If you enjoy legal online poker, you won’t find more opportunities than in New Jersey. The Garden State is an online poker hub, with a national-high four poker networks and seven online poker rooms. In addition, New Jersey is part of an interstate online poker compact that allows NJ players the opportunity to compete against players from Nevada and Delaware.
Gambling.com can help poker players choose the best online sites. We evaluate and review every legal NJ online poker site, and only recommend the ones that provide the best online and mobile experience. We never recommend playing at offshore-based poker sites, which are not licensed and unregulated. If you’re playing for real money, Gambling.com makes it easy to sort through the best NJ online sites to play.
At Gambling.com, we’ve spent years evaluating and reviewing online poker and casino sites around the world. We consider the same factors in choosing which NJ online poker rooms are worth recommending. Those factors are:
Bonus offers: Every site offers online poker bonuses and promotions to new players, but some are significantly more restrictive than others. We break down the bonuses not only to determine the most lucrative, but which may be better suited for recreational players vs. more experienced ones.
Players and game selection: Which NJ poker site features the most online poker players and game selection? While No Limit Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular game selection, where can you play stud poker? And which sites offer the most poker tournaments?
Safety: We only recommend sites that are licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. That ensures the funds in your account are secure and games are fair.
Software: Online poker rooms may look similar, but no two sites are the same. Playing on mobile devices can be vastly different. We examine speed, layout and ease of navigation on smartphone and tablet.
Yes. Legal online poker in NJ was launched in 2013. NJ is home to seven licensed online poker sites, where players can compete for real money in cash games and poker tournaments.
Players must be at least 21 years of age and physically located within the state to play online poker in NJ.
While the rules are the same, playing poker online and in a land-based casino each requires its own set of skills.
In online poker, there is no reliance on reading body language of other players at the table since no players are physically present. Instead, online poker players have to rely more on the betting patterns of other players at their table. In addition, online poker is played at a considerably faster pace than land-based games.
Some of the benefits of online poker play:
Convenience: You can play any time of the day, with no need to travel anywhere to find a game.
Comfort level: It’s far less intimidating to play poker online, where there is no judgment or criticism from other players at the table.
Learn at your own pace: If you’re not an experienced player, NJ online poker rooms allow you to play for free before playing for real money. This allows you to improve skills at your own pace without risking money before you’re ready.
Speed of play: It’s estimated that playing online is three times quicker than traditional poker play at land-based venues. With immediate shuffling and fewer delays, your time is spent more efficiently.
Bonuses: A casino bonus is generally available only to online players, especially when initially opening an account.
Benefits of land-based play:
Reading opponents: Being able to size up other players at the table by reading their physical “tells” is a valuable asset at land-based games.
More social: You can play with friends and make new ones. Of course, if social interaction isn’t your thing, then online play may be better for you.
Seven NJ online poker sites are operating as of March 2020:
888 Poker NJ: 888 shares the same network as the popular WSOP. The two also allow players to compete against 888 and WSOP players from Nevada and Delaware as part of a multi-state gaming alliance. 888 and WSOP often combine to be NJ’s leader in online poker revenue. Play poker at 888 now!
PokerStars New Jersey: “Home of online poker” is partnered with Resorts Casino. PokerStars offers a huge variety of tournament play, including several New Jersey championship events. Software is considered among the best available. Play poker at PokerStars New Jersey now!
WSOP: Shares platform and players with 888 Poker and is among the most trafficked NJ poker sites. Takes advantage of its brand with several promotional and qualifying events leading to the World Series of Poker. Play poker at WSOP now!
BetMGM Poker: Shares online network and player pool with Borgata Poker and PartyPokerNJ, with similar tournament schedule, including a daily 10K event. Offers informative poker school tutorials on website.
Borgata Poker: Borgata, the leading land-based poker room in N.J, shares the same online network with PartyPoker and BetMGM. Plenty of tournament action with more than 70 offered on a daily basis with a wide range of buy-ins.
Pala Poker: Does not share traffic with any other NJ site, though retains partnership with Borgata. Offers variety of cash games, Sit & Go and multi-table tournaments. Uses it owns proprietary software.
PartyPokerNJ: Shares online network and player pool with Borgata Poker and BetMGM Poker. Unveiled remodeled, more user-friendly mobile app in late 2019. Offers personalized weekly reload bonuses to existing players.
No-Limit Texas Hold’em games are plentiful, with Pot-Limit Omaha a distant second in popularity. These are the games offered by NJ legal online poker sites, depending on the number of players available:
No-Limit Texas Hold’em: The most popular poker game out there, whether in cash games, Sit & Go events or tournaments. You can find tables with a variety of stakes.
Pot Limit Omaha: Differs from Texas Hold’em in that players are dealt four hole cards and must use two of them. Games are generally available, with lower stakes more popular.
Stud Poker: 7-card stud is the most popular variant, but there are also others such as Razz (lowest five-card hand wins) and 7-card high/low. Number of tables likely to be limited.
