The Only 100% Honest SportsBetting Poker Review Online
SportsBetting Poker (USA)
- Best in US market for credit card success
- Vastly improved software
- Bonus clears fairly quickly
- Over $100 of instant free bets
- Above-average Fish Rating
- Bitcoin supported
- Top tier of US traffic
- Above-average payout speed
- Native Mac software download
- No mobile software for poker
- Tournament schedule could be better
- Software lacks advanced features
- Check payouts are quick, but high minimum. Bitcoin recommended.
SportsBetting Poker has some of the highest deposit success rates for USA residents.
This network is in the top 3 for US player traffic.
SportsBetting Poker is essentially a clone of BetOnline with different branding, which means it has the same positives that stick out in a limited US market. Players are allowed to have accounts at both sites, meaning you can earn promotional offers twice. Credit card success rates of close to 100%, over $100 in instant free bets, and an above-average Fish Rating are the most noteworthy features.
I’ve personally played at SportsBetting Poker since 2012.
Poker Site Info
Network: Proprietary closed network
US Players Accepted: Yes
Company location: Panama City, Panama
Licensed in: Panama
In operation since: 2012 with current ownership
Phone number: 1-888-843-9027
- $10 (Skrill)
- $20 (Bitcoin)
- $50 (Credit card and cash transfer)
- Credit card (close to 100% success rate)
- Debit card
- Cash transfer
- Money order
- Bank wire
- Book to book
- Cash transfer
- ATM card
- Book to book
- Mobile (no download required, sports only)
- 1 The Only 100% Honest SportsBetting Poker Review Online
- 1.1 SportsBetting Poker (USA)
- 1.2 Aces
- 1.3 Deuces
- 1.4 Overall SportsBetting Poker Thoughts
- 1.5 The same platform as BetOnline
- 1.6 Deposits at SportsBetting Poker
- 1.7 SportsBetting Poker Bonus and Promotions
- 1.8 SportsBetting Poker Fish Rating
- 1.9 SportsBetting Poker Tournaments
- 1.10 SportsBetting Poker Software
- 1.11 SportsBetting Poker’s Payouts
- 1.12 SportsBetting Poker Customer Service
- 1.13 Player Traffic at SportsBetting Poker
- 1.14 Player Strategy for Sportsbetting Poker
Overall SportsBetting Poker Thoughts
With the relaunch in 2012 of SportsBetting Poker, one of the longest-tenured gaming brand names, came promise for another strong option to fit the needs of the current US landscape.
Since I first launched Beat The Fish in 2005 to share my online poker experiences in review form with other players the overarching theme has always been to give players as much information as possible so they can make their own decisions about who gets their online poker business.
Players shouldn’t simply go by my rankings but use my personal experience and research to decide who best satisfies their priorities.
Part of my job in reviewing poker rooms is identifying the pulse of the poker industry, especially in such a fluid US market, and identifying who succeeds based on the current climate.
Succeeding in the new reality of US online poker
In the mid-2000s every table was full of newbies fresh off the WSOP rush and the biggest concern about deposit methods was remembering your password to your chosen e-wallet.
Fast-forward to today and back to SportsBetting Poker, which seems to be one of the best at accommodating to the new reality that is playing online poker in the US.
Less concerned with the flashy bonuses of yesteryear and more concerned with ultra-converting deposits, keeping the fish at the tables, and reasonable upfront offers this poker room is highly relevant and highly rated in most facets short of multi-table tournaments.
As mentioned in the US deposits section this network offers the highest credit card acceptance rates in the US market at nearly 100%. No third-party e-wallets are required and no fees are taken.
Simply allowing players to deposit what and when they want to goes a long way to restoring some of the joy that has been taken out of the game thanks to tight games and tighter cashiers that had become staples of US online poker in recent years.
The cash games here are also a step back into the highly-profitable heyday with flop percentages often exceeding 25-30% and numerous seats occupied by inexperienced players visiting from the sports section. Loose games have become so endangered that this may be the largest endorsement of all.
Flanked by an above-average payout system and simple, if minimal, bonus system SportsBetting Poker is easily one of the better choices remaining in the US market.
TL;DR - SportsBetting Poker OverallOverall thoughts on SportsBetting.
