- 200% Match on First Deposit
- Loads of Novice Players
- Regular Leaderboard Competitions
- Mac Support
- Hourly Freerolls
- Casino, Horse and Sports Betting
Best US Poker Site for Easy Competition – BetOnline
If you are an online poker player of average ability or higher, you will love BetOnline Poker. The standard of play on the site is reminiscent of the online poker boom of ten years ago, when loads of players joined online poker sites without any idea of what they were doing, creating a big pool of fish.
The reason for this is that BetOnline offers an incredible range of lifetime sports betting and casino bonuses, attracting thousands of gamblers to the site. As experienced players are aware, there is a completely different skill set required to play profitable poker than is required to pick the winner of a sporting event, and this difference in perceptions is clearly evident at the tables.
Check Out the Easy Level of Competition at BetOnline Poker
You don´t have to take our word that BetOnline Poker is the best US poker site for easy competition – you can check it out for yourself. Simply download the BetOnline Poker client and take a look at the cash game lobby. You will regularly find full ring ten-player games of NL Texas Hold´em with a “player per flop percentage” higher than 50%.
We are not talking about the micro-stakes action here, but full ring games at $0.10/$0.25, $0.25/$0.50 and $0.50/$1.00! Naturally these tables tend to attract long waiting lists, so you need to be careful about who you eventually end up playing against. Fortunately there is a reasonable note-writing facility to help you identify which players should be taken on and which should be avoided.
It is a little more difficult to compare the level of competition in BetOnline Poker tournaments because BetOnline does not have any late registration periods and the majority of the site´s scheduled events have lower-than-average buy-ins.
The closest comparison we could find is Full Flush Poker, and we discovered that tournaments with $5.00 buy-ins at BetOnline Poker (re-buys and add-ons for the first hour – same 8 minute levels) tended to finish 10% faster than those on Full Flush Poker, even though more players used the re-buy and add-on options on Full Flush Poker.
BetOnline Poker’s Welcome Bonus
In addition to the range of sports betting and casino bonuses that attract gamblers to BetOnline, there is also a rather eye-catching welcome bonus of 200% on first deposits up to $1,000. However, rather than the bonus being released incrementally, it is released in five different stages as selected milestones are reached (we go more into clearing the BetOnline Poker bonus below).
To activate the poker bonus, you must first create your account with BetOnline (using BetOnline Poker promotional code VIP2500), download the poker client (available for both Windows and Mac users) and make your deposit (minimum $50.00). Then you have to email support to have the bonus activated (which can take up to 48 hours) and check in the player admin section of the poker client that it is activated before any POP Points you earn are counted towards the bonus.
If you think that is complicated, then read how the BetOnline bonus is cleared.
Clearing the BetOnline Poker Bonus
The BetOnline poker bonus is the largest available of any of the best US poker sites featured on our site. The reason that it did not win the “Best US Poker Site for Bonuses” category is because of what has to be achieved to clear it.
To start our explanation of how to clear the poker bonus, players earn POP Points for contributing to the rake deducted from cash games and for paying a fee to enter a Sit & Go or multi table tournament (subject to a minimum fee of $1.00).
Ten POP Points are awarded per dollar contributed to the rake or paid in fees, and the bonus is released in five different stages:
- Stage 1 will release 10% of the 200% bonus and will require a player to rake the equivalent of 30.3% from the deposit amount. This equates to earning 3.03 POP per dollar deposited. For example, if the deposit amount was $100, 303 POP would have to be earned to get $10 of the bonus amount.
- Stage 2 will release a further 20% of the 200% bonus and will require a player to rake the equivalent of 99.27% from the deposit amount. This equates to earning 9.92 POP per dollar deposited. For example, if the deposit amount was $100, 992.7 POP would have to be earned (from the start of the bonus period) to get $30 of the total bonus amount.
- Stage 3 will release a further 40% of the 200% bonus and will require a player to rake the equivalent of 220.4% from the deposit amount. This equates to earning 22.04 POP per dollar deposited. For example, if the deposit amount was $100, 2,204.8 POP would have to be earned (from the start of the bonus period) to get $70 of the total bonus amount.
- Stage 4 will release a further 60% of the 200% bonus and will require a player to rake the equivalent of 402.3% from the deposit amount. This equates to earning 40.23 POP per dollar deposited. For example, if the deposit amount was $100, 4,023. POP would have to be earned (from the start of the bonus period) to get $130 of the total bonus amount.
- Stage 5 will release a further 70% of the 200% bonus and will require a player to rake the equivalent of 652.3% from the deposit amount. This equates to earning 6,523 POP per dollar deposited. For example, if the deposit amount was $100, 6,523 POP would have to be earned (from the start of the bonus period) to get $200 of the total bonus amount.
To help better understand the POP Points you need to clear each section of the bonus, we have compiled the chart below. This chart will indicate how many POP Points you need to reach each milestone.
|BetOnline Poker Bonus||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||Stage 4||Stage 5|
|Deposit Amount ($)||POPs Required||POPs Required||POPs Required||POPs Required||POPs Required|
|Bonus Amount (S)||Bonus Received||Bonus Received||Bonus Received||Bonus Received||Bonus Received|
|Minimum Deposit $50.00||Total Bonus||Total Bonus||Total Bonus||Total Bonus||Total Bonus|
|Maximum Deposit $1,000||$100.00||$300.00||$700.00||$1,300.00||$2,000.00|
Players get a rather generous 120 days in which to clear the bonus, which is probably about as long as it takes to understand the clearing requirements!
