There has been a lot of buzz lately in social media about 64Spades, a new real money online poker site that caters to Americans. With the restricted menu of internet cardrooms available to denizens of the United States, you may be excited at the appearance of a new one. We decided to take a look at it so that we could inform you whether or not 64Spades lives up to the hype.
Unfortunately, our ultimate conclusion is that 64Spades shows all the signs of being a hastily and poorly cobbled-together entity. While it does show some promise, there are many annoyances and frustrations that players have to put up with. Besides these faults, it also has the low traffic levels common to newly started poker rooms, so you really aren't missing out on anything much by electing to take a pass on this third-tier internet poker destination.
Before we proceeded with the 64Spades download, we attempted to get as much info as possible from the poker room's website. We always prefer to jump into the pool with our eyes open.
We noticed right away that our browser warned us that the 64Spades site was "Not secure." This indicates that the company neglected to, or was uninterested in, purchasing an HTTPS certificate. These certificates ensure that a given website uses encryption to protect your data, and they have become standard on the web. Heck, most web hosting organizations will even give their customers an HTTPS certificate for free, making this failure on the part of the poker room all the more incomprehensible.
Oddly, while the homepage isn't HTTPS-compliant, some of the individual pages are compatible with this protocol. We don't know exactly what's going on here, but we highly advise you to exercise due caution when browsing the pages and avoid putting your personal data into any webforms that you encounter.
Another thing caught our eye while conducting our research: The copyright notice on 64Spades' site reads, “© 2017 64Spades.” This was accurate as of Dec. 31st, 2018, and it means either that the pages are old and infrequently updated or that the webmaster is lax and hasn't bothered to change the year. Either way, this doesn't reflect well on the professionalism and competence of the organization.
After reading through the 64Spades website, we proceeded to download and install the poker client. One thing that's annoying is that, at least for the Windows version of the software, you can't specify which folder you want it to install to. It just placed all files in the default location chosen by the installation program.
Undeterred by these minor irritations, we proceeded to continue with our review of 64Spades. Sadly, there were plenty of other snafus awaiting us, but more about that later. For now, let's take a look at the promotions offered by the room.
Almost every online poker provider showcases valuable promotions to keep customers coming back for more, and 64Spades is no exception. There are several ongoing specials that provide a means of scoring some free money whether you're a new or returning player.
This is worse than most online poker bonuses on the market.
The welcome bonus at 64Spades has an interesting wrinkle to it in that you can get three separate bonuses on your first three deposits. Each is good for 100% up to $1,000 in free matching funds, meaning that you can claim up to $3,000 in total bonuses.
This is quite a fair bit of cash – more than most internet poker sites provide for new players. However, a close examination of the terms of this deal reveals that it's not as rewarding as it might seem at first glance.
The release rate of the bonus is 10 Reward Points for every dollar of bonus money. You get a Reward Point for every $1 raked. Thus, you must rake 10x the value of the bonus funds for an effective rakeback equivalent of 10%. This is worse than most online poker bonuses on the market.
The bonus is paid out in increments of 10% of its value. So if you make a $500 deposit to get a $500 bonus, then the bonus will clear in $50 chunks. You have 365 days to earn as much of the bonus as you can, which is a fairly generous deadline.
There are many freerolls every day at 64Spades. Particularly prevalent are satellites into micro-stakes events where you can win your seat for free. There are also freerolls that pay out in cash, but the prize pools are usually small, most often $10 or less. The field sizes are pretty manageable though, frequently fewer than 100 players, so you stand a decent chance of picking up a prize without having to battle it out all day long.
A big banner on the 64Spades Deposit Bonus page promotes a “$300 FREE ROLL!” However, we looked in the tournament lobby, and we couldn't find any such freeroll listed. Additionally, we clicked in the Tournament Tickets section of the cashier after making a deposit, and we didn't have any ticket to a $300 freeroll.
It looks like this is either a promotion that, for whatever reason, hasn't yet gone live or a special that used to be active but is now invalid. Whatever the case, the site should really remove this misleading advertising from its website.
