New Jersey is regarded as one of the homes of online poker. The Garden State is famous for its historic sites and tourist attractions. It was one of the first states to legalize online poker, including a well-tailored legal framework for online gambling. While other aspects of gambling do not receive as much attention, NJ poker sites have brought more recognition to it since 2013.
Poker lovers will find lots of action in the various poker rooms. This includes a secure online gambling environment with several poker game variants, diverse promotions, and incentives from some of the nation’s best online poker sites.
Here, we provide all the relevant information needed to enjoy poker online in New Jersey. This guide describes the legal situation of New Jersey online poker for visitors and residents. Other sections focus on the best NJ online poker sites, offering a review on each. Next, we describe the steps involved in creating an account and starting to wager. In addition, we list what qualities our expert reviewers look for when choosing the best operators in NJ and what bonuses are offered.
Poker Sites We Recommend
Is Online Poker Legal in NJ?
Yes. Everyone can legally play online poker in New Jersey. It has been the same since 2013, when the Governor at the time, Chris Christie, signed the New Jersey Casino Control Act bill into law in February 2013. House bill A2578 amended the initial law signed by then Governor Christie and is currently the legislation backing online poker activities in the state.
After the new legislation was signed into law, it took about nine months before the poker sites went live. You can find more than five New Jersey online poker sites legal in the state. There’s a further advantage for all residents in the state. Due to the state’s partnership in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, you get increased potential cash wins as New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware can join pools for their players to wager on.
At the launch of online poker in the state, there were issues regarding geolocation framework settings. Many players found it challenging to access the site, even when they were within the state. There were also issues with payments, as banks and credit card operators kept rejecting requests for transaction approvals.
These issues were expected and were resolved. Years later, the state has served as a role model to other US states that have legalized online poker or are in the process of doing so. Trying to wager on NJ poker sites from outside the state is illegal. You could be prosecuted under federal laws if you reside in a state where online poker is not allowed. Your account will also be shut down indefinitely.
With the launch of online poker, New Jersey made history in three ways:
- The state became the third jurisdiction in the US to begin internet poker.
- Six poker sites that accepted real money bets went live.
- Also, the first state ever to mediate a sponsorship deal between an internet gambling site (PartyCasino) and a sports team (the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils).
Online Poker Laws in NJ
A2578 gives power to the state of New Jersey to regulate and license all online poker operators within its jurisdiction. Part of the legislation stipulates that persons aged 21 and older can place bets and win cash prizes. They also must be within state lines to win. You don’t need to be a resident as long as you are within the state.
After signing up, players must give the operator’s geolocation software access to their devices for verification checks. In addition, everyone must pass verification checks before they can withdraw their cash wins. Poker sites applying for a license must show they can provide responsible gambling features or tools for their customers.
In addition, they must agree to pay 15% of all gross revenues in tax to the government. An extra 2.5% is demanded as obligations for the Invest Alternative Tax. Online poker players in NJ may be taxed by federal and state laws based on their cash prizes. A good example can be seen in poker tournaments. All winnings above $5,000, deductible after the bets, is liable to be taxed at a certain percentage. All players are required to declare any other alternative income source.
Moreover, playing online poker at any offshore casino site is illegal. The government does not license them. Several partnership agreements have been made between land-based casinos and online poker sites to provide an impressive gaming experience for poker lovers in NJ.
Online Poker History in NJ
The timeline of events leading up to the acceptance of online poker in New Jersey has been a rollercoaster. The history takes us back to 2011, just after Black Friday (at the time, the US Department of Justice moved to shut down operations of online poker sites that violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA)).
New Jersey’s legislators raised a bill that sought to enact its online poker laws, allowing everyone aged 21 or older to gamble online. When the bill was passed, then Governor Christie refused to sign it into law. Part of her reason was that certain aspects could be detrimental to the development of NJ.
Bill S1565 and A2578 received approvals, and Gov. Christie signed them into law in February. There was a total of 12 applications received from different poker operators for licenses. Only six received a go-ahead to begin building sites. The number increased to 13 by November, approved by the state’s gambling regulatory division. Six sites went live on November 26, including 888Poker, World Series of Poker NJ (WSOP), Tropicana Casino, Borgata Poker, Betfair Poker, and Ultimate Poker. Golden Nugget Casino also joined them on December 26.
