Party Poker Review
Partypoker, formally known as PartyPoker, was one of the first online poker rooms in the game, launching in 2001. It was the largest poker room on the internet until 2006, when it was forced out of the United States market by the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 by the United States congress. PokerStars was able to fill the void left by Partypoker in the U.S. and subsequently took the title of largest poker room on the internet.
Originally launched by the Caribbean-based PartyGaming plc in 2001, Partypoker was purchased for £1.1 billion in 2016 by GVC Holdings, an online gambling operator based in the Isle of Man, after a bidding battle with rival gaming group 888 Holdings who operates 888 Poker.
Who Can Play?
You must be over the age of 18 to play cash games on Partypoker. Only U.S. residents that reside in the state of New Jersey are allowed to play for real money on Partypoker, the same as PokerStars. You also have to be 21 years old to play in the New Jersey. All the other European countries, Canada, Mexico, South American and South East Asian countries are acceptable, however, as well as Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Players from Spain and France cannot play with other international players. Instead, they play on fenced-off versions, where they can only play locally with other people in the same country which creates much lower traffic. This is the same as PokerStars.
As with most online poker rooms, using a VPN to player real money games from a restricted country is against the terms and conditions of your player account, so doing this always poses the risk of losing the earnings you have in the account. Typically, they also try to verify your identity by the address and sign-up information you provide. The website operators have a way of doing an identity background check and will ban your account if you cannot provide identifying information for someone with an address in the proper jurisdiction.
In order to be able to withdraw funds or deposit more than 2000 in currency cumulatively, a player must provide a scan of their passport or government issued I.D. to verify their identity.
You must download the client software to play. It is available on Windows and OSX, and iOS and Android for mobile.
When you sign up for an account with Partypoker and make a minimum cash deposit of $10 (or Euros or Pounds, depending on what currency you choose to use, and Partypoker accepts US dollar, euro, British pound, Canadian dollar, Japanese yen), you will receive $22 in tickets for tournament buy-ins. These tickets are comprised of satellite tickets calculated at 4 x $5.50. These four tickets will be removed from a player’s account after 7 days if they are unused.
Players may also receive up to 40% cash back each week. Players accumulate 1 point for every $1 in rake back they generate on partypoker.com. The accumulated points reset once a week. In order to participate in the cash back program, a player must accumulate 25 points per week.
You can see a table explaining the different tiers and corresponding cash back percentage here.
Basically, the bottom-most tier is 20% cash back. So 25 points will get you $5 cash deposited into your account, 100 points will get you $20 in your account. After that, for points ranging from 150 to 500, the cash back rate is 25%, so $37.50 for 150 points, $125 for 500 points. For 600 to 1000 points accumulated in a week, the cash back is 30% and for 1200 to 2000 points the cash back rate is 40%. For every 200 points you accumulate after 2000 in a week, you will receive 40% cash back on the 200 points.
Partypoker VIP program is called “The Diamond Club.” Diamond Club get a fixed 40 per cent weekly cash-back payment, which is topped up to 50% once players meet the required rake target of $100,000 per year in rake fees. So as you can see, for high rollers only. Diamond club members also get access to 24/7 direct customer service. There is an additional super level called the “Diamond Club Elite,” which gets a player 60 per cent cash back if they generate over $200,000 in rake fees per year.
Partypoker has many options for depositing money for real cash play. A player can deposit money using a credit card such as Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club International. A player can also make deposit by electronic funds transfer directly from a banking account, or use Instant Banking to deposit from their online banking service, provided the player has a bank account with one of the participating banks. Depending on what country you live in the number of banks available for this will vary. Instadebit and iDebit are also another option for using online banking. Players can also use prepaid vouchers via PaySafecard
Being one of the largest online poker room means Partypoker offers a lot of promos and bonuses, and daily freerolls are held on Partypoker, prizes in freeroll games are at least $100,000 every month. Daily freeroll prize pool is more than $20,000
Partypoker also has many freeroll games for non-cash prizes, such as vouchers to large offline. Partypoker also has a fair amount of regular freeroll promotions throughout the year with large cash prize pools.
Various closed communities schedule regular free roll games, and the passwords to those games can be found in different places around the internet.
