New Jersey is a hub of the live and online poker scene in the northeast. From major events at Atlantic City properties like the Borgata to one of the best legal online poker markets, the state is a leader in poker.
On this page we cover all the legalities of playing online poker for New Jersey residents and visitors, operators’ safety and security measures, and some information about all the major operators in the state. We also look at how to create an account and what bonuses are available.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about NJ online poker and getting in the game.
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Last Updated: January 25, 2021
NJ real money online poker launch update
Since launching online poker in 2013, New Jersey has become a leader in the American legal market. The state has carried the flag for legal online poker as other states have slowly come on board.
Along with leading the industry, the state also has the most diversified market so far, with several operators offering real-money poker in the state.
Players will find plenty of action. After the market stagnated for several years, the state saw a considerable increase in player and prize pools during the Coronavirus pandemic of spring 2020.
That helped bring record revenue numbers in March ($3.6 million) and April 2020 ($5.1 million). Whether that increase and boost to the state would remain was yet to be determined.
However, with neighboring Pennsylvania now also offering legal online poker, many in the industry hoped both would see additional players and events help sustain the markets.
A look at New Jersey online poker laws
The online gambling bill signed into law by Gov. Christie on Feb. 26, 2013 is officially known as A2578. It governs online poker and online casino operations in the state.
In fact, the law authorized the DGE to provide oversight and issue licenses for online gambling operators in New Jersey. Essentially, the law allows the sites to provide division-tested online poker and casino games to players who are 21 and older and physically located in the state.
On Nov. 21, 2013, six online poker sites launched in New Jersey. Two have since ceased operations. However, three more have been licensed and opened up in the state since that time.
The state became a much more vibrant market in 2020 after some years of stagnation and remains a leader in the real money online poker industry.
What is or is not legal in New Jersey?
Anytime you are in the state of New Jersey, you can legally play real-money online poker. Provided you play on sites licensed and regulated by DGE. No matter where you’re from.
However, sites and players must adhere to specific online poker regulations set by DGE. These regulations include:
- Players must be at least 21 to play at NJ’s regulated online poker sites.
- Sites are required to verify player identity.
- NJ residency is not required. In fact, anyone of age who can be confirmed as being located within the state can play.
- Sites are required to demonstrate they can provide a secure gameplay environment and securely store personal player information.
- Operators must pay a 15 percent online gambling tax on gross revenue.
Where can I play poker online in New Jersey?
Players in NJ have plenty of options for legal, real-money online poker. There are currently seven individual online poker sites, and two multi-site networks operating in the state. The NJ online poker sites include:
Caesars Interactive Entertainment launched its World Series of Poker-branded WSOP.com online poker site in conjunction with iGaming partner 888poker when the New Jersey market opened up in 2013.
The site offers new players no-deposit and first-time deposit bonuses. WSOP.com shares cash game player liquidity on a network with 888poker. It also pools players with its sister site in Nevada and with 888 players in Nevada.
The result is the largest cash game player pools in NJ. In addition to No-Limit Hold’em, there are Pot-Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo (Eight or Better) games. WSOP.com also features:
- Sit & Go’s
- Blast Sit & Gos
- Multi-table tournaments
The tournaments at WSOP.com produce some of the largest guaranteed prize pools in the state. The site is also the only online poker site in New Jersey with the ability to offer online satellites into live WSOP events in Las Vegas.
Beyond its regular offerings, WSOP.com offers players some major tournament series throughout the year. Those surged during the Coronavirus pandemic because of so many players at home looking to get in on the action.
Some of those series include the Super Online Circuit Series, Spring Online Championships, Circuit Series Finale, and others. These events attracted major fields.
The site adds some extra nice promotional events as well including the “Keep It 100” series of tournaments in spring 2020. The $215 tournaments played out daily with $100,000 guaranteed and played out each day until the guarantee wasn’t met.
Every player also received an invitation to a $10,000 guaranteed freeroll as part of the Keep It 100 promotion.
Beyond major series and championship gold rings, WSOP.com began offering traditional gold bracelet events in 2015. The site ramped that up considerably in 2020.
With the traditional WSOP in Las Vegas postponed until the fall, organizers announced 31 bracelet events in July for players in New Jersey and Nevada. In addition, there would be another 54 bracelet events at partner GGPoker for international players.
These were unprecedented moves for the operators, but show its growth and willingness to cater to player demands. Players can expect major events, player pools, and promotions. WSOP.com is the regular market leader in the state.
PokerStars is a major brand name in poker and the world’s leading real money online poker site. The company is known for its excellent software client.The site launched its NJ online poker site with much fanfare in March 2016 under the Resorts Atlantic City internet gambling license.
