PartyPoker is operated by iglobalmedia. They are by far the most frequented poker room and have gone from a peak player count of around 3000 to 70000 in the last 3 years.
Whilst PartyPoker has by far the highest traffic of any poker room they do not have the best selection of games out there. The rake is high for the lower stakes games and they don't have games or tournaments at micro-limits. On the plus side there are quite frequent deposit bonuses, a loyalty points scheme and the vast numbers playing here mean there's always a good chance to find a loose game. We think value is only found here for high stakes players.
The software is quite good. Player notes, hand histories and player statistics are all supported. One possible issue, depending on how you look at it, is that there are no 'view flop %' statistics for the tables listed in the lobby. Some might see this as a positive though as once you find a loose game there is more chance of it staying that way. Three tables can be played at once but there is no mini view to help those who wish to do this.
Good selection of Tournaments, both Single and Multi table Sit 'n Go's but no micro-limit. The lowest is $5 buy-in with a $1 entry fee. That's 20% entry fee to party poker compared to 5% available elsewhere. The entry fee drops to 10% and lower at higher buy-ins. There are plenty of satellites to major tournament including the famous 'PartyPoker Million'. 25000 tournament players at peak times
More players and therefore more games here than anywhere else but again no true micro-limit. The lowest stakes table are $0.5/$1. 20000 players at ring games during peak periods
Not bad but not the best. Hold'em has Limit, Pot-Limit and No-Limit. But Omaha and Seven Card Stud Have only Limit and Pot-Limit Games. No Heads-up (2 player) tables although you can create private tables if you know who you want to play.
Very High at low stakes. Average, at best, at mid stakes. The only value is at the highest end of the range. This is for both Tournaments and Ring games.
Full Rake Information (March 2005)
Good Telephone and Email support. The Live chat support is usually good but was unavailable as this review was being written.
A Vast array of payment methods including Visa/ Mastercard
Credit and Debit Cards. Maestro/Switch and Solo Debit cards for UK players (Charged in Sterling so no bank exchange fee), Neteller,
FPS-ePassport, Wire transfer and Direct bank transfers (EU states) amongst many.
Cashout speed and methods
1-2 days to 'approve' your cashout. Maestro/Switch and Solo Debit(2-3 days) cards have have the cashout paid back to them as can Neteller(2-6 hours) and FPS-ePassport (1 hour). If your deposit was by credit card you may have to accept a check by mail taking 7 - 20 days.
20% with a maximum of $100. The bonus is only credited once the required number of raked have been played. You need to play 5 hands for each $1 of bonus. So for the maximum bonus you would have to play 500 hands.
The PartyPoker Million is held annually. A good referral scheme can earn $50 per friend introduced. Frequent deposit bonuses for all player and a loyalty point scheme 'Party points' These are earned at roughly 1 point for each $1 contributed to the rake or tournament entry fees and can be exchanged for entry into Freerolls or cash if you earn enough points (details do vary)
Still plenty of loose players even at some of the higher stakes.