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How to sign-up for Winamax
The easiest way to create a Winamax account is to visit their website and click the Create Account button located in the top-right corner of the screen. Alternatively, you can also download the Winamax client and initiate the registration process from there. In the end, it all boils down to filling out a simple form and verifying your e-mail address.
In order to play real-money games, you will have to validate your account by sending Winamax scans of all required documents, including a government-issued ID. You will also have to declare one bank account registered in your name.
When it comes to country restrictions, Winamax is available to all players from European Union member states and the countries belonging to the European Economic Area, as long as their local laws don’t prevent them from playing online poker for real money.
Winamax sign-up bonus
Winamax offers only one welcome bonus, which can be claimed only after a player’s first deposit.
100% matched deposit bonus, up to €500
This bonus splits into five equal chunks, which credit to your account as soon as you accumulate the required loyalty points, called Miles Points. Miles are earned at a rate of four points per €1 paid in rake. In order to clear €1 of the bonus, you have to accumulate 30 Miles. Here’s an example of this system in action:
Let’s say that you deposit €100. According to the rules of this promotion, you receive a €100 bonus, which is then split into five €20 chunks.
In order to clear each chunk, you need to earn 20 x 30 = 600 Miles, which amounts to €150 paid in rake. This means that the entire bonus is equivalent to a 13 percent rakeback deal, which is really low when compared with PokerStars’ welcome bonus (28 percent rakeback), or even 888poker’s welcome bonus (20 percent rakeback).
Winamax traffic overview
Winamax is an interesting site when it comes to traffic, as its unique situation makes it the only large poker room in which France-based poker enthusiasts can play with people from other European countries.
This is because players located within France are prohibited by law from connecting to poker sites that do not hold a French license. However, these same laws don’t prohibit France-based sites from accepting EU citizens.
Consequently, while companies based in Gibraltar or on the Isle of Man had to set-up local fenced-off networks in France, Winamax was free to extend its reach from inside the country. As a result, Winamax is the most inclusive EU-facing poker site, which its traffic stats reflect.
The average number of ring-game players on Winamax’s network tends to range from 1,300 to 1,350 players. The 24-hour peak usually happens between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. GMT. The number of unique people populating the tables tends to exceed 2,600 around that time. This means that from a Europe-based player’s standpoint, Winamax is pretty much on par with partypoker and 888poker in terms of evening ring-game activity.
Winamax hosts dozens of tournaments on a weekly basis. The largest events tend to attract thousands of players. Even mid-week MTTs draw 4,000+ players. Obviously, these numbers aren’t as high as on PokerStars but are quite similar to what can be found at 888poker and Party Poker.
In theory, Winamax offers a wide selection of poker games, which can only be matched by what’s available on PokerStars. Realistically speaking, most players focus exclusively on No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, leaving all niche game tables empty. The sad truth is that only PokerStars is capable of attracting enough traffic to keep formats like Razz or 8-game poker somewhat active. Really, offering them on a smaller site doesn’t impact the overall player experience. That being said, the cash game Hold’em action on Winamax is essentially on par with what you’d find on partypoker or 888.
Winamax cash games
No Limit Hold’em
Winamax only offers Texas Hold’em in no-limit format. Available blinds start at €0.01/€0.02 and go all the way up to €25/€50. Most of the action focuses on the 9-max and 5-max micro stakes games. However, even €1/€2 players should be able to afford to be picky about table selection on most days. For any serious high-limit action, players should log-in during peak hours only.
Pot Limit Omaha
Winamax offers three pot-limit variants: PLO, PL Omaha 5, and PL Omaha Hi/Lo. Stakes range from €0.01/€0.02 to €10/€20. While the Omaha tables don’t attract as many players as Hold’em does, you shouldn’t have any issues finding plenty of opponents, regardless of your preferred stakes.
