Carbon Poker Review

Carbon Poker is the flagship poker room of the US-friendly Merge Gaming Network. A couple of the main features of Carbon Poker include feature-rich software, a quickly-growing player base and lots of promotions every month. Additionally, Carbon Poker has a long term reputation for having ridiculously soft competition.

At a glance:

  • Soft competition
  • Frequent promotions
  • $600 new player bonus
  • Fully compatible with Mac and PCs

Carbon Poker first opened for business in 2006 as a standalone poker room. They had big plans for the future, though, and created the Merge Gaming Network. Today, several poker sites operate on Merge, sharing players, tables and tournaments. Each poker room has its own promotions and unique style, but they all benefit by sharing players and tables.

Although Carbon Poker has been open since 2006, it is still one of the “newer” USA poker sites. Player traffic started low, then grew quickly and is now stable. Carbon is now one of the largest poker sites that accepts customers from the United States.

Welcome Bonus

All new players at Carbon Poker qualify for a 200% bonus for up to $5,000 extra on their first deposit. Just deposit $10 or more and use the bonus code UPTO600 when you make your first deposit and this bonus is yours. This bonus is open to all new players who deposit $10 or more.

The bonus money itself is cleared by playing real money poker games at Carbon. As you play, you automatically earn VIP points as a part of the rewards system. For every 150 VIP points you earn, $1 of your bonus will be cleared. The money is then released to your real money account in increments of $10.

VIP points are earned at Carbon Poker by playing in real money ring games and buying into tournaments. For every $1.00 you contribute in rake in ring games, 10 VIP points are awarded. Tournament players earn 10 VIP points for every $1.00 paid in tournament fees. One of the nice things about this system is that you get to keep all your points while earning out your bonus.

Use the bonus code CARBONPK to claim this bonus.

Click here to visit Carbon Poker and get your bonus

Carbon Poker Tournaments

The tournament selection at Carbon Poker is varied. Players will find tournaments of all buyins and for a wide range of game types. Texas Holdem is the most popular tournament format, but Carbon Poker also offers tournaments for Omaha, Stud and other poker variants.

Carbon Poker hosts a multitude of traditional poker tournaments, live tourney satellites, bounty tournaments, guaranteed events, sit-n-go tourneys and much more. The variety is a major advantage because it keeps players of all types sticking around and contributing money to the poker economy. This is especially nice considering the ease of competition at Carbon.

Guaranteed tournaments here come with prize pools that range from a few thousand dollars to $125,000 and occasionally even more. The weekly Sunday $125,000 Guarantee is always a popular one for the medium and higher stakes players. Buyins for their multi-table tournaments and SNGs range from $0 to $5,000.

The Merge Gaming Network has always been known for having unique features. For example, players can create their own tournaments and even play in ladies-only events. These are just a couple of examples of how Carbon Poker manages to keep things new in the aging online poker industry.

Cash Games

Cash games at Carbon Poker include a mixture of Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, 5 Card Stud, Razz, HORSE, Badugi, A-5 Triple Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw. The Texas Holdem and Omaha tables are the busiest at all times, but the other games can be hit-or-miss. Just like the tournament scene, the cash games at Carbon Poker have a reputation for easy competition.

Both hardcore and casual players alike can appreciate the cash games at Carbon. For those of you who like to mess around with lots of features, Carbon Poker offers little extras such as show one hole card, rabbit hunting, run-it-twice and more. If you don’t like to mess with these features, you can have them all disabled.

Fixed limit, pot limit and no-limit games are provided at a wide range of stakes. Low stakes games start out at $0.02/$0.04 and the high stakes games go as high as $300/$600. This wide variety of stakes ensures that players of all skill levels and bankrolls will be able to find a suitable table somewhere.


The software has been one of Carbon Poker’s biggest selling points for a long time. Sleek graphics, a small download and tons of features make this the most unique poker software package in the industry. We already mentioned features such as show one hole card and deal-it-twice, but that’s just a small sample of what the software can do.

Aesthetically, the software has a sleek, dark style that is easy on the eyes. The graphics are designed with a simple style that avoids all the glaring extras that some poker sites like to heap onto their tables. Vector graphics ensure that the graphics remain crisp and clear no matter how you resize the tables.

All the standard features such as multiple tables, auto-rebuy and waiting lists are all available. I have yet to find any major features missing from the software. The only improvement that would be nice to see is a tables list that updates quicker. Instead of a constantly updated tables list, the lobby refreshes the list every few seconds.

Click here to download the Carbon Poker software

Mac Compatibility

Carbon Poker is fully compatible with Macs. In 2010, Carbon Poker released software designed just for Macs. Both PCs and Macs can now download the software and get the full poker experience. Players all see the same tables and can play interchangeably no matter which operating system they are logged in from.

If you visit the Carbon Poker website from a Mac, you can get started by visiting the website and looking for the Mac logo at the very top of the page. Click on that and it will give you the Mac version of its software.

Player Traffic

Player traffic has increased considerably in recent years at Carbon Poker. At any given time, you can log in and find roughly 6,000 or more players logged in. During peak hours, player volume increases even beyond that. New players are joining Carbon Poker every day, so I expect to see those numbers continue to rise.

Both tournaments and cash games have players online at all stakes around the clock. You might have some trouble finding full tables at the ultra-high stakes games, but I do see players seated up there regularly. This applies to both cash games and SNG tournaments. The multi-table tournaments at Carbon are pretty much always busy.

Safety and Security

Safety and security have never been an issue at Carbon Poker. The poker site has maintained a flawless reputation since 2006 and continues to provide close customer support to all members. I keep in contact with the Carbon Poker management team and can tell you they are all interested in creating a successful, honest poker room. This site has big plans for the future and understands the importance of keeping a top notch reputation.

The site also maintains an advanced encryption system for all communications and is registered with multiple industry organizations such as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, eCogra and Responsible Gaming.


As a US-facing poker site, Carbon Poker has had to deal with a rough legal climate as far as deposits and withdrawals go. Fortunately, I can tell you that they have never had issues processing deposits or getting money back to players quickly.

New deposit options come online from time to time, so log in to your player account to find the most up to date list of deposit options. One thing I can tell you for certain though is that Carbon Poker is always fast when processing deposits and withdrawals.