Other Benefits of Playing at BetOnline Poker
In addition to the easy level of competition and the BetOnline poker bonus, there are several other benefits of playing at BetOnline. The first is that BetOnline tends to have a better “range of action” than most other US poker sites.
Whereas you might say that one site is better for micro-stakes games or another provides better opportunities at higher stakes, the traffic at BetOnline Poker seems to be equally distributed throughout all levels of Texas Hold´em and PL Omaha – up to the $5.00/$10.00 stake levels.
Furthermore, BetOnline Poker sees a more consistent level of traffic than most other sites due to the site´s international appeal. Whereas some sites are like a graveyard during off-peak times, the action at BetOnline Poker continues around the clock – providing more soft opportunities for players to win money at the tables and clear the bonus.
BetOnline Poker Tournaments
Although we mentioned in our opening section that BetOnline Poker´s “scheduled events have lower-than-average buy-ins”, there are still a stack of tournaments worth playing in. The site boasts more than $250,000 in guaranteed poker tournaments each month, and these include weekend tournaments on a Saturday and Sunday that each has a buy-in of just $22.00 and guarantees a prize pool of $10,000.
Occasionally, BetOnline Poker hosts tournaments with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool (buy-in $60.00) and puts in a generous qualifying structure. Like many of BetOnline´s larger poker tournaments, the satellites into the special events are often under-subscribed – providing added-value for players who take part in them.
BetOnline Poker also hosts a substantial number of freerolls – but freerollers beware. If you don´t have any funds in your account it is unlikely that you will cash in them, because these events mostly have paid for re-buys and add-ons.
Other BetOnline Poker Promotions
The list of BetOnline poker promotions is changing constantly. Usually there is a Sit & Go and an MTT leaderboard competition with multiple prize levels in progress and the site hosts a Steps program which allows players with a limited bankroll to win their seats in more valuable tournaments.
Unfortunately there is no player reward program to speak of. The POP Points you earn clearing your bonus can only be used to enter “POP2Cash” tournaments, used as re-buys and add-ons in their freerolls or special Sit & Go games which qualify you into the Steps program for free.
Furthermore, POP Points are only valid for a specific period. You accrue POP Points over a year until March 31st. You then get until June 30th to use them all up before they expire. There is no “POP for cash” exchange system, and you cannot transfer them to a friend to help them clear their BetOnline poker bonus.
BetOnline Poker Software
If you are familiar with more advanced sites, it is likely that you will be disappointed with what BetOnline Poker has to offer technically. A limited number of options exist in the poker client for you to customize tables and backgrounds and to play with a four-color deck; but other than that the software can best be described as simplistic.
The BetOnline poker download also provides access to the site´s sports book, horse racing site and casino. Each of these products comes with their own BetOnline promotions which are worth checking out if playing online poker is not your sole interest. Each of these promotions comes with its own BetOnline bonus code, so make sure that you use BetOnline poker promo code “VIP2500” when first creating your account to ensure that you get the 200% first deposit bonus applied to your account.
Depositing and Cashing Out at BetOnline Poker
You can use a huge range of options when depositing into your BetOnline account. Most credit and debit cards are accepted, along with Bitcoin, check, bank wire and P2P transfers (Western Union and MoneyGram). Comprehensive instructions about depositing into a BetOnline account appear in the Cashier.
You will need to verify your account before you are able to cash out, which is a fairly simple process and which is recommended that you do immediately after creating your BetOnline account. Cash outs can then be paid to certain credit cards, via Western Union and MoneyGram or by wire transfer. Players from outside the US can have funds transferred back into Neteller and Skrill accounts if this is the method used to make a deposit.
Minimum/Maximum limits apply to all cash outs, and fees apply to some withdrawal methods. You can get a once-a-month discount on the fees by applying for a cash out between 9:00am and 1:00pm (ET) on a Friday and, as a rule, withdrawal requests are processed quickly at BetOnline.
Integrity, Security and Customer Support at BetOnline Poker
BetOnline has not developed into one of the world´s largest sports book operation without reassuring gamblers that their games are fair and that the site takes the confidence of their customers seriously. This high level of protection extends to poker players, who can be assured of the highest level of integrity and security when they play at BetOnline Poker.
The customer support is also of a high standard. Not only does BetOnline provide customer service by live chat and toll-free phone, but also has a dedicated email address for poker players if you should have any questions or issues that need resolving. We tested out the live chat and the email service, and could not fault them in any way.
BetOnline Poker Review Summary
Okay – so we were not impressed with the software, and the lack of a rewards program is a black mark against the site, but this should not detract from the opportunities to win money at BetOnline Poker. The soft standard of play and the BetOnline poker bonus definitely make this a site to get involved with if you are an online poker player of a reasonable standard who has the discipline not to join in with the loose standard of play at the tables.
Furthermore, if you have the time to chase a good position on the site´s leaderboard promotions, the prizes are ludicrously out of context with the value of the tournaments you will be playing in. A good Sit & Go player for example can pick up more than $5,000 each month for performing well in Sit & Go games with a buy-in of $10.00 (HUSNGs excluded) and even players with modest bankrolls can win as much as $450 each month for playing in games with buy-ins of less than $1.00.
Cash player or tournament player – there is something for everyone at BetOnline Poker.