888 Casino Review

888 Casino Review

Few other online gambling sites have the long history that 888 Casino does. The original 888 Holdings organization was founded way back in 1997, and at that time it launched a product called Casino-on-Net. That site was one of the very first ones that ever accepted electronic bets. More recently the Casino-on-Net site was renamed 888 Casino, which includes a variety of different gambling properties.

Promotions tend to set the casino apart from other similar online properties. New users can generally expect a welcome bonus when they sign up. This bonus usually offers a 100 percent match on the first deposit up to $200 when the user places real money wagers on games in the casino. Additional bonuses are also available to users once their account is activated.

Software and Support

Unlike most online casinos, 888 Casino doesn’t actually use any of the popular casino packages. While most sites use software from Real Time Gaming or Playtech, 888 Casino developed a proprietary package called Random Logic. Some consumers might be concerned about this, but the software is a pleasant surprise. It provides a very large variety of different games to play without cutting back on the amount of in-game features that players are used to.

Random Logic has extensive foreign language support. Casino gamers can opt to play in English, Spanish, French, Danish, Russian, Czech, Italian, German, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Latvian and Swedish. Programmers are currently translating the software into several other languages, according to the FAQ posted on the 888 Casino homepage. This should help to attract a large international audience for the casino.

Users can download a gaming client that interacts with the Random Logic software, but it’s not at all necessary. The software is offered through a no-download Flash client that works directly in a user’s browser. Like most other leading online casinos, the 888 organization allows players to play with play money before they decide to wager real cash.

Casino Table Games

The real meat and potatoes of the 888 Casino tend to be the table games. Like the other major industry-leading online casinos, 888 Casino offers quality table games. The sheer number of them is unique, though, and the variety of them might actually be a little too large for some gamblers.

Those looking for a wide selection should know that there are literally over 200 different games to play. Those who want an experience close to what they’d get in a physical casino might want to try blackjack, roulette or craps. The models used to play the games are fairly random, so they make a pretty decent simulation of how they might be played in a real casino.

European table games are one of the biggest draws. While some fans have found a few of their games bland, 888 Casino has an excellent selection of baccarat tables. Those who want the experience without having to actually travel to Monte Carlo would do themselves a favor to play baccarat at the 888 Casino. Nevertheless, serious gamblers would probably be more attracted to the odds at the blackjack tables.

Various exotic card games are offered as well. Pai Gow poker is played at multiple tables. While this game is certainly not as rare today as it was in the past, it’s still nice to see it get the attention that it deserves. Pai Gow payouts aren’t necessarily as good as those on Caribbean or Power Poker, but gamblers certainly have better odds with the game.

Those who prefer to play table games might want to look at some of the special features. Private tables are offered to those who like that sort of thing, and those who want to gamble with friends should take a look at the private group and multi-member table options. Some players could eventually graduate to the VIP tables as well, but make sure to read all of the rules when applying to any of these options. They change regularly and might not be as good of a deal for bettors as the regular tables are.

Slot and Video Games

Online slots are extremely popular, and 888 Casino knows this. There are a number of online slot games to choose from, and many of them are progressive machines. These tend to attract more people than regular slots do because of their promise of better odds and payouts. Each slot machine has a clearly illustrated payout table that helps gamblers to make educated decisions when they figure out which slot machine they want to put their money in.

Recently 888 Casino announced that they licensed several popular brand images to increase the popularity of their slot machines. The organization notably acquired a Marvel Comics license and is now offering Thor, Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk themed slot machines. These are unique to 888 Casino and can’t be found at any of the other online casinos. Those who want to play any of these new exciting games will certainly have to do it there as they run on the proprietary Random Logic system and more than likely won’t ever make it to another site.

Several other exclusive games recently appeared on the site. Millionaire Genie is a new progressive jackpot slot machine that came out in December 2014, and aims at being particularly user-friendly. The site constantly uses personal pronouns to refer to the slot machine, and has attempted to personify it in order to make it more popular with novice gamblers.

That being said, the site’s recent renovations haven’t left serious gamblers astray either. Millionaire Genie has a $4.6 million jackpot, and the site often features sendoffs like this one. The 888 Casino has a tendency to offer huge jackpots whenever a new machine comes in. Some savvy gamblers avoid them as a result, and instead look around for what other people are neglecting due to the novelty of new machines. Some people take the release schedule very seriously and actually end up developing various strategies around it.

Taking a Closer Look at the Games

Some hardcore gamers have criticized the official game count to be unfairly high, since many of 888 Casino’s over 200 games are merely variations of others. They count each slot machine and card game variation as an individual game. Those who want to nitpick often state that the site genuinely offers around 40 different truly unique games.

