Make your first deposit and Sky Poker will match it 200% up to £500. They will also give you £10 extra FREE. You earn your bonus simply by signing up and making your first deposit. ? Sky Poker will release £10 of bonus at a time. Meaning £10 will be credited to your account each time you earn 250 poker points. Please read the terms and conditions carefully.
Sky Poker was established in 2006 and over the course of the past decade has grown to become one of the leading online poker rooms in the UK. The site is owned by the British company Sky Broadcasting. Traffic-wise it is still a medium sized room rather than huge, partly because of the limited market in which it is available and partly because it is a stand-alone site rather than belonging to a network. Figure on about 5,000 players during peak periods, but considerably less at other times.
Many casual gamblers love this site because it offers a unique feature that is available nowhere else, Sky Poker TV. Fans of the game are given the exciting opportunity to watch Sky Poker cash games and tournaments televised on Sky Sports. There is also the special lure of maybe even seeing their own hands highlighted and replayed. The high visibility due to the televised tournaments and high-budget advertising draws recreational players to the site in droves.
Besides Sky Poker, the Sky Broadcasting Group also includes Sky Bet (for sports betting), Sky Vegas (featuring more than 130 casino games), Sky Casino (for higher stakes casino gambling and live dealer games) and Sky Bingo. With all of these betting activities readily available on the same site, switching back and forth is easy, and many players do exactly that. In fact, the steady influx of casino players, sports bettors, and bingo players to the poker part of the site, combined with the huge numbers of inexperienced players who joined primarily for the poker, makes Sky Poker one of the fishiest sites online. That is not to say there are no sharks at all in these waters. If you are a skilled player looking for highly beatable games and don’t mind playing for low stakes, this is the place to go!
Perhaps you have watched major tournaments on TV marvelling at the enormous amounts of money some people are betting and winning playing poker. Or maybe you are even personally acquainted with poker players who seem to win consistently (or at least claim they do). In any case, if you are a fan of the game, surely at one time or another you have fancied yourself as a poker millionaire.
Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, and what is really cool about Sky Poker is that if your poker skills could use some improvement, this is a site where you can play, either for practice or for real money, as you wish, and learn while competing against others at your level. As a real money player, you can play for stakes as low as .02/.04 though, of course, there are many tables at higher limits. However, Sky Poker caters far more to micro stakes and low to moderate stakes players than those looking for big action. £10/20 No Limit is about as high as it gets on this site.
A generous 200% Welcome Bonus when you join will give you plenty of ammunition to get started, and freerolls and tournaments galore, along with hold ‘em and Omaha cash games, will provide hours of entertainment while giving you many chances to win. If you’re new to online poker, Sky Poker is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and have fun, and also improve your skills at your own pace. We suggest starting slow; the sharks (and there are not many of them on this site) don’t waste their time with stakes under £1/2 NL. On the other hand, if you are a more seasoned player, you should also consider Sky Poker. Beatable games, opportunity to win your way into prestigious tournaments via freeroll or cheap satellite, and weekly cashback through the tiered loyalty rewards program are some of the benefits. Another is possible bragging rights from an appearance on Sky Poker TV or having your picture posted on the Sky Poker Wall of Fame!
Unfortunately, not everyone who may want to play at Sky Poker is allowed to play. Access to the site is limited to residents of the UK, Ireland, Finland, Gibraltar, and the Channel Islands. That leaves out anyone from the U.S., Canada, Australia and many other countries. But presumably you are reading this Sky Poker Review because you have already seen an ad for it, have friends who have joined, or have watched Sky Poker TV, so you know you can play there. So what are you waiting for?
Regardless of whether you are playing poker online or any other game for real money, there is nothing more important than the security of the site and reasonable assurance that the games are fair. At Sky Poker you have this assurance, so you can put any worries along these lines aside and focus your attention instead on the two main reasons for playing: having fun and trying to win.
SkyPoker has a decade of experience under its belt. That fact alone suggests that this is a site which operates with integrity. Sky Poker is an online poker room you can play in safely and with full confidence not only that the games are fair and random, but that when you win you will be paid promptly. The Sky Broadcasting brand is also very well known and has received consistently favourable ratings from both critics and players. The brand won the EGR award for Operator of the Year in 2012.
Sky Poker carries two licences, one from the UK Gambling Commission and another from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Both of these organisations have very strict standards as to what constitutes acceptable conduct for an online gambling site. Banking can be done either online or with your mobile device. Either way it is fast, safe, and secure, and the use of advanced digital encryption technology ensures that all accounts are fully protected.
Great for Beginners
Sky Poker uses its own proprietary software developed by Orbis Technology. Thus, it is a stand-alone site and not part of a network. Unlike many other online poker rooms, which can be very intimidating to a novice, the Sky Poker site is very user friendly and easy to navigate. The lobby includes a complete list of all of the games, separately organised according to the three basic categories: cash games, Sit & Gos, or tournaments. Each of these broad categories can then be further refined according to game type, stakes, and number of players. You will also see which games are being televised; for many players, the opportunity to see themselves on TV is a major draw. All of this information makes it very easy for a player to find exactly what he or she is looking for very quickly.