The site immediately became the NJ online poker market leader, but that changed after a few months. WSOP.com’s multi-state compact gives it a major advantage.
However, the site regularly finds itself as the No. 2 operator in the state, however, and occasionally edges out opponents for the top spot. Players around the world have come to appreciate PokerStars’ exceptional software experience and that includes NJ.
Real-money online poker players will find plenty of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha action – both tournament and cash games. The site also includes other games like Eight-Game Mix, 2-7 Triple Draw, and Seven Card Stud. Finding these may be a struggle during the week, but some Seven Stud action may be found on the weekends.
The site offers Spin & Go’s (single table sit and go tournaments) and the biggest schedule of multi-table tournaments in the state. PokerStars also runs regular tournament series with large guaranteed prize pools.
Some of those include major series like the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, Spring Championship of Online Poker, Winter Series, Summer Series, Bounty Builder Series, and more.
There is also a heavy daily schedule. Players will also find several Sunday majors with big prize pools. Cash game players will find blinds starting at 1-2 cents and going up to $1-$2 and higher most of the day.
PokerStars was seeing major gains in the state as of June 2020. The neighboring state of Pennsylvania also saw the launch of online poker in 2019. PokerStars was the only operator as of June 2020 and set records for revenue in March and April of that year. The company operates in the state through a partnership with Mount Airy casino.
Other operators expected to move into that state include WSOP.com and partypoker. 2020 brought a renewed focus and plenty of growth in NJ and PA, something players hope continues.
When the New Jersey market opened up in 2013, worldwide online gaming giant 888poker launched its online poker site in the state. This operator partners with iGaming partner Caesars Interactive Entertainment.
The company is a regular sponsor of WSOP events in Las Vegas and provides the software for WSOP.com. 888 also provides online poker in Delaware, where it’s the only operator, and shares its players in a multi-state compact with WSOP.com.
The site offers No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha only. Players will find cash games, Sit & Go’s, and a robust multi-table tournament schedule thanks to that interstate compact.
That includes major events like the WSOP Online Circuit Super Series. These events allow players to win WSOP Circuit championship rings and compete in the interstate compact with players in Nevada and Delaware.
On Sundays, players can jump in the $200 Big Sunday tournament for a guaranteed prize pool of $10,000. 888 remains a nice option for players in the Garden State.
Partypoker NJ launched in 2013 when the NJ online poker market opened. The site is one of the most recognized brands in the world and offers players a great playing experience. The site also regularly offers a nice live poker tournament schedule.
Partypoker NJ shares player pools with BorgataPoker and playMGM in the state. Only the branding, promotions, and a handful of tournaments are different on the three sites.
However, as of June 2020 partypoker only offered legal online poker in New Jersey. Many in the industry expected the company to make a move into other legal jurisdictions, however, including Pennsylvania.
Partypoker offers player No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha cash games in the Garden State. Tournaments on the site received a significant boost during 2020’s Coronavirus pandemic.
The operator offers Sit & Go’s and multi-table tournaments. The annual Garden State Super Series hadn’t run for a couple years as of 2020, but the pandemic offered an opportunity for additional Online Series events including Mini Online Series festivals.
Partypoker has been a major partner with the World Poker Tour through the years, co-producing live events around the world. Both companies shifted to more online WPT events during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
That included NJ as well and on June 28, 2020, the site held the WPT Online Poker Open with a $400 championship with $300,000 guaranteed. Players hope these new series and events are a sign of even more things to come.
Borgata opened up an online poker room in New Jersey the same day online gambling launched in the state in 2013. The site is a partnership with online gaming leader bwin.party, now known as GVC Holdings.
Borgata shares player pools with the partypoker NJ and playMGM online poker sites. Only the branding, promotions, and a handful of tournaments are different on the three sites.
The site offers cash games, Sit & Go’s, and multi-table tournaments featuring poker variants including:
- No-Limit and Limit Hold’em
- 7 Card Stud
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- Omaha Hi-Lo
Borgata has had great success running online satellites for events to its hugely popular seasonal live tournament schedule at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City. That has included WPT events as well as other major series.
Property owner MGM even announced the launch of the East Coast Poker Tour with live events scheduled at Borgata, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.
BorgataPoker.com qualifiers were to be a nice part of the tour, initially to the Borgata events but possibly expanding to the other stops as well. The Coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold in 2020.
However, the new tour offers a glimpse at how partypoker may use its NJ platform, and eventually Pennsylvania, to add to its online buzz in the state.
The BetMGM poker site (originally playMGM) opened up in New Jersey in August 2017 under the MGM-owned Borgata’s internet gambling license.
The site shares player pools with Borgata and partypoker NJ. The branding, promotions, and a handful of tournaments are really the only differences between the sites.