Gamblers who actually want to place bets on games not traditionally found in casinos might not enjoy this fact. Those who want to wager on arcade games won’t find what they’re looking for here. The operators offer a wide variety of video, progressive and classic jackpot slots along with keno. They seem to prefer to focus on the most popular of casino titles, but often execute them better than anyone else.

That could be why 888 Casino is the most popular with serious gamblers. Other casinos certainly have more gimmicks, but they don’t pay as much attention to the most popular and traditional of casino games.

Reviewing the Playability Features

The interface that 888 Casino’s software uses is certainly designed with function in mind. The idea that less is more was certainly on the minds of the developers hired by the casino, and this translates into speedy load times. Those who want to look for eye candy are encouraged to look elsewhere, since 888 Casino primarily focused on how long it takes to load the casino games after logging in.

Users who use the Flash interface often have a faster load time then those who try the downloaded version, but both of them work fairly well. Many newer casinos feature flashing lights and fly-in graphics, but 888 Casino has none of these. As a result, those who are on lower-end devices or smaller computers will want to try this casino before moving to any other one.

Live Dealer Area

One of the more attractive aspects of the casino is the live dealer area. This section allows users to play traditional casino games with an actual live dealer doing the work and interacting with players. Webcams have been incorporated with physical casino equipment, and this allows 888 Casino to offer live versions of popular games to those who appreciate the security that comes with real equipment.

Computer algorithms can never be truly random, and some gamblers don’t trust software to provide the same experience that they would get in a real casino. That makes the live dealer area particularly attractive to anyone who has felt cheated by a computer program.

The 888 Casino site currently offers live versions of blackjack, roulette and baccarat to players. Space might be limited at these tables, though, so users are encouraged to keep an eye out for any open seats.

Additional Promotions for Users

A few bonuses are offered at different times of the year, and savvy members of 888 Casino can take advantage of these about once a month. Happy Hour promotional events are held once a month. Each event allows users to earn 10 percent cash back up to about $100 during their first full year of membership. That means that those making full use of every Happy Hour bonus in their first year can earn up to $1,200 worth of free cash.

Users who have been members for more than a year will start to enjoy other promotions. Different bonus cash options are provided throughout the year, but users should make sure to read them carefully. Some of the later promotions aren’t quite as good as the ones offered to new members, and might require larger deposits.

The Sunday raffle is always popular, but only has space for approximately 100 players. A promotional code like fun888 is used to enter the raffle. First place winners receive $500, £500 or €500 depending on the country that they’re in. Those who get 2nd-10th places receive $50, £50 or €50 each. Everyone else who is allowed to enter the raffle receives 50 free spins in the Freaky Fruit slot machine game.

There’s an additional program for those who play a great deal of blackjack. Each day the company adds in 12 bonus cards to the decks distributed across the site’s blackjack tables. Three of these are valued at $100, three are valued at $75, three are valued at $50 and the rest are valued at $25. Anyone who is dealt one of the cards in a regular game of blackjack will win that card’s value. As with the other promotions, a person may receive the amount in Euros or another currency if they elect to do so.

On any given day these cards are distributed at the 888-Extra high-stakes table between 1:00 PM and 1:00 AM, so most gamblers look there for them. The rules stipulate that the casino is permitted to change the location at any time, and this goes for any of the other promotions as well. Those who are interested in getting bonus cash should pay close attention to the news feeds that the site uses to distribute information. These are almost always updated on time, but there have been some delays in the past.

Extra Casino Contests

The casino offers contests on a regular basis, but they don’t adhere to the same schedule that promotional bonuses do. These contests generally have pretty specific rules. For instance, 888 Casino once held a roulette contest between players. Players in the contest competed to see who among them could earn the most when playing a single hour’s worth on the roulette wheel.

Slightly over $17,000 in prize money was split between the top 210 roulette players. While game-specific tournaments might not be held as much as other promotions, they do set 888 Casino apart from other gambling sites. They can be a good way for regular gamers to make extra money if they know what they’re doing.

Rules of Roulette

Fans of the game of roulette should take a moment to familiarize themselves with the rules used at 888 Casino. All of the roulette games there are played on European style wheels. While many people might be more familiar with the North American form of the game, European roulette wheels only have a single zero marker.

Even though it might be more confusing to some, this version of roulette offers the player the best possible odds because of the lack of the second block featuring the number zero. Those who play any of the live dealer tables will also find this version of the game as opposed to the North American variety.

Moving Money Around

Numerous deposit and withdrawal methods are featured due to the large international client base that 888 Casino serves. Some methods will only be usable from certain countries. Users should make sure that they have access to a particular method before giving it a try.

