The Only Brutally Honest Party Poker Review You’ll Need
Party Poker has one of the best real-money poker apps online for both iOS and Android.
The instant $20 bonus doesn’t require gameplay and is on top of the 100% bonus offer.
Party Poker is consistently rates in the top 10 worldwide for player traffic.
Conclusion of my Party Poker Review:
After first reviewing Party Poker back in 2005, this online poker site still receives very high ratings in many of my tests. The deposit bonus is one of the highlights at 100% and another $20 in cash is added without the BTF bonus code. The PartyPoker app is especially strong, allowing money play from any iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Party Poker Info
Name: Party Poker
Network: Proprietary closed network
Online for poker since: 2001
Owner: GVC Holdings
Company location: Malta
Licensed by: Gibraltar Gambling Authority & UK Gambling Commission
Phone number: 877-447-2183
Instant deposit bonus
100% up to $500
$20 with no requirements
- Excellent stable real-money app
- One of the only instant bonuses
- Texas Hold'em
I’ve personally played at Party Poker since 2004. Both the software and payouts have passed my tests for inclusion on Beat The Fish.
Party Poker Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
|Minimum deposit $/€/£||Available for deposits||Available for withdrawals|
Party Poker Game Limits
|Game||Minimum Limit||Maximum Limit|
|Fast Forward (Fast-Fold)||.02/.05||$2/$5|
|Fixed Limit 7 Card Stud||.50/1||$30/60|
- 1 The Only Brutally Honest Party Poker Review You’ll Need
- 1.1 Party Poker
- 1.2 Pros
- 1.3 Cons
- 1.4 Conclusion of my Party Poker Review:
- 1.5 Party Poker Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
- 1.6 Party Poker Game Limits
- 1.7 Party Poker in a Nutshell
- 1.8 TL;DR – Party Poker Overall
- 1.9 The Party Poker Deposit Bonus
- 1.10 TL;DR – Party Poker Promos and Bonus
- 1.11 The Party Poker Mobile App
- 1.12 TL;DR – Party Poker for iOS and Android
- 1.13 How to Use the Party Poker Mobile App
- 1.14 Step 1
- 1.15 Step 2
- 1.16 Step 3
- 1.17 Step 4
- 1.18 Step 5
- 1.19 Step 6
- 1.20 Step 7
- 1.21 Party Poker Deposits
- 1.22 TL;DR – How easy is it to deposit at Party Poker?
- 1.23 Party Poker Payouts
- 1.24 TL;DR – Withdrawals from Party Poker
- 1.25 Party Poker Fish Rating
- 1.26 TL;DR – What is the level of play at Party Poker?
- 1.27 Party Poker Tournaments
- 1.28 TL;DR – Party Poker Tournament Schedule
- 1.29 Party Poker Software
- 1.30 TL;DR – The Party Poker software client
- 1.31 Party Poker Traffic
- 1.32 TL;DR – How busy the games are at Party Poker
- 1.33 Party Poker History
- 1.33.1 Party Poker beginnings
- 1.33.2 1997
- 1.33.3 2001
- 1.33.4 2002
- 1.33.5 2005
- 1.33.6 June 2005
- 1.33.7 2006
- 1.33.8 October 2006
- 1.33.9 2008
- 1.33.10 2009
- 1.33.11 2010
- 1.33.12 2013
- 1.33.13 One of the first
- 1.33.14 Cutting off the skins
- 1.33.15 Party Poker back in the day
- 1.33.16 First in player numbers, but behind in tech
- 1.33.17 2006 and the departure from the US market
- 1.33.18 The post-UIGEA era
- 1.33.19 Party Poker is currently a solid mid-tier poker site
- 1.34 Party Poker Support
- 1.35 Strategy for Winning More at Party Poker
Party Poker in a Nutshell
Staying on top (mostly)
From being one of the industry leaders to having to deal with losing with most of their customers due to the UIGEA that devastated US-facing sites, Party Poker has been through a lot.
However, they’ve weathered all the storms and even today, they remain one of the online poker industry leaders.
These days, Party Poker remains in the top ten poker sites in terms of player traffic, and they are usually closer to the first half.
This makes it clear that there are still many players who enjoy playing at Party and I still mostly do myself.
Very good bonus package includes upfront money
Over the past few years, Party Poker has been heavily focusing on recreational players in response to the almost-irreparable tightening of cash games, and that’s why their VIP program has undergone a number of serious changes.
