Carbon Poker Review

Carbon Poker Update

At this time, we do not recommend Carbon Poker. If you're looking to play poker from the United States, we recommend Bovada Poker. All links will redirect to

Play Now at Carbon Poker!

Carbon Poker is an online poker room which offers all new members a 100% up to $1,000 bonus.

Why Play at Carbon Poker

Players in the Unites States face a restricted list of poker sites that are prepared to accept their action. Carbon Poker, as a site that serves the US market, pays out wins reliably, and has a decent amount of traffic, is therefore a godsend to those who would otherwise have trouble finding an online poker home. There are only 11 states whose residents can’t play at Carbon along with citizens of a few countries around the world.

Carbon offers a traditional Windows download program, but there are also options available for users of Macs, iOS smartphones and tablets, and Android devices. You’ll therefore be able to play your favorite forms of poker using almost any modern computing hardware.

Head over to to start playing today!

Bonus & Promotions

Carbon Poker rewards new depositors with a large 100% bonus up to $1,000!

Carbon Poker Promotion Code: CARBONPK
Where to enter the Carbon Poker promo code CARBONPK

Where to enter the Carbon Poker promo code CARBONPK

Remember to enter the promotion code CARBONPK when you make your first deposit to receive a 100% bonus, good for a maximum of $1,000 in free bonus funds.

First Deposit Bonus: 100% up to $1,000

When you make your initial deposit to your Carbon Poker account, you’ll be rewarded in the form of a 100% match on the amount you deposit. The maximum such bonus that can be awarded is $1,000, which you can receive by depositing $1,000 or more.

Clearing & Rakeback

Once your bonus has been applied to your account, you must still clear it by playing real-money cash games, SNGs, or tournaments. As you do so, you’ll receive 10 Player Points for every dollar in rake generated or tournament fees paid. Every time you hit a 4,000 Player Point increment, $20 of your bonus will be transferred to your real balance. The bonus expires after 60 days, and any remaining uncleared bonus portions will be lost.

Because you’ll need to earn 4,000 points by raking $400 to clear $20 of bonus, the effective cashback rate is $20/$400 or 5%. This is one of the slowest-clearing bonuses we’ve ever seen at an online poker room. To get an idea of how long it will take to clear the entire bonus, consider that you must accumulate 200,000 Player Points to fully earn the entire $1,000 bonus. This corresponds to $20,000 in rake paid! Most players can’t even rake this much during an entire year, much less during the 60-day bonus clearing window. The Carbon Poker bonus is best considered as a small additional perk for playing rather than a major reason to open an account.

VIP Program

Carbon Poker used to operate a five-tiered VIP program offering freerolls, cash rebates, and tournament tickets, but this program was unfortunately shut down in July 2014. There is currently no scheme to reward loyal players at Carbon.

Bad Beat Jackpot

Carbon Poker is a great place to have your monster hand cracked because you might qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot. The jackpot is active across all 6-max and full ring No Limit Hold’em cash game tables, even at the smallest stakes spread. To win, 8888 or better must go to showdown and lose. When this happens, the “loser” and winner of the hand will receive the largest portions of the jackpot, but the rest of the table will also see a nice payout. The best part of this Bad Beat Jackpot is that there’s no special drop taken for it – Carbon Poker puts up the funds itself.


Even if you’re not a high-stakes player, you’ll be rewarded for consistent play. As long as you can collect 2 Player Points at Carbon Poker every day for a whole month, you’ll gain entry to an exclusive $1,000 freeroll the following month. This is only $0.20 in rake paid per day that you need to qualify!

More Details

If you’d like more information about the bonus offers at Carbon Poker, be sure to check out our Carbon Poker promotion code review.

Get Your $1,000 bonus now!

History and Background

Today’s Carbon Poker has its roots in an old poker site with the enviable domain name Although the origins of are difficult to pinpoint, it appears to have opened for real-money play in late 2000. From the start, there were plenty of promotions at the site, including many freerolls, a high-hand promo that awarded $250 to the person who made the highest hand each day and a weekly trivia contest that gave out $50 to a lucky respondent.

Over the next few years, catered to a loyal player base. Although not as large as Paradise Poker, PokerStars, or other big names, gained a reputation for honesty and taking care of its players. In an event that was much publicized at the time, handed out free WSOP packages to 10 players at rival site Check n’ Raise Poker when that site proved unable to honor its commitments to its WSOP seat winners.

