Pennsylvania online poker continues to thrive with biggest names in the industry offering PA poker players the most competitive tournaments and cash games on the market.
PokerStars, BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker and WSOP are all legal and licensed in Pennsylvania, all with real money poker options available for iPhone or Android and traditional desktop format.
Read on to learn about the best PA poker games, bonuses and apps, including an exclusive list of the top welcome bonus offers and no deposit promotions in PA.
Play online poker in PA
Is online poker legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, when Gov. Tom Wolf signed bill H 271 into law on Oct. 30, 2017, online gambling became legal in Pennsylvania. This bill includes poker, casino table games, slots, and sports betting. That made Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online poker.
Seven casino license holders in Pennsylvania applied for licenses to operate online poker sites.
The PGCB put together regulations to govern Pennsylvania online poker sites that include the following rules:
- Players must be 21 years or older.
- Sites must verify the identification of all potential players.
- Players must be located inside state lines to play.
- Sites must verify all players’ locations using geolocation software.
For now, PA players can only compete against others within the state but that could change if/when Pennsylvania joins the interstate poker compact.
How online poker works in PA
If you want to play online poker in Pennsylvania right now, you’ll have four options to choose from – PokerStars, BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker and WSOP. Then you simply download the online poker client of your choosing on your laptop or mobile phone/tablet.
Once your account is active, you can login and head to the lobby. Within this area, you can access games of almost every type and size under the sun.
One thing to note, however, is that every player you encounter will be physically inside Pennsylvania at the time. In fact, in order to play at PA online poker site, you will have to verify your location through geolocation software before you will be allowed to sit down at a table.
At least for the time being, PA poker rooms are ring-fenced, meaning players can only play against others in PA. To retain players, online poker sites also offer customers competitive rakeback or loyalty rewards programs. PokerStars uses a randomized chest rewards program with real money prizes.
Best online poker sites in Pennsylvania
The best poker sites offer a variety of no deposit and first deposit bonuses to try to attract new players. Also, they offer various rewards programs that are intended to help retain players.
Here’s a look at all four poker sites currently live in Pennsylvania, along with the bonus offers, best features and real money games they offer.
1. PokerStars PA
This was the first site to launch. PokerStars PA has amazing software covering both desktop and mobile devices. You will be able to play the new “spin and go” format, and try out the range of cash games, tournaments and sit and goes. It is also well known for promotions, loyalty rewards and poker tournament events.
- PokerStars offers new players $100 in free play, just play 1 hand. This includes spin-and-go tickets as well as cash.
- Alternatively, you can get a 100% matched bonus, up to $600. It is also well known for promotions, loyalty rewards and poker tournament events.
2. BetMGM Poker PA
Already active in neighboring New Jersey, BetMGM Poker PA arrived in April 2021. BetMGM comes equipped with PartyPoker’s software and is part of MGM Resorts International’s online gambling network. You will find plenty of action at the small stakes cash games as well as the usual suspects.
- New users can get up to $75 in tournament tickets for free play + 100% match up to $1,000 on deposit just like in NJ, but you can’t play with NJ players as PA online poker is a fenced-in market.
3. WSOP.com PA
The World Series of Poker brand is owned by Caesars Entertainment and is live in Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania. WSOP Poker PA offers both an app and a downloadable desktop version and is known to provide a complete user-friendly experience to poker players of any level.
If you haven’t tried WSOP PA, you should know that they offer several generous bonuses to all their new players:
- New users can take advantage of a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000. Just use bonus code 25FREE.
- WSOP also offers a free $25 on deposit and a free $25 bet to anyone who signs up using bonus code 25FREE.
4. Borgata Poker PA
A relative of BetMGM, Borgata Poker PA is a familiar name in Pennsylvania since the casino in Atlantic City is well-known in the area. The MGM network features a rotating number of poker variants, signature poker tournaments, and cash games of all buy-in levels. There are also player favorites such as Fast Forward, Spin the Wheel, and Grind Rewards.
- New poker players can also get up to $75 in tournament tickets, plus a 100% match up to $1,000 with your first deposit.
Playing for free vs. real money at PA poker sites
You can choose to play real money poker games — or play for fun with free play options on the Pennsylvania poker sites. While the free poker games can be entertaining, you need to be aware that the skill gap between players at free and real money sites is massive.
If you jump to real cash games and employ the same strategy that play-money players use, you will be relieved of your bankroll quickly. Read up on some poker strategies, play fewer tables and take careful notes on your opponents in the real money cash games.
Online poker for real money attracts skilled players. If you are able to beat the $1/$2 game in your local casino, you might well struggle to beat the same size game online. Start small, making sure you can beat the regulars at each buy-in level before you move up.