Aesthetically, the site is attractively laid out, managing to convey a wealth of information without appearing cluttered. The predominant use of blue throughout, including the sky blue colour of the felt, fits in well with the name of the site.
Sky Poker Academy and Other Distinguishing Features
Another distinguishing feature of Sky Poker is the onsite Poker Academy. Beginners can start with the basics like how to play Texas Hold ‘Em, the most popular form of poker. More experienced players can brush up on poker terminology in the Poker Dictionary and watch informative videos on subjects like How to Beat Sit & Gos and Calculating Outs. Players of all levels can benefit from the free poker tips and strategy advice that is available for the taking by anyone who wants it.
Don’t expect to find as many advanced features as top poker sites like PokerStars, but then again, the level of players for which Sky Poker is intended do not need a lot of fancy software. These are some of the advanced features that are available on Sky Poker. While they are completely optional, they can certainly help make the game more enjoyable as well as potentially more profitable.
In addition, an unique feature called the Hot-O-Meter reads your hole cards and gives an opinion on how to play them. Rank beginners may find the Hot-O-Meter very helpful. Of course, experienced players already know that a hand like 4-2 unsuited is “rubbish” and, conversely that a hand like A-K is “hot” enough to raise with, but will appreciate the feature for its entertainment value.
Three Convenient Ways to Play
Sky Poker offers three quick and easy ways of accessing the games: downloading the software onto your computer, instant play, and mobile play. Downloading, which will give you the highest quality graphics, only takes a couple of minutes, but the disadvantage is that you have to be using your own computer. Alternatively, you can access the same games and features in instant play in seconds, with no downloading, using any Windows or Mac browser. Lastly, for the ultimate in convenience, you can play on supported mobile phones and tablets.
The Sky Poker Mobile Platform
Sky Poker has developed an app for Apple iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). The app, which is available on the App Store, allows you to play all of your favourite Sky Poker Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo cash games, Sit & Gos, and tournaments on your iPhone or iPad. You can also access the Sky Poker strategy videos with the app.
New customers can use the app to create an account, while existing customers can simply log in with their Sky Poker User ID and PIN. Also, those who have an iPhone that is 5S or later can log in using Touch ID. As a mobile player, you can review your account history and make deposits and withdrawals from your device. A Play Now feature allows you to locate a table at the stakes you want to play in seconds. You also have access to all of the same promotions as desktop players. Mobile players, like online players, are permitted to take notes and review their hand histories, but cannot multi-table. Sky Poker is working on adding this option, but for now, you are limited to just one game at a time. A SkyPoker Rewards Progress Meter is another feature that should become available soon.
It is important to note that in order to use the Sky Poker app for your iPhone or iPad, Location Services must be enabled to verify that you are playing in a permitted country. Unfortunately, Sky Poker does not have an app for Android devices and there is none in the works. However, owners of non-iOS browser-based mobile devices can still play by visiting www.skypoker.com from their browser.
Nowadays you no longer have to be a slot player to receive a generous Welcome Bonus when you first sign up with an online gambling site. More and more poker sites are extending the offer, too, and Sky Poker is no exception. Its generous offer starts as soon as you open your account. Just for joining, you automatically receive £10 in tournament tokens (no deposit necessary).
In addition, SkyPoker.com will give you the opportunity receive a 200% Welcome Bonus on your first deposit up to £500 and also start you off with 500 free Poker Points you can use to enter freerolls. Then, as if all that isn’t enough, you are invited to the New Player Freerolls, which give you a shot at possibly playing in one of the biggest live tournaments in the UK, the £1,000,000 guaranteed Sky Poker UK Poker Championship.
The 200% first deposit match bonus is released in increments of £10 for every 250 poker points earned (not counting the 500 free points you receive when you join). You have a total of 30 days to clear the bonus in its entirety, after which any unused parts of the bonus expire. These released increments must then be played through once prior to becoming available for withdrawal. Poker points are earned by playing any ring game, Sit & Go, or tournament for real money on Sky Poker.
Banking at Sky Poker is safe, fast, and easy using any of a variety of accepted methods. For your additional convenience, you can do your banking either on the computer or through a supported mobile device. The various methods you can choose from for deposits are listed at the beginning of this review, most of which should also work for withdrawal, but check with Customer Support to be sure. While your choices are not as extensive as on some sites, they should be adequate for most players. Withdrawal processing times vary with the method, but are within acceptable standards. Most importantly, there is absolutely nothing to worry about because Sky Poker has taken all necessary steps to safeguard the security and privacy of every player’s account.
Both computer and mobile players at SkyPoker.com can choose to play either for free or for real money. Practicing with play money is a good way for beginners to get a better feel for a game without any risk to their bankroll. However, you need to be playing for real money both to clear the Welcome Bonus and to accrue loyalty points.
