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Paddy Power Review

Paddy Power is a well known Ireland based bookmaker that has a full range of online betting sites, each with some generous bonuses, quality software and games, plus the option to deposit and withdraw funds using all of the most popular methods.

Paddy Power was formed in 1988 by the merger of three small Irish bookmakers and initially had just 40 shops. One of these bookmakers traded as Richard Powers, which was combined with a green colour scheme and the Paddy name to emphasise its Irish background and distinguish itself from the many UK based companies that were beginning to dominate the local market. By 2005 they had opened 195 outlets, including 65 in Britain, along with several UK betting sites. They are now the third largest online bookmaker with a turnover of £3.2 billion (€3.83 billion) in 2010 and are continuing to grow.

The site has a modern-looking, clean design, with the Sports betting section being the default landing page and links to Casino, Bingo, Poker etc. along the top of the page. Everything is presented in a fun way designed to make visitors feel at ease - even someone who has not used a similar site before will be able to navigate their way around with no problems.

Sports

With lots of markets covered, including some that no other bookmakers feature, Paddy Power has gained a reputation as a unique place to wager on sports, plus lots of novelty bets. Horse and greyhound racing, football, cricket, tennis, motorsports and rugby are all here, as they are at any online bookmakers, but Paddy Power also has beach volleyball, show jumping, surfing and Ultimate Fighting Championship among their options. Sports from around the world are all shown, with many international football leagues from German to Ghanaian all featured.

Bets can also be placed on such things as the winner of the next X Factor or Big Brother contest, a white Christmas, the next US President or what the biggest film of the year will be, as well as many other novelty markets. There are extensive live betting events where the odds can change from minute to minute, and many matches and races are streamed live for viewing on a PC. Other services include an inFormer guide for horses due to race soon, commentaries, tipsters, results and a good selection of virtual sports.

For a sports betting site, bonuses are quite generous, with new signups able to claim free bets and regular punters treated to daily special bets, money back offers on certain results and consolation payouts for qualifying races. Paddy Power has a reputation for paying out on 'Justice' bets, where an unexpected or unfair result is still honoured.

Casino

The main online casino uses Playtech software which is widely regarded as the highest quality software on the market, and gives Paddy Power around 200 titles including 130 slots. There are separate Live Casino, Vegas, Games and Mobile Casino sections which can all be played using just one account and add a lot more games from several different suppliers.

At the main site there are a total of 15 different types of roulette, 11 types of blackjack and 13 video poker variants, plus Craps, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud poker and more. Slots include some huge progressive jackpot games with Gold Rally and Beach Life regularly exceeding $1 million in top prizes, while Gladiator, based on the movie of the same name, can go well over $2 million.

Bonuses and promotions are subject to frequent review but will typically reward new players with a deposit match bonus, plus a small no deposit deal. There are weekly special offers like free spins, cashback and re-deposit bonuses, and there is also a loyalty scheme where players accumulate points each time they play and can redeem them for cash when enough have been collected.

Poker

The poker site also runs on Playtech software and is part of the iPoker network which is Europes biggest - 15,000+ players can be online at any time. This means that there are always a huge selection of cash games and tournaments to choose from at prices that will suit any budget. The software can be downloaded to a PC or, for convenience, many games can be played via a web browser with no need to download anything.

Games include Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi/Lo and 5 and 7 Card Stud. Over $10 million a month in guaranteed jackpot tournaments are held here, plus satellite tournaments to some of pokers biggest events including the WSOP. The tables are well presented with clear graphics and easy-to-understand control options, although there are few extra features to make the software really stand out.

New customers get treated to a range of welcome bonuses including a deposit match bonus that is paid out in instalments the more poker they play. Everyone earns Paddy Points as they play which can be converted into cash, tournament entries or merchandise when enough have been accumulated. There is an excellent poker academy which can teach even those with no prior knowledge of the game how to become proficient at each variety, all done with Paddy Powers' trademark sense of humour.

Bingo

The bingo site again uses software owned by Playtech, running on the Virtue Fusion network to offer customers 12 rooms including:

  • 90 ball
  • 80 ball
  • 75 ball
  • Speed and Pattern varieties
  • Casino Games

New players will appreciate the detailed 'Help' videos that introduce the game, explain how to register and deposit and how to buy tickets. The bingo itself is presented in a logical way that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played before but is easy to grasp for anyone who hasn't, and there are useful links to the most popular side games which can be played as the bingo progresses.

Promotions include a bonus based on first deposit size, which can be used to buy further bingo tickets, free games for new customers, a Star Rewards scheme where players earn points each time they participate in a game and regular promotions offering such extras as free scratch cards, bonus loyalty points and progressive jackpot prizes. There is currently no re-deposit bonus for regular players.

Banking

A good range of deposit and withdrawal options can be used by customers of Paddy Power including credit and debit cards, money transfer providers, e-wallets and prepaid cards or vouchers, all of which are aimed at the UK and Irish markets, although there are many clients from further afield who can still use most of these methods. Whichever system is chosen, all transactions are carried out using the industry standard 128 bit SSL encryption technology which ensures the maximum protection against players' details falling into the wrong hands.

Conclusion

Paddy Power is one of those rare companies that provides virtually all of the online betting services that anyone could ever wish for, only lacking a financial trading platform. The sportsbook covers more markets than most, with the range of novelty bets being exceptional, and promotions are pretty generous and varied. They present themselves in a light-hearted way, with frequent dashes of humour that can be seen throughout the sites, which should add to the appeal for most punters but may put a few off.

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