In the midst of these changes, they started offering an instant $20 deposit bonus for recreational players.
However, this doesn’t mean that serious players looking for some true value are stiffed.
Party Poker still offers a very generous 100% bonus up to $500 in addition to the $20 free, so if you’re considering joining this room for the first time and have a decent bankroll, you should definitely take a full advantage of this offer.
Significantly improved software
For a long time, one of the biggest Party Poker’s downfalls was their software solution.
It was simply no match for other industry leaders like PokerStars and Full Tilt. However, after some of the latest revamps, the platform players get to play on these days is very decent.
This isn’t to say that Party Poker doesn’t have its shortcomings still, and there’s always more work to be done.
However, their new software features modern looks and gives many advanced options that can help you set up everything just the way you like it.
Anonymous tables have beneficially turned away many pros
Another feature that Party Poker introduced as a part of their efforts to turn to recreational players was making all of their cash game tables anonymous.
If you play at Party Poker theses days, you won’t be able to see the names of people you’re up against, just designations like Player 1, Player 2, etc.
Of course, this isn’t so good if you are someone used to running poker tracking software while playing, as anonymity renders it useless.
At the same time, this shift has turned away many pros, so if you don’t mind gathering information manually as you play, there is still money to be made at Party.
TL;DR – Party Poker Overall
- One of the oldest online poker sites still online
- Excellent bonus package with 100% and $20 extra without gameplay
- Improved software client and very good mobile app
- Tournament schedule is top-tier
- Concerted effort to reduce tough full-time grinder clientele
The Party Poker Deposit Bonus
Big Party Poker bonus, up to $500
Party Poker offers a nice 100% bonus up to $500 for all new players, which is definitely among the more generous offers in the industry these days.
It isn’t breathtaking, but it definitely is a very nice boost for serious players looking to boost their bankrolls.
Be sure to use the BTF Party Poker bonus code to make sure you unlock everything.
Tiny minimum deposit at $5
The minimum deposit required to trigger the bonus is just $5, but since this is a chance you only get once, you’d be best off depositing as much as you can and, if possible, claim the full bonus.
This simply makes sense, since Party Poker is a reputable room, and you’ll be able to withdraw your funds easily at all times without archaic rollover requirements.
As usually with poker bonuses, the bonus cash isn’t given out at once, but rather released in increments.
Bonus release rate
With Party Poker, 10% of the total bonus will be released every time you earn 0.12 loyalty points worth of the total bonus.
To release the full amount, you’ll need to earn 12x the value of the bonus in loyalty points.
For example, if you claimed a $100 bonus, you’d need to make $120 worth of loyalty points to clear the full amount.
Every time you make $12 worth of loyalty points, you’d receive $10 of your bonus.
Extra $20 instantly on top of the 100%
If you aren’t after a big deposit bonus and would rather have more money in your account to start with, Party Poker offers that option as well.
A couple of years back, Party Poker started to turn more towards recreational players, despite loud protests from many of their regular players.
Apart from numerous changes to their VIP program, game selection, and more, they also added a special welcome bonus for recreational players.
These days, when signing up with Party Poker you can instantly claim $20, after you deposit at least $10.
The bonus structure
After depositing $10, players will receive $10 to try out Party Poker cash game tables.
Those new to the game can hop on one of the Casual Cash Game tables, designed specifically for inexperienced players. At these tables, you’ll only find players who are happy to play a single table at the time, which effectively eliminates all the grinders out there.
In addition to this free $10 for cash games, players will also receive $10 worth of tournament tokens to be used for Power Series. You’ll get three tickets, as follows:
- 1 x $5.50 ticket
- 1 x $ 2.20 ticket
- 2 x $ 1.10 tickets
New Party Poker players will have 14 days to claim their bonus offer after they make their first deposit.
After 14 days have passed, you’ll lose your chance to take advantage of the welcome offer.
Once accepted, the bonus can be used for play for the next 40 days.
During this period, players need to accumulate at least 20 Party Points to be able to withdraw the bonus and any related winnings.
It is also important to note that this bonus is restricted to one household/device, etc.
This means that if there are a few people using the same computer to play poker, only one of them will be able to claim the bonus, and it is important to keep this rule in mind as otherwise you risk not only losing your bonus, but also having your account closed for breaching the site’s T&C.
Party Poker bonus verdict
It’s nice to see that Party Poker offers two types of bonuses, catering to serious players and recreational players alike.