Merge Network Formation

Meanwhile, Carbon Poker opened as a separate site in 2006, but was very small. and Carbon Poker decided to join forces in 2007 as the newly minted Merge Poker Network with Carbon Poker as the flagship site of the new network. Eventually, the domain ceased to be associated with this network. It is currently a poker portal website.

Over time, many other skins were added to the network, like RPM Poker, BlackChip Poker and Reefer Poker. But throughout it all, Carbon Poker remained the largest and most trusted of these operators.

The Merge Network earned a small place in history on February 13, 2009 when it distributed the largest bad beat jackpot ever awarded at an online poker table, totaling about $1.2 million. Player “RUGGIO” saw his 8 7 cracked on a board of
3 9 J Q T by the K Q of “AELANI.” The action occurred at a nine-handed $.50/$1.00 No Limit Hold’em cash table. “RUGGIO” received $417,396 while “AELANI” took home $208,698. The other six players at the table got $41,739 each. $239,000 went to reseed the jackpot.

Black Friday

The new network experienced steady growth over the following years, but it was nowhere close to being one of the market leaders. That all changed with the events of April 15, 2011, dubbed “Black Friday” by the online poker community. On that day, federal authorities in the United States seized Internet domains belonging to online poker sites and filed charges against their principals.

Stunned and dispirited American players at PokerStars, Full Tilt, and other popular Internet poker sites suddenly found themselves without a place to play. They quickly did some research to find the best remaining site open to them, and many of them chose Carbon Poker. This led to Merge becoming the largest poker network in the US market almost overnight.

In fact, the Merge network was so overwhelmed by new customers from the United States that it eventually decided to temporarily stop accepting new US signups. After catching its breath, Merge re-opened to US players again several months later.

Rakeback Wars

Merge continued as the chief destination for US players seeking to escape from the wreckage of Black Friday. However, trouble soon started as different network skins started poaching from each other by offering existing players better rakeback deals than they currently had. Some of these deals were against network policy, but it was difficult to police them.

Many sites on the Merge Network had to close down because they simply couldn’t survive in the world of ultra-slim margins and frequent player movement engendered by these underhanded deals. One of the worst offenders in this regard was Lock Poker, which eventually left the network to open up its own standalone poker site. Fortunately in most cases, the network made whole the players affected by these site closures. Their account balances were migrated to other network skins, including Carbon Poker.

Eventually Merge management stepped in and prevented any sites on the network from offering rakeback to new players. This policy was extended to apply to not only new players but pre-existing accounts as well.

Carbon Poker Today

Perhaps as a result of the departure and closure of many skins, traffic at Carbon Poker is not as high now as it was immediately following Black Friday. Yet throughout all its ups and downs, Carbon consistently paid out withdrawals and continued to improve its software to deliver an excellent playing experience.

In recent years, Carbon, which had traditionally been poker-only, implemented a casino, sportsbook, and racebook. There’s no reason to look elsewhere for all your gambling needs.

With its solid history of reliability and competence, why not open your Carbon Poker account today?

Software & Interface

The Carbon Poker software isn’t exactly the most polished or advanced poker client in existence, but it’s one of the best options available in the US market. Over the years, new features have been regularly added and new functionality implemented.


The Carbon Poker lobby is well organized and allows you to drill down to the games that you want to play. All the games are divided into categories, and those categories are subdivided further. Simple click on the type of poker you’re interested in near the top of the lobby, and the relevant games will be listed for you.

Carbon Poker Lobby

Carbon Poker Lobby

You can sort the tables by various stats by clicking on the appropriate column within the lobby. For instance, you can sort all tables by stakes by clicking on the “Stakes” column. One of the unique features at Carbon is the ability to get a preview of any table you’re interested in by clicking on the arrow next to the table name. You’ll be able to see who’s at the table, where they’re sitting, and stack sizes before you decide whether or not to take a seat.

Check out important information about the table before joining it

Check out important information about the table before joining it

There’s a Quick Seat Option that allows you to get in a game as fast as possible without having to navigate through the lobby.

The Carbon Poker Quick Seat Function

The Carbon Poker Quick Seat Function

Poker Tables

Carbon was an early leader in creating fun-filled and recreational friendly functions at the poker tables well before most of its competitors. Some of the aspects of the Carbon tables that have since been emulated by other sites include player accolades, chat emoticons, the ability to “deal it twice” when all in, and the opportunity to show one hole card when you fold.

