888 Poker for US Players

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Real Money 888 Poker in USA

888 Poker might not be a name familiar to the casual fan of online poker in America, but it's a name that is about to get a whole lot more recognition.
In fact, it could turn out to be the most prominent name in American online poker. To understand why 888 Poker is likely to play such a critical role in the United States market for regulated online poker, let's walk through the company's current position in the U.S. and then break down what the 888 software has to offer to American online poker players.

Where is 888 licensed to offer online poker and gambling in the US?

Nevada

888 is pursuing a dual track in Nevada. The company has partnered with Caesars to power the online poker room at WSOP.com (click here for a review of WSOP.com). But 888 is also interested in being an operator - not just a software provider - and that's why they developed a partnership with Treasure Island.

The plan as it stands is for TI to be the first and primary room on 888 Poker's proprietary American online poker network. Other brands will likely join on in time, but none have been announced as of yet.

New Jersey

New Jersey looks a lot like Nevada from 888's point of view. The company also has a partnership with Caesars that will ensure they initial access to the market for online poker in New Jersey. But long-term, observers expect that 888 and Caesars will dissolve their partnership, and 888 will need to find a way to secure an operator's license in the state before they can launch an online poker product under their sole control.

Delaware

888 is in an incredibly strong position in the state of Delaware, as the company - along with partner Scientific Games - was chosen by Delaware officials as the primary vendor for Delaware's online gambling products. That gives 888 a big edge in the state, which expects to have online gambling up and running before the end of 2013.

Breaking down the 888 Poker software client

As 888 has yet to launch in the United States, our review draws on experience with the existing software client 888 uses for their international online poker room. While their U.S. version may ultimately diverge from that client, it's expected that, at launch, the American market software will be virtually identical to the software client used for international play.

Software speed

Rating: Average. While quick in some ways, 888 also hosts a number of features and extras that can slow down the overall pace of your game. The good news is that most - but not all - of these elements can be disabled. Still, if other players don't disable them, you'll still have to deal with a slightly slower game - something that players focused primarily on volume won't be happy about.

Stability of 888 poker software

Rating: Above Average. Generally compatible with desktop and mobile operating systems, the 888 Poker software that you'll see when the room launches in the United States is the product of over a decade of experience and refinements. That's a big edge over companies like Ultimate Poker, who are more or less developing their software from the ground up.
No poker software is without glitches, but our experience is that 888 Poker's software is above-average in terms of stability and resource use.

Encryption & security at 888

Rating: Above Average. 888 Poker can make a claim that few other online poker sites can match: their software has been both proven in the open market over an extended period of time and thoroughly examined by Nevada online gambling regulators. For that reason, we feel comfortable awarding 888 Poker our top marks for security and encryption, both for gameplay and for financial transactions.

Usability

Rating: Average. Bit of a mixed bag when it comes to 888 Poker and general usability. The client is designed to appeal to casual players (more on that below), so if you fall into that camp, 888 Poker will likely get high scores for you personally when it comes to the interface. High-volume players focuses on getting in the most hands per hour at the best tables will probably provide a lower average score to 888. As a result, we split the difference with our rating and graded 888 as average when it comes to overall usability.

What type of player does 888 Poker's software cater to?

With webcam tables, social elements and a lack of tools for "serious" players, 888 Poker is decidedly focused on catering to the more recreational online poker market. That's not to say professional players (or aspiring pros) won't find aspects of the software to like, but the overall player in mind is clearly someone with more of a passing interest in poker as a form of entertainment.

List of games supported by 888 Poker

As 888 has yet to launch, it's difficult to predict exactly what games and limits they will provide to American players. The lists below are drawn from the games currently offered by 888 in their international real-money poker site:

Cash games

Hold'em and omaha are the game of choice at 888 Poker. Stakes tend toward the lower side, but high stakes games do run on the site, especially at the busiest times. Hold'em dominates, with no limit hold'em being by far the most popular variant. Omaha, while small compared to hold'em volume, is steadily gaining traction at 888 Poker.

Tournaments

888 lacks some of the massive buy-in tournaments and marquee tournament series events that you might find at PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker. Offsetting that is a tournament lobby that has softer competition than average and a wide selection of buy-ins ranging from micro-stakes to high stakes. Much like the cash lobby, tournaments at 888 Poker are dominated by no limit hold'em games, with some omaha rounding out the available selection.

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Legal 888 Poker for US Players
888 Poker for United States Players