The phenomenon of possibly phantom promos isn't restricted to just the mystery $300 freeroll. There's a Bad Beat Jackpot total shown on some Texas Hold'em tables of $0.10/$0.20 and above (both NL and LHE). But there's no information about this BBJ on the 64Spades website! Neither is there any explanation of how it works within the poker client.
We here at Professional Rakeback are committed to digging up as many details as we can find on the topics that interest us. We therefore searched the internet for anything we could find about this 64Spades Bad Beat Jackpot.
...there might be a promotion available without any official information publicized about how to win it.
We eventually turned up a YouTube video about it, produced by…Al Spath of all people? Yes, it turns out this experienced writer and poker player has been urging viewers to play at the site. This isn't exactly an encouraging sign given the sites he has promoted in the past, like the failed Jao Poker.
Anyway, what Spath revealed was the BBJ requires quads or better to lose at showdown, and both players must use both of their hole cards to make their final hands. The video was from the end of January 2018, so we don't know if what Spath said is still true.
It's difficult to determine whether or not a special drop is being taken to fund this jackpot (assuming it's still active) because there's no published rake chart for 64Spades that we could see. Thus, it would be quite a challenge to try to examine hand histories and thereby determine what, if anything, is going on with the Bad Beat Jackpot.
The entire sum contained in the jackpot was a mere $4,319 as of April 17, 2018, so the amount to be won isn't exactly life-changing. Still, regardless of the size of the pot, we were quite disappointed to learn that there might be a promotion available without any official information publicized about how to win it.
There's no mention of any official 64Spades rakeback deals by the poker site. Thus, your only rakeback from the card room will come from the deposit bonus, and it's a mere 10%.
As part of our research we attempted to contact the company and ask them about their affiliate referral program. Not to be a braggard, but you would think that they would jump at the chance to have a high-traffic, high-authority rakeback site represent them. The truth is, they never even bothered to respond to our emails.
We have seen people privately promoting their 64Spades referral codes (typically via spamming forums or social media) and offering rakeback percentages as high as 20%. We don't know if this is permitted by 64Spades or if these individuals are breaking the rules by doing so. In fact, it is quite strange given our experience, or lack there of, in getting in touch with their management.
Any 64Spades RB you get through these possibly unscrupulous promoters will be paid out at their discretion. Such arrangements sometimes flourish for a while, but we have seen them terminated with prejudice at other internet poker sites in the past. Be careful if you elect to trust a random referrer to set you up with 64Spades rakeback. There is also the possibility that these rakeback deals may be false advertising, i.e. just a way to sucker people in to signing up with the promise of a promotion that does not actually exist!
The 64Spades cashier boasts three accepted payment methods: credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. This PayPal acceptance is worrisome because it's against the terms and conditions of PayPal to use its service for the purposes of gambling within the United States.
We've seen rare online poker sites before that allow you to deposit through PayPal, but many of these entities have gotten in trouble for doing this. Currently, Global Poker is the most prominent internet poker room that advertises its PayPal acceptance, and notwithstanding its contention that its sweepstakes poker model isn't counted as gambling, we feel that this line of reasoning is highly suspect.
In any case, 64Spades doesn't even have the fig leaf of Global's contentious sweepstakes arguments to protect it, so it's taking big chances with its and your money. If PayPal gets wind of what's going on and doesn't approve, not only can it freeze 64Spades' account, but it might also go after regular players too. Even money unrelated to transactions for poker could become inaccessible if a customer's PayPal account is suspended.
Having eliminated PayPal from our consideration as a depositing payment method, we looked at credit cards. However, they showed up in our cashier screen as “The service is temporarily unavailable.” Bitcoin was the only remaining payment channel for us to employ, so we prepared to send some coins to the site.
Actually, Bitcoin is our preferred method of conducting online real money transfers for gaming because it's quick and inexpensive to use while being largely under the radar of the banking and government sectors. You can find out more about BTC and how to use it for gambling over the internet with our guide to setting up Bitcoin and using it for online poker.
When we looked at the Bitcoin depositing instructions in the cashier, we were left with many questions:
This doesn't look like any deposit form we've seen at any other online poker room. There's nowhere to put in the amount you wish to fund your account with, no mention of the exchange rate, and none of the other info that's typically required to make a BTC transaction.
