Enjoy Small Stakes Poker Action on the Horizon Poker Network
The Intertops brand predates the internet – going all the way back to 1983. They started online in 1996, and now offer a US-friendly gambling portal with poker, casino and sports betting sections. This review focuses on the poker room. The software will be familiar to players who have been enjoying online poker for a while. This is based on the former Cake Poker network, now renamed as the Horizon Poker network.
You’ll find players from all over the world (though not the UK, Australia or France) enjoying smaller stakes No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. With a big 200% welcome bonus and a highly regarded loyalty program, the rewards are excellent too.
Here is what you can expect from Intertops Poker:
Unusually, Intertops combine casino free spins with their poker welcome bonus. Even if you don’t normally play casino games – having 100 free shots at a slot win could boost your bankroll.
The welcome offer is based on your first deposit at a 200% match. This means you need to deposit $500 to get the full benefit. I like the fact that you have a full 3 months to clear this bonus. It is paid to your account in $5 increments, based on collecting points at the real money tables. This means that if you do not complete the full bonus, you will not lose out on at least a good part of it.
You will be rewarded via a loyalty scheme which works on FPPs (frequent player points). This scheme is more complex than some. It has 50 levels, each with tiers within it.
Bonus pay outs come whenever you earn enough points to complete a tier. As you move through the levels, these bonuses get bigger and better. If you move up quickly, you get special ‘turbo’ bonuses. You can take some time out from play without losing your current level. To fall down the levels, you need to clock up 3 months without earning enough FPPs to remain there.
In addition to FPPs, you’ll collect gold coins while you play. These can be exchanged for extra bonuses. Clearing those works in the same way as the welcome bonus. There are also reload bonuses available.
Topping it off are FPP races. These are short leader board style contests, where you compete with other players to clock up the most play.
There have been many updates to the poker software since the old Cake network days – though the tables will still look familiar to anyone that remembers Cake. You play with an angled 3D effect, with an avatar character on each seat. At Intertops Poker, the design is a smart red and black.
You can now access the poker software in two ways. In the past, you needed to download the full software client to access the tables. This has now been joined by an instant-play version. You can play in a web browser on both mobile and desktop devices.
Navigation through the lobby is straightforward. This follows the standard poker room format of different formats (tournaments, cash games and so on), with the game options (Holdem / Omaha) beneath. Once you get to the table list, you can use filters to find the stakes and table size that suits you best.
Intertops Poker is not the biggest US poker room, which means the action is focused on the smaller stakes. With a global player base, you’ll find the most activity in the evenings in both Europe and the US.
No Limit Holdem attracts the most action in the real money games, with 6-max the table size of choice. You can play for pennies (1c / 2c blinds) and will find action up to $1 / $2 on a regular basis – with only a few tables above that. Pot Limit Omaha also attracts players, again you can expect most of the action to be at the micro / lower stakes levels.
Smaller poker sites are not able to offer big guaranteed prizes like their larger rivals. While the tournament selection at Intertops is growing – this is from a small base. You will need to wait for even the smallest Sit N Go to fill up, and the biggest guarantee of the week is only $4,000 in their Sunday tournament.
On the positive side, smaller tournaments attract a lot of loose players – and the field sizes are manageable too. Instead of battling through fields of 1000’s, you’ll find 100 or so even at the lower stakes.
There are a lot of different ways to get your money on board at Intertops. Which are available to you will depend on where you live.
For US players, the list is limited by the banking regulations. Here are the options:
You might also be able to use money transfer services or wires – chat to the cashier staff to understand your options for those.
Global players have a wider choice of deposit options. Around the world, credit and debit cards are much easier to use (they don’t get blocked by banks). You also have the option to use 3rdparty accounts which are designed for secure online payments. Examples include PaySafeCard (a voucher system), Skrill and Neteller. EcoPayz and SEPA (European Bank Transfer) can also be used. Unfortunately, this poker site does not accept PayPal poker deposits.
Intertops use the slogan ‘Trust the First’ on their homepage. This alludes to their claim to be one of the first gambling sites to hit the internet. With more than 20 years track record behind them, Intertops are now one of the best trusted brands around. They have no scandals or payment issues from their casino, sportsbook or poker room.
This site is licensed in Netherlands Antilles, and have their games tested for fairness (random deal of cards) by 3rdparty auditors ‘Technical Systems Testing’. Intertops also have a responsible gambling policy, including links to get help and self-exclusion options.
You’ll start off with a big bankroll boost, thanks to the 200% welcome bonus. I like the way that this clears $5 at a time. That provides a constant bankroll boost to match anything you win from the tables. The loyalty scheme at Intertops is complex, with tiers within levels – the benefits will keep coming as long as you maintain your FPP collection without a gap of 2 months.
If you enjoy small stakes NL Holdem and PLO, Intertops have a lot of soft games – make sure you check them out for yourself soon!