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Taken 2 December 2016 10:02.

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Betfair Poker Review

Betfair are one of the most innovative online gaming companies around, being the owners of the largest betting exchange in the world. Founded in 2000 as an online sportsbook, the poker site was launched shortly after and has become one of the major sites in the iPoker network, which is the biggest network in Europe, where thousands of users are online at any one time.

The iPoker network uses software provided by Playtech, one of the leading game developers, who have produced reliable, smooth running poker games which can be customised to suit each customer's preferences. Additionally, Betfair offer their players a range of generous sign up bonuses to welcome new customers and to keep people coming back to their tables.

Because Betfair are such a well known, trusted brand, many of their sportsbook, bingo and casino clients also try out the poker games here, making the competition fairly loose, particularly at the lower limit tables.

Bonuses and Promotions

New players are offered a joining bonus that can change occasionally, but is normally twice the value of the amount of their first deposit. This offer can also be claimed by existing Betfair customers transferring funds from a sports, bingo or casino account, as they operate a 'one wallet' system that lets customers open a single account and move funds between each part of the overall Betfair site.

As with most poker new player bonuses, the funds are released into the player's account in stages; here, for every $1 in rake generated or $1 spent on tournament entry fees, customers will receive a set number of Status Points. Once sufficient points have been earned, a part of the welcome bonus will be released with a time limit of 90 days to redeem the whole bonus amount.

The Bankroll Booster for new customers is a series of freerolls and added-money tournaments that run every day to help get a new player's account balance increased. Although the prizes are not huge, there are around 40-50 freerolls a day just for new users, so each player has a good chance of winning at least one.

Additionally, new customers can be offered extra bonuses which can be in the form of free bets or several entries to the weekly $1000 freeroll tournament.

For existing Betfair Poker clients, there are several ongoing promotions designed to help individuals enjoy more games for less outlay. The VIP Club is open to all, with 10 levels plus three elite levels for the highest rolling players. Status Points are earned from rake generated and tournament fees paid, with the number of points accumulated by each player over the previous three months reviewed at the end of each month, and the VIP Club level adjusted accordingly. Status Points are awarded at higher conversion rates at each Club level, and then, somewhat confusingly, converted to VIP Poker Points which can be exchanged for cash. VIP Club members also get access to exclusive weekly or monthly freeroll tournaments depending on their level.

There are always a number of special offers on at any time, which will change quite frequently and can include prizes for the players earning the most Status Points in the week or month, free Sit and Go tournament entry or cash bonuses for playing particular games at certain times.

Games

Newcomers to poker can learn the basics of each game in the comprehensive 'How to Play' section of the Betfair site, with detailed introductions to:

  • Texas Holdem
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 5 Card Stud
  • 7 Card Stud
  • 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo

Texas Holdem and Omaha can also be played in speed variants, where a player faces different opponents with each hand.

As the iPoker network is so large, players will find a huge number of games to buy in to at any budget, scheduled and Sit and Go tournaments starting every few minutes, guaranteed prize pool games, around 30 free tournaments a week, and satellites to the WSOP, WPT, and EPT. Cash games can be found with blinds from $0.1 to $100 or more, with a rake of between 1-5% depending on the game, and can be found in different formats like heads up, six handed and nine handed. Being a European-based network, player traffic drops off significantly at some hours, but even at 3 am there are still games running.

The desktop software is stable and reliable, with players able to view stats, customise the look and layout of the tables and have the option to play up to 15 tables at once. Like other poker software, it needs to be downloaded onto a player's PC first, although the process only take a few minutes.

Banking

Money can be deposited into a Betfair Poker account using the most popular credit and debit cards, as well as by bank transfer, cheque and a number of money transfer service providers. Unusually, Betfair do not currently accept payment using prepaid cards or vouchers, as they have a pretty strict policy of returning any withdrawn funds back to the same card or transfer service used to make the deposit wherever possible.

Withdrawals are processed very quickly, with most handled on the same or next working day, although the time taken for funds to appear back in the customers account can vary depending on the payment processer's systems.

Betfair Poker is licensed and regulated in Malta, and part of this license requires that all transactions are carried out over secure servers and all customer details are kept securely.

Conclusion

Betfair is a well established, trusted brand with a great reputation for providing quality games to their customers. By using the iPoker network, players will always be able to find the game they want at the price they are looking for, and the size of the network means that there are usually plenty of users online. Bonuses are competitive and by opening an account at Betfair, clients can access the sports, bingo and casino parts of the site.

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