Reviewed By Jonathan Raab
888 Poker is one of the longest-running and most trusted online poker sites for UK players. With a fully comprehensive online poker offering, a no-deposit welcome bonus of £20 for UK players and a 200% matched first deposit bonus of up to £650, 888 Poker is a solid option for players looking for a fun online poker experience and games that aren’t the hardest to beat.
888 Poker offers two welcome bonuses for all new UK players (aged 18+).
The £20 free tournament tickets welcome bonus gives all UK players over 18 a chance to experience the all-new 888 Poker software without any financial commitment.
Free tournament tickets are released in 3 batches over the course of the first week of being a customer. As games on the site take place in USD, the total value of the free tickets awarded is 25 USD
The only catch is that tournament tickets need to be used within 24 hours of being awarded, or they will do a Lord Lucan and disappear, never to be seen again.
The Catch: Yes, there is a catch or two. Firstly, players have 90 days to complete the bonus requirements and secondly, any further winnings derived from the bonus that is credited to you are subject to the maximum possible win of $500.
In addition to the generous new player welcome bonuses 888 Poker also runs several other ongoing promotions open to all players, new and old. These include
For further details and full terms of these offers and more, please visit 888poker.com
Launched in 2002 and originally named Pacific Poker, but later rebranded, 888 Poker is celebrating 20 years of operation and was recently named Poker Operator of the Year at the 2022 EGR Awards. Although not as busy as some of the bigger online poker rooms, 888 Poker’s UKGC-licensed software has all the usual Texas Hold’em/Omaha poker games and gameplay features found in larger rivals’ sites, plus some unique poker offerings of its own.
888 Poker underwent a revamp in 2019, releasing an updated poker site with a sleek and intuitive interface that is easy to use for both new and existing players. The software includes features that enhance the enjoyment and experience of playing online poker, such as the ability to throw various virtual objects, which can be launched at your fellow players’ avatars, whether in disgust or applause at the way they just played a hand.
Like most online poker rooms, 888 Poker caters to the demands of the modern-day poker player. The site has a comprehensive range of online poker games, including
Cash games at 888 Poker are offered for No Limit and Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em plus Pot Limit Omaha and Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo. The lowest buy-in tables have $0.01/$0.02 blinds while the stakes are raised to $25/$50 blinds for the biggest games on offer. Most of the action however is at the micro and smaller stakes tables, with usually only a few tables running above $1/$2.
888 Poker also offers fast-fold cash game tables, known as Snap. In this format, the action is as fast and thick as it gets because as soon as you fold your hand, instead of watching the hand play out, you will be whisked away to another table, to begin playing with another hand.
In addition to overhauling its software, 888 Poker also revamped and relaunched its multi-table tournament schedule. The range of MTTs is what you would expect at any of the major sites, with Texas Hold’em and Omaha games available in several different formats.
The daily tournament schedule is designed to appeal to players with different bankrolls. Small and larger buy-in tournaments in all manner of different gameplay formats are included: deep stacks, freezeouts, turbos, slow-structured classics and Progressive Knock Out (PKO) tournaments can all be found. There are also satellites into most MTTs, enabling players to enter a tournament that is normally outside their bankroll by winning a seat into it via a smaller buy-in qualifier.
In late 2022, 888 Poker introduced Mystery Bounty MTTs, This format has become popular in recent years at live poker festivals, but this is an industry first for it to be available to play as an online format. Unlike in regular bounty tournaments, in mystery bounty tournaments, you do not know how much a person’s bounty is until they have been eliminated and a sealed envelope is opened.
The bounties only kick in at a relatively late stage of the mystery bounty tournament, when the majority of players have already busted out. This enables the bounty values to be larger than they would be and for some bounties to be much much bigger. Every evening there are six mystery bounty tournaments on 888 Poker with buy-ins ranging from $5.50 to $109.
The highlight of every poker site is its Sunday tournament schedule, when the biggest buy-in events of the week take place, carrying the biggest guarantees and paying out the biggest prizes to those lucky and skilful enough to outlast the rest of the field. The biggest event of the week is the Big Shot Main Event, with a $109 buy-in and a cool $100k prize pool every week. And if it's a Sunday Sale week, the buy-in will be $55 instead of $109.
Blast is 888 Poker’s version of the three-handed lottery sit n go’s that are popular on most online poker sites. These are fast-paced sit & go tournaments where the prize pool being played for is randomised and can be as much as 10,000x the buy-in of the tournament itself.
