Finding a legit poker site that best matches your playing style can be difficult. I have played countless hands and on just about every poker website out there and have figured out a few things about them along the way. I wrote this article to pass along that information to you.

What is BetOnline like? BetOnline has softer games than many other sites, high traffic without being overly reg-infested, and an extremely good deposit bonus. The site is a solid legit alternative to the other US sites.

This player’s in-depth review will provide you with all the details you need in deciding if BetOnline is right for you.

Jump ahead to:

Summarized Details: BetOnline

  • Site Name: BetOnline (Click this link to view their home page)
  • Network: Chico
  • Based In: Panama City, Panama
  • Banking: Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, WU, Skrill, Neteller, Wire Transfer
  • Software: PC, MAC, Mobile
  • Games: Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha Hi, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Fish Rating: 7/10
  • Sign Up Bonus: Yes. (Click here to check latest bonus amount)
    Legit: Yes
  • Summary: An attractive option for those who still like to use HUDs but want softer games. A great alternative to America’s Cardroom.

BetOnline Site Rankings

Okay, so I figured all the bot writers out there are giving these number scores on their pointless reviews, so I thought maybe it’s something people want to see. So here ya go.


Overall Rating: 7.9

In all seriousness, these are pretty solid numbers. BetOnline could improve somewhat in a few areas, but they get are just about as good as it gets nowadays.

Some Screenshots

Summary of the Experience You Might Expect on BetOnline

  • Really soft for a site with HUDs
  • Ample Traffic
  • Cash game traffic up $1,000NL
  • Growing MTT schedule
  • Strong deposit bonus
  • Fast payout speeds
  • Legit with no scandals

Why Should You Trust My Opinion of BetOnline?

I am a real player who has been around the game a long time. I am also a best-selling poker author and has spent thousands of hours teaching and researching better ways of playing poker. I know what it takes to win on every poker site and am using that information to better inform players about the various poker sites.

I have also played millions of hands on just about every poker site and network out there. I have managed to become halfway decent along the way. Here is the graph from my brief play in 2018.

2018 Jim Automatic Poker Graph

Why I Play On BetOnline

BetOnline has been around awhile, but have not gained the notoriety or popularity of other networks like America’s Cardroom or Ignition. However, due to their legit service, integrity, promotions, and stellar withdrawal speeds, the Chico network has blossomed.

The main reasons to play on BetOnline are the soft games, the excellent software, and speed of deposits and payouts.

Automatic Poker

What does this mean for you? It means you are able to get in on the ground floor of a poker site perhaps in its golden age, which is a lucrative proposition for you if you take advantage of it now.

Why I Wrote This Review

I hesitated to write this review because I wanted to keep all the fish to myself. However, I spend most of my time writing and teaching and don’t get to play much anymore. My loss is your gain!

If you have heard all you need to know and are ready to play, then click here to go claim your deposit bonus.

Otherwise, read on and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the site. And without all the fluff all those other reviews spam you with!

Are There Any Cons to Playing on Betonline?

BetOnline has found a balance that is hard to achieve for a poker site. However, balance comes with a cost. The software speed and attractiveness is nice but definitely not the best in the industry.

The same goes for the reward system. It’s not going to satisfy the hardcore folks who want tons of value.

Even so, BetOnline understands that the price you pay for a lot of value is that the poker economy suffers. This is because you end up with regs mass multi-tabling and filling up every single table.

Overall, there are really no deal-breakers. While you will find better individual aspects on other poker sites, you will be hard-pressed to find a site or network that can say it has really no glaring weaknesses.

How Soft Are The Games?

The games on BetOnline are among the most beatable around. At all stakes, you will find enough fish to keep your bankroll moving upwards.

The fact that it takes a card catcher to get a HUD to work, many players won’t go through the trouble. Therefore, you will have a significant advantage against other players who are not employing a HUD.

For those of you who don’t want to invest the time and energy in getting Hold’em Manager or PokerTracker to work, you can still use Hold’em Indicator so that you won’t be at a significant. disadvantage (click here to learn more about poker tracking software).

How Much Traffic?

Found on the Chico network, BetOnline is a US friendly poker site that has been growing in popularity over the past few years. The network ranks 3rd in traffic among sites that allow players from the United States and now 14th in the world overall, averaging over 1,000 players at once, with nearly 2,000 battling it out during peak times.

Courtesy of

The network is third in size among US sites and is rapidly gaining on it’s nearest competitor, the Winning Poker Network. All signs point to continued growth for many years to come.

How Good Is the First Time Deposit Bonus?

