JackpotCity.com

Based in Gibraltar, JackpotCity.com was established in 1998 and is run by Belle Rock Entertainment, a subsidiary of Carmen Media Group. Belle Rock also operates a group of other casinos including King Neptune’s Casino, Gaming Club (one of the earliest online casinos), River Belle and Lucky Nugget. The Jackpot City casino offers over 400 different games and 18 progressive jackpots.

Promotions

Jackpot City is clearly very pleased with its strong selection of promotions and the home page of the website is focused entirely on these offers. First time players are offered £25 worth of credits on sign-up before any deposit is made at all. A play through requirement is in place and you will have to play through your bonus 50 times before you can withdraw any winnings made with it. There are also some limitations on which games you can play to go towards your play through count.

In addition to your pre-deposit bonus you will also have the option to claim a bonus of up to £100 after you’ve made your first deposit. A deposit of £20 or more will be rewarded with £20 worth of credits and £100 or more will give you the full £100. The same conditions apply for this promotion and you should also consider that additional play through requirements must be met before you can take up any sign-up offer at other Belle Rock casinos.

The Casino

The Jackpot City website itself is easy to navigate if a little unfamiliar at first. A getting started tab will soon have you heading in the right direction and using the other tabs you can peruse the tournaments, games, jackpots and winners on the site. Smaller links will take you to the bingo and poker offerings on Jackpot City but the focus here is, of course, on the casino.

The getting started section presents you with the three steps between you and playing your first games. A helpful addition here is a step by step guide, complete with screenshots, to help you get straight to gaming. Another neat tool is the video tour of the casino which should make getting started a breeze.

The first decision you’ll have to make is if you want to play in your browser or in a downloaded program. Jackpot City does offer both options for the casino but the browser version is limited to around 150 games rather than the 400 available through the main version. Using the in browser casino will give you quick access to the games and you’ll be asked straight away if you want to play for real cash or for practice.

Naturally you’ll be asked to register first- a simple process for practice play but a little more complicated when you decide to start playing for money. It isn’t a heavy duty form and it won’t take you too long to enter the few personal details they ask for. In the browser casino games are divided into tabbed categories and the layout is generally familiar for those who have used other online casinos. Options are limited in the browser version but you have just about everything you need to get playing.

Choosing to download the game will bring you to a somewhat more organised interface. First you’ll be able to choose which category of game you want to play- the list includes slots, table games, video poker, multiplayer games and progressive jackpots. Once you’ve settled on a category you can pick from a list of available games. The downloaded interface also lets you manage your promotions and account settings but options are still relatively limited with no choice over the interface theme or skin.

Bingo and Poker

Jackpot City also offers bingo and poker. Bingo runs on a different website and in an irritating twist you need to register with the site again even if you already have a Jackpot City login. The poker link will bring you to Cool Hand Poker and to use this you will have to download a client and register your details once again. The program has an easy to use and attractive interface but, annoyingly, will remain dormant for a few seconds on exit in order to ask you to refer a friend.

Payment Options

Jackpot City offers a good range of deposit options. The usual credit and debit cards are accepted including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Visa Electron. Alternatives include Neteller, Ukash, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, Entropay and a fair selection of others. You shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding the right method for you. Entering your details and making a deposit is fairly easy and a simple form is used to achieve this.

Conclusion

Jackpot City offers a great casino service with an enormous selection of games available. Mobile facilities and a reasonable help service (with 24/7 live chat) contribute to the good online offering. Unfortunately moving over to bingo or poker is a bit of an undertaking with new login details and another download required. That said Jackpot City does offer a strong casino with some enticing promotions- altogether a well rounded service.

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker

The poker phenomenon has been sweeping the nation over the last decade or so with the popular gambling game now being available across numerous outlets. The internet is partly responsible for the heightened interest, with online tournaments and competitions readily available at the click of a button. Television has also contributed with channels dedicated the game and participation amongst viewers required. With all this exposure and the pure entertainment value it delivers, poker is now commonplace in our homes as well. Typical evenings with the lads, a few beers and a handful of change are now common and the thrill of going home, even with 20p profit does wonders for the ego and work banter. The inevitable knowing of a poker player or players may leave you feeling a bit left out if you don’t know how to play the game. This article is here to help and will give you a beginners guide so that you can invite yourself next time you hear of a poker gathering amongst your peers.

