The Must-Read BetOnline Poker Review

Play Now at BetOnline Poker

NAME

BetOnline Poker

WEBSITE

USA Players

Yes

NETWORK

Proprietary (formerly Chico)

ONLINE SINCE

2011

BONUS

100% up to $1,000 for poker plus $135 in free bets

TRAFFIC

#3 in USA market

LICENSED BY

Panama Gaming Commission

OWNER

Unknown

LOCATION

Panama City, Panama

GAMES

Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Americana, 32 Card Draw

SOFTWARE

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Instant Play

DEPOSITS

Bitcoin, Visa, Mastercard, Cash Transfer, Wire Transfer, Ethereum, Litecoin, Skrill, Neteller

PAYOUTS

Bitcoin, Check, Wire Transfer, ATM Card, Skrill, Neteller

BetOnline Poker
Overall
3.8
  • Bonus
  • Fish Rating
  • Deposits
  • Payouts
  • Tournaments
  • Software
  • Player Traffic
  • Player Support
  • Mobile Software
  • HUD Blocking

Pros

  • Best credit and debit card processing for US players
  • New software client is much improved
  • Top 3 in US player traffic
  • New excellent real-money mobile app
  • Over $100 in free bets
  • Private 100% bonus that clears fairly quickly
  • Native Mac software download
  • Bitcoin payouts within 24 hours
  • New fast-fold games at lower limits
  • New jackpot 3-player Sit and Go’s
  • Supports rarer cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin

Cons

  • Tournament selection is mediocre
  • Check payout minimum is too high
  • Nothing being done to stop HUDs
  • Old video of possible dealer cheating at live Blackjack

Contents

How To Get The Unadvertised 100% Bonus

There is no default poker bonus for new players, but if you sign up from Beat The Fish, you’ll get a private 100% offer, good up to $1,000.

Here’s exactly what you need to do to claim it:

1. Visit BetOnline Poker from Beat The Fish and make sure you see the private 100% bonus landing page.
2. Create a new account.
3. Make at least a $50 deposit using any method.
4. Email poker@betonline.ag with the BetOnline Poker bonus code FISH200 in the subject line and your username in the body of the message.
5. You’ll be credited with your 100% bonus within 48 hours. You have up to 120 days to clear it.

BetOnline Poker 100% Bonus
This is the special landing page you’ll need to sign up from in order to receive the unadvertised 100% bonus

BetOnline Poker Overall

BetOnline Poker, who has been in the online sports and casino business for over a decade under various names and all the way back to 1991 as a brick-and-mortar bookmaker, is nothing if not ambitious.

In one of the most hostile environments ever for US online gaming sites, BetOnline entered the poker market with an independent platform and aggressive marketing to Americans.

Flagship of the Network

Rather than going the typical route of poker startups and piggy-backing on an existing brand, BetOnline Poker has largely become their own network, despite initially resurrecting the old Chico software platform instead of developing their own.

This move of bypassing the software “skin” route has allowed BetOnline Poker to reap the benefits of complete control over the cashier and self-containment of their extremely loose existing player base.

Move to a better software package

In 2016, they developed their own poker software platform with help from Connective games, ditching the old Chico platform.

BetOnline Poker is easily the flagship brand, but the same software is used by sister site SportsBetting Poker as well.

The new software client is now one of the better choices in the US market, offering better functionality and paving the way for future mobile options.

Strong Traffic

While player traffic is always going to be an issue with a new network, this poker room is one of the only strong options left that allows new US signups.

According to poker site metrics, BetOnline Poker flip-flops regularly between #2 and #3 in the US market.

BetOnline Poker is busy up to the higher limits

I’ve been impressed with the extremely quick growth of BetOnline Poker, which now features active 10-seat no-limit tables up to the $5/10 level and tens of active tables at lower limits.

They’re either second or third in overall traffic for US-facing sites, depending on the week.

As US players begin to discover this poker room, the easy deposit options, and their soft games, I expect traffic to spike further.

Why BetOnline is Rare in this Market

In the early-to-mid 2000s, US online poker rooms were a dime a dozen with thousands of players at countless networks.

Most player prioritized the number of games, tournaments, and the size of the initial deposit bonus.

The online poker industry is an entirely different beast today.

With fewer new players to loosen up the games and deposit options drying up left and right, most US players are focused on finding a poker room that takes their business with realistic deposit options.

Cash games stand out

BetOnline Poker has cash games filled with players that don’t treat every dollar like it’s their last.

They’ve enjoyed sustained success with their poker room because they succeeded with easy deposits, quick payouts, and at least moderately-loose games. That’s an incredibly rare feat in this market.

Weighing in

BetOnline Poker doesn’t offer massive tournament numbers or the promotions featured at the former behemoths during the US poker glory days, but US players are hard-pressed to find that anywhere anymore.

This group is taking a chance on the US market, and it couldn’t come at a better time for players.

BetOnline Poker Game Limits

GameMinimum LimitMaximum Limit
No-Limit Hold'em.01/.02$5/10
Fixed-Limit Hold'em.05/.10$1.50/3
Omaha.01/.02$5/10
Stud.10/.20$5/10
Americana.10/.20$5/10
32 Card Draw.10/.25$5/10

Biggest BetOnline Cons

Although BetOnline Poker is one of the only US-facing poker sites still surviving with a decent reputation, they certainly aren’t perfect. I still play there and have a good amount of trust in their poker operation, but these are my biggest concerns:

BetOnline supports HUDs

I’m a big supporter in online poker sites taking any and all available measures to stop HUD usage. I wouldn’t bat an eye and, in fact, would applaud if HUDs were banned out of existence everywhere.

Unfortunately, BetOnline Poker does nothing to restrict HUD usage through rules or anonymous tables. This allows desktop grinders an advantage over casual players who likely don’t even know what a HUD is.

The infamous Blackjack cheating video

First broken in early 2017, a Blackjack live streamer caught an extremely shady-looking card swap performed by a dealer at a BetOnline live Blackjack table.

It’s important to note that BetOnline outsources its live casino to a company called Global Gaming Labs, so the event didn’t occur in-house. It’s also plausible, although I feel unlikely, that it was a clumsy-fingered mistake by the live dealer.

To me, the worst part is that neither Global Gaming Labs nor BetOnline ever responded to the video or compensated the player in question, which just seems like clueless damage control, even if they were outright cheating.