One of the most common problems people face is that their preferred payout method isn’t available to them due to their location. Some people complain and blame the casino, but everyone should do a little research before they give the site a try. A few of the options are specific only to a single country.

For instance, 888 Casino accepts payments from a GiroPay account, but users have to have a valid mailing address in Germany for this to work. The vast majority of users can use their Visa or MasterCard regardless of location, and those who have a valid debit account can generally receive transactions in both directions using these two cards.

Many of the other options, like Swedbank and Sofortuberweisung, are explicitly country specific. That being said, users having trouble finding a payment method might want to consider a few other international options. Bank transfers from checking accounts take a little bit of work to set up at 888 Casino, but once they’re done they’re generally the easiest to work with. Transferring money in and out of accounts will sometimes take a while, however.

PayPal is available to the majority of users as well, and generally functions much more quickly. Numerous people have a PayPal account due to the ubiquity of online auction sites, and 888 Casino users generally report that transfers only take a day or two. Nevertheless, PayPal assesses a fee for its service so it isn’t for everyone.

Customer Service and Support

The site features a truly massive index of frequently asked questions and other types of advice that can help gamblers, but it isn’t actually specific to 888 Casino. Professional writers put a great deal of work into creating a thorough set of instructions that aid casino gamblers, but the FAQ section is actually copied between all of the 888 Holdings family of sites.

A few users who have had very specific questions about the site haven’t been able to find their answers right away as a result. Those who need to get in touch with the company have a few different options. Casino customers can receive assistance in 11 different languages, which is good because of the international audience. Each type of problem has a different phone number or email address associated with it.

It can be very difficult to find the correct contact line. In a few cases, though, there are live chat functions available. Those who need help at the casino should certainly make sure to use these if they’re having a problem. Most online casino organizations have dumped live chat support, so it really is nice that 888 Casino still offers this feature.

In spite of the problems with finding the correct line to get in touch with, the customer support 888 Casino offers is actually pretty good. They tend to get back quickly and use a ticket system for emails that helps to speed things along. Apparently there have been over 25 million different gamblers to make accounts for 888 Casino, so they must be doing something right.

Licensing and Operations

Legality is always an issue when placing bets over the Internet. The Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner regulates 888 Casino, and the site has a license to operate issued by the Government of Gibraltar. It’s safe to assume that the site functions within legal boundaries, though gamblers from certain countries might have problems when it comes to creating an account. A majority of European consumers are covered, though, and most European gamblers should have no problems placing bets placing bets at the site.

Citizens of the United States of America were forbidden from placing bets at 888 Casino for the longest time. Recently the 888 Holdings firm opened up a North American portal, and Americans can sign up with some reservations. Nevertheless, it can still be relatively difficult for American citizens to move money between the casino accounts in a legal fashion.

Most banking options won’t be available for US customers, though the fact that many American gamblers have PayPal accounts and debit cards might help to mitigate the problems this might cause. There was a lot of confusion when the site first announced that Americans would be allowed to play at 888 Casino, but the rumors have died down now. Those who want to set an account up from an American address but are having problems can contact the company. The support system has extensive English-language support.

One more thing to consider when signing up is the question of taxes. People from all over the world place bets at 888 Casino, so it could be very difficult for the site to provide official tax documents for all users. Those who have to report gambling winnings as income on their tax sheets should be sure to keep diligent records for when tax time comes around.

Security Concerns

Since there’s money involved, it makes sense to be heavily concerned with the security and safety features that the casino put in place. Every game played at the 888 Casino site is monitored by eCOGRA, who conducts site audits on a regular basis to ensure that game outcomes are random. This not only ensures that the site itself cannot cheat people, but also makes sure that other users aren’t developing hacks that compromise the integrity of the game.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers was recently called in to verify the average payback rate. Their mathematical experts stated that the 97 percent or higher average payback rate cited by 888 Holdings was indeed accurate. Nevertheless, the biggest promise of security seems to be the fact that so many people have used the site without many legitimate complaints.

Drawing Some Conclusions

Some gamblers swear by the 888 Casino site, and others don’t like it. A few professional reviews have called it the best Internet casino available. In the end, only individual users can ever actually decide whether it’s right for them. Those who are looking for an Internet gambling site might want to seriously consider 888 Casino because of its wide variety of deposit and withdrawal options as well as its long track record. Those who don’t want to have to download any software might want to look at it as well, since the Flash interface works as well as the download interface for most games. Overall, 888 Casino is a site where security and game play are considered more important than glitz and glamour.

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