When you jump from free poker to real money, taking advantage of the welcome bonus offers can give your bankroll a big boost. Some sites like Party Poker offer the chance to join special beginner tables for the first 30 days. This will keep you out of the crosshairs of the poker pros while you sharpen your online skills.
PA online poker games
There are four main types of games that you will find in Pennsylvania’s online poker sites. They are:
- Cash games – Cash games are available at any time in both real money and play money mode. Cash games have fixed minimum and maximum buy-in limits, and play is available for almost any amount of money. Tables usually seat 6 or 9 players, although it is possible to play heads-up.
- Tournaments – Tournaments are scheduled around the clock in a variety of formats. You can expect rebuys, bounties and even fast-fold, where you can fold and move onto the next table without waiting for the current hand to play out. Prize pools range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re looking for the big guarantees, you’ll want to check out the weekend lineup. The buy-ins at PA poker rooms vary from a dollar up to a few hundred.
- Sit n’ Go Tournaments – SNG tournaments are perfect if you don’t have time to wait for an MTT. These events run when they reach a certain number of entrants and buy-ins. They also have predetermined prize pools and payouts, and tend to be smaller events than the scheduled tournaments. Some of these tournaments can come with a jackpot feature, which can give each player a chance at an outsized payout.
- Fast-fold games – These games are cash games at their core. However, as you play, you are switched to a new table immediately after folding the previous hand. Thus, you will end up playing with a larger group of people, but you will end up seeing far more hands than at a typical cash table.
Real money poker vs. free play
Real money poker sites in PA are limited to just one site. PokerStars was the first site in Pennsylvania to offer online poker.
Although you can play free online poker, the players on play money sites have no regard for playing wisely or skillfully. Since they can only lose faux currency, anyway, they figure that there’s no reason not to chase a draw, even if it’s a minute one.
However, real money PA sites are not equivalent to friendly games, or even live poker games in a casino. As a general rule, in fact, they require far more skill and focus to master than equivalent live games.
Most long-term successful players on real money sites keep detailed notes on their play, study the game all the time, and are always looking for ways to improve their return. Even breakeven players have to be more cautious, since the ratio of sharks is so much higher.
Many players on real money sites play multiple games at once, too. This practice can lead to higher profits for the very skillful, but please be careful not to overwhelm yourself.
Don’t misunderstand – real money poker sites are still fine to play. It’s just important that you know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin trying to win real cash.
Online poker apps vs. downloading the poker client
For most online poker games, using a mobile app is preferable since it’s easy and you can play anywhere. However, due to the nature of poker, players actually prefer to use their laptops or desktops to play.
There are a couple of reasons for this preference. For one thing, a laptop/desktop with a larger screen and mouse makes it that much easier to play multiple games simultaneously. Multi-tabling three or four games on an app leaves room for error. It’s easy to click call when you meant to fold.
Another reason to prefer a land-based computer is that it might come with a more stable internet connection and setup than a mobile device. Losing a connection can result in a hand being lost, and depending on the situation, such an outcome could be disastrous.
Nevertheless, you can play online poker using either your laptop or your mobile device. PokerStars offers both options, including apps for both iPhones/iPads and Android users.
Please be aware that you will have to verify your location using a specialized app if you choose to use a personal computer for access. The apps will use your device’s GPS to determine your location automatically.
Online poker variations
Most of the action in the online poker market revolves around No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. That said, some sites offer other poker variants.
Find yourself on the right site at the right time and there may be your favorite poker variant running, including RAZZ, HORSE, or 2-7 Triple Draw.
The biggest cash game in real money poker is far and away No-Limit Hold’em. You’ll find stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50 with 6-max and full, 9-handed tables.
That said, most of the games are micro- and low-stakes action. Games beyond $1/$2 do not run regularly. Neither does the more pedestrian Limit Hold’em version of the game, where the stakes go as high as $100/$200, but the player pool is rather small.
You’ll find Pot-Limit Omaha at online poker sites, just not as many tables running as No-Limit Hold ’em. Stakes range from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50. However, there isn’t much action in the micros. Instead, it’s $0.50/$1 and $0.25/$0.50 tables running most days.
Other Omaha variants, like Hi-Lo, may be available on the sites, but again, the player pools are small to non-existent.
You might find poker sites that claim to offer stud games, even RAZZ. What you won’t find are the players to fill those games. Stakes will generally range from $0.50/$1 to $40/$80, but it’s $0/$0 with a nonexistent player pool most of the time.
