There are several good reasons for reading our Party Poker review, but possibly the most important is that PokerSite.co can offer new players an exclusive 100% bonus on their first deposits up to $500.00. This compares very favourably with Party Poker´s own offer of a withdrawal-restricted $20.00 to play at the low stakes “Casual Cash Games”, and players who wish to take advantage of our exclusive offer while it lasts should click “PLAY NOW” to visit the site and then use the Party Poker bonus code PSITECO when creating their account.
A Quick Word about Party Poker
Before we get going with our review of Party Poker, we thought we might share a little history about the site. Party Poker was originally part of the Party Gaming empire which was founded in 1997 when Internet gambling was in its infancy. The site dealt its first hands of real money poker in 2001, and quickly became the leading online poker site in the world – at one stage having twice the number of players as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker combined.
In 2005, Party Gaming became a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange and was valued shortly after at $12 billion. However, the passage of UIGEA In 2006 saw Party Poker withdraw from the US market and the company´s share value suffered accordingly. In 2011 Party Poker merged with Bwin Digital Entertainment to form a new company – Bwin.Party – which was purchased by GVC Holdings in September 2015.
Party Poker once prided itself as being the site where many of the current top players first learned how to play online poker. Its focus has changed considerably now, and the site focuses more towards providing a service for recreational players, with short-term “missions” and easy-to-achieve incentives replacing a first deposit bonus. However, by creating an account with Party Poker using our links and the Party Poker bonus code PSITECO, you can still take advantage of a 100% match on your first deposit up to $500.00
Value: The Party Poker First Deposit Bonus
Our exclusive 100% Party Poker first deposit bonus up to $500.00 is available to any player that does not already have an account with Party Poker. The bonus is relatively simple to clear within the 90 days allowed and is released in 10% increments of the bonus amount. So, if you deposited $500 to take advantage of the maximum Party Poker bonus, each increment would amount to $50.00.
In order to release each increment, you have to earn twelve times its value in Loyalty Points – so 600 Loyalty Points for each $50.00 increment. Loyalty Points are awarded at the rate of 1 Point per $1.00 paid in rake or in tournament entry fees. You can also earn Loyalty Points by playing in Party Poker´s Casino or by placing sports bets at the site.
Although the Party Poker bonus does not equate to a fantastic rate of rakeback, at the same time as you are clearing the bonus you will be able to complete Starter Missions and take part in the Loyalty Program. Combined, these promotions add up to a considerable amount depending on your level of action at the tables. Just remember to use the Party Poker bonus code PSITECO when creating your account in order to be eligible for all these promotions.
Value: The Party Poker Loyalty Program
Party Poker´s Loyalty Program is fairly unique inasmuch as it has turned away from the trend of gimmicky “challenges” and instead created a weekly cashback program that rewards players with up to 40%. In order to be eligible to receive cashback, you have to opt into the Loyalty program and then earn a minimum of 25 Loyalty Points per week.
Thereafter, the rate of cashback increases from 20% to 40% as you reach points milestones. There is no upper limit to how much you can earn each week through this scheme and, as a result, Party Poker is attracting players who have become disillusioned with the gimmicky challenges being introduced at their former online poker sites.
Value: Party Poker Promotions
While we were clearing the Party Poker bonus and benefitting from the loyalty program, we also took advantage of the “Mission” promotions that Party Poker run. These consist of “Get Started”, “Cash Game” and “Sit & Go” Missions that can add up to $25.00 to your bankroll for each one you complete. They should not be the focus of your game, but opting into them can be worthwhile.
If you are a fan of Sit & Go games, Party Poker also hosts a “Steps” promotion that consists of five levels of 6-Max games. Buy-ins start at just $0.01, with prizes ranging up to a $1,050 tournament entry ticket. Unlike many Steps promotions, you can opt out of the promotion at any time and use your current level buy-in to enter any of Party Poker´s multitable tournaments.
Software: Poker Games and Tournaments
We were pretty happy with the choice of cash games at Party Poker. After all, if you start offering games that nobody is ever going to play, what´s the point? At the Party Poker cash game tables you have the choice of Fixed Limit Hold´em, No Limit Hold´em, Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo, and 7-Card Stud. For those who like their action fast and furious, Party Poker also has a fast-fold poker variant called “Fast Forward”.
