Gnuf Poker Review

Sorry, No US Players Accepted @ GNUF Pokerroom
Gnuf Poker:

During the few years I've been gambling online I've come across most casino and poker sites. And yet when I was asked to renew Gnuf.com I have to admit I hadn't even heard of this site. However, this site is powered by software from Microgaming, a company that allows only the best companies to licence their software. Similarly, the integration of Dream Poker with Gnuf has resulted in a decent sized poker room. As such, I decided to give the poker part of this site the once over.

Gnuf Poker allows players to participate in their poker games via both a download and no-download interface. The latter is great for those that don't want to download and install software and with all the same games available, the no-download flash version of the site offers players the chance to have some fun and win some nice cash. However, to experience the best the site has to offer I would recommend the download interface and indeed it is this one I'll be reviewing in this article.

I like download software as it generally operates more slickly when compared to no-download software and it's handy to have the software readily available when a player feels like a gamble. The Gnuf Poker download weighs in at just a few hundred kilobytes in terms of size. However, this download actually proves to be just an installation program and as such it requests further files from the internet. Interestingly the installer also places Gnuf's casino software on a player's computer as well as the poker software. I actually think this is slightly cheeky - I can download the casino software myself if I want it! Although having said that the casino software can be removed independently from the poker software if this unwelcome software installation bugs a player that much.

With many sites using software from Microgaming a player creates an account within the software. However, this is not true at Gnuf, perhaps something to do with the company's 'integrated account' approach. By this I mean that only one account is required to access either the poker or casino software and as such registration for either casino or poker play automatically enrols a player at both the poker room and casino. The registration process itself is quick and easy and within literally a minute or two I had created my new 'onlinecasinos' account. Sadly Gnuf is a site that doesn't accept US players and as such they aren't allowed to register with the site.

In a similar vein, Gnuf are clearly attempting to attract a European audience as their site is available not only in English but also in German and Swedish. This will certainly appeal to speakers of these languages and importantly customer support is also available for these players (in their native tongue).

Depositing at Gnuf is equally as simple with the poker room offering a good number of deposit options. These include a range of e-wallets such as NeTeller, Click2Pay, Paysafe Card and MoneyBookers. It was NeTeller that I used to make a $100 purchase which was instantly processed by the poker room. First deposits are automatically matched 100% (up to $50) as a 'thank you' from the poker room. However, a player has to accumulate a set number of points (awarded for play) to receive this money. Gnuf also offers a number of other incentives to keep a player coming back such as enhanced tournament prizes, bad beat jackpots, 'magic hand' awards plus competitions giving players the chance to win seats are real tournaments such as the World Series of Poker!

Once within the Gnuf lobby I was immediately with the huge range of available games. A massive selection of tournament and cash games are available considering pretty much every major form of poker. Of course, favourites such as Hold 'Em and Omaha are available but so too are Omaha Hi / Lo, 5-Card Stud and 7-Card Stud. I have to admit that the majority of players gravitate towards the Texas Hold 'Em games, but with a minimum or around 7,000 people connected at any one time (and at peak periods upwards of 10,000 people) there's sure to be a decent game available. I was also impressed with the range of cash games - Limit is playable from $0.05 / $0.10 to $150 / $300 and No-Limit has a low-blind table set at $0.02 / $0.05 and a whale table offering games with blinds at $200 / $400. This selection really should ensure all players tastes are catered for and certainly this selection at least matches if not beats the offering of competitor sites.

I was also impressed with the clean look of the Gnuf poker software. A few years ago pretty much every casino and poker site available used garish graphics - I assume in an attempt to replicate the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. However, Gnuf have definitely moved away from this look and rather present a much more elegant gaming experience. Similarly, I was impressed with the in-game presentation. Graphics used throughout the software are clean and of high quality but are also not overly-decorative making it easy for players to see board cards or the cards they themselves hold. The playing interface is user-intuitive and the software makes it very easy to see the amount of money in a pot or the plays being made by others at the table. With sound effects also thrown in to the mix it really makes play an enjoyable experience.