Now, there are a lot of different variations of poker but here we are going to focus on Texas Hold-Em, the most popular and universal understanding of the game. The whole point of the game is to come up with the best possible 5 card combination which is made up of cards you are dealt and other cards that can be used by all players but we’ll come back to this later.

Big Blinds and Little Blinds

Before any match, a big blind and a little blind value is determined. This is basically a minimum bet that the designated holder must put into the pot (the pot is the amount of money that can be won in the match) before they receive their cards. This ensures that if everyone decides to end their participation in the match that there is still a bit of money for whoever wins the pot. The holder of the big blind and little blinds changes every match with them being passed clockwise around the table,

The Deal

At the beginning of any poker match, you need to have some cards! Any amount of people, from two to ten can participate in any one match. Each person involved in the game will receive two cards (known as Hole Cards). Now you have two options, you can either bet on the hand you have been dealt or you can fold which ends your participation in that particular match. The minimum bet you can put in is equal to the value of the big blind, this known as a Call. If you feel you have a pretty good hand (or if you want to fool the other players, known as bluffing) you can raise the call value and force anybody else wishing to participate in the hand to either put more money in or fold. The only exception to this rule is for the person who has provided the big blind as, if all other players only Call, they have already matched the largest bet by putting in the big blind and so they are able to Check and continue in the hand without adding any more funds.

The Flop

Once all players have performed an action in the first betting round, a second takes place after The Flop. The Flop is the revealing of three ‘Community Cards’ which are placed in the middle of the table and can be used by all the active players. You then have to combine these cards with your two Hole Cards to contribute towards the best possible 5 card combination. Once The Flop has been dealt, another round of betting ensues. So if you think you have a good hand straight away or think that it could get better then you can either Call or Raise. Of course, the big blind better can Call if no one raises the blind.

The Turn

After the second round of betting has finished, a third one commences after the revelation of another Community Card called The Turn. Once this has been placed next to The Flop, the betting ensues, the same rules as all of the other previous rounds applying.

The River

Once the third round of betting has finished, a fourth and final round will commence after the revelation of the final Community Card, the River. Now, in total you will have 7 cards available to you. The 5 Community Cards and your two Hole Cards. The winner of the pot is the individual that finishes the game with the highest ranking combination of any of the 5 cards. If the highest combination is the same for more than one player then the pot is split equally amongst the winners.

Ten Poker Skills To Improve Your Game

1. Experience: Whether you are playing poker games in a casino or online games portal, there is nothing that gives a poker player confidence, understanding and skills more so than experience. So, even if you are not always playing for money, play the game as often as possible to gain experience and further your understanding of the subtle nuances of the game.

2. Play your cards, not what the flop may reveal: It is tempting as a new player to try and play every poker hand you are dealt. Despite this, many a time you may be dealt a hand that is weak pre-flop. It is tempting to think that the flop may be kind to you and turn your 2-7 hand into a full house, but the chances are that it won’t and that you’ll have put chips into the pot that you now have no chance of winning. As a beginner, always play on the strength of what you know and is in your hand, not what could happen.

3. Stay sober: Poker is a social game, so enjoying a few beers is the right thing to do! Well, not if you want to keep your focus on the game at hand and on winning. Alcohol dulls the senses and reduces focus, both critical to any successful poker player.

4. Observing opponents: Have you ever noticed how good poker players always seem to know when a lesser opponent is bluffing? Alternatively, when they need to fold what appears to be a winning hand because they know someone else is holding onto something better? This skill of observing your opponents, their body language and movements and ‘tells’; give away signals which let you know what your opponent has in their hand.

5. Avoid excess bluffing: Everyone loves the idea of winning a huge pot thanks to an enormous bluff; the only problem is that this actually happens far less than many people realise. A well-called bluff has a chance of success if executed at the right time and with the right cards. Bluff too often and it is asking for trouble, as your opponents will quickly figure this out, even in online poker rooms.

6. Knowing when to cut your losses: It can be annoying when the cards that come on the flop, turn or river make what looked to be a good hand into a poor one. Many novice players, especially if they have put a fair amount of money into the pot, feel obliged to at least call the hand on the off chance that their opponent was bluffing. Most often they won’t be and you are just giving them more of your stack. Knowing when to cut and run is a key strategy as you progress through the poker ranks.

7. Play logically, not emotionally: To be the best poker player you can be requires you to be calm, rational and sensible and to play the game logically, rather than emotionally. Do not let victories allow you to become blasé about betting; in a similar vein, do not let losing make you withdraw into your shell. Treat every hand as if it is the first of the game and stick to your logic and playing the odds.

