Party Poker is the second most popular online poker room in the world, and with plenty of good reasons. Its massive dominance of the poker market is due to consistently increasing their loyal player base with big mix of games, huge tournaments, stunning reward program and fantastic customer service.
It offers customers both the short term value of a great sign up bonus, with the long term value that comes with its superb Party Point reward scheme; whether you're a full time pro or someone who just plays for fun at the weekends it's a great site to play on, with a profitable mix of good and bad players.
Party Poker is well known for offering market-leading bonuses and promotions. The main attraction right now is the 'Double Your Money' welcome bonus. Basically it is what is sounds like - you make your first deposit, Party doubles it, and you've then got double the bankroll you started with - a pretty sweet deal, we think you'll agree! This is to a maximum of $500/£500/ €500.
Some more detail about how this bonus works then: firstly you have 60 days to earn the bonus, and it's paid into your Party Poker account in ten increments. When we say 'earn' the bonus, you will do this just by playing real money poker. In doing that, you'll start to accrue what they call 'Party Points', which we'll look into in more depth in the reward section of this review.
For people playing in US or Canadian dollars, you need to earn six times the amount of the bonus in Party Points; for people playing in Euros, it's eight times the amount; and for people playing in Sterling/UK Pounds, it's nine times the amount of the bonus.
So to speed up the earning of the bonus, it's just a matter of playing as much poker as you can, whilst also playing at the highest stakes that are comfortable for you. Also obviously the amount of bonus you can potentially earn is mainly impacted by the amount you choose to deposit. For example, if you deposited $25 then the bonus you could get, regardless of how much you played, would always be $25.
The Party Poker client is a great 'all in one' application where as well as obviously being able to actually play poker, you can access a whole range of information like promotions, bonuses and your VIP status.
As well as playing the downloadable poker client, you can also use 'Instant Play' meaning you can play poker on Party via your internet browser wherever you are - this makes it usable by Linux and Mac users.
The software offers easy navigation to the game you want. Our one possible criticism of it is there isn't much you can do in the way of customisation. That said it offers a high standard of performance and 'playability'.
One area where the Party Poker software excels is in multi-tabling. You can play a maximum of 18 tables at once time, and you can do this via cascade, tile or stack. The stack facility is of particular interest as it creates a tab alongside the stack where you can see the action at a glance, making your next moves and keeping track of the games much easier.
The Party Poker player loyalty scheme is simple - you play, you earn Party Points. The more Points you earn, the higher your status is within the program. You can then redeem or 'spend' the Points.
There are five possible statuses you can obtain - Bronze, Silver, Gold, Palladium and Palladium Elite. The top two levels have some amazing benefits including big bonuses and excellent cash/Party Point 'exchange rates'. These can actually equate to up to 50% rake-back. The higher you climb in the program, the better perks and benefits you can expect.
Before we explore the redemption of Party Points though, let's look how they're earned:
Party Points are accrued every time you play poker for real money at Party. For every $1 you contribute in rake or tournament fees, you earn two Party Points. So let's say you played a $20+$2 sit n go, you would earn four Party Points. The points get credited straight away after the hand or tournament finishes.
You can also earn Party Points on the casino, bingo and sports gaming that Party offers, for example a $10 slot bet would earn one Point.
In terms of spending your Party Points, they have one of the best (actually probably the best) player point store that any online poker room offers. There is an absolutely massive range of items on offer. For starters, you can opt to exchange those points you've earned for cash, bonuses or tournament entry tokens. However, if you'd rather something different, have a browse of the store and you'll find everything from electronic items, clothing, poker accessories, to top-of-the-range luxury items including holidays, bikes and cars - the top item being a Lamborghini Gallardo! A general rule worth bearing in mind is - the more Points you save up, the better the value you'll get when you cash them in. It can be very tempting to just chuck your points in for the first $10 reward as soon as you can but the more savvy player will wait. The potential rewards here, especially for full time or high stakes players, are just incredible.