Their standard $500 welcome bonus is certainly a nice boost to your bankroll, and those who spend a lot of time grinding away at the tables should have no problems clearing the full amount.
On the other hand, for those new to the game, it’s nice to have some cash and tournament tickets issued the moment they claim the offer, meaning you don’t need to meet any requirements.
The Party Poker welcome bonus will give you extra $20 to play with instantly and start building your poker bankroll.
Other cool promos & free money
Apart from the welcome bonuses, Party Poker also offers quite a few other promotions players will know to appreciate.
Free Jab tickets – if you enjoy sports betting as it is, Party Poker will award you with free $5.50 Jab ticket for placing a combo-bet of $5 or more in their sportsbook. If you lose the bet, you’ll receive the ticket to the Power Series tournament held every day, with up to $10,000 guaranteed.
Get Started Missions – geared towards new players, Party Poker Get Started Missions will award you with more free cash for performing simple tasks like playing a few cash game hands or joining a sit & go tournament. You can use these to easily claim extra few bucks, as there are seven of these missions in total.
The Gladiator – for more serious cash game players, The Gladiator awards those who make the most points at the cash tables during the month with some great prizes – from freeroll tickets all the way up to $2,500 in cash. This one, however, will require some hard work and dedication.
TL;DR – Party Poker Promos and Bonus
- Big $500 bonus for serious players
- Instant $20 bonus for those just starting
- Nice offer for new players to start building their bankrolls
- Plenty of other promos for new & experienced players
- New players can easily claim some extra free cash through Get Started Missions
The Party Poker Mobile App
Available for all Android and iOS devices
Although Party Poker may have lagged behind the competition for a while for real-money poker apps, they’ve certainly caught up.
Their mobile app allowing players to access the full array of both cash games and tournaments on the go is a great testimony to this.
The Party Poker app is available both directly from Google Play (for Android phone and tablets) and the App Store (for both iPhone and iPad).
Players are able to browse the entire Party Poker software, access all cash game and tournament tables, and all this is done through a sleek and very user-friendly interface.
For those who remember Party Poker from the old days, their mobile app is really a pleasant surprise.
The Party Poker mobile app is certainly a nice addition in this day and age where everything is done using our mobile devices.
It gives you a chance to play on the go, which is particularly convenient while travelling or in similar situations.
The team behind the app clearly put forth some serious effort to deliver a nice product, and Party Poker mobile is probably one of the best real-money mobile poker experiences there is right now.
Just about everything is possible via the app
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Party Poker app, you’ll be able to log in using the same credentials you use for the desktop software.
If this is your first time with Party Poker in general, you can do everything from your mobile device, including creating a brand new account (steps are described below).
Once you log in, you’ll notice that the app lets you do pretty much everything you’d be able to do from your computer. This includes:
- Making deposits
- Requesting withdrawals
- Join cash game tables
- Register for and play in tournaments and Sit & Go’s
- Adjust table options
TL;DR – Party Poker for iOS and Android
- Dedicated app available for Androids and iPhones
- Very nice design
- Quality user interface
- Deposit and withdraw from your mobile
- Play in all cash games and tournaments
How to Use the Party Poker Mobile App
Visit Party Poker via your phone or tablet and you’ll immediately be able to download the mobile client for iOS or Android.
Install the app on your device, launch it, and tap on Create an Account. You can also log in if you already have an account. The following window will pop up, prompting you to fill in your details.
Once you’ve filled in your data and registered your account, you’ll be able to log in from the main app screen.
When you log in, you’ll see the mobile lobby. From here, you can navigate anywhere you’d like, including cash games, fast-fold, Sit and Go’s, and tournaments.
If you’d like to deposit using the app, simply click on the orange “Deposit” button at the bottom of the main lobby and you’ll be taken to the cashier, where you’ll see all available options.
You can access various lobbies to find the games you’d like to play.
Once you’ve made your choice, simply join the table you’re interested in, take your seat, and start playing.
Party Poker Deposits
Cashier has almost every method there is
Party Poker offers a huge number of deposit methods, and you’ll basically find any option imaginable.
From popular credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, to e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, and Webmoney, and much more, Party Poker offers a huge variety of choices to cater to players from all over the world.
Available methods depends on your country
Of course, not all the methods are available to everyone.
The list of available options will depend primarily on your country of residence and local laws, but regardless of where you’re playing from, you’re likely to find at least a couple of convenient methods.
