Online poker has exploded in the past 15 years and even though it has been on the decline, there are still an overwhelming amount of great choices. Especially options within the US where players may have otherwise believed they could no longer play. People often ask is 888poker US friendly? Not only is it US player friendly, but 888poker is currently one of the top online casinos to play on. Not to mention the likes of 888poker’s beautiful poker Ambassador’s Kara Scott and Sofia Lovgren.
Whether you’re a pro or a recreational player, somebody who’s never played before, or somebody who’s been playing their whole life, there are four main characteristics to a poker site that you’ll want to consider before making a deposit:
You want to know your funds are safe and the games are fair first and foremost.
You definitely want to make sure the stakes you play are offered, and that a decent sized player pool exists.
You want a smooth, interactive experience- there is nothing worse than lagging, old software, ugly software.
Let’s be honest, if you’re playing to have fun or for profit, you are going to want some value for your money. For some people the value is in the ridiculous sign up bonuses that most online casinos offer, and for others it’s the game selection and the fish to shark ratio within the player pool. Once you determine what is most important to you, then it is time to choose which online poker site is the best fit your you.
Now that we have a general criteria (whatever order you rank them personally based on your needs), let’s explore 888poker and see how it measures up to these standards.
We’re going to take you through the full analysis of 888poker and see if we can help get you into some good games!
888Poker and 888Casino
888poker is the 2nd biggest poker room around these days with a long history. Launched back in 2002 it survived Black Friday and currently averages over 3000 players online daily. They have a solid range of games from traditional Texas Holdem and PLO, to the lesser played 7 card Stud and PLO8 (Hi/low) varieties.
So depending on your personal preference, let’s see what 888poker can offer you.
Online poker is always evolving and is now able to offer a great experience to the player. Let’s explore some of 888poker’s main features.
Design and Interface
888poker has a slick interface that enables users to easily navigate to their preferred games. When you first login you will see cash games, sit n go’s, and tournaments at various buy in levels. It’s simple to jump straight into a game, and the lobby is incredibly easy to navigate and find the game that best suits you.
The lobby features a filter option to narrow down the search. The filters range from game type, to limits, and players per table. You can save your favorites to make it simple for the next time you log in. That way you can constantly keep an eye on your bread and butter games. Once you’re seated in a game you’ll have another opportunity to make personal adjustments to the table. These options range from seating, cards, and bet sizing presets. 888poker has developed a smooth interface which allows you focus easier. They offer some of the best, and aesthetically pleasing software in the business.
Online Poker on the go
888poker also has an app that allows you access on mobile devices and tablets. It has been developed and refined – and is perfect for those of you who like to play on the go. Unlike a lot of competitor’s mobile apps, 888poker give you access to their full range of games so the choice is yours!
888poker has an instant play feature – the online equivalent of the downloadable software. This is really useful if you’re using a different laptop than usual, or a device you have issues downloading the software on for various reasons. You have direct access to a whole range of games, so once downloaded, log right in and jump into the action!
888poker offers a wide selection of games. Their high level of traffic means their games run around the clock, and for those who like the variety they have side action and 888casino games.
So what are the main types of games and how do they measure up on 888poker:
Cash games are the biggest part of 888poker, specifically Texas Holdem poker. Of the No Limit Texas Holdem variety. They do offer full ring games, but 6max is where they specialize as it allows for players to be more aggressive and play more hands. For more information on the games and stakes offered by 888 Poker, we suggest this 888 Poker Network review.
888poker has discontinued their heads up No Limit Hold’em, like a lot of other sites, due to the way the games had become. Despite this, you can still find heads up variations of PLO and other games on there.
The most popular game on 888poker is snap poker (similar to zoom) where you fold and you’re instantly thrown back into the action. It’s a great way to have a quick game against varied opponents!
For the adrenaline junky within you, there’s the shove or fold games which – you guessed it – only have two choices when the action is on you. In my experience it’s the best way to get out some tilt after a bad beat! Or climb your way out of a downswing quick! So pull out you Push/Fold charts and start shoving!
888poker has games running up to $3/6 limit, but you might struggle to get more than one game going. If you’re looking to play Texas Holdem online at higher levels you’ll have to go elsewhere, but for most players 888 has an ample selection.
If you’re looking to jump straight into one of the softer games online and not hanging about waiting then, 888poker is the place to go.
Mtts, or multi table tournaments have gotten a lot better on 888poker in the last few years. Their low to mid range buy ins are extensive and the guarantees are growing. Like most sites they have their biggest games on a Sunday with the $215 Mega Deep featuring a $150,000 guarantee, and the $90 1R Sunday Challenge with an $80,000 guarantee. Prize pools fluctuate depending on time of year.
