The Horizon Poker Network is composed of several sites that pool their traffic together and tend to have similar rewards programs. Some of these rooms are tailored to specific geographic regions, and the ones that are relevant to online poker in the U.S.A. are Intertops and Juicy Stakes. Both of these online sites give new players a 200% up to $1,000 welcome bonus. The majority of their customers are from the United States, but they accept players from most countries worldwide too. Horizon as a whole is one of the smaller networks in existence, so it’s not great for mass multitablers or high-stakes pros. It is, however, perfect if you want to play a table or two against easy opponents.
Anyone signing up to either Intertops or Juicy Stakes can choose between the normal VIP program and rakeback. The rakeback rate is 36%, and possessing an RB account doesn’t prevent a user from accepting bonuses, participating in rake races or claiming any other promotional offers at the network. There is a catch however: Players on rakeback will only earn frequent player points at half the normal rate. Since most of the promos at this network are tied to earning FPPs, this means that rakebackers will see their rates of return from these deals diminish.
The software in use at Intertops, Juicy Stakes, and the rest of their sister sites was developed by Cake Poker, the original ancestor of the network. A downloadable poker application is available only for Windows. Those with other systems can access an instant play version over the web instead. The random number generator has been tested and certified as fair by Technical Systems Testing. Intertops and Juicy Stakes are licensed in Curaçao.
Intertops made things a lot easier for U.S. citizens when it started accepting Bitcoin in December 2015. This payment option was expected to be added to Juicy Stakes shortly thereafter, but as of April 2017, Juicy still doesn’t support it. On the withdrawals front, both companies offer quick and fair payments, but Intertops does stand a bit above Juicy because of its BTC cashouts. Find out more about payment processing reliability with our offshore poker sites payout report.
Intertops isn’t just a reputable name in the world of online poker; it has been running a highly rated internet sportsbook for more than 21 years. There are also two separate casino products featured at Intertops in addition to the few casino games in the poker client. The gambling selection is quite a bit thinner at JS although it does have the same casino titles embedded in the poker software as Intertops does. If you enjoy partaking in many types of wagers both on and off the virtual felt, then Intertops is probably the way to go.
The most notable promotion for U.S. players at Horizon is the 200% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus. Bonus funds are issued in $5 increments. The rate of bonus clearance varies somewhat depending on the games you play, but it’s worth around 54% cashback for standard accounts and 24% for RB players. Rakeback + bonus combined thus yields returns of around 60%.
Weekly rake races enable you to grab an additional 10%+ as long as you can rake about $50 in a week ($100 for RB players). The top few spots on the leaderboard pay out well in excess of 50% rakeback. As if this weren’t enough, there’s also a Loyalty Levels program that allows you to reach FPP targets for cash rewards. After you’re finished with your initial bonus, keep your eyes on your site’s promotional newsletters because there are reloads and other specials available several times per year.
Even during the busiest hours, it’s rare for there to be more than 20 ring games active at once. Most of the tables with players at them are at the $50NL level and below. You will sometimes see $100NL and $200NL tables going along with a couple of PLO and PLO/8 games. The MTT lineup is heavily focused on low-buyin contests although there is a $50 + $5 tourney every day. It’s called the Sundowner, and it guarantees $1,500 ($2,500 on Sundays). There’s little SNG volume to speak of, and most of it is at levels below $10.
Cake Poker opened its doors in 2006, and it seemed to be just another site hoping to carve out a slice for itself of the burgeoning online poker market. After the UIGEA legislation forced many of its competitors out of the U.S. poker scene, Cake and its partner sites continued to serve Americans and became one of the top networks for them to play at. However, the organization soon started to affiliate with questionable skins, such as Doyle’s Room, which is rumored to have left the network owing millions, and Lock Poker, which stiffed not only the network as a whole but also Lock’s own players, many of whom lost their entire bankrolls. The Cake Poker Network seemed to have put its hopes on the Lock deal, even rebranding itself Revolution Gaming to mark the acquisition of such a high-profile skin.
When Lock Poker stopped paying players and went bust, it left the Revolution Gaming network a shell of its former self. By this time, the main site on the network, Cake Poker, had changed its name to Win Cake and had begun to develop a poor reputation. U.S. players were transferred to the Juicy Stakes skin, perhaps in an attempt to contain the damage. Unfortunately, Juicy began to slow-pay cashouts as well. The only company to have emerged from the Lock fiasco relatively unscathed was Intertops.
Juicy Stakes was bought out by Zagox Management in 2013. Zagox is reported to be closely associated with Intertops, which has always dealt fairly with players even during the height of the Lock fiasco. After the change in ownership, JS started to pay what was owed to winners consistently and speedily, just as Intertops does. The network changed names to its current moniker, Horizon Poker Network, in early 2016.
The Horizon Poker Network, backed by Intertops’ sterling standing in the industry, is a fine place to relax while playing a couple of tables of online poker. Even if you don’t think it’s large enough to serve as your main poker home, it should prove profitable as a secondary destination. Read our Intertops Poker review for more detailed information, or peruse our Juicy Stakes review for an alternative skin on the same network. Remember that you’ll get a 200% up to $1,000 bonus no matter which of these two sites you choose. For more U.S.A. online card rooms, check out our U.S.A. real money poker guide.
Americans from all states except Kentucky can open a new account at Intertops. Juicy Stakes accepts all U.S. players except those from Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.