Ignition Casino soft-launched their poker product in August 2016. They fully launched in October 2016. No one would blame you if you thought they were a brand-new poker site. But you'd be wrong. You see, Ignition acquired their poker room from Bovada since the latter had decided they wanted to focus only on sports and casino gaming. Ignition now offers casino and poker. Another intriguing feature is that Ignition Poker also offers the possibility to deposit in Bitcoin - something which is rapidly being accepted by all major casino sites.
This is good news because: Ignition will continue to accept US customers. They already have an existing player base. They will continue to focus on recreational players, while discouraging serious or professional players. Ignition will continue to use the same top-notch software Bovada did. Nothing has changed, other than who owns and operates the poker room. Well, that's not entirely true. There are some differences in the poker promotions Ignition offers, as well as a few tiny differences on the software side of things. But if you already have an account with them, there's no need to rejoin. Your account has been transferred.
And if you're already familiar with Bovada - for better or for worse - there's no need to continue with this review, either. The following review is more or less for people who've never heard of Bovada or Ignition before but are in the market to join a new poker site. Those people will find information about Ignition Poker's banking details, promotions, games, software and support.
Ignition Poker's Deposit and Cash Out Options
Ignition accepts only three forms of payment - credit or debit cards (Visa or MasterCard), bitcoin and Rapid Transfer (money transfers). If you choose to fund your account with plastic, be prepared to pay a 5.9% (or higher) fee. It's sort of disappointing to see a fee on credit/debit cards, though it could be that they're just trying to cover the processing costs on their end.
There are no fees for using bitcoin. Good news there. And for Rapid Transfer, you'll pay a flat $12 fee. As for cash outs, you'll have 4 options. You can use bitcoin for cash outs up to $3,000. There's no fee, but beware that it can take 2-3 days to process your payment. Your second option is Rapid Transfer. There is a $75 fee for this. Your third option is a paper check. You can use these for cash outs up to $3,000. These have a $75 fee and can take 2-3 weeks to hit your mailbox.
Your fourth and final option is cashing out to your credit card. However, bear in mind this is (usually) available only to international players. This costs $75, too. The withdrawal fees are ridiculous. But you could also argue it's a worthwhile trade if you're all but guaranteed to be paid from a US-facing, offshore poker room.
Improved Bonus + VIP Program & Other Promotions
Ignition Poker's first bonus (when they soft-launched in August 2016) sucked. It was something like $100 for poker players and an additional $1,000 for their casino. Yeah, you read that right. You joined to play poker, but the majority of the bonus is for their online casino.
But it looks like maybe that didn't make sense to them, either, or perhaps enough people complained. Because they improved their offer. Right now, Ignition is offering a $2,000 welcome bonus. It's split up into two offers. You'll get $1,000 for the poker room and another $1,000 for the casino. The casino bonus is given to you automatically. But you need to earn it by wagering the bonus 25x. Between the play through and the 6 months they give you to complete it, this is a very reasonable offer. The only downside is you cannot play most (if not all) blackjack games, craps, baccarat or roulette. Your poker bonus, on the other hand, isn't given to you right away. It's released to you in increments based on the number of poker points you've earned.
Ignition Poker offers a simple VIP program. The idea is this: You earn points for playing poker. Once you've built up a stash, you can then convert 200 poker points into $1 worth of tournament tickets. It's estimated this comes out to about 1.5% rake back. You can convert up to 5 million points per month.
Ignition Poker's Games and Tournaments - slick and smooth with a great variety of features
Ignition spreads a small selection of poker games. That includes fixed, pot and no limit Texas Holdem, Omaha and Omaha high/low. Their cash games start out at $0.02/$0.05. The highest stakes depend on the game and variation you're playing, but the highest offered is $300/$600. The types of cash games you can play include heads-up, 6-max and full ring (9-handed).
But that's not all. Ignition also offers a fast-fold poker variation. Their version is called Zone Poker. The general idea behind fast-fold poker is this - you join a pool of other players to play a specific poker game and stake/level. Once you buy in, you're seated with other players and are dealt a fresh hand.
At this point you can either wait for your turn -OR- you can fold in advance (before the action gets to you). When you fold in advance, you'll be seated at a new table with different players from the pool and a brand-new hand to play. This is a fast-paced variation, which is made faster given you'll only have 15 seconds to act. Playing this variation you should have no problems getting 200-300 hands in per hour.
Ignition offers lot of tournaments, too. In fact, they guarantee $2 million in prize pool money every week. They have tournaments running at all times throughout the day. Buy-ins start as low as $1.10 and will set you back as much as $162. But most of their tournaments do have satellites, which includes their biggest tournament, the $162 $100k guarantee they run on Sundays.
They run SNG tournaments too, though the last couple times I've reviewed them they didn't have many games running. The SNG variations they offer include: Deep Stack: Get double the starting chips. Satellite: Win your way into one of our bigger tournaments. Turbo: Turn up the speed with faster blind levels. Double Up: Survive half the field and double your buy-in. Triple Up: Place in the top third to triple your buy-in. Hyper Turbo: Our fastest format - play for fun, high-speed action. Buy-ins here range from $1.10 to $215. Table sizes range from heads up (2 players) to 45 players. Overall, they have a small, yet solid selection of poker cash, SNG and MTT games and variations. They have plenty of traffic, too, only trailing the likes of PokerStars and 888. But the difference between Ignition Poker and these poker sites is Ignition's player base is mostly recreational aka soft. You can clean up real good here if you have a solid poker foundation.
Ignition's Software Features
There are several features that stand out to the seasoned poker player. The most talked about - and the most polarizing - are their anonymous tables. Screen names aren't used. Numbers are used to identify players instead. In addition to that, you're not able to take permanent notes, tag your opponents or use 3rd party tracking software.
These rules are in place to promote and encourage loose, fun, recreational games. Pros are more or less discouraged from playing here. However, one thing that is unique about Ignition - and sort of counter to their recreational player approach - is they let you play as many as 20 tables at once. Bovada allowed only 15 before the sale, and 6-12 months before that the max was 4 tables.
Some of their other software features include: Selecting your own card and table design. Playing in different languages including English, Spanish and Chinese. Adding card animation. This means you can add special effects like lightning bolts or flames to your cards. These go off whenever you win a hand.
Rabbit Cam. See what the next card would've been when you fold on the flop or turn. Show pot total Show bet value Show hand strength Show folded hand Four colored decks
This light follows the action around the table. It makes it easier to know who's turn it is. Further, tables can be set up in full screen mode, cascading tiles or in a 4×4 resizable grid. Overall, their software is some of the best available to American players. And it's on par with the rest of the world, only maybe trailing the likes of PokerStars, Full Tilt, 888, Bet365, etc.
Their software is available for download for both Mac and Windows. It's mobile compatible, too, with Android and iOS. No download required. This is one of the only (if not the only) mobile poker options Americans have. Here you'll be able to play cash and Zone Poker games. One hopes to see tournaments added in the near future.