All You Need To Know
PA Online Poker

shape1 PA Online Poker: All You Need To Know (2020)

Pennsylvania is one of the four states that has legalized online poker in the US. Its legalization dates back to the passing of its expansion bill at the end of 2017. Come 2019, PokerStars launched its PA Online Poker in the state.

Since then, more traffic is being experienced on the site. Players have lined up on the platform to have a play on the;

  • Ever-growing tournaments
  • Expanding cash games
  • Increasing prize pools
PA Online Poker - Pokerstars Lobby Vegas Slots

This year expects Online Poker in PA to expand with more operators expected to launch in the state.

This page will provide every necessary information on PA Online Poker. This will range from;

  • Where to play the online poker in PA
  • Anticipated online poker rooms in PA together with their live casino partners
  • Information you need to know about online poker in PA
  • Details on the bonuses and offers you can expect while wagering
  • Depositing and withdrawing at an online poker site in PA
  • A comprehensive PA Online Poker FAQ
  • A brief forecast on the future of online poker in PA

What are the four states legalizing online poker in the US?

All US states that have legalized online poker include;

  • Delaware
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Which are the current PA Online Poker sites?

Pennsyl Mania Pokerstars Tournament Vegas Slots

Only one operator is licensed to offer real-money wagers to PA players;

  • PokerStars PA

Other crucial details that need to be out there on PokerStars PA include:

  • Date of launch – November 4, 2019
  • Land-based partner – Mount Airy
  • Tech partner – The Stars Group

The Stars Group also turns out to be a partner to the FOX Bet brand. Through the partnership, they have offered PA online sports betting.

Play Online Poker in PA

The state legalized online poker in PA in 2017. Yet, it would take two more years for an online poker site in PA to launch. PokerStars partnership with Mount Airy Casino became the pioneer online poker site in PA. PokerStars stands as the largest poker operator globally thanks to the millions of players creating an account with them.

PokerStars PA currently allows a ‘ring-fenced’ kind of play. This is where a PA player only plays against another PA player. But, this might change in the future since it’s possible to play against players from other regions as seen from other international sites. Additionally, it may be possible due to the current gambling laws in the Keystone state. They allow the operators to join compacts with the other legalized states. Through the multi-state compact, they can offer combined prize pools.

Online poker in PA is being expected to blossom thanks to other PA casinos licensed to operate online poker rooms. This is the major sign pointing to more sites expected to launch. And with players poised to have more wagering options, this will be a welcome move.

What PA Online Poker sites are being expected?

Only one online poker site is available in PA. But, more casinos have partnered with online poker operators to launch their poker rooms. The following list comprises of partnerships between the casinos and online poker operators that have been licensed and ready to launch any time;

Poker Site Partner Casino Software Date of Launch
PartyPoker PA Valley Forge Casino PartyPoker TBA Harrah’s Philadelphia 888 TBA
BetMGM Independent License GVC TBA
SugarHouse Rivers Philadelphia Rush Street TBA
Parx Casino Parx Casino GAN/Kambi TBA
Penn National Hollywood Casino IGT TBA
Wind Creek Casino Wind Creek Casino TBA TBA

Note: TBA – To Be Announced

The above-mentioned are where the players will be expected to play online poker in PA once they go live.

How legal do the PA Online Poker sites work?

While you can access the website to access online casinos and sportsbooks for wagering, online poker in PA will be slightly different. Many online poker players opt for a downloadable desktop software client. This version comes with many features to it. One can;

  • Access different game types
  • Multi-table comfortably (playing two or more tables at once)
  • Enjoy a stable game
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For PokerStars, PA players have been provided with an Android and an iOS app. Here, they can as well enjoy the tournaments and games.

