Poker is one of the most popular card games in America. It's full of suspense and intricate plays—rich with strategy and calculation. Almost anyone can play poker anywhere they want as long you have an understanding of how to use your skills for advantage against other players…or even just luck if that works out better.
Gambling online is legal in the State of Pennsylvania. In October 2017, Pennsylvania passed the Expanded Gaming Act, which authorized internet gaming activities across the state. Pennsylvania joined a growing list of U.S states with similar online gaming laws, including Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
Governor Rendell first signed the Pennsylvania Gaming Act (HB 2330) into law on Monday, July 5, 2004.
Pennsylvania’s online gambling scene features an array of welcome bonuses, free bet offers, and promotions. Interested players can use desktop computers or handheld (mobile) devices to access a variety of regulated and reputable online gaming sites.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates online poker sites in the state. With the help of dedicated professional staff and the State's Gaming Act as a guide, the regulatory agency protects the public interest by ensuring the integrity of legalized gaming is maintained by strictly following laws and rules.
PGCB also makes sure that qualified people and groups get licenses and that the goals of legal gambling in the state are met.
Online poker does not come with the pressure of live games, so beginners can ease into the game at their own pace. Some online poker sites even offer free plays where beginners can practice without the risk of losing more.
Moreover, there are really low tables where beginners can play to win real money without losing big. The availability of multiple poker variants online can also help beginners find a game that he/she enjoys. Furthermore, the convenience of online features reduces the beginner's stress.
Monetary and non-monetary benefits that persons with casino membership have are available online. Players can receive bonuses and free credit to use in betting, which increases the possibility of making more money.
There are non-monetary benefits like free casino merch, free tournament tickets, and discounted deals or plans available to players online.
Terms and conditions are attached to most monetary benefits. For instance, you may only be able to use a bonus to bet or have to unlock bonuses by spending a particular amount. Hence, you may not be able to cash out bonuses.
Choosing to play on pa online poker sites means individuals do not have to dress up, wait in a queue to play, or carry large amounts of cash around. These are hassles that people who visit a land-based casino must deal with.
In addition, issues such as where to park or buy gas for the car are not considerations associated with playing poker online. With desktops or more portable devices like laptops and mobile phones, players can sit back in a comfortable lounge chair and play poker online from the comfort of their living space.
This is one of the most significant benefits of online poker. Before online poker, players could only play at one table at a time.
However, with the arrival of web-based poker, bettors can now make multiple wagers simultaneously, allowing clever players to spread their wagers across tables to minimize losses—gains from one table can cover losses from another.
When playing in a land-based casino, most players convey a lot about the condition of their game through unconscious body expressions, such as how they bet, breathe, talk, handle cards, and bluff. These behaviors indicate how players react to specific scenarios.
For online poker players who play from the comfort of their own homes, these characteristics become invisible to opponents, removing a possible disadvantage experienced in live poker games.
Irrespective of the time of the day, interested players can find high-stakes games online. Conversely, this is unlikely to be the situation for players visiting a brick-and-mortar casino on a Tuesday afternoon.
Online poker gaming in Pennsylvania offers a diverse selection of games. This is because Pennsylvania online poker sites do not have the physical space constraints that live poker games do.
Due to the variety of games available, online poker games do not have staffing concerns, unlike live poker games, which must utilize more hands to manage the increased number of gaming tables.
Since the legalization of online gambling in Pennsylvania, the online poker market in the state has experienced incredible growth. Some of the top online casinos in Pennsylvania include:
PokerStars ranks easily as one of the top PA online poker sites. It is the first legal and regulated poker site in the state. It is made available to poker players in the state on desktop (Mac and Windows) and mobile apps (iOS and Android) through top-quality software.
PokerStars offers a fantastic collection of large guaranteed cash pools and big tournaments. It provides access to various great options for players, like daily and weekly scheduled events and major tournament series like PACOOP and PASCOOP, which features big feels and large prize pools.
Players who like cash games have many options. Stakes start as low as $0.01/$0.02 and go up to $25/$50 in PokerStars. The choice of variations is quite wide, including Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Badugi, Mixed Games, and more.
New players can take advantage of PokerStars’ welcome bonus, which allows them to boost their bankrolls right away.
