Why choose Full Tilt Poker?
- Excellent software
- Wide range of promotions for newcomers
- Very good mobile app
- A 100 % bonus (up to $600) for a 1st deposit with the code: STARS600
- Casino games
- Rush Poker
- Irish Poker
Here is the comprehensive Full Tilt Poker official review from the Club Poker team. You'll find there all the handy information, the details about the software, the tournaments, the offers… Enjoy!
Memories about FullTilt
I have very good memories about Full Tilt poker. Back in the days, (I'm talking 2004, maybe 2005) the biggest online poker sites were either very serious and dull looking, like Pokerstars or more fun oriented, light themed gambling site like Party Poker, offering you a beachy background, funny jingles and so on. Then came PKR and its 3D interface that at the time nobody took seriously. It was more like playing a poker video game than sitting at a card room table. And there was FullTilt. FullTilt was the perfect option between the very serious PokerStars and the very (at the time) amateur looking PKR. With cartoonish avatars for every player, they made poker played seriously in a light hearted environment. Ten years later, I'm installing the software again to see where they're at.
A bit of history now… Full Tilt poker started in 2004 and became the second biggest online poker room. Sadly, its director Raymond Bitar and some pros including Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson were charged with money laundering and violation of gambling laws and all activities were ceased in 2011 on what is now known as the black Friday. In 2012, the room was bought by Pokerstars and is now part of its ecosystem, allowing players with a full tilt account to play on Pokerstars in countries where Full Tilt doesn't have a license to operate real money gambling.
Creating my FullTilt account
Creating the account kinda looks like it's 2005 again, I do hope things get more modern after this first screen.
After validating your email address via a code sent in a “Welcome to FullTilt” email, you get access to the lobby.
Everything you need to find your perfect game is here. The way of applying filters is actually very convenient, selecting each criteria in a given order, highlighting the next selection step.
First choice is the selection between real or play money.
Once this choice is made, you get to choose between the type of game you want to play :
- Multi Table Tournaments,
- Sit n Go and Jackpot : Sit & Go which is the same as the classic one but with a more turbo structure and I mean reaaaallllyyyy turbo, short handed and with a winner takes all jackpot prize pool that can go up to 2000 times the entry fee.
After selecting the type of game, you get to choose the kind of table you want. Short handed, full ring, Satellite and Multi Table for sit'n go, the type of game (Holdem, Omaha High, Omaha H/L) for ring games, etc.
When the kind of game you want to play is chosen, you then move on to select the buyin.
Here I'm trying to select a tournament, satellite for a bigger one, playing for what they call a medium buy-in, taking me to a list of upcoming tournaments that I can register for, check the lobby or browse tournaments. Wait… Browse tournaments? Wasn't I doing that just now?
Hereunder displaying for cash game, but as you can see you get the same filters. It's still very easy to read, lighter on the eye and more “Pro” looking. You can alternate the view between “basic” and “advanced” at any time. Nice feature.
Ok so now that we saw the lobby, what about the tables?
Ok… It's exactly the same as I remember it. I am shedding a tear of nostalgia here, but seriously… They could have done something to... I don't know… Refresh it a bit I guess.
When playing, every option you need is here. You can preselect your action, go back to the lobby and select another table, size the bet you're about to make, see the last hand, deposit and/or get more chips or register directly at a similar table. I don't see anything missing here.
One problem though, is that what looked like a less serious poker site ten years ago, now look very amateurish in its graphical interface. You can tweak it of course, get a four color deck, a dark background, etc. But still, even though you get that you don't feel “that serious” about playing compared to say, PokerStars, site that tends to make you think you're starting a poker game to end it as a member of their pro team, loading Full Tilt today and leaving it in default mode feels kind of like you're playing a Windows 95 card game.
Of course you can customize the table look and feel, which gives me this after a bit of fiddling:
Yeah so I guess I grew up a bit and now like the emptier/dull look of serious card rooms…
Playing full tilt from all over the world
One thing you have to be aware is that full tilt does not hold a license to operate in real money in every country. In France for example, you cannot play for real money, the site redirects you to Pokerstars.fr, room that holds the said license. In the US, no real money either.