One of the most popular tournaments they run is The Twins on a Monday. This is a pair of $20+2 buy in games running simultaneously which offer 5 extra ways to make money:
- Cash both tournaments and get free into next week’s Twins
- Final table both and you’ll get free entry for the whole month
- Win one and final table the other for a $1000 bonus
- Win one and come 2nd in the other for $2500 extra
- Win both and get a massive $10k extra on top of the prize money!
This is a great, affordable tournament that offers huge value – I’d encourage you to include it in your schedule.
Another favorite, running every 2 weeks, is The Whale which has a $200,000 guarantee for a $600 buy in – be sure to check it out.
Throughout the year they run poker series with larger guarantees. The Super XL series has up to 1k buy in Main Events which feature some big guarantees. There are also loads of satellites to get in larger buy in tournaments for cheap.
All in all 888poker has a well rounded MTT schedule. Obviously no one has yet to come close to the guarantees and volume of Pokerstars, but 888poker remains competitive in the industry.
Sit n Gos
Sit n Gos were once the backbone of online poker and 888poker still hosts a load of varieties. There are 6max and full ring sit n gos which run 24/7. They also run heads up sngs (one on one) which are pretty popular since the removal of heads up cash. All of these sngs range from micro to over $1000 buy ins with decent traffic so you won’t have to wait long.
If you’re looking to grind out higher than $50s you’ll need to find the volume elsewhere because they take a while to fill up!
For those who don’t know, rake is the commission that poker sites take from every pot and it’s how these poker sites make money in exchange for hosting the games. 888poker takes 5% or less from their games which is about the industry standard – lower in some games. With 888casino continuing to bring in new players, they are less inclined to increase their rake than some of their competitors. The do not believe in the Daniel Negreanu and Pokerstars addage of “More rake is better.”
Like most poker sites 888poker offers a reward scheme to give a % of the rake they take back to the players:
The 888poker VIP system offers a tiered reward structure so the more you play the better the rewards are. You earn points as you play which then translate into 888poker bonus to unlock bonuses, tickets or cash.
It’s a bit limiting for the smaller stakes players and recreational players and one of the biggest drawbacks of 888poker.
There are freerolls regularly and if you’re iron level or higher you have access to over $10,000 a month in freerolls! They also have a great first deposit bonus for those new to the site, read on for more details. If you are interested in freerolls, this table shows the true value of each 888poker freeroll.
There’s a lot of variety in online poker now, but you’ll find a big selection at 888poker, and they offer grinders some good incentives to play.
Alright so you’ve got a good idea of what 888poker is about, so now let’s run through the positives of playing online poker with 888poker…
- They know the players
In a world where online poker is on the decline, 888poker has managed to remain steady and even grow their market share. They’ve shown that they understand the poker ecosystem and the players through their effective marketing. This translates into busy games for you and an online casino that is working to fit the players needs.
- Effective Software
888poker software isn’t as good as it’s competitor Pokerstars, but it’s one of the best on the market. It’s easy to find and move between games, and the simplicity of it makes the user experience really enjoyable. Whether you’re playing purely for fun, or for profit, the streamlined software is a big plus in our eyes!
- 888casino – Soft Games
Texas Holdem poker has flooded the world and people keep getting better and better. It’s hard to find recreational players (or fish) because the wizards haven taken over. 888poker is one of the last havens for non reg infested games as the popularity of 888casino keeps drawing new players in who like to gamble. As the forums say – people who say online poker is dead haven’t played on 888poker!
- No Scandals!
It’s sad that this is a selling point, but 888poker has not been entangled in any major scandals since it’s set up in 2002. Unlike a lot of it’s competitors, Full Tilt Poker, cough cough, who have seen owners do everything from embezzling funds to superusing (being able to see opponents cards), you can trust that your money is safe with 888poker and you’re in fair games.
- 4 table limit
888poker has a 4 table maximum for playing. No more are the days of 24 tabling. Or whatever crazy amount of tables you grinders were playing back in the glory days. For a lot of you this won’t be a big concern, but for the serious grinders and high volume players this can have a big impact. However for the recreational players this provides protection from the sharks – so it can mean better games for you!
- Slow customer support
This is common problem in the online poker industry, and 888poker is no different. 888poker customer service often fails to reply to the first email and are slow to sort problems. It’s something they need to fix in the future. And seems to be a work in progress. The good news is they always get the issues resolved sooner or later. And have avoided major scandals unlike Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars. So as long as you have a bit of patience with 888poker customer service, there is no need to worry. Just hang tight!
