Best Poker Sites in America
Disclaimer: This review applies to US users. UK users, please see our UK-specific review here.
Launched in 2002, 888poker is a Gibraltar-licensed online poker room owned by 888 Holdings plc, a subsidiary of Cassava Enterprises Ltd. The site is slightly more popular than its closest rival, partypoker. This shouldn’t be all that surprising though, given its considerably less rocky history.
Over the years, 888poker has always delivered consistent Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud action to both cash game and tournament players, earning a solid position in the iGaming industry.
This stellar reputation helped 888 become a World Series of Poker sponsor. As such, it gives its customers access to numerous WSOP satellites.
888poker offers the best no-deposit bonus available on the internet. Plus, because competition at 888 is extremely soft, even intermediate players should have a fair shot at clearing this bonus. It’s also the only large online poker room that supports fast-fold tournaments and browser-based play.
888 Poker Review Summary
|POKER SITE||888 Poker|
|USA PLAYERS||Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey|
|NO DEPOSIT BONUS||$20 no-deposit bonus|
|SIGN-UP BONUS||100% up to $888 Match Bonus|
|GLOBAL TRAFFIC||#7 worldwide|
How to register an 888poker account
Registering an 888poker account amounts to launching the client applications, clicking the Register button, and filling out the registration form. When you complete this process, you must verify your e-mail, and possibly confirm your identity by sending 888poker’s staff a scan of your government-issued ID. This last step may depend on your country of residence.
Keep in mind that 888poker’s services aren’t available in countries where playing online poker for real money is illegal. If you want to check whether 888poker is accessible from your area of residence, please consult the list of eligible countries available on their website.
888poker sign-up bonuses
888poker showers you with bonuses the moment you create your account. However, aside from the $20 no-deposit bonus*, the amount of value you can squeeze out of these promotions isn’t all that impressive.
Be sure to use bonus code NEW888 to maximize the available bonuses.
$20 no-deposit bonus*
Just creating an account qualifies you for $20 in credits to get started not the site. You will be allowed to withdraw the promotional money as soon as you accumulate 2.5 points for every $1 you’ve received.
100 percent matched deposit bonus, up to $888*
888Poker grants this bonus in a restricted state at first. Then the money releases in $10 installments as you clear it. In order for the bonus to credit to your account, you’ll have to earn 100 bonus points. Since players earn these bonus points at a rate of two points per dollar paid in rake, this deal is equivalent to a 20 percent rakeback offer.
This amount of rakeback isn’t all that impressive. Comparatively, new PokerStars customers get 28 percent rakeback until they clear the bonus, and partypoker players get 30 percent rakeback once their loyalty program is factored in.
Free tournament tickets
Aside from the aforementioned matched deposit bonus, every first-time depositor receives a free tournament tickets package. that package includes:
- Seven tickets to $500 First Depositors’ freerolls
- Two tickets to $1,000 Depositors’ freerolls
- One ticket to the First Depositors’ Challenge Tournament, which gives you a shot at winning a seat in the next Sunday Challenge Tournament
All things considered, the amount of bang that you’re going to get for your buck if you take 888poker up on its offer is inversely proportional to the size of your deposit. This is because the value of the free tournament tickets doesn’t increase with the size of your payment.
Generally speaking, if you’re planning to deposit $100 or less, you won’t be losing out by picking 888poker over any competing sites. However, if you want to deposit a larger amount, you should seriously consider going for PokerStars or Party Poker instead.
888poker traffic overview
888poker is the second-most popular West-facing poker site in the world, but their overall traffic is about five times smaller than that of PokerStars.
The average number of active cash game players on 888poker tends to exceed 1,500 most weeks. Peak traffic hours usually occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, or 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. GMT. The number of people gathered around cash game tables consistently exceeds 2,600 around that time and tends to break 2,800 on the weekends. The competition is extremely soft, especially when compared with PokerStars. Most of this traffic is at micro- and low-stakes no-limit Hold’em tables.
888poker’s flagship tournaments with sub-$15 buy-ins tend to attract 800-2,000 unique entrants. This is slightly lower than what PokerStars offers. 888poker also hosts fewer events, but the differences are so miniscule that they shouldn’t have much of an impact on the overall experience of a typical player.
Poker software and mobile app
888 debuted its new poker software and mobile in November 2020. The company greatly upgraded the player experience at the tables.
The “Made to Play” platform featured a complete revamp with better graphics and gameplay. The app is completely different from the site’s previous offering.
Players will now find an innovative platform in portrait mode. One-hand play is now a possibility, making for an easier way to play on a small screen. Users can also now multi-table, easily swiping between up to four games.
The new software also incorporates social gaming aspects to the mobile offering including:
- options to throw things at opponents
- cool avatars
- gift drops
The platform is a major step up and offers players an excellent poker option.