Why not play up the “mistake” angle, fire the dealer, promise to never let it happen again, or at least smooth everyone’s feathers by refunding the player?

Although this has nothing to do with their poker operations, this Blackjack controversy seems like a needless stain on an otherwise-sound reputation. I still trust BetOnline Poker enough to play there, but this remains a gross and unresolved issue.

BetOnline Poker Review
BetOnline isn’t perfect, particularly in terms of tournaments and the games have been trending tighter, but I feel they still most closely match what US players are looking for.

BetOnline Poker Bonus

A poker-only bonus was finally added

With the poker room being added on to the cross-platform offerings in 2010, they initially overlooked the poker-only crowd to the tune of no outright poker bonus.

It may have taken a couple of years, but BetOnline Poker management finally wizened up. They now actually offer the largest poker-specific bonus in the US market to our players.

One of the largest total bonuses online

It’s a 100% first-deposit bonus, valid up to $1,000.

Both of those numbers are quite large but, as with any bonus, the play-through terms are far more important than the gaudy total bonus numbers.

Note that you’ll only get a 100% bonus if you sign up at BetOnline Poker through Beat The Fish.

Excellent bonus release rate

Surprisingly, the 100% bonus release rate is very good when compared to its competitors, clocking in at about $2-3 of bonus per hour of play at each .50/$1 NL table.

Since 2011, I’ve found the average at other US poker rooms to be about $1-1.50 per hour per table, making the terms of this bonus stand out.

As with every bonus, this is a glorified rakeback system, dispensing parts of your bonus as you earn Comp Points. Those are given each time you contribute rake to the dealt hand.

How to trigger bonus releases

The specific benchmarks that trigger the transfer of cash from your pending bonus account to your cash account used to be quite convoluted, but BetOnline Poker simplified it.

You now automatically receive $5 in your real-money poker balance every time you earn 1,500 Comp Points.

Excellent bonus time expiration

Players have 60 days to earn as much of the bonus as possible, which is longer than the typical time period given by competing sites.

Be sure to get the bonus activated

While it is clearly publicized on the poker promotions page, the only frustrating aspect of the bonus is that players have to manually e-mail the support team to activate it within their account.

This is a move that reminds of online poker circa 2003 and is clearly unnecessary in the days of modern software tracking, but it’s a one-time bother for a very good bonus.

Again, be sure to follow the poker room’s instructions for activating the bonus following your first deposit.

Don’t waste the New Player Freeroll ticket

BetOnline Poker added a $10,000 New Player Freeroll with the recent software overhaul.

My tendency (and I’m guessing yours, too) is to ignore anything with “freeroll” in the title. Scrabble with thousands for pennies in a donk-fest? No thanks.

Don’t make that mistake with this. It’s actually one of the bigger parts of the bonus.

Why this is a significant addition

First of all, the prize pool is $10,000, which dwarfs any other private depositors freeroll I can think of. It’s worth bothering with.

Secondly, it’s run every week, which is key because it keeps down the number of entrants under about 300.

You’ll find it taking place every Sunday at 7:00 P.M. EST.

Why is the small field important?

With freerolls, the effective “buy-in” is the total prize pool divided by the number of players.

I’ve only seen these freerolls draw under 280-300 players, so even conservatively you’re looking at an effective free buy-in worth about $33.

The ticket doesn’t lock you into one date

You get this even on a minimum $25 deposit and, unlike some other tournament tickets, you aren’t locked into redeeming it on a specific date.

I recently set up a depositing test account and forgot this freeroll was part of the new bonus offer for a few weeks.

I figured it would go into my scrapheap of forgotten tournament tickets, but there it was still in my cashier’s ticket section waiting to be redeemed.

I’m not sure how long this offer will last since it doesn’t seem to be drawing massive players, but here’s hoping they keep it around long-term.

Just be sure to bother to claim yours eventually. Why not for a free $10,000 tournament?

BetOnline Poker player rewards

BetOnline Poker has also instituted a player reward system called Comp Points, which are awarded via cash game play or by entering tournaments.

Earned Comp Points can then be as a buy-in for designated daily tournaments that award real money.

More uses for Comp Points are likely on the horizon but, for now, it is a risk-way to earn real money based on past gameplay.

Leaderboard Prizes at BetOnline

One of the main promotions other than the bonus and free bets is the Sit and Go leaderboard.

It resets every week and adds up to $5,000 spread amongst winners.

Not bad, but nothing most players haven’t seen a dozen times before.

However, there are a few aspects that make it stand out, especially to recreational players.

  • There are 3 separate leaderboards, separated by buy-ins.
  • The first is Sit and Go’s under $2, the next for sub-$20, and the third for everything above that.
  • The leaderboard is updated and available directly in the software. This is pretty handy for OCD sufferers as it’s real-time so you can check literally after every tournament.

Low tournament fields are good for leaderboards

Despite being the head of one of the largest US poker networks left, tournaments aren’t one of the busiest aspects at BetOnline Poker.

The benefit of that is that non-grinders actually have a shot at these leaderboard prizes, simply because the participant count is lower.

Other promos

Although they’re seasonal and may not happen around the calendar, BetOnline Poker also supplements the Sit and Go prizes with something for the top multi-table tournament players and another for cash game players, which is based on Comp points.

The prizes for these leaderboards is usually up to $20,000.

More bonus thoughts

As a poker-only player, it was gratifying that the management here has begun to understand the value of offering more poker-specific promotions and responded to player criticisms.

The instant free bet offer was always appreciated, but the poker room now has a much better shot at acquiring bonus-driven grinders by competing (and exceeding) the rest of the market with the new 100% offer.

Despite the antiquated requirement of e-mailing the poker room, this is the best bang for the US buck in terms of total bonus size and play-through requirements.

Bonus at BetOnline Poker
Although the bonus amount is quite high at 100%, the fact that I could clear up to $2 per table per hour stood out more to me.

BetOnline Promotional Codes

BetOnline OfferPromotional BonusPromo CodeDepositFree Bet Coupon
Poker200% bonus up to $2,500Only available with this link to betonline.ag$50 and upNone
Sports Betting50% bonus up to $2,500NEW2500$50 and up$75
Casino25% bonus up to $1,000CASINO25$25 and up$25
Slots100% bonus up to $1,000No bonus code necessary$100 and upNone
Reload Deal25% bonus up to $1,000LIFEBONUS$50 and upNone

BetOnline Promotional Codes

BetOnline Free Bets

Surprisingly, I’ve been quite impressed with their assortment of non-poker free plays due to the sheer number of those on offer and the risk-free nature of it.