Zoom Poker: Introduced in NJ by PokerStars, fast-paced game moves players to a different table after every hand or immediately after a player folds his hand.
Sit & Go: Single-table format in which each player starts with a set number of chips. When players lose their chips they are eliminated. Generally offers fixed payouts to the top finishers. Usually lasts less than an hour.
Multi-Table Tournaments: Multiple tables of players play down to one final table, where the winner is determined. These are the events that generally offer the biggest payouts. The most notable is the World Series of Poker main event.
The first step is to choose a poker site you wish to join. Then go to the site and register for an account.
To complete the registration process, players will be asked to provide name, email address, home address, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number, which online poker operators require to verify your identity and prevent underage players from joining. Some players may be required to provide their full SSN while others may be asked for additional documentation, such as a US passport, driver’s license or utility bills.
Once you’ve completed registration, deposit funds into your account, collect the casino bonus and you are good to go. Players must be 21 or older and physically located within the state of New Jersey to play. You can also download the mobile app either from the site or the App Store or Google Play for mobile gaming.
NJ online poker sites offer a variety of payment options to deposit or withdraw funds: The most popular:
Play+: A prepaid credit card that can be funded with a credit card or checking account. Funds are deposited into your account instantly. Withdrawals can be made directly to your Play+ account, and then redeemed at your ATM. A single Play+ card can be used at multiple online casinos.
PayPal/e-wallets: Online prepaid account such as PayPal that allow you to make transactions (deposits and withdrawals) and store information online. Can be funded with a credit card. Other popular e-wallet options are Neteller and Skrill. Typically you can withdraw funds into an e-wallet that you use to fund a casino account.
PayNearMe: Deposit method with no credit cards or checking account required. Use cash to fund your account in person by scanning a barcode at an NJ 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy or Family Dollar store.
ACH/bank transfer: Also known as e-checks. Connection is established between online poker site account and player’s checking account for deposits and withdrawals. High rollers like this method as it tends to have the highest limits.
Credit/debit card: Visa and Mastercard are the most accepted options. While by far the most popular funding method, some credit cards companies may automatically reject gambling deposit requests, which is why we recommend a backup plan such as Play+ and PayPal. Others treat these transactions as a cash advance and charge fees.
Prepaid cards: Operate similar to gift cards. Several NJ online poker operators offer their own branded cards and players can apply on the operator’s website with no fees.
Cash at casino cage: All NJ online poker sites are partnered with an Atlantic City casino. Players can simply visit the cashier cage at that casino. You will need to present ID.
As NJ online poker operators vie for customers, they offer a variety of online poker bonus offers, primarily for new players. While these bonuses come in the form of free cash, nearly all include some form of wagering requirement before the bonus can be redeemed. That’s why it’s important to read all the terms and conditions before choosing the best bonus for you.
The most common bonuses:
No-deposit bonus: Simply complete the registration process when signing up for a new account and the bonus is yours. The bonus is usually in cash and requires a certain amount of play, within a certain timeframe, before it can be redeemed.
Deposit bonus: Make your first deposit and the NJ online poker operator will match that amount up to 100 percent, often up to $1,000 or more. Generally, the higher the deposit match, the more action required to redeem parts of the bonus.
Reload bonus: Offered to existing or inactive players with depleted accounts or to reward loyal players.
Which bonus is best for new customers? Recreational players might be better off claiming smaller bonus offers, which don’t require as much play to redeem. High-frequency players are more apt to take advantage of lucrative deposit matches, since they’re willing to play more often and clear the bonus requirements.
Bonuses are often released incrementally, so even for smaller players, it’s possible to claim at least a portion of the bonus money offered.
The easiest way for players to download mobile apps for all of NJ’s seven online poker sites is on the operator’s website for free after you register. You can also download from the App Store and Google Play.
PokerStars: Is considered the most advanced NJ poker app, with the biggest selection of games and features similar to what you might find on desktop. Mobile app features FastFold games (Zoom Poker) and allows you to find whatever game you want quickly. Available on iOS and Android.
WSOP/888 Poker: The two share the same network and software for their apps, which are available in iOS and Android. Both offer a decent selection of multi-table tournaments and Sit & Go events, most limited to Texas Hold’em. Mobile players can take advantage of shared liquidity with WSOP players from Nevada and Delaware.
BetMGM/Borgata Poker/PartyPoker: The three share the same network and similar software (but separate rewards programs), with each available on iOS and Android. All offer mobile Fast Fold games (Zoom Poker), mobile daily freeroll tournaments with no buy-in required and a large selection of banking options.
Pala Poker: Mobile app on iOS and Android is the equivalent to desktop counterpart in both game selection and functionality. Sleek looking interface. Does not share traffic with any other NJ sites, so player liquidity is biggest issue.
