- Slot Machines
- Video Poker
Crazy Poker is powered by software from Microgaming, but unlike a number of Microgaming-powered poker rooms, Crazy Poker offers a no-download Flash version of the software as well as a traditional download version. Although not totally unique in doing this, I was by impressed and I'm sure this will be appreciated by those on dial-up connections. Of course, anybody can use the download version of the software, and with the initial download file being just 5.18mb in size, even dial-up users should be able to have the software up and running within around 20 minutes.
All play at the Crazy Poker tables occurs using the US$ currency and to gain access to the lobby, a player must be a registered player of the poker room. This is achieved through completing a standard form where a player provides key details about themselves.
I found registration very simple, and within a few minutes I was sitting in the Crazy Poker lobby. All the available tables are presented in the easy-to-navigate Crazy Poker lobby. These tables are broken down into game types (Hold 'Em, Stud etc.) and also into betting size. As such, a player can easily navigate to a $2/$4 No-limit Hold 'Em game ( assuming that's what they are looking for of course!) The different tournament games (of which there are plenty) are also accessible from the Crazy Poker lobby.
Of course, no play can happen (apart from on the free play tables) without a player having first made a purchase, and as such I headed to the Crazy Poker cashier. The standard Microgaming cashier is used at Crazy Poker and as such a wide range of e-wallet solutions are available alongside more traditional depositing methods such as credit cards or bank wires. I opted to make a credit card deposit and was pleased to find my $100 deposit request was processed without problem.
As with a number of poker rooms, Crazy Poker try and entice people to make these first time deposits by offering a couple of nice sign-up offers. Firstly, a free $10 is available to all players that download and register - this is great to test things out. Of course, to get a real feel though a deposit will probably have to be made and as such Crazy Poker offer a 40% bonus up to $40 to make those initial dollars go further! It should be noted that a specific number of raked hands must be played before the bonus is available, but once it's added, the money is completely free - no strings attached!
At Crazy Poker I found that a good number of the connected people (of which there were almost 10,000 at the time of playing!) were sitting at the Hold 'Em tables. However, unlike with a number of poker sites, a decent number of people were also playing the less popular games such as 5-Card Stud, 7-Card Stud, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo. As such, whatever a player's favorite game, they should be able to find a decent game at Crazy Poker.
I decided to begin my play by joining in a Hold'em game, specifically by sitting down at a $.50 / $1 No-limit game. A nice thing with Crazy Poker is the huge range of tables available - players can sit at $0.05 / $0.10 tables just as easily as they can join in with the high rollers on the $100/$200 tables.
After having played a few rounds of poker, I began to form my initial impression of Crazy Poker - and I have to say these impressions were pretty positive. It soon became clear that Microgaming have thought about the things important to a player in designing this poker room. As such, the graphics used are clear and of high quality. Similarly, the use of sound effects enhances the overall presentation of the game. More importantly, though, the speed of the games is excellent. There's no hanging around here and as such a player really can experience the ups and downs of poker in the way the game's supposed to be played. Add to this the fact that a straight forward player interface is used and it becomes difficult to suggest ways in which this poker room could be improved.
I also did reasonably well to begin with, which also helped me to form a positive opinion of Crazy Poker! I decided on this occasion I was going to be the bluff king - and to just bet out whenever it was plausible that I was holding a decent hand. Of course, betting as if you have Aces when you don't isn't wise if another player actually does have a good hand, but thankfully on this occasion my bluffs seemed to be working well!
In fact, with my bank roll boosted from my initial $100 to around $140 I decided to see what other games I could get involved in. It was at this point that I came across a heads-up table. For the best in non-stop action I really would recommend these player-on-player games as quite literally a decision has to be made every few seconds. Again, gameplay was excellent as was the presentation, but I soon got in over my head as I found myself going all-in with $123 on what was another bluff!
Thankfully, I survived this one again, but having decided that this bluffing game was going to get me in trouble I decided it was game to play something a little gentler. As such, I sat down at the 7-Card Stud table. As stated earlier, even less-popular games such as this seem to have a decent following at Crazy Poker, and I had no trouble finding a handful of people involved in a $0.25/$0.50 Pot Limit game.
I have to say that I do enjoy playing Stud poker - but when it comes to strategy, I really don't have a clue. I tend to just keep putting money into the pot hoping that I'll get lucky! On this occasion I won some and lost some, but did have some fun. A nice feature is the chat facility, which allows a player to engage in chat with the other players at the table. Of course, there's no guarantee that people will want to chat back, particularly if you've just taken all their money!
At this point my bank roll was up to around $165, and so I decided I would take part in one tournament before calling it a day. As such, I headed over the tournament section of this poker room. At Crazy Poker a huge range of tournaments are available night and day - ranging from low-value single-table tournaments to huge multi-table tournaments offing prizes such as a seat at the World Series of Poker. Tournaments can be a great way to engage in some play for a fixed amount of money, and as such I sat down at a $10+$1 no-limit game.
As with cash games, the same quality game presentation is on show making the play really enjoyable. Of course, it's always nice when you win a prize, and thanks to a couple of decent hands (that were well played on my part - oh, the modesty!) I came second for a nice $15 pay off. Of course, the $35 first prize would have been appreciated, but when it comes to heads-up at the end of the tournament, lucky really does begin to play a part and sadly luck was on the side of my opponent on this occasion!
I now had about $170 sitting in my account and so headed to the cashier to make a withdrawal. Withdrawing at Crazy Poker should be simple, but unfortunately it was at this point I encountered problems. I had my cash-in rejected not once but twice because I had not met the sign-up conditions. But I argued that since the bonus is only added AFTER wagering conditions are achieved, it should not matter when a player cashes in. Although this was finally sorted out, it did put a dampener on my Crazy Poker experience.
What's more, as I had deposited by credit card I had to fax in a copy of my ID and a signed authorization form. I realize this is for my own protection, but is annoying nevertheless. Having said that, when all these issues were rectified I actually had my cash in processed within about 48 hours. Just a shame this couldn't have been processed so smoothly in the first place!
With the above problems, I actually had genuine reason to contact customer support on this occasion. At Crazy Poker, this support is offered in the form of email, telephone and live chat. I have to say, the number of support options impressed me - particularly the fact that toll-free telephone numbers are available for over 15 countries. Similarly, the person I spoke to on the phone was most helpful in assisting me with my above issue, although having said that, it took two phone calls and two rejections to receive my money!
In conclusion, I have to say that I was impressed overall with the Crazy Poker offering. The poker room has been put together in a very high-quality fashion and the huge number of people connected at any one time means there should always be a game available. Similarly, the banking section of the poker room seems to work sufficiently well, although they do seem to have a problem at the moment understanding how their own bonus works! Should problems occur, though, customer support is easy to contact and in the most part the poker room representatives are both helpful and courteous. All in all, I think Crazy Poker is definitely worth checking out, if only by using the poker room's only $10 freebie!