888 Poker is the second biggest poker site in the world and third in overall traffic, with up to 20,000 players online during the busiest hours. 888 Poker is run by Cassava Enterprises Ltd, a subsidiary of 888 Holdings PLC and is based in Gibraltar. When the company was founded in 1997, it was known as Virtual Holdings Limited and was an online casino site instead.
Pacific Poker was opened in 2002 and was later renamed to 888 Poker. Initially Pacific Poker accepted all players, including Americans. Having an already successful casino site, Pacific Poker found plenty of traffic from the start, as it simply drove casino players to the poker room.
In 2005, 888 Holdings PLC got listed on the London Stock Exchange under the FTSE 250 Index under the name of 888 HLDGS.
In 2006 when the American Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), 888 Poker decided to close its doors to American players. The company was not hit too hard, since they never really owned a big part of the American online poker market.
Since the late 00’s, 888 Poker has had a growth in overall traffic. The growth came from successful marketing strategies that acquired them new traffic which they could easily convert to poker. 888 was one of the first sites to realize the importance of playing poker socially, thus being the first to launch webcam poker tables. With the launch of these tables, 888 Poker made themselves popular with the hobby player as it gave them the feeling of playing live poker online.
Since the launch of their first online casino site, 888 Holdings PLC have had over 25 million unique registrations, making them the world’s biggest casino site.
The 888 Poker software is created by their own software development team. The software has kept the same look as when it was created in 2002, with updates to integrate new products, faster game play and better graphical interface.
The software is very popular among hobby players, having a fast game play, great graphical design and interface and an easy navigational lobby.
888 Poker was the first poker site to integrate social webcam poker tables. The webcam tables are tables where players can only play if they have a webcam connected. Players will be able to see other players and the reactions they may have while playing, giving them the feeling of playing live poker online.
888 Poker’s software can be downloaded to pc only, but has an instant play function for Linux and Mac users. The instant play function works really well, but runs a little slower than the software.
888 Poker also allows players to play on their Android mobile phones, via a downloadable app. The app can be downloaded from the Android Market and works with all Android phones that have an active internet connection.
888 Poker is known to have some of the softest poker games online, due to their great conversion of casino and sports betting traffic towards poker. Because of the soft games, 888 Poker has lots of traffic on all games and stakes.
Variants of Poker
888 Poker offers four different kinds of poker games:
888 Poker is known to cater to the recreational players, as they make up most of their player base as well as bring value to the site. Because of this, 888 Poker has made a very recreational-friendly tournament schedule, with lots of guaranteed prize pool tournaments for a small buy-in and freerolls running every day.
Hosting around 300 tournaments a day, 888 Poker ensures that players can always find a tournament whenever they are checking in.
888 Poker has a “Daily Challenge Series” which is a series of tournaments with big guaranteed prize pools. Every day at 19.35 CET 888 Poker hosts a new tournament with a prize pool of $10,000 to $100,000 guaranteed. In total 888 Poker guarantees $1,000,000 a month in the Daily Challenge Series.
888 Poker hosts their own tournament series called 888poker Super Stack Tournament. The tournament series takes place all over the world, in the best casinos possible. The tournaments are very popular due to their small buy-ins, making it possible for players to buy-in without having to worry about their bankroll. 888 Poker hosts satellites for all these events and players can qualify for as little as $1.35.
Besides having their own tournament series, 888 Poker also run satellites for the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE). The satellites include buy-in for the tournament as well as flight and accommodation.
888 Poker has a very good rake structure for their poker games. 888 uses the weighted contributed rake allocation system, which means that if a player pays $0.50 in rake, he gets awarded VIP points for that amount of rake.
888 Poker charges between 1 – 5% rake on all cash game tables, making them one of the lowest in the industry. For tournaments and sit ‘n’ goes they charge 5 – 10% rake.
You can see the complete 888 Poker rake scheme on their website.
888 Poker is known to provide great promotions for recreational players. All players that sign up on 888 Poker will be given an instant £/$/€8 for free to play as well as a free tournament ticket to a $50,000 guaranteed tournament, without depositing.
When players deposit they will receive a first deposit bonus, ticket to a ‘first depositor’ freeroll as well as taking part in the first depositor’s $100,000 challenge. Furthermore they will be part of the 888 VIP program that rewards players with up to 36% rakeback.
888 Poker’s promotions is made to make the recreational players happy and does not provide a lot of usable value for dedicated grinders.
Security and Fairness
To ensure fair gaming, 888 Poker uses a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG is used to decide the outcome of what hands are dealt to players, as well as to decide which community cards will be shown. 888 Poker’s RNG is tested and certified by the independent regulatory agency eCogra, which has tested the MD5 RNG and found no algorithm anomalies.