Carbon Ring Table With Chat Emoticons Displayed

Carbon Ring Table With Chat Emoticons Displayed

Besides all these entertaining features, there are also all the expected bells and whistles, like auto top-up, preferred seating and graphics customization options. Several table themes are included with the software.

One of the Preconfigured Themes at Carbon Poker

One of the Preconfigured Themes at Carbon Poker

Hand History Browser

By clicking on the hand number for the previous hand near the top-left of the table, you can bring up the Hand History Browser. This is, unfortunately, an area in which Carbon Poker’s offering is not up to par. Rather than a slick graphical replayer allowing you to step through the action point by point, Carbon merely displays everything statically for your perusal.

Carbon Poker Hand History Browser

Carbon Poker Hand History Browser

More Details

There’s plenty more to describe, both good and bad, about the Carbon Poker software. Read all about it in detail at our Carbon Poker Download page.

Try out the unique software at Carbon Poker today.

Network & Traffic

Last Updated April 11, 2015

Average daily player count: ~475
Peak player traffic: ~850
Peak time of day: 22:30 ET

Carbon Poker is the flagship site of the Merge Poker Network. While player pools have been segregated in the past, they are now shared across the whole network. This means that players at Carbon Poker will be playing not just against other Carbon users but also with those signing in through PlayersOnly, Sportsbook, and the other network skins.

With an average of about 475 people playing at a time, which rises above 800 during peak hours, the Merge Network is the fourth-largest poker network available in the US and the 21st worldwide. The most popular time of day seems to be around 10:30 PM EST. The traffic seems spread out evenly throughout the week. It’s difficult to identify the busiest day at the tables at Carbon.

Cash Games

No Limit Hold’em runs from $0.05/$0.10 through $3/$6, and there are usually a few games running at every stake level. Players of LHE will be pleased to discover that games are spread from $.10/$.20 to $15/$30. While action at the higher stakes is spotty at best, Carbon is one of the few US-facing poker rooms to have any Limit Hold’em action to speak of. Carbon has recently changed the structure of the LHE tables to make the small blind much larger than in most other games around the Internet. For instance, in the $0.25/$0.50 game, the small blind is $0.20 and the big blind is $0.25. This change incentivizes the small blind to complete with an extremely wide range of hands and leads to larger pot sizes throughout the hand.

The previous lowest stake for NL was $.02/$.04 and for LHE $.05/$.10, but the network decided to eliminate these tables sometime around late March 2015. Although this is bad for the lowest of micro players, others should benefit from softer games, especially at the new lowest stakes.

PLO and PLO/8 have a fair amount of traffic, and players should be able to multitable these games if they’re willing to mix stakes, although most of the games are at microstakes. Those who enjoy PLO/8 will have a harder time as there are seldom more than a couple of tables running.

Carbon offers a strange assortment of “other games.” Fans of 7 Card Stud Hi will be disappointed by its complete absence, but 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and Razz players may be able to find a game or two running. Badugi and HORSE tables are open, but they are often empty. Draw games (5 Card Draw, A-5 Triple Draw, and 2-7 Triple Draw) are all present, but only in Pot Limit format.

Players who recall the Merge software from right around the time of Black Friday will remember that there were plenty of other formats available, including non-poker games like Backgammon and Euchre. Additionally, players had the ability to create their own private SNGs. Sadly, these options have been excised from the poker software in an unusual instance of a poker network removing games from its offerings.


Sit and Go tournaments at Carbon range from $1.41 + $0.09 to $510 + $20. There are 6max, 9max, and HU variants available. Carbon spreads 10-seat Double or Nothings, but players should be wary of possible collusion in them, which has caused many poker sites to avoid this type of poker. Almost all SNGs are NLHE, but there are a few in PLO/8.


There are occasional freerolls at Carbon as well as microstakes $1.10 tourneys. At the higher end, there’s a weekly $215 tourney with a guaranteed $150K prize pool called the “Sunday Big Ticket.” There’s also a Super High Roller listed on the Sunday schedule with a buyin of $530 and a $50K guarantee. Most tourneys draw between 100 and 500 entrants.

Carbon runs Carbon Online Poker Series (COPS) every few months. The buyins typically range from around $5.50 up to $530, allowing players with varying bankroll sizes to participate. These events often come with aggressive guarantee targets, which they, by and large, meet or exceed. Thousands of players often participate in the more popular COPS events.

