Americas CardRoom vs Lock Poker
Americas Cardroom Vs Lock Poker 2017 Review
For Americans looking to choose a new poker room, you will have quite a few options that remain in the market. However, of the poker rooms left to the American public; many are smaller, lesser known brands. Everyone knows the PokerStars and Party Pokers of the world, but unfortunately as an American player, these options are no longer available.
Trying to determine which poker room will best suit your needs can be a nerve racking process. With each poker room trying to snatch up the remaining players in this market, you can be overwhelmed with bloated promotions and advertisements.
Two of the more popular rooms left for American players are: Americas Cardroom and Lock Poker. Each has their own unique qualities which make them stand out from the rest. However, choosing between the two may prove difficult if you are unfamiliar with either of these sites.
Below you will find a comprehensive comparison between each room to help make your decision much easier. By the end of this guide, you should have a clear and concise decision on which site to make your new home for online poker.
ACR Vs Carbon Poker – Bonuses and Promotions
New Player Bonus
Lock Poker has a nice, new player deposit bonus that is well above the industry standard. While most poker rooms stand in the $500-$1,000 range, Lock Poker gives new players a generous, 200% match bonus up to $4,000. To get the maximum amount, a player would need to deposit $2,000.
The bonus clears clear at a rate of 84 VIP points for every $5. VIP points are earned at a rate of $1 for 1 VIP point. You earn points by playing in real money cash games and paying entry fees in tournaments or Sit-N-Go’s.
Americas Card Room offers a more traditional; 100% up to $1,000 cash bonus for new players. The bonus clears at a rate of $1 for every 55 Rank Points earned. Players are awarded with 5.5 rank points for every $1 in rake or entry fee paid.
If we compare the two bonuses, Lock Poker may have the larger bonus, but it will take much longer to clear. Americas Cardroom bonus will only take $55 in rake paid to earn $5. While Lock Poker will make you pay $84 for every $5 in bonus cash.
Edge: Americas CardRoom
Lock Poker Vs Americas Cardroom Bonus Codes
The bonus codes are as follows:
- Lock Poker bonus code: THEFUTURE
- and Americas Cardroom bonus code is WPBONUS
Lock Poker VIP program has 4 levels of rewards. All four will have some of the same benefits, with the main difference being how much cash back is earned. All levels gain entry into a $2,500 weekly free roll. You can also trade in VIP points for cash at a rate of $10 for every 700.Players of all levels will also have access to the VIP vault where you can buy merchandise with these VIP points.
Here’s a breakdown of each level and what you need to achieve each one.
- White VIP: $150 in rake per calendar month. %15 daily cash back
- Silver VIP: Rake $750 per calendar month. 25% daily cash back
- Black VIP: Rake $1,500 per calendar month. 35% daily cash back
- Black VIP Elite: Rake $7,000 per calendar month. Get 45% cash back and a dedicated VIP rep.
Americas CardRoom takes a military approach to its VIP scheme. The program is called: Elite Benefits and features 6 total levels, all based on ranks in the military. You move up in ranks based on how many rank points are earned. The higher you rank the more benefits you receive.
Also, the higher you rank, the faster you can earn points which makes ranking up a little easier and a target to shoot for. You also unlock different levels of the VIP store at each rank which gives you more ways to spend those hard earned points.
All players start at the rank of Lieutenant and work up from there. No points are needed to earn this rank, but you will earn little in benefits.
Here is a complete breakdown of the ranks and what benefits are included.
The lower ranks up to Colonel require monthly points to be earned to reach each specific level.
- Lieutenant: none
- Captain: 750
- Major: 3,000
- Colonel: 7,500
To rank for General and 5 Star General, you must earn a set amount of points throughout the year. Once those points are earned, you will remain at this level until the calendar year is over, receiving all the benefits during this time.
- General: 100,000
- 5 Star General: 1,000,000
Along with cash bonuses and tournament entries, you can buy some pretty cool items in the store. The highest priced purchase is a sports car.
To make this program even better is the way you go about earning points. While the industry standard has moved on to using the contributed rake method which factors in how much you actually contribute to the rake, Americas CardRoom uses the popular- dealt rake method.. This lets you earn points anytime you are dealt a hand. Points are much easier to earn this way and Americas CardRoom is one the few remaining sites to use this method.
