15 Aug

Unibet Poker Review – Primed for Canadian Players in 2022

Unibet Canada Poker 2022 – Proficiency and Prowess of a Fisherman’s Delight

Unibet Canada Poker 2022 – Proficiency and Prowess of a Fisherman's DelightYou won’t find any fluff or sales pitches here. We take our poker reviews very seriously, spending countless hours playing on each site, digging deep into the details of categorical proficiencies and shortcomings to deliver a genuine, unbiased scrutiny of only the most distinguished operators in the Canadian market.

Unibet Poker is amid a short list of operators we’ve deemed worthy of our personal game play, and your consideration. It does not possess the largest player base, although it is easily among the top 10 in Canada. It exudes the most comprehensive focus on recreational players, going so far as to ban the use of HUDs This makes it a perfect spawning point for fish—if you have the patience to seek them out on your own. Unibet offers fantastic software, but minimal game variety. You’ll learn about all of this, and much more, in our…

Unibet Canada Poker Review

Founded in 1997, Unibet first launched as an over-the-phone betting service in 1998, then an online sportsbook in 1999. The company expanded into other markets over the coming years, including online poker in 2005—the same year Unibet released its first mobile platform. Following a number of key acquisitions, Unibet Group rebranded to Kindred Group in 2016, shifting its focus to a multi-brand operator. That same year Kindred scooped a trio of top honors at the prestigious EGR Operator Awards.

Administering games on a proprietary network, Unibet has successfully attracted an abundance of players from all over the world. Its largest pool is of European nativity. Combined with the acceptance of Canadian players, there’s usually action to be found any time, day or night. Unibet is, at time of writing, the 12th largest online poker network in the world – 6th largest in Canada – with a 7-day average of 550 players; 1,000 at peak hours.

Ownership, Licensing and Regulation

Unibet is a part of the Malta-based Kindred Group, award-winning owner of 13 digital gaming sites including such esteemed brands as 32Red and Stan James.

Unibet Poker is hosted on a series of domains, each under the wing of a different operating group. Canadians are able to access the Unibet.eu brand. It operates under Malta-based Trannel International, Ltd., with an active MGA licence.

In the United Kingdom and European Union, Unibet operates via Platinum Gaming LTD. It holds a GGC licence in Gibraltar, and a widely respected UKGC licence in the UK. It’s USA operations are conducted by Unibet Interactive Inc, licensed on an individual, state-by-state basis. 

Unibet’s UK licence is the most prestigious of them all. the UK Gambling Commission is the world’s strictest regulator of remote gambling. According to the UKGC’s records, Unibet’s operations have just one strike against them in terms of non-compliance.

The incident dates back to June 2019, when Platinum Gaming Limited (PGL), the operating group for Unibet, was fined for failure to comply with social responsibility and anti-money laundering procedures. Unibet/PGL was commended for its immediate cooperation with the UKGC, taking swift action to rectify the matter and bring their operation back into compliance.

Software and Cash Games

While so many online poker platforms feel monotonous, Unibet’s unique and natural design is refreshing. It’s very well laid out and utilizes a sharp color scheme that makes it easier to navigate than some competitor brands. Compatibility covers the full gambit, with a download client for PC and Mac, poker apps for Android and iOS, and an instant-play platform that’s optimized for any modern browser, on all desktops, smartphones and tablets.

Unibet Poker’s RNG-based random shuffling formula is audited monthly and certified by the oldest and most distinguished name in software certification, eCOGRA. There’s no question as to the fairness of the games and unpredictability of each new deal.

As for cash games, there’s a very limited variety of poker variants, and equally limited stakes range. It’s all part of Unibet Poker’s focus on casual players, who prefer the most common rules at lower stakes.

Game Variety
  • No Limit Texas Holdem (NLHE)
  • Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)
  • Banzai Poker

NLHE and PLO games come in a disappointingly low stakes range of $0.02/$0.04 up to $4/$8.

Unibet Poker Review Cash Game Lobby

All cash games utilize a quick-seating template. For example, to play NLHE for $0.02/$0.04, you’ll choose Cash Games>Texas Holdem>NL4. From there, you’ll be instantly seated at an active table with open seats. That’s how all table selection works, so you can forget about predatory “bum hunting”.

Banzai Poker is a spin-off of NLHE that is exclusive to Unibet Poker. Available in stakes of $0.005/$0.01 up to $0.10/$0.20, these games only allow players to buy-in for, at most, 10x the big blind. Even at the highest stakes, one can only enter the fray with up to $2. These games are extremely soft, and clearly unappealing to grinders. It’s common enough for two or more players to get arguably decent hole cards, resulting in an abundance of all-in pre-flop situations.