As briefly touched on above, Winamax offers many cash game formats that its player pool simply can’t sustain. Games like Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Limit 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo, Limit Razz, Limit 2-7 Triple Draw and 8-Game Mixed Poker are all listed in the lobby.
Finding someone to play against is next to impossible even during peak traffic hours though. From time to time you might find a lonely soul sitting at one of the low stakes tables, but generally speaking, you shouldn’t expect to get any serious action.
Winamax multi-table tournaments
With dozens of MTTs hosted every week, Winamax boasts over €10,000,000 in tournament guarantees every month. Some of the major tournaments include:
- Knockout Tournaments
- Deepstack Tournaments
- Turbo Tournaments
- Kill The Champions Tournaments
- Two in one Fish&Ship Tournament
- Monster Stack Tournaments
- Omaha Tournaments
The options are really too numerous to list. Nevertheless, we will spotlight a few recurring Winamax events, as they definitely deserve your attention.
The Winamax Main Event
- €100,000 guaranteed
- Four day 1s on Sunday and Monday
- Tuesday finals
- €150 buy-in
- Tickets awarded to players who place high in regular tournaments
La Fievre Tournaments
- Up to €50,000 on Sundays
- €25,000 to €30,000 throughout the week
- €10 buy-in
- Special table theme and sounds
Mini Event – the small Main Event
- Four day 1s on Sunday and Monday
- Tuesday finals
- €15 buy-in
The Grand Tournament
- €100,000 guaranteed
- €1,000 buy-in
- Plenty of ways to qualify, including €1 satellites
Other poker offerings on Winamax
Winamax offers a wide selection of Sit & Go tournaments, as well as two modern poker games – a Hyper Turbo S&G variation with random prize pools called Expresso and a fast-fold poker variation called Go Fast.
Sit & Go tournaments
Supported poker variants include:
- No-Limit Hold’em
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- PL Omaha 5
- PL Omaha Hi/Lo
Some of those formats suffer from the same problems as Winamax’s niche cash games. However, finding an opponent for heads-up play tends to be easier if you’re sticking to S&Gs. Available buy-ins for those games range from €0.50 to €500. Do keep in mind though that anything above €30 is generally reserved for one-on-one duels. If you’d rather play some full ring S&Gs, we’d recommend sticking to low buy-in PLO and NLHE tournaments.
Expresso tournaments are three-handed Hyper Turbo S&Gs with a twist: the site randomly determines prize pools, which can range from 2-10,000 buy-ins. Unfortunately, the probability of hitting the jackpot is extremely low. In fact, in three tournaments out of four, you will compete for a lower prize pool than in a normal S&G. Available buy-ins range from €1 to €100.
Go Fast follows the same rules as all the other fast-fold Hold’em variations. As soon as you fold your hand, you move to a new table, where all players have already folded their hands. The available stakes range from €0.01/€0.02 to €0.25/€0.50. Excellent for grinders looking to play the largest number of hands per hour.
Winamax rewards program
Winamax has a fairly simple volume-based rewards program. That program revolves around accumulating loyalty points called Miles. These miles are exchangeable for cash, gadgets, or tournament tickets in Winamax’s Boutique.
The most important feature of this system is that earning Miles also raises your account level. Once you reach higher levels, you accumulate Miles at increasing rates.
Initially, you only get four points per each €1 paid in rake. Once you reach Bronze though, Winamax starts applying a level-specific multiplier to this basic formula.
