How We Pick the Best Online Poker Sites in NJ
TopNJCasinos.com has been evaluating NJ online poker sites for years. We know what to look for and have developed detailed criteria to determine the most player friendly New Jersey sites. Among the factors we consider most important:
Safety and security: First and foremost, we only recommend sites that are licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which regulates all internet gaming in the state. This ensures that all online poker games are fair and your account funds are secure. At offshore-based poker rooms, your funds are not guaranteed and players have no recourse if a site abruptly shuts down.
Software and mobile experience: We sign up for accounts and test the software. How easy is it to navigate the site on both iOS and Android devices? Which have the most responsive mobile apps? Does each poker app have adequate game selection?
Bonuses and promotions: All new signups can expect a choice of welcome bonus offers. This is free money into your account, but these bonuses come with specific wagering requirements. We read terms and conditions to determine which are the top bonuses that are the easiest to unlock. We also look for daily promotions.
Transaction process: Deposits and withdrawals should be quick and efficient. Not all sites offer players the same number of choices.
Online Poker Laws in New Jersey
New Jersey was the third state to legalize online poker, following Delaware and Nevada.
The NJ legislation, signed Feb. 26, 2013 by Gov. Chris Christie, was part of a broader gambling bill that legalized online casino gambling in the state. The bill mandated that each online poker site partner with an existing land-based casino; that online poker players be at least 21 years old and physically located within New Jersey to participate; and that the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement regulate the industry.
Six NJ online poker rooms launched on Nov. 26, 2013. The number of operators has fluctuated since then, with some shutting down and others joining the marketplace. Improved technology helped compensate for some early stumbles, and the state’s decision to join a three-state online poker compact in October 2017 improved player liquidity. While NJ online poker revenue trails its online casino gambling and sports betting counterparts by a wide margin (when all three are operating), online poker has experienced steady growth with seven NJ sites operating in 2020.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan would become the next states to allow legal online poker, though the latter two had not launched as of spring 2020.
Is Online Poker in NJ the Same as Playing in a Traditional Casino?
Playing poker online and at a NJ casino can be two different games, depending on your style of play. Players who rely more on physical interaction and observing mannerisms of other players at the table may fare better in a traditional land-based game. Players who rely more on poker math and enjoy a faster pace of play are more likely to excel at online poker.
While sitting at a table surrounded by other players and an actual dealer is a more social experience, there are several distinct advantages when you play online. Among them:
Convenience: No need to drive to a casino or card room. Online poker is available 24/7 from your computer or mobile device.
Bonus money: A casino bonus (or two) is standard fare for online players, but not at land-based casino games. Reload bonuses are even occasionally offered to existing online players.
Faster play: Online poker – and all internet gaming – moves at a far quicker pace, allowing you to play more hands with fewer distractions.
Stakes and selection: Most brick-and-mortar casino poker rooms offer a specific number of Texas Hold’em games with limited stakes. Online poker offers a wider variety of games and stakes, especially lower-priced games.
Multi-table play: The more skilled online players are able to play multiple hands simultaneously at different tables in an effort to maximize win rates.
Play for free: NJ online poker sites allow you to play for free after registering for an account. That gives you a chance to improve skills at your own pace before risking real money.
Types of Poker Games Available
While finding a Texas Hold’em game is never difficult, the number of players available at a given time determines which games are offered at your favorite NJ online poker site. The most popular games at NJ online poker rooms:
No Limit Texas Hold’em: The most frequently played poker game by a wide margin in NJ and everywhere else. Online stakes range from as low as pennies to $25/$50 and up.
Pot Limit Omaha: Games are generally available, usually for lower stakes. In Omaha, players are dealt four hole cards and must use two of them to make the best five-card hand.
Stud games: 7-Card and Razz (making the lowest hand possible) have a following, but games may only be available during peak times.
Zoom Poker: Offered at selected NJ online sites when ample player pools allow. In Zoom Poker, player can fold their hand and then be instantly transferred to another table.
In addition to cash games, NJ online poker sites offer a daily tournament schedule. Multi-table poker tournaments are played with different buy-ins and offer significant prize pools from $10,000 and up. The most elite NJ tournaments can offer huge payouts, such as the 2020 WSOP.com Spring Online Championships featuring more than 100 events and worth more than $4 million in prize money.
