Guide to nj online poker - best sites for 2023

The US face of PokerStars leads the way in New Jersey, but there’s plenty more to like about the Garden State’s online poker scene. Indeed, despite being one of America’s smallest regulated markets, New Jersey has three networks going. This gives you multiple options when it comes to real money . What’s more, those options are high quality. Are they as good as ? Probably not, however, the next best thing and definitely better than most. Below, we talk you through what you can expect from the , how they compare, and where to sit at your first table. 

is the undisputed king of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) rankings when it comes to revenue. However, when it comes to providing a well-rounded product, we prefer . Although WSOP/888poker doesn’t have quite as much volume, it offers more games and better value MTTs on a daily basis. PokerStars is also a great choice. However, its network is slightly smaller and its MTT schedule is focused more on high buy-in events. Finally, bet365 is the place to go if you want cash games. Despite having less tourney diversity than its rivals, bet365 tends to have more cash game action at all limits. From low to high stakes, this site is bustling with activity at all times of the day. 

Best NJ Online Poker Sites 2023

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About the Author

SIMON SIMONSEN​, Editor-in-Chief at

Simon has been playing cards for almost as long as he can remember, starting out with his family below the dining room table at home. Leaving denned sessions behind, he now ­writes, plays and thinks about poker for most of the day.

From considering what prefixes and suffixes will make his poker alias the best, devising strategies and lurking on forums to keep up with the latest in poker news, trends and scandals, there's little about this great game that doesn't interest him.

Simon put his poker knowledge to the test while living in France where he spent four years turning regular at local casinos, analyzing their poker rooms and using that find to write the most useful reviews possible for readers back home. He's a skilled No-Limit Hold'em player and hopes one day to play online and in big live tournaments without work and family commitments getting in the way.

Current Ranked Hierarchy of NJ Online Poker Sites

  1. 888poker / NJ: Overall Leaderboard Position 
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There is simply no other option for the leader of the pack here. As noted above, overall revenue makes WSOP|888 the clear winner. When you delve deeper into what’s available to play on this site, the lead grows even larger. 

Firstly, this site has a natural player pool. Everybody who plays on in New Jersey also has the option to play on sites in Nevada and Delaware. So, across the three states, the shared liquidity agreement (siga) network has thousands of players available on any given day. Unfortunately, siga is the only place this operator has MTT traffic. Outside of peak hours and weekend nights, turnout for tournaments can be scarce. During peak hours at peak times, this isn’t an issue. Even at nine in the evening on the East Coast, this network still has enough juice to run large MTTs without combining formats or buy-levels. However, outside of these hours, the daytime and night-time, options are limited. 

On the plus side, this operator offers open tables at all limits. You can sit cash games at $0.01/$0.02 and $100/$200 NLHE at any time of day. Add to this a range of mixed games, Pot Limit Omaha and fixed limit games, and there should be something to suit everyone. Compared to PokerStars, there are fewer cash game players. But compared to bet365, there’s far greater variety. This makes 888NJ and your best bet for games that aren’t and . 

  1. PokerStars NJ: Innovation Leaderboard Position 

Every single competitor in this space would cede their spot in the ranking to PokerStoms if the latter was operating in New Jersey. However, the company hasn’t been given a license, and its legal challenge against former chairman Sheldon Adelson appears to have stalled. That means PokerStars NJ is limited to the Garden State. On the plus side, everything it does in New Jersey will help its cause when it is finally granted a license. Until then, PokerStars NJ is booming. 

For the most part, NewJersians love PokerStars. The site has a reputation for excellence that precedes it. From top to bottom, PokerStars offers a premium poker experience. The site looks great. Features, such as “multi-tabling” and “four-color decks”, are second-to-none. Add to this a robust mobile app and some of the highest MTT rakeback rates in the world, and it’s easy to see why people love it. However, the downside of having a small player base becomes apparent when you try to play cash games. If you want to play higher stakes NOHS, you may spend a lot of time in the lobby waiting for a seat. 

Finally, unlike WSOP|888, PokerStars NJ doesn’t offer any interstate compacity. What this means in practice is that game options are limited to what New Jersey players want to play. This usually means and MTTs. Again, the MTT offering on PokerStars is exceptional. There are dozens of tournaments running at any time of day. Indeed, you could play a different event at a different level every day and never repeat yourself. Cash games are thinner on the ground outside peak hours. 

