888Poker offers new players free poker money just for registering an account. If you would like to know more about how this offer works, and some of the other benefits of playing at the site, you are invited to continue reading my 888Poker review. If you cannot wait to get your hands on the free poker money from 888Poker, click “PLAY NOW” to visit the site and register your account today. There is no 888Poker bonus code required to take advantage of this offer.
February, 2017 – I would like to start my review of 888Poker by admitting that 888Poker was the first online poker site that I ever registered an account with back in 2002 when it was known as Pacific Poker. Over more than a decade I have journeyed with 888Poker through numerous software updates, I was there when the site first introduced webcam poker and I have been an active member of the my.888Poker community for almost five years. However, as with all my assessments of the sites that appear on pokerwebsites.org, my review of 888Poker is going to be based on my experiences with the poker website – and I will include any of the negatives I have noticed over the years.
FYI – My 888Poker review does not take into account the company´s activities in the US. As yet I have not spent long enough in any of the regulated US markets to justify opening an account with the All American Poker Network; although I understand that the software is exactly the same as used at WSOP.com, which is exactly the same as used at 888Poker.com.
Free Poker Money from 888Poker
One of the reasons for 888Poker becoming one of the most popular online poker website in the world is that it offers free poker money for new players to try out the site before having to commit any of their own funds. After many years this offer is still ongoing, and is usually advertised as $8.00 free poker money; but its value varies according to your country of residence.
For example, if you live in Spain you get €5.00 “dinero de poker gratis”, or if you have moved to the UK to escape Spain´s ridiculous tax laws you can get your hands on £20.00 free poker money. In Canada and Australia, you will receive $88.00 just for registering an account with 888Poker, while in Germany the “keine anzahlung poker bonus” is a whopping €88.00 (around $120.00*).
(*) In most jurisdictions, the free poker money from 888Poker is a mixture of cash and tournament tokens. Where higher amounts of free poker money are offered (for example in Germany), only €8.00 of the free poker money is released immediately. The rest is released as you earn Status Points by playing real money poker.
Summary: The free poker money offer from 888Poker is a “grabber” for the site and it gives new players the opportunity to experience real money poker for free. As generous as it is, make sure you read the terms and conditions of the offer carefully. Rating 9/10
An Exclusive 888Poker Bonus
No matter where you live, you will be entitled to a 100% match bonus on your first deposit at 888Poker up to a limit of $400.00. The 888Poker bonus is released in increments of $10.00 as you earn Bonus Points (these differ from Status Points and are explained below), and you will get 90 days from the date of your first deposit (not necessarily the same date as you first registered your account) in which to earn the points you need to clear the full 888Poker bonus.
The 888Poker first deposit bonus is only part of the Welcome package you will receive. 888Poker will provide you with free entries for tournaments in which you can win thousands of dollars in cash, invite you to play in First Depositor freeroll tournaments and open the door into the 888Poker VIP club in which you can earn additional bonuses, tournaments entries and exchange the points you collect clearing the 888Poker bonus for goodies from their online shop.
Loui Levino´s Exclusive 888Poker Bonus. If you would like to “get a little extra from Loui”, register your account after clicking through to 888Poker´s website from any of my links on this page, and 888Poker will increase your first deposit bonus limit to $600.00. The bonus is still subject to the standard Terms and Conditions and clearing requirements, and you still get 90 days in which to redeem it.
Summary: The 888Poker bonus may not be the biggest in the world, but it is one of the simplest to clear. With my exclusive offer, it brings the bonus up to a more competitive mark against other poker websites – otherwise it would not have got such a high rating. Rating 9/10
Cash Games on 888Poker
The cash games on 888Poker are limited to Texas Hold´em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud, and 888Poker recently removed its heads-up cash tables (although you can still play heads-up Sit n Gos). Stake limits range from $0.01/$0.02 up to a modest $5.00/$10.00 and the lobby has a handy quick seat feature which will take you to the table within your stake range which has the first open seat available.
Pokercam tables – the ones on which you can see who you are playing against – have a little webcam icon alongside them in the lobby; and, in addition to the novelty of playing on these tables, there are frequently prizes randomly showered upon pokercam players. Other tables with special icons include the “ShowME” tables – on which the winning hand is revealed every time – “Push or Fold” tables (self-explanatory) and my favourite, the fast-fold “Snap” tables.
Summary: The range of cash games tables is fair without being spectacular. Following the policy of protecting new players from those of us who are more experienced, 888Poker provides low buy-in cash game tables for beginners. Rating 7/10
888Poker Provides Excellent Value Poker Tournaments
The choice of cash games on 888Poker might be a little limiting for some, but that is where the disappointment ends. 888Poker´s range of tournaments is superb, with hundreds of tournaments starting throughout the day and night, and a comprehensive range of Sit n Go tournaments – including genuine “Double or Nothing” games which (thankfully) 888Poker have not chosen to tinker with like many other poker websites.
