New Jersey Online Poker

Legal online poker play in New Jersey has been on the rise in recent years after dipping in popularity more than a decade ago. Online poker is an attractive pastime for many as it’s a peer-to-peer activity. In other words, you are interacting and competing against other real-world players in the state. This is a lot more fun to most people than competing directly against a casino.

Best Online Poker Casinos In New Jersey

These websites take a small percentage of the pot and entry fees to operate and offer players a way to put up real money in online poker. Online poker was considered a craze back in the early to mid-2000s with commercials on left and right. It seemed like everyone was playing poker online in those days. Now, online poker in New Jersey is making a comeback, and active players across the state are rising.

Is New Jersey online poker a game of skill?

Yes, the fact that poker is a skill-based game has been established. For example, unlike playing a slot machine, poker takes time to practice and could take a lifetime to master. This is why, by law, poker is considered a game of skill. While there is a portion of the game’s outcome that is random, due to the unknown cards being dealt, with practice you can make your guesses sharper. For example, there are only so many cards in a deck. So, if you know what cards you have and the community cards, you can use that information to better predict what your opponent’s cards might be. That, along with reading tells, betting tendencies, and more, are just a few ways that you can get better at poker over time.

Real-money New Jersey online poker sites

As of this writing, there are seven online poker sites in New Jersey where players can gamble with real money.

WSOP NJ: Word Series of Poker NJ launched their real-money online poker site in the Garden State back in 2013. The site operates as the All-American Poker Network and with a license through Caesars’ Interactive Entertainment. WSOP NJ shares partial liquidity with 888 across the majority of tournaments and low-stakes cash games. The website uses the same Dragonfish platform that 888 uses, which means the user experience is nearly identical.

888 Poker NJ: The 888 Poker site is, in essence, the sister site to WSOP NJ. 888 Poker is a big name in the international poker scene but found great success via its partnership with the World Series of Poker. The two sites share a player pool that makes up the largest share of any site in New Jersey. As is the case with WSOP NJ, 888 Poker’s land-based partner is Caesars Atlantic City.

PokerStars NJ: Perhaps the most recognized name in online poker, PokerStars re-launched in New Jersey in March of 2016. The website had previously been forced to leave the market in 2011 after Black Friday. Now, with the help of a partnership with Resorts Atlantic City and a tech partnership with The Stars Group, PokerStars is up and running again. PokerStars initially took back majority control of the market in NJ but were soon outpaced by WSOP/888.

Partypoker: At one time, Partypoker was the biggest name in global online poker. It was also among the initial sites to launch in the Garden State back in late 2013. Partypoker initially took the market lead but eventually fell behind Pokerstars and 888/WSOP in recent years. Borgata serves as the land-based poker room for Partypoker with GVC and Roar Digital tech partners.

Borgata Poker: Like WSOP and 888 Poker, Borgata Poker is essentially a skin over the Partypoker website. The company launched in 2013 along with Partypoker also shares a player pool and liquidity with BetMGM Poker. Because of this, Borgata features some of the largest tournaments and has the highest number of ring games at any given moment. Borgata also features exclusive

BetMGM Poker: The BetMGM platform is new to the industry and even newer to the Borgata/Partypoker network. The site initially launched in 2017 as playMGM poker before being added to the network as a third option. Then, in 2019, it was rebranded BetMHM Poker and now shares players and liquidity with the rest of the network. Between the three websites, the group jumps between second and third place in the state in terms of popularity.

Pala Poker: Pala Poker was the latest addition to the NJ online poker scene when it launched back in 2017. The platform has made the most of its short tenure and has gained a solid player base over the last four years. Pala operates on a unique platform as a standalone poker site. This means that they do not share any traffic with other rooms in the state. Pala Poker does function under a partnership with the Borgata, but the two do not share liquidity.

Free social online poker sites in New Jersey

Global Poker is the only free social online poker site in New Jersey. It remains the only poker site in the USA that allows players to play across state lines without breaking regulations.

The website can operate legally in the United States thanks to a dual-currency system based around the same idea as promotional sweepstakes. Residents of New Jersey can access and play Global Poker free of charge. The room, which was launched as a free play site back in 2016, requires that users buy coins that have no real monetary value. The purchase of these coins comes with a free gift of Sweeps Coins. These can be exchanged for money because they are gifts from the website for being a loyal customer. This allows Global Poker to offer cash games and tournaments without breaking any gaming laws or regulations.

Who can play online poker in New Jersey?

The New Jersey online gambling bill signed in 2013 allows for websites to provide online poker games to players who are 21 years of age and older. Players must also be physically within state lines but do not have to be residents of New Jersey to participate. Basically, the same requirements to play poker in a casino in New Jersey.

Online poker variants offered

While Texas hold’em and two-card poker are the most well-known variants of poker in New Jersey, online poker sites offer a wide variety of games to enjoy. The games you see on television rarely feature the other poker styles, but NJ online poker rooms don’t skimp on the variations.

Online poker cash games in New Jersey

Online cash games, also sometimes called ring games or live-action games, are poker games where real-life money is at stake and real chips are being used. Even if the chips are digital, they represent real-world assets. Tables generally stay open perpetually with no time limit set on games. Players are free to come and go as they please, even in the middle of a hand. They differ from tournaments that use chips with no value outside the bounds of the tournament.

Online poker tournaments in New Jersey

Online poker tournaments function differently than cash games do and require more of a commitment. Unlike ring games, you cannot come and go from a poker tournament as you see fit. Once you are in, you must remain at the table until the game is over. Another difference is that the poker chips in a tournament have no value outside of your current game. In a cash game, you bring your chips in and leave with what you win. In a tournament, each player receives the same amount of chips, and those chips cannot be taken with you and “cashed out" at any point during the event. Poker tournaments also increase the amount of money you can win when compared with cash games.

Online poker tournaments vary in specifics, but the most popular is called freezeout. A freezeout poker tournament means that when you run out of chips, that’s it; your day is over. A popular amendment to the freezeout is called the re-entry, which allows you to essentially buy into the tournament twice if you are knocked out early.

It’s worth keeping an eye out for the marquee tournaments that each real-money poker site in New Jersey features throughout the year. These tournaments draw the most attention, have the stiffest competition, but also feature the biggest payouts.

Live poker rooms in New Jersey

  • Harrahs AC Poker Room: 28 tables – opened in 1980
  • Borgata Poker Room: 85 tables – opened in 2003
  • Golden Nugget Poker Room: 9 tables – opened in 1985
  • WSOP Room at Bally’s: 42 tables – opened in 1979
  • Tropicana Poker Room: 18 tables – opened in 1981
  • Bally’s Atlantic City Wild Wild West Poker Room: 42 – opened in 1997
  • Caesars Atlantic City Poker Room: 24 tables – opened in 1979

COVID-19 and New Jersey poker

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, online poker play in New Jersey has become even more popular. It eliminates the need to be in close quarters with other people and minimizes infection risk. However, while live poker is safe and casinos have been doing a lot to keep players safe, it will never be as safe during the pandemic as online poker.

Author

Matt De Saro

Matt De Saro

Matt De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in finance and sports, specifically sports betting. He has hosted podcasts and web shows since 2014 which aim to educate and inform sports bettors worldwide.