It’s rare to be lucky enough for the randomiser to throw up a big multiplier, so most of the time you will be playing for less than the total equity contributed by all three players. Nevertheless, this exciting and fast-paced poker variant offers a chance that you could be playing for big money for a relatively small buy-in.
Blast tables are available at 7 different buy-ins: $0.10, $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
888 Poker’s regular sit & go offering includes the potential for games at all stakes sizes and all variants. The most popular and cheaper buy-ins get started the quickest, but some of the rarer formats simply never garner enough interest to get to a point where they shuffle up and deal.
888 Poker Live gives players an opportunity to experience the 888 Poker brand in a live setting. Many players who discover the online game want to take it further and experience it in the flesh and 888 Poker enables them to do just that. At 888 Poker players can take part in online satellites to live poker events. Locations for events include London, Madrid, Bucharest, Rozvadov, Malta and many other locations in Europe and around the world.
888 Poker also hosts online satellite promotions to enable 888 players to attend and play in other prestigious live poker events, including tournaments like the main event of the WSOP and the Battle of Malta.
888 Poker Live events are great places to meet players who you otherwise only recognise as a screen name. They are also a place to meet up with 888 Poker’s ambassadors and of course, there are goodie bags, excursions and parties for qualifiers.
Former World Boxing champ Chris Eubank Jr leads the way as an 888 Poker Ambassador and he can pack a punch at the poker table almost as well as he can absorb a left hook in the ring.
Canadian broadcaster Kara Scott and English poker pro Ian Simpson are two other 888 Poker Team members. They both like to attend 888 Live Poker events, but they also provide other content throughout the year for 888 Poker players to enjoy.
Kara hosts a monthly poker podcast called The Heart of Poker, while Ian streams most of his tournament sessions on Twitch. If you’re not sure about whether to take the plunge and have a go, watching Ian play on his stream for an hour or two will help to get a good feel for what it is like to play on 888 Poker.
888 Poker software had a major upgrade at the end of 2019, which transformed the site from a decent online poker site to one of the best. Improvements in table graphics and gameplay were accompanied by new features and the inclusion of industry-standard features that had been lacking in 888 Poker’s previous iterations.
The product range matches the largest sites in the online poker industry and they are often the first to launch new features and game formats that become industry standards, e.g. virtual throwable objects and mystery bounty tournaments. Other new features include rabbit hunting when you have the option to peek at the flop, turn or river cards that would have hit the board, had the hand not just ended.
The lobby is simple and easy to use, with different game types accessed via simple left-hand sidebar navigation to different game types, e.g. Tournaments, cash games, Blast tables, etc. There is also a beginner's section, which makes it even easier for new players to find the most popular games to play. Filters are prominently displayed at the top of the lobby in the cash game and tournament sections, making it easy for players to drill down and find specific games they want to play.
888 Poker is one of the top 10 busiest online poker sites, with thousands of players online every day. Typically there are just over 1,000 cash game players online at peak times in the evening, with Sunday evening being the busiest time of the week. The site doesn’t have a counter showing the total number of players online, but with hundreds of tournaments running every day, the number of players online at any one time is likely several thousand.
Rake and tournament fees are how 888 Poker makes its money. A poker rake is when a small percentage of the pot is withheld by the operator at the end of each hand.
For cash games, the amount of rake taken from each pot varies, depending on the size of the stakes and the number of people playing at the table.
For Blast sit and Go games a percentage of the buy-in is deducted as a fee, ranging from 6.13% for the highest buy-in games ($100) to 10% for the lowest (10c).
These are fairly standard charges across the industry.
888 Poker is available on all devices on all platforms. There are four different ways to access and connect to 888 Poker
There is very little difference between the download and browser versions, with all game types available on both platforms. Graphics and interface are slightly better on the download client, but there is very little in it, the browser-based version is almost as good.
Gameplay on the download/browser versions is focused on recreational players with emojis and objects that can be thrown at other players’ avatars enhancing the fun and social elements of the game.
The 888 Poker Mobile app is available for download on Android and iOS in their respective app stores. The game range is the same as on the download and browser versions. It's well designed, perhaps even easier to navigate than the other clients and doesn’t restrict players to short-handed tables only. Up to 4 tables can be played simultaneously and settings give players lots of flexibility on how they view games (e.g. 2 or 4 colour decks, with or without emojis, stack sizes shown as a number of big blinds)
Perhaps the only slight negative is that the gameplay is purely in portrait mode and cannot be played in landscape mode, which may not be visually pleasing.