Finding the Fish

The ratio of fish to sharks is higher at Unibet than any other reputable online poker room our team has ever experienced. However, they aren’t the easiest to exploit. Unibet enforces a strict “No HUD” policy. The exclusion of tracking software means you won’t be able to tag a fish for future hunting. Compounding the difficulty, table selection is entirely random. And since Unibet allows players to change their aliases multiple times a day, you may not even find them by table hopping, or even happening across them from time to time.

Still, Unibet Poker is a pro fisherman’s delight—if you’re willing to do the grunt work, without the assistance of privileged information. You’ll find hordes of fish at the Banzai tables, but the low limits are hardly worth the effort. They’re much easier to extract chips from at NL4 to NL25 games, especially during peak European hours (4pm-midnight GMT / noon-8pm ET). At this time, the schools of fish heavily outnumber the strategists.

Not everyone is a fish, though. To make the most of Unibet’s soft players, you’ll need adaptive skills of observation to separate the good players from the bad. The quicker you can do this, the more success you’ll have trolling these waters.

Cash games may not be your best option. Unlike most poker sites, the best opportunity to rake in chips from inexperienced players is in the tournament arena. Unibet’s hard-core, pro-casual-player stance deters so many pros that an experienced MTT grinder can make out like a bandit. Hit up the low-buy-in, low GTD events for the easiest catch.

Tournaments

Although Unibet doesn’t offer many big guarantees, and absolutely no high roller events, the sheer volume of tournaments is impressive. No matter the time of day, there’s always something to register for every 20 minutes or less. Most buy-ins are small, in the $0.01 to $11 range, with the highest scaling up to $100. Only satellites to Unibet Open Live events exceed that price point.

The major benefit here for any veteran MTT’er is the smaller fields, which can greatly reduce variance. The guarantees are disappointing, to say the least, most scaling from $50 to $300. You won’t become a millionaire at Unibet, but consistent wins are easy to come by, resulting in an impressive ROI.

The largest tournaments on the schedule (in CET time) include:

  • Wednesday Omaha – Wednesdays at 7:00pm, $25 buy-in, $1500 GTD
  • Saturday Deepstack – Saturdays at 7:00pm, $100 buy-in, $10k GTD
  • Sunday Showdown – Sundays at 7:00pm, $10 buy-in, $3k GTD

Unibet also hosts daily $25 events with $2,500 GTD, and if you like live tournaments, qualifiers to Unibet Open Live events are held regularly from $1 and up.

Freeroll Tournaments

Freerolls are another constant attraction at Unibet, running round the clock and open to all members. If you have the patience to outlast the all-in frenzy of half the field or better, you can build a decent bankroll from scratch.

HexaPro Jackpot SNGs

No modern online poker room would be complete without lottery-style sit’n’go tournaments. Unibet’s HexaPro SNGs are just that. they provide room for 3 players per game, with a winner-takes-all structure. The buy-ins scale from $1 to $100. The payout is randomly selected as the game starts, and can be worth anywhere from 1.5x to 1,000x the buy-in.  

Welcome Bonus Promotion

Unibet Poker’s welcome bonus package is designed to benefit any type of player, and is surprisingly generous. All new players making their first deposit ($10 minimum) receive a three-part bonus that includes:

  1. 4 entries into one full month worth of exclusive new player freerolls.*
  2. $30 in free bonus cash to use on cash games and tournaments.
  3. $1,000 in incremental-release bonus cash.

*The freeroll tickets are awarded upon registration, while the rest of the package becomes available after the first deposit if $10 or more.

New Player Freerolls

You’ll get your hands on four freeroll tickets the moment you successfully sign-up a new player account, no deposit required. These tournaments are held every Sunday, each carrying a $500 prize pool. You’ll have 35 days to use them, so make sure you don’t miss more than one week for max value. Perform well here, and you can actually build a nice bankroll without ever making a single deposit.

Free $30

This bonus is yours instantly upon making a first-time, minimum $10 deposit. It’s split into five segments. First is a €12 (approx. CA$18) cash game buy-in ticket, which can only be used to play NL4 cash games. The rest comes as five €2 tickets (approx. CA$2.20) to HexaPro Jackpot tournaments. tickets are not or interchangeable or exchangeable for cash value.