As someone who usually plays poker exclusively, I barely ever even glance at the other gaming section on these all-in-one sites.

It’s free so be sure to claim them

There are so many at BetOnline, however, that it’s worth taking a few minutes to take advantage of the risk-free entertainment and potentially add to your overall bankroll.

Both of these offers are unique in an industry that is trending towards complicated bonuses that ultimately either rob the player of the offer or take exorbitant amounts of time to play through.

50% in free sports bets

There are two forms of free bets: the sizable 50% instant bonus is added on to your deposit in the sports section.

These bonus funds can be used for unlimited bets until you either lose it or roll it over 10x through winning to be able to cash it out or transfer it to the poker section.

The maximum instant bonus amount is $1,000.

$135 in free bets for other games

The other type of free bet is a single bet placed from your real-money balance up to the promotional amount. If you win, you keep it, and if you lose, you then e-mail support and request a refund of the bet amount, which is done within 24 hours.

Single free bets include:

  • $10 for a skill game
  • $25 for a live dealer game
  • $50 for a mobile bet
  • $25 for a racebook bet
  • $25 for a live bet

It’s a clever way to get players to try out all their properties, and why not do it since it’s free? The actual amount of free plays is pretty remarkable.

BetOnline Free Bets
BetOnline Poker’s free bet promotion, which lets you try out several games for free and keep the winnings, is surprisingly worthwhile.

Mobile is finally here and it’s very nice

For the last 5+ years, I’ve been convinced that most US-facing online poker sites are run by folks who don’t like money. They’ve sat idly by for years while Ignition Poker ran laps around them with the only legit real-money mobile client.

It’s been a mantra I’ve shouted from the virtual rooftops for years: Wake up, guys! The world lives on their phones and this isn’t news.

I know they can’t get official apps approved, but make it happen or die a slow death.

Well, BetOnline finally woke up and they finally released a fully-functioning mobile poker app. It was largely a stealth release (sorry, “soft launch”) and it’s yet to be advertised much. I caught wind of it and set aside several hours to put it through its paces.

How to Play BetOnline Poker Mobile

Visit BetOnline Poker and tap “JOIN NOW” to create a player account or “Log In” if you already have an account. You can create your account from a PC, Mac, mobile device, or tablet.

BetOnline Mobile Site

Once you’re logged in, tap the “POKER” icon.

BetOnline Poker Button on Mobile

Tap “PLAY NOW” if you’re on an iPhone or iPad and “DOWNLOAD NOW” if you’re on an Android phone or tablet. Android users should then install that file by tapping the notification or by opening the “Downloads” app. Once it’s installed, tap the new BetOnline Poker icon to launch it.

BetOnline Poker Mobile on iOS and Android

Turn your phone or tablet to landscape mode. You’ll be prompted to log in one more time. This screen doesn’t communicate it well, but next to the human bust you’ll input your account number and next to the padlock will go your password. Tap “Login”.

Mobile User Login

You can skip steps 5 and 6 if you’ve already made a deposit. If you haven’t, you can do so right from the BetOnline app. Tap the 3-bar hamburger menu next to your player icon and tap “Cashier”.

Mobile Lobby and Cashier

A separate browser window will open up to input your Bitcoin, credit card, or other deposit details.

Deposit on BetOnline Mobile

You’ll see the BetOnline mobile lobby immediately with available cash games to join. Tap one to open it. You can also switch to the “Tourney” or “Sit&Go” tabs under your player icon to register for one.

BetOnline Poker Mobile Lobby

Use the slider to choose your buy-in or wait for your tournament table to automatically open.

Betting at a BetOnline Mobile Table

Beat the fish and ship those chips. Repeat.

Mobile Cash Table

BetOnline Poker App Review

I had heard that the BetOnline Poker app was in development for several months, so what did I do the day it finally came out to players? Created a new test account, made a small Bitcoin deposit, and messed around with the mobile client for hours.

Here’s what I think after a good chunk of real gameplay:

BetOnline Poker Mobile on iPhone
The BetOnline mobile client really stood out to me both in terms of a sharp user interface and and excellent usability.

Graphics

I’m a big fan of what BetOnline Poker has done graphics-wise since they updated everything in 2016.

That carries over to the mobile app, which is very sharp.

The lobby can be filtered and you’ll see a mini-graphic of each cash game to illustrate the number of seats.

Menus are designed well with:

  • Built-in cashier support
  • A display of VIP Points
  • A graphical hand replay feature.

Simple sounds and animations can be toggled on or off. Surprisingly, BetOnline mobile even displays little chat bubbles (which I happily always disable) next to the speaking player.

The bet slider works well, allowing players to either type in their bet, drag a slider, or tap incremental bets based on pot size. One nitpick that I can’t stand is the lack of a full pot-sized bet button, which is becoming more commonplace these days.

Stability

This is usually the biggest complaint against any real-money mobile poker: It’s full of bugs!

How did this one do?

The BetOnline mobile “app” (quotes because you don’t have to download it on iOS) was very stable in my tests, and performed better than many no-download clients I’ve tried over the years.

Multiple tables switched instantly when I tapped on them.

Keep your tinkering to a minimum while in a hand

Things weren’t perfect, though. I did experience some hanging in the middle of hands where the entire game froze for a few seconds, but I was able to resume my hand after that.

This mostly happened while I was digging through settings menus in the middle of a game. I could imagine some players’ hearts skipping a beat if they were involved in a massive hand.

My recommendation would be to skip messing with menus during hands and save that for downtime. I’m also doing my testing immediately after launch, meaning there’s hope that this could be fixed with future updates.

Multi-table support

Multiple Tables on Mobile
This bar at the top is where you’ll see all your hands in one place. It even shows position abbreviations such as BB for Big Blind and a yellow alert when it’s your turn to act. Just tap on a table to switch over to it.

The big standout feature to me is how BetOnline Poker handled multiple tables. I believe players can sit at up to 4 via mobile, although I only tested it with 2.

How does it work? Very very nicely and one of the best implementations of mobile multi-tabling I’ve seen.