In fact, BetMGM uses the same GVC software and also offers:
- No-Limit Hold’em
- Limit Hold’em
- 7-Card Stud
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- Omaha Hi-Lo cash games
- Sit & Go’s
- Multi-table tournaments
Pala Interactive, LLC, the online arm of the Pala Band of Mission Indians owns and operates the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in Pala, California. The tribe launched an online poker site in June 2017 using its own proprietary software.
Pala Poker offers a welcome package to players new to its network of online gambling sites in New Jersey that includes money that can be used to play online poker.
The site’s software includes cash games, tournaments, and sit and go formats. Plus, it includes a PalaPoker.com branded fast-fold game called FastPala.
However, Pala holds virtually no market share and a very minimal number of players at any one time. The site isn’t considered a real player in the state.
Bonuses at New Jersey online poker sites
Players looking to get into the legal online poker action would be wise to make use of Signup and Deposit Bonuses. These allow players some extra bang for the buck and some free money to test drive a real-money online poker site.
Simply sign up and deposit for a shot at some extra cash to hit the tables. Here’s a look at some of the current offers and how to get those free bucks.
- WSOP.com – New players can take advantage of a $10 Signup Bonus for simply creating an account – no deposit required. Players with a real-money deposit can take advantage of a bonus of up to $1,000. The site also offers seven $100 Welcome Week freeroll tickets.
- 888poker – This WSOP partner adds some nice extras for players. That includes a free $20 just for registering. That comes with $10 in Free Play, $4 in Bonus Money, and six tournament tickets valued at $1 each. It’s a great deal, but those who fund an account will also find a Match Bonus up to $1,500 on a first deposit. You can earn that same Match Bonus on your second deposit up to $1,000. 888 offers plenty if you’re looking to get online with the poker app or software.
- PokerStars NJ – There are plenty of reasons to get in the game at PokerStars. New depositors earn $30 in Free Play and also qualify for a 100% Match Bonus up to $600. That Free Play Bonus includes: $20 Bonus Money and $10 in Spin & Go tickets. In addition, players earn a free entry into a $5,000 depositor freeroll and 1 million in play money chips.
- BorgataPoker.com – Players earn $20 in Free Money in the form of $10 in cash and $10 in poker bonus that clears after paying $20 in rake or tournament fees. The Deposit Bonus also comes with a nice 100% match up to $600.
- BetMGM – Players will be rewarded with a $25 Bonus just for signing up. Depositors will also find a hefty 100% Match Bonus of up to $1,000 as well.
Poker apps for NJ players
The trend in online poker over the last couple years is to cater to mobile players more and more. A mobile app makes it easy for a quick game on a cell phone or tablet.
Legal online poker operators have moved to embrace mobile apps for an easy poker experience on the go. Here’s a look at a few aspects of the major online poker sites in New Jersey.
This app is simple to use with large icons for cash games, sit and go’s, and multi-table tournaments. Blast Sit and Go’s are another nice mobile option. These are super-turbo, winner-take-all sit and go tournaments.
Tables feature four players battling it out for random prize pools that can be up to 10,000 times your buy-in. There’s one added interesting element – once a timer runs out, players are all in until there’s a winner.
Gameplay on the app is simple and navigation is smooth and seamless. The app is in landscape mode and uses blacks, reds, and grays for pleasing aesthetics. Buttons and icons are color-coded and easy to locate. Action moves along at a nice pace as well, and you’ll enjoy playing on this app.
Players will find basically the same software and online experience as WSOP.com and that includes the mobile app. The only difference may be color schemes.
This version makes use of a pleasant blue and black color scheme. The 888 app offers plenty of poker options and a nice playing experience.
The app offers everything players have come to expect from a leader in online poker software. Once logged in, you’ll find a vertical opening screen. Simply scroll through the center slide bar for games and other options.
Find all the options you’d expect from the desktop software, such as tournaments and cash games. There are also other games perfect for mobile gaming such as:
- Zoom – a fast-fold poker game where the action is fast and furious
- Spin & Go Flash – even faster Spin & Go events with 1-minute levels and starting stacks of 500 chips
- Spin & Go Max – another fast-play option but players are all in once a certain number of hands have been played.
Game play on the app is fluid and simple. Viewing your account and filtering games, tournaments, and stakes is also easy. Visually, the color scheme of red, green, and blue mix well and a menu bar along the bottom of the home screen adds to navigation ease of use.
The PokerStars app is uncluttered and offers a brilliant playing experience.
Partypoker greatly improved its mobile app game in November 2019. The company completely revamped, now offering players a more user-friendly environment.
A new portrait layout was added for simple one-handed gameplay. Improved table tiling allows players to switch between games efficiently even on such a small screen. The app makes use of simple buttons and icons, nice graphics, and a better player lobby.
