, with some smaller PLO and PLO8 games. You won’t find any other variant knocking around unfortunately, so fans of stud, draw, badugi or any of the other less played poker variants won’t have these options available.

888poker have a team element in some small buyin games. Just choose your favourite football team and play in the 99c games. If you win, then great, but if you don’t win and someone else from the same supporters club as you ships it or finishes in the top 3, then you’ll receive a portion of the win. Don’t spend it all in the one shop though!

888’s Monday Twins games are 2 x $22 games with $10k prizepools. These are a little special due to a number of added perks. There are loads of bonuses paid in the way of cash and tournament entries depending on where you finish. Win both games on the same night and you get a $10k cash boost. Cash or final table both and you’ll also win anything from entries into both games the following week to 4 x entries into the 100k challenge.

If you fancy a shot at winning some 888 merchandise, you’ll find small buyin special tournaments giving you a chance at winning something other than a few $$. Among the many prizes up for grabs are iphones, tickets to sporting events and various other cool things.

You’ll also find satellites and entries for tons of 888 sponsored games throughout the world with buyins from $150 to £300. If you fancy something bigger, you’ll be able to satellite into other live events from €100 entries up to and including the $10k Aussie Open Main event.

The majority of the freezeouts offer good structures, even down to the lowest buyins, but the rebuys tend to be a lot shallower at the business end when compared to other sites. Each player is at the same disadvantage here, but losing one flip can be detrimental to your tournament life, so bear that in mind if rebuys are your main games.

Play Webcam Poker

One of the latest innovations that 888poker introduced for casual players is the ability to play poker using a webcam on a variety of games. If you fancy seeing your opponent and trying to get a read, then this could be for you. Beware though, as involves using a webcam, you need to be prepared to see more of people that you would like too. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen!

A Wide Range of Banking Options

888poker offers you multiple deposit options including Credit and Debit cards, Neteller, Skrill, Paypal and a whole host more. You can even ring them up and deposit over the phone. The minimum deposits range from $7 with UKASH to $100 through Wire Transfer.

From my own personal experience, withdrawals to Neteller and Moneybookers are very slow compared to a lot of other sites. Your money will be sitting there for days, and while it’s there you still have the option to cancel the withdrawal. I imagine that I am not the only person that has fallen into the trap of cancelling my cash out to play 1 game, only to then end up doing the majority of the loots.

How Safe are 888?

888 is one of the leading names in the online gaming industry. They process thousands of secure transactions every day, so security is of utmost importance for them. The sites random number generator is certified by eCOGRA, which has also given 888 a Seal of Approval for safe monetary deposits. Their credit card transactions are processed by Intersafe Global Limited who are one of the leading transaction suppliers on the market and use the most advanced SSL and PGP protocols as well as using sophisticated encryption technology to guarantee secure transfer of sensitive data over the internet.

888poker have reps in the majority of big poker forums, ready to answer questions and queries. A prime example of this is 2+2 where the official rep has over 1000 posts and is active almost every day.

Slightly Disappointing Support

When you click the Help option on the poker client, it opens up a webpage and then you won’t be able to find the live chat support, because there doesn’t seem to be one that you can access. They can contact you though if they want! This could be because their servers are down, or if your firewall is blocking it, but that’s not a problem for other poker sites.

You’ll go round in circles clicking on links trying to find answers, or being redirected to similar Help scenarios that you are looking for. All well and good if you’re looking for something that may have been asked before, but no good to me because generally when i click the help button i want to talk to someone and not spend 10 mins clicking around links.

You can contact them by email either through the Help option, or through your regular email as well as through a 24 hour telephone support.

Verdict

888 has one of the highest percentages of recreational players and fish making it one of the softest poker sites around. Their interface has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and is a huge pull from an aesthetical point of view. If playing 888 on its own, or with a couple of other games its great, but the more tables you have open, the more concentration you have to place on 888 which can be a drag.

Their first deposit bonus is aimed at casual players and the VIP system pays around 20% cashback unless you’re a high volume player at which point you can make up to 36% back.

I’d recommend definitely trying out 888 because regardless of whether you love it or hate, there’s money to be made and you’ll experience things you’ve never seen before on a poker table! Add to this their plentiful bonuses and promos, the best mobile app in the business and their commitment to signing up weaker players, and you’ll soon see why 888 Poker is a great place to ply your trade online.

About 888 Poker
  • Poker Website: www.888poker.com
  • Software: Random Logic
  • Jurisdiction: Gibraltar
  • Ownership: Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd
  • Currencies: USD, GBP, Euro, CAD, AUD
  • Support: See Website
Bonus Information

100% up to $400

  • First deposit bonus of $400
  • Also offer $88 free bonus to certain countries.
  • Requires $50 rake to release $10 of the bonus.
  • Only 1 bonus per household.
  • Numerous other bonuses and promotions.
Deposit Options