The must-read BetOnline Poker review that’s 5 years in the making
BetOnline Poker (USA)
- Best credit and debit card processing for US players
- New software client is much improved
- Top 3 in US player traffic
- One of the largest bonuses online. 200% up to $2,500
- Bonus includes over $100 in free bets
- Quick payouts and rare methods not often found elsewhere
- Hourly freerolls
- Native Mac software
- Very good customer service
- Supports Bitcoin
- No mobile software
- Tournament selection is just average
- Check payout minimum is fairly high so use Bitcoin
I have mostly played on Betonline and 888. I like them both for different reasons.
Soft games for the most part is great too!
I really love your poker site reviews. I'm starting to play online quite a bit, Ignition and Betonline.
You are spot on regarding the reviews of the two main sites I play on. BetOnline & America's Cardroom.
I have tried many sites and my favorites are BETONLINE and REPLAYPOKER.
Thus far, Ignition Poker and BetOnline are the best sites I've played on.
America's Card Room is also good, but I've found the players there to be much tighter.
BetOnline Poker has the largest total bonus offer at 200% up to $2,500.
BetOnline Poker has the highest rate of success for US credit cards.
Player traffic is in the top 3 in the US market.
I’ve personally played at BetOnline Poker since 2011.
What’s New in my BetOnline Poker review
Bitcoin is the holy grail of banking methods
Bitcoin is the best thing to happen to US online poker players since the UIGEA stole the fun a million years ago in 2006. Truly.
You’re absolutely making life tougher than it needs to be if you aren’t set up yet.
Keep yourself private, get the smallest deposits, and get your BetOnline withdrawals in a day.
Players haven’t been able to do that since, well, ever. Read more.
New software is light years better
In short, it’s now one of the best in the US.
BetOnline has released a completely new poker software client, improving on numerous aspects that few players were happy with previously.
Better graphics, no obnoxious Blackjack side-window, avatars, custom colors. Read more.
A new $5,000 freeroll is worth bothering with
You loathe most freerolls, I loathe most freerolls. Nothing to see here, right? Wrong!
These are private freerolls only open to new depositors and, most important, they’re run every week to keep the fields low. The $5,000 is multiple times bigger than most new player offers.
I averaged it out to be worth about a $16.67 buy-in, it’s given on minimum deposits, and it doesn’t seem to expire. That makes this definitely worth paying attention to. Read more.
BetOnline isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the closest thing there is for US citizens. Players prioritizing incredibly easy deposits, loose beatable cash games, and high player traffic will be the most satisfied here.
Poker Site Info
Network: Proprietary closed network
US Players Accepted: Yes
Company location: Panama City, Panama
Licensed in: Panama
In operation since: 1991 in brick-and-mortar form
Phone number: 1-888-426-3661
- $10 (Skrill and Neteller)
- $20 (Bitcoin)
- $50 (Credit card and cash transfer)
- Credit card (close to 100% success rate)
- Debit card
- Cash transfer
- Online cash transfer
- Cashier’s check
- Money order
- Bank wire
- Book to book
- Check via courier
- Cash transfer
- ATM card
- Wire transfer
- Mobile (for sports only)
- 1 The must-read BetOnline Poker review that’s 5 years in the making
- 1.1 BetOnline Poker (USA)
- 1.2 Aces
- 1.3 Deuces
- 1.4 What’s New in my BetOnline Poker review
- 1.5 BetOnline Poker Deposit Methods
- 1.6 BetOnline Poker Payout Methods
- 1.7 BetOnline Poker Game Limits Chart
- 1.8 Highlights from my BetOnline Poker Review
- 1.9 BetOnline Poker Overall
- 1.9.1 Flagship of the Network
- 1.9.2 Move to a better software package
- 1.9.3 Strong Traffic
- 1.9.4 Why BetOnline is Rare in this Market
- 1.9.5 Cash games stand out
- 1.9.6 Weighing in overall
- 1.9.7 Currently my top-rated US site
- 1.10 BetOnline Poker’s Bonus and Promotions
- 1.10.1 A poker-only bonus was finally added
- 1.10.2 One of the largest total bonuses online
- 1.10.3 Excellent bonus release rate
- 1.10.4 How to trigger fund releases
