NJ Online Poker

Few states have more options for online poker than New Jersey.

The Garden State has been a premier destination for the mobile game for almost a decade, and there’s no sign of slowing down.

At this point, you may not be aware of all the different NJ poker site options that residents and visitors have at their fingertips.

Whether you are an experienced player looking to expand your horizons or a new player who is curious about the depth of opportunities in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place.

This page is your guide to all things online poker in the Garden State.

Best online poker sites in New Jersey

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Is online poker legal in New Jersey?

Yes! Online poker is completely legal in New Jersey. In fact, online poker has been authorized by state law since 2013.

The launch of online poker in the Garden State came as the result of then-Gov. Chris Christie’s signature on New Jersey Assembly Bill 2578 in February 2013.

Roughly nine months after the bill’s procession into law, online poker debuted concurrently with online casino gambling in the state.

Since then, the market has fluctuated quite a bit in terms of size and revenue. At present, there are seven legal online poker sites actively serving players in New Jersey.

New Jersey residents and visitors can also take advantage of the state’s membership in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. The agreement allows sites from Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to combine their player pools and increase the prize possibilities and action for all three states.

Top NJ poker sites for 2020

There are over half a dozen online poker sites in New Jersey. All of them are products of major gaming companies and have long histories of expertise in the industry.

The NJ online poker rooms use four different networks to host their games. So, New Jersey players will find some overlap between the sites from time to time, and obviously, there will be players from Nevada and Delaware in some rooms.

RankPoker SiteNo Deposit BonusDeposit BonusPlay Now
1.WSOP.com$10 Free100% up to $1,000Play Now
2.888 Poker$20 Free100% up to $1,500Play Now
3.Party Poker$25 Free100% up to $1,000Play Now
4.PokerStarsNone100% up to $600Play Now
5.Borgata Poker$20 Free100% up to $600Play Now
6.BetMGM Poker$25 Free100% to $1,000Play Now

Here’s a rundown of all the different available sites:

  1. WSOP.com NJ: WSOP.com is the online version of the World Series of Poker, the most famous poker brand in the world. Players can compete in hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo games at a variety of stakes. In addition, every summer brings the opportunity to play in several WSOP bracelet events that are exclusively online.
  2. PokerStars NJ Poker: PokerStars is the largest and most active online poker site in the world. Its ability to offer action on such a wide variety of games and stakes has engraved its position in the poker pantheon. PokerStars distinguishes itself by not only offering standard games of hold’em and Omaha, but also by its game innovation, where it has worked to produce variants with names like FusionDeep Water and Swap Hold’em.
  3. Partypoker: partypoker is a flagship online poker brand from the early days of online poker. However, due to Black Friday, the version that you see now is a much more muted presentation than its previous incarnation. Nevertheless, players can find any number of opportunities to play no-limit hold’em (NLHE) and pot-limit Omaha here.
  4. 888 Poker NJ: 888 Poker is a fully integrated site that excels in its multi-table tournament offerings. Although players can only find options for hold’em and pot-limit Omaha, the wide selection of tournament opportunities keeps its players loyal.
  5. Pala Poker: Pala Poker is still a bit of a fledgling site, but it continues to do things the right way in order to build. The site offers numerous tournaments, and there is a terrific opportunity because many of them run with overlays on their guarantees. Pala also offers a rush poker-like game called FastPala, which is sure to get the blood pumping.
  6. Borgata Poker: Borgata Poker is the online arm of the Vegas-style casino property in Atlantic City. In a similar vein, Borgata Poker offers several games that are somewhat old school and difficult to find these days. Players can compete in throwbacks, like 7-card stud and limit hold’em, on a routine basis.
  7. BetMGM Poker: BetMGM Poker is one of the newer online poker sites in New Jersey. Like its network mate Borgata, the site offers the opportunity to play many games that were more popular in earlier days. So, BetMGM players can throw down on seven-card stud and limit hold’em games when they like, irrespective of the prerequisite opportunities for NLHE and Omaha.