8. Don’t spring the trap: Experienced poker players, even if they are dealt an outstanding hand, will often play a hand cautiously hoping to make lesser players commit large sums of their stack into the pot. This form of slow-playing is a real danger for a novice player who believes they hold the best hand, quickly go all in, expecting their opponent to fold, only for their opponent to reveal a winning hand. Don’t be the player that gets caught in this trap!

9. Even if you are not in a hand, you are still playing: Many novice players will throw in a hand and then not bother paying attention to what happens in the game without being in it. This is a critical error. If you are at a table, whether in person or online, there is a huge amount of information to gather about your opposite numbers by observing their play. Even if you are not in a hand, you are still playing the game and you can retrieve a lot of valuable information!

10. Knowing the percentages: The very best players have an almost machine-like ability to understand the percentage chance of their hand winning depending on the cards on show. Understanding these percentages will allow you to understand much more clearly your chances of winning on any given hand.

32Red: The Best Casino And Operator Of The Year

It is easy enough for casino’s to hype themselves up and suggest that they are the best around. But with so many claiming to be number one, how do you know which is truly and objectively brilliant?

Enter Casinomeister. Casinomeister has been around since 1998 and is dedicated to bringing players honest information and reviews of UK Online Casino’s. It has fast become one of the best and most trusted online rating providers in the world. Casinomeister aims to set a standard for online gambling and as such, only those who meet these standards, in terms of how they treat players and affiliates, are listed as an ‘Accredited Casino’.

Becoming accredited is difficult, but it is fair and ensures that players know all that they need to know before gambling their hard earned cash.

Every year, Casinomeister review the best and worst in online gambling through the Casinomeister Awards. For the last eleven years, this online event has been growing and evolving.

Winning the coveted Best Global Casino title from the Casinomeister awards 2011, is an achievement in itself, so winning it nine years in a row is definitely enough to prove your worth, 32Red Casino.

Since 2003, 32Red Casino has been wowing players and affiliates alike with their quality.

“How do you explain a phenomena that continues to impress and amaze both players and serious affiliates? It’s one word: 32Red Casino. They nailed this award in 2003 and have been hammering away on what it takes to be a number one casino each and every day of the year. Their excellence has never lapsed – and after all these years, still no other casino has seriously taken them on,” said Bryan Bailey, owner of Casinomeister and judge for the awards.

32Red Casino is a member of 32Red plc, one of the leaders in online gaming. Licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner, they offer players a huge range of casino games as well as poker, blackjack and roulette.

32Red plc also managed to scoop the Best Casino Group award, with Bryan Bailey commenting, “32red Plc – did it again. Their approach to the industry is primarily player oriented, and it shows with each casino property. Nary a complaint – and each property is managed wonderfully. There is not much to say but congratulations.”

Facebook And Real Money Gambling

Rumours are flying all around at the moment, speculating on the social networking giant, Facebook, and their plans to add real money gambling applications to the site. One report suggested that Facebook aim to introduce this in the first part of 2012 and will initially hand out eight licenses. 888 are rumoured to be one of the companies to receive one. Of course, this new platform would only be available to regulated markets, such as the United Kingdom.

So, is this a good move for the company? There are already many ways to get involved with online gaming on Facebook, which does not involve betting real money. Zynga Poker is one example of this. The game itself is a good way for individuals to enjoy a game of poker, dealing only with virtual money and without the worry of losing any in the real world. This means that the likes of teenagers are getting involved, learning the game and having fun. But if this does go ahead, will companies such as this need to up their game?

Another question to take into account is, how would it work with real money gambling? Those underage can easily access the applications. How will security be enforced if gambling was really introduced? Facebook would have to rely on the honesty of players when entering personal details. Surely then anyone could access the real money games? It is quite easy to lie on a Facebook profile.

Another consideration for this crossover would be that of payment. How would payments be made? Would operators have to use the Facebook Credits system? At the moment, Facebook takes a nice 30% cut of the revenue earned through these, so it is likely they would enforce this even with these apps.

In recent months, Facebook has relaxed in its promotion of gambling and now allows advertisment on the site. It does therefore seem likely that the next step for them would be to introduce the real money apps. It is thought that the company have been held talks with approximately twenty online gaming experts, consultants and social gaming entrepreneurs, but nothing has been officially announced. The only comment made on the matter was from a Facebook spokesperson, who said, “we’re always in discussions with companies about lots of different ideas, but we don’t comment on future plans or speculation.”

