Party Poker

Party Poker Review
Party Poker is one of the largest and most popular poker rooms online today. In fact, Party Poker once was the largest poker room on the internet; however in 2006 after the legislation changed in the USA making the legality of poker in the USA a grey area, the brand decided to leave the US market and PokerStars took its place as the biggest online poker site. However Party Poker still remains a popular brand, its popularity is largely due to two factors, its large online poker tournaments, and its soft poker games. Party Poker also owns and operates the popular offline poker tournament series The WPT (World Poker Tour) which helps to attract even more players to the poker room in search of a chance to qualify for a prestigious World tournament at a fraction of the cost that direct entry would cost them. Although a few sites now share the network with Party Poker, Party Poker itself is the actual creator of their poker playing software. The software is well-liked by poker players due to its great features, easily accessible player information, and neat lobby design where you can quickly find out information about all the different games and tournaments that are available.

Poker Competition: The prime reason for Party Poker’s popularity has always been its ability to attract soft players, our poker team wanted to test if this holds true today. In order to do this rigorously, we tested all the most popular games at several different limits ranging from micros to fairly high stakes. We concluded that for both low limits of Holdem and Omaha that the poker action is indeed still a bit softer in comparison to other brands, however for higher limits and mixed games the standard of poker play is good and in that regard is similar to most other large poker brands. On Party Poker lots of poker players try to qualify for the major online and live poker events via satellites. What this means, is that if you don’t have the budget, you have plenty of satellites available to qualify to play in a big exciting event with massive prize pools. Also, the very fact that satellite qualifiers usually tend to be weaker poker players than those that can afford to buy indirectly to an event, means that Party Poker tournaments, in general, are quite soft.

Poker Software Features: The Party Poker Lobby is divided into 8 main sections which you can choose from on the left hand inside of the poker software window. Each of these sections themselves has several subsections which are divided into tabs near the top of the poker software window. Below is a list and description of each section and some of the tabs within those sections.

  1. Poker: The most important section of all, here you can view and filter all the types of games you want to see and play. Players can choose for example whether they want to look at Cash games, Sit & Gos or Tournaments, from the Stakes or Buy-Ins they want to play. The Game Name, for example, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha etc.

  2. Casino: The casino section offers several different fun casino games for the casino enthusiast.

  3. Achievements: The achievements section records memorable moments in your poker playing career, it ranges from simple events like having a starting hand of pair of twos, to more substantial achievements such as winning two Sit N Gos in a row, big wins, and big losses. In this section, you can also choose Missions, in which you have to accomplish various objectives, in order to win prizes. The benefit of these missions is that they can be a fun way to give players a tangible goal to try to achieve, in that way it can aid a lot with focus. Missions vary from pretty simple tasks such as winning a hand to more detailed tasks such as winning at showdown with several different types of hands. All the missions are very doable nonetheless. Under the Hand history tab, you can look and search all your recent poker hands and even watch a replay of them. This is great for reviewing your play and seeing if you played the hand correctly or just merely for reliving the moment of an exciting hand.

  4. Friends: In the friend’s section you can add ‘friends’ and monitor their activity or find where they are playing. Although you might want to add your poker playing pals here, more often than not it’s where you’ll want to add players you regard as fish or perhaps sharks that you want to see playing. Obviously, people can also choose to have you as their friend and monitor your achievements and activity; however, in privacy settings you can prevent this and prevent them from seeing any other information about yourself also.

  5. Rewards: In the rewards section you can see any new or active bonuses, any promotions that you might want to avail of, your loyalty level. You can also invite your friends where you can receive bonuses once they sign up and play.

  6. Account: Here you can see an overview of your account, you can edit your personal details, including changing your screen name every 6 months if you like. In the MY IAT tab, you can even transfer money to other Party Poker accounts. Under the My Statements tab, you can look at all your past transactions for the last 31 days.

  7. Cashier: Here as you would expect you can make deposits and withdrawals in many major currencies. You can also browse through your transaction history.

  8. Options: Another very important section. This area allows you to fine-tune your poker experience, providing numerous settings to customize Party Poker in the way that suits the way you play best. You should make sure you spend adequate time looking through all the various options and we advise testing any new settings at the micro stakes. They are all important but a few that we’ll mention here we think are particularly important.

    1. Enable-4-color deck: We recommend selecting this as it practically eliminates any possibility that you might get confused over which suit your cards are.

    2. Use preferred seating: It’s a good idea to have the same seating position on all your tables, that way you know exactly where you are at each table, you don’t waste any time looking for where you are sitting at. Furthermore, if you have any third-party software that overlays the table with any data/statistics, it’s also a good idea to be seated in the same position so you can arrange the display of the statistics to complement your seating position.

    3. The Multi-tabling tab: This section contains many important options including table sorting, hot hand alerts (a sound that alerts you when you have a strong starting hand), and Multi-monitor support.

