The New Jersey online poker industry needs help.
The question is: Will the upcoming launch of online poker in neighboring Pennsylvania give NJ online poker the boost it so desperately needs?
The best answer is a simple one: Not just yet.
In fact, PA online poker may even hurt the industry in NJ when it launches. That is if online poker players in PA decides to stay home and play in the new legal and regulated market there, rather than make the often short drive to the Garden State.
Hope for the future for NJ online poker
The short-term outlook is a bit on the grim side. However, there is most assuredly hope for the future.
Right now, NJ online poker is an industry struggling to survive. Revenue numbers have never been great by any stretch of the imagination. However, in September 2018, the numbers hit the lowest levels seen since launch.
In fact, in September 2018, NJ online poker revenues dropped 8.4 percent from August 2018 to a paltry $1.6 million. The numbers were also down 15.4 percent from September 2017. It marked the worst monthly revenue numbers since NJ online poker launched almost five years ago in November 2013.
Making things seem even worse was the dip came despite a pair of big tournament events. The first-ever online World Series of Poker Circuit series and PokerStars NJ Championship of Online Poker ran throughout the month.
Overall, NJ gambling websites‘ revenues continue growing and wowing the entire casino industry. With $25.8 million in revenue posted in September 2018, NJ online gambling revenue numbers came close to a record high.
However, NJ online poker, which had been hovering around 10 percent, now makes up less than seven percent of total NJ online gambling revenue.
The multistate agreement for NJ online poker industry
When New Jersey signed on to the multistate agreement allowing NJ sites to share online poker player pools with others in Nevada and Delaware, the industry expected that things would change dramatically. They have not.
The WSOP NJ / 888 Poker network is the only one with sites in all three states. Therefore, it remains the only organization enjoying any of its benefits. In fact, the Caesars Interactive Entertainment network posted $671,315 in revenue in September 2018, helping it move into the top spot in the state.
However, even its revenue numbers were down close to five percent from August 2018. Hosting the first-ever WSOP online circuit series in September didn’t seem to help as much as some thought it might.
The rest of the NJ online poker industry posted month-over-month decreases as well.
Running the PokerStars NJ Championship of Online Poker didn’t help PokerStars NJ in September 2018 either. In fact, its revenues dropped 15 percent from August.
Can Pennsylvania save the day?
But again, the question is: Can PA online poker somehow come in and save the day?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved the first group of online poker license applications. It appears the first legal and regulated PA online poker sites will go live by late 2018 or early 2019.
With a population of almost 13 million people, PA has the potential to double the number of people playing legal and regulated online poker in this country. However, they won’t be playing together from the jump.
PA online poker is launching in a fenced-in market. That means PA online poker players will only be playing against each other at first.
Yes, there is language in the law allowing PA to sign interstate compacts like the one involving New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. However, the state has made it clear it wants to launch PA online poker with a fence around it first to see what it is they’ve got.
For now, that means NJ online poker won’t be getting the help it needs from its neighbor.
Give online poker a year
Most pundits put the timeline at about one year before PA signs on to any interstate compacts. If it does ultimately join forces with NJ, Nevada, and Delaware after that time, it should be a boost to online poker in all four states.
The WSOP/888 Poker network won’t be the only one operating in all four states. This will allow an operation like PokerStars, for example, to get in on the benefits of multistate online poker as well.
Adding the fourth state to increase the size of the entire existing market will undoubtedly create a big jump in tournament prize pools and cash game player pool numbers. This, in turn, will attract even more players to online poker in all four states. It should be the kind of help NJ online poker needs.
NJ online poker revenue numbers may never wow anyone. However, sharing player pools with PA might give it a much-needed boost. The NJ online poker industry will just have to wait and see.
The history of online gambling in the United States is an interesting one. The commercial internet as we know it came into being in November 1992, but it wasn’t until May 1995 that the government dropped out of the project.
The first official online gambling site, Intertops.com, opened its “doors” in 1996 and was quickly followed by a torrent of other gambling sites offering services to anyone who wanted to place a bet.
In October 2006, there were more than 2,500 online gambling sites owned by 465 different companies.
