- Long Running And Trusted Brand
- Fun Promos, Gadgets, Sports Tickets And Live Events
- Very Easy Games And Loyal Recreational Player Base
- Now A Top 2 Site (and still growing).
- UK: Play with £20 Free + 100% up to $400 *T&Cs apply bonus code: WELCOME100
- See 'Promotions' Page for Current Offer
The Fastest Growing Online Poker Site
Planet Mark’s Summary: What do you get when you mix the world's largest casino brand with poker innovations and some really cool bonuses? As you will discover at 888Poker the answer is a fat poker bankroll!
888 Poker has been around since the start of the online poker boom. Recently they have had a huge surge in popularity, focusing on attracting recreational / amateur players and ensuring that the games stay entertaining and very soft. This has worked out well, propelling 888 into a clear 2nd place in the traffic rankings. What you will find is that casino games players (888 is also one of the biggest online casinos) come over into the poker site... and that they have very little knowledge of anything resembling poker strategy! Even knowing the basics will give you a huge profitable edge at the tables here. Innovations including 3D poker tables, Webcam Poker, Snap Poker, poker on mobile devices and lots of give-aways and cool promotions mean that 888 Poker are the place to be heading. The new 'challenges' based loyalty program is worth checking out too.
International Players Update: 888 are offering an improved no-deposit freebie bonus of up to $88 (this is made up of $8 in tourney tokens and cash game buy-ins immediately, then 10x $8 more as you collect points). What is great about this is that you can still take the 100% matched welcome bonus any time in the future - check out www.888poker.com for yourself right now before they stop this awesome deal!
UK Players: Play with £20 Free + 100% up to $400 *T&Cs apply bonus code: WELCOME100PLAY POKER NOW!
Below is my detailed review for 888.com Poker. This trusted brand goes all the way back to the beginning of online poker - and continues to innovate to this day. This review starts with the different games, then software and playability before covering the all important bonuses and promos - you will find a quick summary and my 'Planet Mark's Verdict' at the end.
Running through this review you will find the theme of casino players crossing over into the poker site part of the 888.com brand. If you have yet to see what a huge difference this makes to the games compared to sites where you find only serious poker players then I strongly suggest you take a look. 888 Poker are a trusted and well established brand. They are also innovating like crazy, with optional webcam games, 3d effect tables and some really cool promos and give aways. This site could be one to watch and the profitable games are running there right now!
Click Here To Check Out The Super-Profitable Games At 888 Poker!
Everyone Gets A 100% Matched Welcome Bonus
888.com Poker Review - Spotlight On Cash Games
Cash games are your number one reason that you should check out this site very soon - as this is where most of the stray casino players end up. I will describe these games as crazy, rather than just soft - you will often with 1 or 2 players driving the action by throwing chips around, and players of various different experience levels trying their best to grab their stack before someone else gets it. This happens up to surprisingly high levels too! Sure, there are some solid players, the point to I'd like to get across here is that you really should compare these games side-by-side with more 'grinder' filled sites like PokerStars. The difference is not just in the details, 888 will be visibly looser, bet sizes will be 'crazier' and your chances of beating the games (after accounting for variance of course!) is much higher.
NL Holdem starts at the micros, and has a good selection up to around $2 / $4 - you will find the occasional higher games than this, though with fewer tables to choose from, especially at $10 / $20 blinds and up. The standard sizes are 2, 6 and 9 players, with designated 'Royal Flush Jackpot' games, push or fold (you can only ever choose to go all-in or fold at these tables), fast speed tables and poker-cam tables. Fixed Limit Holdem is popular too.
888.com also run some juicy Omaha and Omaha hi-lo games, though Stud and Stud hi-lo are listed, it is rare to find more than a couple of tables of this variation. A nice addition is the 'private games' which you can set up with a password, great to recreating your homegame online!
Fans of Fast-Fold poker should check out 888's 'Snap Poker', this game used the same pooled player format as Rush or Zoom Poker, and is both fast and profitable for solid players. A PLO version of Snap has now been introduced, though this is yet to gain any major traction.
The latest addition to the cash games is a new fomat called 'FlopoMania'. This is a 6-max cash game which uses an ante instead of blinds. All players see the flop, and the action starts afterwards with the player to the left of the button. There are two variations of this game. Regular games use no-limit betting with 50x BB stacks. The other one only has a single betting option, to go all-in (up to 20BBs). This is an entertaining game and a refreshing change-up from the regular tables - check it out soon!
888 Poker Review - Spotlight On Poker Tournaments
Tournaments come in many shapes and sizes at 888.com, with the $100k Sunday event being the biggest and $50k Thursday event spreading the prize money. What you will find are a huge number of smaller guarantees - crazy fields - and variations including turbo games, rebuys, 2nd chance, deep-stacks, satellite qualifiers and short-handed games. Many of the tournaments here are tied into promotions (for example the 'Challenge Series' and there are some fun games too. Recently 888 have introduced a monthly special called 'The Whale' this is a $250,000 guaranteed event with a $530 buy-in which has 'steps' satellites to allow a lot of players to qualify - if this is half as soft as the Sunday event then it will be positive expectation for anyone with some poker strategy knowledge for sure!