- Long-tenured gaming brand relaunched by BetOnline
- #2 network for US traffic
- Block-free deposits for US credit cards
- Bitcoin now supported
- Top-tier for US payout speed
- Tighter than its first year, still fairly loose
- Average software and tournaments
The same platform as BetOnline
SportsBetting Poker is now being run by the same management as BetOnline and also uses the same poker network and software.
Major software update
In July 2016 they left behind the old outdated Chico network and developed a much more stable and attractive proprietary poker application.
This is a major positive for poker players as it allows access to the excellent cashier and financial stability of BetOnline while also having access to built-in poker traffic and the same loose cash games.
They won’t score any points for originality, but any functional destination for US players deserves attention in this market.
Players can have accounts at both
BetOnline players are allowed to have a second account at SportsBetting, meaning you can earn the same deposit bonus and free bets twice if you care to go through the effort.
Deposits at SportsBetting Poker
As alluded to above SportsBetting Poker currently has one of the most robust and successful cashiers for US deposits. With its knowledge of the gaming market going back to the mid-1990s and recent purchase by the BetOnline group this site has seamless deposits that bypass the typical blocks by originating banks.
Credit card success rates near 100%
Even major credit cards are accepted at close to a 100% rate with customer service, either by e-mail or telephone, able to manually help transactions go through, if necessary.
No third-party signups or e-wallets are required with deposits able to be made using the web or software cashier and available for play within a few minutes. All credit, debit, and prepaid cards should be accepted without issue and no fees are charged.
In the rare case that a card cannot be processed they have instituted a proprietary voucher system as a backup funding method. Players can purchase voucher codes using an existing credit card on a third-party website, which can then be entered directly in the poker room cashier.
This voucher method does take a bit more time and requires a bit more information, but it still can all be done online with relatively little hassle. Again, no fees are charged for this method.
Players can also use the tried-and-true cash transfer method, which can now be done online with both providers using either a debit/credit card or checking account.
There are also thousands of physical kiosk locations around the country that offer cash transfer, usually within grocery stores or pharmacies, which may also be an option for receiving cashouts.
Finally, as a last resort SportsBetting Poker does accept wire transfers that would be initiated by your bank or even physical methods such as mailing in a cashier’s check or money order to the poker room.
With all of these alternative methods be sure to ask the poker room support for the transfer information or mailing address.
TL;DR - Deposits
- Some of the best credit card success rates in the market
- Credit, debit, and prepaid cards should all work for deposits
- Third-party voucher system should work for any declined transactions
- Bitcoin has the lowest minimum at $20 and will never give issues
- Cash transfer is still an option and now available online
SportsBetting Poker Bonus and Promotions
For the first year or so after the launch of this poker room I was puzzled as to why they refused to offer any sort of poker-based bonus.
It’s bold to try to attract players purely from what’s under the hood (and offer non-poker bonuses to get players to play in their other gaming sections), but why not be competitive with literally every other poker room flashing neon lights with big numbers in front of prospective players?
200% up to $2,500
It seems that SportsBetting Poker finally listened to player requests and now offer an impressive 200% play-based poker bonus, which is valid up to $2,500.
Those are certainly eye-popping numbers and are actually the highest in the entire US market. Of course, with any bonus these days it is only as good as your playing time/level.
I would estimate that average players at the $1 NL level will earn about $2-3 per hour per table of bonus, which is quite good compared to other sites.
The terms of release are some of the strangest I’ve seen with bonus money transferred to your real money balance when you hit 10, 20, 50, and 70% completion instead of the usual $5 or $10 increments.
This is a crafty beneficial term in the poker room’s favor as there is a greater chance that players won’t hit those larger thresholds. However, I do give them credit for upping the time allowed to earn the bonus to 120 days, 2-4x better than the tradition term.
Promo Bucks and POP Points
The other two main poker-only promotions are the instant Promo Bucks given for our new players on all new deposits and the POP Points system. Promo Bucks are given at the rate of 200 for each $50 deposited, which is the equivalent of $2.
Promo Bucks can then be used to enter most real-money tournaments as a normal buy-in or for designated tournaments that use Promo Bucks as the buy-in with the ability to earn more by cashing in the tournaments.