888poker’s software supports a wide range of poker variants. However, the size of its player pool limits the availability of some of those games. This means that while, in theory, the overall selection doesn’t look much worse than on PokerStars, what you actually get in terms of active games is more in line with sites like Winamax and partypoker.
That being said, if you’re mainly a No Limit Hold’em player, you’re guaranteed plenty of really loose action here. Finding a table where the players/flop statistic is higher than 50 percent isn’t at all uncommon at the 888 micros.
888poker cash games
888poker allows you to choose between Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud, but the vast majority of players stick exclusively to No Limit Hold’em. Resultingly, tsome of the network’s game sections are essentially ghost towns most of the time.
When it comes to no-limit Hold’em, the stakes range from $0.01/$0.02 to $500/$1,000, but most of the action is confined to low- and micro-stakes. Even during peak traffic hours, there are usually just a few 6-max medium stakes tables running at any given time. Meanwhile, high-stakes action is essentially all about heads-up play.
For fixed-limit games, only the $0.02/$0.04 micros seem to be fairly active, even though the available stakes go all the way up to $50/$100. Theoretically speaking, pot-limit tables are also available, but this format seems to be dead nowadays.
Too many formats, not enough players – that’s the kind of Omaha experience you should expect here. Theoretically speaking, you could play all of these games with classic stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $ $50/$100:
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- NL Omaha
- FL Omaha
- FL Omaha Hi/Lo
- PL Omaha Hi/Lo
Practically speaking, however, only micro- and low-stakes PLO and PL Omaha Hi/Lo tables seem to get any action.
Both standard Seven-Card Stud and Stud Hi/Lo are available. Don’t expect anything beyond the occasional heads-up play though. Available stakes range from $0.02/$0.04 to $30/$60. It’s worth noting that the few Stud players that frequent 888poker tend to avoid the lowest stakes.
888poker multi-table tournaments
Recurring 888poker tournaments consist of the Sunday Mega Series, low buy-in Fish’n’Chips MTTs, and daily HighRollers. You’ll also find plenty of stand-alone PLO and NLHE events here, with buy-ins ranging from $0.50 to about $30.
Additionally, 888 completely revamped its tournament lineup and added more events. The new lineup was meant to appeal to more recreational players and bring more players into the game. That meant:
- Fewer re-entries
- More payouts
- Better options for recreational players
- More tournaments during prime time hours
The site has also added higher guarantees with more than $500,000 paid out each week. Here’s a complete look at the schedule for some of the bigger new events throughout the week.
|MONDAY – SATURDAY|
|Big Shot||Mid||Big Shot||$33||$15,000|
|Big Shot||High||Big Shot 55||$55||$15,000|
|Big Shot||Mid||Big Shot||$22||$15,000|
|Big Shot||High||Big Shot||$109||$20,000|
|Sunday Big Shot||Low||Big Shot||$5.50||$5,000|
|Big Shot||Mid||Big Shot||$33||$15,000|
|Big Shot $100K (2 day)||High||Big Shot||$525||$100,000|
|Big Shot Main Event||High||Big Shot||$109||$150,000|
Sunday Mega Series
888poker’s Sunday MTT offering consists of five large events which frequently attract thousands of players. The specific details can change from week to another, but in most cases you can expect the following:
- The Mega Micro – $5 buy-in, $4,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 19:30 GMT
- The Mega Dozen – $12 buy-in, $20,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 18:00 GMT
- The Mega Deep – $215 buy-in, $100,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 17:30 GMT
- The Turbo Mega Deep – $215 buy-in, $15,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 20:30 GMT
- The Mega Knockout – $209 buy-in, $5,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 21:15 GMT
Satellites for these events can run as cheap as $0.50. So, if you enjoy MTTs and you have an 888poker account, there really is no excuse for not giving them a shot.
Fish’n’Chips are daily low buy-in MTTs with large guaranteed prize pools. Here’s a typical mid-week schedule:
- The Goldfish – $1 buy-in, $1,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 20:00 GMT
- The Swordfish – $30 buy-in, $5,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 18:00 GMT
- The Catfish – $12 buy-in, $1,500 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 3:00 GMT
- The Blowfish – $5 buy-in, $1,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 13:00 GMT
It’s worth noting that, while buy-ins tend to be significantly higher than on partypoker, the competition is still extremely soft. Accordingly, skilled players consistently finish in the money. If you’re used to grinding the tough MTTs on PokerStars, you’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise.
This is where 888poker MTTs get tough. There’s simply too much money on the line for the average low-level players.