BetOnline has one of the best initial deposit poker bonus offers in the world. Please note that sometimes changes do happen, so be sure to check the current offer (click here to see the latest bonus details).

How Easy Is It to Clear the Deposit Bonus?

As you know, it’s not how big the bonus is that matters. It’s how fast you can actually clear it and realize the bonus money before it expires.

I did some testing and was quite pleased with the results. Playing at 100NL, the bonus appears to clear at a rate of about $3.00 per hour. When you compare it to the average of about $1.50 per hour that is found on most sites, most players will be effectively doubling their value.

Let’s face it, only the most hardcore players will ever clear a $500, much less a $1,000 bonus. It’s the added hourly rate while clearing that matters!

What Are the Deposit Options?

Methods, speed, ease. There are an insane amount of different deposit options on the Chico skins as follows:

  • Credit card
  • Western Union/MoneyGram
  • Wire Transfer
  • Book to Book
  • Cashier’s Check/Money Orders
  • Bitcoin

Are there any withdrawal fees?

The fee schedule is as follows:

  • MoneyGram– Based on the amount, Min: $50 Max: $400
  • Bitcoin– 2%, Min: $20 Max: $5,000
  • Check by Courier– $50, Min: $50 Max: $2,500
  • Check by Mail– $25, Min: $50 Max: $2,500
  • Bankwire– Based on amount, Min: $500 Max: $24,900
  • Express Check– $50, Min: $50 Max: $2,500
  • Transfer to another Chico Skins– 2.5%, Min: $50 Max: $24,900

How are the tournaments on BetOnline?

This is an area of BetOnline where they are growing rapidly and may soon offer a viable schedule for a pro grinder. I fired up the lobby and took a screenshot just to show you what the current schedule looks like. Check it out for yourself.


Overlays are fairly common on BetOnline. What this means is that there are less entrants than it takes to reach the guaranteed amount.

For example, let’s say there is a $2,000 guaranteed with a $10 buy-in. In that case, it takes 200 entrants to reach the guaranteed amount. If only $150 people register, then there is a $500 overlay. In other words, the tournament begins as if 50 people had already been knocked out. That’s sure to increase anyone’s ROI.

Windfall Jackpot Tournaments

BetOnline released this format on sit and go only recently. They work almost identically to this type of format on other sites.

In jackpots, there are 3 entrants that each start with 500 chips. They then vie for a winner-take-all prize pool. The prize pool will be a multiplier of somewhere between 2 and 2,000 times the buy-in. The prize pool will be randomly selected before each event starts.

Jackpots tend to be really soft. Even so, it takes a lot of volume for someone to realize a reasonable hourly rate in these events. However, they are really fun to play and quite addictive.

Is BetOnline Legit?

There have been no poker scandals on the Chico network. There is very little noise or complaints when it comes to cash outs or customer service. Overall, BetOnline appears to have its act together when it comes to treating its customers well.

What Countries Are Excluded From Playing On BetOnline

Play is currently restricted from only the following countries:

  1. Australia
  2. Panama
  3. Malta
  4. France

Gameplay Features


Hold’em Manager and Pokertracker do not have direct support for the hand histories provided by BetOnline ag and Sportsbetting Poker. However, there is a way around it via the Chico Hands Converter or the BetOnline Card Catcher.  These products convert the hands in real time so that you can employ your usual HUD during play. If your opponent’s don’t know about these tools, you have a huge edge!

Customization Features

There are numerous features offered on the Chico network, here are just a few that might stand out for you:

  • The standard ability to auto muck cards & wait for the big blind are available.
  • You have the option to choose attractive 4 color decks or the traditional 2 color kind. It’s your choice.
  • There are multiple attractive “out of the box” theme options available. There are 8 carpet choices and 3 tablecloth colors to choose from. It appears as though the skins are called “edge” skins, so I am guessing there is a way to import your own custom look into the site. I will be sure to investigate this further for you and report my findings.
  • A huge one for you grinders out there is the ability to choose your auto buy-in amount as well as have the software auto top off for you.
  • You can select from a number of stock avatars, or upload your own. You can change this as often as you like!
  • The default sounds aren’t that bad, but you can just change them in the sounds folder if they don’t appeal to you.
  • You can choose from multiple animation speeds, or you can turn animations off altogether.

Along with the custom avatars, it makes for a friendly enough environment. You can also add buddies and can tell when they are logged on.

Overall, I like the way the software is not overloaded with too much fluff, as the tables run extremely smooth and definitely appear to be optimized for quick and lag-free gameplay.