Additionally, Partypoker’s SPINS tournaments were perfectly designed for mobile play. The three-person tournaments are easy to play with a single hand – perfect for some cards while on the move.
Gameplay also includes a new social-friendly currency called Diamonds, bubble chat, emojis and animations, enhanced dialogues, a new hand replayer, an easier SPINS tournaments search tool, redesigned and more user-friendly lobby, and a redesigned multiplier animation.
Like PokerStars, Partypoker has really done an excellent job in making the apop experience special and players will enjoy some games on their phone or tablet.
This platform is merely a skin of the partypoker app, but players may find additional promotions and offers not found on the main partypoker site.
Players using the app will also find everything they could find in the partypoker experience. That includes major qualifiers opportunities to play in live tournaments at the Borgata, such as World Poker Tour events.
This is another partypoker skin. Users will find plenty of action on the party platform but can also make use of MGM’s sports betting and online casino offerings.
Players using partypoker, BorgataPoker, and Bet MGM will find decent player pools and tournaments. That boomed in 2020 and the entire partypoker US platform has plenty to offer online poker players.
Advantages of playing online
Not feeling up to heading to the local casino for some poker? Online poker makes for a great alternative. There are many other advantages to playing online including:
- Lower stakes – Players with a lower bankroll will find plenty of options with cash games and tournaments starting at only pennies. Free play is also an option to learn the game and how a site works.
- Excellent promotions – Sites are always offering some nice bank for the buck including freerolls, cash back, giveaways, and more.
- Game availability – You don’t have to look hard to find a game. Most hours of the day, you’ll be able to find some poker action in NJ, no matter what your schedule is.
Depositing and withdrawing from a NJ online poker site
Signing up for an online poker account in NJ is a quick and easy process, but don’t forget the PokerScout bonus links to earn some free cash when you sign up.
Most real-money, regulated poker sites will have players provide details including:
- Phone number
- Username, etc. Once that is complete you may need to verify your email address.
After entering that information, you’re ready to deposit. Allowable deposit methods include credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and any other method approved by gaming regulators.
Other popular options include Skrill and PayPal, easy-to-se e-wallets that make things simple. Those who prefer a cash deposit can use partner casinos at the cashier.
Another cash option is PayNearMe, available at thousands of retail outlets across the country including 7-11.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be in the state to sign up and deposit to a NJ online poker site. You can sign up and deposit from anywhere and then play the next time you’re in Atlantic City or another part of the state.
This is very convenient for players in neighboring states like New York. But remember that online sites make use of geolocation software to make sure you’re in the state when playing.
Cash withdrawals at NJ online gambling sites are regulated by New Jersey interactive gaming law. Credit and debit cards may only be used for withdrawal if the same card was used for the deposit.
Skrill and PayPal debit are also available for withdrawals. Other options include electronic checks and paper checks.
Online poker safety and security in NJ
Players using a legal online poker site have extra protection not found in unregulated offshore sites. NJ sites must go through a rigorous regulatory process like a land-based casino.
Online operators fall under the review of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. You can expect player funds and personal information to be secure. This isn’t always the case with unregulated, illegal sites.
Online Poker History in New Jersey
Online poker is now an entrenched part of the New Jersey online gaming industry. How did the state become one of the leaders in the industry?
After a couple of failed attempts over a three-year period, New Jersey lawmakers finally got then-Governor Chris Christie to sign an online gambling bill into law that included online poker legislation in February 2013.
The bill authorized the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to put together regulations that would govern online poker in the state. Plus, it asked the board to issue internet gaming licenses to vet potential operators affiliated with Atlantic City casinos.
Delaware and Nevada signed an agreement to share player pools in 2014, and began doing so in 2015. New Jersey signed onto that agreement in October 2017.
That agreement resulted in the start of shared player pools between WSOP.com NV and WSOP.com NJ beginning on April 30, 2018. As of now, only WSOP.com and 888poker are able to take advantage of the tri-state compact. 888poker also contributes as the only online poker operator in Delaware.
Since launching in November 2013, there are now seven licensed and regulated online poker sites operating in the state.
Frequently asked questions
What age can you play online poker in NJ?
The legal age is 21.
Do you have to be a NJ resident to play?
While you must be in the state to play, you can still create and deposit into an account from anywhere.
Can I qualify for the World Series of Poker in New Jersey?
Yes, players on WSOP.com will find qualifiers for the WSOP in Las Vegas. Players can also compete in online bracelet events as well as WSOP Circuit tournaments.
Can I play on PokerStars in New Jersey and Pennsylvania?
Yes, both states now offer PokerStars online poker. But it’s important to remember that both states are “fenced-in” market meaning you will only be playing against players in those states.