William Hill Poker Review

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William Hill Poker:

William Hill is a major name in UK betting. Founded in 1934, the company achieved its fame through setting up high street betting shops of which William Hill now owns over 1,600. However, since the mid 1990's William Hill has expanded rapidly beyond mere sports betting, and now offers a wealth of betting opportunities both via telephone and the Internet. It is the latter of these betting opportunities, and specifically Wagerlogic-powered William Hill Online Poker, that is the focus of this review.

William Hill's website is very well thought out, and navigation to the relevant poker section is made easy through the simple-to-use navigation bar. After reading a bit about what to expect at William Hill Poker, I clicked the 'play now' button and the required download began.

The William Hill Poker download actually comes in two parts; first - the 'installer' application is initialized - this takes just a minute or so to download. Then this installer connects to the Internet to download the remaining required files. On a dial-up connection the total installation procedure takes around 25 minutes. However, for those people who do not want to download from the 'Net, William Hill offers a free CD version of the software - simply complete a form and the required software is sent to your home free of charge. I thought this was a nice touch.

With download and installation now complete, I proceeded to launch the William Hill Poker software for the first time. It should be noted at this point that William Hill's services are fully integrated. As such, just one account is needed for betting, whether it is on sports, poker or at the casino. Since I had played at the William Hill Casino before, I simply had to enter my usual username and password to play poker.

William Hill Poker presents all the available games in a lobby format. What's interesting, is that different currency games can all be accessed through the same lobby (dollars, pounds and euros). When entering any game, a player's account balance is converted into the correct currency automatically. As such, even though I had an account denominated in UK £, I was still able to enjoy all the different games available.

Realizing that I had done a lot of looking but not any playing, I proceeded to click the cashier button and make a deposit. Because of the integrated account set-up, the software actually takes you back to the William Hill website. A pleasant surprise was the minimum deposit amount - just £2 is all that is required. However, knowing that a bigger bankroll would be needed, I deposited £65 and headed back to the poker lobby.

In terms of bonuses, William Hill does not offer a sign-up bonus for poker play. However, each month, for the first 5 hours worth of cash games played, players are rewarded with £5 (approx. $9) per hour. As such, that's an extra £25 per month just for playing poker. Other incentive schemes are also available from time to time - for example, when I played, every player participating in 1,250 or more raked games in the month was entered into a draw to win a seat at the World Series of Poker (total prize package worth $12,000)!

Every cash game played also offers the opportunity for a bonus payout - William Hill offers a £300 bonus for every royal flush hand dealt and a bad beat jackpot of £1500 (this rises by £100 each day, but is often won at least once a day).

With my bankroll now looking healthy I had to decide what type of game to play. William Hill offers a number of different games (Omaha, 7-card stud etc.) but I settled on by far the most popular type of game, Texas Hold'em. Players can choose whether they want to play Limit (structured betting), Pot Limit (no bets bigger than the pot allowed) or No Limit. This third option allows unlimited bet amounts, and while risky, means that good hands are rewarded. Feeling adventurous, I sat down at a $1/$2 no limit game.

As expected, my - bankroll was instantly converted in to $ as I took my seat. The game I chose allowed up to 10 people to play, and with me being the 10th person to join, meant the table was full. Incidentally, William Hill also offers tables with 6 seats.

After joining the table I was dealt my first cards. As would be expected from a company that prides itself on quality, the graphics used were very pleasing on the eye. It is very clear to see what cards are being dealt, along with how much people have in their bankroll. The graphics are also accompanied with very good sound effects. A very English-sounding gentleman announces 'dealing cards' at the start of each hand as well as indicating when each of the flop, turn and river are dealt. The game play was also pretty fast - which is good considering I was only on a dial-up connection. My only criticism was that there seemed to be a 'stutter' at the start of each hand dealt, but this may well be because of the aforementioned connection speed.

In terms of the players I found myself up against, they actually proved to be very good. In some games you'll find people throwing good money on very bad hands, which can make a table very profitable for a good player. However, in this circumstance I found players to be pretty controlled. As such, this along with me being dealt bad cards meant that my bankroll took a tumble. My bad luck was highlighted by a hand in which I was dealt A Q off-suit. The flop came 8,Q 3, all of hearts. Scared that someone might try and play for another heart (I did not hold one) I bet $10. I only found out at showdown that even at the flop, someone was holding an Ace-high flush hand!