Naturally, Party Poker tries to streamline the deposit process for their players, as you can simply click on your country on the deposit page and find out what methods are available to you personally.
Party Poker and PayPal
Like many other big rooms, Party Poker has picked up on the fact that PayPal now allows regulated gambling transactions and were all too happy to jump at the opportunity.
Given how fast and reliable this e-wallet is, this is hardly a surprise. There are no fees for either depositing or withdrawing via PayPal.
Only available to residents of the United Kingdom
Sadly, as of right now, only players from the UK can use PayPal to deposit or withdraw from Party Poker.
While the e-wallet has changed its stance towards online gambling, they are still very cautious as to who is allowed to use these services. We can only hope that more countries will be added in the near future.
Funding your account
Once you’ve found the method you’d like to use, depositing with Party Poker is as simple as it gets.
Simply navigate to the deposit section in your cashier, picked your preferred method, and you’ll be taken to a new page where you’ll need to fill in the necessary details.
The site will guide you through the process, so it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to get everything done, claim your bonus, and start playing.
Using credit cards
Credit cards remain one of the most popular deposit methods for online poker players around the globe, and Party Poker offers a great variety of available credit and debit cards you can fund your account with.
For the most part, you’ll have no problems depositing via any of the major cards, unless your bank bans gambling transactions or local laws don’t allow to send money to online gambling operators.
In this case, your best option is to use one of e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller.
TL;DR – How easy is it to deposit at Party Poker?
- Great selection of deposit methods
- All major credit & debit cards available
- PayPal deposits for UK players
- Full list of deposit methods available for particular countries
Party Poker Payouts
Receive your withdrawals promptly
One of the most reliable aspects of Party Poker is the fact that withdrawals are processed quickly and you’ll receive your money soon after requesting a cashout.
The fastest methods are, as always, e-wallets, which will take about 24 hours while credit card withdrawals can take 3-5 days.
Party Poker is one of those rooms that have been around for quite a while and they’re very well-versed in payment processing.
Where will my withdrawals go?
It is important to know that, according to Party Poker policy, all of your cashouts are first sent to the latest deposit method used, up to the amount of the deposit(s).
An example of this would be if you used a credit card to make a $100 deposit, went on a heater, and wanted to cash out $1,000 two weeks later.
In this case you would be refunded $100 back to your credit card regardless of your chosen payout method. The remaining $900 would then be processed via your method of choice, such as bank draft or Skrill.
Of course, this doesn’t apply if you used one of the methods that can be used for deposits only.
Security checks prior to withdrawals
Of course, like with almost any reputable online poker room, you’ll have to provide the proof of identity and verify your address before you’re allowed to cash out.
This can be a bit of a hassle at times, but this is a procedure that Party Poker is obligated to observe by government licensing authorities.
What’s required for verification
You’ll usually have to provide your photo ID, a utility bill with your address and, possibly, photos or scans of all credit cards used to deposit.
You can obscure some of the numbers if you are afraid to share your sensitive financial information.
TL;DR – Withdrawals from Party Poker
- Wide selection of withdrawal methods
- Cashouts processed quickly
- Account verifications are common practice
- Withdrawals are first sent to the latest deposit method used
Party Poker Fish Rating
Incredibly loose players in the old days
During the golden age of Party Poker, some ten (or more) years ago, the room was populated with some of the loosest, softest players imaginable.
Making money at Party Poker was fairly easy for anyone with even fundamental knowledge of poker.
The reason for this was simple: Party Poker was investing a lot of funds into marketing, and these marketing efforts translated into many new players pouring in, looking to try their luck at the tables.
Many of these players were very inexperienced, and making good profit was easily achievable.
The shift to grinding pros was unsustainable
Then, at some point, Party Poker started to attract more and more serious players, primarily thanks to their rewarding VIP scheme, which gave back a lot to players putting in a lot of volume.
Similar to PokerStars, their VIP program was a perfect choice for hardcore grinders playing dozens of tables at a time.
With this shift, Party stopped being the gold mine it used to be.
Making money at the tables was no longer easy, as you had to face off against some really tough players and being even break-even in these games required a lot of effort.
The current trend towards protecting recreational players
After a while, Party Poker came to realize that catering to hardcore, serious players wasn’t right for them and they did away with the rewards program and introduced measures to protect their recreational players.