When you’re sitting at multiple tables, you’ll see a small graphic at the top of the screen with your cards on that table and a ticking yellow timer if it’s your turn to act. I love this idea. You just tap a table to bring it up full-size on your screen.

One annoying side effect is that if you tap near the top of a table, you’ll bring up your device’s top bar, moving the BetOnline app down a quarter-inch or so. Try to tap near the bottom of extra tables to avoid this.

There is an automatic table switch option, but I really didn’t like having my tables constantly switch just before I would place a bet.

Tournaments on Mobile
All tournaments and Sit & Go’s are playable on the BetOnline app, which makes them the only ones in the US to do so.

Tournaments

The other big advantage the BetOnline Poker mobile app has over Bovada Poker is the ability to play tournaments and Sit & Go’s, which can’t be overstated.

That was a very shrewd move and something I know a lot of players will appreciate.

You can view any tournament lobby, register, and play right from mobile.

One lesson I found out the hard way is that there’s no registration confirmation, so be careful what you tap.

Unless I missed something, as soon as you tap “Register” for an event on late registration, you’re in the tournament. If it has yet to start, you should be able to un-register.

Betting at a Cash Table
The betting interface is very well done aside from the lack of a full pot-sized bet button. Universal Sit Out options and touches like chat bubbles make the mobile poker client feel like a well-designed product.

Advanced settings

I’m surprised at how many settings available for BetOnline Poker mobile.

You won’t have the entire suite of customizations you would have in the desktop client, but it’s pretty good for a no-download offering.

Among other things, you can:

  • Change turn notifications
  • Adjust visual table themes
  • Toggle player chat
  • Toggle sounds and animations

I like the right-arrow icon at the top of each table, which controls your actions at every table. You can sit out of every table at once or wait until the big blind.

Themes

While the default theme for BetOnline Poker mobile looked perfectly fine to me, there are a handful of color options for the table felt and gaudy carpeting below.

There’s a small icon of what looks like an eye dropper for custom color selection, but it was unresponsive when I tapped on it.

Overall

Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with what BetOnline has pulled off with the mobile poker client. They’re only the second in the US to add real-money mobile poker games.

This is probably the better of the two with built-in multi-table support and the ability to play any tournament. It’s almost completely stable and absolutely could function as a desktop software replacement.

BetOnline Poker Instant Play

One unintended positive I discovered from BetOnline Poker launching their mobile client is a new hidden no-download instant play option for desktop as well.

When you’re on a desktop, you won’t see it advertised or linked from anywhere as the poker site would much rather you download the full client. However, it’s still perfectly usable on any browser if you know how to launch it.

When is instant play useful?

A few examples of when instant play might come in handy would be when you’re:

  • A prospective new player and you want to see what the games are like before downloading anything
  • On a lightweight machine or OS like a Chromebook and can’t download software
  • Using a friend or family member’s computer and don’t want to break tech etiquette to install anything

What can you play in-browser?

Everything, which is a big advantage over Ignition Poker’s offering.

All tournaments and cash games can be played in-browser.

How to launch it

  1. Visit BetOnline and log in or create a new account
  2. Manually type in poker.betonline.ag/mobilepoker/index.htm into your browser’s address bar
  3. You’ll see the instant play client load
  4. You’ll probably be asked to log in one more time
  5. You’ll see the lobby and can select any game

Multi-tabling is supported for up to 4 tables. It works very well and, in a way, is more streamlined than the full download.

BetOnline Poker Instant Play
Here’s what the instant play lobby will look like on the Chrome and Windows 10 combination. BetOnline doesn’t intend for you to do this from a computer, but it’s perfectly stable. One thing to keep in mind is that the interface is designed for touchscreens, so you’ll need to click and drag to scroll through the lobby as if you were using a finger.
BetOnline Poker Instant Play Cash Table
Here’s how an actual cash table will look, which is quite nice. The entire mobile and no-download client is an improvement over what Ignition puts out as you can both multi-table (that’s the bar across the top that shows you your hand at every table) and play tournaments.

BetOnline Boost Tables

It may be about 5 years later than it should have been introduced, but BetOnline Poker has now added Boost tables, which is their version of the fast-fold you’ve played at places like Bovada Poker before. Simply put, it’s my favorite way to play online poker.

With Boost, BetOnline Poker pools every player at each limit. As soon as a player folds or decides to fold his hand before it’s even his turn, they’re instantly given a new hand at a new table full of players who have just done the same thing. Boost allows you to play a new poker hand every few seconds until you find one worth playing.

It eliminates boredom, increases your potential win rate per table, and you can play as many as 200-300 hands per hour. You’ll find Boost by its special icon in the normal cash game lobby.

BetOnline Poker Boost
BetOnline Poker’s Boost tables seem to be in Beta mode, as they only have $.02/.05 available right now. Here’s hoping they keep adding higher limits.

BetOnline Poker Deposits

Use Bitcoin if you can

With Bitcoin, you’re going to get the lowest minimum deposit of $20 at BetOnline Poker and you’re guaranteed to have your deposit accepted.

It’s also the closest thing to anonymous payments online and your payouts are processed in about a day.

If that isn’t the perfect poker banking method, then I don’t know what is.

Almost every US credit or debit card should work

One of the most notable advantages BetOnline Poker has over the rest of the US market is the near-100% success rates of credit card deposits.

By utilizing proprietary processors and almost two decades of experience in the online gaming industry, BetOnline Poker should be able to accept any major credit card or debit card, including those that may have been declined previously at other poker rooms.

Even gift cards should work

Pre-paid gift credit cards should also be accepted as long as the issuing bank allows international transactions.

No third-party e-wallet or fees are involved, making BetOnline Poker the current industry leader in terms of pain-free US credit card deposits.

BetOnline Poker expands their cashier further

I recently checked in on the BetOnline Poker cashier and was surprised to see several new methods for both deposits and payouts.

This is easily the most robust cashier in the US market with several rare methods that probably won’t be used often, but gives players more choice if the more popular methods aren’t an option.

Both major cash transfer services

Next in line after Bitcoin and credit card is probably going to be cash transfer, which has been one of the more dependable options in the US since 2006.

BetOnline Poker offers both of the largest cash transfer services in both WU and MG.

Both have $50 minimums. WU has a $700 maximum while MG has a $600 maximum.

You’ve seen these services around even if you’ve never used them. They’re in virtually every grocery store, convenience store, and pharmacy in the US.