HighRoller tournaments run on a daily basis. The following list doesn’t cover every tournament that appears as a part of this series, but it is nonetheless fairly representative:
- The Typhoon – $55 buy-in, $3,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 9:00 GMT
- The Twister – $55 buy-in, $3,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 11:00 GMT
- The Tornado – $109 buy-in, $10,000 guaranteed prize pool, starts at 20:00 GMT
Other poker offerings on 888poker
888poker gives you access to a surprisingly extensive selection of Sit & Go tournaments, as well as two completely unorthodox poker variants that aren’t available on any other popular poker site.
Sit & Go tournaments
S&Gs are available for No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. Buy-ins range from $0.01 all the way up to $1,000, but keep in mind that the high-roller S&G action is all about Hold’em. Available S&G sizes range from full-ring games to heads-up duels, and most options are available in Turbo and Super Turbo variants. All things considered, it’s a well-rounded offering that’s more or less in line with what the other leading poker rooms have to offer.
Sit & Go Super-turbo BLAST tournaments
BLAST S&Gs are hyper-turbo tournaments in which four players compete for a randomly drawn prize pool, which can be worth up to 10,000 buy-ins. This means that a $100 buy-in game can turn into a battle for $1,000,000, but you have to keep in mind that such lucky draws are extremely rare – the majority of cases will see a prize pool equal to less than 10x the buy-in size.
Fast-fold SNAP games
Every time you fold your hand in a SNAP game, you will instantly be seated at a different table with five players who have just folded their hands at their own respective tables. Whether you play Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold’em, this results in an extremely fast-paced experience. It’s worth noting that 888poker is currently the only poker room that offers fast-fold tournaments, which are available exclusively for No-limit Hold’em.
Flopomania is the second of 888poker’s exclusive poker variant. The rules are similar to no-limit Hold’em, but the action begins on the flop – the entire pre-flop is omitted. Available games range from $0.05 to $2.
888poker rewards program
888poker has a rather unique rewards program called the 888poker Club. The system is based on earning points, which allow you to advance to higher levels. The rewards you get for achieving this goal include freeroll tickets, prize scratch cards, and Gold tokens. These tokens are redeemable for even more rewards, such as cash and additional tournament tickets.
Progression is entirely linear – once you reach a certain level, you’ll never be demoted.
Assessing the specific value of this program is next to impossible. The amount of points that you earn isn’t based on rake, but on completing random challenges. These Challenges can range from simply grinding the tables to playing real money games on three consecutive days.
If that wasn’t enough, the amount of points required to reach a certain level doesn’t follow a specific pattern. Generally speaking, higher levels tend to require more points than lower ones. You will also earn more Gold tokens and your free tickets will allow you to compete in tournaments with bigger guaranteed prize pools.
All things considered, it’s an interesting and engaging setup geared towards the expectations of recreational players. However, most serious poker aficionados will likely consider its incoherent and somewhat random nature to be a serious drawback.
888poker deposit/withdrawal options
888poker gives you access to a wide range of banking options, but as is often the case with iGaming sites that accept customers from multiple jurisdictions, the specifics depend on your area of residence. We recommend sticking to e-wallet transactions whenever possible. Using this method guarantees that your transaction will process without unnecessary delays.
Most customers will be able to make a deposit using their:
- Credit card
- Prepaid card
- Standard wire transfer
When it comes to e-wallets, Neteller payments are available, while PayPal deposits are available exclusively to players from:
Withdrawing from 888poker usually takes slightly longer than cashing out from other leading poker sites. Even Neteller and PayPal withdrawals may take up to five business days. A list of available withdrawal methods is also somewhat limited. In some rare cases players might be forced to rely on wire transfers, which can take up to ten business days to complete.
888poker has an extensive and well-organized FAQ section, which covers:
- Bonuses and promotions
- Available games
- Logging in
- Managing your account
- Solutions to the most common technical issues
Nevertheless, live support is available exclusively via e-mail, which is very disappointing if you consider the fact that many poker rooms give you access to 24/7 toll-free phone support and live chat.
We received responses to our e-mails in less than 12 hours in all cases, and sometimes in as little as a few hours.
Other 888poker promotions
888poker has a few ongoing promotions that allow you to squeeze out some additional value out of the site. These promotions range from fairly straightforward deals, such as additional freeroll tickets on bankroll reloads, to sophisticated quests, such as the $250,000 Fortune Trail.
This promotion requires you to complete Golden Step Challenges and hit Treasure Milestones in order to earn a shot at claiming a massive cash prize.
These promotions tend to change on a regular basis. The site adds new ones on a regular basis.
888poker may not excel in terms of bonuses or game availability, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s the only West-facing poker site that gets all the basics right while simultaneously allowing more experienced players to go after the fish without having to worry about multi-tabling restrictions.
On the flip side, recreational players will find the room’s entertaining rewards program, as well as a phenomenal no-deposit bonus, extremely enticing. Overall, it seems that 888poker offers something for everybody.