Will this be the right move for Facebook? There are a lot of considerations and unanswered questions to take into account. But we’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Let us know in the comments section below.

What Makes a Good Gambler?

Online casinos are growing in popularity; they offer a convenient way to enjoy playing a wide range of casino games from the comfort of your home. They can also be a good-value alternative to a costly casino trip.

The following are ways to ensure that you have the best possible online casino experience.

Choose A Reputable Site

Safety and security should come first when enjoying casino games online. Potential players should ensure that any website they choose is licensed and regulated by the relevant organisations and authorities.

Other security measures to look out for are privacy policies, and secure depositing and withdrawals.

Choose Your Game Wisely

The game you choose to play can be a key factor in whether you enjoy your gambling experience. Good gamblers know where their strengths lie, and generally stick with the games most suited to them.

Know Your Game

Following on from the above, it’s important to know the rules of your chosen game by heart. Once playing, you may be required to think and make decisions quickly, and you’ll feel far more confident doing that if you have established a good grasp of the game beforehand.

Those who would like to try a game that they are unfamiliar with can find game tutorials and tips online, which they should meticulously study in advance.

Many online casinos offer free play that can present the perfect opportunity to practise a game before graduating to playing for money.

Utilise Online Support

24/7 support is a great feature of online casinos that you simply wouldn’t get in an actual casino. There should be someone on hand to help you with any problems or queries, and a good gambler should never be afraid to ask for help if it is needed.

Forums and chat rooms are another form of online casino support that can be very useful for gamblers of all levels; whether just starting out or a seasoned pro.

Meeting like-minded people in a chat room is great for support and advice, and can also be a fantastic boost to your social life.

Many people who use online casinos enjoy this social aspect a great deal. This proves that you don’t need to go to an actual casino or bingo hall in order to enjoy a sociable gambling experience.

Relax

Good gamblers refuse to feel rushed or pressurised while enjoying casino games, which in turn lowers the chance of them making mistakes or bad decisions.

The beauty of the online casino is that the pressure of a busy gambling table full of impatient players is removed. You can play at your own pace and make good decisions in a low-pressure environment.

Take Breaks

Another positive of online casinos is that you can play from home, at a pace to suit you. Regular breaks will ensure that you remain fresh and your mind stays sharp. A weary casino player who has been sat at an uncomfortable game table for hours is unlikely to make the best decisions.

Know When To Stop

The best gamblers always know when to cut their losses. Gambling is a test of nerve, and many games involve levels of skill; but the main thing to remember is that playing online casino games should be enjoyable.

Those who find playing casino games stressful or too difficult should consider switching to a low-pressure game such as bingo, slots or scratch cards.

Those who find themselves getting carried away with their bets when playing should consider either switching to free or low-cost games in order to lower their stakes, or setting themselves a budget for each gaming session.

Good gamblers are those who have a relaxed attitude to online casino games, keeping the experience low-stress and enjoyable.

Know your game and your limits, and you can enjoy a convenient way to play casino games from the comfort of your own home.

BetFred

Betfred started out as a bookie in the sixties and now has over 750 branches, but its online presence is the rising star. Launched in 2004, it came after the company’s telephone service and prides itself on innovation in the betting field. With £1.5 billion turnover, Betfred is a big fish and is registered in Gibraltar for gaming purposes.

With a free up-to-£50 bet on sign-up, the front page of the site is a paragon of simplicity, no dinky tabs here. Instead you have great big slabs of screen acting as links for the most popular services. Click on a slab and you see the more standard betting page fare of live activity, popular bets and the latest odds. Near the bottom of the page is an option to change your view from fractional to decimal or American style figures.

Payment options

Betfred’s front page is one you can actually watch for a bit as it shows the odds for upcoming football matches and races or other current events. Once you’ve got a feel for the action on offer, you can sign up and make your first bet with just a couple of quick steps. You can deposit money with most cards, PayPal and money transfer services (although for some of those, like MyCitadel and NETteller, you may be charged an additional fee if you make more than one deposit per day.)

Betting

Click “Show Event” on one of the highlight panes and you get more detailed bets and odds with sensible lists of likely scorers and so on, with the silly odds options tucked away behind a further options button. It gives the site a good common-sense feel to it and obviously a lot of thought has gone into the design.