It’s important to note that Americas Card Room also offers rake back at a 27% rate. You may only receive one or the other. If you want the rake back, you are not eligible for the Elite Rewards program and vice versa. It’s recommended to take the rake back if you are a recreational player since you won’t be earning the points needed to achieve the highest levels of the Elite program. But, for higher volume players, the Elite program offers more value than the flat rake back.
Edge: Americas CardRoom
The Beast is an ongoing promotion at AmericasCardRoom that has quickly become a hit. It’s basically a rake race that awards players points for playing real money cash games. The more points you have at the end of the race, the more money you can win. But, unlike most races that have a set prize, The Beast grows every second. For every penny going towards the rake at the Bad Beat Jackpot tables, a portion is sent to the Beast prize pool. In recent months it has reached over $160,000, with first place getting over $10,000.
Players are also awarded with free entry into a $75K guaranteed prize pool tournament if you happen to make the leaderboard. Usually up to 500 spots are awarded with at least the free entry being awarded to the lower ranked spots on the leaderboard which is valued at $55.
I was going to discuss on-going promotions at both rooms, but The Beast tops anything Lock could ever offer, which makes it a virtual knock out in this category.
But in case you’re curious, Lock does have promotions like the Lock Lotto which raffles off 3 prizes every day. Prizes include an iPad, cash, books and clothing. Tickets for the raffle are earned by gaining Lock points. The more points you earn, the more tickets you gain.
Lock Poker Vs Americas Cardroom – The Software
The Lock Poker software is somewhat outdated and has been known to crash on occasion. They use the old Cake 2.0 program that was supposed to be a step up from the original. My personal opinion is that the older version worked much better. While the 2.0 software has more features, its tendency to crash in the middle of a game makes the upgrade worthless.
You still have plenty of features to make playing easy and more fluid. There are tools for multi-tabling, note tanking, hand history re-player and even some cool functions to analyze your sessions.
Americas Card Room doesn’t exactly stand out in the software department either. The program has been updated form the old 3D view that was absolutely horrendous, but it can still get better. They are working on a new release in the near future and this should resolve any issues that are currently happening.
Some of the issues include crashing, and bugs with accessing certain parts of the VIP store. All problems are usually fixed in a timely manner, but it’s still a far cry from being perfect. However, the fact that they actually work on creating a better site speaks highly.
Aside from the few bugs, you still have a nice platform to work with. All the features you would want including, note taking, game filters, note taking and hand history re-player are all inside.
Edge: Tie- Both sites need to step up the software and come out with something soon, but beggars can’t be choosers in the current poker climate.
Americas Cardroom or Lock Poker – Tournaments
Lock has a wide selection of buy ins available to suit players of all levels. You can find tournaments for as little as $1 or as high as $500. Many of the tournaments feature a guaranteed prize pool with some reaching as high as $100k. Most of the mid-range buy ins from $11 to $215 will have the best guarantees and value.
Americas Cardroom also has a nice lineup of tournaments that has gotten much better over the last 2 years. You can find buy ins that range from under $1 up to $200. Most of the MTTs are also guaranteed prize pools, including the weekly $75k for a $100 buy in.
They also have a new series called the MOSS (Mini Online Super Series). This is relatively new to the site and has been met with applause from players. The past series had over $500k in guaranteed prize pools across 100 events. Buy ins for the events ranged from $2 up to $100.
The only gripe with the tournaments on America’s Cardroom is that most of them have become re-buys or re-entries. You can still find the occasional freeze-out, but it would be nice to see more added back in.
Edge: America’s Cardroom
Neither site offers much in the way of Sit-N-Go’s, but not many sites other than the larger ones do anymore. Both sites are about the same as far as sit-n-go traffic and game selection. The most popular games that run are the double nothings. These run quite often on both sites, so if that’s your game, you should be ok.
You can still get 6 and 9 man’s going, but they do take a bit longer to fill, but the competition is weak on both sites making them worthwhile. If you’re a heads up specialist, you should have no problem getting enough of those going to sustain 2 or 3 at a time.
