Black Chip Poker is the newest member of the Winning Poker Network, coming from the Merge Gaming Network just last fall. Between launching post Black Friday, being on the Merge Network and accepting US players, they have a relatively large player base to tap into. At peak times you will see anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 players on their network. So in our eyes they are definitely worth reviewing.
The focus of this review will be to highlight what we feel are the most important qualities of a poker site including the games, software, promotions, banking and support. Using this information we hope that you will be able to determine whether or not Black Chip poker is the right room for you.
VIP Program at Black Chip Poker
Compared to other sites on the Winning Poker Network, the VIP program at Black Chip is very similar. It’s called the Elite Benefits program, and players move up tiers as they earn benefit points at 5.5 points per $1 in rake.
As players accumulate benefit points they move up levels and earn bonuses and other rewards up to the thousands of dollars depending on how volume you are willing to put. We definitely like the potential to earn $10,000 in bonuses over the course of a year.
Black Chip Poker’s Promotions
There are a number of ongoing promotions at Black Chip Poker. Here are the details behind the most consistent ones.
$1000 Deposit Bonus
The promotion you’re probably most interested in is the deposit bonus. It’s a 100% match up to $1000. So, for every $1 that you deposit Black Chip will give you $1 in return.
To earn your bonus you will need to play real money games and generate points. Every 55 points that you earn you will unlock $1 of your bonus with your bonus being paid to you in $10 increments. Your bonus will expire in 40 days.
In addition to the $1000 deposit bonus, players will also receive the rewards as mentioned above as well as access to several freerolls.
Bad Beat Jackpot
The Winning Poker Network is well known for their bad beat jackpots dubbed The Beast. The jackpots frequently hit the six figure mark, and pays out frequently.
To hit the bad beat jackpot the losing hand must at least be quad sevens and be beaten with quad eights. Once the jackpot is hit, every active player at the table will receive a portion of the jackpot, with the losing player earning the largest amount.
Black Chip Poker runs several guaranteed tournaments every week. The guarantees range anywhere from $1000 to $50,000 while some tournaments run daily and others on a weekly basis. Additionally, you may use freerolls or satellite tournaments if you aren’t willing or able to buy in directly and these tournaments provide great value.
Seasonal / Short Term Promotions
Last, Black Chip Poker runs several short-term or seasonal promotions. This includes freerolls, step tournaments to live tournaments, giveaways and tournament series’, such as the Online Super Series, which runs every few month and alternates with the Mini Online Super Series. To stay up to date on all the promotions you want click the promotion link within the lobby.
Black Chip Poker’s Games
Here are some details about the games at Black Chip, including the game types, variations, traffic and stakes they offer.
You’ll find the most popular poker games listed here including hold’em, omaha, stud and draw. The most popular game is hold’em followed by omaha. The rest of the games only had a few tables running. Stakes start at .01/.02 and run up to 30/60.
When I reviewed the site (4:30pm PST), there were a little over 1,700 players in the cash game section, which accounted for a little less than 25% of Black Chip’s total traffic.
There are numerous tournament options at Black Chip Poker. Buy-ins start at $.06 and are as high as $530. Like the cash games, Texas hold’em is the dominant game. There were several omaha, stud, badugi and mixed games listed but few were running, which is not surprising given the lack of games in the cash game section.
There are several variations too, including shootouts, rebuys, deep stacks and satellites.
The tournament section had about 2,700 players, which accounted for 33% of the total traffic.
Sit n Go’s
The sit n go’s are going to be the same as the tournaments. Hold’em is the most popular game, and the variations include satellites, turbos, super turbos and deep stacks. Both single and multi-table sit n go’s run, including heads-up, 4, 6, 9, 10, 18, 45, 90 and 180-mans.
There were about 1200 players when I last checked, which accounts for 15% of the total traffic. Nothing to write home about, but consistent with the last few times I reviewed the site.
Black Chip Poker’s Software
The software that Black Chip uses is from the Winning Poker Network. You’ll find that it’s different from other networks and independent sites – in a good way. Here are my thoughts about the lobby, table and the use of 3rd party software.
What I like best about the lobby is that there are few distractions. You aren’t bombarded with advertisements. The games are the focus, and anything else that you might need including the cashier, support, casino and store are easily accessible from the top navigation.
Poker Table & Options
The table set up at Black Chip Poker is solid. It can be manually resized, tiled or stacked, and players can have up to 18 tables open at a time.
The tables can also be customized to look different. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of combinations between all the individual options for the felt, carpet, rail and card backs.
In addition to aesthetics, you have all the standard options including auto muck, auto post, statistics and multiple methods for how to bet including a slider, window to enter in your own bet and fractional pot buttons.
3rd Party Software
Black Chip Poker does allow players to use third-party software such as Poker Tracker 3 and Hold’em Manager.
Support at Black Chip Poker
You can get in touch with Black Chip Poker support either by e-mail or contact form. I’ve contacted Black Chip using e-mail, and every time I’ve received a response in less than 24 hours. I’ve never had a bad experience with their support; they’ve always been helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
There are a few banking options at Black Chip Poker available for players in the United States. That said, the banking options available to you will depend on where you live. The banking options include:
- Online Bank Transfer
- Person To Person Transfer
- Player Transfer
Withdrawals are made via check or debit card and cashouts are very quick. US players requesting a check can expect checks to take 2 to 3 weeks to process and up to a week to make it to your mailbox. Debit card cashouts only take a few days.
Given today’s poker market in the United States, we really like Black Chip Poker. Partially because of the fast cashouts but also because of a solid deposit bonus and decent amount of traffic.