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While reviewing and rating an online poker site we at Tight Poker consider a variety of criteria; such as bonus options, game variety, deposit and withdrawal options, tournament offerings, payout speed, customer support, mobile capabilities, safety and security. By considering these, our goal is to help online poker players make more informed decisions about which site is best suited for their needs and playing style.
Black Chip Poker opened its virtual doors in 2008 and wasted no time in establishing itself as a major player in the online poker community.
Black Chip Poker then joined the Winning Poker Network in 2012 and has continued growing from strength to strength ever since. This move helped secure bigger games and tournaments for players, plus a consistent and committed customer support team and cross-platform playing options.
Black Chip Poker is widely regarded as a top real money online poker site in North America… but does it live up to its reputation? I needed to find out for myself. To do that, I’ve looked into every aspect of the site. As well as playing on the site and testing its games, I looked into other areas such as its bonuses and promotions, customer service team, and mobile gaming options.
Only after evaluating all these features have I been able to create this review. If you’re looking for a new site or want to see what options are, I’d recommend reading on.
Black Chip Poker is a poker room bursting at the seams with quality. As part of the Winning Poker Network, the site has a well-established reputation. Its sibling site, America’s Cardroom, is more well-known, but the two offer a very similar service.
A range of top tournaments and promotions should be enough to attract most players, and the site sees strong traffic year-round. While the customer service options could do with a bit of work, the overall user experience at Black Chip Poker is solid, and the mobile experience here is outstanding.
One of the most significant selling points for Black Chip Poker is its use of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, the site now allows players to deposit with over 60 different cryptocurrencies, giving it a significant advantage over much of the competition.
Black Chip is a major operator, so it has no shortage of different games for players:
The majority of the traffic at Black Chip Poker comes through its cash games section. Here you’ll find different variations of both Texas Hold’Em and Omaha. There are plenty of different variants on hand, including no limit, pot limit, and others. I always found plenty of traffic on the site, so you’ll find a game no matter your bankroll level.
Sit & Go games will always be prevalent in the fast-moving world of online poker, and Black Chip Poker offers a good selection of them. The Sit & Gos were fun and often full of recreational players (see: fish). As with the cash games, a range of budget options is available.
Black Chip has a packed tournament schedule offering over $12 million in weekly prizes. The site runs tournaments daily, with each day offering a different range of tournaments and buy-in prizes. These come with a range of different buy-ins and prize pools. When I played in a tournament, I was always satisfied with the guarantee–they were always a decent size for the buy-in.
The highest among these occur on Sundays, with tournaments featuring up to $1,050 buy-ins available. In fact, Sundays boast some of the biggest daily tournament totals around–some offering prize pools of up to $150k. Black Chip Poker also caters to smaller budget options, with buy-ins of less than $100 available.
The site partakes in some huge tournaments sprinkled throughout the year as well. The Venom tournaments occur four times a year and have a guaranteed prize of a cool $1 million for first place. Black Chip Poker also guarantees 20 packages to the WSOP Takedown event – providing players with the $10k buy-in and travel packages. Who could pass up an opportunity like that?
So, now that we know a little bit more about the games on offer at Black Chip Poker, let’s take a closer look at another important aspect of a poker site – what it’s like to play on it. In my time as a poker player, I’ve realized just how important it is for a site to have a pleasant gaming experience. After all, if the site looks like it was made in the 90s with an interface that’s as confusing as the London Underground map, then you won’t have much fun playing there!
Unlike most US-facing sites, Black Chip Poker does not offer a web client, only a downloadable poker client that you need to install onto your computer. While this is the way that 90% of players enjoy the game, it would be nice to have the option to play from a web browser.
That being said, let’s take a closer look at what the poker client has to offer.
One of the things I love about the Black Chip Poker lobby is how easy to use it is. Everything is clearly labeled at the top of the page, making it extremely easy to log on and start playing your favorite game. Plus, it also looks great; the black and blue color scheme works well, and is in line with their branding.
Once you’ve found your favorite game and you open up the table, you’ll find that the great design choices have carried over to the table design. The default green felt on black background is a classic look, but nonetheless is pulled off well, and I like the light effects at the base of the rail. If want something a little different from your table design, then don’t panic, as you can change the table theme in the settings and pick from a variety of different options.
As you can see above, all the information on the table is clearly readable, so there’s no danger of accidentally misreading your hand or the size of the pot. Even when your opponents’ hands are turned over, you can clearly see what they have, and there’s a replay button available if you miss any of the action.