One format I enjoy at 888 is the 'Turbo Deep Stack' events. You get 5000 chips to start, with plenty of room for post-flop play. Those blinds go up fast enough that the game is reaching the final table in just a few hours - a test of skill early and nerve (for the shorter stacked late game) at the end. There are now also innovative 'show me' tourneys, where the winning hand is always shown whether or not the hand goes to a showdown.
With more than 10,000 players online together at peak times, 888.com can offer excellent tournaments without having the 1000's of players in each game which make the PokerStars games so frustrating. Make sure you take advantage of the soft fields and bag yourself a nice final table cash soon!
Live tournament event qualifiers are now a mainstay of the schedule. 888 Poker are the main online poker sponsors for the World Series and even have their own bracelet event at the Nevada-only version of their site. You can win packages that will see you play this tournament, plus many others (mostly around Europe, for example the 'Battle of Malta'). The qualifier games come in 6 'steps'. You can buy-in wherever you like, with the system starting at just 1c.
Super XL Series: Online poker events have caught on in recent years. For me, 888's 'XL Series' are up there with the best. These are 1 to 2 week events, with plenty of big prize tournament action. The main ones are called the 'Super XL Series' while there are smaller variations, for example the 'XL Eclipse'. There are plenty of satellite qualifiers to help smaller bankroll players get into the big money games. Keep an eye on the 888 Poker website for the dates of the next event!
888 Poker Review - Spotlight On Sit N Goes
I have created a separate review which focuses on SNGs as part of my series looking at all the major poker sites. 888 offer a great selection and opponents who are not bubble-savvy. You will find all the standard formats plus double-or-nothing and 3-player 'triple-up' games there - and for Lottery SNG fans, the excellent Blast! Poker too. Another great reason to play at this site! You can read my 888 Poker SNGs Review Here.
888 Poker Review - Software And Playability
888's Poker software has been evolving over the last few years, it has gone from 'good' through 'great' and has now hit the 'must see' level... While the webcams, 3D tables and Snap Poker are cool enough, regular players will love the general look and feel. This site show they understand their players by starting you off with some game suggestions, and make finding your favorite games slick and fast with simple tabs, filters and colored legends for the different games. Action at the tables is fast and smooth too, with a choice of views. Taking chips from all those casino gamblers is now a real pleasure - it will be interesting to see what kind of take-up the webcam tables have too during the year.
This site are one of the few poker rooms who have really embraced the mobile poker model. You can access Android or iPhone / iPad apps, or use the 'Instant Play' dynamic browser version (I retested this the other day, not quite as smooth as the download, though it allowed me to play no problems at all). Compared to other sites, the apps are fantastic, I recommend you check these out for yourself.
888 Poker Review - $88 Free + Other Bonuses, Incentives And Promotions
A big welcome bonus is always nice, however it is the ongoing incentives and special promotions at 888 Poker which keep players amazingly loyal to this site. I'll go through the 3 bonus types below... keep in mind that you can get up to $88 free to use in the real money games as a new player without needing to deposit or give any credit card information - the bonuses below are for if and when your free play is done!
First up, new players get a 100% match on their first deposit up to $400. This is released in $10 increments, giving you extra cash to play with at the tables. New players get access to the super-soft 'beginners lounge' tables and can enter $30k worth of free tournaments too. You can still get your deposit bonus if you take the free play of $88. Note that some countries get different offers for the free tokens, for example £20 in tokens in one lump sum instead.
Ongoing incentives come in two main formats. First the 888.com rewards programhas recently been given a huge overhall. This now works using challenges, for which you are rewarded with gold coins and climb levels (where you will receive more interesting challenges). These coins can then be exchanged for bonuses or goods from the online points store. There is much more than just the logoed merchanise available here, with iPads and iPhones among other options.
888 seem to understand that looking after the recreational players with entertaining promotions keeps the games soft and the poker economy thriving. Players can take advantage of this with a never-ending stream of promo offers, recent examples include a 3D TV give-away (+ lots of other gadgets), $100k first-time depositors challenge and a quick double-up reload bonus. Satellites to major live events are included in these top-rated promos - keep a close eye on the 888Poker.com website to ensure you do not miss out.
Take Advantage Now: If you do not yet have an account at 888, you can grab up to $88 completely free in tournament tokens as cash game buy-ins. You'll get $6 in tournament tickets and $2 for cash games immediately, then up to 10 more $8 lots as you accumulate points. You can still claim the 100% welcome match at any point if you like the site. Grab your package while this great promo lasts at www.888poker.com !
888 Poker Review - Summary And My Overall Verdict
Those casino players are still the main reason for loving 888 after all these years! Sure, the bonuses and promos are generous, sure the software is fast becoming one of the very best (and most innovative) in the poker industry... yet without the soft games this would only ever be an 'alternate' site. As long as the crazy cash games and super-soft tournaments continue I have no hesitation in giving this site my strongest recommendation, if you have not seen how soft the games are compared to other sites - then you will probably be very surprised when you see the tables for yourself.
This site has proven that online poker can be recreational again - click now to check out the fantastic 888 Poker for yourself now!
More Reviews And Comparison Articles:
For readers based in the UK: Please be aware that this is for those 18+, that terms and conditions apply, that you must ensure that you gamble responsibly and that you can seek assistance for any gambling problems from gamstop.co.uk.