888 Poker has been on an impressive journey. Starting life as a small offering within the early 888 Holdings brand Casino on Net, 888 Poker has grown into a standalone brand with a dedicated website and now smartphone app. 888 Poker is now the second most-used online poker service in the UK with 10 million registered players worldwide and an estimated 12 new users signing up every single second.
Thanks to Apple and Google finally caving into pressure to allow real money gambling apps on their respective app stores. The 888 Poker app is approaching its first birthday, so we thought we’d give it a spin to see if it lives up to other providers on the market.
Before we downloaded the app, we’d already played games on 888’s award-winning website, so we already had an expectation and the bar was set for a service that could match one of the more premium online poker services on the internet.
Finding the app was incredibly easy, and was the first hit on the Google Play Store after typing in 888 Poker. The app is surprisingly small based on the content found inside, but we’re guessing a lot of the information exchanged via the internet, keeping things nice and lightweight. Once everything was installed, getting set up was super quick and easy, thanks to the ability to link accounts if you’re already signed up with 888 Poker. If you’re signing up for the first time, things certainly aren’t a hassle and once you’ve put your personal details and linked your credit card/bank account, then you’re ready to play.
Depositing funds is fast and hassle-free, with the amount you’d like to gamble selected either via the button or text box, and as soon as you’ve transferred, there aren’t any waiting or clearance periods. The 888 Poker app also uses the same security features as other 888 services, so you’ll benefit from McAfee, Game Care, and ICRA certification and RSA public/private key encryption technology, keeping your personal details and money safe from hackers and thieves. If you’d like to set gambling limits, then this is easy too, with full limit/exclusion options within the account settings section.
Selecting which variety of poker you’d like to play is simple once you’ve logged in, and there’s a massive choice of poker varieties including the ever popular Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, 3 card and 7 card stud varieties, so depending on your preferences (and how much time you have to play!), you’ll easily find a game that matches your requirements. Cash games run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the 888 Poker app, and even during hours that would normally be classed as ‘quiet’ in a land-based casino, you’ll find plenty of action.
Thanks to 888 having their own independent game research company, the quality of the gaming interface and things like graphics and animations are second to none. As well as clear, concise images, card pictures, and clutter free menus, the whole thing oozes quality and matches the same sort of design you’d find in a modern casino.
One of the best aspects of the 888 Poker app is the regular tournaments that players of all levels can join in with. Buying it is done with the same funds you’d use to play regular cash games with, and you can either join pot limit games or no limit tournaments that can often have very big prizes. Naturally, you’ll need to have enough for the often-large buy-ins for the big games, but If you don’t want to spend too much, then you’ll find tournaments for all wallets. You’ll also need a bit of extra time for tournament games too, as you won’t get able to pick up and play as quickly as you would with other cash games that don’t last as long as tournament play.
There’s also a few poker varieties that are unique to 888 and are accessible in the app. BLAST poker is a great way to get around the problem of waiting around for players to make their decisions as you try and finish your game quickly and get back to work, thanks to the ability to move straight onto the next deal as soon as you’ve folded by mixing games together.
Our favourite feature of the 888 Poker app, however, was the access to live casino poker. Live casino is a relatively new feature that allows players to interact with a dealer based in a real-world casino, with a live HD video feed bringing fully trained professional croupiers directly to players’ phones and tablets. This goes a long way to solving the problem that some poker sites can suffer from, with a lack of ‘human element’, sometimes making games that incredibly exciting goes a little bit flat. However, with a dealer to congratulate you on your wins and plenty of banter flying around in the chat boxes between players feels more real.
Once we’d managed to pick up some winnings from the cash games we tried out, withdrawing our funds was quick and easy too. We didn’t really need any help or support either as the app is so easy to use, but there are a big help button and plenty of helpful features like FAQS, so we’re pretty sure we could get help quickly if anything goes wrong.
Overall, our time spent on the 888 poker app was extremely positive, and more than lived up the expectations we had after playing poker on the 888 website. It was easy to get used to the game on the small screen, and we felt that the learning curve would be good for newbies or rusty players. There’s also the option to play for free too, once players have signed up. We’d definitely recommend it to players of all ability, and we’ll warn you that tournament games and quick-fire games like BLAST will soon be taking up your free time if you download the app!