Betfair Poker Review

Rating: 9
Betfair Poker Review
  
World's Largest Betting Exchange

Betfair is best known for being the world’s largest sports betting exchange. It also runs a hugely successful online casino and a full online poker site.

In 2013 it moved from the Ongame to the iPoker network to take advantage of iPoker Skins bigger player base. It is now one of the network’s biggest skins and a major source of new recreational players. It is also one of the safest places to play poker online.

  • Huge range of cash games and tournaments with a big player base.
  • Exclusive tables have more recreational players than other skins.
  • Synched breaks in tournaments makes multi-tabling easier.
  • Very generous deposit bonus and lots of good promotions.

 

About Betfair

Betfair is the world’s largest betting exchange and its licence reaches as far as Malta, Germany and Australia. This year it pulled off a great coup by being announced as the presenting partner of the Aussie Millions, which is held in Melbourne’s Crown Casino. Consequently it won some prestigious branding opportunities, including all the tournament area’s tables. The Aussie Millions is the largest and richest gaming event in the Southern Hemisphere, and over the last 10 years the prize-pools have exceeded AUS$50m.

Betfair launched Betfair Poker, using its own proprietary software, on its network in 2001. However, due to dwindling player numbers and a slowdown in the online poker economy it was forced to move to the Ongame network in 2011 to utilise the bigger player base on offer. However, in January 2013, and again in search of a wider player base, it moved to the iPoker network. It is now one of the iPoker Skins network’s top sites.

In that same month, away from the online felt, Betfair held its biggest live buy-in tournament in Aspers Casino in London. Some 368 players took part in the £650 re-entry tournament with Betfair pro John Tabatabai walking away with the title and just shy of £25,000.

Betfair Poker’s second live event of 2013 was to be an identical game, but this time held in Prague in May. Unfortunately, this was cancelled due to concerns about the Prague casino. Betfair Poker did refund all satellite winners’ cash and tournament tokens but it will need to pull something special out of the bag to overcome the negative feedback it received.

Instantly Recognisable Layout

Betfair Poker uses iPoker’s Playtech software. Its smooth and fast-paced engine can handle the maximum number of open tables, 16, you are allowed to play simultaneously. A handy tile/cascade button automatically resizes and repositions the tables so they can fit relatively comfortably onto a 17" laptop screen.

Betfair Poker’s software uses the blue/grey colour scheme so synonymous with Betfair’s branding. All the standard iPoker features are on offer, including avatars, four-colour decks and a whole host of other customisation options.

A Whopper of a Sign-up Bonus

When you initially sign up to Betfair, you’ll receive five tokens to Rookie Sit&Gos, €5 in free free tokens to feature tournaments and a free €5 casino bet.

On making a first deposit, a new player on Betfair Poker can avail of a rather large 200% bonus, of up to €1,500. In order to trigger this full bonus you will need to deposit €750. Of course if this is out of your range, a deposit of €50 will get you a bonus of €100, a €100 deposit will get you a bonus of €200 and so on.

The bonus will be released in increments of €10 for every 1,250 status points earned. This means to clear the maximum bonus you will need to earn 187,500 Status Points - pay €7,500 in rake. You will be given 45 days to clear this bonus. You will effectively earn 20% rakeback during the time you are clearing this bonus.

Loads of Extra Value Via the Betfair Loyalty Scheme

Betfair offer a three tier loyalty club. This is how regular players can earn some money back as a reward for playing on the site. There are two different types of points in this club. The first is Status Points (SP). For every €1 in rake you pay you will earn 25 status points. Depending on the level of VIP you are these will then be converted to VPPs at different rates. Players can then cash out their VPPs at a rate of 375VPPs for €1.

Bronze - The entry level to the loyalty club is Bronze. At this level you won't get much in the way of rewards. In fact at the Bronze level you don't have the ability to cash in VPPs.

Silver - The next step up is Silver. To become a Silver level player you will need to earn 1,250 SPs per month. This equates to €50 in rake over the course of the month. Anyone playing a reasonable amount of poker or reasonable stake games should hit this milestone with relative ease. Your VPP multiplier at this level is 3x. With that being said you are earning a 20% rakeback by being a Silver level player on Betfair.