- 1.10.5 Excellent bonus time expiration
- 1.10.6 Get the bonus activated
- 1.10.7 Don’t waste the New Player Freeroll ticket
- 1.10.8 BetOnline Poker player rewards
- 1.10.9 Leaderboard Prizes at BetOnline
- 1.10.10 Low tournament fields are good for leaderboards
- 1.10.11 Other promos
- 1.10.12 More bonus thoughts
- 1.11 BetOnline Poker Free Bets
- 1.12 BetOnline Poker History Timeline
- 1.13 BetOnline Poker Deposits
- 1.13.1 Use Bitcoin if you can
- 1.13.2 Almost every US credit or debit card should work
- 1.13.3 Even gift cards should work
- 1.13.4 BetOnline Poker expands their cashier further
- 1.13.5 Both major cash transfer services
- 1.13.6 Litecoin? Yes, Litecoin
- 1.13.7 Wire transfer
- 1.13.8 Cashier’s check and money order
- 1.13.9 US deposit thoughts
- 1.14 Why you should be using Bitcoin at BetOnline Poker
- 1.15 BetOnline Poker Bitcoin Chart
- 1.16 How to Deposit at BetOnline Poker Using Bitcoin
- 1.17 Payouts at BetOnline Poker
- 1.17.1 Payout rep
- 1.17.2 Bitcoin
- 1.17.3 The payouts here are underrated
- 1.17.4 New Express Checks should be your first choice
- 1.17.5 MG cash transfer
- 1.17.6 ATM card is a very rare option
- 1.17.7 Wire transfer
- 1.17.8 Skrill and NETeller
- 1.17.9 BetOnline Poker might have the best payouts in the US
- 1.18 BetOnline Poker Fish Rating
- 1.19 BetOnline Poker Tournaments
- 1.20 BetOnline Poker Player Traffic
- 1.21 BetOnline Poker Software
- 1.21.1 Completely new software client
- 1.21.2 Ditching Chico
- 1.21.3 The basics
- 1.21.4 Game speed
- 1.21.5 Buddy list and table sizing
- 1.21.6 New games
- 1.21.7 Graphics overhaul
- 1.21.8 Blackjack window is thankfully gone
- 1.21.9 Customizations
- 1.21.10 Windows, Mac, and mobile options
- 1.21.11 Overall software impression
- 1.22 BetOnline Poker’s Customer Service
- 1.23 Strategy for Beating the Games at BetOnline
- 1.24 BetOnline Poker Review Chart
BetOnline Poker Deposit Methods
|Minimum deposit||Maximum deposit||Fees||Approx. success rate|
|WU cash transfer||$50||$700||Reimbursed for deposits of $300 or more||100%|
|MG cash transfer||$50||$600||Reimbursed for deposits of $300 or more||100%|
|Book to book||$500||N/A||None||100%|
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 deposit||Maximum deposit||Fees||Approx. time to delivery|
|Express Check via courier||$500||$2,500||$50||7 business days|
|Check via courier||$500||$2,500||$35||15 business days|
|Check via mail||$500||$2,500||$25||30 business days|
|MG cash transfer||$50||$400||varies||5 business days|
|ATM card||$100||$2,500||$80 issue fee; $25 per load||24-48 hours|
|Wire transfer||$500||$24,900||varies||15 business days|
BetOnline Poker Game Limits Chart
|Game||Minimum Limit||Maximum Limit|
|32 Card Draw||.10/.25||$5/10|
Highlights from my BetOnline Poker Review
You’ll find that I go into great detail (maybe too great sometimes?) on each of these aspects in their dedicated sections below, but here’s a quick look on the key aspects.
It’s a small pool to choose from, but BetOnline Poker has to be in the running for best US-facing poker site.
They have the highest credit card success, busy cash games with below-average players, and some of the quickest payouts in the US.
That closely aligns with the exact features Americans have had trouble with of late.
They won’t impress you with tournaments or mobile offerings, but if you just want busy cash games and easy deposits they’ll probably make you happy.
Bonus and Promotions
BetOnline Poker turned what used to be an M.I.A. poker bonus into one of the biggest online at 200% with a ridiculous $2,500 bonus cap.
Personally, bonus offers don’t really impress me. It’s all about the clearing rate.
Playing at average $.50/1 NL stakes I was able to earn $2-3 per table per hour, double what most sites will give.
Combined with some risk-free bets that total over $100 this is one of the standout features.
While it may not be an all-you-can-eat fish fry the player base is still below average thanks to the joint sports betting site and wanna-be pros largely skipping BetOnline.
I’ve found full 10-seated games to run at the high 20’s to low 30’s for flop percentages, which is quite good these days.
Anecdotally, I’ve found players largely willing to gamble it up on weaker hands and stay with them to showdown.