Check out the games now running at Carbon Poker!

Payment Methods

There are a few different deposit and withdrawal methods available at Carbon Poker, although not as many as at most other poker sites. The likely explanation for this is that the player pool is mostly from the United States, and it is difficult for sites to use a plethora of transaction methods to and from that jurisdiction. Moreover, the exact methods available to you will depend upon several factors, including your account status and geographic location. Players are urged to check their cashier or discuss the matter with support to get the latest information on this topic.


To make a deposit to your Carbon account, hit the red “CASHIER” button from within the poker software. A page will open up in your web browser allowing you to enter all relevant information.

Making a Deposit at Carbon Poker

Making a Deposit at Carbon Poker

Most players probably want to use the default credit card option, but by clicking on the arrow next to the field that says “Credit Card Number,” you can select another method to use. Players in the US may be able to deposit via MoneyGram or Western Union. International players will probably have the ability to use Skrill when making their deposits. Minimum deposits using credit card are $50 while the max is $1,000. This maximum amount may be raised for long-time customers with accounts in good standing.

When you’re making your first deposit, REMEMBER TO ENTER THE PROMOTION CODE CARBONPK in the field indicated. Although the bonus you’re entitled to is no great shakes compared to what’s available at competing sites, it’s surely better to take advantage of it rather than having no bonus at all.

Remember to use the Carbon Poker code CARBONPK

Remember to use the Carbon Poker code CARBONPK

When you’re finished entering your information, including the Promotion Code, click on the green “DEPOSIT” button to continue with the transaction.

If there are any problems or you have questions about the depositing process, you can chat live with support by clicking on the blue “CHAT” button.


To request a payout, click on the red “CASHIER” button within the poker client. You’ll be brought to a deposit webpage, but you can select “Withdraw” on the menu at the left to bring up the withdrawal page.

How to request a cashout from Carbon Poker

How to request a cashout from Carbon Poker

Some of the methods available to you may include:

Check/Gift Card: $50 – $2,500; 3 – 5 week processing time; 3% fee
Skrill (non-US): $50 – $5,000; 7-10 business days processing time; 5% fee
Wire Transfer: $500 – $5,000; 2 – 4 week processing time; 3% fee
Debit Card: $50 – $7,500; 3 -5 business day processing time; 3% fee

Controversially, Carbon Poker only gives one free withdrawal per year. Subsequent payout requests will incur fees as described above. Those who use Skrill for withdrawals must have deposited via the same method and will not receive any free withdrawals. Wire Transfers may be subject to additional fees charged by the player’s bank or corresponding banks.

To proceed with your withdrawal, click on the green “WITHDRAW” button corresponding to your method of choice. If no such button is visible, you may have to complete the account verification process, described below.

After you click “WITHDRAW,” you’ll then be presented with a form allowing you to enter the amount you wish to withdraw and update your address details if necessary. Importantly, you’ll have to enter a PIN code for verification of your withdrawal request. This code will have been sent to you via email when you opened your account.

Enter your withdrawal details in this form

Enter your withdrawal details in this form

After you’ve entered all the pertinent information, click the green “CONTINUE” button and proceed through the next screens until your withdrawal request is completed.

KYC Verification

In order to protect itself and customers from money laundering, identity theft, and other unsavory activities, Carbon implements strict “Know Your Customer” procedures. This means that you’ll have to provide certain documents before making your first withdrawal request.

The documents required are a color photo ID (either drivers license or passport) and a utility bill from within the past six months. Customers who wish to utilize the Wire Transfer withdrawal option must additionally submit either a voided check or a bank statement.

You can check which documents you have submitted and which ones you still need to provide by clicking on “Account Verification” –> “Overview” from within the Carbon cashier interface.

Overview of Your Identity Documents

Overview of Your Identity Documents

To send your documents to Carbon Poker, you must first scan them and save them to your hard drive. Then click on “Account Verification” –> “Document Upload” from the cashier. A form will appear, which you must fill out and attach your documentation to.

Use this form to upload your identity documents

Use this form to upload your identity documents

If you wish to avoid this secure uploading procedure, you can send scanned images or photos of your paperwork to

Once your documents have been sent, Carbon staff will look at and verify them. Then you should be good to go as far as withdrawals are concerned.

Make your initial deposit at Carbon Poker now!