888 Poker accepts a wide range of payment methods for both deposits and withdrawals. These include Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, MasterCard, Visa Debit, Rapid Transfer, MuchBetter, Trustly and ecoPayz. Apple Pay is also accepted as a deposit method, but not for withdrawals.
Most payment methods are fairly instantaneous, but some, such as Bank Transfers, Trustly and Wire Transfers, can take up to 7 business days.
Visa and Mastercards have a minimum deposit of £5, while most other payment methods start at £10.
Withdrawals must be made back to the same card, which is an anti-money laundering requirement and is usually processed within 2-5 working days.
Signing-up to 888 Poker is a relatively straightforward process and only takes a few minutes to complete.
You’ll get a confirmation email with a link to click and once you’ve done that you’re good to go. You will also receive further correspondence as all licensed operators have a verification process, so you may have to send in pics of your documents for them to verify your identity. This is quite a normal request and all the most trustworthy operators will ask you to do this, usually soon after you sign up, but certainly before you are allowed to make withdrawals.
888Poker Club is the name of 888 Poker’s VIP program. No need to opt-in, players are automatically registered as club members as soon as they play for real money.
It’s a challenger-based program where points are earned for completing various challenges within poker and the other gambling verticals offered by 888. Points can be redeemed within the 888Poker Club shop for various items such as tournament tickets, Blast tickets, cash game credit, branded merchandise and electronic items.
As you earn points you move up levels, which brings further benefits such as entry into freerolls. The higher the level, the greater number of freerolls you gain access to.
For the recreational player, it’s a decent program, providing the kind of rewards that casual players like to receive. More experienced players may find it a bit too random and lacking transparency regarding how much you get back versus what you’re paying in rake and fees.
For more experienced players, the softness of the games at 888 Poker is the real bonus.
888 Poker provides a very extensive online support centre with hundreds of questions answered about all 888 products. There is also a ‘contact us’ form within the customer support centre which can be used to send an email to support in case answers to questions cannot be found.
There is no telephone or online chat support, the only way to get in touch is via email. The majority of the time this will probably suffice, but online poker with instant chat is usually a better customer experience than potentially waiting several hours to have your query replied to. However, to 888 Poker’s credit, we have found that most enquiries are answered pretty quickly, within an hour of being sent.
888 Poker takes responsible gambling seriously, making several self-limiting features available to players. These are offered to new players upon sign-up but can be accessed and implemented at any time. Players can limit themselves in the following ways:
Players can self-exclude for a longer time or close their accounts indefinitely.
888 Poker’s comprehensive product range, busy multi-table tournament schedule, fun gameplay features and ongoing player promotions make it an attractive room for both beginners and experienced recreational players. The strong emphasis on player experience and commitment to continually improve contributed to 888 Poker being named Poker Site of the Year at the 2022 EGR Awards. The VIP program which may not appeal to all players and the lack of instant customer service are areas that perhaps they could pay attention to in future to make it an even better offering.
200% Welcome Bonus up to £650
Bonus Code: BIGBONUS 18+ | UK new players only. Deposit bonus (equals to 200% up to 1,000$): Full T&C's apply • First deposit only • Min. deposit $10 • The bonus will be granted in $10 chunks subject to wagering restrictions of 100 Bonus Points per chunk • Bonus wins are capped at $500 • Valid for selected games only, when playing Casino • Wagering req. vary by game • Bonus expires in 90 days. BeGambleAware
Play £10, Get 50 Extra Spins
Bonus Code: not required New members only, must opt in. Min £10 deposit & wager. 30 day expiry from deposit. Extra Spins: on Double Bubble. Spins value: 20p each. Bingo: Advertised ticket value based on £1 tickets. Game availability & restrictions apply. 18+. **£10 lifetime deposit required. #Ad, BeGambleAware.org
Yes, 888 Poker is a long-established operator with a solid reputation and is fully licensed by the UKGC
888 Poker does not offer traditional rake back, but does give some rake back to customers via its loyalty program, which all players are automatically signed up for after making their first real money bet.
Tournament length varies. 888 Poker offers different styles of tournaments, some fast-paced, others slow.
No, 888 Poker offers email support, but has a fully comprehensive support centre with instant answers to most types of enquiry.
No, 888 Poker is the only major online poker room that offers players a no-deposit bonus.
Yes, 888 Poker is available to play on mobile, with both an app and browser-based options available.
"Jonathan has over twenty years experience working in the gambling industry, specializing in online poker management and live poker operations. He has created and managed several live poker tours, including the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour, the Eureka Poker Tour, Estrellas Poker Tour, UK & Ireland Poker Tour and the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge."
Reviewer since November 2022