Disclaimer: PartyPoker is currently legal in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While Party Poker NJ is live, Party Poker has yet to launch in PA.
PartyPoker is one of the most prominent online poker brands in the world. It didn’t get that reputation without delivering what poker players want.
In the early years of online poker, PartyPoker was the go-to poker room. It had the most players, the biggest guarantees and the best software. After 2006, when it left the US market, the company management began focusing on casino games and sports betting, then poker was neglected.
GVC Holdings bought Party Poker for $1.4 billion in 2015. The new management, led by CEO Kenny Alexander, immediately began to reinvigorate the poker side, which had seen nothing but declining revenue for half a decade. New software and optimism triggered by new investment began PartyPoker’s process regaining its position at the top of the online poker industry. However, concentrating on recreational players made PartyPoker stand out.
As more states legalize online poker alongside sports betting, PartyPoker is poised to be a significant force in the US poker market.
Think forward to a time when online poker is widespread across the US, and player pools are shared between many states. MGM and PartyPoker are working toward that future.
Party Poker took to protecting new amateur players seriously. And it still does.
It is one of the best sites for novice players making maiden voyage into online poker. The poker world is full of sharks, and PartyPoker realized that giving novice players a positive experience was essential to retaining their interest.
PartyPoker was also one of the first sites to address the social aspects of poker.
You can organize “Friends” into groups and chat while you play. It offers competitive features such as “Missions” and “Achievements,” where players get recognition for their progress.
When online poker launched in New Jersey, PartyPoker.com was raring to go. However, the market failed to take off, but not because of any failings by Party Poker.
Low player levels bedevil US online poker. There aren’t enough players online to run all the games and stake levels that players want. Furthermore, there aren’t enough players to create large tournament guarantees.
The three states added together don’t create a critical mass for a successful poker market. Add PA into the mix though, and we could reach a tipping point.
GVC Holdings has set up a joint venture with MGM to rollout online gaming. States that legalize online poker will see PartyPoker join the market, generally in a regulatory partnership with an MGM casino.
In this instance of New Jersey poker, PartyPoker is partners with MGM’s Borgata Casino and Hotel.
When you open your account at Party Poker, you get exclusive new player bonuses.
PartyPoker offers not just one incentive to join, but two. For the first offer, you don’t even have to deposit any money.
While these offers can be hard to believe, they are real. PartyPoker looks at the lifetime value of their customers, and is confident that once you’ve tried PartyPoker, you will want to stay a customer for a long time. That’s why they invest some money upfront.
Every new player at www.partypoker.com is eligible for a free $25, with the bonus split between the games.
You will receive $10 to play poker, $5 to enter tournaments and $10 to use at the casino. In the poker lobby, you can see the “Casino Games” tab at the top of the screen.
You will need to validate your account first to receive the $25. This process quickly confirms your identity and that you are old enough to gamble under the law. The regulators insist that you verify your account before you cash out any winnings.
Party Poker provides a nice extra incentive to do so. As soon as you are verified, the cash will be deposited into your account and you can use it to play at the tables.
You can try to run up that first $25 and never make another deposit. However, the volatility in poker makes it more likely that you will need to deposit some money to play.
PartyPoker offers a first deposit promotion where you can earn 100% of the amount you deposit.
If you deposit $200, then PartyPoker will give you a $200 bonus. The maximum bonus is capped at $1,000, which is good compared to some US poker rooms.
You earn the bonus by playing at real-money tables in the poker room. Real-money play earns points at the rate of two points for every dollar paid in rake or tournament fees.
See below for details of Party Poker’s rake. Rake is the money taken from a poker pot as revenue for the operator.
Every four points you collect qualifies you for $1 of bonus. It’s eight points for casino games. Your bonus is paid in increments of $10.
Example: If you deposit $200, you receive a $200 bonus. This bonus is paid out in 10 sums of $20. To release each part of the bonus, you have to earn 4 x 20 = 80 points.
Even if you play low volumes at low stakes, you can soon clear a fair portion of the bonus, even if you don’t play enough to earn all of it.
|Online Poker Room||Party Poker|
|No Deposit Bonus||$25|
|First Deposit Bonus||100%, up to $1,000|
|Last Updated||April 2021|
Signing up for an account at PartyPoker.com is as easy as registering for any internet service.
Follow the links on this page to go to the PartyPoker new player page. There you can download the software you need to start playing.
Party Poker is available for Mac and PC desktops and laptops as well as for mobile devices. Both Android and Apple iOS apps are available.
You must be in a state where Party Poker is licensed before you can play for real money. Currently, that choice is limited to New Jersey, with Pennsylvania to launch soon.