Although the site´s guaranteed tournaments rarely see an overlay, 888Poker does have a $100,000 guaranteed “Sunday Challenge” with the lowest buy-in of any of the major poker websites for a weekend feature event – $90.00 – and a good satellite structure if you do not have that level of bankroll. The site also hosts numerous qualifiers for live 888Poker-sponsored events, and an innovative range of tournaments in which you can win a share in a racehorse or play in a team event in which the prize pool is divided between the individual winners and all the members of their team.
Summary: Innovative, appealing and fun – there is a tournament for everyone at 888Poker.com. Rating 10/10
888Poker Club – Your Road to Rewards
After maintaining the tried and tested VIP Rewards Program for many, many years, 888Poker recently moved away from a rakeback-based loyalty model and introduced the 888Poker Club – an innovative, challenge-based model that rewards players for completing tasks across multiple verticals.
Poker purists have complained that the new 888Poker Club penalizes high-volume players and includes casino games and sports betting among its challenges. But I think it is brilliant. Who doesn´t enjoy a spin of the roulette wheel from time to time or a flutter on a soccer match? Getting rewarded for it is even better!
The 888Poker Club sets players individual challenges based on their previous betting action. As the challenges are completed, players are awarded Gold Tokens that count towards reaching predetermined levels. Once the levels are reached, the Gold Tokens can be exchanged for cash, bonuses and tournament entries. Players who complete five levels within a month are awarded a free scratch card with extra rewards available, while completing certain levels unlocks entries into daily club freeroll tournaments with a total monthly value of $100,000.
Summary: No more chasing Status Points to enhance your bankroll. Simply complete the challenges and enjoy the more frequent bonuses to your account – often with a higher value than before! What´s not to love? Rating 9/10
888Poker Promotions Favour Tournament Players
888Poker has a good range of promotions that players can take part in, but they mostly tend to get resolved in a 3,000 player tournament – which means that you bust your guts qualifying for the target event, but get sucked out in the first hand and win nothing (even 888Poker´s promotion to highlight their fast-fold “Snap” poker cash game concluded in a poker tournament).
This pretty much reconciles with the website´s policy of promoting fun among low-mid stake recreational players, and deterring the 24-table multitablers who grind out their bonuses and reward points without contributing anything to the game. Although I can see the company´s reasoning, it would be nice to see an 888Poker promotion land in my inbox that doesn´t conclude in a 3,000 player freeroll!
Summary: There are a handful of promotions each year in which you can win cash without having to win a tournament first but, as a rule, consider whether you want to (or will be able to) compete in the “end-game” before committing time in pursuit of an 888Poker promotion. Rating 6/10
Beware of Suckouts on 888Poker
I would have to say that the standard of player I have encountered at 888Poker is generally pretty good. Bad players stand out like a sore thumb and usually don´t last very long in the mid-stake cash games before going off to play at sites offering anonymous tables. However, further down the stake limits and in low buy-in tournaments, the standard of play can be very fishy and lead to bad beats and suckouts.
A combination of the free poker money and migrants from 888´s casino operations tend to attract players who like a “free bet” and who have no apparent knowledge of bet-sizing, pot odds and betting from position. Although experienced players often clean up in these circumstances, it can be demoralising if you are a new player and have your bankroll devastated by players you consider should not even have been in the hand during the pre-flop action.
Summary: More like another tip than a summary – use the notes facility to keep a record of your opponents´ betting actions. This will help you determine whether they are getting into a higher percentage of pots than they should, or whether they are a shark waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Rating 8/10
Around the Clock Action on 888Poker
888Poker used to have a very significant presence in the US before George W Bush Junior decided online poker players were funding weapons of mass destruction and sneaked UIGEA through the backdoor in 2006 (never did find those WMDs – did you George!). Thereafter, rather than rely on its European market, 888Poker moved all around the globe attracting new players with the free money offer and its industry-leading software.
Consequently there is a good flow of traffic throughout the day and night at 888Poker and you will find plenty of action on demand on the cash game tables and valuable tournaments getting underway when right-minded people should be tucked up under their duvets.
Summary: No matter when you play, you will always find an Australian at your table! Rating: 9/10
The 888Poker Download
Few 888Poker reviews cover the physical process of how to download the poker software, how to register an account and then fund it – assuming you are intending to take advantage of the 888Poker bonus and not just the free poker money on offer. I have kept the technical stuff as brief as possible so as not to bore you, but it is worth a quick glance through before you start the 888Poker download.
888Poker does not have a Mac client and, after all these years, it is unlikely to develop one now. The 888Poker website does have a flash version which you can access through your web browser if you want to play poker on a Mac, but it is not a patch on the full 888Poker client. There is also an 888Poker mobile app that can be downloaded onto iOS and Android devices, and this is much better – although it only gives you access to Sit n Go and cash games.
