The Ipoker Network is the biggest online poker network in the world, with up to 20.000 players online during the busiest hours. With a strong network of big sports betting partners (primarily from the United Kingdom), Ipoker has been able to sustain a healthy player base with more recreational players than any other network. Ipoker currently has around 36 different poker sites running in the network.
Ipoker was founded in 2004 by gaming software development company Playtech Plc. Playtech Plc was opened in 1999 to provide casino and betting solutions for online gambling sites.
Playtech is one of the biggest online gaming companies, employing 2,600 people in nine different countries based in the Isle of Man. Playtech can also be found on the London Stock Exchange under the name of ”PTEC.L”
The Ipoker software is provided by Playtech Plc, who also owns the network. Ipoker has changed software a few times in the past, with the latest version being released in January 2012. The new software was part of a long term plan by Playtech to integrate new products in order to take the network to the next level. Playtech constantly works on improving their client and releases small updates on a regular basis in order to fix small issues and implement changes.
The Ipoker software is among the best in the industry, with smooth graphics, fast gameplay and easy customization for players. The software offers up to 20 different languages, ensuring you can play in your own language. Most players can also play with their own currency as Ipoker has tables for all main European currencies, including EUR and GBP as well as the overall used American USD.
Only players using a pc can download the Ipoker client. Once the software is downloaded, an automatic updater will open every time you start the program to see if there are any available updates on the software. For Mac users, Ipoker offers Flash Poker directly in the browser. Playing in the browser makes it more difficult to play multiple tables, but it is the only solution for Mac users at the moment.
The flash version also works on mobile devices and tablets, but not all Ipoker sites have this option yet. This means it's possible for players to play poker directly on their mobile phones or tablets wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection.
From the mobile version of the software players can still access all the important information. This information includes transaction history, deposits and withdrawals.
Ipoker offers many different poker variations, stakes and buy-ins. As soon as you have downloaded the software you can choose if you wish to play cash game, sit 'n' go’s or tournaments. Ipoker has a wide variety of games that run at all hours of the day. You can always find a game that suits your mood and playing style.
Variants of Poker
Ipoker offers different variants of poker to its players.
- No Limit Texas Hold'em
- Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em
- Pot Limit Texas Hold'em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Omaha Hi/Lo
The different variants of poker are available in cash games, tournaments and sit 'n' go’s.
Besides the usual games Ipoker also offers Speed Poker. Speed poker is a game where you will be moved to a new table immediately after folding your cards. This speeds up the game considerably as you get to play a new poker hand right away.
Since this variation was introduced, many other networks and sites have created their own adaptation to this popular game. Ipoker followed this trend and launched their version in July 2012. In the short period since its launch, Speed Poker has become one of the most popular features on the site. The Speed Poker success comes from high-speed game-play, ensuring players never get bored and subsequently get dealt more premium hands per hour.
Ipoker has a great tournament schedule, ranging from freerolls with added value, to the Sunday Blast with a buy-in of $215 and a guaranteed prize pool of $200,000. Ipoker tournaments are made to suit every single type of player, from recreational players logging in once a week, to the tournament grinder that wants to play 50 tournaments a day. With over 150 tournaments a day there will always be something worth playing, no matter when you're checking. In total, Ipoker guarantees over $7.000.000 in monthly tournament prizes.
Ipoker has one of the industry’s lowest rakes, ranging from 4-5% in cashgames and 7.5-10% for tournaments and sit ‘n’ go’s. The rake cap differentiates from the type of game played, the stakes being played and what type of table it is. The rake on individual Ipoker skins can be found in the FAQ on their website.
Ipoker is well known for doing a lot of promotions, such as the Ipoker rake race, more awarded VIP points and high deposit bonuses. However, direct rakeback on Ipoker is forbidden for all providers due to the network focusing on bringing in recreational players.
Ipoker allows skins to set up their own tailor made VIP system within a set of rules provided by the network. This system is in place instead of flat rakeback. The VIP system is a rewards program for loyal customers and a marketing tool.
Security and Fairness
To ensure fair gaming, Ipoker uses a random number generator (RNG). This generator ensures a random outcome of every single card that’s dealt. Ipoker’s RNG gets checked on a regular basis by a third-party company called Gaming Laboratories International (GLI). This company checks the algorithms used in the software and if there are any anomalies worth examining.
iPoker Network split: Pool 1 & 2
In September 2012, Ipoker decided to split up the poker network into two different player pools. The idea behind splitting up the network was to reward bigger sports books that brought in most of the traffic. The network was split up into two tiers known as Ipoker 1 and Ipoker 2. Different criteria’s decide whether or not a certain skin belonged in either the former or the latter tier. This split was made to benefit big sports books and penalize smaller skins for illegal rakeback deals in order to get traffic.
The criteria to qualify for the top tier known as Ipoker 2 are:
- 6,000 active players per month raking $1 or more
- 850 new depositing and raking customers per month, $5 or more in the first month
With criteria like this, it is virtually impossible for smaller skins to ever end up in the top tier and even bigger Ipoker sites such as Betfred and Dafa Poker ended up in the lower tier.
The network is split up with the following rules:
- The player pool is segregated for all cashgame tables up to NL400. Games above $2/$4 are shared throughout the entire network.
- Sit ‘n’ go’s will be segregated up to $30, above this they will be shared throughout the entire network.
- Tournaments and Speed Poker will share the same player pool throughout the entire network.
The split made an impact on many smaller sites, which sold out to bigger skins, closed down or moved to a different network. A lot of players moved away from the Ipoker 1 skins in order to play on the Ipoker 2 skins against recreational players.