NJ online poker operators work with several software providers, enabling them to use state-of-the technology for both online and mobile offerings. Among the biggest NJ poker software players:
PokerStars: Has developed what many believe to be the top online poker software platform in the U.S. Software is intuitive, with personalized and customized options. Purchased in 2014 by The Stars Group, which owns several other brands familiar to poker players, including Full Tilt and BetStars.
Dragonfish: Powers the 888 and WSOP platforms. 888 has been operating international online poker sites for over a decade. Dragonfish has adopted a mobile-first strategy for product development and its software helps allow 888 sites in NJ, Nevada and Delaware to share player pools.
GVC: One of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming providers, its Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brand runs the online poker rooms at BetMGM, Borgata and PartyPoker. Owner of the well-known Ladbrokes betting shops, GVC has licenses in more than 20 countries.
Pala Interactive: The software that runs Pala’s NJ online poker site and casino was developed by Pala Interactive, owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. Develops games for both digital and land-based casinos and recently signed sportsbook technology partnership deal with SB Tech.
NJ online poker has experienced its share of ups and downs.
In 2013, then-Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill authorizing licenses for NJ casino sites, requiring each to partner with an existing land-based Atlantic City casino. On Nov. 26, 2013, the first online gaming sites (seven casinos, six poker rooms) officially launched in New Jersey.
The state’s online poker industry confronted some immediate obstacles. For one, online poker was still struggling to overcome the image of “Black Friday” from two years prior, when the U.S. Department of Justice indicted the three largest online poker websites in the country for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and many players lost access to the money in their accounts.
In addition, technical glitches, flaws in the geolocation process, and limited mobile and transaction options hampered the growth of NJ online poker sites. Making matters worse, some struggling Atlantic City land-based casinos closed, jeopardizing internet gaming partnerships. By the end of 2014, only four NJ online poker sites remained.
In 2015, PokerStars, one of the companies indicted in 2012, was finally given approval to return to New Jersey and launched its online operation the following March.
Gradually, technology improved and the state’s online poker operators began to post steady profits. The industry showed steady growth until late 2017, when its numbers appeared to have peaked. In 2018, NJ’s online poker revenue was $21.3 million, a nearly 12% decline from the previous year.
The NJ online poker marketplace has stabilized over the past year or so, with seven sites operating in 2020. Since launching in 2013 through 2019, NJ online poker revenue has totaled nearly $153 million.
There are four poker networks, encompassing seven NJ online poker sites.
You must be 21 or older.
Yes. As long as you are playing at a legal, state-regulated online poker site, the games are fair and your account is safe. Offshore-based poker sites are not subject to the same oversight and are risky.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulates all internet gambling in the state. Players who have an issue or dispute with their online poker operator can contact the NJDGE website.
Yes. Players at the poker table compete against each other, not the house, though because of the compact with Nevada and Delaware, players could be in any of those three states.
No. You can simply go to the website of your NJ online poker provider of choice and register for an account. It’s that easy.
Yes. Every NJ online poker site offers a wide variety of daily tournament and event play, several with huge guaranteed prize pools. For example, PokerStars and WSOP offers a series of online championships with hundreds of thousands of dollars in guaranteed prize money.
There is no residency requirement to set up an account and deposit funds at a NJ online poker site. But you must be physically located in New Jersey to play.
Yes. Just as NJ online poker operators offer welcome bonuses to new customers, they also take steps to retain existing players. One way of doing that is through loyalty reward programs. The more you bet, the more rewards you earn.
The licensed site that works best for you. Each NJ online poker site is a little different in terms of game selection, software and ease of navigation. Test different sites and choose the one that provides you with the best overall experience and comfort level.
Yes, in New Jersey online poker winnings are taxed at 3% by the state. The amount you pay in federal tax will depend on your tax bracket. For all winnings of $5,000 or more (after buy-in has been deducted), the online casino must file a Form W2-G to report the win to the IRS. You will also receive one in January of the following year. The casino will withhold 3% for New Jersey and 24% for the federal government, though the actual percentage you owe could be higher or lower depending on your tax bracket.
It shouldn’t be. NJ online poker sites offer more deposit options than ever before. The deposit method that sometimes causes issues is credit or debit card (also the most frequently used method). While Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted, some credit cards companies may automatically reject gambling deposits because they have yet to adapt to the changing legal landscape. The good news is, as legalized online gambling and sports betting have become more mainstream, the number of companies that reject these deposits is dwindling.
Consider all the factors that are most important to you as an account holder. That includes game and tournament selection, overall mobile experience, bonus offers and loyalty programs. A good place to start is Gambling.com’s NJ online poker reviews, which can help narrow your selection.
Yes. Most games have minimum and maximum table limits.
Yes. You must be physically located within the state to legally play at a NJ online poker site.
Each site uses geolocation technology to pinpoint a player’s location and verify they are located within the state’s borders. The data is secure, but it is also required by regulators.
No. You can live and set up an account from anywhere. But you must be inside the state when playing on a NJ online poker site.
"A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade."