IronBet Review and Information
- Established - 2015
- Website - www.ironbet.com
- Licensed & Regulated in Malta
- Mobile Compatible: YES
- Cashout Time: 1-5 DAYS
- Sports Betting
- Live Betting
- Casino Games
- Live Dealer Games
- Skill Games
- 100% Up to $100 Match
- 200% Poker Welcome Bonus
- Debit Cards
- Bank Wire
Iron Bet is a brand-new Playtech-powered website that offers a sportsbook, casino, and online poker room. Iron Bet is actually run by Playtech – the popular software design firm is using recent record profits to invest in new products and design elements, most of which are currently featured on IronBet.com and nowhere else. The site holds a gaming license from the Malta Gaming Authority and is headquartered in the Philippines.
Iron Bet does not accept customers from the United States. That market is closed to much of the online betting industry, thanks mostly to the UIGEA laws that restrict American access to commonly-used payment methods. I couldn't find any publicly-posted information regarding other restricted countries, though I'm sure the USA is not the only one on the list.
What features do I like about the site? Here are some reasons you may consider opening an account:
Licensure from Malta and ownership by Playtech. Licensure from Malta is trust-worthy and respected in the industry; Malta is not one of the fly-by-night licensing bodies that do little more than slap their name on a site and collect licensing fees. Beyond that, Playtech (the site's operator) is listed on the FTSE 250 index of the London Stock Exchange, and are about as legitimate as an operator of a betting site can get. Despite Iron Bet's youth, the fact that the site is backed by both the Malta Gaming Authority and Playtech's corporate office gives me a good sense that the site is a legitimate gambling provider.
Use of cutting-edge design elements for sports bettors. I'm a sports bettor (and a blackjack player, and a video poker enthusiast, etc.) so I'm all too familiar with the same-ness infiltrating the Web-based sports betting industry. Iron Bet goes against the grain in the best possible way. I go into way more detail in the Sportsbook section below – if you like to bet on sports and you're sick of the same-old interface and betting style, you've got to give this site a look. It's a sight for sore eyes.
Good variety of available bets. This goes for both the site in general and the sportsbook in particular. Some sections (I'm looking at you, Casino) are not exactly a hotbed of variety, but the sportsbook offers a long list of markets.
Now for a few negative points. Here are things about Iron Bet that may give some bettors pause:
The site is brand-new. As I type this review, IronBet.com is less than a year old. This isn't necessarily a huge problem, but it does cause some headaches. For example – I looked long and hard for member reviews, forum posts, or any information online about the site while researching this review, and I found very little. That means potential customers can't really use the Web to gauge the quality of the site's services, as I always recommend. It's also difficult to find some pieces of information, like details on withdrawals, restricted countries, and a few other account features. This information is usually listed at a few trust-worthy review sites, but since Iron Bet is so new, there's just not much out there to find.
American customers aren't welcome. This isn't a big deal – unless, like me, you live in the United States. I write about gambling for a living, and I spend a good chunk of my day doing my own research for my personal wagering. Believe me when I say that I understand why sites like IB can't accept my registration. Still, it's frustrating. I'd love to be able to poke around Playtech's new toy and place a couple of wagers to kick the tires, but I'm restricted from doing that. I have few sportsbook/poker combo sites to pick from these days, and I had high hopes that the latest release by Playtech would include me. It doesn't. That's a bummer.
Exclusive use of Playtech games and software. This "con" is only a big deal if you plan on playing in Iron Bet's casino – Playtech's new design elements in the sportsbook are covered in detail elsewhere in the review. But for casino gamblers, a reliance on Playtech games (and ONLY Playtech games) means that a lot is left to be desired. I go into much more detail in the Casino section below, but let's just say that IB is basically operating a slot room with a handful of weak table games and some skill games thrown in for good measure.
Here is an overview of each of the gambling options available at Iron Bet.
- Sportsbook Welcome Bonus: Deposit $10 or more as a new customer and you're eligible for a 100% match bonus worth up to $100. Only certain bets are eligible for the lofty 9x rollover, and this is an important point – according to the promo's terms and conditions, only wagers of "… €25 or more with odds of 1/2 (1.50) or more will count for the rollover requirements." Also, you'll only earn the bonus cash you clear "… within 30 days of your registration."
- 10% Tennis Winning Boost: Place a wager on tennis, and if it wins, Iron Bet will enhance your winnings by 10% up to a max of $25. The bonus is paid in the form of a free wager, which is only valid for seven calendar days, and is only good on odds of 4/1 or lower. Other restrictions apply.
- Mobile Loyalty Bonus: After you place ten qualifying mobile sports wagers, Iron bet will reward you a bonus worth up to $10. I find the details a little confusing; check out their bonus page to read the terms and conditions for yourself.
