Pennsylvania online poker is legal!
PA online poker joins three other states where playing cards is legal. PokerStars PA is the only current poker site available in the Keystone State, but more should be on the way in the coming months. And you can get our PA online poker bonus codes below!
Yes, online poker in PA is legal. Pennsylvania became only the fourth state to legalize online poker back in October 2017, with online poker facilities becoming available to PA residents aged 21 and over two years later. The bill covers all forms of poker, ensuring the integrity of projected growth in the industry's consumer base.
Signed by governor Tom Wolf, amendment H 271 also legalized online casino and daily fantasy sports with real money prizes, and retrospectively legalized sports betting when the federal ban on it was lifted in May 2018 by the Supreme Court.
With a population of just under 13 million, the state of Pennsylvania is a very valuable asset to poker sites with the desire to provide a truly flawless gaming experience. Three operators, in particular, have emerged as potential market leaders, having already been established with a long-standing history of legalized online poker.
PokerStars is known worldwide for providing a vast array of competitions and streamlined user experience. Many consider PokerStars' software to be the top of the class and one that any player, beginner or professional can enjoy.
One of the most popular features on PokerStars is the Sit and Go tournament. These are quickfire poker tournaments that begin once a certain quota of players has been reached. NL Hold'em Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) also run every day with buy-ins for as little as $1, and as much as $500.
Players can also participate in the Hot Turbos, which are also daily mini-tournaments. These start later than the Daily Bigs, as follows:
Aside from the more conventional tournaments, users can also participate in KO Fever, which is a knockout tournament that offers a progressive prize pot, which grows as the rounds progress. Cash prizes (a "bounty") can be won by eliminating rival players, but the bounty on the winning player will increase, offering any foe that vanquishes them an even bigger cash prize.
Other games include Nightly Stars, which offers a guaranteed $10,000 minimum prize, and the Moonlight Express (NL Hold'em), a $20 buy-in event with a hyper-turbo structure and mere 3-minute blind levels. Three Change-Up events (Change-Up for Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, and Stud) also offer a guaranteed prize of up to $5,000 from a $100 buy-in.
WSOP prides itself particularly in being a market leader when it comes to the range of tournaments offered. Once PA joins the party, this sense of superiority surrounding WSOP's tournaments will only intensify. The Sunday $100k guarantee is the jewel in the site's crown, but it doesn't stop there, with WSOP also hosting four World Series tournaments, the most prestigious of which offers a staggering $1m prize.
PartyPoker is well-known for the generous nature of its bonuses, and with PA traffic being so valuable, what PartyPoker does in NJ will surely translate to perfection in PA once available. Players currently benefit from a $25 no-deposit bonus, which is split into three segments:
People who play and invest regularly can enjoy VIP status, which is tiered according to the level of commitment, as follows:
The range of tournaments offered by PartyPoker is impressive, with hundreds of weekly tournaments, on top of some featured tournaments, such as:
The range of casinos with such an ability is ever-expanding. Currently, the following operators are either active or have the ability to launch an online poker site in the future:
PokerStars operates using its own in-house software by the same name, and its casino partner is Mount Airy Casino Resort.
PartyPoker PA uses its namesake in-house software, with Valley Forge Casino as its official casino partner.
WSOP is powered by 888 and partnered with Harrah's Philadelphia.
Partnered by Rivers Philadelphia, SugarHouse uses software by Rush Street.
Bet MGM operates on an independent license and uses software from GVC.
The famous Hollywood Casino is Penn National's partner, with the site using IGT software.
Using software created by a GAN/Kambi venture, Parx Casino is its own casino partner.
It is now legal to play online poker for real money in Pennsylvania. The only current site available is PokerStars, but the site has a large abundance of cash games and tournaments, including the PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker.
And as always, you can play for free, but most players are looking to play for real money, at least once they are done getting their feet wet. So although PokerStars is the only real money online poker site in Pennsylvania, there is one more poker site to talk about, and that site is called Global Poker, which is a sweepstakes poker site.