We were about to just send Bitcoin to the address shown, trusting that everything would be handled correctly, but then we saw the following on 64Spades' Bitcoin webpage:
All this verbiage about “underfunded” and “over-funded” had us worried. How could we send the right number of coins if there was nowhere to enter our desired transaction value?
We waited patiently...but we never got a response from support.
We decided that it was time to contact support to get some clarification on this matter. We clicked on the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the website, and this brought us to a webform. We filled out all the fields and clicked “Send.”
The webpage told us that our message was sent, but we didn't get an email confirmation. Suspecting that we might have typed in our email address incorrectly, we sent another support request through the same web-based mechanism. Again, we didn't receive any email acknowledgement of our inquiry.
We waited patiently for a couple of days, but we never got a response from support. We eventually opted to make a test deposit by sending a small sum of BTC to the address indicated in the cashier. This money was converted to USD and placed into our account within an hour. We then proceeded to add the remainder of the cash we intended to deposit to the same address, and it was similarly credited to our balance.
Note: The BTC depositing address shown remained the same even after we made a deposit, which is bad for anonymity and user security.
Strangely, 64Spades used a conversion rate that was more favorable for us than the going market rate. The dollars that were placed into our account were worth about 40% more than what our Bitcoin wallet indicated as the USD value of the BTC we sent. We wonder if this was an unprofessional error on their part or perhaps an "instant bonus" they credited us without our knowledge. Though we looked for evidence of such a bonus, and we are rather experienced in navigating poker software, there was no way to tell that we could discover.
64Spades shows that the valid range of Bitcoin deposits is $5 to $20,000. For PayPal, it's $20 - $3,000. The min and max amounts for credit cards isn't stated probably because this method isn't currently available.
64Spades has text about available cash-out options on its website – the only trouble is that three different pages give three separate lists of payout processors!
The offered payment methods may be one of the following combinations depending on which page you're viewing:
You will probably agree with is, having three different pages with three different sets of conflicting data is unprofessional. Even more so when one considers that this is your money that we are talking about accessing here!
We haven't yet attempted to make a withdrawal from 64Spades, so we have no insight into how speedy or reliable the site is in this department, but we'll update this review if and when we do. In the meantime, you can browse over to our monthly poker site payout report for data on payment processing at other offshore poker sites.
Before requesting a withdrawal, you must complete account verification by uploading certain documents through the 64Spades poker client. The documents you must send are listed as “an identity document, registration page, address confirmation, another document.”
The only one of these documents that's described in detail is “address confirmation,” which is basically a utility bill or bank statement showing both your name and address on the same page. We suppose “an identity document” is basically self-evident and refers to a driver's license, passport, or similar identification.
It's anyone's guess what “registration page” is, and “another document” is rather vague. Again, we are going to have to ding them for being unprofessional here. With such vagueness what is to stop them from requesting some mythical documents that you can not provide? And then using that lack of documentation to deny your withdrawal requests! It strikes us as shady.
It may take up to 72 hours after you upload your files for the validation process to be completed. Once your paperwork is approved, you'll receive an email to this effect.
On April 11, 2018, 64Spades promoter Al Spath made a Facebook post that seemed as though it was meant to be reassuring. After reading it, however, alarm bells started ringing in our minds. Here, take a look at it for yourself:
We wouldn't be surprised if these fraudulent transactions turn out to be a death blow...
It appears that customers were freerolling the site – losing their money and then disputing the transactions with PayPal/Venmo. We don't see how the managers of the site didn't take this possibility into account when adding support for these two payment channels. We knew that transacting via PayPal was trouble for any U.S.-facing online gambling enterprise, and events have proven us right.
Remember that the old Full Tilt Poker, before it was purchased by PokerStars, also had issues with users betting money that they actually were not good for, and this was one of the reasons for its ultimate failure. If the same type of deceit is happening at 64Spades, then we don't forecast a rosy future for the site particularly in light of the fact that it's much smaller than FTP was, and also it would be unlikely to attract a bailout from any organization of the caliber of PokerStars or any other large, reputable, legitimate online poker company.
