The Chico network is becoming a force to be reckoned with
Chico Poker Network (formerly Action Poker Network) is a well-established US-friendly site that has been operating for over 20 years. It is composed of 3 reliable and trustworthy poker rooms appealing to a wide variety of players. The Chico network might not be the largest network in the world but it has developed incredibly well in the last couple of years, especially in terms of cash game traffic. The number of cash game players is higher than both the iPoker network, for example.
A significant factor here is that the Chico network is one of the few caters for US players, who account for well over half the traffic.
The headquarters are in the Seychelles, and the main company is Julian International Holdings Ltd.
Chico Poker Network History
Chico was first established in 1999 as Action Poker Network. Not much information is known up until 2006 after the UIGEA. It was at that time when Action Poker Network began to go downhill. As a result, it was bought by Julian International Holdings Ltd. and renamed to Chico Poker Network we all know. In 2013, Bitcoin was introduced as a new payment method, which quickly boosted its popularity across the US. In 2016, Chico Poker Network saw a drastic client update, as it switched from an outdated Action Poker client to a new one developed by Conncetive Games.
Chico Poker Network consists of Tigergaming, BetOnline, and Sportsbetting poker rooms. Tigergaming is a flagship skin aimed at the global market. However, US players tend to choose BetOnline or Sportsbetting, as they are more friendly towards their location. It is also important to keep in mind that BetOnline restricts UK users.
The main difference between skins is simply their geographical restrictions. BetOnline is the most popular brand of the network and even has its own 2+2 thread. When it comes to bonuses and promotion, they are all the same across the skins.
It is difficult to point out which poker room is the best and it all comes down to your location. All skins have the same traffic and well-developed customer support.
Sign up through YourPokerDream
Registering with YourPokerDream brings great additional benefits. As well as the standard promotions and offers, YourPokerDream gives you many exclusive benefits in the form of rakeback, promotions, rake races, special tournaments and much more. Sign up to make sure that you take full advantage of all the extras from YPD .
T&C | 18+ Only
25k YPD Main Rake Race
T&C | 18+ Only
25k YPD Main Rake Race
T&C | 18+ Only
25k YPD Main Rake Race
As has been noted, the Chico Network focuses more on new players, so there are no flat or high rakeback deals such as those available with other poker rooms/networks. This operator offers promotions which eventually represent a rakeback percentage. Grinders will be disappointed, as there is no VIP program.
However, Chico Poker Network skins offer a 100% welcome bonus of up to $1,000 which represents a 20% cashback. They also offer rake races for cash games and SnG with prizes reaching $40,000. It is evident that this network has evolved to appeal to casuals. Events such as freerolls and jackpots are designed to attract amateurs.
YPD members can also take part in our internal 25k Main Rake Race and other exclusive promotions.
YourPokerDream is one of the few EU Affiliates that works with skins from the Chico network.
Rake is calculated according to the no-flop, no-drop policy, meaning that no rake is taken if a hand does not see a flop. The rake percentage across cash games is 5% at fixed-limit and 5.5% for NL and PL. The cap decreases (varies between 1b-10bb) as the stakes increase. In MTTs rake ranges between 6% and 10%. For SnG the fee is from 2% (for HU) and up to 11% (for DoN and hyper tournaments). PKO events have a 20% fee on average. In Winfall Spins, the rake is between 6% and 8%.
Games and Traffic
The large number of US players belonging to the network means Chico can guarantee high volume. The Chico network is known to have one of the ‘best’ player pools around in terms of the sheer number of recreational poker fans making the playing level less sophisticated than with most other online poker rooms.
Many rakeback affiliates are no longer accepted in the Chico network because the operator focuses primarily on the acquisition of ‘fun’ players rather than ‘winning’ players. Consequently, Chico will be an attractive hunting ground for those serious grinders whose only goal is to make money against less experienced, generally weaker opposition.
Along with classic No-limit Hold’em and Pot-limit Omaha, Chico Poker Network also offers more exotic and rare games such as Fast-Fold, NL Texas 6+, and PL Omaha Hi/Lo. Some games also feature Straddle and Run it Twice. Chico is also one of the few operators that offer the 9-max tables in Hold’em and they represent around 40% of all traffic.