    4. Stacking tab: This section allows you the option to stack tables, i.e. put all your tables in one pile. This is usually used by players who like to play several tables but whose screen space is limited, for example, a laptop. Here you can fine-tune and control how Party Poker handles the way you stack tables so you can optimize your multi-tabling in the stacking environment

So as you can see, Party Poker has thought of just about everything a player would want to have in order to enjoy the perfect poker playing experience. The one thing we did notice, that might be considered a drawback by some players, was that we felt in regular games, the cards and flops were dealt a bit slow, which impacted the hands you play per hour. Of course, if you prefer to multi-table this is not really an issue anyway.

Games Offered:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha Hi
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Fixed Limit 7 Card Stud Hi and Hi-Lo

Party Poker also offers a quick fold format game known as fast forward, this is similar to Zoom on PokerStars but alas it doesn’t have the same degree as popularity and the highest stake game that was running at peak poker playing time was the $.50/$1 blinds game.

Sit & Gos: Party Poker doesn’t offer that broad a range of Sit N Gos, nevertheless, it does have some interesting options such as Double or Nothing, Heads Up Coinflip, Giant Stack, Qualifiers to bigger tournaments, and WPT Steps which give players a chance to qualify for a major WPT event. It also offers Songs at 3 different speeds, Standard, Turbo, and Hyper Turbo. It also offers Multi-Table SNs which at the time of writing can be for either 18 or 36 players. These are effectively small multi-table tournaments that start once the set quota of players is reached.

Multi-Table tournaments: Party Poker has a great selection of multi-table tournaments with regular satellites to live events. Daily Guaranteed tournaments such as the Daily Major currently with a guaranteed prize pool of $15,000, Weekly guaranteed tournaments like the Sunday Major with a prize pool of $200,000, and a range of tournaments for all budgets. You can choose to play tournaments that take many hours or choose hyper tournaments if you don’t want to spend to committing to playing for too long.

Freerolls: Party Poker runs several freerolls every day, normally however you do have to use your Party Points in order to play them. Some freerolls are for cash prizes whereas others are freerolls to a major freeroll to the Sunday Major.

Rake:

Fixed Limit
Limits Number of players Rake Maximum
$0.02/$0.04 & $0.05/$0.10 2-10 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $0.50
$0.10/$0.20 & $0.15/$0.30 2-10 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $0.50
$0.25/$0.50 & $0.50/$1.00 2-10 $0.05 per $1.00 pot $1.00
$1/2 2-10 $0.05 per $1.00 pot $1.00
$2/4 2 $0.25 per $5.00 pot $1.00
3-4 $0.25 per $5.00 pot $2.00
5-10 $0.25 per $5.00 pot $3.00
$3/6 2 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $1.00
3-4 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $2.00
5-10 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $3.00
$5/10 & $10/20 2 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $1.00
3-4 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $2.00
5-10 $0.50 per $10.00 pot $3.00
$15/30 to $30/60 2 $0.50 per $20.00 pot $1.00
3-4 $1.00 per $20.00 pot $2.00
5-10 $1.00 per $20.00 pot $3.00
Heads-up games: no limit, pot limit and fixed limit
Limits Number of players Rake Maximum
All 2 $0.05 per $1.00 pot $1.00
                 

 

No limit and pot limit cash games
Blinds Number of players Rake Maximum
$0.10/0.25 to $5/10 2 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $1.00
3-4 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $2.00
5-10 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $3.00
$0.01/$0.02 to $0.05/$0.10 2-10 $0.01 per $0.20 pot $1.00

  Customer Support: Party Poker is a shining star when it comes to customer support. Our poker team is often critical of poker brands that don’t offer Live Chat or Telephone support, however, all these channels are available to you at Party Poker along with regular email support. You can access these lines of support by clicking on Support at the bottom of the poker lobby window.

Poker Promotions: As a new customer with Party Poker, you will receive a 100% match bonus of up to $500. Besides a nice sign-up bonus you will also receive $15,000 of value in poker tournaments of which you can enter as a new customer. Also, Party Poker offers over $50,000 in poker freerolls for all their poker players every single month. This is a great way to boost your poker bankroll without needing to spend a penny.

Security: With a large security department in Gibraltar that controls all the activities and transactions on the platform, we feel that Party Poker is really putting their best efforts to ensure a safe and secure poker environment for all their poker players. Also, looking back in time, while other poker brands choose to stay, Party Poker was one of the first poker brands that left the US market when the legislation changed, this gives us a good indication that Party Poker run an honest operation and do their utmost to obey the rules across different markets and jurisdictions.

Summary: Party Poker has been one of the giants of the poker market for many years, so with the merger with Bwin, they have significantly increased traffic on the Party Poker platform. This large player base ensures more than ever that you can easily find a poker game that suits your poker playing style and preferences. Also bear in mind that their new customer sign-up package is one of the better ones on the market, so it´s definitely worth trying to see if Party Poker is the right site for you. We wish you the best of luck!