NJ online poker sites also offer daily Sit & Go events. These six- or nine-handed, one-table events generally last less than an hour and offer different payout structures, depending on the buy-in.
Online Poker Sites in New Jersey
NJ online poker players can currently choose between seven sites on four different networks for their online gaming enjoyment. A look at each site and network:
888 Poker NJ/WSOP NJ: The partnership between 888 and WSOP is NJ’s most popular online poker network. 888 is a major global online poker operator and WSOP has the most recognizable name and branding opportunities. In addition, the partners take advantage of an online poker agreement with Delaware and Nevada, which allows for a shared player pool from all three states since 888 operates in Delaware and WSOP in Nevada. The increased number of available players means a wider selection of cash games and tournament play. The land-based partner is Caesars. You can play 888poker here and at WSOP NJ here.
PokerStars NJ: Considered one of the world’s leading online poker sites, PokerStars New Jersey offers a robust menu of cash games and tournaments and plays host to several elite NJ championship events. The PokerStars mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, is one of the most player friendly in the industry, with intuitive features and tutorials. The land-based partner is Resorts. PokerStars was the first provider of online poker in neighboring Pennsylvania.
BetMGM Poker NJ/Borgata Poker NJ/PartyPoker NJ: The three sites share an online network and similar tournament schedules, and each is partnered with Borgata, the leading land-based poker room in New Jersey. Borgata and PartyPoker were among the original NJ online poker sites to go live in 2013, with BetMGM joining the network four years later. PartyPoker is a major worldwide online tournament operator, and its website offers tutorials on tournament strategy.
Pala Poker NJ: By far the smallest NJ online poker site. Pala does not share traffic with any other operator and often struggles with player liquidity. More tournament options than cash games. The land-based partner is Borgata.
Can I Play In-Person Live Poker in NJ?
Atlantic City casinos are home to these live poker rooms in the state:
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa: With 85 tables, Borgata is the biggest and top revenue-producing poker room in NJ. There is no shortage of action with No-Limit Texas Hold’em games available around the clock and Sit & Go events every hour. The Borgata is host to several lucrative tournaments, including two annual stops on the World Poker Tour.
Golden Nugget: Nine-table poker room on the casino’s fourth floor offers No Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha games. Tournament schedule with guaranteed prize pool and several daily promotions, including High Hand and Splash the Pot.
Harrah’s: A 40-table poker room with games based on guest demand. Offers Total Bad Beat Jackpot on both limit and no limit games. Plays host to daily tournaments and is an annual stop on the World Series of Poker Circuit.
Tropicana: Boardwalk casino’s 24-hour poker room has 18 tables. Daily No Limit Hold’em tournaments are offered at 11:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m., each with $40 buy-in.
World Series of Poker Room at Bally’s: The poker room at Bally’s features 42 tables and 20 HDTVs. Plenty of Texas Hold’em and Omaha games and tournament schedule includes several WSOP Circuit events. Also serves as poker room for neighboring Caesars.
Funding Your Online Poker Account
NJ poker sites offer a variety of ways to deposit and withdraw funds from your online account. Each site offers slightly different options. The most common:
E-wallet: The common options are PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. Fund your account with a credit card. E-wallets securely store your personal information and can be used for speedy deposits and withdrawals with minimal or no fees.
Play +: A prepaid card that allows instant deposits and timely withdrawals for low fees. You can often apply right from the site of your online operator. You can fund your Play+ card with a credit card or bank account, use it at multiple sites and withdraw funds from an ATM.
Cash at casino cage: Every NJ online poker site is partnered with an Atlantic City casino. Simply visit the cashier cage at the casino affiliated with your site.
ACH/bank transfer: An account is set up through your bank or third party to electronically transfer funds from your checking account to online poker account and vice versa.
PayNearMe: Deposit option in which you bring cash to a NJ 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy or Family Dollar store. They will scan a barcode that transfers the funds into your online poker account.
Check: If time is not a factor when making a withdrawal, your online poker site will mail a check if you request one.
Credit/debit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. Be aware that some banks reject gambling transactions as a matter of policy and others charge fees, so it’s best to have a backup plan to avoid frustration.