They went as far as to segregate player pools, denying grinders access to the proverbial fish.
Weak players have been making a comeback
These changes had a big effect on the Party Poker player pool, as good players started to leave, not being able to meet their goals at Party Poker.
Thanks to this, the percentage of weak players at the tables increased once again, creating a much fishier environment.
Integration of casino may be helping game quality
When Party Poker introduced their online casino, the poker community was divided, as some believed casino games would drive the traffic away from the tables.
While there is no denying this is happening to some extent, the online casino has probably had an overall positive impact on the economy.
It isn’t at all uncommon for casino players to jump over to poker tables for a change of pace. Many of these crossover casino/poker players are rather clueless and are there simply to gamble or have a good time.
Sharing a table with one of these players can be a very rewarding experience.
TL;DR – What is the level of play at Party Poker?
- Party Poker went through several stages in terms of game toughness
- A few years back, company shifted their focus towards recreational players
- You’ll find many inexperienced players at Party Poker
- A lot of casino players join poker tables to have some fun
- Anonymous tables help to discourage better players who rely on tracking software
Party Poker Tournaments
A top choice for tournament players
I often say in my reviews that a particular site isn’t PokerStars, and that phrase is often used to describe tournament schedules of various poker non-PokerStars sites.
However, with Party Poker, tournament players of all shapes and sizes will probably find a large enough schedule to keep busy.
Party Poker tournament schedule is filled with interesting events of different buy-in levels, satellites for their bigger tournaments, and even feeders for many land-based events.
Hence, tournament players will have their hands full and will be able to call Party Poker a home if they choose so.
Spotlight events to play
Among these hundreds of weekly tournaments, as well as many other events which aren’t nominally a part of the Power Series, there are a few tournaments that most grinders won’t want to miss.
- $109 Main Event: Takes place every Sunday, with the guaranteed prize pool of $150,000
- $530-$2,600 High Rollers: 20+ events scattered throughout the week
- $22 The Contender: Every day, with $15k guarantee, and featuring $25k guarantee on Sundays
- $215 The Title Fight: Every Sunday, with $300,000 guaranteed – occasionally, The Title Fight also features a $1,000,000 guarantee
Party Poker Power Series
Party Poker’s highlight tournaments are a part of the Power Series, which is a fancy name for their weekly schedule of the best and biggest guaranteed events, but it certainly has a nice ring to it.
The Power Series is divided into three categories:
- Feather Weight: $5.50- $11 tournaments
- Middle Weight: $22 – $55 buy-ins
- Heavy Weight: $109 – $215 events
Each of these subsections offers numerous events. There are 170+ tournaments in the Feather Weight category, 230+ in the Middle Weight, and more than 60 events in the Heavy Weight section.
Something for beginners
Although Party Poker features a big and rich tournament schedule, they didn’t forget about casual players looking to have some fun without risking too much.
Their Bootcamp features events with buy-ins between $0.22 and $1.10, and there is more than $100,000 in guaranteed prizes up for grabs every month.
Although a majority of tournaments in the Bootcamp section are No Limit Hold’em, there are also events for Pot-Limit Omaha and Pot-Limit Omaha Eights or Better.
TL;DR – Party Poker Tournament Schedule
- Rich and well-rounded tournament schedule
- Hundreds of weekly events for all buy-in levels
- Big weekly guaranteed tournaments
- Satellites for bigger online & live events
- Bootcamp tournament section for beginners
Party Poker Software
Recent improvements have been substantial
The Party Poker software has, for a long time, been one of the worst out there.
There is no point in sugar-coating things: if there was one thing that was really holding the room back, it was their outdated client, which simply had to go.
A few years ago, the room finally got around to fixing this burning issue, and they came up with a brand new, fresh, and modern-looking client.
Customizing your poker client to fit your needs and playing habits is certainly among the top priorities for most players, casuals and professionals alike.
Luckily, Party Poker gives players the ability to adjust the client in many aspects.
This includes the standard choice between a classic or four-color deck, as well as disabling animations and sounds for smoother and faster gameplay.
Players can also choose from a several pre-made table layouts, depending on their preference.
Some unique extra options
Keeping up with the times, Party also offers a number of more advanced options, which let you adjust your bet slider for particular bet sizes in relation to big blinds and/or pot size.
There are also many options to help you play multiple tables easier, including the Hot Hands option, where you can set up special alerts to warn you when you are dealt particular hands.