Where is online gambling legal in the US?
Currently, online gambling is legal and regulated on a state level in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. In October 2017, Pennsylvania joined the online gambling industry. It is expected to launch its iGaming sites and online poker later in 2018.
The legality of internet gambling is extremely complicated. Some countries have no laws regarding it, and others have legalized online gambling both within and outside their borders.
Some countries have made certain forms of gambling online legal and other forms illegal.
The United States has no federal laws that prevent internet gambling from a consumer-based standpoint; however, many individual states have such laws.
What kind of legal gambling is available online in Nevada and Delaware?
At the time of this writing, Nevada had three legal betting sites: WSOP.com, RealGaming, and WorldWinner.com. The first two sites offer online poker, and the third offers a variety of skill games.
Delaware is the new kid on the block, having legalized online gambling in 2013. Currently, there are four off-track horse and greyhound betting sites located within the state and three online casinos.
So is it legal to gamble online in other states?
The answer isn’t as easy as a simple yes or no. There is way too much gray area involved in the interpretation of the laws.
What we do know is that, as of 2017, New Jersey has by far the most vibrant community for internet gamblers.
Where can players legally gamble online in New Jersey?
At the time of this writing, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has issued licenses to five different Atlantic City casinos and offers players a chance to wager on 20 different NJ online gambling websites.
Customers may be able to gamble in other states, but the best online gambling is taking place in New Jersey.
VirginCasino.com, for example, offers a free $20 sign-up bonus for all new players. Simply enter the Virgin Casino online bonus code, 20BUCKS, when you sign up for a new account and enjoy the freeplay.
In addition to the free $20, Virgin has a $100 cash back refund on first deposits. This means players can effectively sign up for an account on VirginCasino.com and gamble $120 with absolutely no risk.
New Jersey also recently saw the launch of PokerStarsNJ.com. Without a doubt, PokerStarsNJ is the best place to play legal online poker anywhere in the nation. PokerStarsNJ will give players a 100 percent first-time deposit bonus up to $600. Enter bonus code STARS600 to get started.
We also recommend several other online gambling sites within New Jersey, including BetfairCasino.com, GoldenNuggetCasino.com, and TropicanaCasino.com. All these sites have wonderful first-time deposit bonuses and a myriad of fun and exciting NJ online casino games to explore.
With any luck, more states will follow suit and regulate online gambling in the near future, but for the time being Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware are the only legal options.
Obviously, if you reside within the states of Nevada or Delaware, you will be doing most of your online gambling there. But if you are looking for a great place to travel and want a fantastic gambling destination, skip Las Vegas and come to Atlantic City.
Not only does New Jersey have world class resorts and casinos, it offers the best legal online gambling in the country. If you live nearby, why not jump on a train and come to New Jersey to play some great online games?
Low turnout plagued PokerStars’ live MEGASTACK poker series Oct. 6-8 at Resorts Casino Hotel, marking the second consecutive live tourney disappointment. This most recent weekend event was divided into the Sunday Special Live main event and the no-limit deep-stack “Cheap and Deep.”
Overlays on both PokerStars NJ tournaments
PokerStars’ main event tourney on Oct. 7 boasted $100,000 in guaranteed prize money, and four different starting flights competed.
Sunday Special Live drew 409 entrants and, when multiplied by the $220 buy-in, the total prize pool generated by entrants was $89,980, resulting in an overlay of $10,020. The picture was pretty bleak on the deep-stack side. The event brought in less than half of the guaranteed $25,000 purse.
PokerStars’ own Chris Moneymaker won the deep-stack tourney while Egg Harbor Township’s John Monahan won the Sunday Special Live.
Why is PokerStars struggling with live events in NJ?
It’s up for debate why PokerStars is having a hard time filling seats at live tournaments.
Maybe players aren’t going simply out of inconvenience and cost. Atlantic City is the only location in the state with casinos — a November 2016 referendum kept it that way.
Players in northern New Jersey may find the drive south too far, particularly considering the amount of money they’d spend on gas, a hotel stay, and food for the weekend, not to mention buy-ins. Why drive two hours to a tourney when they can play from the comfort of home?