Gold - The top rank of the Betfair loyalty club is Gold. To earn such a status you will need to earn 12,500 SPs per month. This means each month you will be paying €500 in rake. In comparison to some of the other loyalty programs, this peak is reasonable to reach. You will be rewarded with a 5.25x multiplier. Because of this a Gold level player is earning a 35% rakeback.

Exclusive Tables

Betfair offer a three tier loyalty club. This is how regular players can earn some money back as a reward for playing on the site. There are two different types of points in this club. The first is Status Points (SP). For every €1 in rake you pay you will earn 25 status points. Depending on the level of VIP you are these will then be converted to VPPs at different rates. Players can then cash out their VPPs at a rate of 375VPPS for €1.

Bronze - The entry level to the loyalty club is Bronze. At this level you won't get much in the way of rewards. In fact at the Bronze level you don't have the ability to cash in VPPs.

Silver - The next step up is Silver. To become a Silver level player you will need to earn 1,250 SPs per month. This equates to €50 in rake over the course of the month. Anyone playing a reasonable amount of poker or reasonable stake games should hit this milestone with relative ease. Your VPP multiplier at this level is 3x. With that being said you are earning a 20% rakeback by being a Silver level player on Betfair.

Gold - The top rank of the Betfair loyalty club is Gold. To earn such a status you will need to earn 12,500 SPs per month. This means each month you will be paying €500 in rake. In comparison to some of the other loyalty programs, this peak is reasonable to reach. You will be rewarded with a 5.25x multiplier. Because of this a Gold level player is earning a 35% rakeback.

A Plethora of Banking Options

As would be expected of a top-tier poker site, Betfair has a variety of means to make a deposit onto its site. You can choose between credit and debit cards, e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, voucher payments such as paysafecard, Ukash and Western Union and bank transfers and cheques. All minimum deposits are €6, which is lower than other poker sites.

The only issue when withdrawing funds is that you cannot withdraw to a method that has not been used to deposit funds. So if you’re planning to use Neteller and Skrill to cash out, be sure to use both methods to lodge money. For example, say you lodge €100 using a credit card and €50 using Skrill. You successfully spin your account up to €500 and now want to withdraw this amount to Skrill. But, before you do, you’ll first need to withdraw €100 to your credit card to close off that loop. This is called the closed-loop policy and it’s something you might need to be wary of.

Cash-outs to debit and credit cards take two to five working days, while those to e-wallets are normally processed within 24 hours. Betfair also offers bank transfers, which take three to five working days. All cash-outs are free of charge with the minimum set at £5.

Highly Secure and Trusted

Betfair Poker ticks all the boxes when it comes to security. As soon as you log into Betfair Poker, your username and password are encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SLL) technology. This protects your information as it is passed across the Internet. Betfair software is also tested by internal and external security teams so its applications are assured to be of the highest quality.

Betfair also enforces stronger password creation and will deactivate your account after a set number of unsuccessful attempts to log in. If you need to contact support or wish to change your password, there are, as an extra measure of security, several security questions to answer. These make it difficult for your account to be compromised by another party. The company has a presence on almost all major poker forums and its representatives are usually on hand to answer any queries.

Customer Support is Top Notch

If you’re looking for support, you can get in touch with Betfair Poker’s support team via phone, email or live chat. Its phone helpdesk provides support seven days a week from 7.30am right through to half past midnight. You can contact them by live chat between midday and 8pm Monday to Friday, and between 10am and 8pm on Saturday and Sunday (all times are GMT). I’ve always found Betfair Poker’s support facilities extremely helpful and knowledgeable, which is a huge plus point in my book.

Negatives

When playing multi-table tournaments (MTTs) the lobby pops up each time you move table, and the screen freezes for a second or two. Multi-tabling can therefore be a nightmare. Furthermore, though traffic is heavy during peak hours, there’s not a whole lot on offer between the hours of 12am and 12pm. Also, Betfair Poker doesn’t accept US players.

Verdict

Betfair is a huge name in the world of gaming. As such there are few sites where your money is safer. If you want to play on iPoker, then Betfair Poker probably should be a first choice. It has a really good first deposit bonus, one of the best loyalty programmes and a ton of freebies on offer. Betfair Poker’s support facilities, available for most, if not all, of the day’s waking hours, are excellent.

Overall, I think Betfair Poker is a top option for anyone looking to play at a new iPoker skin.

If this this skin doesn't interest you, check out our Top Ten iPoker Skins!

 Play poker now at Betfair