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Get $25 Free in New Jersey from the Original Online Poker Site
Party Poker was the first experience of online poker for a generation of players. This brand left the US after the UIGEA of 2006. They are now back, rolling out across regulated states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
With better software, a smartphone/iPhone app and new poker variants to enjoy – things have moved on since the poker boom years in many positive ways.
This detailed Party Poker review covers the legal sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, plus the bigger global poker room available from Canada, the UK and elsewhere. You’ll find out about the latest bonuses, games and software below.
Why Party Poker
$25 free with no deposit needed in NJ and PA
Get 100% matched bonus up to $1000
Easy poker games in cash game, tournament and ‘SPINS’
Regulated States: Party Poker Bonus Information and Promo Codes
In the regulated states, new players at Party Poker get $25 free – no deposit needed. You will need to use the Party Poker code PLAYNJCASH to claim this. Simply register, and as soon as Party Poker have verified your details, you get $25 credited to your account.
This comes in the form of poker cash game and tournament buy-ins, and casino credit (in states where this is available):
$10 to enjoy cash games including fastforward poker.
$5 for poker tournament buy-ins
$10 to enjoy casino games
This no-deposit bonus is a great way to check out the site and find the games you enjoy the most. There is a bigger bonus to follow, in the form of a match to your first deposit up to $1000. This bonus will clear into your account in 10 equal parts as you collect points from the real money games. You can deposit any amount from $10 up to the full $1000.
In New Jersey, Party Poker run 3 different sites with their partners Borgata and MGM. While this review covers the main Party Poker NJ site, you can also play (and claim bonuses) at Borgata Poker and BetMGM. All 3 sites have the same game-selection, pooling players on a common back end. They also provide an online casino through PartyCasino and Borgata.
In Pennsylvania, the main Party Poker site is available in partnership with Valley Forge Casino.
Party Poker New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Promotions and Loyalty Rewards
You’ll find a simple loyalty scheme with 4 levels at the US Party Poker sites. You earn points for playing any real money poker format. As you move through the tiers, the redemption value of the points you collect increases. They can be exchanged for cash or tournament tickets. You can buy entry into the bigger ($215) tournaments.
Here are the loyalty levels:
Bronze: Base level, points are worth 6.7% returns on your fees
Silver: At 50 points+ each month, returns improve to 15.4%
Gold: At 750+ points each month, returns for your points are 20.5%
Palladium: Top level, 2000+ points/month needed with 30.7% returns.
There are plenty of regular and one-off promotions in addition to the evergreen loyalty rewards package. These include cash back on Saturdays, a weekly reload bonus and cross over incentives for the casino section of the site.
Global Player Bonuses and Promotions at Party Poker
Players from Canada, the UK, Ireland and elsewhere can also enjoy generous new player bonuses at Party Poker. You’ll need to make a deposit to get a bonus from these countries. Instead of a matched bonus, you can claim up to $30/£40 in tokens for making a $10/£10 deposit.
These tokens are for the ‘SPINS’ tournaments. They are spread over your first 6 days.
Loyalty rewards at the global site give you up to 40% cash-back. This is automatically paid into your account each Monday. There are leaderboard promotions for tournaments, sit n goes and SPINS – plus plenty of one-off promotions which are often linked to the big tournament events.
Downloading the Party Poker Software
To get the best from Party Poker, the full software installation for your desktop or laptop is the way to go. There are versions for Mac and Windows computers. You’ll see the orange ‘free download’ buttons on the NJ and PA websites.
Apps are also available. In regulated states the Party Poker app for Android and iOS devices is currently limited to single table tournament games. Globally you can access the other poker formats through the app. To install these, choose ‘mobile’ from the ‘get started’ menu, and follow the prompts. Android users will need to install the app direct from the Party Poker website.
The software client has had a significant refresh since Party were last in the US. This is a smart orange and dark grey. You can find the different game formats, and filter for the buy-in, table size or variation that you prefer. The tables are resizable, with smooth graphics and faster action than many other online poker sites.