How to make an easy cash transfer and get fees waived

Fortunately, both WU and MG now support online transfers, so you only need to use their website to make a poker room deposit.

There are fees involved, starting at $12, but BetOnline Poker covers them if you send more than $300.

Litecoin and Ethereum

Amazingly, Litecoin and Ethereum (LTC and ETH) are actually now supported for deposits. BetOnline Poker is one of the only poker sites I’ve seen offer it.

These are cryptocurrencies that function almost identically to Bitcoin. Most of the major Bitcoin exchanges also offer trades of both.

Wire transfer

If you’re depositing more than $1,000, wire transfer is an option to send money directly from your bank to the poker room’s banking processor.

BetOnline Poker will also reimburse any fees you pay at your bank, which is usually less than $50.

Cashier’s check and money order

Paper alternatives include mailing the poker room a cashier’s check or money order via courier.

BetOnline Poker is a bit more generous than others for paper deposits, as they’ll reimburse players for any courier fees.

After clicking on either of these paper options in the cashier, you’ll have a live chat window automatically open up.

Simply ask the representative (who have always been very knowledgeable in my tests) for the mailing address and payee.

US deposit thoughts

With the online poker industry being forced into massive changes in 2006 and 2011, US player priorities have also changed.

With the luxury of easy deposits disappearing from the US market, the ability to perform the simple act of funding your poker account is now a determining factor in deciding who gets your poker business.

BetOnline Poker largely succeeds in this market because they make it a pain-free experience for US players to deposit.

They offer every method under the sun with various minimums. In other words, something for almost everyone.

BetOnline Poker Deposit Methods

 Minimum depositMaximum depositFeesApprox. success rate
Bitcoin$20$3,500None100%
Credit card$50$500None90-95%
WU cash transfer$50$700Reimbursed for deposits of $300 or more100%
MG cash transfer$50$600Reimbursed for deposits of $300 or more100%
Wire transfer$1,000N/AReimbursed100%
Book to book$500N/ANone100%
Cashier's check$1,500N/ANone100%
Money order$300N/ANone100%
Litecoin$20$3,500None100%

BetOnline for US Credit Cards
I’ve found the BetOnline Poker US credit card success rate to be nearly 100%, which is one of their major strengths.

Bitcoin at BetOnline Poker

Bitcoin is so essential and works so well with BetOnline Poker that it deserves its own section.

Here’s the bottom line with Bitcoin:

There really isn’t an excuse to not use it anymore. If you’re a US player it’s almost criminal not to.

Take 20 minutes to learn about it and set it up.

I have a massive new guide to Bitcoin poker sites to teach you absolutely everything you need to know about how to use Bitcoin for online poker.

Benefits of Bitcoin

  • You’ll never have a deposit declined unlike with credit cards
  • It’s essentially anonymous if you follow the recommended practice of new Bitcoin addresses for every transaction
  • Banks won’t know who you’re sending/receiving money from. They’ll only see you transacting with a Bitcoin exchange
  • You get the lowest minimum deposits and withdrawals at $20
  • BetOnline Poker will send your withdrawals in 1-2 days

Bitcoin is an enormous win.

If you play online poker and you’re from the US, get set up with Bitcoin. You’ll make your life a little bit easier.

BetOnline Poker made an extremely smart move to support this wonderful payment method.

The simple way to get set up with Bitcoin

The process really isn’t that different from PayPal or NETeller if you’ve been around that long.

  • Use a Bitcoin exchange (I personally use Kraken and Gemini)
  • Verify your identity and link your bank account
  • Buy some Bitcoin (which is worth a varying amount in standard currencies like USD)
  • Send it to your wallet (Copay and Electrum are fine options)
  • Learn to copy-paste long strings of characters to send/receive payments from BetOnline Poker and other poker rooms

Bitcoin Payouts

When you’re ready to withdraw:

  • Request a payout from the poker room back to your wallet by getting your wallet’s latest receiving address
  • BetOnline Poker sends your funds within 24 hours.
  • Sell your Bitcoin to the exchange, who will then credit your bank directly at the current market rate

You’re set. Really.

BetOnline Poker Bitcoin Chart

 MinimumMaximumFeesTimeframe
Deposits$20$3,500NoneInstant
Withdrawals$20$5,0002%24-48 hours
Bitcoin at BetOnline Poker
From the US and play online poker? There’s no excuse for ignoring Bitcoin anymore. One of the many benefits is 24-hour payouts at BetOnline Poker.

How to Deposit at BetOnline Poker Using Bitcoin

BetOnline Poker Bitcoin

BetOnline Poker Payouts

PSA: BetOnline Poker offers every player a $50 monthly credit for payout fees so long as you request them on a Friday and mention in the payout comments that you’re using it.

Weird, I know, but work with it so you can get an Express Check (or any other method) every month for free.

Payout rep

One of the reasons BetOnline Poker has done well in the sports market over the years is their solid reputation for quick payouts.

They seem to structure themselves for returning loyal players rather than for quick-fix bonus hunters.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is going to be the best payout method by far if you have a choice.

The minimum withdrawal is the lowest BetOnline Poker offers at $20 and they’ll will send it to you within 24 hours.

The fee for Bitcoin payouts is 2%, which is cheaper than a check withdrawal up to about the $1,000 level.

Those are some of the best terms in the industry for any payout method.

The payouts here are underrated

To me, BetOnline Poker payouts are some of the most underrated online.

Besides recently expanding the cashier, they also improved turnaround time in the past couple of years to beat most of their US competition.

  • The real-world turnaround time before you get your money is some of the fastest in the US market
  • They offer more payout methods than anyone else in the US
  • They waive $50 worth of fees for everyone every month

No one else can make all of those claims.

Let’s take a little tour through each method as there are a lot of them.

New Express Checks should be your first choice

The Express Check is a new offering, but don’t overlook it if you can meet the minimum of $500.

BetOnline Poker guarantees you’ll have it delivered by courier (usually FedEx for tracking and signature) within 7 business days.

That’s about 10 calendar days, which is tied with Bovada Poker for the quickest of anyone in the US.

The fee is $50, but that gets waived once a month.

There are normal checks via courier or snail mail that save you on fees, but take twice as long to arrive.

Why bother? Just use your free payout and do an Express Check.