Also, depending on your location, you might have to re-download another version of the software FullTilt.EU for countries where a Malta Gaming Authority license is enough to operate real money gambling. That is a bit annoying since it tends to leave you with a few different version of the software, with another account. Note that changing the country linked to your account address means contacting the support. There's no direct way to do it yourself.
Full Tilt Specialties
First particular thing about Full Tilt is to offer Irish Poker, in its NL and PL variants. Irish poker is played like Texas Hold'em but you start with 4 cards, discard one after the flop is drawn and you use two of the remaining cards to make your hand. So it ends up being in between Texas hold'em and Omaha, being a recreative and nice change of scenery after some games of Texas Hold'em.
Another Full Tilt fun way to play is the flipout tournament. Flipout means that you go all in every hand for the first round of hands, and the remaining players on the second round continue on a normal tournament structure. That's what I call gambling.
In the tournaments department, you'll find some Full Tilt only games. The avatar tournament for example, allows you to win a unique avatar for your player. The “new to the game” freerol is a 50$ prizepool tournament reserved for newly registered users, allowing you to build a bankroll from scratch. There's also a first deposit bonus giving you 10 tickets to 500$ freerolls that are all played on Sundays.
Still in the tounaments department, one of the possibly most lucrative possibility is the bounty hunt of the “Friday Fight Night” tournament. On the 129$ entry fee, 20$ goes to a bounty on every player's head. Eliminate 7 players and you're already making money.
Full Tilt Mobile Application
Full tilt offers a mobile application that allows you to play from your smartphone, iOS and Android.
I have to say, the mobile app works very well, offers the same possibilities as the desktop version, and allows you to play poker on the go from everywhere.
Even though the buttons are a bit easier to use than the Winamax and Pokerstars mobile apps, so yeah congrats on that one Full Tilt, you got that part really right even if the app doesn't allow multitabling. But then again, for casual players on their smartphone, it's not really a big deal.
Full Tilt Fidelity Program
Unlike the Pokerstars store which allows you to buy poker goodies, the Full Tilt One is very minimalist, allowing you to buy only tournament tickets, ring game tickets (giving you a given bankroll at a cash game table) and a security app for your smartphone allowing you to secure your account a bit more.
One of the first thing that I noted about changing points for real money in the store is that depending what you spend your points on, they have a different value.
Want a 50$ cash bonus ? That's 14000 points. Want a 50$ ring game ticket? That's 15400 points. Why? Because. That honestly feels weird…
The other part of the fidelity program consist in earning coins (also by playing raked games) to enter a jackpot called “The Deal”. The deal gives you a poker hand and based on how strong your hand is, you get prizes. You will get a freeroll sat ticket for ace high, 200$ for a straight flush and there's also a 88K$ jackpot at the time I'm writing this article. Of course your chances are slim, but it's a nice addition for gamblers. At least it makes you feel that you can hit big prizes after only a few hours of play, where on other sites, a 200$ cash bonus would take you a few thousands games.
Conclusion: Why should you play on Full Tilt ?
Well in the end the reason you would play on full tilt would be being tired of playing the higher level room like PokerStars or Winamax, in a less serious way. It has the same options PokerStars do (hence the recurring comparison I make in this test) but less traffic, and let's say it, less to offer in terms of playable cash games or tournaments. It's Friday, 3.30pm as I write this, and I had no waiting time on my cash game table to fill up to a full ring, also had a few option to play in tourney too.
I did like the “easy” selection in the lobby table that make me feel that yes, given all my criteria, I ended up on the one table that was designed for me. Feeling I don't necessary get on other rooms like PokerStars, Winamax where selecting a game is just as fun and understandable as reading the stock market reports in the Washington post.
In the end Full Tilt poker is far from being a bad poker room and feels like the perfect companion to sharpen up your game. Hop on, play a few tournaments or ring games and when you are ready, move up to live action games or another more serious room with a higher level of play. With a little graphic update, it could be the perfect beginner to mid-player room.
Full Tilt Poker forum
A Full Tilt Poker forum is available for you here at Club Poker. Come and discuss about Full Tilt Poker, give your opinion and meet other players.