Margins must be very thin at a site of the size and newness of 64Spades. We wouldn't be surprised if these fraudulent transactions turn out to be a death blow from which the room cannot recover. Though we hope that this isn't the case, we're realists first and foremost.
Spath's statement indicates that PayPal won't be coming back as a cashier method, which is probably a blessing in disguise. Until credit cards and Venmo return, Bitcoin is the only way to get money on to and off of the site for U.S. residents.
UPDATE February 10, 2019: Cashier Not Working
It seems that there has been a problem with the 64Spades cashier, and users can neither deposit funds nor cash them out. This situation has been going on for about a month now, and there doesn't appear to be any resolution in sight.
When we go to our cashier to make a deposit, our web browser opens up with an error message:
A quick look at the 64spades.com Facebook page confirms that others are experiencing the same, and we aren't just suffering from a weird, isolated technical error:
Therefore, the only realistic way for users to obtain chips at 64spades or trade their balances for real money is by engaging in peer-to-peer exchanges. Incredibly, company reps are claiming that this is “amazing” and an indication of a supportive poker community!
Besides exposing their customers to the risks inherent in making trades with unknown internet dwellers, the fact that real money transactions can no longer occur onsite is a worrisome development. We're left baffled as to how an online poker room can survive while its cashier remains continuously unserviceable. Some have reported not getting their withdrawals for months, dating to even before the recent cashier woes. Check out what one dismayed 64Spades player had to say in November 2018:
The recent failure of 64spades to maintain functional ways of funding accounts and requesting payouts only confirms our suspicions that the long-term viability of the site is questionable at best. It may prove prudent to select another place to play online poker instead.
The software running at 64Spades was produced by Enterra. This is a niche gaming application provider that sets up white-label sites for customers. There actually is an Enterra Poker Network, and skins have the option to join it or remain standalone. The management of 64Spades has opted for this latter option, so its traffic isn't shared with any other operator.
Of course another possibility is that 64Spades wanted to join the network, but could not. Given that they are utilizing payment methods that are not exactly allowed for online gambling transactions, it could be that Enterra simply did not want to burden the risk of adding a brand new, unestablished, unknown poker room with shady payment practices to their poker network.
64Spades provides download poker installers for Windows, iOS, and Android. In addition, there's an HTML5 app that you can log into with virtually every modern web browser.
The selection of games supported is excellent, and we haven't seen such a wide variety at any other site besides SwCPoker. There's Hold'em, Omaha and variants like Courchevel and 5 Card Omaha, Seven Card Stud games, Lowball (including 2-7 TDL and Badugi), and Chinese Poker. These are available in many distinct blind levels, table sizes, and betting structures.
Unusually, there are two formats that are displayed within the software but not enabled: fast-fold poker, called “Rapid,” and lottery SNGs, which are shown as “Spins.” Given the presence of quite a few rarely played game varieties, we're surprised that these two popular formats are missing.
We're pretty impressed by the ambitious nature of this online poker software project. It's even possible to create private, password-protected tables.
Nevertheless, there are a few minor glitches and problems that detract from the usability of this poker solution. For instance, we received the following error multiple times when choosing to muck our hand at showdown:
There are odd interface choices, like the fact that there's both a graphical hand replayer and a text-based hand history viewer but no way to switch between them. If you're looking at a hand history and wish to view a replay of the action, you must close the textual hand history tool and open up the graphical one.
As far as we know, there are no tracking or HUD packages that work with 64Spades.
Speaking of hand histories, you may have plans of importing them into your tracking program. If you attempt to do so, you'll be disappointed. As far as we know, there are no tracking or HUD packages that work with 64Spades. Neither Poker Tracker nor Hold'em Manager provide support for Enterra software or 64Spades.
The lobby shows just about what you would expect: game categories that you can select with subcategories for finer control and a listing of all matching games in the center of the screen. The menu at the top lets you adjust your display, gameplay, and language settings. It's possible to sort the games listed by clicking on any of the stat columns. There's also a filtering tool, but it's somewhat limited, and there are only a few criteria that you can filter by.
