In a Nutshell
- Top highlights: Sky Poker offers some great bonuses and offers as well as unique poker features
- VIP or loyalty programme: Yes
- Other offerings: Casino, live casino, sport, bingo
A magnet for Texas Hold’em fans looking for a unique twist to their poker game, Sky Poker offers some fantastic bonuses, unique playing experiences and simple, hands-down enjoyable fun. Sky Poker has been known for taking an alternative approach to online poker with no software download and only instant play, however, they now offer both download and flash play. We also found the site offers some unique features that most other poker sites do not. This includes their distinct welcome bonus, their helpful hand-history tool and their innovative Texas Hold’em playing options.
Known for their famous Flash client instead of a software download, the Sky Poker site has already won over a lot of potential players who have Linux or Mac platforms or who dislike the risks often associated with heavy downloads. Their instant play comes with no worrisome software installations, no panic about system slow down, and no need to consider things like spyware or problems with other programs. Instead, the player can just click on the “Instant Play” link , and begin the process of creating an account.
Once you begin to use the site, you will come to enjoy many of the excellent features, such as the “quick seat” option that gets you a place within seconds of logging in. There are times, however, when this function struggles in their instant play due to a sudden rush of activity. It is fairly easy to see that a lot of people login and play a few hands (via the Flash option) during the traditional lunch break hours, and this tends to cause a serious decline in the quality of the play. There is also a bit of a delay in the Flash program as it first loads the tables and screens of gaming data, and particularly so when a huge number of players are attempting to get seats all at once.
This is why Sky has recently introduced a brand-new software download supported by Adobe Air. We found that this new download can help avoid delays and slow loading to keep your games running smoothly.
Ease of Use
The software for the site requires the use of Firefox or Internet Explorer (or Mac and Linux platforms) to operate, and then relies on the Flash technology to provide fast gaming. The look of the site is extremely basic, which keeps your focus on the cards and on the action. There is no lengthy customization process, however, they do provide various “filters” that can make it easier for you to navigate and play. One of the most successful and helpful is their hand-history tool which allows players to view their entire hand history from the previous six months at all times. We found this to be a very good way to strengthen the game. Having access to your past strategies, and the details about recognizable competitors, can only improve your playing.
If you are already a registered user of the Sky Bet sports book site, this account is linked to Sky Poker accounts, and this means that you can actually use that to begin playing, otherwise you simply register your new account and make a deposit to begin your participation in ring games or tournaments.
We should note, however, that the site uses a bit of an alternative approach to its bonus release, and calculates it based on the number of poker points that the player accumulates in their first 30 days of gaming. This means that most players will be able to earn a substantial return on their gaming and without the frustration of a minimum initial deposit being required.
Newly registered players are also the only ones with access to the special New Player Free Roll that happens every Tuesday evening. This is a real money poker option in which all new clients are automatically enrolled. There are also other promotions available for players who have already registered and gone past their initial 30-day period. For example, their Cash for Points promotion give players the opportunity to earn a variety of payments based entirely on their point levels, with a cap of £2,000.
One of the major bonuses of the Sky Poker site is the incredibly effective customer support team. The site is unusual in that it offers every single type of communication imaginable. From live chats to free telephone services, emailing, and “snail mail” or postal communications, the site encourages clients to contact them for service or to make comments about the site or the way that the games operate.
This gives us the chance to look at the games offered again. As already mentioned, the site makes only Texas Hold’em available, but does so in some innovative ways. They have the Sky channel 865 option that lets players engage in televised cash games that allow them to actually see their competition as the game plays out. There are also more than 100 cash tables available too. The tournaments are quite diverse and range from satellites with buy ins as low as £2 to televised bounty events with pools that reach up into the thousands. Finally, they also have ten-seat sit and go tournaments too, and these make tiered payouts available to all participants.
Though there are a lot of ring games and tournaments (both with televised options available) the site is really for novices and recreational players. There are not a lot of major or high stakes pots, and this is why so many lunchtime poker enthusiasts feel comfortable logging in on their break.
Sky Poker makes numerous payment and withdrawal methods are available. Though closed to American players, they can accept Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron and Maestro. The withdrawal process uses the same and usually occurs within a four-day period.
All in all, we would give this site very high ratings for the recreational or beginning poker players. As a primary resource for those who really enjoy Texas Hold’em it is hard to beat, and the low buy ins and diverse tournament options are not likely to let any registered player get bored quickly. Remember that their famous a web-based option means it can be played from a computer or through some mobile devices as well!