Online Poker Bonuses for New Jersey Players
Players who sign up with a NJ online poker site for the first time can expect several welcome bonus offers to choose from. Be aware that just like any casino bonus, most require some form of wagering requirement before the free money can be unlocked, so read the terms and conditions closely. The most frequent welcome offers:
No-deposit bonus: Simply sign up for an account and the bonus money will be placed into your account without having to make an initial deposit. These bonuses are usually in the $20-$30 range. To prevent players from just withdrawing the no-deposit bonus, the money will need to be wagered at least one time before it can be redeemed.
Deposit match: Make a deposit and your online poker operator will match that amount up to 100%. These bonuses require more significant wagering requirements, with the bonus money usually released in increments once specific gaming targets are attained.
Freeroll bonus: A bonus to new players offering free entry into particular tournaments.
While new players can claim welcome bonuses only once, signing up at multiple sites allows players to take advantage of multiple bonuses.
Mobile Apps for NJ Poker Sites
Mobile apps provide NJ players the convenience of playing from their mobile devices any time from anywhere in the state. Simply visit the website of your online poker site and download the poker app for free. If you use an iOS mobile device, you can also download from the App Store after you register your account.
Each of the apps offered by the seven NJ online poker operators is available in iOS and Android. All offer plenty of real-money games, ready to play from your smartphone.
The PokerStars mobile app is generally considered the most tech-savvy, with an experience equal or better than desktop. Its poker lobby makes finding a table easy. The WSOP and 888 apps are similar and benefit from having the largest number of available players. The improved PartyPoker app is easy to navigate and supports Zoom Poker.
Finding NJ Online Poker Sites
Whether familiar with online poker or new to the game, choosing the right place to play can make all the difference. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend hours sifting through online or land-based casino sites to find what you’re looking for.
We here at TopNJCasinos.com are focused on helping you find the best place to play and providing the information you need to make the most informed decisions.
As a starting point, read our New Jersey online poker reviews. Then give each site a score based on the factors that matter most to you, whether that’s player liquidity, game selection, software, bonuses and promotions, etc.
Then follow our secure links to each site, create an account, test the software and play some of the demo games for free.
The final step is to make a small deposit at your top choices, test the software some more and continue to play where you feel most comfortable.
New Jersey Online Poker FAQ
Yes. NJ lawmakers legalized online poker in 2013. Seven online poker sites are currently operating, the most of any state in the U.S.
All NJ online poker players must be 21 or older.
Yes. Just make sure you are playing at a legal, licensed site that is regulated by the state. Online poker at offshore-based sites is not safe or regulated and should be avoided.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulates online poker and is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the state’s casino gaming industry.
Yes. In late 2017, New Jersey entered into an online poker agreement with Nevada and Delaware that allows the three states to share their players into one pool. Shared liquidity is important because it increases the number of available players and game options. Players can take advantage of the shared liquidity on the WSOP/888 network.
There are four poker networks and seven different online sites. WSOP and 888 share one network; BetMGM, Borgata and PartyPoker share another. PokerStars and Pala Poker each operate their own network.
Yes, if you are playing in New Jersey, Nevada or Delaware.
They all do. Tournament play is a key component of online poker and all NJ sites offer a daily schedule of tournaments. Most are No Limit Texas Hold’em events with various buy-in amounts.
Just as NJ online poker sites offer bonuses to new players, they also want to reward their existing players. They do so with their loyalty programs, which allow players to collect cash, gifts or prizes. Generally, the more money wagered, the higher the reward.
The factors that are most important to you. That might be the feel of the software, ease of site navigation or game selection. Players have different priorities. Find the site that best fits your needs.
Yes, but one of the advantages of NJ online poker is being able to play for whatever stakes you want. Micro-stakes games can be played for pennies; higher-rollers can play for $20/$40. It’s not difficult to find an online game with stakes that fit your bankroll.
Poker winnings, like all gambling winnings, are considered taxable, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Both New Jersey residents and nonresidents will be taxed at a rate 3% by the state, plus federal taxes will be withheld.
To play on a NJ online poker site, you must be physically located inside the state. Your computer’s Wi-Fi or cellphone triangulation allows online poker sites to use geolocation to accurately track and pinpoint your location.
A successful handicapper with more than a decade in the sports and gambling industry, Adam enjoys writing about (and playing) poker.