Real money poker vs. play money

NJ online poker One of the nice things about living in New Jersey is the slate of options you have to play online poker.

As unbelievable as it may seem, you can play for and win real money in the Garden State. New Jersey is even home to its group of professional players who split their time between the live venues in Atlantic City and, more often, the virtual streets of online poker apps in the state.

Key differences between live and online poker in NJ

However, if you’re interested in playing online, there are a few things that you need to know. 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the speed of play is much faster at an NJ poker site versus live games.

So, where a typical live poker game could average 30 hands per hour, an online poker game is often double that rate or more. As a result, you will see more hands, experience greater variance and find that everything (including bad beats) happens more often.

The stakes online are also more varied than in live settings. It is possible to play real money games for less than $5 and where the stakes are mere pennies. On the other hand, you can also find games as big as any you may find in the high-limit areas of most poker rooms.

As a result of this flexibility, players online tend to be more skilled than their real-world counterparts at the same level, too. 

So, if you’re used to playing in a $1/$3 game live, you might consider playing in online games that have maximum buy-ins of $10-$25. The last thing you want to do is go to the same level game and find a bunch of sharks waiting.

The same range of buy-ins exists for tournaments, too. It is possible to play in tournaments with buy-ins as low as a single cent. 

Conversely, you can play in high-limit events that have buy-ins in excess of $1,000 and life-changing money on the line.

Some of the best New Jersey online poker sites even offer a feature called jackpot sit-n-gos. These events are hyper-turbo, winner-take-all tournaments that require three players to start.

The kicker is that the prize is a randomly determined multiple of the buy-in amount, and can offer the chance at a huge payday.

Game options

You will also have a more extensive selection with regard to both game type and game variety online. The full scope of modern poker is at your fingertips with most online poker apps in New Jersey.

So, you will be able to move seamlessly between cash games, tournaments, sit and gos, and special events.

It is not only possible but typical to play more than one game at a time. You might conceivably be running deep in a tournament at the same time that you’re bubbling out of another, for instance. The combinations are up to you, and some poker players are able to manage more than 10 games at a time.

The real-money games that are available on every NJ online poker room are No-Limit Texas Hold’em and pot-limit Omaha (PLO). Hold’em is the most popular game in the world, and the high-only version of Omaha ranks a close second.

However, depending on the site, the possibilities for other games are vast. PokerStars, for instance, prides itself on offering action for nearly every common game under the sun. Furthermore, the worldwide leader has developed and released (on a limited basis) games of its own.

Few other sites are programming their own variants, to be sure. However, the point is that you can find players for almost any type of game you want.

How to fund your online poker account

Of course, none of this play is possible without putting money online. Neither you as a player nor the New Jersey sites themselves can exist for long without an infusion of funds on your part.

So, the sites make it as easy as possible to deposit into your online account. 

Most places offer several options for moving money around. Those options include:

  • Credit or debit card
  • Electronic check/ACH
  • Online banking/wire transfers
  • Electronic wallets (PayPal/Skrill)
  • Prepaid cards
  • PayNearMe (via 7-Eleven)
  • Cash at the home casino cage

Make sure that you read the terms and conditions for any deposit method you plan to use. Don’t forget to check the rules at your financial institution before you proceed, as there can be some costly details in the fine print.

However, if you’re still not able to deposit, make sure to reach out to customer support at your site of choice. They absolutely will want to find a way to make it work.

Online poker bonuses

Because you have so many options a mere button press away, legal NJ poker sites feel as though they are in a precarious competitive situation. As a result, each one maintains bonuses and perks both to entice and retain customers on-site.

It is perfectly acceptable to play on a site because of their bonus offer. We have all the best opportunities listed here and, in some cases, it is impossible to find them elsewhere.

Bonuses usually come in the form of cash or cash-equivalent reward to your account. You may receive free dollars in your account, get a matching portion of a deposit, or receive a refund on losses.

