Full Tilt Poker Review

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Full Tilt Poker:

The snappily-named Full Tilt Poker website has been running since 2004, and since that time has built up a decent following with players. So much so, I decided it was time to give this popular site the once over.

As with the vast majority of poker rooms on the web, to join in the fun a player must first download the free software. However, this really is made easy and with a number of links to the download page, a player should be able to easily navigate to the appropriate part of the poker website. Once there, it's simply a matter of downloading the 9.6mb file and installing. While this initial download may seem daunting to those on a slow connection, it is worth remembering that the software only needs to be downloaded once - for future playing sessions a player simply needs to load the program as they would any other on their computer.

For me, downloading and installing proved to be very easy, and within a few minutes I was faced with the log on screen for the poker room. Having not played here before, it was at this point that I went through the registration process to play. This too was very straight forward, with a player simply having to submit their name and address details in order to be given instant access to the poker lobby. All players have to chose an identity name on signing up, but being in an unimaginative mood opted for the plain 'OnlineJan' moniker!

Once inside the lobby, the first thing that struck me was the wide selection of games available. As well as the standard Texas Hold 'Em offering, Full Tilt also offers Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi / Lo, Stud, Stud Hi / Lo and even Razz. I have to say I think this is one of the fullest selections of poker games available online and Full Tilt should be congratulated for this. Bearing in mind that each game can be played at various cash levels as well as via tournament play, it should mean every player should find a game that meets their needs here. With almost 30,000 players connected at the same time as me it should also mean a game should be available any time night or day!

One thing that should be mentioned at this point is that Full Tilt actually has its own team of poker pros that are often found playing on the site. It is probably the influence of this team that has shaped the large selection of games and the excellent playability of the site (more of which later). I definitely think it's a good sign for a poker site when pros such as Chris Ferguson and Phil Ivey affiliate themselves with sites such as this.

Of course, as with all gambling it's not really much fun without betting real money (although play money tables are available). As such, I headed to the Full Tilt cashier to make a purchase. A good number of deposit options are available including the now-standard offering of credit card, NeTeller and Click 2 Pay. This selection certainly seemed fine, although I must slightly criticise the minimum purchase amount of $50 which I thought could put off some small stake players. Nevertheless, as I had intended to purchase $100 anyway - this was fine. Incidentally, it was NeTeller that I used to purchase on this occasion with my deposit going through without hassle.

While I am not a much of a poker player (and therefore don't really play enough to look carefully in to poker bonuses), I was surprised to see that Full Tilt offer a massive $600 sign-up bonus to new players. This is a 100% match bonus. The great thing too is that the bonus is released in $10 increments as a player plays. As such, there are no hassles about withdrawing at any time and similarly, bonus bucks are added to an account automatically simply for playing poker! The handy in-software tracker is also great for seeing exactly how the bonus release is looking.

To begin my play I sat down at a $1/$2 No-Limit cash table. I figured this was probably a typical table a player may want to join and as such I wanted to see how the Full Tilt offering compared to the many online poker rooms available.

The first thing that struck me was the graphics that have been employed by Full Tilt are of a really high quality. From choosing the background image used to the cool avatars representing each playing, Full Tilt have clearly decided to inject some fun in to playing poker. And I have to say, for me this really worked! The user interface used is also really intuitive and when combined with the graphics and sound effects definitely adds up to a playing experience as good as anything competitors have to offer.

Unfortunately, I didn't get off to the greatest of starts, although this was really due to my bad play. That didn't stop me blaming it on bad luck though! A nice feature I did found though (while trying to remember how to play good poker!) was the statistic window. This is a handy tool that shows how far into each hand a player goes and similar how many hands they win. As I expected, this revealed to me I was playing way too many hands - no wonder I was losing money so quickly!

As well as checking out the cash games I also took part in one of the Full Tilt tournaments. These tournaments are a great way to play poker for a set amount of money. Basically, a player makes a contribution to the prize pot and also a small contribution to the house for hosting the game. With tournaments ranging from one-on-one games to massive multi-table games, as with the cash games there really should be something for everyone at full tilt. Unfortunately, my tournament didn't do anything for my bank balance either!

Since I didn't seem to be doing very well on this occasion, I actually decided next to stop playing poker and to withdraw the $50 I still had in my account. With many poker rooms money is held for a few days before actually being processed. However, with Full Tilt I found my withdrawal sitting in my NeTeller account within literally a few hours of cashing in. This really is superb, and again makes it easy to see why Full Tilt is so popular.

After my cash in had been processed I actually opted on this occasion to close my account. This was not for any bad reason but rather to stop me spending too long playing poker! As such, the final I think I checked out was the Full Tilt Poker support offering.

Support itself is offered around the clock, although only via email. While it is good that support is contactable, I did find it a shame that no instant support methods are offered. Nevertheless, my email was responded to within a few hours. As long as this continues to be the case, I wouldn't have too many concerns. Having said that, it is a disappointment that a poker room that does so well in other areas should let itself down in this area.

In conclusion, I have to say I was very impressed with this poker room and after testing it out it's clear to see why it is so popular. The poker room hosts a huge number of tables with the variety of games and limits available being perhaps the best I have seen on line. The game play itself is excellent with simple controls making play very easy. Add to this the great cash processing part of the poker room and things really do look good. The only disappointment is with the limited customer support offering. However, apart from this slight downside there really is little to put me off recommending this great poker room. Nice job, Full Tilt!

Click Pictures to Enlarge

The Full Tilt bonus tracker makes it easy to see how much you need to play to earn any bonus awarded Bonuses at Full Tilt

A pretty standard lobby is utilized by Full Tilt Poker to highlight the various tables in play Full Tilts Poker Lobby

I make a pretty-bad play at the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Table Not The Best Play

Hand statistics can be viewed at any time to help a player see the type of game they are playing Poker Hand Statistics

One thing I really liked at Full Tilt was the amusing avatars that each player can select! Lots Of Avatars Available

A reasonably nice starting hand means I decide to raise the pot Making a Raise

Full Tilt's tournaments are a great way to play poker for a set amount of money Tournaments at Full Tilt

With the highest pair and a great kicker I feel pretty confident whilst playing this tournament hand A Tournament Hand

Seven Card Stud is one of the less-popular games available at Full Tilt Seven Card Stud

I feel quite confident with my hand as we bet at the final stage of the hand A Decent Hand on Sixth Street

A player can chose how their table looks from 4 different designs - something I thought was a very nice touch Choose From 4 Table Designs

Full Tilt Poker Strong Points:
  • Excellent selection of games with both cash and tournament games offering play for micro-players and whales alike
  • Good graphics and smooth overall game play makes playing at Full Tilt really good fun
  • Excellent deposit and withdrawal facilities
  • Huge sign-up bonus available for simply playing poker!
Things Full Tilt Poker Could Improve:
  • $50 minimum deposit amounts could be too high for small stake players
  • Customer support is only offered via email
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