Completing the 888Poker download for Windows is very simple and on-screen directions guide you through the download and installation processes. The download .exe file will start as soon as you click “Download Now” on the 888Poker website, and the file will automatically save to your download folder. Double click on the .exe file, read the Terms and Conditions of downloading the software and choose what icons you want where, click “continue” and the installation wizard will take over to complete the 888Poker download.
Once the 888Poker download is completed, the poker client will open up on your desktop, asking you to “create a new account”.
Summary: The process for downloading 888Poker is straightforward and grief-free. I recommended that if you are still using Windows 95 or XP you upgrade to a better system to experience the full range of gizmos included in the 888Poker software. Rating 7/10
Registering an Account with 888Poker
The second page of the account registration asks you to choose a username (this will be your online poker “handle”), enter a password and select a security question in case you ever forget your password. On page 3 you are asked to provide your physical address, post code, and a contact telephone number. Click on finish and you will be able to play real money poker with the $6/€8/£12 888Poker has just put into your account, or make your first deposit to take advantage of the 888Poker bonus.
Summary: It is recommended that you enter your physical address in the format it appears on any document you may use to verify your ID – a necessary stage before being able to make a withdrawal. Sign-up process is straightforward, if a little long-winded. Rating 10/10
How to Make Your First Deposit on 888Poker
Although it would be nice to roll up the free poker money offered by 888Poker into a substantial bankroll, in reality it is likely that you will have to make a deposit into your account at some stage – at least you will get the Loui-exclusive 100% match 888Poker bonus on deposits up to $600.00 rather than the $400.00 everybody else is entitled to!
888 Poker offers a staggering amount of deposit options, which vary according to your country of residence. It is a fair bet that Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Skrill and Neteller will be included among the deposit options available to you; and, despite the 888Poker cashier being 100% secure, if you would rather have a human guide you through the depositing process, you can call up Customer Services and fund your account over the phone.
Summary: There is no specific 888Poker bonus code to enter when registering your account or funding it. Due to the wizardry of analytics, 888Poker will know that you have visited the 888Poker website from my site and credit you with the $600.00 bonus automatically. Rating 10/10
888Poker Wants their Games to be Fair and Secure
888Poker goes to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their poker website and that players are not at risk from cheating or collusion. The site has a “Fair Play” policy in which the testing of its RNG is explained, and claims that its online encryption protection makes it safer to make an online deposit into your poker account than to buy a pizza at your local restaurant.
For your own security you can set limits on how long you play, how much you deposit and how much you lose within a week or a month, and you should avoid any actions that might arose the suspicions of 888Poker´s Security Team (like allowing other players to play on your account) as this could result in a permanent ban and the forfeiting of your bankroll.
Summary: I believe it is a good thing to transparent about your business practices, which is why I always suggest you read stuff like the Terms and Conditions of playing on 888Poker. Rating 10/10
888Poker´s Customer Support is Acceptable
To put my opinion of 888Poker´s Customer Support into context, you have to realise that I also play on other poker websites that have incredible customer support. As a rule, the telephone support and Live Chat support is generally okay and available 24/7; however the support by email is deplorable. Now, you might say “Loui, why would you use email when there is a telephone service available”, and I would answer “You can only send the documents to verify your account by email”.
The problem with this is that, if you leave it until you want to make a withdrawal before verifying your account, it could be 48 hours before 888Poker checks your documents. If you have missed something out, or your documents do not match the details you entered when you first registered your 888Poker account, it could be another 48 hours before they look at them again. My gripe with 888Poker´s customer support by email is “How many emails are you getting a day that it takes two days to reply to one?”
Summary: Fortunately there is an active MY.888Poker community forum which will give you advice if you cannot get a suitable answer from any of 888Poker´s customer support channels. Rating 5/10
What Else Does 888Poker Do?
888 Holdings (the parent company of the parent company that runs 888Poker) has a stack of other online gambling products – some which are easily identifiable as 888-related (for example the Bingo sites 888Bingo and 888Ladies) and others not so recognisable (Wink Bingo, Tasty Bingo and Posh Bingo). There are dozens of 888 Casino sites, several sports-betting sites and sites dedicated to scratchcards, video slots and casino games.
If you want, you can move your poker bankroll around the other 888-branded sites, and maybe even take advantage of non-poker bonuses offered by 888. The company has won plenty of awards for its online casino operations and, in 2013, also collected the award for poker operator of the year at the prestigious eGR Gaming Awards.
This is the End of My 888Poker Review
Despite 888Poker´s astonishing success in recovering from the effects of UIGEA to become the second largest online poker website in the world, my opinion of the site is that it is safe and steady, rather than being spectacular and challenging. It is the ideal poker website for a new player to learn the intricacies of online poker, and has a relatively easy to achieve poker bonus to bump up your bankroll. Whether or not you will remain a customer of 888Poker as long as I have; only time will tell! Overall Rating 8.6/10
See you on a (tournament) table soon!