It is also possible to play for positions on a leaderboard, where top finishers receive payouts. Some poker websites also hold random drawings for cash prizes, travel vouchers, merchandise or other perks, and you earn entries to the drawings through your play on-site.

How to play free poker at NJ poker sites

If playing online poker for real money is a bit daunting, that’s alright. Most sites have play-money features that run concurrently with their real-money option.

Many free-money sites have all the same features as their real cousins. You can play cash games, tournaments and other types of poker games with play chips.

Occasionally, a site might host freerolls, where winning a play money tournament can lead to real dollars or a real money tournament buy-in.

These events are worth playing, of course, but understand that these promotions are a way to transition you over to real money play. So, if you’re still not sure about doing that, you might want to proceed with caution.

With regard to gameplay, the only thing to bear in mind is that players on the play-money side do not play with the same attitude as real-money poker players. You will see rash decisions, overbets and a decided lack of folding from players there since there’s no real consequence for losing play money.

Still, if you want to get started and warm up, the free version of sites can be a good way to get your feet wet. You can get a sense of the software on the client, the mechanics and how play generally proceeds.

If you are new to poker, these kinds of warm-ups can be vital to putting you in the right mindset for playing real money poker.

NJ online poker traffic

One question that may be on New Jersey poker players’ minds is how many people are online right now in New Jersey. 

They want to know which sites are the biggest poker sites in NJ. After all, a site that only has a few people playing is not the best opportunity to make some additions to one’s bankroll.

At any given time, there are hundreds of players who play on one of New Jersey’s four poker networks. Those networks host multiple poker rooms in NJ, but sites that share each other’s network share their traffic, too.

Below is a list of all four networks. Each site that feeds into the network is listed underneath the network name.

  • WSOP Network
    • WSOP.com NJ
    • 888 US
  • PokerStars
  • Partypoker Network
    • Partypoker
    • Borgata Poker
    • BetMGM Poker
  • Pala Poker

Now, to be clear, Pala Poker is not drawing much traffic at all right now. Most of New Jersey’s players confine their play to the other three networks.

Of the remaining three, WSOP is the biggest poker site in New Jersey. On average, 500 active players frequent the site. 

PokerStars, though the worldwide leader for online poker, averages roughly 280 players at a time. Party and its sites usually host about 130 at a time.

Cash games are the most popular place for people to play, and as a result, more than half of the traffic at most sites is dedicated to those types of games. Quite simply, it is possible to jump directly into a cash game whenever you want, so there’s no waiting and no patience required.

However, big spikes in traffic are often the result of tournament events. So, if you keep an eye on the featured tournaments, you might be able to time when increased activity will occur.

Mobile poker apps vs. poker site downloads

nj poker apps real money

Most poker operators maintain options for both mobile poker apps and downloadable clients for laptop users. 

Given how dominant mobile devices are in American culture, the appearance of laptop-friendly alternatives may seem a bit surprising.

However, as it turns out, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of formats.

Playing real money poker on a mobile app

In order to download a mobile poker app, you obviously need to have a mobile device. Assuming that you have one, use one of the links above to access one of the top New Jersey online poker rooms.

Look for the button that corresponds with the type of operating system you have. iPhone/iPad players should be able to download as usual, while Android users will need to download the file directly and set their phones to allow downloads from “unknown sources.”

Once you have the app installed, press the button to access it. You will need to sign up for an account before you do anything else. 

Make sure that you check this site for any bonus codes or promotions that will award you free cash or prizes for registering.

From there, you will need to make a deposit into your new account. Look for a button that says “Cashier” or something similar to get started. Once you fund your account, you’re ready to play poker.

Benefits of mobile poker apps

There are several great things about playing on an NJ poker app.

First of all, the app that you’re using is designed specifically to run on your type of mobile device. All of the gameplay should be framed without any difficulty or shifting around.

Furthermore, an app can sometimes provide a richer experience than a downloaded poker client. 

