Party Poker Review
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If you haven’t heard of Party Poker then you’ve had your head buried in the sand. Party Poker is simply the best known online poker room and can be credited with bringing poker (not just online poker) to the masses, successfully making it the craze it is today. Recently, however, Party Poker has gone through harder times. Following the legislation passed in the United States prohibiting the processing of gambling transactions from US financial institutions Party Poker took the decision to no longer accept US players who made up a significant proportion of their existing numbers. Unsurprisingly, this also coincided with Party Poker removing from their software the tool that showed just how many players were online at any given time. Nevertheless, Party Poker’s brand appeal continues to make it popular with players and it remains highly active. Functional software and the security of playing at such a well known brand makes Party Poker the favourite choice of many.
Poker Games Available
As you would expect from one of the largest poker rooms, Party Poker has all the big name table games including Texas Holdem, Omaha and 7 Card Stud in all the varieties: limit, no limit and pot limit. Texas Holdem blinds range from $.05/.10 to $100/200 for limit and from $0.02/.04 to $25/50 for no limit.
Party Poker also supports one of the highest levels of tournament traffic offering both sit and go and multi table tournaments in all poker games with buy-ins ranging from a few cents to as much as $1,000 and sometimes even more. Party Poker also offers a number of freerolls, guaranteed prizepool tournaments and satellites to bigger tournaments including TV tournaments with the largest being the World Series of Poker.
Party Poker uses its own proprietary software rather then operating as part of a network, able to do so because of its large player numbers. It is regularly updated, with major changes to the software having being made in 2003, the early part of 2004, the latter part of 2005 and again in 2006 when the appearance of the lobby was dramatically changed to its current appearance.
The software can be best described as functional rather than aesthetically creative as it avoids going down the route of colourful avatars or player images which other poker rooms have done. Instead, it concentrates solely on the poker rather than the visuals surrounding which you will either love or hate. One things for certain: you are under no illusion that you are playing online!
The lobby provides minimal stats to select a game from including the number of players at the table, the number of players waiting, the average pot size and the flop percentage. Notable omissions include flops/hands per hour so you may find yourself in a slower/tighter game than you would prefer. A comprehensive filter, however, allows you to zone in on precisely the type of game you want to play.
Party Poker enables you to play at a number of tables at the same time, the limit being how many you can comfortably play with or fit on your screen. At the table you are able to create player notes (a useful tool if you come across the same player twice) and can view recent hand histories. Alternatively, you can have these sent to your computer or interface them with a poker hand analyser such as Poker Tracker.
Following the 2005 update you can also make side bets which whilst adding an element of fun are generally regarded as a suckers bet and, therefore, should be avoided for the more serious poker players out there!
Party Poker is currently supported on the Mac, but the software at the time of writing only allows ring games to be played; tournaments cannot.
If you decide to join Party Poker you will qualify for a new plaer bonus. Upon your first deposit you will receive a 20% bonus up to $100. For example, if you deposit $100 you will be given a free bonus of $20. In order to release the bonus you need to play 5 raked hands for each $1.
Party Poker operates it’s own loyalty points scheme which it calls “Party Points”. They are given to players as they contribute to the rake in cash games and pay entry fees to join tournaments. The points can then be redeemed for entry into tournaments, bonuses and merchandise.
Party Poker also offer frequent reload bonuses to existing players requiring players to play a specified number of raked hands within a given period of time to release the bonus into their account.
Party Poker offers phone and email support. The support you receive is tied to the level of player you are. Whilst VIP players no doubt receive premium service, players at lower limits have commented that email responses can take a long time and when they are received questions are not always directly answered, rather a standard form answer is sent.
Account Funding Methods
Party Poker accepts deposits from: VISA, MasterCard, Western Union, FirePay, Neteller, Citadel, eCheck, Cashiers’ Cheque, Money Order, Bank Draft and Cheque.
Account Withdrawal Methods
Party Poker processes withdrawals using: Neteller, Cheque, eCheck and Wire Transfer.
Party Poker is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the Government of Gibraltar.
Party Poker’s games are tested by iTech Labs, and independent tester of gaming and wagering devices.
Click here to download Party Poker