Party Poker Review
Party Poker is one of the biggest and most recognizable names to online poker. I had some pretty high expectations considering they were at one point the biggest online poker room. After the issue with the UIGEA, Party Poker made the decision to withdraw from the US market. This seriously impacted their player numbers, but I was very glad to see they've bounced back. They don't seem to have any peak hours, with full tables and tournaments no matter when I logged on.
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Software and Security
Party Poker's software and appearance have improved dramatically from the last time I'd played at their tables. It now has a sleek, sharp appearance that's common in current poker rooms. It is still a stable and fast software, which offers all the most popular personalization options. I always prefer a poker room that offers detailed hand history and statistic information available. However when it comes to personalization options there's some nice choices. Cartoon avatars, player notes, 4 color decks, and more. But it's not all about appearances. I love the unique table-stacking view that Party Poker offers, which made multi-tabling a breeze. There's also the ability to turn off game sounds and a 'hot hand' alert that notifies you when you have a particularly good hand, and plenty more options!
Party Poker's software redesign doesn't mean they're any less secure. They are still excellent at keeping user data secure, and all personal and financial information is kept encrypted. They regularly audit their software and random number generators, and are listed on the London Stock Exchange. When it comes to having confidence in the fairness of your poker room, Party Poker is one of the best.
Games and Tournaments
It did not surprise me to see that Party Poker offers a great a good selection of poker games. They offer all the most popular games including: Texas Hold Em, Omaha, and 7 Card Stud. There's a variety of stake levels, as well as Hi-Lo, Pot Limit and No Limit variations offered.
Regardless of the smaller player base after withdrawing from the US market, Party Poker is still one of the best options for poker tournaments. Just like every other online poker room, the majority of traffic is in the No Limit Hold Em tables, and the micro/low level buy in tournaments and freerolls. However I didn't see any lack of players at the higher limit tables, and tournaments seemed to fill up very quickly. I found a wide variety of freerolls, guaranteed tournaments, sit and gos, and satellites. They also publicize special qualifiers to the WPT and other events like the Aussie Millions.
Aside from the $100,000 worth of freerolls offered monthly and plenty more generous tournaments, there's plenty more exciting offers from Party Poker. The New Players package wasn't as impressive as some rooms- a 200% deposit bonus up to $500 and a number of free tournament entry tokens. However, there's also exciting events organized such as leaderboard challenges, steps tournaments, even a VIP countdown event with a $4,000 cash back rewards.
Party Poker's VIP structure was revamped-there's no complicated and hard to navigate loyalty system any more. Players simply earn points that are credited to your account every time you leave a game or table. Points are earned in the typical manner- raked hands at cash game tables and tournament fees paid. I was really impressed by the rewards offered by the VIP club however. There are cash bonuses, play credits to use in the casino and bingo hall, and more. For the serious players there's even a Premium VIP service. This claims more exclusive promotions, rakeback, and exclusive VIP merchandise to purchase with points such as cars and motorcycles. They recommend your email be kept up to date so reload bonus codes reach you- especially if you're in the higher levels of the VIP club.
Party Poker offers a very wide selection of deposit options. Besides the most common credit cards, some of the other options include Neteller, Click2Pay, Skrill, Web Money, and more. These options are available both for deposit and withdrawal. They are also not the only options. I was pretty impressed at the selection offered by Party Poker- while they don't have the widest range, there was a good variety.
They also have a great tool on their webpage that allows players to immediately sort through which options are available for their location. This is far easier and more convenient than searching through fine print. This list also automatically lists below the image whether or not there are fees associated with that deposit option.
While Party Poker obviously does their best to make playing poker on their website as simple as possible, it's nice to have a good support staff. They don't really have an easy to access FAQ on their site. There's good information on deposits, and promotions all have great details, but to access their FAQ can be very annoying. The support center has a few common questions that players can see the answers to immediately, but in order to access the full FAQ players must select the small link “View Full FAQ” below the Ask A Question box, which is easily overlooked. With all the effort Party Poker put into a great new table software, I realy think this could use a redesign.
When it comes to contacting support, players can choose from a good list of telephone numbers, all sorted by country. There is also email, but I was not impressed with the time it took to get a response. I had much better luck using their live chat feature. The support staff member I spoke to was very friendly and knowledgeable, however, and made the experience enjoyable despite the annoyance of trying to navigate the help section.