Already boasting the best success rate for US credit cards – nearly 100% – they recently expanded their cashier with better options.
Bitcoin should always be your first option by far, but BetOnline Poker also offers both major cash transfer services, cashier’s checks, money orders, wires, and even Litecoin.
No one in the US matches their available deposit options.
Probably the least-impressive aspect of BetOnline Poker the tournament section fills a need but does little else.
Sit and Go’s are fairly popular with short wait-times up to the $33 level.
Multi-table tournaments are fairly busy with 200-300 players often, but guaranteed prize pools are modest.
They do probably have the best freerolls anywhere, running every hour for $800 total every day.
BetOnline Poker may be my pick for most underrated payouts online.
Payout speed, methods, and fee structure is all in the top tier for US-facing sites.
They offer all players a $50 payout fee credit every month and the cashier offers rare methods like ATM card and wires.
Bitcoin payouts are often processed the next day while express checks arrive in about 10 days.
BetOnline player traffic is very strong and has been in the US top 3 for several years now.
No one’s touching Ignition, but they’re usually about even with America’s Cardroom for the #2 slot. BetOnline draws more cash game players.
What I especially like is they use 10-seated tables and still fill them up to about the $5/10 NL level, unlike smaller US rooms that are exclusive to 6-seaters.
The BetOnline Poker software is one of the most improved features, ditching the old ugly Chico platform for a new client developed from the ground up.
It may not “wow” you with any distinct features, but it has a fairly deep interface and attractive graphics.
A mobile option is long overdue, but at least there is a native Mac client in addition to old standby Windows.
This may be another underrated feature at BetOnline Poker that has always struck me as very good.
Telephone support is an automatic plus, but the Live Chat is answered within seconds by English speakers who easily answer my detailed test questions.
It might sound like a cliche, but one of the easiest ways for better players to lose online is to outsmart themselves. I’ve done it plenty of times myself.
What do I mean by that? The players at BetOnline Poker and many other sites are poor enough to simply play at face value.
Don’t put a big bluff on a player who will call you with weak top pair. Wait until you have a stronger hand and just bet for value.
You truly don’t need to be very creative to win at most online poker tables and, in fact, it can over be counterproductive.
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 platform with help from Connective games, ditching the old Chico platform.
BetOnline 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.
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 – an incredibly rare feat in this market.
Weighing in overall
BetOnline Poker doesn’t offer massive tournament numbers, mobile software, 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.
Currently my top-rated US site
Those willing to tolerate some transitional growing pains will be rewarded with:
- easy deposits
- loose games
- excellent customer service
- quick payouts.
In the current online poker landscape that’s enough for me to make BetOnline Poker my top-rated US poker room.
TL;DR - BetOnline Poker OverallOverall thoughts on BetOnline.
- One of the strongest US-facing options left in terms of financial stability and history
- #3 in overall US traffic
- Near-100% US credit card deposit success rates
- Substantial 200% bonus with above-average clearing rate
- Numerous payout methods with above-average turnaround time
- Bitcoin now supported for incredibly quick payouts and low deposits
- Improved software after leaving the Chico platform
- Above-average Fish Rating, if lower than at launch
BetOnline Poker’s Bonus and Promotions
A poker-only bonus was finally added
With the poker room being added on to the cross-platform offerings in 2010 they intially overlooked the poker-only crowd to the tune of no outright poker bonus.
It may have taken a couple of years, but BetOnline management finally wizened up and now actually offers the largest poker-specific bonus in the US market to our players.
One of the largest total bonuses online
It is a 200% first-deposit bonus, valid up to $2,500.
Both of those numbers are quite large but, as with any bonus, the play-through terms are far more important than the gaudy numbers.
Excellent bonus release rate
Surprisingly, the 200% bonus release rate is very good when compared to its competitors, clocking in at about $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 it is a glorified rakeback system, dispensing parts of your bonus as you earn Comp Points, which are given each time you contribute rake to the dealt hand.
How to trigger fund releases
The specific benchmarks that trigger the transfer of cash from your pending bonus account to your cash account are a bit convoluted.
Funds given as you earn enough Comp Points to release these specific benchmarks of your bonus amount:
That means that if you are due a $200 bonus you’ll get your first payout after you clear $20, then $40, $100, and $140.
The rake required for each segment increases significantly with each portion, but the average hourly rate of bonus still remains very good throughout.
Excellent bonus time expiration
Players have 120 days to earn as much of the bonus as possible, which is 30-60 days longer than the typical time period given by competing sites.