With such a huge brand and being the second most popular online poker room in the world, it isn't surprising at all that Party Poker has some really big name poker professionals playing on their site. These include the notoriously outspoken Tony G, the lovely Kara Scott, WPT commentator Mike Sexton, and Tomeu Gomila. This gives you the chances to not only watch these poker stars playing on Party, but also to play poker against them! And if you really make the grade and you're a serious full time poker professional yourself, you also apply to be part of Team PartyPoker and become a sponsored player on the site too.
So what games exactly can be played on Party Poker? Well, there is a really great selection which we believe will cater for every sort of player, let's look at exactly what:
Cash games: $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50
Hold'em (No Limit, Pot Limit and Fixed Limit)
Double Hold'em (three hole cards; No Limit and Fixed Limit)
Omaha (Fixed Limit and Pot Limit)
7 Card Stud (Fixed Limit)
Sit n go's (SNGs): $1 to $5010
Single table (2, 6, 8, 9 and 10 player - standard, speed and turbo)
Multi-table (20, 30 and 50 players - standard and speed)
Steps ($3, $10, $30, $70, $170 and $500 entries)
'Hellkat '(10 players $11, $22 and $120)
Multi-table tournaments (MTTs): $1 to $1060
Varies including regular, qualifiers, events, freerolls etc. Various formats on offer including regular, shootout, re-buy and speed.
There's a whole load of options for crediting your Party Poker account; they're all secure and quick to do. The specific deposit methods on offer will depend on which country you live in but usually include "goplay" pre-paid Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, debit cards including Maestro, Mastercard, Kalixa, Entropay, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers), Ukash, Switch, Solo, Instant Banking, Bank Transfer, Bank Wire Transfer, ClickAndBuy and Western Union.
The minimum and maximum deposit limits will vary according to your chosen deposit method.
The two key things about the Party Poker customer service are 1) it's absolutely superb and 2) it's 24/7.
It's superb because they have a dedicated customer service team who know their subject matter inside out AND are very keen to help. You're treated as an individual who counts to them, regardless of how small the stakes you play at.
It's 24/7 which means no matter what time of the day or night you can get an answer to your query or get your concern sorted to your satisfaction.
You can either choose to use 'live chat' to speak to someone online straight away, email, or simply to pick up the phone to speak to someone on a toll-free/free-phone telephone number.
However you contact them you'll find them to be a bunch of truly professional customer service agents and without doubt are some of the best, if not the best, in the online poker business.
Party Poker is, aside from PokerStars, the most popular online poker site in the world. It's consistently busy at all times of the day - for example I'm writing this article at 3pm in the afternoon, UK time, and there are already a massive 13,000 players online. In the evenings and weekends, as you'd expect, the place is absolutely rammed with all kinds of player traffic so the cash games are always brimming full of action. It also makes it a great site for SNG play as they fill up really quickly and you're never sat there waiting for a game to start.
In terms of how 'soft' the competition is, you can't really pigeon-hole the site; however it's definitely softer than say PokerStars which is just full of 'regs' and professional players. There's certainly a lot of recreational players/fish on Party which makes it a more profitable site to play poker on.
Visit Party Pokerstars.
Given recent changes in gaming in the USA and internationally, it is not easy to know which are currently the top online poker sites. The stated mission of BestPokerSitesList.com is to do all the ground work for you, so that you are presented with a list of the best sites to choose from.
Things change fast in online poker as we were reminded with the Full Tilt Poker debacle. Therefore our information is always updated with the most recents promotions and most reputable poker sites.
We select the sites in our list first and foremost for their reputation and security. You already have enough to worry with making money playing poker, so you should not be concerned if your poker bankroll is secure or not. This is why you will only find top notch poker sites listed here.
Our list is short because we only include the finest. These sites have been offering fair online games for many years and they are here for the long-term, unlike some of the new sites that come and go. And they all offer attractive bonuses for joining and lucrative VIP Clubs once you become a regular players.