From Carbon Poker’s mobile site, you can play your favorite games from your smartphone or tablet. It’s compatible with iOS 5.0 and above and Android 4.4 and up. You can also play on any computing device with Google Chrome 33.0 or higher, so it’s great when using a computer that you can’t install any software on, e.g., at a friend’s house.

Carbon Poker Mobile Login

When you go to the website, you’ll be presented with a login screen. Simply login using your account credentials to get started. If you haven’t yet opened up your account, you can click on “Create Account” to do so.

Login Screen for the Carbon Poker Mobile Site

Login Screen for the Carbon Poker Mobile Site

Carbon Poker Mobile Lobby

Once you’ve logged in successfully, you’ll be presented with the quick seat function. This will allow you to jump into a game quickly without having to manually select a table and seat. However, you can get a more traditional lobby view by choosing “Selectors.”

Carbon Poker Mobile's Quick Seat Feature

Carbon Poker Mobile’s Quick Seat Feature

Use the selectors interface for more refined game selection

Use the selectors interface for more refined game selection

It seems that using the Quick Seat functionality restricts your choice of games somewhat. MTTs aren’t even listed at all in Quick Seat. Neither are non-Hold’em SNGs. To access these games, you’ll have to choose the “Selectors” view. Even with the wider choice of games available, however, there are still some games that are not available at all to mobile users. Stud games, draw games, and badugi cannot be accessed. The same is true of non-holdem tournaments.

Carbon Poker Mobile Tables

The tables within the Carbon mobile product are clear, and the action is easy to follow. The actions that you can take are presented at the bottom of the screen. Near the top of the screen is information about the game, your hole cards, the status of your connection, and a few buttons allowing you to get back to the lobby or change a few table options.

A Mobile Table at Carbon Poker

A Mobile Table at Carbon Poker

While the playing experience on the mobile app is great, there’s one annoying aspect that stands out. You cannot make a bet or a raise with a single action. Instead, you must click the “bet” or “raise to” button and then enter your betsize.

Multitabling on the mobile client isn’t officially supported. It does seem to be possible to play more than one table at a time, however, with no problems.

Customer Service & Support

Carbon poker offers Live Chat assistance as well as a web-form that you can complete to get in touch with support. Unusual for a poker site, you can attach a screenshot or file documenting your problem right within the web-form. You must be logged into your Carbon Poker account at the Carbon website to take advantage of these methods of support. Otherwise, you can send an email to

Final Thoughts: The Bottom Line

Although the welcome bonus isn’t anything special and frequent cashout requests will draw processing fees, Carbon still merits the serious attention of American players. Whether you like cash games, sit and gos, or multi-table tournaments, you can probably find a game whenever you want to play. This is especially true when considering Carbon’s full-featured instant play app that you can use with virtually every modern mobile device.

Join Carbon Poker now to begin playing many kinds of poker games!

Sign up at today!

Carbon Poker Screenshots

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Highlights & Info

  • Website

  • Bonus
    100% up to $1,000

  • Network
    Merge Gaming

  • Games Offered
    Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha H/L, Stud H/L, Razz, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw, 5-Card Draw, A-5 Triple Draw, HORSE

  • No Limit Stakes
    $0.05 - $0.10 up to $3 - $6

  • Limit Stakes
    $0.10 - $0.20 up to $15 - $30

  • Tournament Stakes
    $1.41 + $0.09 up to $510 + $20

  • Windows Compatible
    Windows XP+

  • Mac Compatible
    Mac OS 10.4+

  • iOS Compatible
    iPad, iPhone iOS 4.0+

Nuts & Beats

  • CarbonPoker has a vast array of features to keep all poker players happy, including a casino and sportsbook, for players looking to gamble some more.

  • The Carbon mobile poker client works with a wide range of different devices.

  • Players may choose to show opponents only one hole card and can even rabbit chase to see the turn or river after folding.

  • Carbon's bad beat jackpot doesn't force players to pay extra rake to contribute to it.

  • There's absolutely no VIP Program or rakeback equivalent offered at Carbon Poker.

  • Carbon doesn't spread $2nl or $4nl games, so it may not be the best choice for nanostakes players.

  • Players are only permitted one free withdrawal per year at Carbon.

  • Bonus is hard to clear and bad compared to other rooms.


  • Currencies

  • Min. Deposit

  • Min. Withdrawal

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