  1. bet365 NJ: Cash Game Runner-Up 
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Bet365 is another site that, unencumbered by state borders and third party licenses, would be higher up this list. However, just like bet365US, this site rules supreme when it comes to cash games in New Jersey. The British giant may not offer the volume of games that PokerStars does. It might not have the natural player pool of 888NJ/ However, at mid to high stakes, this is where most US players flock. Games are available 24/7 and the field is strong but beatable. Beyond NOHPTA, there isn’t a lot going on at bet365 NJ. We don’t mean this literally. There are MTTs running at various levels throughout the day. However, outside of the $25 NLHE six-max at peak hours, nobody plays on this site for MTT traffic. 

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Do note, you must be aged 21 and located in New Jersey to play on bet365NJ. To create an account, click “Play Here” below and provide your details. It’s worth noting that, unlike other US sites, you don’t need a betting account to play poker on bet365NJ. 

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Changes Since Last Update (October 2021)

Not a lot has changed in the Garden State over the last few months. 888/WSOP remains top dog thanks to its network player pool stretching across three states. However, it has had to wave goodbye to its only super user (see below). This has caused some consternation among grinders and casual fans alike. Elsewhere, PokerStars continues to shuffle cards in New Jersey. The site is yet to get a multistate agreement (msa) but it did add two new mix-up games during Q3 2021 - Dealer’s Choice and Lowball. Whether Stars gets msa permission in 2022 or not, you can read our latest PokerStars NJ review here:

How New Jersey Online Poker Works

Each network runs its own online poker site. However, you don’t have to download a separate client to play each variant. Instead, the site’s software houses all available options. So, if you live or visiting New Jersey, the three operators listed above should be accessible via desktop or mobile browser. Of course, as is often the case in life, there’s a catch. To play anyone, anywhere, you have to be a legitimate state resident or visitor with an account at one of the licensed NJ poker sites. Anyone of legal age (21+) can open an account and there are some alternatives for those under 21, as you'll read in our dedicated FAQ section below.

Best NJ Poker Apps by Type

In today’s world, being tethered to your desk or hotel room by an invisible virtual leash just isn’t on. Luckily none of the top NJ poker apps require such servitude. All of them work perfectly fine on your laptop or personal computer, of course. But each also offers up a fully functional mobile platform so you can . Specifically you can use an Android or iOS device to access all the major NJ poker sites. Just visit one of the following links from your phone or tablet to install the app:

  • 888Poker NJ (for example, on your iPhone)
  • (for example, on your)
  • (for example, on your)
  • BetMGM (**for example, on your )
  • Bet365 NJ (must be accessed via web browser on your mobile)
  • (-accessed via web browser on your mobile)
  • Pala Poker (-accessed via web browser on your mobile)
  • (+accessed via web browser on your mobile)
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Recent Online Poker Scandals in New Jersey

The biggest scandal involving one of the NJ poker sites actually started before it went live and continued elsewhere after it did go live. We’re talking about PokerStars, of course. As we mentioned earlier, the world’s biggest online cardroom can’t currently secure a license to offer its services directly. Instead residents must look to the VIP section to get a thrill of the ins and outs of the iGaming elite with . The reason PokerStars can’t offer its own services is because of a crusade waged by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who owned the Las Vegas Sands casino group. Adelson didn’t like that Americans could play legally online. He also happened to have no idea what the word “legal” meant. Taking things into his own enormously wealthy hands, Adelson launched a campaign to stop offshore gaming sites from accepting American customers. First came the ugly “six figure” pictures billboards with a picture of a bald, middle-aged man with a black jack and pairs of pills beside him. Then came the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) - a bill designed to put a stop to all online gambling. Thankfully RAWA didn’t become law and the ugly ads disappeared. However, the block on PokerStars remaining. Some say this is due to political pressure from Adelson. Others say it’s because stars have appeared in the anti-Stars propaganda. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess if or when PokerStars will go live in New Jersey.

Biggest Series / Tournaments of the Year

As you might expect, the NJ poker sites host a number of notable online series throughout the year. Some are recurring championships, while others are one-off specials. In general, the combined NJ 888/WSOP site tends to have the strongest offerings in this regard, due to its multi-state player pool. Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

  • WSOP Online – Held concurrently with the famous live WSOP in Las Vegas, this event features replicas of many of the bracelet events held out west. The series main event uses the combined New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware player pools to create impressive $1 million+ prize pools.
  • WSOP College Championship – Open to players who have attended college or university in New Jersey, this tournament offered $15,000 in scholarships during 2021. Like the WSOP Online series above, this competition utilizes the multi-state signeasurement.
  • 888poker Super X – A series of events aimed at recreational players, the Super X offers “an X-traordinary experience,” according to 888poker. That means enhanced satellites, turbos, hyper turbos, los iems, and more.
  • 888pokers XL Series – This monthly series included $150,000 in guarantees during 2021. Various types of tournaments were on offer, including progressive knockouts (PKO), deepstack, and high roller events.
  • WSOP Ladies Championship – An annual event open to anyone assigned female at birth or who identifies as female. The 2021 edition featured a $125 buy-in and $15,000 guarantee.
  • WSOP Seniors Championship – Also happening once a year, this tournament has a $50 buy-in, $20,000 guarantee and an entry requirement of 50+.
  • WSOP Survivor Champions – Based on the popular reality TV show, this freezeout tournament gave away $20,000 in prizes plus a trip to the Bahamas.