Rakeback & Reload Bonuses

There is no direct rakeback offer for BetOnline. However, all is not lost for you hardcore multi-tabling maniacs out there. Since you can play a lot of tables in a really soft atmosphere, you don’t really need rakeback.

Additionally, Betonline claims to have “the most generous reload bonus program in the industry.” This may very well be true as the general trend among most poker sites is to move more toward a recreational model and away from much added value to their players.

Minimum Buy-In

The standard table minimum buy-in is 40 big blinds. However, there are 50bb tables that allow for a 20bb buy-in. No matter what stack size you want to play, there are options with BetOnline.

What Are the Maximum Number of Tables That Can Be Played at a Time?

Players can sit at a maximum of 12 cash game tables at one time.  Just enough to achieve a decent hourly, but not enough to find the same regs on every table.

There are no limits for tournaments or sit and go’s.

Multi-Tabling Options

The software has a built-in feature that allows you to tile or cascade your tables with the click of a button. You will find that the tables are responsive with a number of sizings, although the default x and y ratio cannot be changed.

In other words, you can’t make your tables into more of a square or more of a rectangle.  However, with a bit of effort, you likely be able to fit your tables successfully into any multi-tabling scheme that you might currently be using.

Multi-Tabling Features

Are Short Stacks Allowed?

While the standard table buy-in is 40bbs, there are 50bb tables available with a 20bb minimum buy-in. However, these tables do not run very often.

Even so, cap stackers (like me) will love playing on the Chico network. Loose, fishy calls abound and it seems that the vast majority of players have no clue how to adjust to short stacks.

Social Features

I have not noticed a large number of social features, like lightning bolts or fireworks or anything. However, there is an attractive chat window that players can partake in.

Ongoing Promotions & Added Value

Huge value from a poker site is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Fewer and fewer sites offer stellar rakeback deals and hefty cash-back volume-based bonuses.

The new normal is the recreational model, where the “rakeback pro” is becoming extinct and players actually have to work on their games and improve in order to make money at online poker.

As with many other networks, Chico is offering monthly rake races and occasional reload bonuses to keep their grinders happy.

Ongoing promotions that you can take advantage of on BetOnline:

  • $1,100 Daily Cash Race Challenge (Click here for details)
  • $5,000 Weekly MTT Leaderboard Challenge
  • $5,000 Weekly SNG Leaderboard Challenge
  • Reload Bonuses

BetOnline Appears to Strive for Balance

In my opinion, Betonline has found a very nice balance between catering to the recreational player while offering some value to their regular customers. I think this might be as good as it gets for the foreseeable future.

Only one high volume network in the US offers enough value to justify living off of the site’s promotions, and that is the Winning Poker Network, made up of America’s Cardroom and Black Chip Poker. However, those games are infinitely tougher to beat, and you would have to play a sick amount of volume to take full advantage of their abundant promotions.

Most players would be best served by playing fewer tables, working hard on their poker game, and learning to beat the multitude of recreational players found on the Chico Network or other sites like Ignition Poker.

Software & Client Info

While I have had an account on BetOnline for several years, the one thing that always held me back from putting serious volume in was the lousy software the site used to have. There was a blackjack table hanging off the side of poker tables, which caused major lag and table sizing issues. Multi-tabling was virtually impossible, so I only played there sporadically.

Then, in 2016, the Chico network got a facelift and rolled out its new software. All I have to say is WOW. The gameplay is now smooth as silk, with almost no lag.  I opened up 50 tables at once last night (without sitting at them), and saw no noticeable difference in the performance of my machine. If I were to do that with Ignition/Bovada or America’s Cardroom, my computer would surely explode and I’d be an ex-online poker player.

The most awesome thing about the new software is that the games are still just as soft as ever. I am hoping other poker pros don’t find about this development anytime soon, and even hesitate to do this review. If I were you, I’d sign up now while the games are so soft.. just stay off my tables! : )

BetOnline Rake Rules

As is standard with most other poker sites, no rake is taken before the flop nor in uncalled pots. This works the same in both No-Limit Hold’em and Omaha games.

BetOnline uses a fixed schedule to calculate rake. This is based on the limit of the table and the number of seats.