In fact, my luck was so bad that I changed to a £0.50 / £1 no-limit table. Fortunately, my luck here improved. I was dealt a Q and a 3 of hearts. While not great, I decided to bet to see what the flop was. It came out with two more hearts. Deciding to play on for the flush, my gamble was rewarded when the King of Hearts fell on the river to complete it. With a win of £54.75 on that one hand I decided to stop playing cash (ring) games.

Instead I decided to check out the poker tournaments available for play at William Hill Poker. William Hill offers both single table and multi-table tournaments. As with the cash-games, tournaments are also available in different currencies. Although I did look at the multi-table games, I decided I did not have enough time to play (although some big prizes were available because of the huge number of entrants). Instead, I entered myself in a $5, no-limit, single-table tournament.

As with the cash games, the same great game play was on offer. Thankfully, I also found myself playing against a mix of both good and bad players. Since I am an OK player, I managed to get in the top three last players (finishes 1-3 pay out). After much battling, I ended up finishing second and received a nice $15 reward. Even this small tournament took an hour to complete, and as such it proves that even for people with the smallest of bankrolls there is still a way to get a good amount of play.

Although I was thinking of cashing out at this point, I decided to have a quick play of seven-card stud. Whilst this is not my favorite game, it is still enjoyable and I won a nice amount on one hand as well. However, it should be noted that the number of people playing this game was minimal - William Hill does appear to be heavily focused on Texas Hold'em play.

After a bit more play I ended up with a bankroll of £40 and while this is a small loss on my initial deposit, I was still happy with the amount of time I played. As such, I went back to the web cashier and made a withdrawal with no problems. In fact, my withdrawal was back in my bank account the very next day. As such, it was nice to see that William Hill offers such good banking facilities.

Finally, I must comment on support. On some gambling forums I had read in the past that some people have had problems contacting William Hill support. However, I personally found no problem. Support is offered via email, telephone and live chat. Now, I did find that live chat did not work very well; but with telephone and email I had no issues. In fact, when I rang up with an account query (I had forgotten my password) I was dealt with in a very professional manner.

All in all, I would have to say I was impressed with William Hill Poker. The download required is not too big, and it's good to know that huge deposits are not required to play. The use of different currency tables is good and it was pleasing to see many people connected and playing. A small criticism is that William Hill does not offer micro-limit games (smallest is $0.50/$1), but this would only disappoint the very low-limit player. Generally there are a good number of both cash and tournament games available, and the whole offering is backed-up with great banking and support facilities. William Hill has done well to provide such an enjoyable poker experience.

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Click Pictures to Enlarge

The William Hill lobby - play games in pounds, dollars or euros

William Hill Poker Room Lobby

I bet big to try and stop 'Legsup' playing for the flush - unfortunately he already has an Ace-high flush at this point as I find out later

Will Hill Poker

I get the fifth heart on the river to complete my flush hand

William Hill Poker

I bet big to win the opening hand of my 10-player tournament

William Hill Online Poker Tournament

I fold this hand, but am still the chip-leader by a long way

Chip Leader @ William Hill Poker Room

I finish second in the poker tournament and win $15!

William Hill Online Poker Tournaments

A nice three-of-a-kind hand pays off nicely in this 7-card stud poker game

7 Card Stud Poker

High-rollers battle it out at the £20/£40 Limit Hold 'Em table

Online Poker High Rollers

Multi Table Tournaments offer big winnings for small entry fees

Multi Table Online Poker Tournaments @ William Hiull Poker Room

William Hill Poker Strong Points:
  • Small download and software CD available
  • Different currency tables available
  • Very good banking facilities with low minimum deposit
  • Cash-ins processed very quickly
  • Good range of support options
  • Good graphics and sound
Things William Hill Poker Could Improve:
  • No micro-limit games (min. 0.50/1)
  • Not many people playing games apart from Texas Hold'em
  • Live chat does not work well

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