Traffic and Games
Lock poker has a decent amount of traffic especially after 5 P.M. EST. Traffic averages 5,000 players at any given time with about half of them at the cash game tables and the other half in the tournament and SNG section.
The competition at Lock has gotten slightly better over the years, but there are still enough bad players to make winning fairly simple and straight forward.
The game selection at Lock is pretty comprehensive, as they offer more games than most sites. Traffic may be small at the less popular games, but having the option to play over 10 games is always nice to have.
The games offered are: Hold Em, 5 Card Draw, 5 Card Joker, 5 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, Ace-5 Low Ball, 2-7 Low Ball, HORSE, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz and Badugi. You can also choose from, limit, no-limit and pot- limit on most of these games, with stakes ranging from $01-$.02, up to $25-$50.
Americas Cardroom has a comparable amount of traffic to Lock. At this very moment there are over 5,000 players which is about their average. The competition is pretty weak at the low limits and plenty of profit can be made with little work. Many of the players come from the sports book and casino side looking to spend their winnings.
Limits range from $.01-$.02, up to $15-$30. However, most of the traffic is at the small stakes with $2-$4 being the cap.
The game selection is pretty limited and not much play goes on away from the Hold Em tables. You do have Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud and Stud Hi-Lo to choose from. There’s also other games called 32 card poker and Telesina listed in the lobby, but I’ve yet to see a table with one of these games running.
One of the unique features at Americas Cardroom is the BBJ or Bad Beat Jackpot tables. These are cash game tables that pay out a prize for losing with quad 8’s or better. (Both hole cards must be used to qualify for this prize.) The prize pool is progressive and grows over time making it one of the larger progressive jackpots out there.
There are two side effects that occur from the BBJ games. One being the rake paid is much higher than a normal ring game. But, to offset this higher rake, many of the bad players flock to the BBJ tables due to the hopes of winning the jackpot. This offsets the rake a bit and can make these tables very profitable.
Edge: Americas Cardroom for the low level of competition and BBJ tables.
This where we start to see some major differences between the two sites. Most American facing sites have limited options for deposits and withdrawals, but it’s how fast you get your winnings that counts.
Lock offers Visa and MasterCard as deposit options for Americans. Rest of world players have many other choices such as: Neteller, Skrill, Click2 Pay, Eco Card and more.
However, withdrawals have become some of the slowest in the business. With all players experiencing up to 3 months of wait time, banking at Lock has become unbearable. You still get your money, but you have to wait an absurd amount of time to do so.
Americas Cardroom also has few deposit options for American players. Only Visa and Visa Master Card vouchers are available at the moment. Deposit options will change, so it’s best to contact support for current available options. For rest of world of players, you will have more options that work well.
What separates Americas Cardroom from most of the other American poker rooms is their cash out options and times. Checks take no more than 3 weeks to receive, with most of them being delivered in 2. You are allowed one free check a month with a fee for any other requests.
The best option by far is the debit card. You fill out a form; send it in to support and you should receive a card in a few weeks. Once you have the card, withdrawals take about 2-3 days in most cases. Your money is deposited directly onto your card, which can then be used at ATM’s or point of purchase sales. There is a fee for each purchase so it’s best to withdrawal it all at an ATM for one fee.
You will also have a monthly fee charged so long as there is money on the card. This also makes withdrawing it off the card a better option.
Edge: Americas Cardroom; Hands Down!
Again, Americas Cardroom stands out from Lock Poker with their support. Lock Poker currently offers only an e-mail for support. The response time is somewhat laughable in many cases as well.
Americas Cardroom on the other hand has e-mail, live chat and a toll free number for support. Most of the time, you are put in touch with a support agent within a minute or two using the live chat and toll free number.
It’s recommended to use the phone number to get the best support. There have been some complaints about lack of knowledge from the live chat operators.
Edge: Americas Cardroom
Overall it’s easy to see that Americas Cardroom is the better option to play online poker. The fast withdrawals are reason enough to make it an easy choice for most of us. Add in some great promotions, a choice of rake back or a VIP program, and the highly valuable Beast, you have a site that competes with all other poker rooms, not just sites that accepting Americans.
Winner: Americas Cardroom!