No online poker room can be great in every respect, and one of the areas where Sky Poker could be better is in the range of games. Only three games are offered: Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. You also have choice of either No Limit, Pot Limit, or Fixed Limit, but with No Limit predominating. Many of the tables are for micro stakes and low stakes. During peak evening hours, when about 2,000 people are logged on playing ring games (and another 3,000 playing in tournaments) is when you are most likely to find games at the higher end of the spectrum seen in this room. Otherwise, you might have to wait a while for games at even the lower levels to fill up.
In addition to standard Hold ‘Em and Omaha, Sky Poker offers a special fast paced version called Spin Up with a minimum buy-in of three big blinds and a maximum buy-in of 10 big blinds. Table stakes range from 10p/20p to £2/4.
Sit & Gos and Tournaments
Ring games are far from the only option at Sky Poker. With a daily menu of freerolls, satellites, Sit & Gos (SNGs) and multi-table tournaments (MTTs) at all hours, there is never a dull moment. The same formats are used in the SNGs and MTTs as in the ring games, but with NLHE predominating, and players can also choose from a variety of stakes.
Using the Quick Play Feature in the lobby, you can specify your choice of format, type of game, number of players, and buy-in, and you will then see your options. Both the SNGs and MTTs come in many varieties. For example, SNG players can select Regular, Speed, Double Your Money, Heads-Up, Satellite, Hyper, or All-In. MTT players have a choice of Regular, Bounty Hunter, and Timed tournaments, as well as satellites and freerolls. Timed tournaments differ from regular MTTs by having a pre-set time limit (15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour), at the end of which time, prizes are determined by relative chip stacks. The tournaments which draw the biggest fields are, understandably, the televised guaranteed tournaments, like the evening Main Events. Both the type of tournament and the entry fee vary depending on which night you play. However, in all cases you can win your way in via cheap satellite. Here is a brief description of each night’s Main Event.
As you can see, all of these tournaments are very fast. Because of the rapidly increasing blinds, a lot sooner than many players realize, the tournament becomes little more than a crapshoot. Expect more of the same in the satellites and freerolls, including those which offer seats to the Sky Poker UKPC and other major events.
Every time you contribute £1 to the rake in a cash game, you receive 6 Poker Points, and every time you pay £1in entry fees to a Sit & Go or tournament, you receive 10 Poker Points. You then have a choice of either using these earned points to enter freerolls or letting them accumulate so you can receive a bigger reward in cashback at the end of the week. There are six loyalty levels: Blue (50-99 points), Steel (100-499 points), Bronze (500-999 points), Silver (1,000-1,499 points), Gold (1,500-1,999 points), and Platinum (2,000 or more points). Each person’s level is redetermined weekly based on the number of points earned the previous week (Monday-Sunday). In order to attain at least Blue level and quality for a reward, a minimum of 50 points must have been earned during the previous week. This gives the player access to five £1K rewards freerolls held at 7:30 p.m. each weekday the following week. Players who attain Bronze level status or higher also receive a bonus. The higher your level and the greater the number of points earned, the bigger the bonus. See the website for additional information.
Players who earn 10,000 points or more during the course of a single month attain Priority Club status and all of these additional special rewards and privileges that go with it:
Sky Poker players can take advantage of many other promotions, some of which are for a limited time only and some of which are ongoing. These are a few of them. The spectacular countdown to the One Billionth Hand has ended, but that only means there are many other fabulous promotions yet to come. Check the website frequently so you don’t miss out.
Don’t miss the opportunity to earn 2x, 3x, or 4x poker points simply by playing in cash games during designated time frames on specific dates.
Another way to earn extra points is to play in short-handed games. For every cash game hand played with 3 players or less, receive double points.
Every Tuesday night from 10 p.m.-midnight on Sky Sport, a recreational player is invited to take on a player from the Sky Poker team in a three part challenge. Round 1 is a 40 minute tournament (worth 1 point), Round 2 is a 30 second contest to see who can build the tallest chip stack (worth 2 points), and Round 3 is a 40-minute Heads-Up Sit and Go (worth 3 points).
Anyone who makes the final table in both the Main Event and a Mini event the same night wins an extra prize. The higher up you finish, the more you win. The smallest possible prize of £50 is if you finish in 6th place in both tournaments. However, if you finish first in either tournament, you win at the very least £250 (that is if you finish 6th in the other). If you finish first in both tournaments, you win £5,000!
At Sky Poker, others will know all about your accomplishments. If you win an 8 p.m. Main Event or finish first on a leaderboard, your name automatically goes up. But you are welcome to send a Tweet mentioning any other accomplishment you feel is worthy of the honour, and you could have your name and picture on the prestigious Wall of Fame. A new Wall of Fame is created at the beginning of every month to give as many players as possible a chance at special recognition.
Sky Poker provides 24/7 Customer Support via live chat, phone, or email in a variety of languages to address any player questions or concerns.