But while you access your favorite PA online poker rooms, you will come across many poker formats. They are four popular ones and depending on the player pool’s size, the formats will vary. The formats are;

  • Cash Games – Your chips boast of monetary value that can at any time be topped up to the table maximum. The cash games at the online poker rooms start at buy-ins of $2 and can go as high as $1000+ in buy-ins. The stakes on these tables might range anywhere between $.02/$0.04 and $1,000/$2,000. On these tables, two six, or nine players can be available

PA Online Poker Cash Games Lobby


  • Poker tournaments – This format is a knockout one. For the exchange of players’ buy-in, each player on the tournament starts with a stack of chips. And until when one player collects all the chips, the play will proceed as the bet sizes increase. For the tournaments, you will enjoy;
    • Different speed variations
    • Game types
    • The ability to re-enter or rebuy in case you bust

PA Online Poker Tournaments Lobby

  • Sit & Go tournaments – They are usually single tables and play kicks-off only when the table is full. PokerStars’ Spin & Go is one of the new variations. For these three-handed games, the random prize pool may go as high as 10,000x your buy-in.
  • Fast-fold poker – Quick fact to note is that this format is not yet available on PA online poker sites or rooms. Another point to note is that this format can be used in both cash games and tournaments. This format will have players sitting in the pools as opposed to individual tables. It will also involve you being taken to a new hand by the other players after you fold. And this will be after they finish hands.

Online poker in PA currently has limited variations. This is in comparison to those offered by international sites. However, you can expect the following at PA online poker sites/rooms;

  • Omaha (PLO & PLO8)
  • No-Limit Hold’em

Other variations such as Stud and Draw can be expected. However, this will be after the multi-state compact is achieved.

PokerStars PA

Being the first legal PA online poker site, the operator is still gaining more masses. This is partly thanks to the monopoly it is still enjoying. PokerStars PA has been an instant hit since its launch on November 4, 2019. Being an established brand operating in New Jersey has also partly played a role in this. PA also remains a coveted market and this is due to boasting a population of 12.8 million. This explains the site’s traffic.

There are other contributing factors to its fast-rising status in PA. Among them is that PokerStars has offered several top and well-attended tournament series such as;

  • Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP)
  • Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP)
  • PokerStars PA Winter Series
  • PokerStars PA Bounty Builder Series

Poker in PA PACOOP 2019


Most of the PA online poker tournaments are various types of no-limit hold’em events. Moreover, a taste of pot-limit Omaha hi-lo and pot-limit Omaha tournaments has also popped out. There are viable poker strategies for every variation out there.

The events have also had guaranteed prize pools. However, even if in most cases the guaranteed prize pools were not realized, they were exceeded by wide margins.

As we earlier stated, players can enjoy different game formats at PokerStars PA. They include;

  • Cash Games – Pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold’em between $.01/$.02 and $25/$50.

Fixed-limit games between $0.10/$0.20 and $100/$200

  •  Poker tournaments – Freerolls to weekly events such as;

$100 Sunday Special

$250 Sunday High Roller

$200 Super Tuesday

$200 Thursday Thrill

  • Sit & Go’s – Buy-ins for all PLO and NLHE ranges between $1 and $500

Remember, fast-fold poker is not yet available in PA. Additionally, other formats like Zoom Poker and Spin & Go’s are not currently available. However, they may be incorporated at a later date.

Bonuses to expect at PA Online Poker sites

Bonuses are always a major highlight on any online site and it is no different from online poker in PA. Bonuses have still been offered to either attract or keep players on the sites. As many more PA online poker sites look to start their services, we still expect the promotions and bonuses to get the required attention.

