Expert View of Carbon Poker
Carbon Poker is the flagship of the Merge Gaming Network. It was once the largest online poker site that accepted U.S. players. That occurred after Black Friday. It has been on a downward spiral ever since. The network kicked most of its skins off. It started going after winning players. The network stopped accepting new U.S. players off and on. It also ended its affiliate program. There were periods of slow payouts that sometimes lasted almost a year. All of these issues contributed to the massive decline of Merge Gaming. Carbon Poker currently accepts U.S. players from most states.
Carbon Poker Summary
Carbon Poker was once known as Poker.com, a domain they leased. The owner of the domain did not renew the lease to this group in early 2007. The Poker.com player base was moved to Carbon Poker and PDC Poker. The Merge Gaming Network was later created with these two rooms. Since then, the parent company of Carbon Poker also acquired Aced, which it closed on July 1, 2014. Aced players were moved to Carbon Poker.
The previously bland software was updated in June 2012 with the release of Merge Gaming 6.0. This software created a more stable platform as well as new features for players. The new platform also corrected several bugs that were present in the previous version.
One recent issue with Carbon Poker is the exclusion of winning players. Some are restricted to just two tables, while others are outright kicked off of the site and forced to withdraw all funds. This is a concern to us at Safest Poker Sites. There are also issues with cashout speeds from time to time. The 5% Bitcoin withdrawal fee is outrageous, especially considering many other sites process these payments for free. It’s clear that Carbon Poker does not like winning players.
Personal Opinion of Juicy Stakes
What we like about Carbon Poker
There are also many recreational players at the tables. That makes for some good games. The software is the best available to U.S. players. Support generally does a good job.
What we do not like about Carbon Poker
Carbon Poker’s first deposit bonus clears at a rate of just 5% rakeback. That is extremely slow. It also expires after 60 days and releases in $20 increments. This means $400 in rake is required to release the first portion of the bonus. Most players will not ever clear even the first increment, must less the entire amount.
The lack of a VIP program makes it hard to give much action to Carbon Poker. Players only receive one free check withdrawal per year. Additional withdrawals incur a 3% fee. Bitcoin has a fee of 5% per withdrawal. Most of the action at Carbon Poker is on No Limit Texas Hold’em tables with micro blinds.
For these reasons, we recommend avoiding Carbon Poker and instead choosing BetOnline.
What Are Players Saying About Carbon Poker
Most of the discussion about Carbon Poker on the internet is negative. Most involve bad bonus terms, broken promises and slow payouts. It is difficult to find many positive statements about Carbon Poker after its policies enacted over the past few years.
“Shady. I play on all American facing sites, except Carbon. They lost my business years ago, because of these types of scummy maneuvers on their part. I understand the software is good and player pool soft, but good riddance!”
“Outside of soft competition I would assume (I’m not a cash game player), there aren’t really any other incentives. No rakeback, no VIP Program.”
“The cash table lobby is designed to benefit recreational players and you don’t even get to pick a table that you want to sit at. I prefer a 9 person full ring game and when you click the button it just sends you to a table. The last time it was just me and another player.
The traffic is also down because of their payout problems in the last year and the site punishing consistent winning regulars. By trying to cater to recreational players this site will eventually put itself out of business.”
Carbon Poker Deposits and Withdrawals
Making a Deposit
Players in the U.S. have several deposit options. Bitcoin is the best option. Some credit cards and debit cards work for depositing. Players may also opt to use cash transfer services such as Western Union for deposit. If you plan to make a large deposit then Carbon Poker has been known to cover the fee charged by Western Union. Players outside the U.S. have few other options.
Making a Withdrawal
Players in the U.S. always have to be careful to research how they will be paid by an online poker room once they win. All players have checks available as a withdrawal option. The fee for check withdrawal is 3% up to $75. The maximum check amount is $2,500 and checks arrive in about one month. Bitcoin and bank wire are available to some players. Bitcoin is available with a 5% fee.
Checks are delivered in about one month. Bitcoin withdrawals are processed in a day or two. Players receive one free withdrawal per year.
Customers outside the U.S. must take a bank wire or Bitcoin withdrawal. These take about one month to process.
Carbon Poker Safety
Carbon Poker has the worst reputation of all U.S. online poker sites. We are concerned with Carbon Poker’s traffic decline in recent years as well as generally lower than average payout speeds and options. With that said, they haven’t put as much focus on the poker room (versus sportsbook and casino) but they have improved their payment processing recently and have overcome obstacles before.
This goes without saying with any online poker room, but make sure to not keep any more of your money online at Carbon Poker that you could not afford to potentially lose. The site has a history of going through periods where players get slow-paid.
Is Carbon Poker Legit?
The origins of Carbon Poker date back to more than a decade. They have survived serious obstacles such as payment difficulties, the UIGEA and Black Friday — and they are still here. This gives us a little respect for Carbon Poker. However, it still is not one of our first options due to its repetitive payout issues, high cashout fees and problems with the sportsbook.
Carbon Poker Bonuses
New players will receive a 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus. Players may deposit as little as $10 to receive the bonus. The bonus clears at a rate of 200 VIP Points per $1 in bonus money. This gives the player a 5% cash back rate just for clearing the bonus. The bonus expires in 60 days, if a withdrawal is requested, or the player makes a deposit to claim a different bonus. The bonus releases in $20 increments.
Monthly Reload Bonus
Carbon Poker offers a reload bonus every month. The unfavorable terms of the first deposit bonus are used for the reload offer.
Carbon Poker VIP
Carbon Poker discontinued its VIP program on July 15, 2014.
Carbon Poker Promotions
Bad Beat Jackpot
Carbon Poker offers a Bad Beat Jackpot. A player that loses quad deuces or better will release the jackpot. Both the winner and loser must use both hole cards. The loser of the hand wins 38%, the winner gets 20.5%, the remaining players at the table split 20.5%, while the other 21% funds the next progressive jackpot. The Bad Beat Jackpot meter goes up $.10 every minute, regardless of the action. Unlike the previous jackpot promotion, there is no additional rake. It is only available at No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games with 3 or more active players.
Carbon Poker Game Selection
Carbon Poker offers little in the way of game selection. Players will only find Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha High/Low these days. That is quite a change from its number of stud, draw and mixed games in the past.
- No Limit Hold’em
- Fixed Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
- Other Games
0.05 / 0.100.10 / 0.200.25 / 0.500.50 / 11 / 22 / 5
0.10 / 0.200.25 / 0.500.50 / 11 / 22 / 44 / 88 / 1615 / 30
0.05 / 0.100.10 / 0.250.25 / 0.500.50 / 11 / 22 / 5
0.50 / 11 / 22 / 44 / 88 / 1615 / 30
Has There Ever Been a Scandal at Carbon Poker?
Carbon Poker’s slow withdrawal speeds in the past are a serious concern to Safest Poker Sites. We feel that any site that takes more than three months to process cashouts to U.S. players has serious issues behind the scenes. While the speeds have improved, we are still concerned. Its sportsbook has a history of not paying winning sports bets.