Party Poker is a member of the PartyGaming Group, in operation since 1997, which owns and manages a variety of different online gambling and entertainment websites including the online bookmaker PartyBets.com and the online casino PartyCasino.com. Party Poker offers excellent rates, a large customer base representing a wide variety of skill levels, easy to use interface and an excellent online poker academy, the PartyAcademy.
Operating online since 2001, Party Poker enjoyed a meteoric rise, becoming the Internets fastest growing online poker room, eventually reaching the pinnacle of the online poker industry and claiming the position of number one online poker site. At their height, you could find over 70,000 players online at peak hours cramming their tables offering some of the best action in online gaming. This all came to an abrupt halt in the fall of 2006 with the adoption of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in the United States and Party Poker’s decision to no longer accept American players. This move cost Party Poker roughly 70% of their player base and their claim to be the world’s largest online poker room. That being said, Party Poker still offers a good product, as such, they have been steadily recovering, to the point where you may find well over 40,000 players online at peak hours, still making them a monster among online poker sites.
Party Poker has made an exceptional effort over the years to ensure absolute security and integrity in their poker rooms. Not only are they committed to making technical improvements and innovations in an attempt to provide a fair and comfortable playing environment, but they also cooperate with independent arbitration services. In all of their years of business, Party Poker has not recorded a single incident or problem regarding financial security. Party Poker is a publicly traded company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, as such, they answer to a “higher authority.” In addition, Party Poker is fully committed to GamCare, a foundation whose sole purpose is to develop policies and practices targeting problem gambling.
The level of competition at Party Poker has the reputation for being a bit on the weak side, so if you are looking to make some money then bring the pain to Party Poker.
With a healthy and steadily growing membership, Party Poker offers good action for all. If you are a high-stakes player, you’ll find plenty of games to sink your teeth into. If you are a beginner, you’ll find Party Poker to be the perfect place to get your feet wet. The competition at the micro and middle stake levels is quite comfortable, so beginners can work on their game without worrying about getting trounced.
Party Poker hosts a nice variety of different poker games including:
• Texas Hold’em
• Omaha Hi/Lo
• 7 Card Stud
• 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
The variety of games and stakes isn’t quite as high as you might find on some of their competitors sites, but they are more than acceptable. Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variation on offer at Party Poker, so a player is sure to find a suitable table at any time. Since Party Poker has begun concentrating their marketing on the European market, the action at the Omaha tables is quite good and steadily improving.
The tournament line up at Party Poker is very good with tournaments running all of the time. You can also find a wide variety of different types of tournaments on tap including, Sit & Gos, regular, re-buy, guaranteed and speed re-buy in limitless combinations, buy-ins and prize pools. In addition, Party Poker offers their Hellkat tournaments which are time based (5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes), offering the time-pressed player the opportunity to squeeze in a short tournament.
It goes without saying that Party Poker offers plenty of free rolls and special tournaments. There are ample satellites running for the WSOP and of course for their big $300,000 Guaranteed Sunday tournament.
For The Beginner
As regards the beginning player, Party Poker is one of the premier sites in the world. Disce Vincere (Learn to Win) is the appropriately chosen motto of the Party Academy. The Party Academy offers fully structured courses and the appropriate quizzes for every level of game play. In addition, there is an extensive library of articles and videos as well as expert tutorials enabling the player to watch real hand examples and see how real poker strategies are used in action.
Of course, you’ll find plenty of “play money” games and free rolls running regularly on Party Poker. But the big plus to Party Poker as it pertains to the beginning player is the fact that the level of play is somewhat marginal. This is the perfect place for the beginner to learn and develop their game offering them the perfect environment to move up through the different level of stake games, without the worry of trolling menaces.
Software Graphics and Features
Graphically, Party Poker is not the prettiest around; in fact, it is quite Spartan. That being said, the software is extremely reliable and very easy to use. The lobby window is of very logical design and extremely easy to navigate through, enabling the player to find an appropriate game with minimal effort. The poker rooms themselves are basic and clean. The colors in the room are easy on the eyes and not at all distracting and the table cards are big and easy to read. The one thing that is lacking at Party Poker is the at-a-glance statistics that you might be familiar with from other sites; i.e., hand percentages and the like.
Party Poker offers a number of excellent features, including:
• Smooth play
• Resizable tables
• Easy to navigate lobby
• Uploadable Avatar option
• Supports 12 table simultaneous play
• Player notes
• Hand histories stored on hard drive
• Extreme stability
• Big, easily read cards
The Party Poker Bonus
Party Poker offers a 100% sign-up bonus up to $500 when you use our special bonus code "POKERINDEX". You do need to use this code, or else you will get the significantly lower standard bonus of 100% up to $100. The player has 60 days to claim their bonus and different currencies have different release restrictions as follows:
• US and Canadian dollars – Player must earn six times the bonus amount in PartyPoints.
• Euros – Player must earn eight times the bonus amount in PartyPoints.
• Sterling – Player must earn nine times the bonus amount in PartyPoints.
Party Poker has an excellent loyalty program offering PartyPoints when you play in real money games according to the following:
• Two PartyPoints for each $1 paid in cash game rake.
• Two PartyPoints for each $1 paid in tournament fees.
The number of PartyPoints you earn will determine your key level, which in turn determines the value that can be unlocked from the PartyPoints store. The PartyPoints store offers a wide range of great items at low costs including big-money tournament entries, gift certificates and cash. The reward system is great, leading up to the top key level, Palladium Elite, where you can buy bonuses in the store resulting in $20 back for every 100 points or the equivalent of 40% rake-back.
In addition to their loyalty program, Party Poker is currently running a number of very attractive promotions:
• LA Poker Classic at PartyPoker.com- Qualify through free roll satellites and claim your $14,00 package and share in an exclusive PartyPoker.com $1 million prize pool
• Tournament Leader Boards- Show you’re the best tournament player in weekly and monthly competitions and earn your share of a monthly $40,000 prize pool.
• Monthly Million- Join a qualifier for as little as $1 and earn up to $1 million the first Sunday of each month.
• Big Money Sundays- Play for a piece of more than $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money in the Sunday tournaments.
• Bankroll Builder- Make your first deposit with Party Poker and get exclusive entry into daily freeroll qualifiers and the possibility to earn your share of a $30,000 prize pool.
• 50-seat Frenzy- Qualify by winning one of the daily country-specific freerolls, $2 Saturday morning qualifers or buy in directly for $15 for your chance to win your share of a $300,000 prize pool every Sunday.
• 1.5K New Player Freeroll- For 60 days after having made your first deposit, you are eligible to play for you share of a $1,500 prize pool every Saturday.
Party Poker offers toll-free telephone support in English 24 hours/day, 7 days/week where customers are offered friendly and competent advice instantly - even during peak hours. This in and of itself sets Party Poker apart from many of their competitors. In addition to telephone support, Party Poker offers email support. The email support, while being accurate, has a reputation for being on the slow side. That being said…they offer telephone support!
In addition to support via telephone and email, they do have a fairly thorough and well organized system of FAQs. The only element missing from Party Poker’s support arsenal is Live Chat.