Overall, the software is better than we would expect from a small development house like Enterra but nowhere near as good as the top internet poker sites.
After much anticipation, 64Spades updated its software to add Short Deck Hold'em, also known as 6+ Hold'em, to its game selection. This is a type of Texas Hold'em where all cards lower than a 6 are removed from the deck. This alters the probabilities and adjusts the hand rankings such that a flush is better than a full house, and a set beats a straight. Short Deck was added both for cash games and tournaments.
Unfortunately, many players were unable to try out Short Deck Hold'em, at least not right away. This is because the Oct. 30 afternoon update, which enabled support for mixed games as well as 6+, triggered server problems that left users unable to log in and access the games. Several of them were in the middle of tournaments at the time.
As the afternoon faded into the evening, these issues were still unresolved. 64Spades representatives were unable to advise players on whether the affected MTTs were paused and would be resumed once the hardware issues were resolved or whether they would be cancelled and buyins refunded. Thus, many were left uncertain as to their best course of action: wait patiently by their computers for the resumption of normal service or abandon their tourneys and go do something else. Typical were the sentiments of Facebook user Debbie Cookie Furniss:
Ultimately, it took until the next morning for the site to be up and running again. In the interim, customers were left confused and disappointed.
Like we mentioned before, there are dozens of types of poker offered by 64Spades. This may be overkill, however, because there are only a few of them that see much action. During peak hours, which are U.S. evening times, there are up to 10 tables active. They're usually split up between NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and Open Face Chinese Poker.
The paucity of NLHE and PLO traffic may make this room only worthwhile as a backup or secondary poker destination. Yet the presence of a couple of tables of OFC Poker simultaneously active may intrigue those who appreciate this variant because most other sites for U.S.A. internet poker don't spread it.
As a poker room that does the majority of its marketing and advertising through social media and word of mouth, 64Spades attracts a casual crowd. While you will encounter the occasional pro, the bulk of the player population is comprised of recreational users. Thus, what games do run tend to be very soft.
The blind levels present for Hold'em go from $0.04/$0.08 to $100/$200, and for Omaha, they range from $0.04/$0.08 to $10/$20. Weirdly, there's a $0.05/$0.10 stake available, which seems redundant when we consider that $0.04/$0.08 is also present. Chinese Poker goes from $0.05 to $10 per point.
The most popular stakes in the big-bet games are $0.10/$0.20 and $0.25/$0.50. For Chinese Poker, values of less than $1 a point appear to be the most common.
The tables are split up into those that allow straddles, those that qualify (allegedly) for the bad beat jackpot, those that permit running it twice, slow tables, et cetera. Furthermore, there are many table sizes: 9-handed, 8-max, 6-players, heads-up, and a few more. We believe that this massive selection is not needed and is confusing to newcomers. Most of these extraneous tables could be killed without any adverse effects.
One nice touch is that the allowed buyins are from 35bb - 150bb in NLHE and 40bb - 200bb for PLO. This is a bit deeper than you would usually encounter, and it makes for more post-flop excitement.
There is play money, called “64Gold.” All new users and players on the site will receive / start with 640 of these in their account. However, there's rarely anyone seated at the 64Gold tables. Evidently there is even less play money action than real money games on this site.
It's not uncommon to open up the Sit & Go tab and see exactly 0 people registered in games.
SNGs run from $1 + $0.05 up to $200 + $10. There are NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8 games. Remarkably, the 5% fee structure is consistent across the entire spectrum of buyins, making this a great deal for any sit-n-go player. Unusually, nine-handed sit n' goes only pay out the top two finishers as opposed to the normal three.
We would have liked to sample the sit-and-go games at 64Spades, but we were not able to. The player volume just isn't there. It's not uncommon to open up the Sit & Go tab and see exactly 0 people registered in games.
The MTTs consist largely of freerolls with no more than $20 up for grabs and several dozen entrants. Most of the rest of the schedule is micro-stakes games that typically garner no more than about 25 participants. The largest weekly tourney is called “Any Given Sunday.” It costs $36 + $4 to join, and it distributes $4,000 in guaranteed prizes.