MG cash transfer

If you’re withdrawing less than $500, you aren’t going to beat Bitcoin with the $20 minimum. However, if that isn’t an option, go for an MG cash transfer.

The minimum MG cash transfer is only $50 with a maximum of $400.

You’ll have to physically pick it up and show your ID at a local location, but the benefit is you get straight cash, homey.

ATM card is a very rare option

The ATM card is an interesting option and one that very few poker rooms offer.

It may have the best combination of small minimums and speed of payouts.

It costs $80 to issue the card (use your $50 credit to bring that down) and then $25 each time you load it.

However, loads take place almost as quickly as Bitcoin: 1-2 days after your request.

You receive a physical debit card in the mail that you choose a PIN for. You can then withdraw cash from at any ATM.

If you make a lot of withdrawals, this can be one of the best options.

Wire transfer

Finally, wire transfers are nice to have and the minimum of $500 is less than other wire services I’ve seen.

You’ll have to wait 2-3 weeks total, but wires are sent electronically directly to your bank account, so there’s nothing else you need to do.

The fees are usually under $50 and covered by your monthly fee credit.

Skrill and NETeller

If you’re from outside of the US, you can use Skrill or NETeller for a $20 fee.

You’ll have your payout in as little as a few hours, but within a day.

BetOnline Poker might have the best payouts in the US

The variety of payout methods at BetOnline Poker is unmatched, and the processing time is some of the best in the country.

Combined with some rare methods like ATM card and wires, this will be one of the easier US options for actually getting your hands on your winnings.

BetOnline Poker Payout Methods

Players are given a $50 withdrawal fee credit each month if you request them on a Friday and mention in the comment field that you’d like to use your credit.

 Minimum withdrawalMaximum withdrawalFeesApprox. time to delivery
Bitcoin$20$5,0002%24-48 hours
Express Check via courier$500$2,500$507 business days
Check via courier$500$2,500$3515 business days
Check via mail$500$2,500$2530 business days
MG cash transfer$50$400varies5 business days
ATM card$100$2,500$80 issue fee; $25 per load24-48 hours
Wire transfer$500$24,900varies15 business days
Skrill$25$9,900$2012-36 hours
NETeller$25$9,900$2012-36 hours

Payouts at BetOnline Poker
Just use Bitcoin and get your payout the next day. If you have to use another method such as check at BetOnlien Poker, you’ll still get it within a couple of weeks.

BetOnline Poker Fish Rating

Like most players, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the pervasive tightness that has largely sucked the life out of today’s cash games.

The lack of new US players, deposit difficulties, and the availability of advanced poker strategy are largely responsible for the single-digit flop percentages seen at the largest rooms in recent years.

Casino and sports players fuel the games

Fortunately, the gambling-centric mindset of the casino and sports players at BetOnline Poker hasn’t changed much over the past decade.

With the BetOnline poker room predominantly populated by players from their other gaming platforms, the cash tables are fairly loose.

Many of the players haven’t played much, if any, poker and are simply looking for another thrill to gamble their balance on.

Cash game traffic and flop numbers

The cash game traffic has really improved over the past couple of years with at least 10-20 active tables at limits up to $1/2 NL and several full tables at higher limits up to $5/10 NL.

Virtually every one features flop percentages of at least 25-30% and average pots of 20-30x the big blind, which is remarkable for 10-seated games in the current poker climate.

Hunting through the lobby for the isolated table with decent average numbers has become a common practice, but most tables at BetOnline Poker will qualify.

Going against the recent tight trends

It’s refreshing to know that just about every table is filled with calling stations and maniacs chasing draws and paying you off more often when you hit your monster hands.

BetOnline Poker bucks what has become the new norm for poker worldwide and consistently offers cash games comparable to those “poker explosion” days that seem like a distant memory now.

Not for grinders

Rather than focus strictly on bringing in full-time poker grinders, BetOnline Poker seems to appeals to all-around gamblers and those jaded by the tight dull games found elsewhere.

I believe the extremely easy deposits also tend to allow players to subconsciously play a looser game and release the fear that a lost bankroll might be impossible to replace.

Cash game traffic is only second to Bovada Poker in the US market.

BetOnline Poker Fish Rating Update

Cash game traffic has tightened up somewhat since I initially reviewed BetOnline Poker, likely thanks to more experienced players discovering the poker room’s formerly-wild traffic.

Games are still looser-than-average, but their Fish Rating has been updated to reflect that decrease in soft players.

BetOnline Poker Fish Rating
Be sure to reserve your seat to the left of the fish. BetOnline Poker is one of the better aquariums still open to US players.
 

BetOnline.ag Poker Tournaments

The tournament schedule at BetOnline Poker is more of a token feature at this point than a serious draw for new players.

While there still can be plenty of casual fun in sub-$10 events, dedicated tournament players might quickly grow impatient with the high end of guaranteed prize pools ranging from $1,000-20,000.

The most popular daily real-money events draw about 100-200 players, which is certainly modest.

Some of the largest high-value events are the new $15,000 guarantees with a .99 buy-in, which is an excellent prize-to-buy-in ratio at any site.

BetOnline Poker does have several weekly events with strong value in their:

  • $1,000 guarantee
  • $3,000 guarantee
  • $4,000 guarantee

All of those have buy-ins under $12.

Overlays are excellent

There are some overlay opportunities in which the poker room guarantees a minimum prize pool but the actual buy-ins from players fall short of that threshold.

For example, one of the better tournaments on the schedule is a $3,000 weekly guarantee with a small $11 buy-in.

The entrants often only make up $2,000 or so of the prize pool, meaning that the poker room has to add in the other $1,000.

This is essentially like starting the tournament with a hundred players already knocked out, as the prize money is there but not the players.

Windfall Jackpot Tournaments

They may be years later than the competition, bet BetOnline Poker has added jackpot-style Sit and Go tournaments, which they’re calling Windfall. Windfall tournaments are 3-player Sit and Go’s that have a randomized prize pool.

Most Windfalls will give you 2x the buy-in as the prize, but there’s a minuscule chance (think 1 in 10,000) to win 2,000x the buy-in.

These have extremely fast blinds and each player only has 500 starting chips, making each Windfall only last 5 minutes or less.