As far as I know, Party Poker is the only online poker site to offer that kind of hand alert system.
Other software functionalities
Apart from these options directly related to your gaming experience, the Party Poker software also gives you access to your cashier at all times and you can easily make deposits and withdrawals at any time.
You can also keep track of your Rewards, follow your Mission progress, and visit the Points Store straight from the client.
Party Poker lobby gives you a very nice overview of the games divided into relevant categories.
Games are divided into a number of sections like Tournaments, Cash Games, Fast Forward, Sit & Go’s, Sit & Go’s Hero (satellites for their Power Poker series).
Every individual lobby includes different filters which can help you narrow down the number of displayed games.
You can filter the games according to buy-in levels, game types, speed (for tournaments), etc.
Overall, the software is rather fast and reliable, although there have been some complaints about inexplicable disconnects and such.
While these aren’t the norm, they are definitely something that can ruin your playing experience, and probably the thing software developers need to work on next.
Fastforward can be excellent when working
Fastforward is Party’s solution for speed Hold’em games, where you don’t have to wait for the hands to complete.
You simply click ‘Fold Now,’ and you are immediately taken to the new table, where you’ll receive a new hand.
Unfortunately, Party’s fastforward seems a bit unstable, and even when your internet is working perfectly well, you might get connection errors, which will influence your overall experience and, in a way, beat the purpose of the ‘fast fold’ as such.
You are trying to play more hands, not fewer.
Fastforward does offer a nice and clear interface, and playing these tables is a breeze when there aren’t connectivity issues.
Anonymous tables give a boon to looser tables
Going with their model focused on recreational players, Party Poker decided to make all of their cash tables anonymous.
This means you won’t be able to see who you’re playing against, as players are designated simply as Player 1, Player 2, etc.
Since there are no player nicknames available, poker tracking software is not an option.
Playing at Party, you’ll have to rely on limited information you’re able to gather during that particular session.
Once the player leaves, you’ll have no idea who they are and when they’ll be coming back.
TL;DR – The Party Poker software client
- Modern-looking and sleek software
- Several different lobbies & filters for easier navigation
- Many options to improve your gaming experience
- A number of advanced options for serious grinders
Party Poker Traffic
Staying in the top 10
Times have been rough for online poker, and most rooms have experienced a serious decline in terms of player numbers. That said, Party Poker maintains their position among the top 10 online poker rooms according to raw player numbers.
As already described, Party Poker features a very strong tournament schedule. This, in turn, attracts a great number of players, meaning that tournament action on Party Poker is going strong.
You won’t find many overlays, as their tournaments tend to meet and exceed guarantees, due to many tournament players filling up the seats around the clock.
Cash game traffic
In terms of cash games, Party Poker tables are fairly populated across different levels. The biggest traffic is, naturally, present in their NL5 and NL10 games, but there are much bigger games running on a regular basis.
You won’t have problems finding a few NL100 or NL200 games running around the clock.
When it comes to Fastforward (their version of Speed Poker), the situation isn’t as good. It seems that games up to NL100 run regularly, but beyond that there is barely any action outside of the peak hours. Earlier discussed connectivity problems may have something to do with this.
TL;DR – How busy the games are at Party Poker
- Party Poker maintains its place in the top 10 in terms of traffic
- Strong action on cash tables up to NL200
- Fast Forward games rarely run beyond NL100
- Plenty of tournament players attracted by a great schedule
Party Poker History
Party Poker beginnings
Development foundations are underway for what will become Party Poker
Party Gaming launches Party Poker, recognizing the potential of online poker
Party Poker surpasses Paradise Poker as the largest online poker site in the world by player volume
Party Poker shuts off access to its tables from skins like Empire Poker
Party Gaming goes public
Party Poker starts their ad campaigns on US television
They are surpassed for the first time by PokerStars for total player traffic.
Party Gaming strikes a deal with the US Department of Justice.
The company agrees to pay over $300 million in fines in exchange for all charges being dropped
The company purchases the World Poker Tour
Party Casino is launched to supplement their poker offererings
Party Poker reenters the US via the regulated New Jersey market
One of the first
Party Poker was first launched back in 2001, and it was one of the first online poker sites around.
The room started off strong right off the bat, realizing the full potential of online poker even before the poker boom that was going to happen a couple of years down the line.
Cutting off the skins
In 2005, Party Poker decided to break away from the skins and networks and go on their own. This triggered a lawsuit from the largest skin of the time, Empire Poker.