Registering an account is very easy. Among the personal information you’ll be asked for is your date of birth and last 4 digits of your Social Security number. These will be cross referenced to ensure that minors are not allowed to play. You need to be 21+, although there is no requirement to be a permanent resident of NJ or PA. You will only be able to access the games while physically inside state lines.
Party Poker Traffic and Game Types
In the US, Party Poker operates on a state-by-state basis. Until such a time that players can be shared across multiple states, the numbers online will be smaller.
In New Jersey, the numbers are boosted by 3 poker sites having a common back end. With Party Poker NJ, Borgata Poker and PlayMGM Poker all running on the Party platform, you’ll find a choice of games available. Compared to the global site, these numbers are small (80 cash game players and many times that in the tournaments).
Innovative new poker formats are now available. What they need is a critical mass of players to get the full benefit. This is especially marked with the ‘fastforward’ games. These are ‘fast fold’ cash games, which pool players to avoid dead time when not in a hand. If the states are able to link up their player pools, this format will come into its own.
Traffic is bigger when special tournament events run, including the $40k guaranteed Sunday event in New Jersey each week.
Here are the main game formats:
Cash Games: Available in No-Limit Hold’em, PLO and O8 with limited numbers of 7 card stud games (globally). Table sizes are 2, 6 and 9-players, with max buy-ins ranging from $2.
Fastforward Poker: Players enter pools and are recombined with others to start a hand as soon as they fold in the last one. This is available in NL Hold’em format.
Tournaments: From micro buy-ins to the $40k Sunday. Variants include rebuys, knockouts and turbo games.
Sit N Goes: In the regulated states, one table tournaments are available via mobile phone apps, as well as the main site.
SPINS: This is the name for the lottery Sit N Goes at Party. The prize pool is randomly decided after the games start.
PowerFest Events and Satellite Qualifiers
Party Poker run multiple tournament events on their global site – along with smaller ones on the state sites. The biggest of these are known as ‘PowerFest’. They typically run for 2 weeks and include a series of tournaments with big prize pools – along with leaderboard style promotions. Buy-ins are split into bands, tagged with the weight categories used in boxing.
Other events include tournament series linked to progressive knockout MTTs, satellite qualifiers (with WPT events a frequent target) and the ‘Sunday Majors’ which run each week.
New Jersey features a Sunday Major with a $215 buy-in and $40k guaranteed prize pool. You’ll also find other bigger tournaments on the ‘Super Tuesday’ each week.
Is Party Poker Legal?
This site is run by the corporate giant GVC. They have licenses in every jurisdiction that they operate in – and have shown in the past that they are quick to exit any ‘grey markets’. Party were among the first brands to pull out of the US after the 2006 UIGEA law was passed.
In the regulated states, partnerships are required with brick and mortar casinos which hold the online gambling licenses. In New Jersey there are three ‘Skins’ sharing players to create a bigger poker site. Here Party have teamed up with the Borgata Casino. They have three sites, with an MGM and Borgata site in addition to the Party Poker branded one.
In Pennsylvania, GVC have partnered with the Valley Forge Casino to launch their Party Poker branded site.
Globally, Party Poker have a Gibraltar license. They have additional licenses in the UK and for country-specific sites in France, Spain and elsewhere.
Funding Your Party Poker Account
Regulation of online gambling sites means that you can fund your poker account using the same cards and wallet services that you use for buying goods and services online. You can also fund your Party Poker account at the cage of the Borgata Casino in New Jersey, or the Valley Forge Casino in Pennsylvania.
Here are the main alternatives:
Your regular bank cards will work for deposits. These include the Visa Electron type cards. Making a credit or debit card deposit works in exactly the same way as buying anything online.
Party Poker Discover Card:
This is a branded debit card, which you can apply for separately via Party. It works as a prepaid card, which you can fund from your bank or via credit cards. Once set up, you can use this for deposits and withdrawals – or simply spend the balance.
