Phoenician Casino Review

U.S. Players: Phoenician Casino allows players from all but 11 US states. Online casino players from: Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, Indiana, Nevada, South Dakota, New York and New Jersey are blocked, but all other states are allowed access.
Phoenician Casino:
I first reviewed Phoenician casino in late 2004. Back then, it was operating using Real Time Gaming software and was making quite a name for itself thanks to the instant withdrawal processing policy for NETeller users. Yet ,no sooner had I published the review at when everything changed - Phoenician Casino management decided to scrap RTG and moved over to Microgaming software. In my last review, I was very positive about Phoenician, and so I thought it was time to test Phoenician again to see if the casino was still causing ripples in the online gambling world.

As with many online casinos, a player firstly has to visit the casino website to download the required casino software. The website itself is well laid out, with separate sections on banking, game previews, etc. - dividing the site into manageable portions. The home page also proudly proclaims that the casino received an honorable mention as 'Top New Casino' in the Gambling Online Magazine 2004 awards - a definite plus point.

The download itself is 5.8mb in size, which is a little on the large size, particularly for users on dial-up connections. However, for those looking for an instant gambling fix, Phoenician does offer a flash version of the casino, offering players access to over 100 games almost instantaneously.

Download and installing is quick and easy although as with many online casinos only a couple of games are initially available for players. Signing up as a new user is also easy, although it goes without saying that casinos do not want to make gambling difficult for players! After a little bit of form filling I was enrolled as a member of Phoenician and was ready to play.

The Phoenician Casino cashier offers a multitude of purchase options; Credit cards, NETeller, Citadel, Electronic Cheque, Payspark, Firepay and more are all available, with the minimum purchase amount being just $20. I opted to make a $100 NETeller purchase, and the money showed in my casino account instantly. At this point, it should be made clear that Phoenician Casino offers a great welcome bonus deal - over the first three purchases a player can claim up to $1200 in free money. This really is a huge amount, although players should understand the terms and conditions relating to any bonuses before accepting them. From what I could see, Phoenician uses a bonus account in which bonus money is played out in the bonus account before winnings can be transferred to a user's cashable account. Of course, a player does not have to accept any bonus if do not want to, and I decided to play without a bonus - if I won big I wanted to cash out straight away!

Phoenician operates using the latest 'Viper' version of Microgaming software with the 130+ games offered by the casino being presented in a lobby format. Games are split by type with section headings such as 'slots' and 'table games' helping a player to get to the games they want. I started off my gambling with a quick game of blackjack, although with over 5 varieties of Blackjack at Phoenician, just choosing the game can cause a headache! Since European Blackjack came pre-installed, I opted for this version and was pleasantly surprised that the minimum bet amount was just 50 cents. This is great for low rollers, although with a maximum bet being $500, this game should also be attractive to the heavy bettors too!

Game play itself at Phoenician Casino is also very attractive - the use of high quality graphics accompanied with subtle in-game and background sounds makes the gaming experience very lifelike. The speed of game play, which can be altered by the player, is also very good, and even on a dial-up connection I found play speed to be perfectly acceptable. Another great feature at Phoenician is that many games have an 'Expert' setting. This setting shows a player the best moves to make in a game (e.g. whether to hit, double or stand in Blackjack). This is brilliant for new players, and even though I have played Blackjack many times before, I found the assistance to be of use. The Expert function can even be set to auto play - a user simply sets a number of hands to be played, and the computer plays by itself. This option is great for grinding through bonus wagering requirements.

Game fairness is also an important factor with online casinos, and I have to say that I found no problems with Phoenician Blackjack. I had losers and winners as is expected, but it was nice not to come across the 'invincible dealer' that I have met at other casinos.

The focus on high quality was also apparent in some of the other table games I played. Caribbean Stud Poker was a particular favorite of mine, especially when I was dealt three-of-a-kind with a $7 ante - giving me a healthy $70 win. Up until this point, my bank balance had been on a slow decline! Of course, all the favorites are available at Phoenician, and I spent a good amount of time playing Three Card Poker, Red Dog and Roulette among others. Some of the table games at this casino even offer progressive jackpots - a royal flush at Caribbean Stud Poker can pay over $100,000 for a $1 side bet!

With my Stud Poker bet restoring my bank balance to just over the hundred dollar mark, I decided next to have a look at the Video Poker selection at Phoenician Casino. Again I discovered a great variety, with many favorites such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild sitting next to more unusual Video poker varieties such as Double Bonus Poker and the progressive jackpot SupaJax game.

