Our BetOnline Poker review gives readers an overview of what they can expect when they start playing at the site. The review is primarily focused on the new player experience, but may also appeal to players who have played at other online poker sites before, and who are looking at the opportunities available elsewhere.
BetOnline Poker Review: Introduction
BetOnline Poker is the primary “skin” on the Chico Poker Network – an interesting network which is principally comprised of US-friendly sports betting sites with a couple of smaller online poker sites coming along for the ride. Interestingly, although the smaller online poker sites affiliated with the network do not accept players from the US, BetOnline Poker does – making it the destination of choice for players who want to take advantage of the site´s massive first deposit bonus and soft competition.
BetOnline Poker Recent History
BetOnline has been accepting sports bets and wagers on horseracing on the Internet since 2004. The site had a small online poker presence until 2013, when it introduced a substantial first deposit bonus. The introduction of the substantial bonus attracted a lot of interest. Player numbers escalated at the site – more than doubling over the next two years – and, due to the site´s other promotions, most players stayed. BetOnline Poker is now one of the leading US-facing online poker sites in the world.
More recently, the site has extended the range of games and promotions. New Windfall Sit & Go games and fast-fold Boost Poker were introduced. The site changed the structure of its weekly MTT and Sit & Go leaderboard competitions, and the distribution of the Bad Beat Jackpot to ensure more players are rewarded with cash prizes for playing at the Jackpot tables. There are also more opportunities for players to buy into tournaments using their Comp Points – more about which is explained below.
Getting Started with BetOnline Poker
The BetOnline Poker download is available for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices (iPhone 5/Android OS 6 or higher). It is incredibly quick to get up and running due to the uncomplicated software, and can be accessed via this link to visit BetOnline.ag. Our link will take you to a new web page, where you should click on the “Play Now” button in order to create your account. The account creation process is also incredibly quick. The registration page asks you for:
- Your first and last names.
- Your email address.
- A password (use a unique password).
- Your postal address.
- Your phone number.
- Your date of birth.
- Your mother´s maiden name.
Please complete the registration page with your details in the format they appear on any documents you will use to verify your account and remember to read the terms and conditions of playing at the site before clicking “Create Account”. Once you have created your account you will be sent an email containing your username (usually a letter followed by six numbers) and your password. You will also be redirected to the poker home page to download the poker software.
This is where you need to be a little careful. There is a link to a BetOnline client at the top of the page, but this is for sports betting, rather than online poker. Scroll down to below the list of promotions, where you will find a choice of “Download BetOnline Poker for Windows”, “Download BetOnline Poker for Mac” and “Download BetOnline Poker for Mobile”. The mobile download link will take you to a separate page where you can select the appropriate download for your mobile device.
The options for funding a BetOnline account mostly depend on where you live. Online poker players in the US and Canada have the options of Credit Card deposits, P2P transfers, cashier´s check, wire transfer or money orders; while outside of these countries players can use Skrill, Neteller or UKash (and POLi in Australia) to make their first deposit. Players from all jurisdictions can fund their accounts with Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum.
Withdrawals are usually made by the payment method used to fund an account and are subject to minimum and maximum limits and fees. For example, checks by mail or courier can only be made for withdrawals of between $500.00 and $2,500 and are subject to fees of $25.00 (mail) and $35.00 (courier). Neteller and Skrill withdrawals (for players outside the US and Canada) are subject to a $9.900 maximum and a $20.00 processing fee. There is a 2% fee for withdrawals using cryptocurrencies – which are available for amounts as low as $20.00.
BetOnline Poker Interface
We mentioned in the “Getting Started” section of our BetOnline Poker review how the software is uncomplicated, and this reflects in the design and functionality of the interface. The poker client is basic and simple to navigate, with each section of the lobby having easy-to-use filtering mechanisms. The Sportsbook, Horses and Casino tabs take players to the web pages for those particular activities, and the Flash “Instant Play” poker platform is similar to the download software, but has a little less functionality.
Using the downloadable client, players can instantly review their hand history and stats, and make notes about the players they are competing against (right-click a player´s name to access this feature). There is a nice range of customizable options to play around with to change the table display, sounds and animations, and a guide on how to use Hotkeys to manage bets of certain sizes and other betting actions from your keyboard.