Partypoker has a chart outlining rake fees here. For Cash games, it is $0.01 for every $0.20 in the pot, up to a maximum of $0.50 for stakes between $0.02/$0.04 & $0.05/$0.1 involving 2-10 players. That’s about 5% of the pot. Rake fees stay 5% until the stakes reach $50/$100 to $250/$500, then it goes down to 1%. That also happens to be the highest stake you can play on Partypoker.
According to Alexa traffic metric, partypoker.com is the 68,759th most popular website on the internet, and 17,745th most popular in the United Kingdom, but it has declined more than 3,000 positions since October 2017.
When we signed into the party poker platform on a Saturday at 2 p.m. EST, the time zone of Toronto and New York City, there were 13,000 active players in cash games on 3100 tables, according to the Partypoker software.
Types of Games
Partypoker’s cash games are limited to Texas Hold’em in the fixed-limit, no-limit, and pot limit varieties, and pot-limit Omaha and fixed-limit 7 card stud. That is less selection that PokerStars, but few online poker players play any other kind so Partypoker just focuses on the core of what most people want and simplifies your options.
Partypoker has about 6 – 8 cash game tables at any given time that are operating by “fastforward” rules. This essentially is a way of allowing you to play multiple cash game tables at once, playing at different tables while you wait for a new hand to come to one of the other tables you are playing. It is a popular strategy with new cash game low stakes grinders. Fastforward allows you to sit at up to 4 tables at once, which may be on the low side for some.
Partypoker also has an offering of regularly schedule tournaments with large prizes. One of their signature tournament series in the Power Series, which they say offers $6 million in prizes every week. The Power Series includes a major Sunday tournament. Once a month a Power Series tournament is selection to be a Special Edition of the tournament and prizes will range from $100,000 to $200,000
They always keep a calendar of upcoming tournaments on their website here. It seems that all the tournaments are Texas Hold ‘em style. Buy-in is from $5 - $500.
Best Strategy for Beginners
Other than learning the basics of being good at poker, a player new to online poker should start with small stakes cash games and play many hands until they build up a good sized bankroll. Then players can try entering tournaments where a small buy-in can translated into large cash rewards.
Partypoker website itself has lots of information on how to get started with playing online poker: they have a “poker school” which you can find here, which walks players through the basics of poker strategy, cash games and different types of tournaments.
Customer Support, Security and Bots
Partypoker’s customer service is generally regarded as being as bad as any other online poker room: they are very unresponsive and card to get a hold of. Some people in online forums report 2-3 week response times for email inquiries. While, on the security side, Partypoker admitted at the end of 2017 that there had been a collusion ring operating on their high-stakes MTTs, which lead to bans of those involved and reimbursements for those affected.
At the time, a Partypoker representative said that the fact was that detecting fraudulent activity required a lot of manpower, and Partypoker relied on its users to alert them to suspicious activity. Partypoker does not seem to be regarded as having a severe bot problem, although as with all online poker rooms there are accusations made in forums pretty often. But if bots or collusion is exposed by players, it seems that Partypoker is inclined to do something if people just make enough noise about it.
It seems to be the general consensus online that the competition is much weaker on Partypoker than on PokerStars. People report a high number of loose players, passive players and players who are aggressive when they don’t have the cards to back it up. Yet they still go all in.
Party Poker was established in 2001 and was one of the original places to play online poker. Their software is a pleasure to use, and in recent years they have stepped up their game offering a lot of welcome bonuses and good rake back deals to their valued members. They have a wide selection of tournaments and enough player traffic to have a micro to low stakes cash games running 24/7
Partypoker is more or less as good of PokerStars, and indeed, many online poker players play on both platforms. For cash games, Partypoker is generally regarded as being better than PokerStars for making money, and some say Partypoker has more freeroll options. However, competition is heating up between Partypoker and PokerStars. PokerStars announced on January 21st 2019 that the buy-in for their Sunday Million tournament was being reduced from $215 to just $109, which many suspect is a move to compete with Partypoker. The $215 price tag for buy-in had been in place since 2006, so these are changes to longstanding pricing structures taking place. For an online poker player, we would recommend keeping an eye on both rooms for upcoming promotions and special offers, as PokerStars and Partypoker increase their rivalry over the next 12 months.