– PLEASE NOTE –
Because of several recent changes like making the welcome bonus a lot harder to clear, cancelling guaranteed tournaments, and because of huge delays from payments of players’ withdrawals we are recommending you to look at other US facing poker sites instead.
The review below is old, and outdated, all links on this page have been changed to BetOnline Poker, which is the best alternative.
Carbon Poker Review
Carbon Poker has been offering an excellent service to poker players ever since 2006 and the site benefitted greatly from the consequences of Black Friday in 2011, when it continued to provide a service after PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB.com were shut down by the Feds.
The debate about whether sites regulated outside of the US provide a legal service continues – but players who recovered their funds from the “Black Friday Sites” had no issues with depositing them at Carbon Poker, and the site grew in size considerably.
Four years on and, as our review of Carbon Poker demonstrates, the site remains one of the most popular destinations for poker players – not just from the US, but from other jurisdictions around the world as well.
How Fishy is Carbon Poker?
I have several good reasons for playing at Carbon Poker – Mac and mobile support come highly among them, as does the better volume of cash games at higher stakes than you will find at most US-facing sites. But my main reason for playing at Carbon Poker is the fishiness of the players you will find there.
In my experience, the standard of play at Carbon Poker is far weaker than you will find at most other sites. This could be due to the race to earn Player Points when Carbon Poker had a far more substantial first deposit bonus, or the fact that the majority of sites affiliated to the Merge Gaming Network are sportsbook orientated.
You don´t have to take my word for the fishiness of players at Carbon Poker though. Simply have a look in the cash game lobby, where up to 50% of players are seeing the flop, or take a look at how long it takes to conclude a Carbon Poker tournament – I would suggest that it is 20% shorter than equivalent poker tournaments on other sites!
Carbon Poker is Better in so Many Ways
Winning money is the ultimate aim of poker players, but there are many other reasons why Carbon Poker is better than many of the alternative online poker sites. The software is a pleasure to play on (even when playing through a web browser), the promotions are especially lucrative for a consistently profitable player, and player support is out of this world.
Traffic at the site is consistent because of Carbon Poker´s international appeal, cashouts are processed within a reasonable period of time and there is an excellent satellite schedule that allows players with a limited bankroll to qualify for major tournaments – both online and live.
Carbon Poker is very hot on player security and the fairness of its games. The site stamps down firmly on bots, cheating or collusion and use an advanced RNG that has no idea of whose turn it is or how the game is being played. Carbon Poker also has very fair disconnection and tournament cancellation policies that put some other sites to shame!
How to Get Started at Carbon Poker
If you are already convinced that Carbon Poker would be the ideal home for your online gaming, simply click on one of the links on this page to visit the site. You can take advantage of Carbon Poker´s excellent browser software by using the “Instant Play” tab on Carbon´s website, but I recommend downloading the full poker client (click the “Play Now” button) as the graphics are better and you can multitable more cash games on the Carbon Poker download.
Once you have clicked on the “Play Now” button, an installation file will download onto your computer (.exe for Windows or .dmg for Mac – the Carbon Poker website will be able to identify what type of computer you are using). Click on the installation file, read the Terms and Conditions and then click “next” (if you agree with them) and a set-up Wizard will take over – launching the Carbon Poker client on your desktop once installation is complete.
To create an account at Carbon Poker, click on the “Sign Up Now” button when the poker client appears. This will take you to a secure web page where you will be asked to enter a few personal details about yourself and choose a screen name. Carbon Poker will send you an email confirming that you are now registered and containing a PIN number that you will need to provide when you want to cash out. I suggest that you print off this email and keep it in a safe place!
The options for funding your account will depend on your country of residence and, if you intend to enjoy a profitable experience at Carbon Poker, I suggest that you verify your account at once. This involves sending Carbon Poker copies of documents that prove your identity (driver´s license or passport) and address (a copy of a utility bill will normally suffice). If you have a scanner, the easiest way to verify your identity is to scan your documents and just attach them to an email to customer support.
Now You Are Ready to Play, What Will You Find?
There is a great choice of cash games and poker tournaments at Carbon Poker, with NL Hold´em and PL Omaha tables starting at $0.05/$0.10 (so not quite suitable for micro-stakes players) and rising up to $3.00/$6.00. Fixed Limit games start at $0.10/$0.20 or $0.25/0.50 depending on your choice of game, and rise all the way up to $15.00/$30.00.
There is a reasonable range of Sit & Go games starting with buy-ins of $1.50, but the highlight for me is the comprehensive schedule of poker tournaments with guaranteed prize pools, which run 24/7/365 and frequently have overlays (although you should watch out for some extended late registration periods). Keep an eye out for forthcoming tournament series as well. Carbon Poker has hosted tournaments with guaranteed prize pools of up to $500,000 and, if you qualify cheaply for these, your potential ROI could be astronomical!
Carbon Poker´s promotions change frequently, and often involve some form of rake race or freeroll tournament. I am not going to publish a list of the current promotion in my review of Carbon Poker because they will be out of date before you know it. I suggest that if you want to know what is going on at Carbon Poker, you follow @PokerNewsReport on Twitter.
Of course the headline promotion is the Carbon Poker bonus – a 100% match on first deposits of up to $1,000. Because the Carbon Poker bonus is the major grabber for players, I have dedicated a whole page to it here, which explains what players have to do to clear the bonus and how long you have to clear it. I have also provided some tips to help players clear the Carbon Poker bonus and included a warning (which I will repeat here) that if you withdraw any funds from your Carbon Poker account before clearing your bonus, the rest of the bonus is forfeited (see why it is so important to read the terms and conditions?).
Carbon Poker Review Conclusion
My first Carbon Poker review was probably written five or six years ago. I recommended the site without hesitation then, and I do it again now. Carbon Poker will not suit everybody, that´s for sure. There are no micro-stakes games and very few freerolls. Much of the action takes place at mid-stakes or higher and – because of the looseness of the games – there is the chance of a suck-out or bad beat happening more frequently than on some ultra-tight poker sites.
Overall, I think a level-headed player with a decent bankroll should enjoy a profitable experience at Carbon Poker. I know I have, and I invite you to join me. You can visit Carbon Poker directly from any of the links on this page or, if you would like to know more about clearing the Carbon Poker bonus before investing some of your bankroll into the site, visit my page about the Carbon Poker bonus for a detailed explanation.