In that sense, PokerStars’ online popularity in the state may very well be working against its live tournaments.
Another factor could be the amount of money that can be won online versus in person. PokerStars’ September/October tournament series featured 46 online events with more than $1 million in prize money. The biggest event on that schedule, purse-wise, was the Oct. 15 NL Hold ’em Main Event, which had a $200,000 prize pool.
Multiple factors hampered first tournament
While there haven’t been any theories as to why the most recent PokerStars event didn’t perform as expected, experts in the industry say the company’s first event in Atlantic City in October 2016 was the victim of several converging factors.
These included the lack of a guaranteed prize pool, another poker event happening at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and having only two months to market the event.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fun and exciting way to pass the time?
Well, that’s the niche casino mobile apps are trying to fill and almost all New Jersey online casinos offer mobile play for their customers.
What is the best NJ mobile casino app?
There are a few games that inherently work better for mobile play than others. With complex table games, it is sometimes difficult to fit all the information on such a tiny screen.
In recent years, however, mobile screens have continued to increase in size and thus the mobile gaming experience offered by casinos has improved dramatically.
As stated before, you can find mobile apps for all New Jersey online gambling websites, but unfortunately, at the time of this writing, most apps are somewhat lacking. The game selection on mobile apps is limited as compared to their desktop or browser-based software and there tends to be less user functionality in regards to player accounts.
Some casinos, such as 888casino.com, don’t even offer a mobile app for Android devices, which is, in our opinion, completely unacceptable.
If you are going to give mobile gaming a shot, try out a few different apps and see which ones you like best. VirginCasino.com offers our favorite, but the apps offered by TropicanaCasino.com, BetfairCasino.com, and GoldenNuggetCasino.com are well worth trying.
These casinos have apps that function smoothly on iOS devices as well as Android devices and if they have the games you are looking for, there is no reason why you shouldn’t give them a shot.
With that in mind, be sure to take advantage of casino promotions on any site you end up playing on your mobile device.
How many games are available on VirginCasino.com’s NJ app?
After a quick download of the iOS 6.0 app, we were able to determine that there were 48 games available for play. As is the case with all New Jersey online casino apps (excluding poker), the vast majority of games are variations of popular slot machines.
If you’d like to try out the mobile app, VirginCasino.com offers a no deposit bonus of $20 when you sign up for a new account and use promo code 20BUCKS.
You will find that the smoothness of gameplay and presentation make VirginCasino.com’s mobile app one of the best in the industry.
What is the best mobile online poker app in New Jersey?
If you are in the mood for something a little different, poker on mobile apps works very well.
The PokerStarsNJ.com mobile app in particular is a great way to pass the time and allows you to play both cash games and tournaments with convenience.
The PokerStars app, like VirginCasino.com’s app, works best with iOS 6.0 or Android operating systems 2.3 and higher. You can download the app from the App Store on your Apple device or directly from PokerStarsNJ.com for your Android.
PokerStars also has a couple of other poker apps for your phone including PokerStars TV, where you can watch all the latest videos from the world of poker and a handy PokerStars Clock that will help you manage a home tournament.
As incentive to play on PokerStarsNJ.com, the NJ site offers new players a welcome package that includes a 100% match bonus up to $600 when you sign up for a new account and use bonus code STARS600.
With a wide selection of slots, table games, video poker, live dealer games, and two sites specializing in online poker, there is something for everyone.
What kinds of casino games do NJ gambling sites offer?
In New Jersey’s online casino market place, slots outnumber other games by a fairly large margin.
For those of who don’t know, slot machines are casino gambling machines with three or more reels that spin when a button is pushed. The slot’s reels land on specific combinations of symbols that trigger bonus rounds and payouts according to predetermined odds.
Playing online slots in NJ with no deposit
If you would like to give slots a try for free, you can sign up at one of our favorite sites, TropicanaCasino.com, using bonus code PLAY20. This will give you a free $20 to try out some of its most popular games.
What about NJ online casino table games?
The house edge on most table games is quite low. These games tend to be a little more complicated than slot machines and require a bit of knowledge before you play.