- Limited VIP program
Gone are the days of 50% rakeback and affiliate sites with great bonuses. Nowadays rakeback and rewards programs are worth very little. 888poker VIP program isn’t favorable unless you’re putting in a lot of volume. If you are raking over $2500 a month you can still earn up to 27% rakeback.
888poker does offer great rewards and bonuses for the first depositors which we’ll talk about below.
- Long withdrawal waits
888poker takes a long time to process withdrawals compared to the industry average. This wait can be frustrating for recreational players and pros alike who want to get hold of their funds fast. They impose a long wait time of 72 hours on PayPal withdrawals.
The good news is there are all the usual methods available (including paypal, skrill, moneybookers and neteller) and there are no fees for withdrawals.
Make sure you’re familiar with their withdrawal limits:
888poker has some great rewards for first time depositors that you can make the most of.
You’ll start off with $2 in real money and $6 in tournament tickets, then you’ll go on to unlock another $22 and then more tournament tickets! It’s not exactly $88 straight into your account but it is a great way to start your poker journey if you’re new to the game. Plus even if you don’t unlock it all, it’s $8 completely free!
888poker has a 200% first deposit bonus. You can deposit up to $400 and they’ll put double into a bonus account to unlock. 100 bonus points will earn you $10, effectively 20% rakeback, and you’ll have 90 days to clear the deposit bonus. This is on top of any VIP rewards you’ll earn during that time!
They also throw in some free tournament tickets when you deposit so you can go straight into the action.
Most reviews of 888poker show them in a positive light, with the majority pleased with how soft the games can be:
“ the player pool is def pretty soft” Carabby
“Players are at least a level weaker than stars.
Software is good.
Rewards are pretty meh”
The most common criticisms of 888poker are centered around their customer service:
“Dreadful customer service, if you have an issue it takes 3 days to receive an email response from the customer service team and speaking to an agent over the phone was little help.” Ash
Poor customer service is a common theme in online poker. A lot of sites don’t offer a phone number and you have to rely on email. 888poker is taking steps to improve itself, but be sure to allow some time for issues to be resolved.
All in all players seem impressed with the games and the software and while it doesn’t compare to the giants that are Pokerstars it’s still a great experience.
Should I play online poker at 888poker?
Alright so we’ve been through all the specs, the reviews and the features (or you’ve skipped straight to this section to get the lowdown quickly). Let’s refer back to our criteria and see how 888poker is measuring up!
888poker is one of the oldest poker sites around on the current market. In all of that time it has not had any major scandals. It’s a well established company, linked to the popular 888casino so it’s not going to go bust anytime soon! The fact that 888poker has survived this long and has grown to the 2nd biggest cardroom shows the trust placed in it by the players. You can feel secure and that your money is safe with 888.
Game Selection 9/10
888poker is offering a really varied mix of games. Like most other sites they are centered around Texas Holdem, but that reflects the market. The only thing missing is some heads up cash and some more regular high stakes MTTs, but that won’t affect most people reading this! Most of the high stakes players have gone busto. Or the player pool is simply too small to get any action these days at those stakes. Hence why Doug Polk has suddenly become a businessman with UpSwing Poker.
One of the most impressive things about 888poker is their adaptability and willingness to listen to their customers. They’ve constantly made improvements to the interface and their app, and now it functions well. From design to functionality, it’s one of the best out there making online poker simple!
888poker used to house the real fishy elements of the online community and in a way it still does – there’s just less fish! Online poker has become a lot tougher, but 888poker still hosts some of the best games around so take advantage and jump in before the games dry up and get a piece of that pie!
A big plus of 888poker is their no deposit bonus. This is really rare in the poker world these days and being able to play for free offers real value to recreational players and grinders alike.
Who should play here?
888poker is most suited for cash game players who like Texas Holdem and PLO. You’re going to find the most games and climb up the VIP levels quickly playing cash games.
That said the SNGs and MTTs can probably provide enough volume for most players. So whether you’re a shark looking to get busy or you’re a recreational player looking for fun and to make the most of the no strings deposit, then 888poker is for you!
888poker might be 2nd in terms of volume, but in a lot of regards it’s overtaken the market leaders. It’s offering great games and shows an understanding and appreciation for it’s customers. It’s continually diversifying it’s game selections and making improvements.
Get started now for free and make the most of online poker with 888 and their user friendly deposit bonuses!