Rake Schedule

Fixed Limit Games
Stakes / LimitRake / PotMax Rake
$0.10 / $0.20$0.01 / $0.20 in pot $0.20
$0.25 / $0.50$0.01 / $0.20 in pot $0.40
$0.50 / $1.00$0.01 / $0.20 in pot $0.50
$1 / $2 up to $15 / 30
2 Players$0.01 / $0.20 in pot$1.00
3 Players$0.01 / $0.20 in pot$2.00
4 Players$0.01 / $0.20 in pot$2.50
5+ Players$0.01 / $0.20 in pot$3.00
No Limit & Pot Limit Games
Stake levels: $5/$10 and $10/$20
2 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $1.00
3 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $2.00
4 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $3.00
5+ Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $5.00
Stake level $2/$5
2 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $1.00
3 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $2.00
4 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $3.00
5+ Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $4.00
$0.05 / $0.10 up to $1 / $2
2 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in the pot$1.00
3 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $2.00
4 Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $2.50
5+ Players$0.01 / $0.18 in pot $3.00

Suggested Strategy

I have maintained a very high win-rate on BetOnline for many years and know these games as well as anyone. I don’t mind passing along that info to you. Here are 3 tips and adjustments you might consider making when playing on this network:

  1. Play Exploitative Poker
    Forget about balancing except against the strongest regs. Instead, you should use your opponents’ HUD stats look to fully exploit the tendencies the players on your table. If they seem tight then steal close to 100%. Of course, if you see someone else who seems to be adjusting as well and stealing every time, then 3-bet bluff with a higher frequency. Don’t worry about whether you are c-betting too much or folding to 3-bets too often since even most regs aren’t paying that much attention. Just work to profiling your opponents as quickly as possible and make exploitative adjustments fast.
  2. Buff Less, Value Bet More
    Due to the overall loose-passive nature of the games, you typically do not want to make a habit of running complicated multi-street bluffs with to high of a frequency. Instead, value bet a much wider range than normal and bet-fold all of your medium strength hands. Be sure to not get caught with the 2nd best hand when faced with aggression versus the typical passive reg or fish on this site!
  3. Use a HUD
    In order to get the best reads as quickly as possible, you should definitely have a way of tracking session stats. Either use Hold’em Manager with a card catcher and a simple HUD like Hold’em Indicator that gives you a basic idea of what your opponents are doing.

Who Is the Target Audience For BetOnline?

BetOnline ag has something for everyone. The Chico network floats in perfect harmony between being a site designed for recreational players and one appealing to hardcore grinders.

  • Fun players enjoy a friendly atmosphere, attractive software, and a plethora of table gaming and sports betting options at your disposal.
  • Grinders enjoy super smooth software, which great for multi-tabling, and amazing game selection to get in the hands they need to maintain a superior hourly rate.

The genius of the Chico network is that they seem to found a progressive balance between appealing to strong playing regulars and your average Joe, who just wants to have fun and gamble it up.

The site has a great social atmosphere for the recreational players, while still dangling enough carrots for high volume players, to keep both coming back for more.

P.S.  I haven’t been this excited about a poker site in a long time.  I am moving most of my action here, and so should you!


Is BetOnline Rigged?

No, BetOnline is not rigged.  BetOnline ag, nor any other poker site for that matter, have anything to gain from “rigging” the games. There is no house, players solely play against other players. Therefore, there is no vested interest in online poker rooms risking their reputation. Besides, if they did rig the games in some way, smart people would discover it very quickly and it would get exposed. So, if someone says an online poker site is rigged or cheating the players, immediately label them as a fish and try to get them to play poker with you. Because poker is definitely inherently rigged against bad players.. their money will get taken by good players every time.

How Is Betonline Legal?

It’s not illegal in most U.S. States to play on the Chico Network.  There is no federal law that explicitly prohibits anyone from playing poker online. However, Washington and Kentucky do have state laws disallowing online poker and any form of gambling as well.

Is My Money Safe?

Yes, your money appears to be as safe on BetOnline as any other online poker site.  There has never been a credible case of anyone getting legitimately cheated by the Chico Network. Super fast, hassle-free payouts over the past few years seem to point in the direction of BetOnline being completely solvent and here to stay for the long haul.

That being said, it’s still always a good idea to practice smart bankroll management. I recommend only keeping as much as you need to play your maximum stake on the site.

Can People in Every State Play in the United States?

Unfortunately, people who live in a few states cannot play on BetOnline due to regulations:

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Washington (Has a law that prohibits online gambling)

Where is BetOnline Based?

BetOnline is based in Panama City, Panama.

Is Mobile Gaming Possible?

BetOnline now has a mobile option for both Android and Apple devices.

Mobile Requirements

  • Android OS 6 or higher is required
  • iPad 3 or iPhone 5 or higher are required

Are Bots a Concern?

I have no data or way to confirm it (nor does anyone else) but I am almost positive there are bots on every poker site and network in the world. Even so, it is extremely difficult to beat the games as a human player.

Can you imagine trying to get a bot software program to be able to profitably navigate all of the complicated situations that are faced during a poker session? At best, these bots are likely to break even or be slight losers.

