Ultimate Bet is a virtual poker room.
Although the legality of online poker is in limbo in the United States, millions of people from around the world, many of them U.S. players, play online poker every day and one of the most popular destinations is UltimateBet. UltimateBet offers several variations of poker and limited forms of blackjack. Some criticism from the poker community has been lobbied at UltimateBet’s security.
Formed in 1999, UltimateBet focuses mainly on Texas Hold’em poker. The company is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises, which operates out of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory located in southern Canada, according to an MSNBC report. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission of the Kahnawake territory also licenses the site.
In 2008, UltimateBet merged with Absolute Poker to form the Cereus network, according to an article on poker news website PocketFives.com. According to poker traffic reporting service PokerScout, in late October of 2009 the Cereus Network ranked in sixth place for most used poker website based on the number of cash players. Cereus and Ultimate Bet have an average of 4,000 cash players online during peak hours. By comparison, the most used poker site According to PokerScout is PokerStars with an average of 35,000 players at any given time.
According to its website, UltimateBet offers six different types of hold’em variations: Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, Half-No Limit and Half-Omaha and HORSE/HOSE, a round-robin mix of poker variants. The only game offered by UltimateBet other than poker is blackjack, in the form of single deck games and shootout tournaments.
The legality of online poker remains in a gray area, according to a report by Tamara Audi and Amy Schatz for the Wall Street Journal. The United States Justice Department believes poker and other internet gambling violates interstate wagering law, with the exception for horse betting. No federal law restricted the playing of online poker as of 2009, but 13 states have banned, or partially banned online poker, including New York and Nevada. Outside the U.S., online poker is by and large a legal and popular form of entertainment.
Some questions have been raised about the security of UltimateBet’s encryption system. MSNBC reported that a 2008 lawsuit filed against UltimateBet claimed cheating on the network gave some players an unfair advantage and led to millions in fraudulent winnings. Further adding to case was that it took a team of UltimateBet poker aficionados to analyze data to find players with highly unusual winning percentages, not the gaming commission regulating the site.