It’s a simple task to set up a new account at Party Poker PA. Use this link to visit PartyPoker and click on the software logo that matches your device.
The PartyPoker download is available for Mac and PC in addition to Android and iPhone devices.
During registration, you’ll need to enter your personal information, choose a password and create a screen name.
Now it’s time to verify your account and get PartyPoker’s free poker no-deposit bonus of $25
If you aren’t used to playing online poker or want to test out the software before playing for real money, PartyPoker offers the option to use play money. At the bottom left of the lobby screen, there is an option to switch to play money.
A few hands at the play money tables can help accustom you to the betting controls before you sit at a real-money table.
Party Poker is only legal in New Jersey and Pennsylvania at the moment, although it plans to expand to other states soon.
You are allowed to register for an account if you live outside these states, but you are not legally allowed to play unless you are within the state borders.
Don’t think you can trick the system with a VPN. PartyPoker uses advanced geolocation software to identify your location. If you play online poker and you aren’t legally allowed, the operator is fined, not you.
Party Poker makes sure it knows that you can legally play before you can hit the tables.
Geolocation software uses Wi-Fi networks to identify your location down to the nearest square meter.
This geographical restriction also means that you can’t sign up to one account and use it in every state where PartyPoker operates.
US online poker is regulated at the state level. Therefore, if you have a New Jersey online poker account, but find yourself in Pennsylvania, you will have to set up a separate PA account before you can play.
Not only does Party Poker offer incentives to new players, but it also offers regular rewards after you have begun playing.
These rewards are commonly known as a VIP scheme or as loyalty rewards. They exist to help retain players and encourage players to play more or to play new and different games.
The rewards are paid out of the company’s revenues, which come from the rake and fees charged at cash games and tournaments.
For this reason, rewards are known as “rakeback.” PartyPoker even calculates the maximum percentage of rakeback that its rewards imply for each level of its VIP scheme.
Similar to the bonus offers, you’ll receive points for every hand played in a cash game or tournament fee paid with your buy-in. These points work toward your VIP status, which is divided into different levels. When your level increases, so will the rewards.
The Party Poker VIP rewards program offers four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Palladium.
You will earn two points for every dollar you pay in tournament fees or through rake.
Maintaining the Silver VIP level requires a minimum of 50 points per month, so that is the equivalent of paying $25 in tournament fees or playing at cash game tables where $25 in rake is taken.
The software at Party Poker has advanced massively over the years. It is now one of the best online poker software packages on the market.
It is completely stable and free of bugs — well, almost.
You should have no problems with disconnecting during hands as the result of software glitches. In New Jersey, Party has been the target of some denial-of-service attacks during its annual Garden State Super Series (GSSS).
In cases when tournaments were canceled, PartyPoker has been generous in compensating any affected players.
Before you start playing, it’s worth spending some time in the settings menu (see screenshot above).
Here, you can customize Party Poker to suit your style of play. You can change the colors of the table, the cards and a host of other game elements to your taste.
If you stick with the classic table theme, you can customize selected buttons to make predetermined bets as either several big blinds or as a proportion of the pot. You can also use your mouse wheel to increase or decrease your bet size.
More advanced players can play up to eight tables at the same time. The settings menu lets you customize how tables appear and when they should enter the main focus.
PartyPoker offers a “hot hand” facility where you can specify a range of hands where you want to pay special attention. When a hot hand is dealt at one of your tables, the table carpet color changes, the table title bar shows an alert and the table emits a buzzing sound.
Typically, online poker apps offer almost all the functionality of the desktop poker client, but with some limitations. Multi-tabling on an iPhone is not the same as doing so on your desktop, where you have mouse control.
The PartyPoker mobile app makes efficient use of swipes and taps to provide one of the most useable mobile online poker experiences.
Some of the fancier functions on the desktop are absent, but all the essentials are there to make playing mobile online poker easy and fun.
As mentioned, the Party Poker client offers access to real money casino games. Still, poker aficionados will have plenty of choices when they are not in the mood for a flutter in the casino.
Online poker games generally split into two types: tournaments and cash games.
In tournaments, you pay an upfront fee and play against other players until only one player has won all the chips in play.
In cash games, the money in front of you is real money, and you can rebuy if your stack gets low and continue playing if you lose a pot where you are “all-in.”
Tournaments come in a multitude of types.
The standard tournament begins at a set time, and there is a fixed schedule so you can play your favorite events at the same time every week.
Sit and go (SNG) tournaments begin when a predetermined number of players have registered. The most popular SNGs are single-table tournaments, so there is little time to wait after registering before the tournament begins.