I like the simple, yet elegant designs of these tables, and I especially like that you have a number of options on the left-hand side of the table. Being able to quickly and easily sit out and come back makes grinding long sessions that little bit easier, and the ability to decide whether or not I want to run it twice at the table is definitely a welcome one.
Another area of the site that I always like to check out is the Settings. While they’re not particularly glamorous, the settings can tell you a lot about a site – the more customizable settings there are, the more a poker site cares about the user experience.
Black Chip Poker certainly delivers in that regard, as there are dozens of customizable options available to play with. Whether you want to change the design of your table down to the colors of the cards, or if you want to create the ultimate poker-grinder set-up, you can do it here! I especially love how granular you can get with the default bet buttons; anyone who’s had to play a long session without being able to change these will know how annoying it is to constantly type in your bet size!
Overall, it’s hard to find a fault with the Black Chip Poker client! The lobby looks great and is really easy to navigate around, the tables look just as good and clearly display all important information, and there are plenty of customizable settings that allow you to tailor the client to your needs.
Black Chip Poker has a number of features that make it a fantastic poker site – but it’s by no means perfect. Here are a few things that are missing from the site that we’d like to see implemented in the future.
One area where Black Chip Poker performs well is bonuses and promotions. Various bonuses can be claimed here by both new and existing customers alike. In addition, as part of the Winning Poker Network, many promotions can also be found on other sites like America’s Cardroom.
The sign-up bonus at Black Chip Poker allows players to claim a welcome deposit of 100% up to $2,000. I used this welcome offer when I signed up–it’s well worth taking if you’re a new customer. The minimum deposit to get your hands on this is $25. It should be noted that the bonus is not released in one shot but rather in increments whenever you reach a specified amount of loyalty points. This is standard practice for many rewards, and I released my bonus without an issue.
Every Sunday, players are presented with the chance to win up to a $1 million jackpot with Black Chip Poker. This is easily the site’s biggest regular tournament promotion and brings a lot of its traffic at the weekend.
The Beast is effectively Black Chip Poker’s loyalty program. Everyone who sits down and contributes to the rake of a hand will automatically generate points for The Beast’s leaderboard. Then, each week, the top positions on the board are paid out in cash and prizes.
Black Chip Poker wants to make it as easy as possible for players to get money in and out of their accounts. It has done this by providing a range of excellent services for both deposits and withdrawals. While Bitcoin is the primary cryptocurrency the operator promotes, it also offers players the chance to deposit with over 60 other cryptos. In addition, the operator provides a lot of information on the use of cryptocurrencies for those new to using them.
Besides, it allows players to deposit using a range of e-wallets and credit/debit cards. There is also the option to deposit cash in person and receive your money by cheque. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing that, as the waiting times are extraordinarily long! Using crypto or e-wallets is the fastest way to get my money. Some additional fees are attached if you opt to go down the latter option, making it the least advisable method.
Black Chip Poker has several options for those wanting to test their luck on mobile devices.
The site is supported on iOS and Android and offers its own mobile application. The mobile application provides a similar experience to the website and features a solid, easy-to-use UI. The operator describes its mobile offering as an app, but don’t let this fool you–the mobile play is all in-browser.
However, even though there wasn’t a mobile app, I found the mobile gaming experience really simple. The site worked well on my phone, and all the games ran smoothly.
Black Chip Poker’s primary source of support for customers is its virtual assistant. This live-chat bot can provide players with links to helpful information and covers a range of frequently asked questions. I found the bot to be extremely helpful when I used it, as it was able to help with the majority of the issues I had. Even if it couldn’t, connecting to a customer support agent wasn’t hard. There is also an email form to fill in, though there is no specified period for a response. This is definitely one area that Black Chip Poker could work on improving.
Black Chip Poker stands out in the prize pools of its tournaments. With so many tournaments running every day, there are plenty of chances for players to land some big wins on the felt. The Million Dollar Sunday tournament/promotion is one of the most significant selling points, boasting massive cash prizes for players. This, combined with the selection of cryptocurrencies that users can play with, makes Black Chip a solid operator.
Since joining the Winning Poker Network, Black Chip Poker’s reputation has rocketed. I love their big-prize tournaments, and their cash game traffic is among the best in the industry. I also like the many deposit and withdrawal options, and the welcome bonus significantly boosted my bankroll. With the operator now offering its services across all platforms, Black Chip Poker is a site that is only going to continue to grow stronger.
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