Global Poker is what we call a social casino and although you can play for free, you can also play for actual money. Read our Global Poker review to find out more. And when you do, be sure to sign up by clicking the "Get Bonus" link to earn the special welcome bonus.
If you ask any poker player, they'll tell you the biggest difference between online and live poker is speed. Unlike live poker, online poker moves at a very fast pace, but once you get used to this speed, it is a great feature.
Because it is such a breeze to deposit, withdraw, and find a seat, there is rarely any waiting around at a PA poker site. Hands are dealt quickly and the gameplay is much quicker than in a live setting.
This speed means you get the chance to make more money, and if you play professionally, you appreciate how this will reflect on your hourly.
Poker sites will generally witness around 50 hands an hour on average, roughly double the rate of most live events. Due to seeing more hands, this also means the luck factor has a better chance to balance out over the course of a poker session.
Another asset is the display of information at a poker site. Whether that is giving you the exact chip counts of your and your opponent's stacks, the amount that's in the pot, or the strength of your hand, it is far more accommodating to less experienced players.
PA online poker sites also have a greater range of games available to players. At times, these tables will be empty, but it is much easier to find a game of Pot-Limit Omaha or to hop into a head's up format when compared to live poker play.
Some other key differences would be the range of buy-ins. Online poker offers micro stakes as well as high stakes, and live poker games simply don't have the ability to do this. You can play 0.05/0.10 cent cash games online, but the lowest No-Limit Hold'em game you will find in a live setting is $1/$2.
And of course, PA online poker allows you to play from anywhere in the state.
PokerStars initially had cash games offered in the form of No-Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, and Pot-Limit Omaha. The limits were low stakes ($0.01/$0.02) to medium stakes. Since that time, the offers at PokerStars only grew and now players can take part in a full library of games and stakes. This also includes tournaments and sit-n-go's.
There are a number of game types that involve PA online poker real money. Here is a list of potential poker games available at a PA online poker site:
PA online poker cash games come in many variations.
PA online poker tournaments also come in many variations and can give players big value in comparison to the money they invest. Here are some tournaments that may be available on a PA online poker app:
Yes, you can play online poker for free, also known as play money. PokerStars offers this as a feature, as does Global Poker.
PokerStars remains the only poker site in PA (besides Global Poker, which is across the US) and therefore is currently the biggest online poker site in the state.
Every site worth visiting has a range of deposit and withdrawal options, as follows:
Visa and Mastercard are safe and quick, though some banks may automatically block payments unless manually whitelisted by the account owner.
You can use both credit and debit cards at a PA poker site.
Aside from providing a popular and easy way to deposit funds, withdrawals via ACH or eCheck are also quicker than most other methods, with verified winnings appearing in the user's bank account within 72 hours of withdrawal from their wallet on the poker site.
PA residents are expected to be able to use Skrill and Neteller at any regulated, PA-legal poker site. Skrill allows players to switch between currencies, while Neteller provides a debit card that can be used at any ATM.
PayPal is available across all of the major poker sites and offers instant withdrawal after verification from the operator.
Users that wish to deposit using cash in person can choose this option, and make a deposit using a unique barcode at their nearest 7/11 store. Withdrawal by this method is not possible.
This is ideal for bigger deposits, and after your ID and account ID is verified, you can deposit and withdraw instantly in person at the appropriate casino. That said, the approval must have been confirmed before any withdrawal.
This is obviously the slowest way to withdraw winnings, and admin fees may also apply.
All of the major poker sites out there have their own Play+ prepaid debit card. Topping up the card is done easily, by bank transfer or via Visa/Mastercard.
There are several online poker bonuses you can obtain when you sign up to a PA poker site.
A first deposit offer is an offer that usually matches your first deposit up to a certain amount. So for instance, if you deposit $600 at PokerStars they will match this by giving you bonus money, which you can use to enter cash games and tournaments. Keep in mind, there are terms and conditions, such as wagering requirements, which you need to achieve to unlock and eventually withdraw any winnings from this bonus money. So be sure to read all the terms on the poker site.