Cash games also come in many flavors. Not only is the structure different, but the poker variant is different, too.
Many players first get interested in playing poker after seeing the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on TV.
The game played at the WSOP Main Event where the winner typically takes home $10 million is Texas No-Limit Hold’em. However, there are lots of games that all come under the generic name of poker.
No-limit hold’em: This poker variant is the most popular real-money game at PartyPoker NJ and PA.
The game offers blinds ranging from $0.01/$0.02 through to $25/$50 and played at tables of two to nine players.
Party Poker gives you an extensive selection of poker types to choose from but, in practice, the less common variants rarely find enough players to start a table.
If you do want to play, but there isn’t a game that’s running the type of variant and stakes you want, you can always use the “Friends” function to try to put together a table yourself.
Other poker variants at PartyPoker include:
A different type of cash game is known as fast-fold poker. Only available online, it creates a significant difference in that players join a pool rather than sit at a specific table.
Players from the pool are randomly allocated to tables for each hand. As each hand ends, players move to a new table with new opponents from the pool.
The name fast-fold poker comes from the option to fold your cards at any time. If you fold, you immediately move to a new hand on a new table. You can, of course, opt not to move and stay to see how any individual hand plays out.
So, this means you can play many more hands per hour than with normal cash games. Party Poker offers a version of fast-fold poker called Fast Forward.
It’s a lot of fun, but it is harder to get reads on opponents because they are constantly changing with every hand.
PartyPoker does not have high-traffic numbers in New Jersey, so Fast Forward games are hard to create.
In Pennsylvania, with its much higher population, Fast Forward games may be more popular.
Ultimately, when more states offer online poker and player pools can be merged after interstate compacts are signed, Fast Forward games should become mainstream.
Poker is a peer-to-peer game, which means you are playing against other players, not the house.
To make money from putting on the games, online poker operators charge fees for playing.
In tournaments, the fee is part of the buy-in but listed separately in the tournament lobby. At Party Poker, a tournament such as the daily $10K guaranteed event has a buy-in of $109.
In each tournament, the buy-in is split out into the money going into the prize pool: $100 and the money taken as a fee is $9.
In cash games, money is taken from each pot played under the principle of no flop, no drop.
In no-limit hold’em, this means if the hand ends before a flop is dealt, no rake is taken. The amount of rake taken from each pot is listed at the top center of the table. The amount increases as each round of betting takes place. However, it is subject to a cap, depending on the stakes and number of players seated.
|Stakes||Players||Rake Per Pot Cap|
|$0.01/$0.02 to $0.05/0.10||2 to 9||$0.01 $0.18 $1|
|$0.10/$0.25 to $2/$4||2||$0.01 $0.18 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.01 $0.18 $2|
|5 to 9||$0.01 $0.18 $3|
|$3/$6||2||$0.01 $0.18 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.01 $0.18 $2|
|$5/$10||2||$0.01 $0.18 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.01 $0.18 $2|
|5 to 9||$0.01 $0.18 $4|
|$10/$20||2||$0.01 $0.18 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.01 $0.18 $2|
|5 to 9||$0.01 $0.18 $4.50|
|$25/$50||2 to 3||$0.05 $0.90 $2|
|4 to 9||$0.05 $0.90 $5|
|Stakes||Players||Rake Per Pot Cap|
|$0.02/$0.04 to $0.10/$0.20||2 to 10||$0.01 $0.19 $0.50|
|$0.25/$0.50 to $1/$2||2 to 10||$0.05 $0.95 $1|
|$2/4||2||$0.25 $4.75 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.25 $4.75 $2|
|5 to 10||$0.25 $4.75 $3|
|$3/$6 to $10/$20||2||$0.50 $9.50 $1|
|3 to 4||$0.50 $9.50 $2|
|5 to 10||$0.50 $9.50 $3|
|$15/$30 to $30/$60||2||$1 $19 $1|
|3 to 4||$1 $19 $2|
|5 to 10||$1 $19 $3|
Rake Per Pot Cap: $0.01 $0.18 $0.50
Tournament rake is slightly higher at lower-stakes tournaments, averaging 10%.
At higher stakes, the percentage of the rake reduces, so the Sunday Major comes with a $215 buy-in, of which $15 is the fee at a rate of 7.5%.
Sit and gos (SNG) are an extremely popular form of tournament poker. The significant advantage is that the tournament starts as soon as the predetermined number of players are registered.
Party Poker offers turbo, hyper and coin-flip SNGs. The most popular games are “heads up,” where only two players are in the tournament and “six max” where six players enter.
Buy-ins range from $1 to $500, with the rake set lower than multi-table tournaments because the events last for a much shorter time.