Legal Status of Gambling in New Jersey

New Jersey has always been something of a trailblazer when it comes to US gambling laws. It was one of the first states to offer legal sports betting (pre-PASPA) and one of the fastest movers when it came to introducing regulation after said law was repealed. The story is similar with online gambling. The Garden State is one of the few places where you can legally gamble on poker, slots, sports and more online or via a mobile device. And it wasn’t afraid to take a stand when it felt regulations were being enacted unfairly. Indeed, along with partners in Nevada and Delaware, New Jersey took on Texas when it came to restricting access to online gambling. Thankfully, New Jersey won and that’s helped create the thriving online gaming community it enjoys today. 

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Current Legislation Status

Unless you’ve got a time machine and fancy travelling back to 2013, there’s no point discussing legislation. The fact is, online poker sites have already been granted licenses and are operational. Of course, there are always tweaks and amendments being made to ensure regulations remain effective and fair. For example, responsible gambling measures are being reviewed all the time to ensure operators are meeting their obligations. Alongside these internal checks, bills are introduced to govern external factors such as tax revenues and interactions with other states. One such bill was S 2601 which was introduced in June 2019. This bill would have allowed operators in New Jersey to partner with companies based in other states and offer a multistate poker compact (MSPC). 

At the time of writing, no MSP had been agreed within the US. The only trans-state agreement in place is PokerStars’ liquor license, which it needs because Atlantic City is its base in the USA. Because of this, a bill allowing MSpc was seen as a way of getting PokerStars online in New Jersey. Sadly, the bill didn’t pass. S-2601 was rejected by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in March 2020. That seems to be the end of the road for this particular bill, but we do expect similar bills to be presented each year until PokerStars is allowed to operate legally.

How to Create a Player Account from New Jersey

Anyone aged 21+ with a valid social security number can create an online poker account in New Jersey. Even better, the process only takes a few minutes. We’ve created accounts at all the active sites and can report that the process is pretty straightforward. Basically you visit the site via our secure link, register your details and download the software. For the avoidance of doubt, this is the process you need to go through to :

Registration Process Step by Step

You can’t miss the REGISTRATION button (it’s orange and says “register”). Click it and you’ll enter the following stages.

1. Enter Your Details

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Check box confirming you’re over 21 and within NJ
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You’ll also have to agree to let the site check your personal details via public sources. This isn’t an invasion of your privacy. All licensed NJ gambling operators can do this and we’d advise you not play on any site that doesn’t. The purpose of these checks is verify your identity and make sure you’re not committing fraud by creating an account.

2. Set username/password and deposit limits

  • Choose a unique nickname/username (no personal info please)
  • Set a password with at least eight characters (a mix of letters, numbers and symbols is best)
  • Daily/weekly/monthly deposit limits

It’s important to set deposit limits at this stage. Yes, you may change them later or decide to remove them altogether. However, setting limits when you’re clear headed will help you stay in control in the future when enthusiasm and judgement may be impaired. 

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3. Verify Your Email Address and Personally Info

Next you’ll have to check your email account because the poker site will send you a message with a activation code. Once you’ve entered this, the site will perform some background checks to verify your details are correct. This shouldn’t take long and, if everything is OK, you’ll receive a message to say your account is live.

Deposit Options and Limits

All regulated NJ poker sites support several deposit methods. Generally, you can fund your account using credit or debit cards, bank transfers, prepaid cards and ewallets. Do note that some methods only work with specific banks. Additionally, you may have to register your depositing card with customer service before your first transaction processes. The NJ online poker sites deposit limits vary, but most transactions have a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $10,000. 

Accepted Payment Methods for NJ Online Poker Sites:

Does Send Money to Gambling Addicts?

Yes, but only if there’s evidence that a player has a problem. When you register, you’ll be asked if you have a gambling problem or if you have ever been diagnosed with a mental health condition that affects your ability to control your urges. If you answer “yes” to either question, the site’s customer service team will be in touch to arrange self-exclusion tools. 