Major matches and events offer fully stats and live text or audio commentary. On the side of the page are quick links to live audio for horse racing, greyhounds and football, plus a text service for the horses that provides riders, up to date news including non-runners and conditions. There’s also a football predictor game you can set up with friends as a sideline with lots of prizes.

Betfred’s odds are smack in line with the consensus of other online bookies, with hardly any deviation. For expert bettors, there is Betfred’s Quick Bet tool that can help make wagers in just a couple of clicks. Mobile gaming is available over WAP and Java to support most phones.

Casino

At the top of the Sporting page are tabs for the rest of Betfred’s gambling empire. The casino has a £200 welcome bonus with a downloadable casino floor or in-browser instant play tables, all powered by PlayTech. You can try the tables for free or opt to put cash down with your account. There is a VIP program for regular bettors, with different levels depending on how much many you deposit on a monthly basis and cash back, assuming you gamble plenty at the tables.

Poker

On the Poker tab, the currency switches to dollars with a $600 sign-up bonus and you need to download the PlayTech software to play. There are a thousands of games to join, hundreds of tournaments and tens of thousands of players. On the site is all the usual information on rules, etiquette and strategy to welcome newcomers. With big money tournaments and play-for-fun options, all budgets are catered for.

On the Games and Skill tabs, there are plenty of other diversions including video casino games, slot machines and traditional games like dominos and backgammon. There is also a Bingo tab offering a £30 bonus and a lottery tab that takes you around some of the world’s national lotteries.

Betfred is a thoroughly professional service with a good site, that doesn’t drown the user in silly bets. It is backed up by decent support (phone lines open from 7AM to 11PM UK time) and lots of useful information, including a collection of stats databases for racing, football, golf or cricket and a news page that covers the latest details from each sport of interest.

Tick Box

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: No
  • Download Required: Yes, for Poker
  • Mobile Gambling: Yes
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live Betting: Yes

Bet365

Bet 365 is a part of the 365 Media Group that operates a number of different outlets including TEAMtalk and Football 365. The website was formerly known as ukbetting plc between 2001 and 2006 before it was acquired by BSkyB in January 2007. Extensions of the company, totalbet and the aforementioned ukbetting were absorbed by Skybet which now operate under the mega corporation’s umbrella. Since its profile update, the site has grown in both size and worldwide popularity with it now catering for the needs of over 3 million customers.

Betting

Upon entering the site, the homepage at first seems lifeless and uninspiring, that is until you delve further into the available markets where you will uncover a variety of somewhat obscure sports, as well as the regulars we have come to expect. It is clear from your first visit that this is primarily a sports betting arena. At no immediate point does it suggest otherwise. If you are looking for non-sports related betting you will have to dive deep into the options to unearth such markets as the winner of the next general election to the winner of So You Think You Can Dance. In the very centre of the homepage you have the sites main promotion at the time of writing and this featured a 100% bonus in free bets which corresponds to the amount you place into your account when you initially join. Selecting this option will then open your eyes to the range of other promotions Bet 365 offer which include some rather interesting footy enticers. As well as offering a percentage bonus on accumulators (the more games you pick, the larger the bonus which can go up to 100% if you select 14 games from around the world), there is also the Bore Draw Money Back offer. Basically, if you place a single bet in the win/lose market of any football match, your stake will be refunded if the match ends 0-0, which makes most games an attractive prospect.

Underneath the promotion link lies the Top Coupons section which acts as a short cut, taking you directly to your area of expertise whether it be soccer, tennis or horse-racing. Following on from this there is the Live In-Play section which details all of the markets that are available at the time of your visit related to real time sporting events. The rest of the markets are listed in a tab style along the left hand side of the page. What will amaze you upon browsing the available options is the variety on offer. You can literally bet on anything that is even close to being sporting related, so much so that there are some sports that can be betted on that we’ve never even heard of (Trotting and Bandy anyone?). Aside from this you have all the traditional options and a few unexpected ones, bowls for example. Bet 365 also offers you the chance to take part in lotteries from all around the world. As well as the popular Irish lottery, you can also purchase tickets for the New York and German lotteries.