There were a series of issues that led to the exit of some sites. Ultimate Poker was the first, delivering a massive blow to the industry. However, it was soon replaced by PokerStars, which brought development to the industry in 2016.
Who Governs New Jersey Online Poker Sites?
The New Jersey Department of Gambling Enforcement is responsible for regulating online poker activities. Part of its duties includes licensing and supervision of all operators within the state. It also ensures that all players receive fair treatment and resolves complaints if the operators do not respond satisfactorily.
Online Poker Real Money New Jersey Sites
As per the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, online poker sites in NJ use different networks for site hosting. You may find there are overlaps when gambling from time to time. This will be seen in poker rooms available to players from Nevada, Delaware, or both. Here’s a rundown of the best online poker sites New Jersey gamblers can access.
888 Poker is known as a poker player’s paradise. Its fully optimized site provides almost all types of poker games and tournaments for customers to jump on. It is also available in other US states, with its mobile app having been downloaded by 10 million satisfied customers globally.
The operator has a healthy welcome bonus package for all customers, including NJ players. Here, you can receive up to two different offers as a bonus. Some of the offers include a no deposit bonus, match deposit bonus, free credits, tournament tickets, cash bonus, etc. No bonus code is required before making a real money deposit.
Customers can also access various promotions as rewards for loyalty. Don’t forget the terms and conditions attached. The variety of poker games available at 888Poker is fantastic. Players can wager on various game types, regardless of their preferences. There are cash games, snap games, and various ongoing tournaments at all times.
For cash games, you may not be able to place huge bets. It is usually restricted to $10 to $20 bet sizes. Forms of poker titles available here include Hold’em, Stud, Omaha, etc. The Snap games present a more exciting flow, allowing you to enjoy more rounds at a higher pace. However, only Hold’em poker games are available here.
The Sit and Go tournament accepts up to 10 players with turbo and super turbo speed modes. Bet sizes also range between $0.40 and $1000. However, the only game type offered here is Hold’em. Blast tournament also accepts small wagers, starting at $0.10. It also has a high pot, accepting up to 10 players per contest. You can enjoy the “all-in blind” where a countdown timer appears at the top of the screen. At the expiration, all active contestants will be forced to place blind bets until a winner is announced.
The Multi-Table tournament follows next with an exciting twist. You can play Hold’em, Stud, and Omaha variants here. Sunday Majors is the week’s highlight, offering a $10,000 cash pool for interested contestants. However, the entry fee here is $200.
888Poker has an excellent banking collection. NJ players can find various reliable payment methods here to choose from. Top offers include Mastercard, Visa, PayNearMe, PayPal, etc. Withdrawals take 24-72 business hours, with a minimum of $20. The site has a mobile app for iOS and Android users.
PokerStars NJ Poker
Globally, PokerStars is regarded as the top poker site. Its range of poker game types is excellent, giving it a vast customer base. Aside from NJ, you can find this operator in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The top of its bonus offers includes a two-part welcome package. You may need a bonus code to activate it. Check the promotions page for updated offers. Other reward types available include reload deposits, buy-in specials, no deposit bonus, etc.
The poker variation types available on this site are impressive. You may not find many NJ poker sites with in-depth variations like PokerStars. Popular offers include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha High, Omaha High-Low, Five-Card Omaha, Courchevel, Seven-Card Stud, Five-Card, etc.
The game types you can enjoy here include cash and zoom games. You place bets in a cash pot for cash games, and everyone will try to win it all. The number of game rounds played here is lower, with a higher amount wagered. For zoom games, players will be directed to another table if they win the previous round.
Tournaments are a regular feature at PokerStars. Some of the top structures you will find here include Add-On, Bounty, Freezeouts, Guaranteed, Satellite, Shootouts, etc. This poker site assures its players of reliable banking methods. You can find great options like Neteller, bank card, Skrill, Play+ card, PayNearMe, etc.
