Pala Poker is the latest site to join the NJ online poker industry, having gone live with a beta version of its proprietary client in June 2017. The launch marks Pala’s first entry into the online poker arena.
The site is licensed and regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, and operates under the Borgata AC online gambling license. However, Pala Poker is a standalone site, meaning that it does not share liquidity with Borgata Poker, or any other NJ online poker site for that matter.
With the launch, Pala becomes the first New Jersey operator to support three different legal online gambling verticals: poker, casino, and bingo.
Its online casino, PalaCasino.com, launched in late 2014 and has since carved out a sizeable niche for itself in the marketplace. The bingo site can be found at PalaBingoUSA.com.
While it’s too early to tell if Pala Poker will match the success of its other operations, we can say with some clarity that the operator has a tough road ahead. Currently, the small market is saturated with operators, most of whom possess greater brand recognition in New Jersey than Pala.
Still, there’s reason to believe Pala could become a force, as is currently offers more upfront and sustained value than any other NJ online poker site. And the software, while nothing overly flashy, is technically sound and likely to undergo heavy improvements by the time it shifts out of beta.
But for now, liquidity on the site is low, with only a handful of cash game and tournament players checking out the games.
Pala Poker NJ bonus code
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Bonus and much more
Players who have yet to sign up for Pala Poker or any other Pala site are entitled to a generous no deposit bonus worth a total of . Use our exclusive promotional code to take advantage of this unparalleled offer.
100% up to deposit bonus
Players that have not made a deposit at Pala Poker (or other Pala affiliated sites) are eligible for a one-time 100% up to deposit match.
$5 of the bonus unlocks for every 1,250 status points earned. Status points are earned at a rate of 50 per $1 paid in rake and tournament fees, rendering this offer a 20 percent rakeback deal.
Players have 90 days from the point of issuance to clear the offer. However, any $5 chunks cleared are theres to keep, regardless of whether they unlocked the entire bonus amount.
Pala Poker NJ online poker review
Pala Poker NJ Quick Review
Pala Poker has a tough road ahead of itself, as it's not the most recognizable name and is entering a NJ online poker market that is somewhat saturated. The site offers players a ton of added value, both via its welcome package and the high prevalence of tournament overlays. Whether this, combined with its stable platform and array of banking options, will be enough to vault Pala to player status is currently an open question.
Software and Pala Poker NJ mobile app
Not only is Pala Poker available on Windows and Mac, but a portable version of the software can also be downloaded for Android and iOS mobile devices.
The Windows/Mac versions can be played via most popular browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Mac Safari.
Players also have the option to download the client, which is definitely the best option for players looking to take advantage of all the software’s features.
As for mobile users, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to note that all available game formats have made the transition. There is even an icon that grants players direct access to a full version of the Pala mobile casino.
Available games at Pala Poker New Jersey
Games spread at Pala Poker include:
- No Limit Texas Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
There are dedicated lobbies and sub-lobbies for Fixed Limit, Fixed Limit Omaha, and 7 Stud, but they are aren’t populated at this juncture.
At present the only games that get off with any sort of frequency are lower stakes No Limit games, with stakes running the gamut from $0.10/$0.25 to $0.50/$1.
Admittedly, during this beta phase it can be tough to find any games running outside of afternoon and evening hours, but that looks to be slowly changing. During peak hours, expect anywhere from 1 – 4 tables to be running, most of them shorthanded.
Sit and gos
Pala Poker offers 6-max turbo sit & go’s at stakes ranging from $5 – $20. These games pay out the top two finishers and are available in both No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha varieties.
Currently, there is no sit & go traffic to speak of.
The tournament lobby is currently seeing some activity, mostly for the site’s wide array of low buy-in turbos. Buy-ins tend toward the small side, which is a wise move for a site still looking to build up a player base.
Nightly guarantees are typically in the three figure range. Despite the modest thresholds, most tournaments still end up with non-significant overlays, making them an excellent choice for players seeking top value.
Pala Poker also offers Fast Pala Poker, which is Pala’s fast fold variant.