POP Points are awarded based on contributed gameplay in cash games or by paying tournament fees for any event. Points can only currently be used to enter daily freerolls with real-money prizes but should expand to more uses in the future.
The hourly freerolls usually offer prizes up to $100 but also draw up to 1,000 players each. These will most likely only be frequented by those on severely limited bankrolls, trying out the software, or to pass the time while waiting for new cash games hands.
There are also 2 newer worthwhile promotions in the four of a kind bonus and the bad beat rebate. At minimum, every player should be aware of how to qualify for them as the redemption rules are unnecessarily convoluted.
At less than $100 neither are massive payouts but what I particularly like is how common they will come up through normal gameplay. The four of a kind offer isn’t usually on a schedule but the software tells you when it is active. Any four of a kind using both hole cards then gets you $40.
The bad beat rebate is every Friday with the reward (up to $50 for $10 NL) based on the game limits. The qualifying losing hand is incredibly low at a Jack-high flush or better. This could easily happen multiple times in one session.
Just be sure to take note of the hand number and as many details as you can since an email to support requesting the prize is required within an hour. It would be nice to see these run daily but it’s a nice extra bonus for a common occurrence.
TL;DR - The SportsBetting Bonus
- 200% offer is among the highest online, US or otherwise
- The clearing rate stands out as very quick
- Strange increments of release at 10, 20, 50, 70, and 100% of bonus earned
- About 4% of deposit amount is given as free tournament entries
- 6 risk-free bets on sports and casino properties, up to $1,100
Details on the Instant Free Bets
The most interesting promotional offer may actually be the instant sports bonus, which is 50% of your deposit and up to $1,000. Following your deposit SportsBetting Poker places the bonus amount immediately into your free bet section in the sports cashier.
The intent of the bonus seems to be to get every player to check out the sports section of the site, especially poker-only players who likely never would have otherwise. With the free bets only initially usable in the sports section and given the risk-free nature it’s certainly worth the entertainment of trying and build it into more.
If you’re successful enough you’ll eventually clear the rollover requirements and can then either transfer all of your winnings to poker or withdraw it.
For casino players a 100% slots bonus is also given and can be cashed out if rolled over 50x from slots play.
Make bets in these sections for these amounts
The number of free plays is pretty remarkable. Aside from the 50% extra in the sports section you can use for risk-free bets they also offer these free bets:
- $10 for skill games
- $25 in the live dealer section
- $25 in the racebook
- $50 for mobile betting
- $25 for live betting.
Place the bet with your real-money funds and if you win any of those bets you just keep the winnings. If you lose you’ll need to e-mail support and give them the bet details and they refund the loss up to the free bet amount within 24 hours.
SportsBetting Poker Fish Rating
One of the few positive side effects of the former poker-only giants leaving the US market is the traction that has been gained by one-stop-shop gaming sites like SportsBetting Poker and what it means profitable cash games.
In my decade-plus of online poker experience I’ve simply never found a poker/sports/casino site that is tighter than any poker-only site. Poker players need only to look at the typical software numbers to see the advantage.
Fairly high flop and pot numbers
Traffic numbers are split about 60/40 between 6-seated cash and 10-seated cash games. The latter features flop percentages of 20-30% and average pots of at least 20x the big blind. Compare that to the dry-as-a-desert 7-10% seen at Full Tilt or Stars before they left the US market.
The players here were previously some of the worst online and I had no doubt about its top Fish Rating. The games have trended on the tighter side in the past year, although the player base is still softer-than-average overall.
The typical clientele of this network
With little to no advertising for any poker room on this network the poker room was largely made to serve the existing clientele of sports and casino players. That group is inherently less experienced with advanced poker play and seems to view poker as an instant way to blow off steam or as a fun way to bluff and bully other players until they win big or go broke.
More conservative poker players might feel like they’re walking into an alien minefield but there’s no question that this type of game is infinitely more profitable than the raise-and-fold borefests that had begun to strangle the US market.
SportsBetting Poker has been one of the few remaining collections of wild US games and, although that has been tempered in the past year or so, the cash games are still fairly soft.
TL;DR - Fish Rating
- Trending tighter, still among the looser online
- Average flop numbers are between 20-30% for 10-seated tables
- One of the few to still fill up 9 or 10-seated tables
- Still attracts young sports players and their inexperienced aggression
SportsBetting Poker Tournaments
The tournament schedule at SportsBetting Poker is probably its weakest aspect, which is why I would suggest this poker room more for those who value easy deposit and loose cash games over large tournaments.