Cash games are divided into Hold’em, Omaha, and Texas 6+. Of course, the most popular format is No-limit Hold’em representing around 60% of all traffic. Tables starting from NL100 take part in the Bad Beat Jackpot. Boost, a local fast-fold, does not gather much traffic with roughly 100 connections during peak hours.
Given that Chico Poker Network focuses mainly on the US market, a good tournament grid is to be expected. Events are split up into the following categories:
- Sunday Majors: the best events of the week, including the Super High Roller: $50,000 Gtd for $530 and the Sunday Main Event with $150,000 GTD in prizes for $108.
- Nightly Monsters: five events scheduled at 8:00 pm ET time with $50,000 in prizes.
- Progressive Bounties: daily grid with a progressive knockout format.
- Rebuy Frenzy: events with rebuy with up to $10,000 GTD
- Operation Omaha: PLO and PLO8 tournaments
- Phase tournaments: multi-day tournaments with up to $50,000 GTD
SNG and Spins
Chico Poker Network offers a wide variety of SNG formats, which is a rarity in modern realities. For example, it offers: regular, turbo, hyper, HU, and Double or Nothing (DoN). Local Spin&Go are called Windfall and are presented in three formats: Windfall (regular spins), Flips (100% lottery spin), and Jackpot.
It is fair to say that the overall field of the Chico Poker Network is quite soft in all of its poker rooms. This is mainly due to all three skins focusing on a comprehensive gaming variety and not just poker. Not to mention that American players have always been known as fans of the action. This is also indicated by its ban on professional software such as hand converters. Multi-tabling is also restricted to 8. All of these measures aim at leveling the playing field and improving the poker ecology.
Reliability and Trustworthiness
Only TigerGaming, one of the three skins that comprise the Chico Poker Network, has a gaming license: 5536/JAZ issued by Curacao eGaming to Thot Management B. V. There is no information available on the Internet regarding this company.
BetOnline shows the following information: Blue High House SA, Registration Number 620623, is licensed and regulated by the Government of Panama (Ministerio de Economia y Finanzas de Junta de Control de Juegos). This company was founded in 2008 but there is practically no information about it online.
SportsBetting does not show any legal information on their website but states that it is licensed in Panama.
Even though Curacao and Panama licenses are not trustworthy in the poker community, it is quite common for US-facing rooms to be registered in these regions. Chico Poker Network has managed to pass the test of time as there are no complaints regarding its reliability.
Neither of the skins clearly states if they have an RNG certificate. However, Chico Poker Network software was developed by Connective Games and they do hold an RNG certificate issued by Gaming Labs and iTech Labs.
Chico Poker Network was able to build a good reputation in the poker community. This is mainly due to no large controversies around neither of skins, and active work to create a more comfortable playing environment. For example, this network actively bans bots/cheaters and issues refunds to all the victims. There are no cases of accounts being blocked without a reason. There are also no complaints about non-payment situations.
Deposits and Withdrawals
As with all US-facing rooms, Bitcoin is the most common payment method, accounting for around 90% of all transactions. No fees are charged when using Bitcoin and processing is practically instant. Please note that payment methods will vary from country to country, but here are some other popular deposit methods on the Chico Poker Network:
Withdrawals are only processed via bank wires and Bitcoin. Given that bank wire transfers are quite expensive, Bitcoin is an obvious preference.
Chico Poker Network software was developed by Connective Games and supports Windows, macOS, and Android. It also has a browser HTML version that is compatible with all smartphones. The HTML version is a copy of a PC client with good optimization and full functionality.
The PC client is quick and functional. On top, you will find various buttons that will help you switch between cash games. Another set of buttons lets you choose different formats such as Hold’em and Omaha.
Tables can be arranged by stakes and player count. The overall design is clean, minimalistic, and does not distract from the game. As mentioned previously, no professional software is allowed.
While Chico Skins software isn’t the best and fanciest on the market, it is nevertheless player-friendly and has an easy-to-use interface that’s great for beginners and inexperienced players.
The Chico Network skins each offer their own promotions, with a variety of interesting ones each month. There are usually no general promotions that apply to all skins.
Pros and Cons of Chico Poker Network
- Long-time established poker network
- Stable software
- Soft field of American players
- Good MTT grid
- A wide variety of cash games
- High rake
- No VIP program
- No HUD