This turned out to be a great business decision, as the room would quickly become one of the biggest and most recognized names in the world of online poker.
Party Poker back in the day
Prior to UIGEA and during the years immediately after, Party Poker used to be one of the fishiest sites out there.
The games were soft and the money was easy, although this could be said for most online poker sites during the early years of the industry.
First in player numbers, but behind in tech
At the same time, Party Poker has always lagged a bit behind the competition, especially their biggest competitors, Stars and Tilt, when it comes to software.
Despite the fact they were clearly one of the top rooms for a long time, very little effort was put towards making their software look modern and appealing.
For a long time, Party Poker featured a very outdated software in terms of functionalities and the overall user experience.
Whatever their reasons behind this decision were, especially given the fact they were a standalone room allowed to develop as they liked, it certainly cost them some players over the years.
2006 and the departure from the US market
The year of 2006 saw the infamous UIGEA being passed, and it was a huge blow for Party Poker.
At that time, they had around 41% of the overall online playing pool, but nearly 80% of those players were from the United States. With the legislative changes, all this would come to a halt.
Although they could have continued to serve the US players, in much the same fashion Poker Stars and Full Tilt did, Party Poker decided that leaving the market was the right move.
That eventually them to come back at a later date with a clean slate, which is what they did in a limited capacity in 2013 by servicing New Jersey players.
The post-UIGEA era
After losing a lot of ground with the departure of the US players, Party Poker was forced to turn towards other markets, particularly Europe.
This wasn’t an easy thing to do, because a lot of their marketing was focused on the US, and Party wasn’t as popular at the Old Continent.
However, they made a successful transition, and finally decided to update their software as well, giving it a complete overhaul and making it feel fresh and much easier to navigate.
Party Poker is currently a solid mid-tier poker site
Today, Party Poker holds its place among the top ten rooms in terms of player numbers, although they are well passed their glory days.
The fish rating of the room has certainly gone down as well. Although this still remains one of the softer sites out there, higher stakes games attract your common variety grinders.
Party Poker Support
Party Poker offers a number of ways players can reach out to them, and they take their players seriously.
Of course, there have been accusations about the Party support acting unprofessionally and not really trying to help, but these usually need to be taken with a grain of salt.
From my experience, the Party Poker support has always been very responsive and reasonably helpful.
Contact methods include:
- Live Chat
- Dedicated phone numbers for different countries
Strategy for Winning More at Party Poker
Tournaments or cash games?
The age old poker question about what games to pick is very important for your success at Party Poker.
On one hand, you’ll find plenty of fish at cash game table, coming over from the casino, but on the other, their tournaments offers some real great value.
There isn’t one-fit-all answer here, of course.
You’ll need to pick the game you are most comfortable with and stick to it.
Of course, if you don’t have a favorite, I’d suggest exploring Party Poker cash game tables for a bit. You might be surprised with what you find.
Like on most big sites, Party Poker satellites to their larger events will often be filled with players who aren’t quite sure why they are playing in the first place.
Some of them are looking to win a seat, but at the same time they hope to lose because they know they won’t be able to play the target event.
If you’re a decent tournament players, satellites are your friends, and you can have a really big ROI playing in these.
Of course, it can get a bit boring and repetitive, but if your primary goal is making money, this is one venue to consider.
This is also true for players with smaller bankrolls looking to get into the bigger buy-in, soft field tournaments.
If you’re patient enough, Party Poker can provide you with a lot of juicy tables to play at.
However, this will mean you’ll have to scan the tables and look for a good seat or two.
If this seems boring, bear in mind that finding a good game with one player willing to donate a lot of money is well worth your time.
Similarly, if you are a tournament player, playing in the big guaranteed tournaments is a great choice if you can afford it.
Due to massive prize pools, these attract a lot of recreational players just looking to get lucky. A decent player will usually have a tremendous edge in this field.
Winning is possible
Overall, with some careful consideration, some patience, and a decent-sized bankroll, you’ll probably find Party Poker to be one of the most profitable sites, on average.
Although player quality isn’t quite as attractive as it was in previous years, thanks to changes described in this review, the fish are finding the way back to Party Poker tables.
Stay patient and disciplined, don’t expect to get rich overnight, and keep working on your game.
There are plenty of soft spots to be had at Party Poker, and you’ll have a shot at your fair share, guaranteed.