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Betcoin.ag Closing Poker Room Dec. 25

Betcoin.ag Logo

Online gambling site Betcoin.ag will no longer be offering poker to its customers from Dec. 25, 2017 according to a notice posted on its website. The company says that the reason behind this decision is that “Betcoin.ag has been acquired.” The casino, live casino, and sportsbook divisions will continue operating as normal.

About Betcoin

Blue Information Icon

Betcoin opened for business in 2013 as a Bitcoin-denominated real money sportsbook. It soon added a casino, dice games, a live casino, and a poker room to its platform. From its inception, the poker room used the same software as the Winning Poker Network, but traffic remained completely segregated until July 2014 when Betcoin added WPN tournaments to its roster. This allows players to access the WPN tourneys by paying the Bitcoin-equivalent cost of the USD tourney buyins and similarly having their dollar winnings exchanged into bitcoins and placed into their account balances.

The cash game section remains separate from the Winning Network and uses chips valued at 1 mBTC (1/1,000 of a bitcoin) apiece. Stakes start at 0.01/0.02 and go all the way up to 500/1,000. Ring game tables include No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo (Limit and Pot Limit), 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, and Telesina. One thing that's unusual about Betcoin is that it has downloadable poker clients available for Windows PC and Mac as well as a Flash version that works with mobile devices and web browsers. Most other WPN operators only support the Windows OS.

PLO Cash Game Table at Betcoin

Pot Limit Omaha Table at Betcoin Poker

Initially accepting deposits and paying out withdrawals exclusively in Bitcoin, the site added other crypto-currencies over the years. The current cashier options are: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash. A multi-tiered VIP program delivers varying levels of rakeback and cashback on casino/dice losses depending on the VIP level achieved.

A History of Shadiness

Burglar

Many customers are undoubtedly saddened by the impending closure of the Betcoin.ag poker platform, but this may be a blessing in disguise. We here at Professional Rakeback have observed the actions of Betcoin management over time, and we've been advising our readers to stay away for quite a while now. Going in depth into every blunder made by this gambling firm would take up many pages, so we'll just give you the highlights.

From the end of 2013 through Aug. 2015, Betcoin was taking a bad beat drop from cash tables. The only problem was that there was no Bad Beat Jackpot mentioned anywhere on the site. Despite the fact that hand history files clearly indicated that 0.01 chips were being taken for “BBJ,” and the numbers all added up to show that such a fee was being extracted from pots, Betcoin.ag denied that there was any extra rake taken. When it became impossible to cover up what was plainly visible to all, the firm elected to host a 10 BTC freeroll funded from the bad beat jackpot pool. While this money had been collected over time from regular players, the freeroll was open to all, and more than 1,000 players – many of them newcomers who had not paid a cent into the fund – registered to try to win a piece of this prize pool that had been collected without players' knowledge. Meanwhile, Betcoin altered the relevant webpage to feature details of a new bad beat jackpot and pretended that it had been there all along.

Just a few months later, Betcoin changed its rake structure without telling anyone. This was most worrisome in heads-up games, where the cap was removed, and some players reported hands where they paid five or six times as much rake as they should have according to the published rake chart. Betcoin's solution? Just update the rake chart to make the new, higher rake official and then proceed as though nothing had happened!

We're not surprised at Betcoin's mistakes regarding rake. When the poker site first started out, Professional Rakeback explored the possibility of working with them because this room was the only practical way for Bitcoin customers to access Winning Poker Network tournaments. The individuals we spoke to seemed utterly ignorant of what rake was and how to calculate it. For this and other reasons, we elected to take a pass on partnering with Betcoin – a decision that turned out to be wise.

Robot

Throughout 2015 and possibly beyond, many users contended that Betcoin.ag was deploying bots at its cash game tables. These bots had easily identifiable patterns of play, and many of them had the same location listed in their profiles (San Jose, Costa Rica). Though accusations of bots should often be lumped into the same tinfoil-hat category as allegations of the game being rigged, we have had private discussions with experienced poker grinders who swear that there were house bots at Betcoin. Fortunately, the bots were very exploitable and seem to have been created to keep traffic going rather than to make a profit. Nevertheless, using bots without disclosing this fact is a very dishonest business practice.

In February 2016, Betcoin claimed to have caught several players colluding. The site decided to run a 10 BTC “Anti-Collusion” Freeroll. However, several of the colluders contacted support and had their accounts reinstated with only a warning not to cheat again in future. A couple of them actually participated in the “Anti-Collusion” freeroll!

The Glam Life Slot Machine
The Glam Life Slot Game,
for which Betcoin Refused to Pay Jackpot

In June 2016, a player named Jason was enjoying “The Glam Life” slot machine (by Betsoft) in the Betcoin Casino when he lined up a jackpot combination: five yachts on the same payline. According to the payout information displayed at that time, he should have won slightly more than 500 bitcoins (approximately $350k when the spin took place). However, the machine didn't award him the corresponding prize. When Jason contacted support, he was told that he was ineligible for the jackpot because his win occurred during a free spin. Yet, there was nothing in either the terms and conditions of Betcoin.ag or the rules of the game that indicated that free spins were ineligible for jackpots. Betcoin then tried a different tactic: The company maintained that Jason wasn't playing at the largest possible coin size and was therefore excluded from winning the jackpot. The problem with this line of reasoning is that the slot in question displayed several different jackpot values, one for each coin size, and so it made no sense that any particular coin size precluded the player from scoring a jackpot. After about a month, Betcoin and the player settled for a fraction of the amount he legitimately won. You can read more about this sordid incident in a thread on Bitcointalk.org.

Other complaints over the years have highlighted Betcoin's unfriendly and sometimes abusive chat personnel, forum shills paid to make the site look good, a failure to pay out VIP rewards accurately or in a timely fashion, and company representatives being caught lying time and again.

Returning back to the Bad Beat Jackpot (currently fully active in the poker software), the total pot now stands at more than 43 bitcoins (about $496K at current market rates). All of this money has been collected from cash game pots over the course of months. There has been no word on what will happen to these funds and whether or not they will be returned back to the players somehow. In a Twoplustwo thread devoted to the site, user “WichitaDM” states that anyone bringing up the topic in the Betcoin forums is being banned and that their posts are being deleted. It looks like Betcoin has one final scam up its sleeves for its loyal poker users before it pulls the plug for good. EDITOR'S NOTE: The new owners of Betcoin have decided to distribute the remaining BBJ funds to players (no doubt because of all of the public outcry)!

Find a Better Place to Play

Pile of Playing Cards

Betcoin Poker is shutting its doors, and we say, “Good riddance!” You deserve better than to trust such a shady organization with your money. If you're searching for a new internet poker room that accepts bitcoins, then take a look at our list of Bitcoin-friendly online poker sites. For a thorough description of all the reputable online cardrooms open to Americans, check out our guide to online poker in the U.S.A.