You may receive access to special features, animations and avatars that cannot be duplicated on a laptop.

Finally, mobile apps are far more accessible in terms of gameplay and support options. It is rare that you will experience any lags in service, and customer service reps are a button press away, in most cases.

Drawbacks of mobile poker apps

The NJ poker apps do come with drawbacks, however. Most of these are related to the mechanics of using a mobile device.

For one thing, it can be challenging to manage multiple tables at once with a mobile device. 

The navigation cannot compete with the ease of using a mouse or trackpad to click on a new tab. As a result, you may find yourself timing out of more hands than you’d like.

Poker apps in New Jersey can also be a visual challenge for those with poor eyesight. Even with glasses, it can be difficult to determine what suits the cards are and whether it’s a six or an eight.

How to download a poker site

Of course, not everyone wants to use a mobile device for their online poker games. Thankfully, several NJ online poker sites maintain a downloadable client for laptop and desktop users.

To get started, visit the site through our link above. Once you’re there, look for the large buttons that say “Download Now;” you can’t miss them. As you click on the button, a .exe file should begin to download to your computer. Make sure to confirm if your computer asks for approval on the download.

The file that you downloaded is the installer for the game client. Click on it, and accept the installation option that you want. 

The installation should only take a few minutes. After that, you’ll have the poker site as a program on your computer, just like any other program.

As is the case for mobile apps, you will need to register for a new account on the site. Look for a button at the top right that says “Sign Up” or “Register” to get going. Make sure to look back at this page for any bonus codes you might need.

You’ll also need to make a deposit. Once you’ve funded your new account, it’s time to play.

Benefits of downloading a poker site

One of the most obvious benefits of playing on the downloadable version of a New Jersey poker site is the sheer size of the screen. You can see every detail clearly, and there’s no issue with navigating where you want to go.

Furthermore, it’s easier to set aside a space to play and concentrate on a laptop or desktop. These devices need space to operate, and there’s necessarily a sphere around the zone where you set up to work.

Finally, it is easier to multitask on a laptop or desktop, and that goes beyond the client itself. 

You will have a much better time playing multiple tables because of the screen space and mechanics of navigating on an actual computer.

Drawbacks of downloading a poker site

Of course, with a client, you can run into some compatibility issues. Since the software is designed to fit laptops of every stripe, every feature may not run correctly on your computer.

Clients can sometimes be less of a priority for the sites to keep current. So, there could be some obsolescence or outdated features that are still on some sites.

Finally, an internet outage is far more devastating for those using laptops or, especially, desktops. With a mobile device, it’s much easier to move to a better area for service.

NJ poker tournaments

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars available to win through New Jersey online poker tournaments each week. 

The four networks offer events for most of the hours of the day. Many of those events bear guarantees that would make for a nice evening for most players.

Like live poker rooms, online poker rooms in New Jersey also maintain seasonal events and tournament series as a means of attracting more traffic and attention. Millions of dollars are available through these annual events. Here are some of the more notable events on the online poker calendar:

  • WSOP bracelet events
    • 14 events scheduled for 2020
    • Each event guarantees a gold bracelet, just like the live events.
    • Buy-ins range from $400 to $10,000
    • New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker and New Jersey Championship of Online Poker
    • Roughly 50 events in each series.
    • Buy-ins range from $5 to $1,000; guarantees range from $1,500 to $100,000.
    • NJCOOP tends to have higher buy-ins and guarantees.
  • WSOP Online Championships
    • Seasonal events that occur in spring and fall
    • Buy-ins range from $10 to $1,000, and all tournaments come with guarantees.
    • Instead of bracelets, champions win rings or belts.

Now, of course, these online poker tournaments are not the only ones available online. Most sites have other events and opportunities throughout the year.

New Jersey poker laws

New Jersey’s online poker law is fairly straightforward and builds off the existing poker infrastructure in the state. 

Basically, according to New Jersey Assembly Bill 2578, as long as a game of chance has been played at a legal facility in the state before, it is eligible to become an online game.

