Merge Gaming poker Sites
Founded in 2007, Merge Gaming was one of the poker networks that have benefitted most from the post-Black Friday situation in the US. Since then, however, it's notably absent from many states in the US market.
But that doesn't mean the rest of the world has been left out; Merge enjoys plenty of traffic overseas. With a good reputation for player traffic and good tournaments, Merge poker sites are still great for real-money players. This page will take you through what makes Merge Poker Network special, like:
- Operating since 2007
- Protects players with complex security
- Choice of fast banking methods
- Large welcome bonus
Based in Kahnawake, outside Montreal in Canada, Merge has boasted around 25 skins since its inception back in 2007. But, as of 2019, it is without its biggest skin - Lock Poker.
After the "big three" poker websites were shut down in America in 2011, the whole of the Merge Gaming network stepped in and became one of the biggest networks operating for American players.
In terms of big skins, Carbon Poker is perhaps the best option for US players.
And with the loss of Lock Poker (see below), the rest of the network is made up with smaller skins like 1Bet2Bet and Bulldog 777. While the loss of Lock is a big blow, Carbon has shown that it is up to the job of taking its place.
Benefits of the Network
Real-money players can download Merge skins' software for PCs and Macs, but an instant-play version is available.
At most skins on the Merge network, the lobby and tables are functional, with easy-to-navigate drop-down menus to get you to your games faster.
The software also allows HUDs and tracking software, making it great for Merge cash game players. Cash-outs seem to be good across the network too, making Merge a top option for US poker fans.
Perhaps the best news for Merge poker sites, however, came in 2012 when the beleaguered Lock Poker left the network altogether. With a history of poor cash-outs and other problems, Lock left to take over the Cake network and rebrand it as Revolution.
Although Merge lost a huge amount of traffic when Lock left, the move was certainly in the interests of all concerned.
As well as Hold'em in all its guises at the low and medium stakes, the Merge network skins boast lots of interesting variants, such as 5-Card Draw, 5-Card Stud, Badugi, HORSE and HOSE, Razz and 2-7 Lowball.
While cash game traffic is OK for a US-facing network (around 1,300 as a 24-hour peak), Merge can boast around 600 per day on average. Americans are welcome on the network, although players in newly-regulated states like Nevada and New Jersey are outlawed.
$0.25/$0.50 NLHE tables are busy, but the six-max games at the $0.10/$0.25 were packed with pretty terrible players most times of the day.
Big Poker Tournaments
Merge skins have some big $60 and $109 Sunday events, with the latter offering deep-stack tourney action with a guaranteed $20,000 prizepool.
Elsewhere there's a reasonable selection of regular and turbo SNGs in 6-max, full-ring and Heads-Up formats.
However, the whole Merge Gaming network is set for a revamp in 2019 , with a lot of progressive guarantees added to its largest tournaments. On Sundays, skins will see a Sunday Major offered as a "progressive". It starts with a $215 buy-in and $135,000 guaranteed prizepool, with the guarantee rising by $5,000 each week if the prizepool is met.
Although Merge may have lost its biggest skin, it still has enough solid partners to make it a viable place to enjoy poker. For US players, at any rate, Merge sites offer plenty of decent tournaments and cash games at all stakes.
Merge Network Fast Facts
Major Skins: Carbon Poker, BetOnUSA, OddsPoker, Sportsbook, 1Bet2Bet, Bulldog777
Average 7-Day Cash Game Traffic: 600
US Players Accepted: Yes
Big Tournament Series: Poker Maximus, Carbon Online Poker Series