HORSE, 2-7 Triple Draw, other variants
Poker is more than hold ’em and Omaha, but PA poker online isn’t really. Some of the more notable poker brands claim to offer games, including HORSE and 2-7 Triple Draw, but it usually applies to specialized tournaments.
Cash games for variants like this do not run regularly because the demand isn’t there. But never say never. After all, most sites’ clients support these formats, and if their popularity increases, you’ll perhaps find action.
Most online poker clients support some version of fast-fold games like PokerStars’ Zoom tables, though not at first. Once you fold your hand, you are instantly transported to a different table to start another one. This format requires a large player pool, so it will not always be running on the PA sites that eventually will have it.
All online poker clients offer a daily schedule of No-Limit Hold’em multi-table tournaments (MTT) with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $50. Some even come with prize pool guarantees.
There’s plenty of micro- and low-stakes action daily, but the bigger buy-in MTTs are usually reserved for Sundays. The high traffic PA online poker sites run Sunday majors with buy-ins from $50 to $500 and guaranteed prize pools of up to $50,000.
Sit & Go tournaments
Poker sites offer No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Sit & Go tournaments. Most have nine-handed, six-max, and heads-up formats. Buy-ins range from as low as $0.25 to $500. These games go off when the players are there, which is usually limited to peak prime-time hours.
Lottery Sit & Go tournaments
Lottery Sit & Go tournaments, like PokerStars’ Spin N’ Go tournaments, are three-handed Sit & Go tournaments with randomized prize pools, ranging anywhere from two buy-ins to $1,000 buy-ins.
The odds are slim that you’ll be playing for the max, but Lottery Sit & Go tourneys, from $1 to $25, should run regularly. This format has become more popular than standard Sit & Go tournaments themselves.
How to get money on and off the sites
The goal of every PA poker site will be to make the process of moving your funds as easy as possible and for fast payouts.
That means each site will offer a variety of easy-to-use deposit and withdrawal methods and are always on the lookout to add new ones. It usually will mean that whatever way you used to make a deposit, you can also use it to make a withdrawal. However, other options are available, too.
Here’s a list of all the poker deposit and withdrawal methods available:
Visa and Mastercard: You can use the most well-known credit card brands in the world at most PA online poker sites. However, some issuing banks may not authorize online gambling transactions, meaning another deposit method will need to be employed.
The following list of issuing banks decline online gambling transactions regularly:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Chase/JP Morgan
- Wells Fargo
- TD Bank
- Santander Bank
- Huntington Bank
Types of deposit options available
- Play+: This prepaid credit card acts like both a credit card and an e-wallet account, and several Pennsylvania online poker sites accept it. You can fund the Play+ prepaid card using a Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card, or even a checking account.
- Prepaid Cards: Prepaid cards are a safe and convenient alternative method of depositing on Pennsylvania online poker sites. You can load money onto a prepaid card and then use it to deposit on a poker site. Several credit card companies offer prepaid credit cards, and some online poker sites have a branded-prepaid cards.
- Cash at the casino cage: Legal, regulated online poker sites in Pennsylvania are all affiliated with a PA casino. Most will accept cash deposits at the cashier cages inside these casinos.
- PayPal: PayPal is the largest third-party payment processor in the world. PayPal allows you to funnel money to the sites from several sources, including your bank account.
- ACH e-checks: ACH allows you to write an electronic check to the online poker site of your choice. In other words, ACH helps you move funds between your bank account and that of an online poker site.
- PayNearMe: The convenience store 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacies, and financial services provider PayNearMe have created a financial services management app, which allows users to make bill payments. You can make payments to PA online poker sites with cash at these locations.
- Online banking: If you can make bill payments online, the chances are that you can deposit at an online poker site from your bank account as well.
Does Pennsylvania allow interstate online poker player pools?
Unfortunately, not yet. But it could happen in the near future. Online poker launched in PA as a fenced-in market. That means only players inside PA can play, and also that sites in the state are not sharing player pools with others on the outside.
The good news is Pennsylvania regulators have long hinted they are interested in joining the Multi-state Compact, which would allow players from New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware (and eventually Michigan) to play on sites that span these states.
PlayPennsylvania previously reported that PA authorities and poker operators would need to agree on the provisions of a deal. PGCB Communications Director Doug Harbach said:
“While the Board would be and has been involved in discussions, the Governor’s Office is the ultimate authority on entering such an agreement and they have taken the matter under advisement.”
So it appears whether or not Pennsylvania will allow interstate poker player pools still remains to be seen.
What is an interstate player pool and why is it so important?
This is the ability to compete in online tournaments and cash games with players across the country where online poker play is also legal. If this were to happen, both the poker prize pools and the number of game options would experience a massive increase, which is music to the ears of every online poker player.
