PartyPoker USA: Can You Play PartyPoker in the US?
Can I Play PartyPoker in the US?
You can only play PartyPoker in the United States if you live in New Jersey. New Jersey became the first state to give PartyPoker a license to operate after it teamed up with the Borgata in 2013. Despite being in the US market for a while, PartyPoker hasn’t expanded much beyond PartyPoker NJ. There have been talks of it coming to Nevada and Delaware, but there hasn’t been much development on that front.
This could change as more states start legalizing online poker, but for now we have a few PartyPoker alternatives for players around the US. Sites like Ignition Poker, Bovada and BetOnline accept players from all 50 states and have everything you loved about PartyPoker. They have good sign-up bonuses, amazing tournament guarantees and solid cash games. For more information, check out our full reviews below.
Best PartyPoker Alternatives for US Online Poker Players
The Story of PartyPoker
Back in the day, PartyPoker was the biggest site in the United States, but the site decided to leave the US voluntarily after the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). By that point, it had been around for a few years and grown immensely.
PartyPoker first launched on Aug. 1 2001 along with an online casino. There was a lot of hype because PartyPoker was the first site to offer $1 million tournament guarantees with satellites that started at just $22.
The live events drew the world’s best players including Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Dan Harrington, Scotty Nguyen, Chris Ferguson, Johnny Chan, and Huck Seed. The poker tournaments only kept growing and now PartyPoker still has a successfully live tournament series around the world.
By pulling out of the United States voluntarily, PartyPoker avoided the Black Friday chaos that engulfed PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker. That’s also why PartyPoker NJ was able to launch in 2013 while PokerStars had to wait until 2018 to come back to the US.
PartyPoker in the USA
PartyPoker didn’t escape all legal action though. It was forced to pay $105 million in penalties to the U.S. government for processing some payments. While this doesn’t fully absolve PartyPoker, it does ensure they’ll never be prosecuted for any actions prior to the agreement.
Perhaps the biggest sign PartyPoker was preparing for entry into the US market came in July 2010 when they announced a planned merger with sports betting giant Bwin. The value of this merger exceeds $250 billion and instantly made the Party/Bwin combo (traded on London Stock Exchange) the largest publicly traded gambling company in the world. Under the terms of this agreement, PartyGaming shareholders will own 48.4%, Bwin shareholders 51.6% and the company will operate with joint CEO’s Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan. This is likely quite significant in Party Poker’s US strategy for reasons we’ll mention momentarily.
GVC Holdings Acquires Bwin.Party
The new Bwin party was itself absorbed by massive online gaming group GVC Holdings in 2015 for $1.4 billion. GVC Holdings has a variety of different businesses in the gaming industry including sports betting, casino and more.
GVC Holdings, which is based on the Isle of Man, is also a publicly traded company with licenses in 18 different countries and a massive market cap. The company is uniquely positioned to take advantage of softening laws regarding online betting in the USA thanks to its massive gaming infrastructure.
It helps that PartyPoker very much played along with US authorities in 2006 and that should help give it a head start on some of its international competitors like PokerStars, which opted to stay in the US market after UIGEA. GVC Holdings could also open a number of doors for PartyPoker as the site attempts to expand in the USA in markets like Nevada and potentially Pennsylvania.
There’s also a good chance that some bigger land-based gaming entities in the USA will move to the online market when it becomes available and PartyPoker might very well provide some software for those organizations. GVC already has one such agreement with MGM Resorts.
The New PartyPoker
The site has gone through a lot of iterations, the most notable is that the whole name is now in lowercase. The site also has a number of new pros representing it. The most notable is celebrity and comedian Kevin Hart. But they also have top pros like Jason Koon, Sam Trickett, Isaac Haxton and Kristen Bicknell.
They also have a number of Twitch streamers like Jaime Staples, Jeff Gross and Monika Zukowicz. PartyPoker has consistently grown and expanded to new platforms like streaming and up-to-date pros. They also sponsor World Poker Tour stops that you can watch on television or online at PokerGO.
It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for PartyPoker, especially of more states start regulating online poker in the United States.
As we mentioned above, you can play on PartyPoker if you’re within the borders of New Jersey. That’s it. You don’t have to live there, but you do need to be physically located in the state to play.
PartyPoker NJ has been operational for a while now and they offer both computer and mobile software. So you can play from the comfort of your Jersey City apartment or while you’re commuting across the Garden State. It is usually offering a bonus to first-time players, so make sure to check out their bonus page to see what they have available.
The fields are smaller than you might be used to, but that could change in the future if more states open their doors to PartyPoker in the future. We’ll be the first to tell you if they do.
Casino and Other Games
The party doesn’t stop with just poker at PartyPoker. The site also offers a number of different casino games. You can basically find everything that you’d find at a normal casino online at the PartyPoker casino. There’s a PartyPoker Roulette, blackjack, Baccarat and a number of variations of each of those games.
There are also Instant Win games, scratch cards and Slingo. But the biggest assortment of games are the slots. There are literally hundreds of different slots including slot tournaments. There’s also a Live Casino option so you can play games with live dealers.
Tournaments and Loyalty program
If you’re outside of the United States, PartyPoker still holds some pretty impressive and large tournaments. The international site offers a number of daily, weekly and monthly tournaments. There are also a few special tournament series throughout the year. Some of the biggest tournament series are the WPT Online, the MILLIONS Online and the WPT 500. In between, you’ll find all kinds of Texas No-Limit Hold’em, Omaha and draw game tournaments.
PartyPoker also offers players a VIP program where players can earn points and depending on how many they accumulate, they can join the Diamond Club or the Diamond Club Elite. All players can earn cashback by being a member of the loyalty program and Diamond Club Elite members can earn up to an astonishing 60% rakeback. Diamond Club Elite members also get a complimentary ticket to the annual Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas and a ticket for the MILLIONS Online tournament.
Your PartyPoker experience is completely dependent on where you’re located. If you’re outside of the US, then PartyPoker is a great site to play out. There’s a full-fledged online casino, numerous poker tournaments and variants and more cash games than you could ever want. If you’re in New Jersey and looking for a small site that has the same skin and feel as the PartyPoker you remember, then play away.
But if you remember PartyPoker from back in the day and were a fan of the big tournaments and plethora of cash games it offered to US players, then PartyPoker is no longer the site for you. Those days are gone and are unlikely to come back. There have been several other sites that have popped up to fill the void and we’ve reviewed the best of them. If you’re looking for a PartyPoker alternative, then head on over to our reviews page to find the right site for you.