Launched in 2017, BetMGM Poker NJ has a highly optimized website to play poker on mobile devices. Let’s start with its bonuses and promotions, where new and existing customers can enjoy a variety of offers. The deposit match for new customers allows them to play with twice the amount they deposited. With MGM Rewards, regular players can collect points by playing at the casino.
The site has a native mobile app for both Android and iOS users. You can download the app wherever you are in NJ and get set up almost immediately. If you prefer the web version, its simple navigation gives you fast access to all sections. Overall, the site is sleek and classic, allowing players to customize the view to their preferences. You can even bookmark your favorite games and tournaments.
In addition to the well-known poker game types, like Hold’em and Omaha, lesser known variants like Stud are also available. There are several tournaments, including mid-table actions, to enjoy. You can try out titles like SNG, Fast Forward, and the regular cash variants.
You can find the usual banking methods at BetMGM Poker. Options like e-wallets, bank cards, online bill pay, prepaid cards, etc., are available. Depending on your selection, deposits and withdrawals may take up to three working days to appear in your account. The casino also has an excellent security setup. It includes a KYC section you must complete before creating an account.
World Series of Poker is active and among the famous New Jersey online poker sites. It is owned by Caesars Entertainment, a respected gaming company. While previous NJ poker sites only have two welcome bonus types, WSOP offers a three-tier package for new players. In addition to the deposit bonus, there’s also the no-deposit offer. Regular gamblers at the site are not left out, as you can claim free daily rewards, like tickets to tournaments.
The site itself is impressive. It comprises an elite navigation setup, where everything is accessible through the homepage. The color blend is also excellent, and whether you’re on PC or mobile, it is well optimized.
You can find the following poker variants at WSOP:
- Fixed-Limit 7-Card Stud High-Low
- Fixed-Limit 7-Card Stud
- Fixed-Limit Omaha High-Low
- Fixed-Limit Omaha
- Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low
- Pot-Limit Omaha
- No-Limit Hold’em
- Fixed-Limit Hold’em
NJ poker players can either try them out as cash games or be part of the various tournaments that occur almost daily. Don’t forget the multi-table package, where many gamblers play at once but only one person emerges as the final winner.
The site also has a standard VIP rewards program. You’d need to gather “Action” player points to win higher offers to qualify as a club member. The rewards are divided into levels. Get more points to reach higher stages.
As a renowned site, WSOP has an active customer support. There’s a resourceful FAQ section on the homepage to answer all questions. In addition, players can find an online ticket service and live chat. There are several payment methods to choose from in NJ. The requirements and timeframes are fair, too.
Due to its high acceptance rate, features, and immense popularity, WSOP is often regarded as the best NJ online poker site. There are more tournaments to take part in, an extensive betting size range, and an impressive game collection.
Just like WSOP, PartyPoker is also recognized globally and available in almost all states in the US. It is owned by GVC Holdings, which took over management in 2015. One of its unique qualities is its many activities to protect amateur players looking to begin their journey into online poker.
There are varieties of welcome offers available to new customers. A no deposit bonus is open to anyone who sets up an account. The regular deposit match offer is also present. Existing gamblers can also enjoy access to a VIP club. The more they play, the better their chances.
The software used at PartyPoker is excellent. You won’t find lagging or bugs on the site. Players can utilize the customization features to adjust the site to their preferences. One of its impressive features is the ability to play at up to eight tables at a time. The software is ideally suited to dividing the screen into parts to accommodate all views. One unique feature is the “hot hand,” where you can place an alert for poker hands. A notification bell will ring on the table if they appear, and its color changes.
If you prefer to play on mobile, there’s a dedicated app containing all the functionalities found on the web version. Whether you use Android or iOS, it is available for download on the official app stores or on the website.
There are not as many poker game options as WSOP’s collection. However, you can find some exciting tournaments to participate in here. Players are spoilt for choice with top-rated poker variants like Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, etc. The most common poker available here is Sit and Go.
Deposits and withdrawals are safe and convenient. Some of the banking options used by players include PayPal, PayNearMe, Bank Wire, Party Play+, credit cards, e-wallet, etc. You can use the live chat and email address to reach their customer care agents for support.
Borgata Poker has a fantastic offer for players regarding bonuses and promotions. It is one of the principal online poker rooms in the US, operating legally in New Jersey. New customers can access the no deposit and match deposit offer regarding its incentives. No bonus code is required.