Casino

Although outright betting is the most obvious offering from this site, there is also an online Casino in which punters can gamble their cash. Card and table games can all be participated in and these areas feature favourites such as Blackjack and Deuces Wild. Live Dealer is another option for customers to use and this sees all the drama unfold right in front of you during your session. While the site does have its own dedicated Poker area (we will come to this later on), under the Casino title is Video Poker which requires a programme download. It offers a £100 initial match bonus when you sign up and allows competition against others sporting their most off putting tactics. The site features live counters for games too, which detail how much money is being pumped into a game and what the potential prize amounts are.

Welcome Bonus

The actual Poker section itself offers a $500 new player bonus when registering for the service as well as a range of tournaments that vary in winning amounts. The whole area does not seem as newb friendly as other sites however. There is a guaranteed monthly prize pool of $1,000,000 in one particular set of tournaments meaning a $200,000 windfall for each individual winner.

Bet365 features an extensive Games section that offers winnings through themed slot and regular games. These include the gambling website favourite, Monopoly as well as War Of The Worlds and HiLo Gambler. Another pretty cool game that you can participate is a money making/losing adult version of the childhood classic, Top Trumps. Among the themes are Football Stars, Legends and Managers and here you are able to place money whilst playing the game (you’ll be quids in if you get the Fergie card!). Finally there is the Bingo area of the site which offers a range of different competitions based on the number shouting past time. Manic Mondays puts you in with a shot of winning £25 just by playing and First Class Fever offers a £1,000 daily prize.

It should be noted that while Bet365 does deal in American Dollars in some areas, the main currency is the English Pound. The currency converter will help you with this when you have to use one or the other though. Fractional betting is the main format used throughout the site but you can choose the option to switch to decimal if you so wish. Bet365 is not the best presented site out there but it more than makes up for it with its vast range of games and markets. It offers new things with the Top Trumps game and markets on any virtually any sport you can think of. Although the site is affiliated with the BSkyB corporation, the odds do vary from those offered on SkyBet, allowing it to remain a standalone bookie with a unique identity. With its market repertoire, it is clear to see why this is one of the best and most recognised brands in the gambling world.

Tick Box:

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Yes
  • Download Required: Yes (for Video Poker)
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live Betting: Yes
  • Mobile Betting: Yes By: Ben Stokes Score:

Betclic

Betclic (used to be Betclick but has changed to match its continental brand name) is a London-based company with offices in Malta for regulatory purposes. It offers the usual array of sports, poker, games and casino offerings. Fronted by Marcel Desailly, new members get a £20 refund on their first bet. With over a million members around the world, the company is a sizeable outfit and offers a well-presented and friendly website.

The most noticeable feature for beginners is the level of help available. With annotated visual guides to creating accounts, betting and gaming, it will be hard to go wrong and there is the usual “?” help icon on most pages if trouble does strike. Support is current via a web form, but phone support is promised soon.

Betting

On the Sports page, all the major sports from around the world are available down the left, broken up into leagues, divisions and so on. Odds are clearly displayed for football, and other sports it simply highlights what you’ll win for a fixed specific bet. You can also look at a calendar for upcoming events across all sports and the Live Betting button opens up a list of every active and immediate event.

Odds go right down the middle of the limited variation you’ll see on any site, you might find the odd pound here or there, but Betclic sticks pretty tightly to the party line, even for more random bets like half-time scores. Similarly, there isn’t much commentary or insight into an event, just a tabloid paragraph or two to set the scene.

Poker

The Poker side of Betclic is hosted by Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier, she plays in tournaments on the site from time to time and there is a cash bonus for members of the Betclic Poker Club that beat her. Betclic uses Boss Media software for its Poker download and provides a smart front end and decent table layout for playing on.

There is a full version for Windows and a Flash download for Windows or Mac users. With options to find players, locate a suitable game quickly without browsing through the tables, it’s a pretty slick application which can run in full-screen or windowed mode. It even has a choice of two or four colour deck cards for those who have trouble distinguishing the usual red/black scheme and an option to turn off the sound effects.

Welcome Bonus

There’s a €200 euro welcome bonus (if you deposit €100) for poker players and plenty of tutorials and help for newcomers to the games. On the Casino and Games tabs, players can find a range of table, slots, video poker and other games to have some fun with. Some of the jackpots are fairly staggering, the MegaFortune slots is nearing €2,500,000 at the time of writing and you can try them out for fun without needing an account. Each game has a clear menu option for the rules and playing in fullscreen mode, no hunting about for tiny icons, which is a welcome change.

Betclic’s web pages look professional and attractive and the site has lots of help for all levels of gamblers, it has a middle of the road approach to odds and good software for poker players. With the usual levels of security, money handling and improving support, it’s a good to place to go for your betting needs.