At PokerStars, a new player will be welcomed with two different bonuses as follows;

  • $30 Freeplay – A new player who makes the first deposit of at least $20 through the code ‘THIRTY’ will be awarded a $30 Freeplay bonus
  • 100% up to $600 – Additionally, at PokerStars PA, after the first deposit is made, a player will be awarded a 100% bonus up to $600. This means that if the first deposit made was $100, PokerStars will award an extra $100 to the player. A code is also in place to redeem the bonus. The code is ‘STAR600’

Expectations are that the anticipated PA online poker sites will provide more competition. This will range from the type of promotions and bonuses they offer. Judging from what other poker rooms in legalized states have offered, we expect the following;

  • No-deposit bonuses – With no deposit required some online sites might settle to give free chips to players. They will be in the form of buy-ins for the different cash games and tournaments available.
  • Deposit bonuses – Like what PokerStars has offered. This is dependent on the real-money deposit made on the site. Might be a bonus matched up to a set percentage or as a set value. The bonus, however, will not be released as a lump sum but in incremental amounts, as you play.
  • Reload bonuses – A bonus is offered as an incentive to players after they deposit. The bonus is usually low in value and encourages more depositing
  • Loyalty bonuses – These are tailored to reward loyalty and consistency. With poker sites, they are different from what we see at the online casinos and sportsbooks. PokerStars PA, for example, awards treasure chests. The chests will have prizes tailored for your gambling preferences.

Those and many more bonuses may crop up.

PA Online Poker deposits and withdrawals

In as much as PokerStars is the only legal online poker in PA, its banking options do not quite differ from what other online gambling operators have offered in different states. These are some that the operator offers in PA among others that we expect in PA;

  • Visa/MasterCard
  • Instant e-Checks (ACH)
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • PayNearMe (7-Eleven, CVS)
  • Cash at the Cage (Partner Casino)
  • Play+ Card
  • Instant Online Banking
  • Bank Wire

PA Online Poker FAQ

Is online poker in PA legal?

Yes. Online poker in PA is legal as of 2017. This means that you can play for real money in the state. However, make sure you are playing on a regulated and licensed PA online poker site.

What is the legal age to play poker in PA?

You will only be eligible to play online poker in PA if you are over 21-years-old. Additionally, you are required to be located in PA to play for real money.

Who licenses PA online poker?

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. This is the official regulatory body mandated by the state to regulate all the gambling activities in PA.

Can PA online poker players play against players from other states?

Currently, no. PokerStars is the only legal online poker site in PA and is currently ‘ring-fenced’. This means that PA players can only play against each other. However, the gambling laws in the state allow ‘compacts’ creation with other legalized states. For this reason, a PA interstate poker compact could be on the way. This will allow PA players to play against players from other states.

Which casinos have been licensed to hold poker rooms?

Over seven casinos are already legalized to provide PA online poker rooms. They have already partnered with poker operators to make this happen. But, the dates for launching the sites/rooms are not yet announced. Some of the casinos include;  Parx Casino  Wind Creek Casino  Valley Forge Casino  Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino  Rivers Casino Philadelphia  Mount Airy Casino  Hollywood Casino

What formats of online poker do PA players have?

At PokerStars, all these formats will be available; Cash games, Sit & Go’s, and Poker tournaments. Fast-fold poker, among others, are not available.

Are the PA online poker games fair?

Yes. Every online poker site going live will have to prove its Random Number Generator integrity. This is overseen by the regulatory body and ensures that the shuffle of cards is random.

Are there any other forms of gaming in PA?

Yes. The gambling laws in the state permit the following forms of gambling for real money;  Online casinos  Lotteries  Daily fantasy sports  Sports betting. Additionally, Gaming is huge in Pennsylvania. It has contributed to the state’s revenue. For example, PokerStars PA averages a gross revenue of $2,000,000+ per month.

The future of online poker in PA

The debut of PokerStars PA and its reception point to a positive poker journey in the state. More casino-operator partnerships have been forged pointing to the expectation of more online poker sites in PA launches. The success of PokerStars tournaments such as PACOOP also points to a bright future in poker.

There is also the expectation that multi-state compacts are on the way. This will see an even greater competition with players sharing the pools and can be a game-changer in the online poker industry. From the look of things, the only way is up for the PA online poker industry.

22 May 2020 | Adam Shaw | 0 Comments


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