AllInPokerOdds.com
It pays to know.
login, learn more or register now for free

Poker Site Reviews

Welcome to the poker site reviews page. If you're wondering where to play you've come to the right place!
Below I have reviewed 3 poker sites that I have personally played on over the last few years. Have a read of the reviews and try them out for yourself.
Before you leave be sure to check out our poker odds calculator. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Click on tab to read the review. Enjoy!


 

Full Tilt Poker

NOTE: Full tilt is now open for business! Full Tilt Poker is the second largest poker site on the net. They have a wide variety of tournaments and cash games and are backed by some big name pros such as Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Mike "the mouth" Matusow.

Full Tilt has a cartoon-like theme running through it with each player choosing a cartoon avatar to represent them at the table. Characters include pirates, donkeys, apes, firemen, nurses and ninjas with new avatars being added regularly. Most of the pro players on the site have their own custom avatar and it is also possible to unlock additional avatars by winning FTOPS events (see below).

Every few months or so Full Tilt host the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) where eager players take to the felt in huge tournaments with massive prize pools ($200k, 1 million etc). The buyins for these tournaments vary from about $100 - $1000 USD but don't worry because you can qualify in satellite tournaments for a much smaller amount.

Full Tilt have been quite active on the innovation front hosting Knock Out tournaments where as well as playing for the main prize money you can also earn small KO bounties for each player you eliminate along the way. Recently they introduced 'Matrix' sit and go tournaments where you play the same people in 4 concurrent tournaments with prizes being awarded for best overall finish as well as best finish on each table.

There are often high stakes cash games being played on the site. Look out for a table called 'Rail Heaven' where you can watch rich folk play poker for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per hand!

One thing I don't like about Full Tilt is that when you're in a pot you can't fold your hand unless a bet has been placed. You can check a box called 'fold to any bet' but this is not the same. While this doesn't really affect play a great deal, I think you should be able to fold when you want. This feature differs from the other sites where you can indeed fold when you want.

Overall Full Tilt is a nice looking site with a generous first deposit bonus offer. The look and feel of the site is good as is the variety of tournaments. The site is backed by some of the biggest names in the industry and is a fun place to play (when you're not getting donked).

Get $10 free, no deposit required - try Full Tilt Poker now!

Full Tilt Poker

Quick Summary

Accept US players? No
Minimum deposit (USD): $10
Live support? No
Full table: 9 players
Tournament antes: Yes
Previous hand feature: Replay, visual & text log
Time bank? Yes
Cash out speed: Very fast
Play money games? Yes

Pros

  • Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS)
  • Knockout tournaments
  • 'Rail Heaven' high stakes tables
  • Ability to arrange a 'chop'
  • Different emotions for avatars

Cons

  • Cannot fold until bet placed
  • Could offer more bonuses once first one is cleared
  • Could offer more $10-$20 tournaments

PokerStars

PokerStars is the world's largest poker site. They have the greatest variety of tournaments with the biggest prize pools and more entries than other sites. The 'Sunday Million' is one of their most famous weekly tournaments.

PokerStars sponsors some big live events such as the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (AAPT), Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), European Poker Tour (EPT) and the new Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) and are backed by some big time pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer.

The site looks pretty good with a few different themes available. Players can upload their own custom profile pictures to represent them at the table which adds quite a bit of variety to the site. Thankfully if you don't like someone's picture you have the option to block it.

One cool feature of PokerStars is the ability to arrange a 'chop' (update, 2011: this is also avilable automatically on full tilt now). A chop means a deal to split the remaining prize money now disregarding the actual payout amounts. This is typically invoked when there are a few players left in a big tournament where the prize money might vary greatly between the remaining places. For instance a tournament might pay $25,000 for 1st and $15,000 for 2nd. If there are 2 players left with relatively even chip stacks they might agree to an 'even chop' and both take $20,000.

In addition to regular time many PokerStars tournaments have an additional extra time balance (typically 1 minute) that players may use to think over tough decisions during the tournament. While this is generally a good thing, occasionally inactive players 'time out' and everyone else has to wait while their time counts down. This can be very frustrating and is something that should be looked into.