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 is 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.
BetOnline Poker added a $5,000 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 $5,000, 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 $16.67.
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 $5,000 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.
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.
The benefit of that is that non-grinders actually have a shot at these leaderboard prizes simply because the participant count is lower.
Although they’re seasonal and may not happen around the calendar BetOnline 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.
Finally, freerolls are run at least once or twice every hour and offer prizes up to $250.
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 200% 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.
TL;DR - BetOnline Poker's Bonus200% up to $2,500 plus $135 in free plays.
- One of the highest total-dollar bonuses online
- Ignore the gaudy numbers, the quick clearing rate is what you’ll actually care about
- Excellent bonus cutoff of 120 days
- Freerolls take place every hour
- Between all the promotions you can make $1,135 in risk-free non-poker bets
BetOnline Poker 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.
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 for free? The actual amount of free plays is pretty remarkable.
A brick-and-mortar betting shop operation is set up in New York by a man with the alias of Joe Junior.
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.
Reinforced by new investors, the company moves its headquarters to Panama.
One of the biggest betting sites, BetonSports, goes under. Former high ranking employees join BestLineSports.
The company is renamed BetOnline. They proceed to successfully serve US customers despite the passage of the UIGEA in 2006.
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 sites serving Americans.
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 Deposits
Use Bitcoin if you can
As I describe above, you’re going to get the lowest minimum deposit at $20 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 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 they 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 this poker room 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 as 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 deposits.
There are fees involved, starting at $12, but BetOnline Poker covers them if you send more than $300.
Litecoin? Yes, Litecoin
Amazingly, Litecoin is actually now supported for deposits. BetOnline Poker is the first gaming site – or any commerce site for that matter – I’ve seen offer it.
Litecoin is another cryptocurrency almost identical to Bitcoin. Many of the major Bitcoin exchanges also offer it.
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 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.
TL;DR - DepositsHow easy is it to deposit as a US player?
- US credit cards accepted at a near-100% rate
- Debit and prepaid cards should also be accepted
- Bitcoin works incredibly well with a $20 minimum
- Cash transfer is the next best alternative; can be done online
- Poker room will cover cash transfer fees for deposits over $300
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.
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 Coinbase)
- Verify your identity and link your bank account
- Buy some Bitcoin (which is worth a varying amount in standard currencies like USD)
- Optional: Make a wallet at blockchain.info and send your Bitcoin there from the exchange for extra anonymity
- Learn to copy-paste long strings of characters to send/receive payments from BetOnline Poker and other poker rooms
When you’re ready to withdraw:
- Request a payout from the poker room back to your exchange account by getting your wallet address.
- Optional: Have the poker room send it to your blockchain.info wallet address and then your exchange account for added privacy
- BetOnline Poker sends your funds within 24-48 hours.
- Sell your Bitcoin to the exchange, who will then credit your bank or PayPal account directly at the current market rate.
You’re set. Really.
BetOnline Poker Bitcoin Chart
How to Deposit at BetOnline Poker Using Bitcoin
- Open the BetOnline Poker software, log in to your account, and click the “CASHIER” button.
- Click “Deposit”.
- In the browser window that opens click the Bitcoin icon.
- Enter the amount you’d like to deposit and click the “Next” button.
- You’ll see a screen like the screenshot above that shows the exact amount of Bitcoin you’ll need to send.
- Have your Coinbase (or your other chosen Bitcoin exchange) or Blockchain app open or be logged into the Coinbase or Blockchain website on a normal browser.
- Open your Bitcoin wallet in Coinbase or Blockchain and click “Send”.
- Copy the long Bitcoin address from the BetOnline cashier and paste it into the Coinbase or Blockchain Send address field or scan the QR code using the Coinbase app.
- Send the payment.
- Wait anywhere from 3-20 minutes and the funds will be automatically credited to your BetOnline account.
Payouts at BetOnline Poker
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.
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.
As I mention above, Bitcoin is going to be the best payout method by far if you have a choice.
The minimum withdrawal is the lowest available at $20 and BetOnline Poker 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 Ignition 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 Express.
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.
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 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 and then withdraw cash from at any ATM.
If you make a lot of withdrawals this can be one of the best options.
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.
TL;DR - BetOnline PayoutsHow many ways and how quickly can you get your withdrawal?