Tick Box

Safe: Yes
Demos: Yes
24/7 Support: No
Download Required: Yes (for Poker)
Promotions: Yes
Live Betting: Yes
Mobile Betting: No

Paddy Power

Paddy Power is Ireland’s biggest and most successful bookmaker. It was founded in 1988 when three existing Irish high street bookmakers combined their skills in a merger. The now internationally recognised company claim to “take an unconventional approach to betting and gambling,” believing them to be “firmly rooted in leisure and entertainment space.” The well renowned bookmaker operate outlets throughout the UK and Ireland with 190 operating in the brand’s origin, eight in Northern Ireland and 60 in the UK itself (as of October 31st 2008). The mission is to make risk-based entertainment more accessible and fun which is believed to have contributed to strong reputation as “The Punter Friendly Bookmaker.”

Betting

When you enter the site, the first thing that will slap you in the face harder than a losing home banker is the sheer amount of betting options on show. In all there are nine different tabs that offer a range of betting options. Clearly the focus here is on as this is the default page that you are presented with. In the centre of the page lies an image sliding reel of promotions and related to current interest. For example, best priced trebles and the latest odds on the African Nations Cup were prominent at the time of our visit. Located underneath is a quick link, tab style box that highlights the top five betting options in three different areas. Live Betting, the Next 5 Races and the Top 5 are all viewable in this area, which helps to pull customers straight to a more instant style of betting. Following on from this is a highlights section that details upcoming events, for example football matches being played on the same day/night of your visit. Included is a short creative writing piece on each which adds a touch of humour to your experience and in turn gives it a very homely feel.

When it comes to sporting , literally have the lot. Whether Basketball or Mixed Martial Arts is your thing, you have the options of slapping some of your hard earned money down on the latest odds. They were even offering on the 2010 Winter Olympics at the time of writing, something not often seen or advertised on rival sites. A betting area in which some sites fail is the more obscure markets but even cater for these needs. While other sites do offer some, they are either not very well highlighted or not on offer at all. In a section of the site called Novelty you can wager money on some of the less mainstream markets. For example if you fancy a shot at guessing the first member of Girls Aloud to have a baby, the next CEO of British Airways or even the next Bond Girl (the smart money says Cheryl Cole – for all three) then look no further. There is an immense amount of depth and variety here.

On the site’s homepage there is a tick box style advert as to why you should choose . One of the reasons is that the company offer early payouts on events and markets that they feel are already done and dusted, even if the result has not been made official yet. also offer “Paddies Price Promise” which applies to both Horse and Greyhound Racing and basically ensures you get the best possible price, no matter when you placed your . If you place a on the winner of a race and then these odds change, whether or not they go longer or shorter, you will be guaranteed to get the best odds, regardless of what they were when you placed the , if your pick wins. This is just one of the many promotions and unique offerings from the site. Another one is Last Man Standing whereby you pay £5 to enter and all you have to do is pick one winner from one Premiership match. If your pick does indeed win, you go through to the next week. This then continues until there is only one person left who will pick up the £10,000 prize. If you fall at the first hurdle, you can re-enter the following week for absolutely nothing. The site offers a decimal conversion option along with a calculator which will ensure you understand exactly how much your potential winnings could be too.

Crikey! All this and we haven’t even begun to mention the other services offer. If standard betting and is not your thing then never fear as caters for your hand dealing needs. It operates in Dollars however so be aware of this when you sign up. It features a School section which informs you of rules and tips on how to win. It also operates a number of tournaments that are tailored to your experience levels. Beginners tournaments are available for those of you may be new to the scene. There are a variety of different promotions here too which include the C*A*S*H army rewards (a spin-off from the famous series M*A*S*H) which rewards players depending on how often they participate. This offers a very light-hearted and fun approach to the otherwise serious matter of gambling. There is also the choice available which delivers such as Roulette, and slot . You can even download a straight to your desktop for easy access.

In honesty we could go on forever talking about the range of options on offer at . We didn’t even have enough time to discuss the fact that they offer financial spread betting and a large section for you to channel your skills into. offer what seems to be unrivalled promotions in terms of amount and appeal. What we have is one of the most user friendly sites we have experienced and the one that delivers the largest amount of fun and options.

Tick Box

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Unclear
  • Live Chat: Yes
  • Download Required: Yes (For a range of )
  • Promotions: Yes