If you’re looking for a safe place to play poker online, PartyPoker is no doubt the best choice. Their parent company (Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment) is the result of a March 2011 merger that saw Party Gaming and Bwin combine forces to become the largest online gambling company in the world. Add this with strict licensing requirements, vigorous random number generator audits, and third party self-regulation and you can rest assured their games are fair. We’ll expand on those topics shortly, but let’s quickly first look at their site’s history.
Party Poker History
Founded by Ruth Parasol in 1997, iGlobal Media based in Costa Rica launched a network of online casinos including one of the Internets first, starluck.com. After a rise that saw them dominate the online casino niche, in 2001, the group looked to take hold of the online poker market using PartyPoker as their poker brand.
Of course, at the time serious competitors in True Poker, Paradise Poker and PokerRoom already existed. Knowing they’d need to make a huge splash to gain market share, iGlobal Media purchased large banner ads all over Las Vegas and made frequent posts on then leading message board Rec Gambling Poker (RGP) inviting players to take part in a freeroll that guaranteed $1 million dollars to the winner.
What you have to understand is this was a time when $20/$40 fixed limit was the highest stake offered online, Chris Moneymaker was still working in accountant and the most any person had ever won playing poker online was probably low five figures. This promotion was a huge success. While the qualifying rounds were played online the final 100 played live on a cruise ship battling it out until a winner was decided.
The field of 100 finalist included 8 WSOP Main Event winners: Johnny Chan, Tom McEvoy, Dan Harrington, Scotty Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth, Huck Seed and Chris Ferguson and Carlos Mortensen. The reality is in 2001/2002 the who is who in the world of high stakes poker tournaments was logging hands at Party Poker, and just like that, almost overnight, they became the largest online poker site.
Their history is much deeper and includes their parent company re branding to PartyGaming, their June 2005 float for £4.64 billion on the London Stock Exchange, the purchase of the World Poker Tour and much more.
Online Poker is Self-Regulated
These days there are a number of subscription based hand history sites on the market which compile every single hand of poker played at a certain site. Using cumulative hand histories, collusion rings (and even an inside cheating scandal at non GRA licensed on online poker site) are routinely detected. The poker community is tight nit, with many of the who is who, as well as thousands of recreational players posting regularly at twoplustwo. In today’s day and age, if something is off, the poker community will spot it just as quick as GRA, iTech or eCogra.
Party Poker Licensing
PartyPoker.com is licensed by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) which is one the strictest gambling commissions in the world. To date only 19 online poker sites have been approved for GRA licenses, despite the organization existing for more than 11 years. The companies licensed by the GRA include the” who is who” is the UK gambling market including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Bwin and 888.
If you’re at all concerned about licensing, Google search and you’ll see GRA is trusted and actually does regulate sites, in fact all poker sites license by GRA are subject to spot check audits of their random number generator which helps assure the games are entirely above the board and not rigged. For more info, visit http://www.gra.gi/.
Audited Random Number Generator
The key to fair online poker games is their random number generator, which in short is referred to as an RNG. To state it simply, an RNG is a computational or physical device designed to generate a sequence of numbers or symbols that lack any pattern (meaning they are random). In online poker the RNG is designed to deal a card left in the deck at random, making it totally unpredictable which card it will be. For example: if there are 52 cards in the deck, the ace of spades, two of hearts, jack of diamonds, or any other card, has a 1 in 52 chance of being dealt next. Of course RNGs are great, so long as they are no faulty and have been tested for accuracy.
As a matter of player trust PartyPoker.com subscribes to both eCogra and iTech Labs who do unannounced audits of their RNG. Also the licensing body which Party is licensed by (Gibraltar Regulatory Authority) supervises many of these audits and also sends their own random audit once per year. PartyPoker posts the results of these audits right on their website, if you’d like to verify their accuracy you can email GRA (a government agency), as well as iTech and eCogra. This all leads to the conclusion PartyPoker games are most certainly fair.