As a foremost operator, Borgata Poker has an excellent loyalty program for loyal players. Every time you wager real money, points are accrued to your account. The higher the points, the better your chances of getting higher credits that can be exchanged for cash prizes.
This online poker operator has a sleek and highly optimized website. Players can easily log in and start at the table of their choice with a strong internet connection. The theme colors are perfectly blended and come with a simple navigation. The software used to power the site does not lag.
There is a dedicated app for players to download anywhere in NJ. Customers can either download it from the official website or the official app stores. Borgata Poker has one of the most extensive poker game collection among NJ poker sites. Its tournament lineup is also very impressive.
Here is a list of the regular poker varieties available at this site:
- Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- No Limit Hold’em
- Limit 7 Card Stud
Various tournament contests are occurring almost every day on the site. You can check out the promotions page since they are updated regularly. Like the games, this poker site has a good range of payment methods. They include credit cards, bank transfer, Skrill, PayNearMe, and Borgata casino cage (offline). You can use various modes to reach a customer support agent. They include email, phone number, and live chat.
Pala Poker is a new site accepting real money poker bets in NJ. Players can access a range of exciting bonuses and promotions, whether new or existing. However, to enjoy the deposit match bonus for new players, you must enter a bonus code on the site’s promotions page. Loyal customers are rewarded with points, either status points or reward points.
The software used on the site is impressive. Players can use either an app or a web view to access the site. Pala Poker also has a mobile view, which can be played on the browser asides from the app. It is available on both Android and iOS.
The game’s offering is great for a new poker site. You can find various poker variants here, including No-Limit Texas Hold’em, Seven-card stud, and Pot-limit Omaha. Cash games are also available, although Hold’em aren’t played here. The poker tournaments offered by Pala Poker are fair for a new site. NJ players will find the multi-table and Sit and Gos contests useful.
The payment methods listed by this operator are standard and diverse. Some popular variants include Neteller, PayNearMe, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Pala Prepaid card, ACH bank transfer, etc. Before placing a withdrawal request, NJ poker players must complete a KYC before it is successful.
Like other respected poker sites, Pala Poker has dedicated customer care support options available 24/7. Customers can reach an agent through email and live chat.
Global Poker (Sweepstakes Casino)
Many NJ gamblers go with a social or sweepstakes casino rather than a real money NJ poker site. While they have the same gameplay, you don’t need to make a deposit before accessing the site. The leading NJ poker sweepstakes casino is Global Poker. Rather than play for cash, you play for coins here. Players can also go further by purchasing coin packages to get sweeps packets. You can exchange them for cash prizes if you get a higher amount.
Global Poker has a national presence, operating in almost all US states. While the site does not have a mobile app, it is highly optimized for all mobile screen types. The site is simple, with a great design, and has fantastic navigational settings.
There are top tournaments you can look forward to here, including the Gold Rush and Bonanza contests. Other popular poker game types you can play include Omaha, Hold ’em, etc. Suppose you’re a beginner at online poker. In that case, Global Poker has a particular school that teaches the fundamentals of the beautiful game.
Once you feel confident enough, we recommend switching to the real money online poker sites like Borgata Poker, 888 Poker, etc.
New Jersey Online Poker Bonuses
The best online poker NJ sites offer a series of bonuses that are classic and highly rewarding. Considering the healthy competition among operators in the Garden State, you will find they are all for the players’ benefit.
Most NJ poker sites require a bonus code before activating these incentives. Still, others award you after successfully creating an account. Here’s an overview of some regular bonus offers online poker New Jersey players can take advantage of.
New and regular players at all online poker real money New Jersey sites stand the chance of winning free tournament tickets. They usually come in handy with welcome bonuses. At other times, they are part of promotions, rewarding loyal customers at intervals. This particular offer differs from a regular free bonus because you won’t find them for general contests.
Deposit Match Bonus
The deposit match bonus is the most common offer on NJ poker sites. They are almost always available on welcome packages and open with a certain percentage, usually at a hundred percent.