Below is a look at the PA casinos licensed to offer online poker along with their updated partners and plans.
|Casino||Online Poker Partner||PGCB Approval Date||Projected Launch Date|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||888||Aug. 15||2019|
|Hollywood Casino||IGT||Sept. 12||2019|
|Mount Airy Casino||The Stars Group/ 888||Aug. 15||Nov. 6, 2019|
|Parx Casino||GAN||Aug. 25||2019|
|Wind Creek Bethlehem||None||Oct. 3||Unknown|
|SugarHouse Casino||Rush Street Interactive||Sept. 12||2019|
|Valley Forge Casino||IGT/ GAN/ GVC||Sept. 12||2019|
PA poker card rooms
Pennsylvania plays host to one of the most extensive live poker scenes in the US. Live poker became legal in 2010. Here’s a look at the 9 poker rooms currently open in the Keystone State and what they have to offer poker players.
Live! Philadelphia Casino poker room
The 29-table poker room at Live! Casino in Philadelphia offers 24/7 action with a variety of cash games and daily tournaments. From their comfy seats and individual USB phone-charging stations to cocktail services and valet parking, the Live! Philadelphia, PA location seems to have everything you would find in any of the more popular Atlantic City poker rooms.
When it comes to promotions, the Live! poker room offers High Hand Bonuses all day, every day. Prize amounts and the number of giveaways all depend on the day of the week you choose to play.
- Address: 900 Packer Ave, Philadelphia
- Phone Number: +1 833-472-5483
Live! Pittsburgh Casino poker room
The 1,500-square-foot poker room at Live! Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is located on the second floor and features a total of seven tables with luxury seating and USB charging stations at each one. Like most poker rooms in Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, cash games and tournament play is available 24/7 for both casual and experienced players.
Poker players can choose from Texas Hold’Em, Omaha and Mixed Games with High Hand Bonus schedules similar to Live! Philadelphia.
- Address: 5260 US-30, Greensburg
- Phone Number: +1 878-787-7135
Parx Casino poker room
In 2018, Parx underwent a $50 million expansion, which included a 48-table, state-of-the-art poker room on the property.
The room features low- to mid-stakes No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha games, plus higher-stakes action most nights. The $15/$30 limit games also run with higher mixed games featuring variants you won’t find elsewhere, including games like Omaha 8-Or-Better, Big O, and SuperStud.
Parx is also well-known for its seasonal Big Stax tournament series and nightly tournaments.
- Address: 2999 Street Rd, Bensalem
- Phone Number:+1 888-588-7279
Wind Creek Bethlehem poker room
Wind Creek offers no-limit hold’em and Omaha cash games as well as regular high hand promotions. A brand new poker room is on the way, so expect a new tournament schedule for the former Sands Casino poker room soon.
- Address: 77 Wind Creek Blvd, Bethlehem
- Phone: (484) 777-7777
Rivers Casino Philadelphia poker room
Rivers has 28 tables featuring low-stakes, No-Limit Hold’em, a daily tournament schedule and regular big guarantee tournaments.
- 1001 N Delaware Ave, Philadelphia
- (877) 477-3715
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh poker room
The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh 30-table poker room sits across a parking lot from Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. There’s 24/7 No-Limit Hold’em action with stakes running from $1/$2 to $10/$20. Pot-Limit Omaha and Limit Hold’em games also run occasionally.
The tournament schedule features two daily events six days a week, with the room running regular promotions.
- Address:777 Casino Dr, Pittsburgh
- Phone:(412) 231-7777
Mohegan Sun Pocono poker room
The poker room at Mohegan Sun Pocono runs daily tournaments often featuring bounty structures. Promotions include a Bad Beat Jackpot for cash games and tourneys.
The atmosphere is relaxed with the action of the low-limit variety. There are sometimes 20 or so $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Limit Hold’em games on weekends.
- Address: 1280 PA-315, Wilkes-Barre
- Phone: (570) 831-2100
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows poker room
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino is outside of Pittsburgh. The poker room includes 14 tables, all with a view of the live horse racing action. It hosts No-Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Omaha cash games. Plus, tournaments run twice daily, six days a week, and special events on Sundays.
The room was formally a regular stop on the Heartland Poker Tour.
- Address:210 Racetrack Rd, Washington
- Phone:(724) 503-1200
Mount Airy Casino Resort poker room
The poker room at Mount Airy Casino Resort features only nine tables that usually offer low-limit, No-Limit Hold’em. There’s a High Hand promotion.
- Address: 312 Woodland Rd, Mt Pocono
- Phone: (877) 682-4791