One thing to note before jumping into a tournament is the starting stack. Many tournaments on PokerStars and Full Tilt start the player with a double stack of 3000 chips. While this means more time to get into the tournament in the early stages it also means longer tournaments. It would not be uncommon for tournaments with more than 300 entries to run longer than 5-6 hours.

Every so often PokerStars host the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) with big tournaments and massive prize pools. This is similar to Full Tilt's FTOP series.

PokerStars has invested heavily in it's image and as such they have some cool TV ads and a cool motto 'Find the Poker Star in you'. Needless to say, if you win a PokerStars tourney you'll feel a little more pro than on the other sites.

Get a $20 bonus with your first deposit - try PokerStars now!

PokerStars

Quick Summary

Accept US players? No
Minimum deposit (USD): $10
Live support? No
Full table: 9 players
Tournament antes: Yes
Previous hand feature: Replay, visual & text log
Time bank? Yes
Cash out speed: Very fast
Play money games? Yes

Pros

  • Cool TV ads and motto
  • PokerStars TV
  • Biggest omaha hi/lo tourneys
  • Ability to arrange a 'chop'
  • Best variety of tournaments

Cons

  • Have to wait 48 hours before withdrawing
  • Cannot categorise players when saving notes
  • Could offer more bonuses after initial one

Hollywood Poker

NOTE: Hollywood Poker is now closed. Their players were transferred to redkings (another site on the ongame network) in 2012. Hollywood Poker is part of the OnGame network of sites. Hollywood poker is unique in that hollywood celebrities can sometimes be found at the tables.

While not the biggest site out there, being small has its advantages. Tournaments finish quicker, the loyalty scheme is more generous and they have fast and friendly live support.

Of special note are the celebrity bounty tournaments. There are 3 per week where you can attempt to outplay (or suckout on) celebrities or HP models for bounties ranging from $25 (for knocking out 1) to $2000 (for knocking out 5 in the $22 tournament) - (update 3rd May 09: unfortunately the celebs have changed and these sort of KO prizes are no longer available, there is a new points system in place).

While it doesn't have as many players as PokerStars or Full Tilt there are still some big tourneys such as the 'ChampionChip' $250,000 guarantee or the $100 rebuy, $100,000 guarantee. There are also some nice 50-100 man tourneys and a range of qualifiers where things seem a little more manageable than on the other sites.

While you can't choose your own character, Hollywood's look and feel is great with each player taking on the persona of a sterotypical Hollywood player ranging from old gran to big beefy dude. I don't know why but of all the poker sites i've played on I like the look and feel of this one the best.

A full table at Hollywood is 10 players whereas the other sites have 9 players. This means making final table at Hollywood is getting into the top 10 (which I prefer).

Hollywood has been regularly improving their software but unfortunately the new p5 engine is a bit of a mixed bag. This should become less of a problem over time as some of the issues are ironed out and players' computer hardware improves.

The loyalty program is good with players able to trade their poker points for tournament tickets and bonuses (among other things). I am always working off a bonus on Hollywood unlike the other sites that haven't offered me any bonuses for a long time. [Update 29th Jan 2009 - OnGame have revamped their bonus system this year and to cut a long story short it is not as generous as before, this is a bit of a shame as their bonus system used to be one of the best around.]

Live support is also great for getting your questions answered straight away. Definately a good place to start playing poker.

Choose from a range of fantastic bonus offers - try Hollywood Poker now!

Hollywood Poker

Quick Summary

Accept US players? No
Minimum deposit (USD): $20
Live support? Yes
Full table: 10 players
Tournament antes: Yes
Previous hand feature: Text log
Time bank? No
Cash out speed: Ok, could be faster
Play money games? Yes

Pros

  • Live support
  • Nice table interface

Cons

  • Some software bugs
  • No time bank feature
  • No hand replay feature
  • Small, so good tourneys are only on at certain times