The quality of gaming on show at Phoenician Casino was again excellent, with good quality graphics and sounds making the casino experience almost lifelike. I also did reasonably well to begin with - my best win came on 50-hand Joker Poker. I was initially dealt two Aces and a Joker - so I knew every hand would be a winner. After re-dealing I was left with 3 four-of-a-kind hands, 3 full houses and a load of three-of-a-kinds, so my $12.50 bet became $40. I decided to bank this win, although a double-up option is available for those feeling lucky! Unfortunately these winnings were soon swallowed up by my play on Deuces Wild Power Poker. Although wild card games are fun, when the wilds don't show it really hurts your bankroll!

Next it was time to play the slots. Although not usually a slot fan, I actually spent quite a bit of time playing slots at Phoenician. This is mainly because the selection of slots available at this casino is tremendous. From classic single payline, three-reel slots to the latest multi feature video style games, Phoenician really does offer a slot player everything they could dream for. And unlike some casinos, the quality of slot games is superb - indeed Microgaming has built up a reputation for being number one in recreating slots for the online world.

In terms of my luck I did OK, although I did go through a 'dry' period when I barely hit anything. One of the best slots I played in luck terms was 'JetSet'. I was playing $4 a spin and was lucky enough to get 'two cherry' win lines on a number of occasions paying me $20 each time. Of course, I ended up losing all of my bankroll in the end - I decided to chase some of the progressive jackpots available. Cash Splash has gone for over $70,000 on a number of occasions, and the wonderful Major Millions slot has made a number of people millionaires!

Now, if I was being sensible I would have stopped now, but as a testament to the fun of playing at Phoenician Casino, I actually made a further $100 deposit. This proved to be a good move, and after a bit of high-level Blackjack play, I had $225 sitting in my account - I had won back the lost $100 and made a $25 profit on top of that. With that, I headed back to the cashier.

Cashing in was simple enough when I made this review - but now it's even better. Phoenician Casino now offers INSTANT cash-ins for players using NETeller! If you have a NETeller ATM card, winnings will be paid instantly to your NETeller account. Just like a real casino, only faster...and it works flawlessly - the payout speed should definitely satisfy the majority of players.

As always, I also tested the support offered by Phoenician. Sadly, this casino does not offer telephone support, which I think is a shame. Support is contactable via email and live chat however, and I did find support representatives to be polite and helpful using these methods.

All in all, I have to say that I think Phoenician has improved since its migration to the Microgaming platform - not so much in terms of operation, but definitely in terms of game variety and quality. It is a shame that withdrawals are not instantaneous now, but banking at Phoenician still operates at a very high standard. Similarly, support is easy to contact, although I do find the lack of telephone support a shame. Nevertheless, this is a great online casino, and one that I will definitely be playing at in the future.

Click Here To Visit Phoenician Casino

Click Pictures to Enlarge

Three card poker is increasing in popularity and is found at Phoenician in virtual form
3 Card Poker

A initial winning hand results in a nice win at 50-hand Joker Poker
50 Hand Joker Poker

Big Kahuna shows off the great graphic quality found in Phoenician's slot games
Big Kahuna Slot

Blackjack can be played with bets ranging from 50 cents to $500

Crazy Chameleons is another 5-reel multi payline slot offering the chance of huge winnings for small bets
Crazy Chameleons

A three-of-a-kind hand helps boost my bankroll in Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker

Video Poker is available in 1, 4, 10 and 50-hand varieties
Deuces Wild 4 Play Video Poker

The Fruit Fiesta progressive jackpot stands at over $15,000 and can be won with a single $0.75 bet
Fruit Fiesta

A $20 win on a $4 on the three-reel classic style 'Jet Set' slot
Jetset Slot

Keno is a bad bet but is still available for those who want it

Games are presented in a lobby format with new games downloaded in the background
Phoenician Casino Lobby

Up to 3000 coins can be won for a royal flush in Poker Pursuit
Poker Persuit

Sic Bo is one of the more unusual games available at Phoenician Casino
Sic Bo

Phoenician Casino Strong Points:
  • Huge game selection
  • Great game quality supported with lifelike sound effects
  • Low betting limits - 50 cent Blackjack and 1 cent slot
  • Good number of deposit options and fast payout speed
  • Easily contactable, friendly support
  • INSTANT cashins for players using NETeller!
Things Phoenician Casino Could Improve:
  • No telephone support
  • Identity documents required before first withdrawals processed
  • Download on the large side

Click Here To Visit Phoenician Casino


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