1 Aug

The Novitiate’s Canadian Poker Adventure begins Online at Betsson Poker

Betsson Canada Poker Review for Novitiates and Pros

Advising Canadian poker players on where to place their trust in the online market is something we take great pride in. We are highly experienced online poker players ourselves. We don’t spew mindless reviews with hyped-up details. We are serious players, and every bit of information you find here comes from our extensive experience with countless Canadian-facing poker sites.

Betsson Canada Poker Review

There aren’t too many operators we actually recommend. Among them is Betsson Poker, a trusted brand that’s been around for more than half a century. It may not be the largest online poker room, or utilize a proprietary software network, but its qualities go far beyond that. You’ll learn about these, and much more, in our in-depth…

Betsson Canada Poker Review

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the Betsson Group (dba Betsson AB) is a family business that can be traced back to 1963, when Bill Lindwall and Rolf Lundström founded AB Restaurang Rouletter (later named Cherryföretagen AB, aka Cherry). Years went by before Bill’s son, Pontus Lindwall, bought into an English company called Betsson. Cherry was later re-branded Betsson in 2003. As of 2017, Pontus Lindwall took over as CEO of Betsson.

Betsson Poker was launched in 2004, just as the online poker boom was taking off. It’s currently part of the MPN (formerly Prima Poker Network, then Microgaming Poker Network). MPN has a smaller player base than some of the bigger Canadian-facing operators, like Party Poker and 888Poker , but even that can have its advantages.

Ownership, Licensing and Regulation

Betsson Poker is owned by Betsson AB and operates under two regulatory licenses. Its UK operations are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (#39579). The UKGC is universally recognized as the strictest iGaming regulator in the world. Operators must comply with their strict rules, not just in their UK-facing operations, but their global operations as well, lest they risk forfeiture of that license.

As such, Canadian players who participate under Betsson’s Maltese licensed poker room—also among Europe’s most distinguished remote gambling authorities—have the assurance of playing at an online poker room that abides by the utmost laws in the world.

It’s worth noting that, while the UKGC has been slapping its licensees left and right with fines in the last year, Betsson has never once been sanctioned, or even received a warning, from regulators. Their level of responsibility to players is unrivaled.

Software and Cash Games

Betsson Poker is part of the MPN, presenting its games over Microgaming’s multi-award-winning platform. The operator offers various ways to enjoy the games, including a downloadable desktop client for Windows and Mac, a mobile app for Android and iOS, and an instant-play version that requires no download, and is compatible with all desktop and mobile devices.

The software’s RNG-based random shuffling technology is regularly tested and certified fair by Technical Systems Testing (TST).

Betsson offers one of the most extensive game selections of any Canadian online poker room. The cash game variety includes the following (current August 1, 2018), with variable stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 up to $50/$100.

  • Texas Holdem
  • Omaha Holdem
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • 5 Card Draw
  • 5 Card Stud
  • 7 Card Stud
  • Razz

Most of the traffic is found on micro- to low-stakes Holdem tables, but you’ll find a few mid-level to high-stakes games running at peak hours. Unfortunately, being on the lower end in player volume, the less common varieties see little or no action. You can practically see the cobwebs across the high-stakes stud and draw tables.

Some of their more popular cash games include the Anonymous Tables and Blaze Poker format.

Anonymous Tables don’t reveal the identity (username) of the players, protecting beginners and less experienced players (i.e. ‘fish’) from being preyed upon by more aggressive ‘sharks’. This is great for recreational players. For veterans and pros, you’ll have to do a bit more grunt work to weed out the fish at these games.

Blaze Poker games are super-fast-paced tables where the action never stops. The moment you fold a hand, you’re transported to a new table, with other players who’ve also just folded.

Finding the Fish

Those Anonymous Tables don’t make it easy, but there’s good news for experienced players. The egos of many fish tend to get in the way of their desire to avoid the sharks. Many want their names to be known. And since Betsson awards players with Achievement Badges, those who collect them generally like to show them off. Thus, the regular cash games are teeming with just as many fish as the ATs.