Fortunately, New Jersey online casinos have easy-to-follow tutorials that will teach you how to play any games you choose.
Playing online table games is a good way to get the feel for some of the more complicated games, such as craps. Once you get a handle on the basic rules, you can take your newly acquired skills to the pit at any of the brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City if you so choose.
While learning how to play, be sure to take advantage of the first-time deposit bonuses many of these casinos offer.
Betfair.com, for example, is currently offering a 100 percent deposit bonus of up to $1500 for first-time players.
Can you play video poker online in New Jersey?
Yes, you can. Video poker, which is often listed in the same category as table games, is a great way to take advantage of some of the top New Jersey online casino promotions.
One of our favorite places to play video poker is Golden Nugget online casino. At the time of this writing, GoldenNuggetCasino.com offers an astounding 21 variations on the game.
The basic form of video poker is five-card draw. Simply place your bet and you will be dealt five cards face up. You then decide which of the five cards you would like to keep and which cards you would like to discard.
After you press “draw,” you will have a complete five-card poker hand. Different combinations of cards pay out based on the odds.
Do any of the NJ casino sites offer live dealer games?
If you feel uncomfortable with your money in the hands of a random number generator, there are several casinos that offer live dealer games. These games attempt to simulate a land-based casino experience.
GoldenNuggetCasino.com has a dedicated studio inside the Golden Nugget that operates under the same regulatory conditions as the rest of its table games.
When you play one of these live dealer games, a real dealer (a human trained by the Golden Nugget Casino) will shuffle and deal the cards or drop the roulette ball onto the wheel.
Players gambling on live dealer tables can use the online chat feature to interact with one another while the action takes place. This way, you get a lot of the same social interaction and community gambling experience you would at a brick and mortar casino, without many of the drawbacks.
Is poker available online in NJ?
The last form of gambling offered at New Jersey online casinos is online poker.
Both of these sites offer a wide selection of live poker games where you can match your wits against real people within the state of New Jersey.
From No-Limit Texas Hold’em to craps, New Jersey gambling websites try to have something for everyone.
What kinds of games do NJ online casino websites offer?
Slots take up the lion’s share of online gambling and are the most popular casino games offered by New Jersey online casinos. However, the term “slots” is broad, and there are plenty of variations in this arena.
Video poker, a close cousin of the slot machine, is the second most popular game featured at New Jersey online casinos.
Our favorite variation of the game is the long-time player favorite Jacks or Better. This is the game that most players think of when they think of video poker. It can be found in nearly every casino in the world, and New Jersey’s online casinos are no exception.
Let’s dig in and take a closer look at what various NJ casino sites have in their game rosters.
Virgin NJ online casino games
VirginCasino.com, for example, offers more than 100 slot terminals on its site.
The games vary from standard live casino favorites like Da Vinci Diamonds or Zeus to more interactive games, such as its progressive slot Wonderland, which at the time of this writing had a jackpot just shy of $70,000.
To try one of the many slots available on VirginCasino.com, we recommend using the bonus code 20BUCKS when you sign up for an account. This will give you a free $20 to try out whatever slots you may be interested in playing.
If you want to continue playing after the free $20, you can take advantage of Virgin’s “Up to $100 Real Cash Back” bonus available to all new customers.
Simply deposit $100 or more in your account, and if you lose it within an allotted period of time VirginCasino.com will refund the money.
Betfair NJ online casino games
BetfairCasino.com offers you a free $10 upfront to try out its software, and it has the largest match bonus of any NJ online casino.
Deposit up to $1500 in your account as a first-time player and BetfairCasino.com will match 100 percent of it in bonus dollars. By using BetfairCasino.com’s huge match bonus, you can take a shot at the video poker games of your choice and inflate your bankroll while doing so.
If you are not interested in playing slot machines or video poker online, there are plenty of other options available.
Golden Nugget NJ online casino games
Golden Nugget online casino is one of our favorite places to play online table games, both because of its game selection and also because of the Live Dealer games offered every day from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
GoldenNuggetCasino.com also has a competitive first-time deposit bonus and a great rewards program. At the time of this writing, GoldenNuggetCasino.com is offering a free $20 no deposit bonus to try out its software and a 100 percent match bonus for new players up to $1000.