Hyper tournaments are over in a matter of minutes.
SNG tournaments are usually single-table tournaments.
It’s fair to say that PartyPoker set out to differentiate itself in the New Jersey market by offering the best multi-table tournaments (MTT) with the biggest guarantees.
Online poker failed to take off in New Jersey, so PartyPoker had to rein in its ambitions. Nevertheless, it still offers some of the best online tournaments available in the US.
The biggest day of the week for poker tournaments is on Sunday, and PartyPoker’s flagship is a $40K Guaranteed event with a $215 buy-in.
The guarantee applies even if not enough players enter to help fund the prize pool. If that happens, the guarantee means PartyPoker digs into its own pockets to make up the difference.
Judging guarantees is a fine art.
Online poker is highly seasonal, so guarantees rise and fall with the seasons. It’s lower in the summer when people prefer to be out and about rather than sitting in front of their laptops. The late fall and winter are when guarantees reach their peaks, so the $40K guaranteed rarely underperforms.
In the summer, PartyPoker reduces the guarantee to around $35K to be in line with what other operators offer.
Throughout the year, PartyPoker reinforces its commitment to tournaments with special tournaments, such as the GSSS. This series offers a special selection of guaranteed tournaments of many types and variations.
It all depends on the regular weekly schedule, which includes daily deepstack events, turbo, knockout, bounty and multiple rebuy events.
Bounty events are particularly popular. Here, part of the prize fund is set aside to pay out as bounties.
Every player has a price on his or her head and, when you knock him or her out, you receive the bounty as an instant prize.
On the days when fewer are playing, Party Poker spices up the schedule to attract more tournament entries.
Every week, there is a $535 buy-in Mega Tuesday event offering a guaranteed prize pool of $15,000. There are satellite tournaments available for all PartyPoker’s major events. For Mega Tuesday, it starts at $5.
Satellite tournaments don’t offer cash as prizes; though they offer tickets to bigger money tournaments. Satellites are a great way to get a cheap shot at playing in a big-money event.
One of the most distinctive features of PartyPoker is its “Missions” and “Achievements” feature.
These are tasks that players can complete to achieve recognition or rewards.
For example, your mission may be to complete 10 SNGs or to play 100 hands of fast-forward poker. A fulfilled mission provides a prize in the form of cash or tournament tickets.
To start, click the “Missions Overview” and find the one you want to play. Once you start, you can keep tabs on it using the progress meter.
The “Achievements” feature a way of recognizing your progress as a poker player. There isn’t any need to register for it because PartyPoker rewards you for your regular play.
When you complete an “achievement,” you receive a “collectible,” which is a virtual badge.
Online poker operators try to make it as easy as possible to deposit and withdraw your money. PartyPoker.com is no exception with its full range of options to suit every need.
Banking methods include:
Party Poker processes withdrawals back to the original method that you use for the deposit, except cash and PayNearMe.
Easy and safe withdrawals are a significant benefit of playing online poker at a state-regulated site. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 made it illegal for non-US regulated gambling sites to use the US banking system for deposits or withdrawals.
Offshore illegal sites may be accessible to US citizens, but they are certainly not safe to trust with your money. Also, withdrawing cash takes a long time.
Party Poker’s customer service is generally excellent. Although, as with any customer service, there are occasional glitches.
If the site does make an honest mistake, PartyPoker usually offers generous compensation if, for example, it is unable to complete a large tournament.
There is also a live chat service.
Party Poker offers new players a more social and entertaining poker experience with a focus on top-quality tournaments.
Missions and achievements are fun and rewarding. The initial bonus offers are generous, and as part of a global online poker operator, PartyPoker US has first-class customer service, software and financial backing.
After the initial $25 free and the up to $1,000 first deposit bonus, Party Poker US continues to offer monthly promotions.
At the time of writing, these include a weekly reload bonus where you can get extra money to play casino games, a Saturday Saver where you can get 10% back if you don’t win and, of course, throughout the year there is the loyalty scheme.
PartyPoker does run satellite tournaments to live poker events held at its partner casinos. Check the tournament lobby for details.
PartyPoker is a great poker room for new players.
Party Poker was one of the first sites to adopt what the industry calls a recreational player model. This model recognizes that new players are critical to the company’s success and must have an enjoyable first poker experience if they are to become lifelong poker players.
At the moment, Party Poker is only licensed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has not yet joined any interstate compacts to allow players to share the same games and tournaments.
It should change in the next year or two, which would allow PartyPoker to offer even bigger tournament guarantees. Shared player pools also enable cash games to operate with more tables, especially at less popular poker variants and higher stake levels.