As usual, the fish have a tendency to school around the lowest stakes Texas Holdem games. Betsson Poker has built-in hand tracking and review software, and is also compatible with most out-sourced tracking programs, so finding the fish gets easier and easier the more you play.

Additionally, while Betsson does present a decent VIP rakeback program, it’s not the best in the business; therefore, the volume of grinders isn’t all that high. Sometimes it’s better to be a lone shark in a big pool of fish.

Tournaments

SNGs are consistently active at Betsson, especially during peak hours. Most SNGs are the 6-10 player variety, but you’ll also find heads up SNGs, scaling up to 20 players. The Texas Holdem SNGs get the majority of attention. Omaha SNGs arent uncommon, but you may have to wait a bit for the seats to fill.

What’s really hot right now at Betsson are the Fish Party Jackpot SNGs. These are 3-handed, lottery-style tournaments. They are fast-paced SNGs with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $50. When entering a tournament, the prize pool is determined by an RNG that could spit out anywhere from 3x the buy-in (per player), up to 5000x. You’ll have a chance to try these out as a new player, being one of the qualifying tasks to unlock the full range of new player freerolls (see Welcome Bonus Promotion below).

Multi-table tournaments are, of course, a major attraction. Betsson has a full schedule of events every week with buy-ins ranging from under $1, up into the low hundreds. However, there aren’t many high-stakes tournaments to choose from—another reason the pros don’t flock to MPN poker sites. But, it does make it a bit easier for skilled players to land in the bubble.

Some of Betsson Poker’s most popular, regularly scheduled events include the following. Note that all times are in GMT.

  • Big Top – Sundays at 5:00pm, $110 buy-in $7.5k GTD
  • Big Break – Sundays at 6:00pm, $5.50 buy-in $5k GTD
  • Big Kahuna – Sundays 7:00pm, $22 buy-in $15k GTD
  • Mount Olympus – Sundays at 7:30pm, $110 buy-in, $15k GTD
  • Big Foot – Sundays at 8:30pm, $11 buy-in, $4k GTD
  • High Society – Mondays at 8:30pm, $215 buy-in, $10k GTD

Betsson is particularly preferred for its New Player Freerolls. All new players are eligible to receive 40 free tickets to freeroll events with prize pools ranging from $50 to $1,000, plus access to MPN Poker Tour Qualifier tickets (see Welcome Bonus Promotions below).

The MPN Poker Tour is a live tournament series that travels the world each year, guaranteeing no less than $1 million across all events. Members of Betsson Poker have access to satellites and qualifiers for all major live and online tournaments, including MPN Poker Tour events.

Welcome Bonus Promotion

Betsson Poker has one of the most generous new player welcome bonus packages of any Canadian poker room. Best of all, it’s designed to suit absolutely any type of player. It comes with 4 player-choice bonus options worth up to $2,000, plus access to more than $10k worth of freeroll tournaments.

The first-time deposit bonus is not a typical percentage-match, but rather a ‘pick your own level‘ bonus. When making your first deposit of any size (minimum $10), you can choose from one of 4 bonuses, worth $100, $300, $1,000 or $2,000. The level you pick should depend on how much you play, because you only have 60 days to release the bonus in 2-4 increments.

To clear it, you’ll need to generate $5 in rake for every $1 of the bonus. Here’s a basic rundown of the terms, and the bonus codes for each:

Bonus
Level
Incremental
Release
Rake
Needed
Bonus Code
To Claim
$100 4 (25%) $500 MPOKER100
$300 3 (33%) $1,500 MPOKER300
$1,000 2 (50%) $5,000 MPOKER1000
$2,000 4 (25%) $10,000 MPOKER2000

Choose your bonus wisely! If you’re a casual player, you should be easily capable of clearing the $100 or $300 levels. However, you’ll need to be a serious grinder to reach the required rake for the $1,000 or $2,000 bonuses.