Use the bonus code PLAY20.
What about legal online poker games in New Jersey?
Players located within the borders of New Jersey can match their wits and ability against other New Jersey poker players.
There are games available 24 hours a day at a variety of stakes. We are particularly fond of the PokerStarsNJ.com’s Spin & Go’s. In these three-player Sit & Go-style tournaments, you can play for huge jackpots in a very short period a time.
At the time of this writing, PokerStarsNJ.com is offering several great promotions, including a free $30 with bonus code FREE30 on any deposit of $20 or more and also a 100 percent reload bonus of up to $500.
This was the day that the Department of Justice unsealed a 52-page indictment against the top executives of Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker.
The executives faced years in prison, and a civil complaint sought $3 billion from the sites. PokerStars and Full Tilt were forced to immediately close their “doors” to online players, and Absolute Poker followed soon after.
For the hundreds of thousands of Americans who played online poker on a regular basis, Black Friday came as a surprising blow. Many players had large sums of money locked in their poker accounts for more than a year.
One day online poker was hugely popular, and the next it had disappeared almost entirely.
When New Jersey began licensing online gambling, players in the state were very excited to get back to the tables. However, they quickly realized that it wasn’t the same.
Before Black Friday when they logged into their PokerStars accounts, there were an endless number of cash games going at any given time, and poker tournaments had fields that numbered in the thousands.
For a small investment in a poker tournament, a player could walk away with thousands of dollars.
What changed for online poker after Black Friday?
The thing to take into consideration is that when you log into your PokerStarsNJ.com account, you are only allowed to play against other players currently in New Jersey. In the past, you were playing with people from all over the world.
With a much larger population to draw from, the traffic on these sites was obviously much higher than now. With a player pool limited to the New Jersey online gambling market, it is no wonder that the traffic is so diminished.
Why play legal online poker in New Jersey? And where?
But don’t let this deter you from playing online poker in New Jersey. There are always plenty of places for you to find the action you are looking for.
As things stand currently, the two largest player pools for online poker in New Jersey are WSOP.com and PokerStarsNJ.com. Both these sites have the most popular games running 24 hours a day and offer fantastic welcoming packages to new players.
PokerStars.com will currently give you a free 100 percent match bonus of up to $600 when you sign up for a new account with bonus code STARS600.
WSOP.com will give you a free 100 percent match bonus of up to $400 along with seven $100 freeroll tickets exclusive to new depositors.
So will the NJ poker player base ever grow?
Yes. New Jersey wants to serve as a regulatory hub for other US states that are attempting to legalize online gambling.
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck promoted these aspirations at the East Coast Gaming Congress back in May 2015 and has engaged in several conversations with regulators from the UK over the issue of sharing player pools.
As more and more states jump on board with online gambling, it is only a matter of time before New Jersey poker players will be able to play online poker with gamblers from other states, and possibly even other countries. Discussion of this matter is naturally one of great interest on online gambling forums in New Jersey, though at this point it is unknown exactly when such compacts may happen.
Once this occurs, New Jersey online poker sites will see a dramatic increase in traffic, and players will see improved game selection as well as larger tournament fields.
The next time your significant other is shopping away in a boring store — trying on that 25th pair of shoes or figuring out which table saw has the best features — you’ll have an alternative to staring at the floor.
Simply pull your smartphone out of your pocket, log onto your favorite NJ online casino, and enjoy the fun and excitement of the best casino games New Jersey sites have to offer.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the game selections on mobile devices are limited compared to the casinos’ corresponding desktop software.
What are the best NJ online gambling mobile apps?
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite mobile apps.
Virgin online casino
VirginCasino.com’s mobile app supports iOS 6.0 and later, as well as Android operating system 2.3 and above. We have found that the games work best on the latest available operating systems, so be sure to update your phones!
The iOS app offers 48 different games to customers, including many of Virgin’s most popular slots. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of table games, but they do include a couple different forms of blackjack and roulette.
You will still earn V*Points (Virgin Casino’s rewards program) while you play on its mobile app, and you will also be able to clear any bonuses you may have through the convenience of playing on your mobile device.
