Online Poker in NJ
Once upon a time, online poker was massive throughout the United States. And while people still play just about everywhere in America, the widespread shutdown of some of the largest sites has limited the spread of the game in recent years. Thankfully, though, that’s not a problem in New Jersey, where Internet gaming is fully regulated and legal – including when it comes to poker.
Today, there are several great online poker rooms available to players in New Jersey. Each of them is fully licensed to operate in the state, and attached to one of two casino companies that are active in this side of the gaming industry. Here’s a closer look at the best options for players in the state.
Two Casinos, Four Sites
At the moment, only two of Atlantic City’s many casino brands are involved in this market: Caesars, which controls the WSOP brand and works with 888, and the Borgata, which is partnered with PartyPoker. Previously, there was also an Ultimate Poker site, which was operated through the Trump Taj Mahal; however, that site folded in 2014.
There are actually four sites you can choose from, each of which offers a different experience for players. However, it’s worth noting that there are only two unique player pools: WSOP.com and 888 share the same tables, and the same is true for Borgata and Party. This is important, as poker relies on having enough players to keep games going in order to make sure there is always action available to players.
In comparing the two networks, WSOP/888s is certainly larger at the moment. During peak hours, you might find as many as 500 players filling the cash game tables, with the average traffic coming in at around 200. Party/Borgata isn’t far behind, though: they average around 140, with the cash game tables featuring as many as 350 or so players during peak times.
Both networks offer the most popular games around, including Texas Hold’em. There are also major tournaments that allow lucky and skilled players to potentially win tens of thousands of dollars or more. The biggest events include the so-called Sunday majors – tournaments that guarantee large prize pools, such as PartyPoker’s $50,000 Guarantee, or the $30,000 Big Sunday event at 888/Borgata. At WSOP.com, you might even be able to win your way into the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas!
Here is a complete listing of the sites currently available in New Jersey:
How to Play
Getting started on any of these sites is easy. First, you’ll need to make sure that you’re within the state borders of New Jersey. Don’t worry, you don’t have to live here: anyone who is physically located in the state is allowed to connect and play whenever they like.
Check out our reviews and other information on these sites, and choose the one that seems right for you. Once you visit their site, you’ll go through a quick verification to make sure you are eligible to play as you sign up for your account.
If you want to play for real money, you’ll also have to make a deposit. There are many deposit methods available: you can try using your Visa or MasterCard-branded credit or debit card, an e-wallet product like PayPal, Neteller, or Skrill, transfer money from your bank account, or even head down to the casino and make a deposit right at their cashier. The exact methods available will depend on which site you are playing on.
Once you’ve successfully put money into your account, you’re ready to go! You can play against other players throughout the state any time of day or night at whatever stakes you choose. Cash games, tournaments, sit and go events and more are all available with only a few clicks.
Expansion on the Horizon
The New Jersey online poker marketplace is already doing quite well, but it hasn’t seen the kind of growth that the overall Internet casino industry has enjoyed over the past two years. That could change, however, as a new industry leader is expected to jump into the fray in 2016: PokerStars.
PokerStars is the largest online room in the world, and in late 2015, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement finally approved their return to the state market. The company is partnered with Resorts Casino, which currently offers only casino games over the Internet. The approval came only after a very long investigation into Amaya Gaming, the new owners of PokerStars, to ensure that they were truly a reliable operator.
It’s unclear exactly when the new PokerStars site will launch. Before it can do so, regulators will still have to sign off on all of the technical back-end aspects of the operation. However, most expects appear to believe that the site will be available sometime during the first half of 2016, which could reinvigorate the entire New Jersey Internet gaming market.