- 100% Casino Games Bonus: This is basically identical to the Sportsbook bonus discussed above, except tailored for customers who prefer to play casino titles and other non-sports or poker games on the site. You can earn a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $100 on your first deposit as a casino customer. The rollover is 30x, which is about the industry average for a casino bonus, not too low, not too high. Check the list of approved games before you accept the bonus, as not all titles count toward clearing this bonus.
- 200% Poker Bonus: Poker players are eligible for the largest welcome bonus currently offered at IB – first-time poker depositors can earn up to $100 at a match rate of 200%. Be sure to check the terms & conditions page – remember, poker bonuses work differently from any other one, and Iron Bet uses a point/loyalty system for clearing poker bonuses. Make sure you understand this bonus before you sign up.
IIron Bet accepts deposits and pays withdrawals in the following world currencies:
- US dollar
- Canadian dollar
- Australian dollar
- South African rand
- Pounds sterling
- Swedish krona
- Russian ruble
If you want to use a different currency, you'll need to undergo a conversion process, which will include currency conversion fees and may require a longer wait than using one of the site's native currencies.
Here's the list of deposit methods accepted at Iron Bet:
- Diner's Club/MAESTRO
- VISA Electron
- Sofort Banking
- Bank Transfer
- Qiwi Wallet
Many of these methods are country-specific, and not all deposit methods are available for all the currencies supported by the site.
Here's a list of withdrawal methods used by Iron Bet to pay winnings to customers:
- Debit cards / Credit cards
- Skrill / Neteller
- Instant Banking
- Bank transfer
- Check by mail
- Check by courier
Ironbet.com is light on details about withdrawals, but I was able to piece together some information. For example, I know that some of these withdrawal methods require that you use a specific deposit method. I also know that fees may be associated with the use of some of these methods – your best bet at this early stage in the site's life is to customer service using any of the methods listed below to ask specific questions about withdrawals.
The first thing you'll notice when you point your browser at the Iron Bet sportsbook is that it looks totally different from any layout you've come across before. Okay, so the grey and black background colors are traditional and a little difficult to read, but we're not talking about colors and fonts.
The best way to describe the sportsbook interface at Iron Bet is the word "functional." Where other books have scaled down the options, markets, and other junk, producing simplified layouts that are designed to be intuitive, Iron Bet has crammed as many features and options on the page as they can. Sure, the market layout follows the traditional "markets on the left, bet slip on the right" format, but there's so much more to see here.
Consider the quick links to things like the top five wagered-on matches and upcoming live matches available in the live betting section – these are easy to find and the fact that they're laid out in the sportsbook's front page means they're easy to get to. Okay, so the interface looks a little busy – but if you're an experienced sports bettor, you won't have any trouble navigating the many text fields and clickable options on offer.
Here's a list of the available betting markets at the Iron Bet sportsbook:
Iron Bet Poker exists as a skin of the popular iPoker network. According to stats available at PokerScout.com, iPoker is one of the top-three poker rooms, in terms of live cash game players. As I type this, more than 2,500 players are active on the network playing in real cash contests. In the days after the collapse of the US poker market, 2,500+ is an impressive number for a poker network.
Unfortunately, I can't get behind the Iron Bet poker room with too much enthusiasm. They only offer two poker variants at this time - Texas holdem and Omaha. Considering the variety of poker games playable at other sites, two variants is just not going to cut it. I admit that most online poker players are perfectly content to stick to Texas holdem, so this probably isn't a big deal to some of you.
Large guaranteed prize pool tournaments is the area where Iron Bet Poker really shines – the site runs tons of large-guaranteed prize pool tourneys. Events like the iPoker Online Poker Series are household names in the world of online poker – the iPOPS event alone has a prize pool of more than $3 million. Freeroll tournaments are also numerous and well-attended, and since the current poker player promotion is essentially a glorified freeroll ticket, this is really important for new players.
As for the player interface – it is solid. If you've played at any iPoker or Playtech-powered site before, you'll recognize it. Some software just looks old and clunky, but iPoker's interface runs smoothly and I had no difficulty playing on as many as sixteen tables – the site's limit.
I especially liked the simple tile/cascade option that will resize all your tables and put them in the right position at the push of a button. The auto resize function works best on five or fewer tables, though it has the capacity to handle up to sixteen at a time.
One thing I really appreciate from a design perspective – the color scheme of the poker interface matches the simple color scheme of the site as a whole. This sounds like a really minor thing, but when you're flipping back and forth between the two, it can really give you a headache.
Iron Bet is home to just over 200 casino games, all designed by Playtech. Unlike the sportsbook section, there's nothing new in the casino games department – no casino titles that aren't available at any other Playtech site. In fact, I find it way too close of a clone to every other Playtech-designed combo site I've reviewed.
Here's a look at each section of the site's list of casino titles:
The slots category at Iron Bet's casino is by far the largest, with a number of popular Playtech games available in a few different categories. Playtech, like any casino software provider, has an interesting collection of slot games, ranging from popular licensed titles to simple classic-style "fruit machines."