Obviously, with Atlantic City’s long history of live poker, online poker is included as part of that eligibility. In fact, the law mentions poker explicitly as affected by the language of the statute.

The only restriction regarding operators is the requirement that online card rooms have land-based partners in the state. In other words, it is necessary to have an existing relationship with one of the nine casinos in the state to apply for a license.

The legal gambling age for online poker is 21.

Anyone inside the state can play, and it is not required that a player be a resident of New Jersey. However, it is not possible to access a New Jersey online poker room from outside the state lines.

Are home poker games legal in NJ?

Home poker games seem like a staple of family entertainment. So, it may surprise you to learn that not every state allows them to take place.

Fortunately, New Jersey is not one of these naysayers. Home poker games are perfectly legal inside state lines.

The only restriction is that the host and/or homeowner cannot collect a rake of any kind. But, as long as it’s just a game between friends and family, it’s perfectly fine.

New Jersey poker rooms

New Jersey is home to five live poker rooms. All five are in Atlantic City casino properties; there aren’t any standalone venues.

All but one of them are relatively large rooms, based upon their table size. Only Golden Nugget has fewer than 10 tables available for play. The largest room is, by far, at Borgata.

Poker RoomAddress# of TablesGames Played
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ85NLHE, PLO, Stud
Golden Nugget Atlantic City1 Castle way, Huron Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 9NLHE
Harrah's Atlantic City777 Harrah's Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ40NLHE, Limit Hold'em
Tropicana Atlantic City2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ18NLHE
WSOP Poker Room at Bally's1900 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ42NLHE, PLO

New Jersey poker timeline

New Jersey online poker has had a fairly easy legislative ride, at least compared to the journey in other states. Rather than being the product of years of legal wrangling, online poker legislation has truly only had a few relevant moments in the state’s legislative history.

1977: The Casino Control Act

The first significant development for poker was the most earthshaking, at least in terms of the public’s relationship with gambling in the US. Overtly public gambling, largely reserved for Nevada, became legal in the coastal community of Atlantic City.

Of course, the main headline about the passage of the Casino Control Act was the authorization of ubiquitous gambling devices, such as slot machines and table games. However, the newly constructed casinos were also allowed to offer poker.

Poker became a mainstay of casino gambling in New Jersey at that point. However, it existed as a quiet afterthought for most gamblers for many years.

2003: The poker boom

Poker remained in gambling’s background for many decades after finding its legality in 1977. 

However, thanks to poker player Chris Moneymaker’s historic $2.5 million win at the World Series of Poker in 2003, poker quickly rose to the forefront of the American imagination.

The new shine on the card game led to multiple television shows, movies, and most importantly, casino expansions. Many casinos sought to capture the fervor of the poker boom by opening rooms of their own.

Online poker also rose to incredible heights due to the exploding player pool. 

Sites like PokerStars, Ultimate Bet, and Full Tilt began taking in millions in revenue each week.

It took three years for the wave of growth to crest. However, online poker remained a fixture as a gambler’s endeavor for the next five years.

2011: Black Friday

Then, everything fell apart. 

The US Department of Justice issued indictments for violations of law against three of the largest poker sites in the world – Ultimate Bet, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker. The lawsuits, in addition to shutting down targets, had a profound chilling effect on other poker site operators.

As a result, most sites that were active in the US closed their doors and moved overseas. Players were largely left without a place to play. The presentation of indictments became known as Black Friday.

2013: A2578

Two years later, the New Jersey Assembly threw its citizens a bone. After all, eliminating the ability to play does not eliminate the desire to play.

Online poker became completely legal in the state in 2013 due to New Jersey Assembly Bill 2578 and has been there ever since. The federal government, despite wringing its hands about the matter, mostly has no say in the progress of online poker within state lines.

Each land-based casino is allowed to host an online poker operator on its license. 

Four of the original New Jersey online poker sites remain active, two have gone out of business, and three more have joined since the initial debut.