Windfall Sit and Go's
You’ll find Windfall tournaments now have their own tab in the main BetOnline Poker lobby with buy-ins ranging from $3-30

 

Windfall Sit and Go Tournament Lobby
Windfall is BetOnline Poker’s iteration of the Spin & Go – hyper-turbo 3-player Sit and Go’s with random prizes of up to 2,000x the buy-in

The best guarantees

The largest monthly guarantee is $20,000, which won’t turn any heads, although the buy-in is extremely reasonable for low-limit players at $60.

This is also a rewards system that disperses Comp Points, which can be used directly for tournament buy-ins.

Players can either earn these as a deposit bonus or through special tournaments that give away Comp Points as prizes.

Sit and Go options

Sit and Go events are surprisingly popular up to the $33 turbo level, with only a few minutes of wait-time per table.

The “1-Up” Sit and Go tables are the equivalent of the addictive Double Up format, in which the remaining half of the table doubles their buy-in.

BetOnline tournament thoughts

The tournament section is still clearly a work in progress with few large guarantees and a modest level of traffic.

Fortunately, there are still some value for dedicated tournament players:

  • Several low buy-in events every hour
  • Fairly busy Sit and Go tables
  • Overlay opportunities for guarantees
BetOnline Multi-table Tournaments
Multi-table tournaments aren’t particularly impressive at BetOnline Poker, but Sit and Goes are quite popular.

BetOnline Poker Traffic

The biggest crux of BetOnline Poker had previously been the traffic level, but it has shown remarkable growth since the early post-launch days.

They now waver between #2 and #3 in US market traffic, competing with Bovada Poker and America’s Cardroom.

The cash numbers

Peak times usually feature about 2,000 online players, with most of them populating the cash games.

There are now 10-20 active tables per limit up to the $1/2 level around the clock with about a dozen more up to the $5/10 level.

I was also somewhat surprised to find filled Omaha tables, with 5-10 full games going around the clock.

10-seated cash tables

As I prefer 10-seated games to 6-seated, I was pleasantly surprised to find almost as many full games at BetOnline Poker and shorthanded ones.

The internet-wide poker trend these days seems to be shorthanded or bust, so the popular 10-seated games are a big positive to me.

Tournament numbers

The most popular BetOnline Poker tournaments draw about 300 players, and Sit and Go events are busy with little waiting time for buy-ins up to about $30.

The traffic has really grown to competitive levels with table variety at each limit.

BetOnline Poker Software

Completely new software client

For the first 5 years of its existence, BetOnline Poker offered a simplistic fairly bare-bones software package.

It got an average score from me because, well, it wasn’t any better than average. It worked, it offered a Mac download client, but that was about it for the bright side.

In mid-2016, the BetOnline Poker software received an overhaul that improved just about every aspect to the point where I now think it’s one of the best in the US market.

Excellent new real-money mobile app contributes to top score

In 2017, BetOnline Poker also revealed what I knew they had been working on for some time: mobile poker.

It’s now available for all players on either iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet.

I’ve used it extensively and it’s surprisingly excellent with rare features like multi-tabling, chat bubbles, and a built-in cashier. I’ve encountered no crashes and only occasional hangs.

Only the second mobile poker in the US

BetOnline Poker is now only the second US poker site to offer mobile play and I would say offers the best in quality thanks to two big exclusives:

  • Tournaments
  • Multi-table support of up to 4 tables

Read more on BetOnline mobile.

Ditching Chico

On the network side, BetOnline Poker ditched the old Chico network software, to which I say good riddance.

It was an outdated poker client whose reputation with other skins over the years was spotty.

The current software package was developed by Connective Games and I’m pleased with my early experiences.

The basics

To start with, the lobby is very similar to the old layout without any major changes.

You’ll still see common table information like average pot sizes and player flop percentages.

The lobby offers similar filters as other poker rooms, with the ability to show cash games and tournaments based on specific parameters like limit and type of game.

Game speed

Strangely, BetOnline Poker doesn’t show the average number of hands per hour.

From my playing time, I’ve found it to run at an above-average speed of 55-65 hands per hour for 10-seated tables and 60-75+ hands per hour for 6-seated tables.

Buddy list and table sizing

There is now a buddy list feature, which you can populate with friends you want to play with, fish you want to follow around, or sharks and obnoxious players whose tables you want to avoid.

Table sizing options are now friendly to multi-tablers with tile, cascade, and maximization all easily accessible.

New games

One new addition is in game variety, which now includes the following aside from the old standby’s Texas Hold’em and Omaha:

  • Americana
  • 32 Card Draw
  • 7 Card Stud

I have to admit to only even knowing how to play Stud out of those.

It’s also the only one of those 3 that I’ve seen players actually sit down at.

Graphics overhaul

When you open up a table, you’ll notice the graphical overhaul.

The visual scheme is now quite attractive with a sharp table layout.

You can finally change the felt color, carpet color, and card graphics, all of which look nice.

Blackjack window is thankfully gone

Gone is the awful old blackjack table that was anchored right to your poker game, replaced by an innocuous casino icon.

A lot of BetOnline Poker players hated the anchored Blackjack and I was one of them.

Customizations

Players can also finally choose an avatar from either a generic list of about a dozen icons or from a custom upload.

The time remaining to act is displayed clearly, and there’s a new time bank option for more important decisions or an incredibly obnoxious posture.

Table functionality is very good at BetOnline Poker, with your hand strength in words always displayed as well as for everyone in an all-in showdown situation.

There is also a glut of options now available, from animation speed to chat to table size.

Windows, Mac, and mobile options

The poker software currently offers standalone installations for Windows and Mac, the latter of which is always nice to see as Apple continues to gain market share.

The entire BetOnline Poker suite of games is also now available on mobile, with an Android download and an iOS no-download instant play.

Overall software impression

The feel of the new BetOnline Poker software reminds me a lot of 888 Poker, which is one of my other favorites.

Essentially, short of something incredibly immersive like the incomparable old PKR software, this is what online poker should feel like today.

This new software update took something that was a negative and made it into what I now consider to be one of the best in the US market.

New BetOnline Poker Software
The recent update to the BetOnline Poker software client made noticeable improvements. It simply looks better now and has a number of added features.

BetOnline Poker History

BetOnline History
Click to view full-size history infographic and actually read all that eye-test-sized text.

1991

A brick-and-mortar betting shop operation is set up in New York by a man with the alias of Joe Junior.

2001

After a few unpleasant encounters with the NYPD, Joe Junior decides relocates the entire operation to Costa Rica.