Suppose you make a real money deposit of $150, and the deposit match bonus offers a reward of up to 100% of your first deposit. It means you get an extra $150, bringing the total to $300. Players can claim this in their bonus accounts. However, it varies among all New Jersey poker online rooms.
No Deposit Bonus
You will find this rare incentive offered by the best online poker sites New Jersey operators. It is available to everyone who successfully creates an account on the site where it is available. No real money deposit is required. While its value varies, it usually centers around free tickets for tournaments or cash games. It is only available once and is popular among different NJ poker sites.
The reload offer is similar to the deposit match bonus. A crucial difference between both is that the reload incentive is reserved only for existing players as part of promotions. With the reload, you only need to deposit real money, which will be “reloaded” back for you.
While its size is smaller than deposit match bonuses, it is more frequent. You can find reload bonuses as part of daily, weekly, or monthly incentives.
The freeroll tournament is a contest type that is totally free to join. While you do not need a real money wager, the pot consists of real cash amounts. The freeroll tournament is open to new customers or existing players depending on the online poker room.
The New Jersey online poker leadership board incentive is a regular contest at various times. It is a loyalty program where the leading players in a game share a prize pool. It runs for a determined period. This board is usually displayed on the homepage or in the promotions section with a countdown timer.
Entry is usually free or less stringent. You’d have to be invited to some NJ poker sites before joining the contest.
How to Play New Jersey Online Poker
Looking to get started with online poker in New Jersey? The process is straightforward. Just follow our detailed steps, and you can get started in little to no time.
Choose the New Jersey Poker Online Site of your choice.
The first step is to select the top poker site to wager on. There are various poker rooms legally allowed to operate in New Jersey. Our list above offers you good choices to pick from.
Next, click on “sign up” or “register.” On the next page, fill in the required details. They include:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Last four digits on your SSN.
You will have to put on your location button to give access to the geological features on your device. After completing the registration, you can proceed to download the desktop or mobile app if available.
Make a deposit
After creating an account, you’d have to fund your account to play and claim the bonuses. There are various options to select from when making a deposit or withdrawal. A good feature of these sites is that they offer reduced transaction fees.
To fund your account, scroll to the account or cashier section and click on deposits. You can choose the most convenient payment option and move to pay. Fill in the details and submit the request. Depending on the operator, deposits can be confirmed within 0-24 hours.
Choose your Favourite table and Start Playing.
Once your deposit has been confirmed, it’s time to choose a table and start playing.
Shared Player Pools in NJ Poker
According to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, NJ is a member. A poker site can be available or active in two or more states. This allows you to wager against players outside New Jersey’s state lines.
The other states involved in this agreement are Nevada and Delaware. Currently, only WSOP and 888 Poker offer this feature. It is expected that BetMGM Poker and PokerStars will roll out this feature shortly.
A shared player pool allows different players across the states to play against each other. It increases the traffic of the poker site as long as it is available in the state where online poker is legal.
There are more competitions, tournaments, extensive poker game collections, and increased potential cash prizes for players. For tournaments, you will only find the most prominent varieties in Nevada and New Jersey. Delaware is yet to adjust its policies for online poker to accommodate such competitions.
Due to the agreement’s success, other states that have legalized online poker are expected to become party to the deal soon. Famous among them will be Pennsylvania and Michigan.
To successfully carry out the shared player pools agreement, some of the best online poker NJ sites use special networks that share access with other operators. What it means is that only player pools are shared with each other. Additional functionalities are operated independently. Asides from honoring NJ’s agreement, the shared player pools network offers more traffic, increased cash games, and cash prize pools for all players.
Not all online poker real money New Jersey sites, for instance, PokerStars, do this. PokerStars functions as United States’ most enormous standalone poker room. Although it has a license in many global jurisdictions and several US states, its NJ operations are strictly standalone and reserved for New Jersey online poker players.
Another standalone poker site is Pala Poker. However, because it is relatively new in the online poker industry, traffic to its website is below average.
Here’s a list of the networks other operators share player pools on:
- All American Poker Network. 888 Poker and World Series on Poker (WSOP).
- PartyPoker Network. Borgata Poker, BetMGM, and PartyPoker rely on this network.
