|2015 update - Carbon Poker remains open but is closed to affiliate referals, therefore we can no longer offer support or exclusive promotions. PokerBonus recommends Americas Cardroom, US friendly with 27% daily cashback and a $1,000 signup bonus.|
Carbon Poker Review
Renowned for prompt payouts and a solid software platform, Carbon Poker is the flagship room on the Merge Gaming Network. It's also one of a small number of rooms to still accept players from the USA.
Carbon Poker's software is lauded on forums as the best of the U.S. facing sites, comparable to that of PokerStars and Full Tilt in functionality and speed. Carbon has both a Windows Client and a Mac Client.
Carbon doesn't use all anonymous tables in way e.g Bovada does - screennames are displayed. Players can run a heads up display (HUD) if they wish with Holdem Manager or PokerTracker.
Carbon has consistently processed cashouts to U.S. players quickly and reliably where other rooms have failed. Checks are received in 1 - 3 weeks, with a $2,500 maximum and no fee. For up to date withdrawal times see our sister site Rakeback.com's U.S. Cashout Report and the forum threads linked therein.
Merge is the second largest network serving U.S. players for cash games, behind Bovada and above the Winning Poker Network (WPN, mainly Americas Cardroom and Black Chip). Cash game traffic has been trending down after recent rake increases, however it is still reasonable with a 7 day average of 450+ players (PokerScout.com figures).
MTT and SNG traffic is very healthy, Carbon's schedule considered the second best for U.S. players behind Bovada's - however as mentioned on Bovada all tables are anonymous.
Carbon increased the rake percentage in cash games from 5% to 5.56% on May 1, 2013. Caps also increased - the 50 cent HU cap became $1, caps higher than $3 were introduced, and caps were hit with fewer players dealt in. See the previous rake structure here.
Carbon's cash game rake became the highest of the U.S. facing rooms, with the exception of playing at WPN tables with a Beast drop (the network's progressive rake rake).
Rakeback is low by industry standards, with 10%, 15% and 35% tiers, the last being invite-only. Limits are imposed on the number of points for cash exchanges per month. Points can be used for MTT entries (10% value).
Carbon Poker Rakeback Tiers
Of the U.S. friendly rooms Carbon is in the middle of the pack, with lower rakeback than Americas Cardroom - which offers 27% flat weekly by default with no limits - yet higher than Bovada which offers no rewards.
Bankroll Builder Points Targets & Prizes
During Happy Hours 1.5x VIP Points are earned in cash games - so players with 10% rakeback earn 15%, players with 15% earn 22.5%, etc. Remember to opt in. SNG players earn 1.1x VIP Points during Sit & Go Boost hours, and compete for $20k in monthly prizes from the Sit & Go leaderboards.
While rakeback is low, Carbon's monthly rake races can offer a significant boost to rakeback. Check out our sister site Rakeback.com's rake race analysis report for the latest data across the industry. Below is an example week long race with a $6,250 prizepool - one of four that month for a total race value of $25,000.
Carbon Poker Example Rake Race Leaderboard
High volume players typically earn anywhere from 3 - 35% additional value from rake race leaderboards paying out 75 spots.
- Player to Player (P2P) transfers are not permitted at Carbon Poker
- The Carbon Poker review above also applies to Aced Poker - the two rooms are identical in all but name and color scheme