Though mobile applications are lacking as a whole throughout the legal New Jersey online gambling world, VirginCasino.com seems to be stepping up to the plate. If nothing else, the site is supplying an enjoyable gaming experience through its mobile apps.
BetfairCasino.com also has a promising mobile app.
This online casino offers many of its desktop games on mobile, including crowd favorites, such as Kitty Glitter slots and Wolf Run. BetfairCasino.com also allows NJ players to download its app and play wherever an internet connection is available.
Its selection of non-slot games is probably a little bit better than VirginCasino.com’s and includes blackjack, roulette, and several forms of video poker.
More than any other form of online gambling, we feel that mobile apps excel when it comes to online poker.
The PokerStarsNJ.com app is available for download on a range of platforms. You can download the iOS app from the App Store, and you can download the Android app directly from PokerStarsNJ.com.
The interface for the PokerStars app is crisp and well-organized, and you can use it to play cash games, Sit & Go’s, and other tournaments. The mobile app even includes such features as chat, quick seating, and multi-tabling.
Quick seating in particular is a great feature in mobile gaming that allows you to click the “Play Now” button and instantly be seated in your favorite games and tournaments.
It seems with the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices these days, New Jersey online casinos should make more of an effort to offer the best possible mobile gaming experience, but as it stands, most mobile apps are lacking.
Some of the major online New Jersey casinos, such as us.888casino.com, do not even offer a mobile gaming app to their Android-using clientele.
If casino games are your thing, and you are not interested in playing online poker, we strongly feel that the best NJ mobile gaming apps belong to VirginCasino.com and Betfaircasino.com.
With either of these apps, you will have access to your favorite games and enjoy the advantages of gambling on your mobile device.
But how do these super-fast-paced tournaments work? Are they worth playing at all? Is there any strategy involved, or are they just crap shoots?
PokerStars Spin & Go’s are advertised as the fastest way to win up to 10,000 times your buy-in. In fact, in January a lucky player hit the jackpot for the first time since PokerStars debuted in the NJ online gambling market.
Each Spin & Go has a randomly-assigned prize pool, and some of them will give you a chance to win up to $1,000,000 in minutes.
With buy-ins starting at just $0.25, Spin & Go’s are an exciting newer format you can play for next to nothing.
So how do NJ online poker Spin & Go’s work?
Joining a Spin & Go functions the same way as joining any other Sit & Go-style tournament. To get started, simply select the buy-in and number of simultaneous tournaments you are looking to play, and then click the ‘Register’ button.
As soon as two other players have also registered for the stakes you want to play, you will be “seated” at a tournament table and the tournament will begin.
At the start of the tournament there is a random draw to decide how big the tournament prize pool is going to be. There is a spinner at the center of the table displayed to all players.
Whatever the spinner lands on is what you will be playing for.
Once the prize pool is determined, the first hand is dealt.
For example, let’s say you register for a $7 Spin & Go. Once the other two players have registered, the prize pool is randomly drawn and announced. First place will be multiplied between two and 10,000 times your buy in.
This means that you could turn your initial $7 investment into anywhere from $14 to $70,000.
Are there other online poker games in New Jersey offering such large payouts?
Spin & Go’s are the only form of online poker in New Jersey that offer this kind of payout for such a small initial buy-in.
Most of the time you are going to be playing to double your money, and in a three-person hyper-turbo-style tournament, this isn’t all that bad. Even if you never get lucky and play for a large sum of money, you can still play Spin & Go’s profitably.
On the rare occasion that you end up playing for a huge jackpot prize, you will experience the rush of the spinner landing on a large number. These tournaments quickly become unbelievably profitable and fun for solid players.
So what is the proper strategy for play? How can you increase your chances of winning?
Because you start with such a small number of chips in relation to the blinds, it is important to never give away chips early on.
It is hugely detrimental to your chances of winning if you call bets and end up folding later in the hand.
Think of these tournaments as all-in or fold. Play tight for the first few levels and then start shoving all-in with any two cards as the blinds get higher.
Remember, when you call a bet, you only have one way to win the pot: by having the best hand at showdown.