Rewards club levels
Below is a complete list of available levels along with their Miles requirements, associated multipliers, and rakeback percentage. Rakeback numbers assume that the player spends all their Miles on purchasing €10 cash bonuses, which are worth 770 Miles each:
- Chrome – 20 to 69 miles per month – 1x multiplier – 5% rakeback
- Aluminum – 70 to 249 miles per month – 1x multiplier – 5% rakeback
- Bronze – 250 to 999 miles per month – 1.25x multiplier – 6.25% rakeback
- Silver – 1,000 to 2,999 miles per month – 1.5x multiplier – 7.5% rakeback
- Gold – 3,000 to 5,999 miles per month – 2x multiplier – 10% rakeback
- Platinum – 6,000 miles per month or more – 2.5x multiplier – 12.5% rakeback
Annual VIP statuses:
- Diamond I – 50,000 to 99,999 miles per year – 3x multiplier – 15% rakeback
- Diamond II – 100,000 to 249,999 miles per year – 3.5x multiplier – 17.5% rakeback
- Diamond III – 250,000 to 499,999 miles per year – 4x multiplier – 20% rakeback
- Diamond IV – 500,000 to 999,999 miles per year – 4.5x multiplier – 22.5% rakeback
- Diamond V – 1,000,000 to 2,499,999 miles per year – 5x multiplier – 25% rakeback
- Red Diamond – 2,500,000 miles per year – 6x multiplier – 30% rakeback
Generally speaking, the amount of rakeback from this program is not satisfactory. Earning a 12.5 percent rakeback deal requires the player to pay well over €1,000 in rake. By comparison, paying so much money on partypoker would earn you a 40-percent deal. This is better than your rakeback earn after a year of grinding on Winamax.
Considering the state of the online poker industry these days, the best that can be said about this system is that it exists, and thus allows you to get some additional bang for your buck.
Winamax deposit/withdrawal options
Unlike the other sites that offer their services to Europe-based players, Winamax doesn’t give you access to all that many banking options. This is somewhat understandable considering France-based sites abide by stricter rules than offshore businesses operating from territories that are well-known for their extremely iGaming-friendly regulations.
Winamax offers following payment methods:
- Visa/MasterCard – the minimum deposit size is €15
- Wire transfer – large deposits only. Funds will credit to your account within a few days
- Neteller, Skill, PayPal – your payment will be processed instantly, and the minimum deposit size is still €15
- Pre-paid card (Paysafecard, Ticket Surf) – lower deposit limits that vary from card to another. Winamax does not accept pre-paids purchased in Germany.
This is where French regulations start getting really obnoxious. Winamax withdrawals are only available via wire transfer. Moreover, Winamax is required by law to confirm the identity of each customer before authorizing a cash-out. This means that you’ll be required to provide additional photocopies of your ID when making your first withdrawal.
All in all, the truth is that Winamax fails to live up to the standards that were set by its rivals. While their peculiar circumstances render this state of affairs somewhat defendable, their average customer is unlikely to care about any excuses.
Overall, if quick and reliable withdrawals are a priority, we strongly recommend looking for another primary poker room.
Winamax staff can be contacted via e-mail at [email protected], by traditional mail, and by fax. The lack of phone support can be a serious drawback, but it’s hard to hold it against Winamax when sites like PokerStars and 888poker have the same flaw too.
Winamax’s website features several resources, including a rather basic Poker School section, a Security/Responsible Gaming FAQ, and a User Guide designed to help your familiarize yourself with Winamax’s downloadable client.
Other Winamax promotions
Winamax allows you to get some additional bang for your buck by participating in multiple poker challenges, which reward the best players for their efforts.
For example, the Grand Prix Challenge allows the most active MTT players to earn additional cash prizes at the end of the month, while the Hand Challenge offers additional cash bonuses to anyone who manages to play through a minimum number of hands.
The biggest downside of those challenges is that they’re all grind-oriented. As much, they are inaccessible to recreational players.
Other than the above, players can also earn 50 percent extra Miles points by playing at the cash game tables during Happy Hours. These run between 19:00-20:00 and 00:00-01:00 CET.
It’s really hard to judge Winamax properly. On the one hand, it is undoubtedly the best France-based poker site. On the other hand, all major EU-friendly poker sites easily outclass Winamax in every possible category, barring perhaps recurring bonuses and promotions. Ultimately, if you have access to PokerStars, 888poker, or partypoker, you may choose to pass on Winamax unless their bonuses or tournaments are of interest to you.