888 Poker Review
888 Poker used to be known as Pacific Poker, but it’s been operating under its current brand for a number of years. This site happens to be one of the three largest poker sites on the planet, and they combine a quality gaming experience with some of the most reliable software and customer service in the industry.
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888 Poker in the United States
If you live in the United States, any attempt to access 888 Poker will result in you being redirected to their site that’s been approved for residents of New Jersey. This’s because 888 Poker has been licensed for legal use by anyone within the borders of New Jersey, but it’s still unavailable to the other 49 states. The only exceptions are free poker games, which are readily available to anyone with a connection to the Internet.
888 powers WSOP.com in New Jersey. The two sites share player pools. 888 operates the Delaware online poker site. It networks with WSOP.com in Nevada.
Can You Trust 888 Poker?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. While some of their competitors have encountered scandals or legal trouble over the years, 888 has always managed to operate without any major incidents. They’re also traded on the London Stock Exchange, which means they have to answer to shareholders who won’t tolerate any sort of behavior that might cause stock prices to fall.
888 is especially dedicated to combating collusion and incidents of multiple accounts. These violations are dealt with decisively when they arise, and the site employs a top-flight team of technicians to protect personal date and account information.
The site also has a solid record when it comes to paying players in a timely fashion. While less reputable poker sites and casinos like to drag their feet in the hopes that a player will give up and gamble with their requested winnings, 888 Poker initiates the payment process as soon as you ask for it.
The only major mark against 888 is its poor support. Player emails to customer service have been known to encounter incomplete or useless answers. Some issues require multiple attempts to resolve. This problem occurs at the international and US ring-fenced sites that operate under the WSOP.com brand.
Available Games from 888 Poker
If you’re searching for a massive selection of poker games, then you may want to look somewhere else besides 888. Their site is a definite case of quality over quantity, as they’ve decided to offer fewer games and focus on making the available selections among the best in the industry. Each game also utilizes state-of-the-art security software to ensure that every hand is played with an emphasis on fairness.
If you decide to pay them a visit, here’s what you can expect to find in terms of their poker game selection:
- Texas Hold’em – No poker game has been talked about more since the turn of the century than Texas Hold’em. Two to ten players compete in a hand, and they must navigate four betting rounds in order to capture the pot. The objective is to create the best five-card poker hand possible using a combination of two pocket cards and five community cards.
- 7 Card Stud – Played by two to eight participants, this has been considered one of the most popular versions of poker for years. Up to five betting rounds take place, with the player trying to build the strongest hand possible by using five of the seven cards they’re dealt throughout the game.
- 7 Card Stud HI/LO – Similar to 7 Card Stud, this variation also allows players to create a low hand in addition to their high one. A player who manages to build the best of both wins the entire pot, while otherwise it’s divided equally among two individuals.
- Omaha High – Played by two to 10 individuals, this poker variation challenges you to make the strongest five-card hand possible by using two of your five pocket cards and three of the five community cards. Up to four betting rounds are included.
- Omaha HI/LO – This game is contested between two to ten players and includes four rounds of betting. The goal is to create the highest and lowest five-card poker hands by using a combination of their four pocket cards and five community cards. Considered challenging and multi-faceted, this game has grown in popularity throughout the U.S. and abroad in recent years.
Different Poker Formats at 888
Now that we’re familiar with the specific games offered by 888 Poker, let’s take a look at the different formats available from the site.
- Ring Games – Tournament chips are worth nothing outside of their individual game, but that’s not the case with ring games. Each chip represents real money, and you have the option of leaving the game anytime you wish. Another difference is that table limits remain the same for the duration of play.
- Tournaments – A large number of players sign up for a tournament and then slowly get eliminated as the game progresses. In a rebuy tournament, a player is allowed to buy their way back into the game after being busted out. No matter what the mechanics, the last player remaining wins the biggest piece of the prize pool. Table limits increase as the game progresses.
- Face2Face Poker – If you’re tired at staring at a poker table filled with player avatars, give this innovative type of game a try. Face2Face uses the same poker rules that you’re familiar with, but it also incorporates webcam technology to display the real players on the screen. If you’ve ever wondered what the average poker player in France looks like, here’s your chance to find out.
Bonus Money and Promotions
There’s plenty of free money to be had at 888 Poker, and it all starts with a 100% initial deposit bonus up to $888. This amount must be completed within 30 days, and it’s released to the player in installments of $10. While this isn’t as convenient as most players would hope for, you can blame bonus whores for the site’s cautious approach to free cash. The bonus clears at a rate of 20% rakeback.
Players in some countries may receive a free $88. This offer involves $7 in tournament tickets, $1 in cash and $80 in pending bonus. The pending bonus follows the same terms as the first deposit bonus.
Each time you play in a cash game, you’ll also earn Status Points and Reward Points. The latter can be converted into cash over time, while the former allows you to rise in the overall VIP rankings and become eligible for more points and exclusive prizes. 888 does not permit traditional rakeback.
There are a number of other promotions and bonus amounts offered throughout the year, and there are honestly too many to describe in the allotted space. Check out 888 Poker and click on the Promotions tab for a full list.
888 Poker tournaments are known for their diversity and generosity, and you can expect to find them being offered on a daily basis. The bigger tourneys occur on specific days of the week or month, such as the $10,000 Big Sunday event. Another Sunday event features a guaranteed $100,000 prize pool, and there are nightly contests that range from $5,000 to $25,000.
If you don’t want to pay the entry fee for these events, you can always try to win your way in by entering a satellite tournament. These are available in a number of denominations, but some can be joined for as little as a penny.
Another plus for 888 Poker tournaments is the amount of fish you’ll find entering these events. Fish are defined as weak players, whether they lack experience or just play too fast and loose with their money. In either case, getting involved in a game with this type of player is always a real boon for your chip stack.
If you have a question, the best place to start is the robust FAQ section provided on their website. Failing this, you can contact a customer service representative by email, toll-free number, or live chat. I especially like this last option, as it cuts down on waiting by allowing the player to immediately get in touch with someone. It also allows you to take a moment and compose each thought, which is a major advantage over a phone call.
Customer support is below average at 888. Poorly trained representatives can give incorrect responses or not fulfill requests for players. This can be annoying as it may require multiple attempts to resolve an issue at 888.
Deposits and Withdrawals
888 offers a range of banking options for customers, but the most common include Western Union, bank transfers, checks, credit cards, or e-wallet services. The most popular way for players to deposit at 888 are Neteller, Skrill and PayPal.
Withdrawals can be obtained from the same sources, although there’s also the option of getting a check in the mail via a courier. Electronic checks are also available.
No matter the size of your requested withdrawal, 888 begins the process within a few business days. You should only expect a delay if they don’t already have the necessary documents to verify your identity, but this process is quick and painless.
Players with devices powered by iOS or Android are able to enjoy mobile poker thanks to their downloadable software. This includes everything from cash games and tournaments to sit and go events. The online software does offer more bells and whistles than the mobile option, but the latter is still more than sufficient.
The mobile app only offers Texas Hold’em. There is no ability to game select on the app. Players can only sit at one table at a time on the 888 app.