Of course, winning is also what makes poker fun and so to try and see if I could walk away a winner I firstly sat at a Omaha Sit 'N' Go tournament. Sit 'N' Go games are a great way to play poker for a set amount of money. Basically a player pays a set amount to join the game with the majority going to a prize pot and a small amount going to the house as payment for hosting the game. Players are then all given an equal amount of chips with the aim of the game being to take the chips of all other players. Unfortunately my Omaha skills were a bit rusty and although this was only a 5 seat game, I ended up being knocked out in 4th place.

I did slightly better though at the Pot Limit Beginner table. This is one of the $0.02 / $0.05 games. Although having said that I should be able to do well at a table of this type considering I've been playing poker for years! Sadly the same wasn't true when I decided to play a heads-up $1.50 / $3.00 game. Heads-up games are great fun, particularly if you like fast paced action. Unfortunately though they can also eat away funds fast, particularly when playing at a level such as this! Rake at Gnuf is 'industry standard' with 5% of the pot going to the house between $1-$3 (depending on blind sizes and players seated).

I next had a look around the Stud games. Out of all the available games these were the ones that were the least populated but still a decent game could be had. I do like a change of pace and at Gnuf a player really can play at whatever speed they like. The range of games is great and whether it's 10-player cash games or heads-up tournaments Gnuf offers whatever a player wants!

Sadly on this occasion my play really wasn't up to scratch and I found my bank balance at zero. I guess that's what you get for trying to play with the big boys! Banking is certainly up-to-scratch though at Gnuf with most withdrawals being processed within 2 business days. This is in-line with the majority of good poker rooms online and is certainly acceptable.

Similarly the support function at Gnuf is good. As mentioned earlier support is available in a few languages other than English which will appeal to those that don't speak English as a first language. The support team themselves are available via email or web form on the Gnuf webpage. It's a shame that live help isn't available (e.g. telephone or live chat) but the average response time for sent emails is around 1 hour and I even received a couple of responses (after sending test messages) within 10 minutes or so. This is a pretty decent turnaround time and although not instant, should mean that pressing problems will get the attention they deserve from the Gnuf support team.

In conclusion I was impressed with this site, particularly since I really wasn't sure what to expect. Being on the Microgaming network is definitely a positive start as it means a great range of games are available - both cash and tournament. Similarly, a decent number of players are connected at any one time although as US players are generally banned from this network the site tends to be busiest during European daylight hours. The look of the software is great and the sleek, quality presentation of the games definitely appealed to me. The banking facilities are good and similarly support is responsive. Live help facilities would improve this site but the fast turnaround of emails makes this less of a problem than normal. Generally there is little to complain about with Gnuf - perhaps a few more bonuses would be nice but apart from that I'd certainly have no hesitations in recommending Gnuf for a game or two!

Click Pictures to Enlarge

Gnuf Poker room and Casino are linked meaning players can move money in their account between the two Gnuf Poker Cashier

The lobby has an excellent 'search' function where players can specify the type of game they are after and the limits they want to play at with the software then displaying all available tables Gnuf Poker Lobby

Gnuf Poker also offers a no-download version of the software which looks identical to that which a player can download No Download Option

I join one of the many tournaments available at Gnuf - this one is an Omaha Sit 'n' Go Omaha Sit n Go

A selection of beginner tables, such as this one, allow players to hone their skills before playing for higher stakes Beginner Tables

The easy-to-use playing interface makes it simple for players to make their play Easy To Follow Interface

For players that like heads-up action, a selection of 2-seat tables are available Two Seat Tables

Players at Gnuf have to register on the website before they can access the poker room Registration

A wide range of tournaments are available at Gnuf with each one detailed in the tournament part of the lobby Sit n Go Tournaments

Gnuf Poker Strong Points:
  • Great selection of games covering pretty much every type of game a player could one
  • Clean, sleek image makes play at Gnuf a pleasure and with thousands of players connected at any one time there should always be a good game available
  • Responsive customer support team responds quickly to emails and are available to provide support in a variety of languages
  • Good banking facilities with payouts taking on average 2 business days to be processed
Things Gnuf Poker Could Improve:
  • Introduction of live chat or telephone facilities would be good
  • Bonuses are not as generous as at some other competitor poker sites
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