A no deposit offer means you get a bonus without having to risk a dime of your own money. This allows you to try the poker site and even win some real money! Of course, be aware of the terms and conditions and potential playthrough requirements needed to withdraw your winnings.
Bet and Get offers refers to a player investing in a PA online poker game and receiving a bonus. For example, you may deposit, play a $30 tournament, and the poker site would reward you with $20 in free play. This is more infrequent of an offer compared to the first deposit and no deposit offers.
Yes, you can play poker on your iPhone or Android device. Every legal poker site has a mobile application, with PokerStars even boasting a customer service team dedicated to mobile users.
In the US, most offshore poker sites are not safe due to banks and credit card companies making it difficult to deposit and withdraw funds. Some offshore poker sites may also not have proper regulations in place and therefore are risky for the player.
In summary, these are the legal ways you can play poker in PA:
PA poker apps make it convenient to play from anywhere or on the go.
For example, you can download the PokerStars app for Android or iOS and play right from your phone. You can also play on your desktop computer, tablet, or laptop.
As can be seen in the section below, there is a good range of live poker opportunities at designated areas. Alongside the diverse elements mentioned at the very top of this page, Amendment H 271 also permitted the presence of gaming terminals in some designated public areas and satellite casinos in PA.
Yes, PokerStars makes it possible to create a private room and play on an invitation-only basis. You are also allowed to run games from the comfort of your own home as long as you don't collect rake.
These following poker rooms are active, and offer both cash games and tournaments:
No form of gambling was legal in PA until 1959 when the Race Horse Industry Reform Act passed. Meadows Racetrack opened in 1963, and soon after came off-track betting facilities. In 1971, the PA state lottery was established in Act 91, as a government-run entity designed to provide property tax relief for the elderly.
This prompted calls for the legalization and establishment of casinos, all of which came to nothing until 2004 when PA legislators passed Act 71. It was officially known as the Pennsylvania Racehorse Development and Gaming Act and served to grant a blanket license for the development of casinos and racetracks in PA.
Since that landmark year, more and more bills have passed, producing the staggered approach to legalization that culminated in 2017's all-encompassing legislation. In 2016, the tax revenue generated by legalized gaming on land alone was $1.4bn.
PokerStars is the only poker site currently available, though others are set to be launched in the near future.
The minimum deposit for the PokerStars app is $10 (USD).
Yes, PayPal is one of the options available to app users.
PokerStars is allowed to pool players from its New Jersey site, as well as its Pennsylvania site.
There are a number of laws that sites must follow to keep their gaming license. These sites are regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Overlay refers to the amount paid towards the guaranteed minimum prize by the operator, in the event of the combined buy-ins falling short of the quota.
Rakeback is a percentage of the rake that is returned to the player.
Rakeback offers are based on the "rake" associated with poker sites. Simply put, it is a small percentage of the prize pot taken by the site itself to stay profitable and functional. Sometimes this results in rakeback offers, whereby you can get a small amount for re-use as cash in future games.
For instance, WSOP.com's launch in PA will automatically enroll members in a loyalty points program, where users can unlock rewards.
Over in NJ, users currently gain 2 points for every $1 paid in cash for games or tournament entry fees. Users are then "tiered" depending on the points gained:
Back in 2010, Full Tilt Poker launched a fast-fold version of Hold'em, and it proved exceptionally popular. Simply put, players can fold at any time and simply join another table instantly, meaning that they do not have to sit out the remainder of the game, as they would in a live room.
This is what fast-fold poker is known as on different sites.
With players active on just one table at a time during this variant, the mobile experience is also far more streamlined, drastically cutting any lag.
If you would like to know more about problem gambling or think you may need to speak with someone, you can find great PA'sresources about Self-ExclusionYou can also contact the helpline; 1-800-GAMBLER.