The tournament schedule is varied, with a good selection of Hold´em and Omaha events, plus plenty of satellites into valuable tournaments for players with a limited bankroll or for players looking to extract a little extra value from their Party Poker experience. The site hosts frequent “PowerFest” series with some substantial guaranteed events, and frequent significant overlays. The general standard of play – particularly in lower buy-in tournaments – means you are more likely to cash in a Party Poker tournament than you are at most other online poker sites
Software: Party Poker Download
The Party Poker downloadable client is very easy to download and install, and available for both Windows (Windows XP, Windows 7 Classic and Windows 10) and Mac (OS X 10.5 Leopard or later) operating systems. The former “Instant Play” version of the poker software is no longer available, although you can still access the casino and sports betting elements of the site via a web browser.
Despite having plenty of features and customisable options, the Party Poker download is very resource-light. You are only going to need 25MB of space to download the software and 512MB of RAM to play it. If you have a fairly modern computer, you should be able to play up to sixteen tables simultaneously (restrictions apply to “Casual Game” tables).
Software: Party Poker on a Mobile
Party Poker really put the boat out when it comes to playing online poker on a mobile. Apps with practically a full range of games and functions are available for both iPhone iOS and Android devices, and the there is also a special app available for playing FastForward Poker (selected countries only, but also available in HTML format if you want to play on your device´s web browser).
If you like playing casino games, there are also apps for that, but strangely nothing yet (mobile-wise) for the site´s excellent sportsbook which offers thousands of betting opportunities on hundreds of sporting events. Remember, if you play at the casino or have a sports bet, you will be awarded loyalty points that count towards your first deposit bonus and cashback in the Party Poker Loyalty Program.
Deposit and withdrawal options at Party Poker are exceptionally comprehensive. You can fund your account with virtually any type of plastic, most established e-Wallets, bank transfer or cheque. Withdrawals are credited back to the deposit method used where available.
Unfortunately you cannot withdraw to MasterCard-backed credit and debit cards, PaySafeCard or some instant bank transfer options. In these circumstances Party Poker will send you a cheque or arrange for a standard bank transfer. There are no charges incurred for most types of withdrawal, although we found that you will incur a 3% charge if you withdraw to Skrill or Neteller (something that Party Poker is working on to eliminate).
Security: Game Fairness and Security
Party Poker is very good at doing at a lot of things right, and assuring players about the fairness of the games and their security while playing on the site is one of them. When you follow our links to the Party Poker website to create your account, just take a second to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how much effort the site puts into explaining about privacy, player protection and responsible gambling.
If you read just some of the pages, you cannot fail to be impressed about the security measures in place to prevent hacking, cheating and collusion. We have to say that never for a minute did we feel that we were ever involved in an unfair game, or that there was any risk we would not receive our funds when we requested the withdrawal of our bankroll. Safety and security guaranteed.
Security: Customer Support
Another thing that Party Poker is good at doing right is its Customer Support. A very comprehensive FAQ section on the Party Poker website is supported by live chat support (only available to players who have already registered an account and made a deposit), 24-hour Freephone support and email support.
If we had to find a hole in the service provided by Party Poker, it would be that you cannot search the FAQs for a specific enquiry. Sure, there is always Google, but we would have thought for something which is absolutely necessary to know (like how to verify your account) there should be a quick way of finding an answer to your question.
Our Experience of Playing at Party Poker
We conclude each of our online poker site reviews with details of our experience at the site, and we have mixed feelings about how to conclude our review of Party Poker. We liked it to a degree, and can see how recreational players and those with limited bankrolls would find the missions challenging and many of the promotions worthwhile.
At the other end of the scale, the 40% cashback through the Loyalty Program attracts a serious number of grinders at the higher stake levels. So, although there are benefits for both low-stakes and high-stakes players, there does appear to be a gap in the middle for mid-stakes players who may only benefit from a minimal weekly cashback.
We would suggest that, due to the relatively low first deposit rakeback percentage equivalent, you should consider how much time you have available to play at Party Poker before registering for an account. If you can take advantage of the frequent overlays in the site´s tournament schedule, or have the bankroll to support plenty of high stakes action, your experience at Party Poker could be very lucrative.