During peak times there are multiple events every hour, although most have guarantees under $1,000 and include rebuys and add-ons. About $100 worth of freerolls also happen every hour, which is more plentiful than most poker rooms for those looking to sample the software or to use as second-window entertainment to keep you occupied.
Aside from the freerolls, which can draw up to 1,000 players each, the best daily events draw about 100-200 players.
The best tournament values
Some of the best values on the daily schedule include a $1,000 guarantee with a $1 buy-in every night at 6PM EST, another $1,000 guarantee for $3, and a $500 guarantee for 50 cents.
There are also micro-tournaments with buy-ins under $1 and those with Promo Bucks prize pools that fill out the schedule. Unfortunately, a tournament here eessentially means it’s a rebuy/add-on event in order to satisfy their gamble-hungry player base that busts out often and to increase the prize pools.
While I don’t prefer rebuy tournaments the players are usually so poor in these tournaments that simply waiting out the crowd and occasionally doubling up with strong hands serves the same purpose of spending more money on more chips.
The big Sunday tourney?
SportsBetting Poker forgoes the large buy-in standard of other online poker rooms for its big weekly guarantee and holds its $10,000 event every Sunday. The buy-in is very low at $20 and, of course, rebuys and add-ons are allowed through the first break.
The prize pool may seem paltry compared to the glory days of $1,000,000 guarantees, but this is simply the new reality for the US market with lower-trafficked sites. The buy-in is reasonable for smaller bankrolls and those with other commitments will appreciate the much lower time commitment involved with a tournament that only involves 150 players or so.
Sit and Go’s are busy
The Sit and Go events are surprisingly active and will likely appeal more than the multi-table tournaments to most players. Waiting time is low for tiny nickel buy-ins all the way up to $33 turbo tables.
They do host double-up Sit and Go events, which has become the most popular form of Sit and Go in online poker. Look for “1-Up” events in the Sit and Go tab.
Potential overlays are another positive aspect of tournaments at this and other smaller poker rooms that should be touched on. Guaranteed prize pools ensure a minimum prize pool regardless of the number of paid entrants.
For example, if only 600 players pay $1 to enter a $1,000 guaranteed event the poker room has to chip in the other $400. This frequently happens at SportsBetting Poker, allowing you to essentially start a tournament where a number of eliminated players have already paid their way.
TL;DR - Tournaments at SportsBetting
- Events every hour, but schedule is largely lackluster
- The Sunday guarantee is minuscule at $10,000 for a $20 buy-in
- Sit and Gos are busy up to the $33 level
- Most multi-table events draw 100-200 players
- Freerolls are a highlight with $100 available every hour
SportsBetting Poker Software
The SportsBetting Poker software package is one of the more well-designed online, succeeding at the essentials if not featuring a wealth of advanced features. The lobby has a simple filtration system for game type and limit, which is always appreciated.
As has been standard for the last decade this software package shows the average pot and flop numbers, which is always helpful in determining more active loose cash games. It’s strange to actually have to note the display of game statistics, but many poker rooms have actually started hiding it in an effort to loosen games.
Oddly, the average hands per hour is not shown, although game speed averages a quick 60 hands per hour on 10-seated full tables so there is nothing to hide.
Two positives that SportsBetting Poker employs to keep the games running smoothly are a colored timer that ticks away for each active player and the lack of an obnoxious time bank that is mostly used for posturing and pettiness at other poker rooms that support it.
The graphical table layout is a gray-and-blue racetrack style that looks highly derivative of the old Full Tilt software, which won’t garner any complaints from me.
I always felt that was one if, if not the, best software packages online so why not mimic at least the visual style of one of the best now-defunct poker rooms?
One of the notable features is the choice to go with 10-seated full tables, which I feel always makes more sense than going 9-seated online where there is no obligation for a dealer space.
Attractive without a standout feature
None of the software features will be particular impressive to anyone that has played online poker in the past 10 years but it hosts the games consistently with enough graphical appeal and barebones features not to feel outdated.