You’ll be able to set deposit limits (see above), time outs (player muted for one day to one week) and self-exclusion (minimum one month to permanent). If you choose self-exclusion, you won’t be able to access your account or retrieve your funds. The idea is that players who think they have, or have, a problem can take control and limit the amount of money and time they can spend at a site. Self-excluded players can also request to close their accounts at any time. 

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The Road to Regulation

The journey to regulated online poker in New Jersey began in 2011. At this time, the industry was in turmoil. was struggling and rumors were swirling that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was about to deliver the final blow. The DOJ moved first when, on April 15, it seized domain names and accused leading operators of breaking wire acts. This left companies like PokerStars, FTP and UB with no way to accept US dollars. 

But the DOJ’s actions also prompted states to consider regulation as a way of bringing businesses into the fold and generating much needed tax revenues. New Jersey was one of the first states to do its research. A gaming study was commissioned in December 2011 and, in November the following year, Governor Chris Christie vetoed an initial attempt at regulation. Christie was concerned about the cost of setting up a regulatory regime and whether it would be effective. His concerns were addressed and a revised bill was passed into law in February 2013.


Will PokerStars ever be allowed to operate in New Jersey?

We believe so. The company has tried to get a license on multiple occasions and come close on a couple of those attempts. Today, the only thing stopping Stars branded poker from going live in New Jersey is one column in the Nevada court system and one man - Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson.

Why is PokerStars banned in New Jersey?

PokerStars isn’t banned per se. In fact, the company has gone on the record to say it’s welcomed by New Jersey regulators. The reason PokerStars can’t currently offer its own branded poker site in New Jersey is because of a lawsuit brought by rival operator Sheldon Adelson.

Where is online poker legal in US besides New Jersey?

There is online poker and gambling available in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada, but New Jerseys is considered the largest and best overall.

Who is allowed to play poker online in New Jersey?

Anyone aged 21+ with a valid social security number can create an online poker account in New Jersey. Even better, the process only takes a few minutes. Any visitor or resident paying homage to America’s greatest city whilst assigned a female identification can find the at Wind Creek Casino.

Can I play online poker in Newark, NJ?

Yes, if you’re aged 21+ and have registered with a licensed NJ online poker operator. While you can play online poker in New Jersey, you may want to head to for the live game (if you’re not assigned female at birth or identify as male) which regularly hosts the biggest poker games in America.

Is PokerStars available in New Jersey?

Technically yes. PokerStars uses the licensing from its Atlantic City office to operate in both and . However, the company can’t offer his own branded site in the Garden State at this time.

What is the legal status of gambling in New Jersey?

Gambling in general, and poker in particular, is completely legal in New Jersey. Not only are there three major poker sites offering cash games and tournaments, but there are numerous live venues offering both. The Borgata is widely regarded as having the best poker room in America.

Which sites offer online poker in New Jersey?

There are five licensed sites offering :,,, and poker. To play on these sites, you have to be physically located in New Jersey with an accredited poker playing account.

How do I play online poker in New Jersey?

To play anyone, anywhere, you have to be a legitimate state resident or visitor with an account at one of the licensed NJ poker sites. Fortunately, that process is quick and easy. Just visit one of the above links from your computer or device, install the app and create an account.

How many World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets have been won online in New Jersey?

Several. The combined Sigmnature Event (signament) player pools of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey are permitted to count towards official WSOP bracelet event entries and therefore winners. Most of the online WSOP events are held in Las Vegas at the WSOP venue, but occasionally tournaments are hosted online during the COVID-19 pandemic for example.

  • Is online poker legal in New Jersey?

    Yes. Governor Chris Christie signed A2578/S1565 into law in February 2013, making it possible for players to legally enjoy . The first sites went live in November 2013.

  • Who regulates online poker in New Jersey?

    The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJ DGE) oversees all online poker sites in the state. The DGE is part of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and its job is to ensure all license holders adhere to state regulations.

  • Where is online poker legal in US besides New Jersey?

    Online poker is also legal in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada. But New Jersey has the largest market by some margin.

  • How many online poker sites are there in NJ?

    There are currently five legal sites in New Jersey:,,, and

  • Can I play PokerStars NJ tonight?

    You probably can. Although you can’t access your own PokerStars account in New Jersey, your can. The stars Group company uses its Atlantic City license to offer its products in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.

  • Who is allowed to play online poker in New Jersey?

    Anyone aged 21+ with a social security number can register for an online poker account in New Jersey and play at sites like

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  • What is the legal status of gambling in New Jersey?

    Comprehensive. The state offers live poker at places like Borgata as well as online gaming at sites like 888Poker.

  • Can I play online poker in Newark, NJ?

    Yes. As long as you have an account with a licensed online poker site in New Jersey.