When you raise the pot, you can win by either having your opponents fold or by having the best hand at showdown. When the blinds make up such a large portion of your stack, stealing them with an all-in shove is the best way to win.
If you play around with this strategy and focus on aggressive play, you’ll be sure to make money playing PokerStarsNJ’s innovative tournament style.
At present, New Jersey does not share liquidity with any other jurisdiction. And while this may change in the near future, for now players are advised to choose the times they play wisely.
The good news is, that for at least a few hours during the day, online poker lobbies are bustling with enough activity to satiate most players. And a few select formats and stakes do run around the clock.
When are the best times for NJ online poker cash games?
For players looking to mix it up at the PokerStars NJ cash game tables, the best time to play is generally between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. on weekdays, and from 1:30 p.m. to approximately 2 a.m. on weekends.
Reason being is that this is when the bulk of the site’s tournaments are running. As many grinders already know, a robust tournament schedule tends to drive cash game traffic.
No Limit Hold’em cash games do run during the earlier parts of the day, but the available games are somewhat limited, with stakes ranging from $0.05/$0.10 to $0.25/$.0.50 drawing the majority of players.
But once prime time hits, it’s not totally uncommon to find a rather eclectic blend of NHLE, Omaha and mixed games running. Granted, alternative format games do sometimes play short-handed, but at least there’s a few stakes options.
What about online poker tournaments in New Jersey, when do they run?
Technically, tournaments on PokerStars are scheduled around the clock. But that hardly means all of them get off.
In fact it’s quite common for non-guaranteed tournaments running during the overnight hours right through the early afternoon to be cancelled.
Guaranteed tournaments are a bit of a different fruit, getting off with regularity.
On weekdays, the major guaranteed schedule starts at 1:30 p.m. with The Big $15 ($1,000 guarantee), and continues through 12:45 a.m., when the Moonlight 2nd Chance ($20 buy-in, $500 guarantee) runs.
In between, there are an array of guaranteed tournaments to choose from, with buy-ins ranging from $5 through $100. The biggest weekday guarantee is $8,000.
For gamblers with limited playing time, the best day to mix it up at the tournament tables is on Sunday.
Even on Sunday, there isn’t a dizzying amount of options, but the guarantees are substantially larger, spiking as high as $40,000. There’s also a blend of $5 and $10 tournaments that feature guarantees as high as $5,000.
Granted, they’re no Sunday Million, but still offer good value for a small and closed liquidity marketplace.
Any sit & goes at PokerStars NJ?
Not too many, no. PokerStars doesn’t do much to advertise or promote its regular sit & go games, and the traffic reflects that.
The best, and really the only, time to play sit & goes is during peak liquidity hours, which range from about 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. on weekdays, and 3 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Even then, it’s rare to find more than a dozen low-to-mid stakes NLHE running.
One of the primary reasons why the sit & go lobby is all but a barren wasteland on PokerStars is because the site has rolled out a faster paced, more gambling-oriented version of the vertical.
Spin & Go’s: The most reliable format on PokerStars New Jersey
Spin & Go’s are three-man hyper turbo sit & goes that feature randomized payouts, ranging from two times a player’s buy-in all the way up to 10,000x during select events.
Naturally, the payouts are weighted heavily toward the lower end of the scale, but there has been at least one instance of a player parlaying a $10 buy-in into a $100,000 score.
The allure of six-figure payouts has clearly captured the attention of NJ online poker players, as the format has become, without a doubt, the most popular in New Jersey. It’s also small market-friendly, as it only requires that three players take a seat, as opposed to six or nine for traditional sit & goes.
We can say with some clarity that Spin & Go’s on PokerStars run around the clock. Granted, the frequency of games is much lower during off-peak hours, but NJ online casino players should never have to wait more than a minute or two for the reels to spin.
Games get off instantaneously during peak liquidity hours.
Any particular time of year to play?
Players will find the best action on PokerStars, and on just about any NJ gambling website for that matter, from primarily November through February. That’s because people tend to gravitate toward indoor activities during the colder months.
We’d estimate that liquidity is a good 20 percent higher during the winter than the summer.