In truth, it’s actually a good thing to have bots on your tables since they are ridiculously easy to beat and will not adjust to your play at all. Give me a table full of bots any day.

So to answer the question, bots are not at all something to be concerned about. Additionally, most poker sites have measures in place to find and ban bot accounts. Overall, the issue of playing against bots is nothing to lose sleep over.

How Long Do Payouts Generally Take?

BetOnline payouts happen really fast. Almost all requested are processed within 24 hours. For the fastest possible service, I recommend Bitcoin. (Click here to earn $10 free for using Bitcoin)

What Is the Customer Service Information at Betonline?


  • 1-888-426-3661


  • General email
  • Poker email
  • Casino email

How are the PLO games on BetOnline?

The Omaha games on BetOnline are actually surprisingly good.  I’ve seen games run as high as 5/10 and the micros and mid stakes offer numerous running tables to grind on.

Are Casino and Table Games Offered?

BetOnline has just about every possible Casino style game you can imagine. This includes:

  • Table Games with 13 different types of blackjack, roulette, craps, and more.
  • Slots of every variety and more than I can count
  • Video Poker including all the common favorites and novelty games
  • Specialty Games from Keno to Bingo, even a Racebook
  • Live Casino Games make for a virtual experience, like you are actually sitting in a casino

Is Sports Betting Possible?

The network isn’t called “BetOnline” for nothing. If a sport exists, you can probably bet on it on this site. (Click here to view their Sportsbook)

Are There Any Freerolls I Can Take Advantage Of?

BetOnline used to host massive freerolls every day. Unfortunately, this caused server problems due to the huge amount of people taking advantage of them.

However, there is still a lucrative new player freeroll with a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool. (Click here to sign up and receive your freeroll ticket)

Is There a Play Money Option?

Yes. There are many different play money stakes to choose from. BetOnline isn’t just about real money players.

What Are the Top 3 Reasons a Player Would Choose BetOnline?

  1. Easy to beat
  2. Great bonus
  3. Legit site

A Brief History of BetOnline

In 1991, BetOnline was started by a man named Joe Junior as a small bookmaking business in Rochester, NY. The business grew exponentially from 2000 to 2004 when it to Panama.

After a tumultuous few years after the UIGEA, where BetOnline took a risk that most sportsbooks didn’t have the ability to navigate. They began taking on clients with reduced “juice” while having some of the biggest betting limits around. They then began adding new markets.

After Black Friday, BetOnline boldly starting courting US online poker players and the rest is history. In May of 2012 they bought one of the oldest sportsbooks, named This vaulted them into being one of the largest gambling companies in the business.

With the rollout of their new software in 2016, BetOnline has positioned itself to be a leader in online poker for a long time to come.

A Quick Note About Affiliates

It took me a lot of hours (actually 3 days) to write this review. I tried to only include details that I would want to know before joining a new poker site. I left out a lot of the fluff that other reviews include just to bolster their word count.

If you appreciate my honesty and the hard work I’ve done please click on one of the signup links in this review. That way I get a few pennies from the poker site for my hard work. It would make my day 🙂

How Do I Sign Up?

Signing up is quick and painless. Simply click on the banner below to get started.

betonline banner

Final Thoughts

BetOnline and Sportsbetting poker are not without their flaws.  However, recent massive improvements in their software prove to me that they care about creating a better experience for their customers.

Additionally, the value available is about as good as it gets for sites moving toward a recreational model.  The network seems to be very smart in picking and choosing the features they allow strong players to take advantage of.  They seem to be very careful about not stepping on the toes of the fun players, who are actually the people that keep a poker economy healthy.  Everyone on the network has something to play for, whether it be for fun, a bonus, or one of the many rake races.

In my opinion, skins on the Chico network have created about as close to the perfect recipe in attaining sustainability for their product as can be expected in the current online poker climate.  By constructing a product that appeals to people from different backgrounds, all with varying gaming appetites, there appears to be a complete lack of dichotomy.  It appears to me that no matter who you are or what you expect from a poker site, you will view at this network as if it were designed specifically for you.

Jim James

Jim James is well-known as the world’s leading expert on playing short or mid-stacked poker. He has over 15 years of experience playing poker professionally, has written extensively on the topic, and is the author of the best-selling poker strategy book Automatic Poker.

Using a no-nonsense mathematical and logical approach to beating the games, he has won 7 figures at the poker tables. His innovative simple poker charts make the game easier for everyone willing to learn. Today, he helps other players demystify what it takes to win money in No-Limit Hold’em and has helped countless people become winning poker players through his Online Poker Academy.