$1,000 Play-Through Bonus

You’ll start earning this incremental-release bonus as soon as you take to the real-money cash game tables. It’s released in 5 levels, based on rake contributions, as follows:

Bonus
Level
Contribution
to Rake
Incremental
Bonus Release
Rakeback
Equivalent
1 €2 €1 50.0%
2 €10 €4 40.0%
3 €50 €15 30.0%
4 €150 €40 26.7%
5 €550 €140 25.5%
6 €800 €200 25.0%
7 €1,438 €300 20.9%

The result is a degenerative rakeback equivalent that drops from 50% to 20.9% as you claim more bonus cash. You’ll have 60 days to release all—or as much as possible—of the bonus. After 60 days, any remaining bonus expires. Note that bonuses are detailed in Euros, with the total €700 max bonus equivalent to approximately CA$1,000.

VIP Rewards & Poker Rakeback

Another part of Unibet’s recreational player push, members earn rewards not by climbing VIP tiers, but by completing “Missions”. Every completed mission is worth points, and when players earn enough points, they can be exchanged for cash rewards. Because each mission varies in difficulty, it’s practically impossible to delineate the precise rakeback value.

One of the simplest tasks is creating a new identity. Players can create and maintain up to 5 identities at a time by selecting their individual avatar and alias. they aren’t permanent. Each identity can be replaced with a new one at will.

There is always one Major and one Minor task available to complete. On the easy side (Minor) are things like seeing 50 flops, being dealt suited cards, and competing in SNGs. the harder (Major) tasks take longer to accomplish, like reaching a flop where the first and third cards are of equal rank; not just once, but 35 times.

The software is highly accommodating in this area. All missions are shown as clickable icons at the top of the screen. You can click any icon to see your progress, and a detailed description of how to achieve it. You’ll need at least 50 points to start exchanging for rewards, which include like free cash, bonuses, tournament tickets and customer avatars.

Deposits & Withdraws

A few years back, Unibet’s banking methods were considered slim pickings. That’s not the case today. In 2022, Canadians will find a lot of great options, including the usual credit/debit cards, a few eWallets, bank transfers, prepaid cards, and the most recent addition, Interac eTransfers.

Unibet offers one of the fastest overall withdraw times, especially for eWallet users. The pending period before a payment is processed is 12-24 hours, as opposed to the usual 24-48 hours. The same time frame applies to processing of eWallet cashouts. That gives players access to their winnings in as little as 24 hours.

All monetary transactions utilize 128-bit SSL encryption, in compliance with Payment Card Industries Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Canadian Payment Methods

All available banking methods in Canada, categorized by deposit and withdraw, are depicted below. Note that prepaid card deposits (e.g. Vanilla Prepaid, Visa Gift Card) may require proof of purchase. To remain in compliance with regulatory standards, Unibet must be able to verify the identity of the depositor. If you intend to use a prepaid payment method, be sure to save the receipt! 

Payment Method
Deposit
Withdraw
Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard)
Yes
Yes
Debit Card (Visa, MasterCard)
Yes
Yes
EcoPayz Yes
Yes
Interac E-Transfer Yes Yes
MuchBetter Yes Yes
PaysafeCard Yes No
Prepaid Cards (w/ receipt verification) Yes No
Apple Pay Yes Yes
Bank Transfer Yes Yes

Customer Support

Unibet provides an extensive, searchable FAQ data base that’s extremely handy in answering most questions without the need of a support rep. There’s also an active Community Forum where questions can be posed, and are often answered within 2-60 minutes. If you still need help, or have a more sensitive question, Unibet’s Live Chat reps are available 24/7. Email support generally responds in 2-12 hours. Telephone support is, unfortunately, no longer available.

Unibet may not have a trophy case full of awards for customer support like its rivals at Betsson Poker, but we’ve found no reason to complain. In our experience, the representatives are very friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to resolve any issue that may arise.

Awards & Accolades

As usual, we’re concluding our Unibet Canada poker review with a list of impressive awards the company has earned over the years. You’ll notice the operator received a lot of kudos following an extensive software renovation and transition to casual-friendly gaming in 205. 2019 and 2020 were especially commendable.

  • Operator of the Year – EGR Awards 2016
  • Socially Responsible Operator of the Year – EGR Awards 2016
  • Best Marketing Campaign – EGR Operator Awards 2016
  • Best Marketing Campaign – EGR Nordics Awards 2019, 2020
  • Sports Betting Operator of the Year – EGR Nordics Awards 2019, 2020
  • Online Gaming Operator of the Year – IGA 2019
  • Corporate Responsibility / Player Safety Award – IGA 2019
  • Mobile Poker Product of the Year – EGR Awards 2019
  • Mobile Casino Product of the Year – EGR Awards 2019
  • Best Affiliate Programme – EGR Awards 2019
  • Best Affiliate Programme – EGR Nordics 2019
  • Socially Responsible Operator of the Year – EGR Nordics 2020
  • Socially Responsible Operator of the Year – IGA 2020
  • Online Poker Operator of the Year – IGA 2020

 

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