Sky Poker is privately owned by the British company Sky Broadcasting and offers players the rare opportunity to see their hands highlighted and replayed on Sky Poker TV across the UK.
That incentive alone is enough to bring the punters in from Sky Vegas, Sky Bingo and Sky Bet, the action at the tables is some of the softest online.
Originally offered as a web client only, a download client is now available and both clients are sleek and good-looking, easy to use and offer some great innovative functions.
Maybe the most unique feature of SkyPoker.com though is the chance to have one of your hands highlighted and replayed on TV through Sky's unique software.
Live tournaments and cash games can also be watched on the Sky Poker network (channel 885) and Sky Poker has also started its own live tournament series around the UK (the SPT).
As with most poker sites, action at Sky Poker is mostly in small-stakes Texas Hold’em, although Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo are now offered and gaining ground.
Games at the high-stakes are somewhat rare but they do run all the way up to £100/£200, at least as listed in the lobby.
The £10/£20 games seem to be the highest stakes that get regular action. Otherwise there's very good game volume at the lower stakes and very weak and easily beatable opposition.
Sky Poker also offers players a revolving and very decent array of bonuses and promotions along with an active community for players with forums and blogs. A recently re-vamped Cash for Points scheme now enables players to get cash for EVERY point they earn (over 500 points), rather than having to reach various points tiers. Players can check out Happy Hours, where Sky Poker awards bonus poker points on cash tables.
Real-money player statistics as of November 2015 show 1942 ring-game players at peak hours and 3154 tournament players at peak hours.
Bonus Code and Promotions
Sky Poker offers some very nice promotions overall. Among the promotions offered are a massive £1000 Welcome Bonus, a £10 free tournament token, regular guaranteed tournaments and a player points program.
New players get 500 player points automatically when they sign-up and you earn points for every hand you're involved in at a cash table, tournament or sit-and-go.
New players are also invited to play in a £1000 Welcome freeroll. One-off promotions like the "Play the Nation" challenge also come up frequently.
Sky Poker doesn't currently offer any reload bonuses.
For Sky Poker's loyalty program, players earn points for real-money play in cash games, tournamnets or SNGs.
Points earned can be used as buy-ins for any of the many points freerolls offered and depending on your VIP level can also get you cash back.
Sky Poker offers all new players 500 points as a welcome bonus, enabling you to start playing freerolls right away.
Tournaments and Freerolls
Real-money player statistics at Sky Poker show 3154 real-money tournament players at peak hours, as of November 2015.
Sky Poker hosts quite a few tournaments. Most of the tournaments have buy-ins ranging from £10-£20.
The tournaments are well populated and have a very aggressive blind structure, something that some players do not like. Sky Poker runs a lot of small-to-medium guaranteed tournaments that offer good value.
The weekly £12,000 and daily £5,500 tournaments draw large numbers - both because of the prize pool and the fact they are aired live on Sky TV.
Also newly introduced are timed tournaments, which run like a regular multi-table tournament but with a set time limit of either 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour.
When the specified time limit expires, the prize money is awarded according to the finishing chip counts of each player.
Software and Graphics
Sky Poker offers very good software. The web client is a bit resource intensive but it is also good looking, functional and secure.
A download client was also recently introduced and the feedback is good. The Sky Poker software supports play at four tables simultaneously and multi-table play runs smoothly in the web client as long as you have an internet connection that can handle it.
Data and stats functions in the Sky Poker software allow players to take notes on the opposition during play and the lobby supplies most of the vital table statistics, like average pot size, seated-player's stack size.
Missing are hands played per hour and a few other useful stats, but they'll likely be added soon. The hand history and statistics functions are still not as developed as most would like, but it's safe to assume these are things that will grow with the poker room.
The Sky Poker software offers clean and crisp graphics and the tables are easy to read. The lobby needs some work, but overall the impression is positive.
The avatars available are good looking and the felt is a nice "Sky Blue" that works well with the profile of the site and looks very good.
The Sky Poker software offers the basic features expected from all poker clients, lacking only in some areas of information.
There are quite a few unique functions available, such as the ability to take another look at your folded hand, a video poker school and a fun "Hot-o-meter" that when turned on will give its "opinion" on your hole cards.
Sky Poker offers some of the juiciest and most profitable games seen online today.
A lot of the players seem to be complete beginners, taking a shot at having their table end up as one of the televised tables.
The lobby doesn't have much information other than average pot size, so finding a particularly loose table is a little difficult. But don’t worry - stay away from the highest stakes and you will be ok.