Name: Carbon Poker
Network: Merge Gaming
Peak Traffic: 15,000+
U.S. Players: YES
Established: 2007
Country: Kahnawake (Canada)
Payment Methods: See all
Full Review

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Carbon Poker is a new kid on the block in the online poker market, but they have made clear their intentions to be one of the best online pokers sites by offering gargantuan promotions, fast withdrawals, and fantastic software. They are one of the truly U.S. friendly poker sites, in part because of their inclusion in the quickly-growing Merge Gaming network; this has all contributed to their growth and ability to offer many great poker bonuses to their players.

Competition at Carbon Poker is normally fairly loose. There are a lot of green players who are just wading into the waters of online poker. At the low-stakes and micro-stakes tables is where you will find the lowest quality of players; however, these games can turn into a windfall for more experienced players.

Carbon Poker offers H.O.R.S.E. and many more mixed games, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven-Card Stud Hi and Hi-Lo, Five-Card Stud, Five-Card Draw, Razz, A-5 Lowball, Badugi, and 2-7 Lowball. Overall, they have a great selection of games. Most of the tournaments you will find will be offering just Omaha and Hold’em, however, with only occasional Badugi and Draw Poker tournaments.

The Merge Gaming network and Carbon Poker in particular are growing in their fame, and while the current levels of traffic are fairly low compared to the rest of the business, it is definitely growing. During the month of August 2010, online poker reviews and statistics show roughly 500 players showing up to ring-games in peak hours and around 2000 players showing up to tournaments during peak hours.

Promotions and Bonus Code

PokerRating now has an exclusive offer of a first deposit bonus match of 110% up to $600.

Exclusive Bonus code for PokerRating players: RATING100

Bonus Payout: 250 comp points will earn players $1 of bonus. This is disbursed in chunks of $10 for 2,500 comp points. Although this may seem to be a large number of points, up to 10 comp points can be earned on each hand played. Cash tables are better than tournaments if you want to clear the bonus more quickly.

Promotion and Loyalty Program

Real-money games are where Carbon Poker’s comp points are earned. For each hand played, a player will earn from 3 to 10 comp points. This is contingent on the limits or the level of blinds. The most common use for comp points are for keeping track of poker bonus eligibility, entrance into special tournaments, and various offers that are exclusive to Carbon Poker.

Sign up through a PokerRating link and receive a $600 bonus at 110% deposit match.

Freerolls and Tournaments

There are a good number and variety of tournaments offered by Carbon Poker, with the majority being low buy-in and medium buy-in. The most ample buy-in at an average level is $109.

There aren’t too many large tournaments offered by Carbon Poker for playing online poker, most likely because its player base is still growing. The site does offer, however, a $20,000 guaranteed tournament every month. This tourney has proven to be popular, is growing, and is definitely a good value, particularly for seasoned players

Here is one of the best poker offers that is all too often over looked and should be paid attention by the larger sites: Carbon Poker’s ladies’ tournaments. They are ladies only, and are offered about every other day, with the guarantee range being between $200 and $400. Rebuys are offered from time to time, and in general, the buy-ins are pretty low, ranging from $1 to $2.

Graphics and Software

The Merge Gaming network is where Carbon Poker’s software for playing poker online comes from, and they also share a base of players. Especially in terms of graphics, but in general terms, as well, the software is solid. There are good stats functions, but one drawback is that the hand history needs a special program to read it, as it is just .xml file.

There is a lot of information for players at Carbon Poker, and the functionality is smooth, with tables that are both clean and clear with a mini-view function that is solid. Up to eight ring-game tables can be run at once using the Carbon Poker software. These can be viewed in mini-view or in separate windows.

In terms of playing online poker, Carbon Poker offers graphics and layouts that aren’t too big and ungainly, and are easily understandable. The multi-table experience is thus a good one, with graphics that are clean and sharp. One drawback, however, is that text and buttons can be somewhat difficult to see with more than four small-scaled tables.

Carbon Poker’s layout is easily understandable and visually simple, though. The software is great for pros or beginners because of its smooth navigability and overall ease of use. Administrative tools such as password options, icons, and so on, are web-based rather than software-based. This means that getting support, going to the Carbon Poker store, or any other administrative activity is quick and easy.

The software at Carbon Poker includes some fun extras such as giving players the chance to see what the next card would have been after they have folded (this is called the “rabbit hunt” feature). There is also a mini-view, and trophies can be added to players’ avatars.


Support offered at Carbon Poker comes in the form of live-chat and email response. The staff is quick and knowledgeable.

Withdrawal and Deposit Options

Deposit options: Visa, MasterCard, Moneybookers, Neteller, EcoCard, eWalletXpress, Wire Transfer, PIC-club, ClickandBuy, EntroPay, Click2Pay, and iBankG.

Withdrawal options: Neteller, Moneybookers, EcoCard, check, eWalletXpress, and Click2Pay (this is the option of preference).