This popular wallet service works for both deposits and withdrawals. It provides a secure gateway between your bank and poker sites. PayPal is well known for their buyer protection policies.
This service works in a similar way to PayPal, with slightly lower fees. Skrill was popular among poker players globally before returning to the US with regulation of the sites.
An eCheck is a bank transfer using ACH. The ‘instant’ part kicks in if you get pre-verified with a 3rd party called ‘VIP Preferred’. These transfers work for withdrawals as well as deposits.
Online Banking Transfer:
You can make a local bank transfer from a list of major banks. These include Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Wells Fargo.
This option uses cash - and is an alternative to taking your banknotes to the casino cage. Instead you can make deposits at the cashier of your local 7-Eleven store.
Online Poker and Responsible Gaming at Party Poker
You’ll find a video covering the different aspects of Party Poker’s commitment to responsible gaming via a link in the website footer. The idea is to keep gaming fun, adding protection and tools to assist individuals that may develop problems.
There is a questionnaire online – under the heading ‘Are you at risk?’. This goes through some key questions about your gambling behavior which are designed to highlight any problem areas. If you find some areas of concern, then links and phone numbers are available to get advice and help.
Finally, Party Poker have a set of tools which allow you to manage your online gambling activity. These include the ability to set limits (for deposits, play and time online), and to take a time-out or completely self-exclude from the site.
Customer Service Options
Party Poker has a detailed FAQ page. This is divided into 4 categories:
Note that these are separate from the rules and strategies of poker – you’ll find tutorials for these elsewhere on the site.
If you need to get in touch with an agent, the fastest ways are via the telephone or live chat. This is one of 4 options:
Wrapping Up: How Does Party Poker Compare to Other Legal Poker Sites?
Party Poker left the US in 2006 – though have been successfully running sites in regulated markets around the world since then. They are now back in the US, with sites running within the borders of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These include the Party Poker branded site, and additional ‘Skins’ (which share players) via the PlayMGM and Borgata Poker brands.
Things have improved considerably. You’ll find new software, smartphone apps and new poker formats including SPINS and fastforward poker.
New players in the regulated states can claim $25 in free play, without needing to make a deposit. This gives you an opportunity to check out the games with no risk – and maybe even build a poker bankroll without ever needing to make a payment.
If you like what you find, a 100% matched bonus up to $1000 is also available.
Check out the new games – and grab your $25 free – over at partypoker.com now!
Party Poker FAQ
Is Party Poker safe?
Yes. Party Poker is one of the biggest and best respected poker brands. Your money will be safe, whether you are playing at one of the state-regulated sites or the global one. Party are dedicated to player protection through their responsible gaming policy – and have a reputation for fast withdrawals and fair bonus terms.
Is the deal at Party Poker rigged?
No. Billions of hand of online poker have been dealt over the years. Zero evidence has ever emerged that the deal is anything but completely random. This includes RNG audits, tracking services and the hand history databases of individual players. As much as bad poker players like to complain that the deal was against them, this is proven to be random.
Can I play against players from around the world?
If you are playing at the regulated sites in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, then you will not play against others from the global player pool. If you are playing from Canada or the UK, you will play against people from all over the world. Note that come countries (including France) also have segregated versions of the site.
Can I play against players from other states?
For now, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware share (pool) poker players. With New Jersey the only state from this list where Party are active, you won’t play against anyone from outside your state.
This is due to an ongoing legal debate over the scope of the ‘Wire Act’. Many poker players hope that once this is resolved, player pools will be merged, allowing for a bigger choice of games and bigger tournament guarantees.
How does geo-location work at Party Poker?
Geo-location software makes sure that you are inside state lines before allowing you to play real money poker games. If there is any doubt about your location, you will not be able to play.
Is there a mobile version of Party Poker?
Yes. Apps exist for both Android devices and iPhones. In regulated states, these apps only run single-table tournaments. Globally, you can also access the other poker variants, including fastforward poker.