The Quick Overview
Betfair is the official sponsor of the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe in London and, as such, is one of the top non-U.S. facing sites in the world. In addition to its burgeoning online poker room, Betfair plays host to a sports book, casino, and even arcade games. Its sponsored pros represent some of the premier names in poker and the independent site is one of the longstanding staples of the industry.
Popularity: 8.5 of 10 – Excellent
Betfair is one of the largest independent sites in the world, meaning that it is not a part of an online poker network. Nevertheless, its traffic registers in the top 15 worldwide and the site spreads cash games that include No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, and Pot Limit Omaha. Stakes vary from a minuscule $0.05/$0.10 all the way up to nosebleed $1,000/$2,000 games. Betfair also offers Blackjack within the poker client for those looking for a diversion.
Security: 9.5 of 10 – Excellent
The Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta licenses Betfair. It’s one of the most visible online poker rooms on the planet thanks to its affiliation with the WSOP Europe and, as such, has grown to become one of top trusted brands in the business. Players who wish to exclude themselves from Betfair’s virtual felts can do so with ease and the site has been in operation since 1999. Payment partners include DataCash and the Royal Bank of Scotland and the room boasts a Verisign Class 3 Secure Server Certificate.
Player Competition: 9 of 10 – Excellent
Betfair’s team of sponsored pros includes some of the top young guns of the game, headlined by 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event Champion Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad. The elite female player earned £1 million for her win in 2007 and defeated fellow Betfair pro John “Kunku Wap” Tabatabai heads-up. Also a sponsored pro is Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi, who chopped the 2007 Irish Poker Open. These pros and others have led a host of solid players to placate Betfair, allowing novices the chance to play with some of the game’s best.
Site Software: 7.5 of 10 –Good
The client software at Betfair is arguably the most straightforward in the industry. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles or fancy backgrounds. Instead, Betfair utilizes a streamlined look. It’s just you and the cards, which can be a positive environment for focusing on the game of poker. The lack of artsy software is one of the lone knocks on Betfair by poker players, but our staff can do without avatars and other distracting features.
Customer Support: 9.5 of 10 – Excellent
Betfair has a fully searchable Frequently Asked Questions section if you get lost. Alternately, the site attempts to answer all e-mails within four hours, meaning that you’re never too far from customer service like you might be at other online poker sites. Help is available around the clock via a form available on Betfair’s website. Live Chat is also an option.
Company Ethics: 9.5 of 10 – Excellent
In similar fashion to sites like PartyPoker, Betfair endorses GamCare, which handles those afflicted by problem gambling, as well as Gambling Therapy. All data on the site is encrypted and, with customer support only an e-mail away, you can feel comfortable depositing on Betfair.
Site Promotions: 9.5 of 10 – Excellent
As part of its sponsorship arrangement with the WSOP Europe, Betfair offers unique promotions in conjunction with the tournament series each year. In addition, it qualifies players in droves for the Aussie Millions, which plays out each January, as well as other land-based poker tournaments. A $500 sign-up bonus and a bevy of freerolls are available to boost your bankroll. One of our favorite features of Betfair is a $10 maximum juice on all multi-table tournaments and sit and gos.
Overall Review: 9.0 of 10 – Excellent