2017: The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement

The final event that shaped the New Jersey online poker market into its present form is the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement or the MSIGA. New Jersey is, unsurprisingly, not the only state in the union to have online poker.

In fact, at the time that it legalized online poker in 2013, both Nevada and Delaware already had online poker up and running. However, the Silver State and the First State had their respective problems.

The truth of the matter is that neither Nevada nor Delaware was large enough in population to have long-term player pool success. So, in 2014, the two states entered into the MSIGA.

New Jersey has had similar problems with pool size. Even though it received a shot in the arm from PokerStars’ debut in 2016, there was still too much floundering for numbers going on.

The MSIGA helped end that problem. In 2017, Gov. Chris Christie signed the agreement to allow New Jersey to join and share its player pool.

So, New Jersey poker players are now competing with players from Nevada and Delaware on a regular basis.

What does the future hold for New Jersey online poker?

Unfortunately, the MSIGA only added a temporary boost to revenues for online poker in New Jersey. Generally speaking, the online poker market has been slowly trending downward for several years now.

At this point, New Jersey might need some assistance from Michigan and PA poker sites to bolster its online poker industry. If those two states could join the MSIGA, then there might be a big enough player pool to create stronger sustainability.

At present, New Jersey’s attention is much stronger on its NJ online casinos and online sports betting options. Both types of gambling are bigger moneymakers, and sports betting is particularly important because of its ability to draw customers from neighboring New York.

Nevertheless, New Jersey remains one of the only full-service online gambling states in the nation. Legal online poker is not going away in the Garden State; it’s just got a bit of a limp right now.

New Jersey Poker FAQ

What deposit options are available?

It’s in the best interest of online poker sites to make deposits as painless as possible. So, most operators will accept deposit requests from major credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, electronic wallets like PayPal or Skrill, prepaid cards, PayNearMe, and cash at their land-based casino partners.

What is the minimum deposit?

Generally speaking, most sites set a minimum deposit limit at $10. However, this minimum could be different based upon the deposit method that you choose. There could also be some different requirements if you are attempting to redeem a bonus with your deposit.

Can I play online poker with PayPal?

Usually, but it depends. Not all NJ poker sites accept PayPal. Most poker sites will accept deposits and process withdrawals to electronic wallets. The most commonly accepted brands of e-wallet are PayPal and Skrill, but you will have to proceed on a case-by-case basis with your chosen site. 

What game variations are available?

Every site that you play will offer No-Limit Texas Hold’em. There’s no question about that.

Most of them will also offer options for pot-limit Omaha. The four-card game is incredibly popular as both an alternative and palate cleanser from hold’em.

For other game variants, things are less certain. Most sites are going to stick to their bread and butter with the two games mentioned above. However, PokerStars famously offers a wide selection of games, including some of its own design.

Are NJ poker sites secure and reliable?

Completely. New Jersey has allowed legal online poker since 2013, and the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement has had plenty of time to work out the bugs in the system. Every online poker site in the state is owned and operated by a major gaming company, and state regulators are just a phone call away.

Who can I play poker with in NJ?

Obviously, the main group of players who can play in New Jersey is other players in New Jersey. However, thanks to New Jersey’s entrance into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), you can also play with folks in Delaware and Nevada.

Can I play poker with friends in Pennsylvania?

No. At this time, despite having online poker in PA, Pennsylvania has not elected to join MSIGA yet, so it cannot combine its player pools with other states like New Jersey.

However, industry observers expect Pennsylvania to make the move in the near future. So, take heart; you are likely to gain the ability to play with Pennsylvanians relatively soon.

Do I have to download the poker client?

In general, if you are going to use a laptop to play, you are going to have to download the poker software to your computer. However, the requirement varies from site to site, and some of them may support a no download poker room.

Which NJ poker sites have the most players?

At this point, WSOP.com NJ and PokerStars NJ usually have the most players. You can find hundreds of competitors on these sites at any one time.

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