partypoker is one of the biggest names in online poker, with a track record spanning back as far as its launch in 2001. Over the next five years, partypoker would go on to become the world’s biggest poker room, with some 80,000 players logged in and playing at peak times.
In 2011, their parent company PartyGaming merged with sports betting giants bwin, to create bwin.party Digital Entertainment – one of the world’s largest gambling brands. Today, partypoker remains one of the handful of poker sites at the top of the pile.
With that kind of pedigree, it’s unsurprising that partypoker remains a leading choice, both for new poker players, and for those looking to move on to bigger money tables. But does the experience in reality live up to its billing?
Safety and Trustworthiness
Deposits & Withdrawals
A good range of payment methods are supported on both the deposit and withdrawal sides, including PayPal, for maximum convenience. Payment processing times will vary depending on your withdrawal method, the amount of your withdrawal, and whether you have cleared the ID verification required for withdrawal. In the vast majority of cases, you should be expecting to have received cleared payment within 7 days, and often much sooner.
partypoker invites new players to take advantage of their welcome bonus offer, which makes up to £250 available, contingent on the size of your first deposits. The offer is triggered with a minimum deposit of £10, and is restricted to new customers only. As is the norm, terms and conditions do apply to the bonus, and it’s worth familiarising yourself with these in more detail before deciding to sign up.
The bonus is awarded within 48 hours of your first eligible deposit, which must be made within the first 120 days. The bonus is paid out as a 100% match on the size of your first deposit, and there is a window of 90 days from receipt of the bonus for you to release the full amount of the bonus, which is paid in 10 increments.
The bonus is tied to the loyalty points you accrue in this first period, at a rate of 1 loyalty point per $1 rake generated, and each time the value of the deposit is earned 0.12 times, you are awarded a 10% share of the bonus amount – equivalent to a 12x multiple.
This is a little complicated, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for poker bonuses. While the bonus amount is decent, the terms are a little restrictive, and of course, hard to keep track of – luckily, partypoker does this for you, with the bonus section in your account showing your progress towards meeting the withdrawal criteria.
In terms of the bonus release clauses, this is an OK time frame for players who are serious about their poker, although newbies might find it a little on the slow side. Otherwise, it’s an OK bonus comparatively, and stands as another good reason to make partypoker your first choice.
Mobile players are well catered to at partypoker, with apps available for both Android and iOS device users. The apps capture the essence of the desktop experience, offering a similar collection of poker tables and other games in a well-designed, intuitive app version of the partypoker site. Players can enjoy full access to Texas Hold’em Cash Games, as well as the ability to play faster, thanks to their ‘fastforward’ feature – perfect if you’re trying to squeeze in a few hands on the fly. Both real money and play-money tables are available in the apps too, so you can brush up on your skills before heading to the money tables.
The mobile experience is strong throughout, and stands as another good reason to choose partypoker over comparable poker rooms. The app is quick to load and doesn’t lag either, and it’s good to know you can enjoy consistency and stability while you play.
If there is a limitation here, it’s the comparatively smaller selection of games available through the app, with none of the sit and gos or the tournaments you’ll find on the desktop version. This is one area partypoker could improve, for players hoping to move beyond the most basic cash games on the app.
In terms of retention, the VIP Scheme does some of the legwork – players want to scale the VIP tiers, and access the best bonuses from their points balance. But partypoker goes above and beyond with further retention promotions to keep players involved. These vary throughout the year, but generally offer players the chance to win prizes, double points and other bonuses. For details on the latest promotions, you can check the ‘Promotions’ tab to see what’s available at any given time.
The recurring Happy Hour promotion allows you to double your VIP points on any games played during the qualifying window, while the ‘Under The Gun’ promotion is great for picking up invites for big money freerolls. There’s also the option to Refer a Friend, and you’ll both pick up a bonus for the recommendation, as well as the other various promotions that crop up throughout the year.
As one of the pioneers of online poker, and the one-time undisputed heavyweight champion of the poker world, partypoker is always likely to rank fairly highly in the estimations. Their platform has the capacity to support tens of thousands of players at any one time, and meets the demands of thousands of cash games, tournaments and free-play games without lag or disruption.
Newly revamped, the software and games benefit from the freshen up – both graphically, and in terms of the user experience. The Sunday tournaments are a continual big draw, and thanks to the sheer scale of partypoker, there’s room for some serious tournament pots to build. Players who are in the market for moderate to challenging tournament play, or for cash games ranging up to high rollers tables will find partypoker the most suitable to their needs.
If there is any room for improvement, the mobile experience would be a start – it’s not exactly bad, but it just feels like an area where partypoker could improve things. Similarly, their bonus could be a little less confusing, but it’s par for the course with major online poker rooms.
On balance, partypoker lands a 9 out of 10 – they’re one of the big boys, and rightfully retain their place amongst the top tier. While they no longer dominate the market in quite the same way as they used to, it remains a solid choice for players looking to move on to bigger things with their poker play.