Why NJ Players should Bet only on Legal New Jersey Online Poker Sites
New Jersey has become the home to the most regulated online gambling games with a healthy legal framework. The Department of Gambling Enforcement (DGE) is highly involved in licensing only operators that meet their requirements. This means that all NJ online poker sites operate within acceptable industry standards.
With the competition among operators, we see no need for players to opt to wager on offshore poker rooms. Part of the requirements set by the DGE stipulates that license applicants must undergo a business evaluation before receiving operational licenses. The department also carries out scheduled and unscheduled inspections on the payment methods provided to protect players’ funds. Each poker room must also abide by strict regulations.
Playing at offshore sites does not guarantee the safety of information or funds. It is unclear if they have a license to operate. In addition, these sites are not regulated by the DGE, so there is no sure way to know if the games are tested for fairness.
In addition, the NJ poker sites offer payment methods that are highly convenient for you. They are secure and reliable. All types of bonuses and promotions are available to select from, with some sites offering a low buy-in. The chances of being scammed by a poker NJ site are lesser than when you wager at an offshore site.
Best Poker Games in NJ
As stated, a majority of the New Jersey poker online rooms have substantial traffic due to shared networks. Yet, the traffic does not perform at its optimal performance. Since the online poker game isn’t regulated directly under federal might, not all states have legalized them. This has caused a disruption in solid interaction between player pools.
For instance, New Jersey, with a population of about nine million, only has a fraction interested in wagering on NJ poker. Hence, not all tables or poker game variants might have full action at all times.
Initially, No Limit Hold’em was the best online poker NJ game to place bets on. Its low bet size range accommodated all players. With the current movement of the market, players now enjoy Pot Limit Omaha and other times, Stud and Draw. However, the other games come alive when an essential and famous tournament is coming up. An excellent example is the WSOP games festival.
While No Limit Hold’em is regarded as the best poker game in NJ, the WSOP increases traffic on the pools of other variants. New Jersey plays host to pro poker players traveling to play within state lines, especially if they are not residents in Delaware and Nevada.
Online poker NJ tournaments have become better over the years. You can find top competitions like the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) bring maximum traffic to the sites. Such games and festivals usually place the prize pools at $1 million and above.
Sit and Go Tournaments
The Sit and Go tournaments are regular contests for NJ online poker players who don’t want to wait for the special events. For this tournament type, there are no special effects attached. Gameplay begins instantly once the number of players required is complete. Hence, the name.
Another feature of this contest is its low bet size range. Wagers below $0.10 can be accepted on the floor. Further innovations like Spin and Go, Blast, etc., have been added to increase excitement. The prize pool is impressive, making Sit and Go tournaments one of the best poker in NJ variants to try out. Offers could go as high as 10,000x your wager.
Cash games are a regular feature on all NJ poker sites. Due to its high traffic, 888 Poker, WSOP, and PokerStars have the highest number of cash games for their customers. Here, you’re playing for cash prizes, and all winnings can be withdrawn instantly after leaving the table. For all NJ poker sites, players can make a buy-in of a maximum of $100.
The freerolls poker variant is a promotion you will find on the New Jersey online poker sites. New and regular customers at an online poker parlor can enjoy its features. Existing players can get this offer by performing simple tasks, such as using a particular deposit option, wagering with a certain amount, etc.
Payouts depend on the determined prize pool but could be within $100 and $200. The winner stands to win $20. Others could get less. Two important facts about the freerolls are that no real money bet is allowed, and winnings can be withdrawn instantly. No playthrough requirements are attached.
FAQs for NJ Online Poker
Can I play online poker in New Jersey?
Yes. You can play online poker in New Jersey without getting a visit from law enforcement.
Is Online Poker Legal in NJ?
Yes. Online poker is legal in NJ. House bill 2578 was approved as the amendment to the initial legislation sent for signature. The Department of Gambling Enforcement regulates all online poker activities in the Garden State.
Can I play online Poker outside NJ Stateline’s?
No. State law states that you must register and play within the state lines. You could be prosecuted and your account banned if caught playing on NJ poker sites outside the state.
What are the deposit options available for NJ Online poker?
The deposit options for NJ poker sites include bank cards, PayPal, PayNearMe, etc.