NJ sites generally have trouble getting games of this variety off, as they rely on concentrated liquidity. That being said, all it usually takes is one targeted promotion to pique player interest in the format, at least temporarily.
When it comes to cashiering, Pala Poker players have a full cache of options:
Depositing options include:
- Bank transfer (ACH)
- Credit cards (Visa/MasterCard)
- Cash at 7-11 (PayWithCash)
- Prepaid card option
- Deposit with cash at the Borgata casino cage
Players seeking to cash out have the following options
- Bank transfer (ACH)
- Prepaid card
- Cash at the Borgata casino cage
Pala Poker player rewards
Pala Poker utilizes a multi-tiered rewards program. Players that pay rake and tournament fees earn both Status Points and Rewards Points.
- Status Points are earned at a flat rate and are used to determine a player’s monthly tier. These points are earned at a clip of 50 per $1 paid in rake/fees. Players can also earn points by playing in the casino, with the earn rate dependent upon the game played. They’ll also accrue for bingo card purchases.
- Rewards Points are based off a scaling multiplier. The higher a player’s monthly tier, the better the earn rate. Rewards Points can be exchanged for both cash and tournament dollars.
There are currently five monthly loyalty levels:
- Privileges: Everyone starts here. Earn Rewards Points at a 4x multiplier.
- Pearl Privileges: 1,500 points ($30 in rake), 4x RP multiplier.
- Gold Privileges: 7,500 points ($150 in rake), 6x RP multiplier.
- Platinum Privileges: 50,000 points ($1,000 in rake), 8x multiplier.
- Elite Privileges: 250,000 points ($5,000 in rake), 10x multiplier.
Points can be exchanged at a rate of 5,000 RPs per $1. At the baseline level that works out to 4 percent rakeback, scaling up to 10 percent rakeback at the Elite Privileges level. That’s rather low relative to other NJ online poker rakeback programs.
Should players convert their points to tournaments dollars they will receive a slightly better rakeback rate ($1 per 4,900 RPs), although the impact is small enough that players won’t notice a big difference in the amount of added value they receive.
Frequently asked questions about Pala Poker NJ
Does Pala Poker share traffic with any other NJ-based site?
No. Pala Poker is what’s known as a standalone site. This stands in contrast to Borgata and PartyPoker, which do share total liquidity, and WSOP and 888, which share liquidity across a variety of cash game stakes and tournaments.
That being said, Pala does share some aspects with its casino and bingo operations, most notably its loyalty program. Players that earn Status and Rewards Points at the casino or bingo games can exchange them for tournament dollars for use at the poker tables.
What sets Pala Poker apart from the competition?
Currently, value. As part of its launch strategy, Pala Poker is offering players a good deal of added value which includes a generous no-deposit and first deposit bonus, as well as an aggressive tournament schedule relative to its traffic.
The combined loyalty program is also a nice touch, as players who enjoy casino and bingo games but also fancy poker, will be rewarded for all their play.
And of course there’s Pala’s banking options, which are second to none. In fact, Pala is among just a handful of NJ online gambling sites to offer the popular payment processor PayPal. Other popular methods including ACH and a prepaid card option (high success rates) are also available.
Who will enjoy playing on Pala Poker?
New players looking to get their feel wet in a non-threatening environment will probably enjoy playing on Pala Poker.
The cash games aren’t too tough, and the rake reasonable enough that neophytes should see their bankrolls last a while — especially if they opted in to the site’s first deposit bonus.
But it’s tournament players that will really take to the site, especially players that enjoy their tournaments quick. Right now, nearly all of Pala’s bigger MTTs feature overlays, which means added value for players.
What are some areas in which Pala Poker could improve?
Traffic on Pala Poker is low, sometimes so low that there aren’t any games running. We should see this improve over time, but right now, players may become frustrated with the lack of available games.
Also, the software has something to be desired. Give Pala credit for rolling out a proprietary platform that is relatively stable and fluid, but right now the interface is short on bells and whistles. Again, this should improve as the days wear on.
Finally, we’d like to see Pala run more one-off promotions. Right now, players that exhaust their welcome package really don’t have any other promos to partake in. If Pala hopes to compete against the industry’s big guns, it will need to do more here.