- The most payout options in the US
- $50 payout fee credit every month
- Express Check options gets your funds to you within 10 days
- Cash transfer has a low minimum and allows you to pick up cash
- Bitcoin is still the king with a $20 minimum and 1-2 days turnaround
- ATM card is a great rare option for frequent payouts
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 here hasn’t changed much over the past decade.
With the BetOnline poker room predominantly populated internally 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 for players at the former US powerhouses.
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 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 as the former industry leaders had this poker room 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 in the US market and those players are in the top tier for Fish Rating.
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.
TL;DR - Fish RatingHow soft are the games at BetOnline?
- Fish Rating used to be incredibly high
- Games have tightened up a bit to just above-average fish levels
- 6-handed games typically have 25-30% flop numbers
- Casino and sports clientele tends to draw loose players
BetOnline Poker Tournaments
The tournament schedule at BetOnline 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 play 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.
There are freerolls every hour with prize pools between $50-250, although you’ll be competing with 800+ players for that prize.
Still, there are no requirements for entry making these the best open freerolls online.
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.
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 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
- hourly freerolls
- overlay opportunities for guarantees
TL;DR - BetOnline Poker TournamentsThe tournament schedule and traffic could still use some work.
- Probably the weakest aspect of BetOnline
- Tournament traffic is just okay for US market
- Sit and Gos are busy up to $30
- Frequent freerolls every hour, up to $200 prize pool
BetOnline Poker Player Traffic
The biggest crux of BetOnline 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 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 and shorthanded ones.
The trend seems to be shorthanded or bust so the popular 10-seated games are a big positive to me.
The most popular 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.
Completely new software client
For the first 5 years of its existence BetOnline offered a simplistic fairly barebones software package.
It got an average score from me because, well, it wasn’t any better than average. It worked, it offered a Mac client, but that was about it for the bright side.
In mid-2016 the BetOnline 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.
On the network side, BetOnline ditched the old Chico software, to which I say good riddance.
It was an outdated full client whose reputation with other skins over the years was spotty.
It’s now developed by Connective Games and I’m pleased with my early experience.
To start with, the lobby is very similar to the old layout without anything major changing here.
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.
Strangely, it 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.
One new addition is in game variety, which now includes the following aside from the old standby’s Texas Hold’em and Omaha:
- 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.
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 players hated the anchored Blackjack and I was one of them.
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 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.
BetOnline like to advertise “mobile betting” and, while it’s nice to have, it’s currently only available for non-poker games.
There is an enormous opportunity for mobile US poker players that’s being missed here, but I have a feeling something is brewing in that area.
Overall software impression
The feel of the new software reminds me a lot of 888 Poker, which is one of my other favorites.
Essentially, short of something incredibly immersive like the incomparable 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 the best in the US market.
TL;DR - BetOnline Poker Software
- Offers both a Mac and Windows desktop client
- Released a massive improvement to graphics and functionality
- Opts for 10-seated full cash games instead of 9-seated
- Mobile option is only valid for sports, but is available from any browser
- Looks like every other poker room of the past decade
- No glaring weaknesses
- Game speed is fine at 55-70 hands per hour
BetOnline Poker’s Customer Service
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.
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
Strategy for Beating the Games at BetOnline
Though you are probably familiar with the overall concepts it’s essential to brush up on methods of combating aggressive players at BetOnline.
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.
With few poker rooms matching the wild play of this poker room 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.
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 post.
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 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.
BetOnline Poker Review Chart
|Overall||8.7||One of the few still thriving in the US market. Excellent credit card processing, top 3 in traffic, and quick payouts.||Play now|
|Bonus||10||An excellent collection of promos with a 200% bonus at a very good clearing rate and $135 in free bets.||Claim bonus|
|Fish Rating||8||Not quite like the golden days, but fairly loose with flop percentages into the low 30's.||Read more|
|Deposits||10||If you aren't using Bitcoin BetOnline has the highest US credit card success rates.||Make a deposit|
|Payouts||9||Excellent speed and variety with free courier checks monthly, 1-2 days for Bitcoin, and an ATM card option.||Read more|
|Tournaments||7||Probably the most average aspect with an uninspiring schedule. Sit and Go's are popular up to $33 and probably the best no-restrictions freerolls online.||Register now|
|Traffic||8||One of only 3 in the US worth your time you'll find action up to the $5/10 NL level and more 9-seated tables than average.||Play now|
|Software||8||They improved on the old ugly interface with a newer look and a Mac option.||Download now|
|Customer Service||10||Telephone, live chat, and of course email offered by English speakers. One of the only sites to offer Skype support.||Read more|