The sports betting company is moved online and branded as BestLineSports.

BestLineSports experiences exponential growth, especially after partnering up with another bookmaker located in Costa Rica going under the alias of John Magnum.

2004

Reinforced by new investors, the company moves its headquarters to Panama.

2006

One of the biggest betting sites, BetonSports, goes under. Former high-ranking employees join BestLineSports.

2007

The company is renamed BetOnline. They proceed to successfully serve US customers despite the passage of the UIGEA in 2006.

2011

The Black Friday indictments are unsealed against the former 3 top US-facing poker operators, forcing them to withdraw from the American market.

BetOnline launches their poker room and successfully takes advantage of the opportunity.

In terms of player traffic, they become one of the top 3 poker sites serving Americans.

2016

BetOnline Poker’s contract with the Chico software platform is not renewed and a new proprietary poker software client is released, developed by Connective Games.

BetOnline Poker Support

So few poker rooms actually offer live telephone support that doing so almost automatically compels me to give a top score.

BetOnline Poker focuses more on player support and banking ease than flashy promotions and bonuses, so they offer just about every contact method for players.

I usually take advantage of the live chat, which is available both from the website directly or the poker software.

The support team actually seems familiar with the poker room and I’ve always gotten the answers I needed from them without having to call in.

Unfortunately, due to their lack of response to the infamous Blackjack cheating video, I cannot give BetOnline an excellent support score.

BetOnline Poker support methods

  • Skype: PlayerServices (I haven’t seen Skype available anywhere else)
  • Live chat: Open from your poker software or in the cashier
  • Telephone: 1-888-426-3661
  • Email: poker@BetOnline.ag
BetOnline Poker Support
Perhaps one of the most profitable player types at BetOnline Poker is the calling station. All you need to do is bet for value on your strongest made hands and wait for the river to make your biggest bet when your opponent is already committed.

Strategy for Beating the Games at BetOnline

Though you’re probably familiar with the overall concepts, it’s essential to brush up on methods of combating aggressive players at BetOnline Poker.

With the majority of cash games featuring high flop percentages and large average pots, you’ll usually be seated with a combination of passive calling stations that play too many hands or maniacal sports bettors that try to run you off of every hand.

Brush up on your classic methods to combat loose players

With few poker rooms matching the wild play of BetOnline Poker over the past few years, you may be a bit rusty on specific strategies to employ against loose players.

The key to profits in loose games is to be selective with your starting hands and know when to give and take control.

The right way to play calling stations

The inherent weakness in calling stations is that they play too many hands and stay in far too long, content to allow more aggressive players to take control and dictate the betting.

How do you extract maximum profits from calling stations? Seize control and simply bet for value on your strongest hands.

While that may seem simple, many players here over-complicate decisions by trying advanced plays, acting weak, or bluffing.

If you expect to get called, simply act strong when you’re strong and make your bet sizes as large as possible without exceeding the pot.

Over-aggressive players

How do you succeed against overly aggressive players?

Allow them to take control and hang themselves with their poor play.

Regularly employ check-raises to trap players at BetOnline Poker for a quick profit, or simply flat-call in position on the flop before making your move on the turn or river.

Wait for the river to make your move

Overaggressive players typically can’t see the forest for the trees, building a significant pot by making large bets at every street while you lull them into comfort by weakly calling until the river.

For this reason, I recommend holding strong made hands rather than speculative draws when facing overaggressive players.

This method works particularly well when playing in position and heads-up post-flop.

10 comments on “BetOnline Poker Review – Still a Legit and Safe Site?”

  1. I play at Bet On Line. The games are decent, I don’t have to wait too long to play. Americas Cardroom makes me nervous as they take way too long to load on my computer so I stopped playing.

  2. Unless I’m being a complete newb and just can’t find it, BetOnline doesn’t seem to have a Mac client at the moment. I played with them a couple of years ago, using their Mac client and it worked great, but now I can’t find the download. Did it get pulled?

    • Hi David, thanks for asking and that’s a good question.

      I took a look myself and the Mac download button is still showing up for me. If you go to BetOnline and either sign up or log in with your existing account click on the “POKER” navigation under your account details.

      Underneath the promo images you’ll see BETONLINE POKER and then 2 buttons saying “DOWNLOAD FOR PC” and “DOWNLOAD FOR MAC”. They’re in gray.

      Actually, let me just post a screenshot of it:

      • Hi Josh, thanks for the info, I was trying from the front page and not going into the poker page. I have the client now. :D
        I’ve been enjoying the content on your site and your eBooks have been very helpful!
        Thanks!

    • If you scroll all the way down, where it says “poker”, u will see it says “Mac Download”. Then it will start automatically downloading. Hope it helps. Good luck.

  3. I think BetOnline is currently the best option for us US players. They are not without their faults but are by far ahead of the competition. For me at least.

    • Absolutely, my ratings reflect my opinion that it’s pretty much BetOnline Poker and Ignition Poker as the upper echelon in the US market at this point.

      Ignition is great, but BetOnline does have a big advantage in the cashier department.

      No one really comes close to their credit card approval rate or number of methods they support going either way.

      Sportsbetting Poker is a mirror image of BetOnline as they’re run by the same people behind the scenes so they’re perfectly acceptable. Just not very original.

      America’s Cardroom is also very good for payouts, player traffic, and tournaments.

  4. I’ve been playing on BetOnline for some time now and its been a good experience overall. However, I am a bit afraid that the US gov. could go after them just like they did for Stars and Full Tilt.

    How likely do you think is this to happen or do you think our money is safe with them?

    • Mike, thanks for the comment. I think that it’s highly unlikely for a couple of reasons:

      1. It’s been more than 5 years now and we’ve seen no further attacks against any US-facing online poker operator.

      2. In 2013 The US Department of Justice clarified the language of the Wire Act, specifically that it did not apply to poker and casino games. This was designed to pave the way to legalized state-based online poker (and it did), but it also had the effect of making it very difficult to go after poker operators under existing laws.

      It would probably have to take something completely stupid on the part of BetOnline or any other US-facing site to become a target again, such as bribing bank officials or committing fraud like the old idiots at Full Tilt Poker and UB/AP.

      For actual financially-sound companies, (of which I believe BetOnline Poker to be) even in the unlikely event that they are forced to suspend US operations the US government should give them every opportunity to pay back American players. That’s what PokerStars did back in 2011.

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