Games on BetOnline Poker
Although BetOnline Poker is a magnet for players of NL Texas Hold´em poker, it is also a primary destination for PL Omaha players. It is not unusual for waiting lists to form on the $2.00/$4.00 PL Omaha tables and BetOnline is one of the few places where there is still a vibrant 7 Card Stud community. The options also exist to play cash games of Americana and 32 Card Draw, and – of course – the latest additions to BetOnline´s portfolio of games – Windfall Sit & Go and Boost Poker.
BetOnline´s tournament schedule and Sit n Go lobby consists exclusively of NL Texas Hold´em games. The majority of tournaments are low buy-in re-buy and add-on events with minimal late registration periods. Nonetheless they tend to be well supported. The feature weekend events have guaranteed prize pools of $50,000 (increased to $100,000 on the last Sunday of each month), and special events with more valuable prizes are announced periodically.
Level of Competition on BetOnline Poker
Up until 2013 – with the introduction of the substantial BetOnline Poker bonus – we would have said the level of competition at the site was generally very low. However, as the number of players using the site has increased, so has the quality of the play. These days there is a lot of NL Hold´em action at stakes between $1.00/$2.00 and $5.00/$10.00, and these tables are filled with accomplished players. The same can also be said regarding the PL Omaha tables at higher stakes.
Further down the stake limits, it is more likely that you will find recreational players with modest bankrolls and sports bettors. The micro and low stakes cash tables are beatable, but you should not be misled by the level of competition at these lower stakes when you aim to take your bankroll to a higher level. The difference in skill level is not so evident in Sit & Go games and multitable tournaments, as more accomplished players tend to play at sites that host more valuable opportunities.
Cool Features and BetOnline Bonuses
BetOnline Poker has several “cool features” in terms of the innovative promotions the site runs. There also BetOnline bonuses for other betting opportunities that you will qualify for once setting up your BetOnline account. These include (but are not limited to):
- A 50% bonus on sportsbook deposits.
- 7% rebate on your horserace betting action.
- 25% reload bonus on all casino deposits.
- 100% bonus on every deposit used to play the online slots.
(*) Important Note: Every time you deposit money in a BetOnline account, you are prompted to use the BetOnline bonus code “YESBONUS”. Players who want to take advantage of the poker bonus (a 200% match on first deposits of up to $2,500) should enter the BetOnline Poker bonus code of “VIP2500” and email Customer Support (email@example.com) to have the bonus activated.
More about the BetOnline Poker Bonus
The BetOnline Poker bonus available through TexasHoldemPokerOnline.com is a 200% match on your initial poker deposit up to a maximum bonus of $2,500. This bonus compares favorably with the bonus directly available from the site (a 100% match bonus up to $2,500) and is cleared as you earn “Comp Points”. Comp Points are awarded based on how much is deducted in rake from each cash game pot you contribute to or how much you pay as a fee to enter a multitable tournament or Sit & Go game.
100 Comp Points are awarded for each $1.00 raked or paid in fees, and the bonus is released in increments of $5.00 each time you have accumulated 1,500 Comp Points (equivalent to a rakeback rate of 33%). You are allowed a maximum of sixty days to clear the BetOnline Poker bonus and, once the sixty days have elapsed, the Comp Points can be used to enter an improving selection of poker tournaments. There is no cash exchange facility available.
BetOnline Poker Review Conclusion
We believe that there is something for everyone at BetOnline. Although the time allowed to clear the maximum BetOnline Poker bonus is a bit tight and there is not (yet) a points-to-cash exchange facility available in the VIP rewards program, the site compensates for these shortcomings with a good range of poker promotions that are divided into tiers so that players of all bankroll levels have a chance to cash in each. Don´t forget further promotions exist at BetOnline´s online casino.
There is certainly no lack of action at the tables. BetOnline is not an exclusively US-facing poker site, so it attracts players from all over the world and you will always be able to find a game at any time of the day. The site is making strides to improve its product, its promotions and the opportunities to players all the time. For these reasons we consider BetOnline Poker to be the best option for U.S. players looking for an enjoyable and potentially lucrative online poker experience.