Tournament Lobby at 64Spades
Every once in a while, there are bigger, one-off tournaments as well as MTT series. These special occasions typically have larger prize pools and buyins than the normal, everyday events.
Our thoughts on 64Spades are mixed because there are a few appealing aspects to it; yet, there are plenty of problematic issues as well. We scoured the internet to see what others had to say, and we found that comments about this internet poker room were both positive and negative as well.
Though there are features that some users will appreciate, like the Open Face Chinese games and soft tables, we advise our readers to take a pass on 64Spades at this time. PayPal acceptance is a ticking time bomb that could go off unpredictably, and the entire cashier setup is confusing and non-intuitive. Low traffic numbers, poor or nonexistent customer support, and a website that seems like it was thrown together in a couple of afternoons combine to paint the picture of a site that, if not outright shady, is definitely poorly managed.
It may be possible for 64Spades to get its act together at some point. Until that time, however, the safest course is to find an alternate online poker room and avoid 64Spades. Our page about USA online poker lists better and more reputable sites that you can play at along with facts about internet poker legality, the history of the industry, and more.
...find an alternate online poker room and avoid 64Spades.
When did 64Spades open? - We haven't been able to pin down the exact date when 64Spades opened its doors, but it appears to have been during the month of August 2017.
Where is 64Spades headquartered? - 64Spades is, allegedly, based in San José, Costa Rica.
Who can create an account at 64Spades? - 64Spades accepts customers from most countries around the world, including the United States. However, the website does state: “Certain country restrictions apply. If online Poker is not allowed in your country, you will not be able to register for a real money player account on 64Spades.”
How can I reach support? - There's a support form on the 64Spades website, but our testing revealed that it doesn't really do anything. You might have better luck sending an email to admin[at]64spades.com or a message through the company's Facebook page.
What is the 64Spades welcome bonus offer? - 64Spades grants new depositing players a 100% up to $1,000 deposit bonus. It's actually valid for the first three deposits for a total of up to $3,000 in complimentary funds. Despite the healthy size of the maximum possible bonus, it's not really as good as it seems. Even if you did claim the entire bonus, there is very little traffic at which to generate rake and it is difficult to unlock with low clearance rates of 10%.
Why is the 64Spades bonus not an especially good deal? - Although you can get up to $3,000 in gratis bonus cash, it will take quite a while to earn it out. You do get 365 days to do so, which is a lengthy expiration timer, but the rate of release is equal to only 10% rakeback. This is much less than at competing USA online poker rooms. For instance, the deposit bonus at Ignition Poker clears at a 30% rakeback rate (at least in multi-table tournaments and sit-n-gos), and the offer at Sportsbetting.ag pays out at a whopping 33% cashback . Even rakeback deals without any bonus involved are worth 36% at Intertops and 27% at Americas Cardroom. To put it simply, there are offers much superior to that of 64Spades elsewhere.
Can I play at 64Spades from my Mac? - 64Spades does not have a client specifically for Mac poker. However, you can use the browser-based, HTML5 interface to log in and play without having to download anything.
Can I play at 64Spades from my phone or tablet? - Yes, it's possible to access the 64Spades poker room through an app on your iOS or Android device. Even if you're running some other operating system on your smart device, there's an InstaPlay client that works with pretty much any modern device with an internet connection.
How do I auto-post blinds? - Turning on (and off) auto-post blinds is a bit convoluted at 64Spades. You can't toggle a box right on the table like you can at most other internet poker rooms. Instead, you must go to the table settings menu, represented by a gear symbol toward the top of the window, and check the “Auto Post Blinds” item.
FOUR color deck please? - It's easy to turn on four-color deck from within the Table Themes window. You can access it by clicking on an icon near the top of a table that looks like a box or by navigating in the lobby top menu to “Options” ---> “Table's Skins.” Go to the “Front Deck” section, and change it from the default to the four-colored cards. Then click “Apply.”
We are going to leave the comments section open for a while in case any of you wish to chime in and share your own personal experiences. If you happen to be a 64 spades employee, affiliate, or owner, we would be especially keen to hear from you either publicly in the comments, or privately (just contact us).