Detailed hand histories are available, although are in text form. Player notes and a buddy list are supported to notify you when specific users are also online.
Along with being able to freely size any window the tile feature is one of the best I have seen, automatically making every table fit together for your screen resolution but only shrinking or enlarging each table as much as it has to.
TL;DR - Software platform
- Entirely decent without glaring negatives or standout positives
- Quick game speed at 60+ hands per hour
- Native standalone Mac download
- Sharp graphics, few customization options
- 10-seated tables offered, always better than 9-seated
- Mobile only supported for sports
SportsBetting Poker’s Payouts
As good as the deposit methods are at SportsBetting Poker they are only as strong as the payouts. Fortunately, this is one of the largest cashiers left in the US and the ability to receive payouts within a week is a coup in this market.
Several of the small poker-only operations have been struggling to meet processing demand. The result is extreme delays for players to receive just one method, usually paper checks. This site gives direct bank wires, paper checks, and cash transfers as options.
What’s especially notable is that by only doubling the standard check fee to $50 you can upgrade to courier delivery within a week. Since they give you a $50 fee credit per month you can receive a courier check free once a month.
For withdrawals over $500 bank wire is an excellent option as your payout is sent within a week directly to your bank account without the hassle of check depositing. The fees for wires are much lower than other poker rooms, ranging from $45-75 for the largest wires of $15,000.
TL;DR - Payouts
- Many options offered, including cash transfer and wire
- Quick turnaround time with payouts usually delivered within a week
- Check minimum is too high at $500
- Bitcoin is the best option if possible
SportsBetting Poker Customer Service
SportsBetting Poker seems determined not to lose a player due to lack of support. With many US poker rooms blaming their suddenly-overwhelming popularity as the cause of support delays (cue the eye roll) SportsBetting simply lets you call them on the phone if you don’t want to wait for an e-mail reply.
It seems like a basic concept but telephone support is actually quite rare for online poker rooms these days.
The phone support reps aren’t outsourced and thus have a better understanding of the poker room, the cashier, and other functions that players will know about.
E-mail support replies are currently taking about 24 hours, which is above-average in the current market. Naturally, customer service is excellent for depositing players, with the support team excelling at finding a deposit alternative for just about anyone having issues with credit cards.
Player Traffic at SportsBetting Poker
One of the more impressive features is the decent level of traffic, which is always tough to come by for new independent poker networks. While no US network currently has an overwhelming amount of traffic this poker room is in the top 3.
Player numbers have also steadily grown since launch, largely a feature of the easy deposits and US players looking for new homes after being shunted by the former market leaders.
The total player count is usually over 3,000, although much of that is due to freeroll players. The cash games at SportsBetting Poker are some of the busiest in the US market with active tables up to the $5/10 NL level at peak hours and at least 4-5 active tables per limit. The top tournaments usually draw between 100-200 players.
Player Strategy for Sportsbetting Poker
As I’ve discussed throughout this review much of the loose action at SportsBetting Poker can be tied to its established player base of sports and casino players just discovering the new poker room. Most of the casual interest in poker is also in the quick action of tournaments, likely with edited TV coverage being their only foundation of game strategy.
Sports and casino players used to immediate feedback or not forced to directly act to decide the outcome of a bet tend to play poker more for a quick thrill and big bets and bluffs rather than the disciplined grinding winning poker often calls for.
The rebuy format encourages loose gameplay
The rebuy/add-on format that SportsBetting uses almost exclusively feeds that mentality, always offering more chips despite playing poorly enough to keep going broke.
Patient tournament players and those who want to save the rebuy fees can capitalize on the rush that seems to dominate the early stages.
Facing players that will likely go all-in on speculative hands you should simply wait for strong made hands, essentially just pocket Kings or Aces, if you’re going to be involved early at all.
You simply aren’t going to be able to get away with seeing a cheap flop for these wild low buy-in tournaments so trap overaggressive players pre-flop with those Kings or Aces.
Every hand’s winning percentage decreases with more opponents so isolate with your premium hands pre-flop (likely resulting in a favorable all-in situation against many of these chronic re-buyers) to avoid bad beats later.
The same strategy of isolation and playing the opposite style of the rest of the table, which is almost always playing tight at a loose table at this poker room, can be used in the similarly-wild cash tables.