888 Poker Review
Enjoy Cash Games and Tournaments on the Smart New 888 Poker Client
888 is one of the oldest and best trusted gambling brands around. Their poker room has benefited from a big influx of players in recent years – propelling them up the rankings. When you hit the tables, it is easy to see why they are so popular. The games are soft, the selection of tables is huge – and you can participate in online poker events where big money is up for grabs.
What I like best about 888 is the financial perks. Depending on where you live, you can get $88 free to try out the games without a deposit. A welcome bonus will top up your bankroll. This poker room have a unique loyalty scheme. You climb levels by earning points – and will never go down a level. This scheme awards gold coins, which can be changed for tournament entries or more bonuses.
Here are the key reasons to play at 888.com Poker:
- Excellent Software: This is smart, easy to navigate and works on mobile or desktop devices.
- Huge Game Selection: Tournaments, cash games, sit n goes, satellite qualifiers, fast-fold poker (SNAP!) and a jackpot Sit N Go format with random prize pools.
- No Deposit Deal: You can get $88 to try out the games. This comes in the form of cash game buy-ins and tournament tickets. Some countries have specific deals.
- Generous Bonuses: New depositors get a 100% welcome match, while the loyalty scheme, daily challenges and large number of one-off promos keep your bankroll topped up.
- Online and Live Events: 888 Poker sponsor the World Series of Poker and send players there through qualifiers. There are also regular ‘Super XL Series’ tournament events online.
You’ll find a lot of detail on this premier poker room below. This starts with a look at how the different bonus deals work, split between new player offers and loyalty schemes. Next the software and game selection are covered. Depositing and withdrawal options come next, with some important notes on game integrity and trust below that.
New Player Bonuses at 888 Poker
The $88 free deal is a great opportunity to check out the real money games before you deposit. This comes in 11 parts. When you register, you’ll get $8 in tokens (a mix of cash game and tournament entries). Your challenge is to collect points to get to the next instalment!
Note that some countries are not able to claim this offer. These include Eastern European countries, and some in Asia. The UK has a separate offer, with $20 in tokens awarded all at once.
If you like what you find at 888 Poker, you can take advantage of the 100% matched welcome bonus. This is up to $400 and applies to your first deposit. To clear this bonus, you’ll need to collect points in the real money games.
Ongoing Rewards at 888 Poker
A big part of the recent success of 888 is how well they treat their regular players. There are three different ways you’ll benefit.
- First is a loyalty scheme. You will see a meter on the top left of your table, which shows your progress to the next level. As you go through the levels, you get gold coins. These can be exchanged for bonuses, cash rewards or items from a special 888 Poker store. Every 5 levels you get a special scratch card. This can award tournament entries or bonus cash.
- There are challenges to complete while you play at 888. Examples include, cashing in 4 of the ‘Blast!’ Sit n Goes, or winning a hand with pocket 8’s. Completing these will again reward you with a scratch card. Prizes include entry to special tournaments.
- Finally, there are always new promotions at this poker site. Most focus on the poker, though you will also find offers popping up for casino and sports betting. You do not need to log on to a separate website, as the deals appear when you log in to the poker client.
888 Poker Software and Compatibility
Since the old days of Pacific Poker (the former name of 888), this site has transformed. The design is a smart mix of electric blue and black. There are multiple ways to get to the games, including 888 poker apps, instant-play (in-browser) gaming and a downloadable client. For the best selection of games and ability to play several at once, I recommend downloading if you are playing on a desktop. Windows and Mac versions are available.
One major difference between 888 and other poker rooms comes with the navigation. You not find tournaments or Sit N Goes on the top level. Instead you need to click ‘all games’ to reveal those options. This does keep the lobby clean and easy to use. You’ll find filter options for table size and buy-ins at the bottom of each screen showing your selected games.
Poker Tournament Selection at 888
‘Fish’ is the main theme of the showcase tournaments at 888 Poker. These are daily events, and the lower buy-in ones happen several times each way. They start with the ‘Goldfish’ ($2 entry), go through the ‘Puffer Fish’, ‘Swordfish’ and so on – up to the biggest buy-in with the ‘Whale Games’.
You will find the usual selection of turbo, rebuy and short-handed tournaments all day long – with literally 100’s to choose from. Check out the ‘Turbo Deep Stack’ events. These start with 5000 chips, giving you a lot of play before the blind levels shoot up.
Super XL Series: This is a regular tournament event. Big and small buy-in tournaments run for 10 or so days, often with high guaranteed prize pools. There are satellite qualifiers and leader board contests.
Sit N Goes: These smaller games range from 1 table to 5 tables and start at 40c buy-ins. You will find short-handed and turbo / hyper-turbo variations. Check out the ‘Blast!’ Sit N Goes. These are timed, with everyone all-in at the end of the countdown. They have random prize pools of you to 10000x your buy-in.
You will also find live event qualifier tournaments and a small number of Pot Limit Omaha games.
Cash Game Selection at 888 Poker
The recent surge in player numbers means that you’ll have a ton of cash games to choose from at 888. As usual, most of the games are Texas Holdem, with 2, 6 and 9-player tables starting at just 1c / 2c blinds. There is plenty of Pot Limit Omaha action. Alternate games like PLO8 and Stud are noticeably quieter.
I recommend cash game fans check out ‘Snap!’ poker. This is a fast-fold format, where you switch tables as soon as you fold a hand. The lowest buy-in (1c / 2c blinds) is short-stacked, though you get a full 100 blinds at 2c / 5c and up. This is a great way to get more hands per hour and has recently been transferred to tournaments too.
Depositing and Withdrawing from 888 Poker
As a licensed international brand, 888 offer deposit options which you will not find at smaller poker rooms. Top of this list is PayPal, which only the biggest and best operators offer. You’ll find this restricted outside of the UK and Western Europe.
Most people use credit or debit cards to deposit at 888. While these are fast and simple, there are plenty of alternatives for those players that prefer not to give their card number online. These include eWallets like Neteller and Skrill, prepaid cards (PaySafeCard, UKash) and local bank transfer options.
There are plenty of country-specific deposit options. Examples include WebMoney (Russia / Eastern Europe) and Sofort (Germany).
Withdrawals will require backup ID documents. These keep both you and 888 safe from fraud. As a rule, you will be asked to withdraw with the same system you used to deposit. If this is not possible, then a local bank wire will be offered.
Safety and Game Fairness at 888 Poker
When it comes to trust, 888 are one of the most reputable brands worldwide. They are licensed by the UK, and separately in Gibraltar for their international operations. The owner, 888 Holdings, is also listed on the London Stock Exchange. While this does not affect the poker games, the extra peace of mind from a high level of financial oversight is always welcome.
Their deal is tested by the respected independent auditor eCogra. Over millions of deals they have certified that the shuffle of cards is random. To top the list, 888 have a detailed responsible gambling policy, which includes links and voluntary self-exclusion.
Wrapping Up: 888 Poker Is One of the Biggest Sites – Should You Play There?
When you combine a trusted (and tested!) brand with a big player pool and a lot of poker variations, you have a site worth considering. Add to this compatibility on all your mobile and desktop devices, and smart, easy to navigate software – and you have an attractive poker room.
It is the benefits to both new and regular players which makes 888 stand out. New players can get $88 in tokens simply for registering. After your 100% welcome bonus is cleared, you’ll benefit from a loyalty scheme, challenges with bonus rewards and plenty of promotions.
Check out 888 Poker for yourself – and see if you think the balance between generous rewards and soft games is right for you!