Newly registered members of Betsson are also eligible for up to 40 New Player Freeroll tickets. They include:

  • 28 Level 1 Tickets for daily $50 freeroll’s (expires after 4 weeks).

Players then qualify for the next round of tickets by competing in 10 hands of NL Holdem for real money at any stakes; cash game, SNG or MTT. Doing so awards:

  • 8 Level 2 Tickets for $500 freeroll’s held bi-weekly (Wednesdays and Fridays only, expires after 4 weeks).

Players become eligible for the next tier by competing in 10 real-money poker hands, 1 MTT with a buy-in of $1+, and playing in 1 Fish Party Jackpot SNG. This will unlock:

  • 4 Level Up Tickets for $1,000 + $150 MPN Poker Tour Qualifier Ticket freerolls, held every Sunday (expires after 4 weeks).

VIP Rewards & Poker Rakeback

Betsson Poker rewards all players with rakeback via the VIP Loyalty Program. It’s a 4-tier program that guarantees at least 10% rakeback to all, and as high as 30% for grinders. A player’s status is determined by how many Loyalty Points (LP) they earn in a calendar month.

VIP Status LP Requirement Rakeback
Bronze 0-499 10.00%
Silver 500-999 15.00%
Gold 1,000-2,999 20.00%
Star 3,000+ 30.00%

Loyalty Points have other uses, too. Players can exchange 30 LP for $1 in cash, or 25 LP for $1 in tournament tickets. Don’t wait too long, though. Points expire 180 days after reception. You’ll be able to see how many points you have, what you can exchange them for, and when they expire in your Betsson Poker account.

Deposits & Withdraws

Betsson is among the most trusted operators in the online poker business. All transactions are secured with the most sophisticated SSL encryption technology, and are certified secure by VeriSign.

The following payments methods are available. For your convenience, we’ve noted which are eligible for deposits and/or withdraws. Note that not all options may be available to Canadian players. You’ll be able to see exactly which deposit/withdraw methods are available in your area when logged into the My Account/Banking section.

Payment Method

Deposit

Withdraw

Visa Credit/Debit

Yes

Yes

MasterCard

Yes

No

Skrill

Yes

Yes

Neteller

Yes

Yes

Entropay

Yes

Yes

Paysafecard

Yes

Yes

Bank Transfer

Yes

No

Instant Bank Transfer

Yes

No

Giropay (Germany only)

Yes

Yes

Sofort (Germany only)

Yes

No

PayPal (Germany, UK only)

Yes

Yes

Boleto (Brazil only)

Yes

No

Trustly (not in Canada)

Yes

No

Customer Support

Betsson is home to an award-winning customer support team, but more impressive is their extensive online help section. Not the FAQ section on the main page—that’s hardly worth looking at. I’m referring to the Help/Support page, found in the top right corner of the website. If offers 25 different categories with a plethora of answers to common questions. It’s also searchable for ultimate convenience.

If you don’t find your solution here, you’ll also have access to three more options. Fastest is the 24/7 Live Chat. For slightly less important issues, try the Call Back Request form, where the operator calls you back within 15-60 minutes. For questions that don’t require a quick response, you can refer to Email support, which generally replies in 2-12 hours.

I haven’t had too many personal experiences with the support team here, only because I had little need to. But the few times my colleagues and I have dealt with them, the support reps have been extremely professional, knowledgeable and friendly. It’s no wonder they’ve won so many awards in the CS department.

Awards

Last but not least, I’ll shore up this Betsson Canada Poker Review with a list of awards the company has received over the years. Note that its software provider, Microgaming, has an extensive list of awards under its belt, as well. The following list only denotes those awarded specifically to the Betsson Group.

  • Excellence in Customer Service – WIG Awards 2014
  • Gan Menzione (Honorable Mention) – EGR Italy Awards 2014
  • Best Customer Service Operator – EGR Awards 2014, 2016, 2018
  • Customer Service Top 50 (5th Place in UK) – ICM Awards 2016

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