I'm usually more interested in licensed titles, with their familiar characters, plot lines, and audio and video effects, not to mention bonus games and higher replay value. But if you're into more traditional slot gambling, I counted a couple of dozen simple "fruit and stars" games available around the clock.
Take note that slots are one of the only games that count 100% toward clearing bonus requirements – even if you don't like slots, you may find yourself playing them a bit to chase some bonus cash.
Collected under this heading is Iron Bet's stash of Playtech's sizable collection of roulette variants, as well as one variant of craps. Here's the full list of games gathered under this heading:
- 3D Roulette Premium
- Roulette Pro
- Live Roulette
- Premium Roulette Pro
- Video Roulette
- Premium American Roulette
- Multiplayer European Roulette
- French Roulette Multiplayer
- Live VIP Roulette
- 3D Roulette
- Premium French Roulette
- Premium European Roulette
- Multi Wheel Roulette
- Live French Roulette
- American Roulette
As far as I can tell, only a handful of these games are worth any of your time, even if you're a big fan of roulette. French and European roulette are far superior to American roulette, in terms of odds. Live and 3D roulette are fun distractions for when you get bored of the traditional game. But beyond those titles, I think this category is mostly made up of fluff that Playtech's using to make their library seem larger.
The site currently hosts thirty-five titles under the Card Games heading. This is an interesting way to group games – this cluster includes both casino-style poker and classic table games. This is a common feature at Playtech-designed sites, and it makes finding my games a little tough sometimes. It'd be much easier to categorize games as "table games," rather than giving Roulette its own category, but I digress.
ThThe full list of games collected here is pretty long – instead of listing them all out, I'll share a few notes on the most popular of the Playtech titles the site hosts.
- Baccarat – a classic casino game available here in multiple variants
- Caribbean Stud – casino-style poker based on five card stud rules
- Casino holdem – Texas holdem as translated for casino table play
- Craps – a dice game available in only one variant
- Pai Gow Poker – based on an ancient Chinese domino game
- Sic Bo – based on the rules of a dice game popular in Asian casinos
- Tequila Poker – a unique high-speed poker game that gives the player three betting options
Iron Bet hosts fifteen variants of video poker:
- 10-line Jacks or Better
- 2 Ways Royal
- 4-Line Aces and Faces
- 4-Line Deuces Wild
- 4-line Jacks or Better
- 50-line Jacks or Better
- Aces and Faces
- Aces and Faces 25 Lines
- All American Video Poker
- Deuces Wild
- Jacks or Better
- Joker Poker
- Mega Jacks
- Pick'em Poker
- Tens or Better
Here's the list of games available in the site's smallish live dealer casino:
- Progressive Live Baccarat
- Live Roulette
- Live VIP Roulette
- Live VIP Baccarat
- Live French Roulette
- Live Blackjack
- Live Sic Bo
- Casino Hold'em Live
- Unlimited Blackjack Live
I'm not a fan of so-called VIP games at online casinos. They tend to be identical to the site's standard version except with improved graphics and a different table layout. This is not really variety, if you think about it – never in a million years has a gambler woken up and said "You know what? I think I wanna play some VIP blackjack tonight." It's a silly way for the site to pad their list of games.
Outside of that complaint, I can't say anything bad about the live games IB offers. The live casino is open around the clock, and it contains some of my favorite titles, like blackjack and roulette.
You can Iron Bet's customer support department via phone, fax, email, live chat, and postal mail. Here is the information as posted on the site:
Phone: +359-2-422-5402 Fax: +632-756-7879
Email: [email protected]
PO Box 2910
Makati Central Post Office 1269
Live chat: You can begin a live online chat with one of Iron Bet's customer service representatives from every page on the site just by clicking on the help icon that's pinned to the right hand side of the menu bar. All you do is click the icon, and a customer support staff member will be with you momentarily.
Iron Bet is, at this point, is still just a good-looking gimmick. Sure, this gimmick has some excellent backers in Playtech and the Maltese government, but it's got so little experience to go on (and so few reviews by existing customers) that it's hard to get a sense of the site's quality and legitimacy. This isn't really their fault – the only way to get experience is to spend some time in the business. Still, it's hard for me to get too excited about any site that depends entirely on boring Playtech casino software, rather than mixing things up with a few other designers and their takes on classic casino games.
While I appreciate the work Playtech has done creating a new style of sportsbook interface and website, I still find their casino and other games lacking. The promotions are nothing to write home about – especially considering the unusually-high wagering requirements and strict terms that each bonus covered in this review are controlled by. Because the site is so new, it's basically still an experiment, not a full-fledged betting site. Until Iron Bet has some experience under its belt, I remain neutral. Check it out if you live outside the US and want to see the future of sportsbook interface and design features.