PokerStars PA offers a bonus offer for everyone, ranging from new players to experienced players with a large bankroll. To get started, bettors will need to enter the PokerStars PA bonus code — STARS600. Players get $50 free for playing one hand or a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $600.
Low-stakes gamers who do not play frequently may prefer the $50 option. The 100% deposit bonus is perfect for players in it for the long haul and willing to deposit more than $50. To take advantage of the entire amount, bettors must make three deposits over 60 days.
The deposit match bonus money is credited in $10 increments, or 140 redemption points. Five redemption points are earned for every $1 spent on tournament fees or rake (the platform’s commission fees).
Operated by the World Series of Poker, WSOP entered the Pennsylvania online poker market in July 2021. It is accessible on desktop and mobile devices, with features that most online poker players in the US will appreciate.
WSOP provides many great tournaments for players to win coveted WSOP gold bracelets and rings from their place of comfort. Fans of the world’s largest poker event will find this important because of the familiar brand and chance to qualify for the yearly World Series of Poker.
WSOP players are treated to a range of promotions designed to keep them entertained and provide them with better value for their money. There are various leaderboards suitable for different types of players, including:
The idea is to cater to players’ varying interests and preferences and provide additional rewards for their efforts.
WSOP also offers a multi-tier loyalty rewards program for already registered players, where they can rack up points and later on swap them for money.
Players can enjoy different occasional bonuses and special promos that are given from time to time. You will need to opt-in and use the special code for that promo to get the bonus.
For newly registered players, WSOP provides a $25 sign-up bonus, $25 free on your first deposit, and a deposit bonus of up to $1,000 if you use the WSOP promo code. To get the bonus, players have to deposit a minimum of $10.
Borgata Poker joined the online poker sites industry in Pennsylvania in April 2021. It is operated by a trusted brand and leading gaming company. It offers solid action and great experience across all stakes through a modern, reliable, fully licensed platform that works on desktop and mobile devices.
Borgata Poker features a great number of daily and weekly multi-table tournaments (MTTs) and regular series with major prize pools. You can participate in spin, sit, and go tournaments with jackpots of up to 200x the buy-in.
It also has a VIP program where players earn Borgata Online Rewards Points that can be used to purchase bonuses and other items at the online store.
The points can also be exchanged for MGM Rewards points to get room discounts, personalized offers, priority check-ins at hotels, guaranteed reservations, and VIP cruises. The VIP program can be quite rewarding for lower-stakes players.
Borgata Poker PA is part of the same in-state player pool as BetMGM Poker, which means many players with varying skill levels. It also implies major tournaments, some with six-figure or higher guarantees. It also has a high rating on the App Store for iOS, Android, and desktop devices.
Borgata Poker gives welcome bonuses to newly registered players. Once you sign up and make a deposit, you will get a 100% deposit bonus of up to $1,000 and a $75 bonus on your first deposit, which you can use in real money tournaments.
BetMGM Poker joined the Pennsylvania regulated market in April 2021. It provides a cutting-edge online poker platform powered by partypoker software. BetMGM Poker meets the demands of all types of players and ensures that everyone enjoys their sessions the way they want, whether they play at home or on the road.
BetMGM offers a sizable welcome bonus on the first deposit to attract new players. The BetMGM Poker bonus code SHARPCHIP entitles new players to up to $1,075 in free bets.
This includes up to $75 in free play on your initial deposit and up to $1,000 in deposit match at favorable terms.
The size of bets differs significantly between live and online poker. Online cash games frequently feature players opening for 2x, 2.5x, or 3x the big blind, whereas live games regularly have players opening for 5x, 6x, or even more, especially in lower-stakes live games.
This is because live players are more concerned with their hands than with the sizing. They can open 3x, 5x, and even 10x if they like their hands.
Players on PA online poker sites typically experiment with their preflop raises to discover how much their opponents are willing to pay and then capitalize on that information.
Another distinction between live and online poker is the difference between preflop and postflop calls. While live poker players tend to be loose with their preflop calls, online players are more likely to make huge postflop calls with weak or medium-strength hands than live poker players.
One possible explanation is that it is easier for players online to press the "call" button than for those in a live game to make such a tough call. Not having to deal with the humiliation of a wrong call in person makes them simpler to handle online.
More players report having "bad beats" more frequently during online poker games than during live poker games. This is especially true in online "micros" and lower limit games, where the low stakes encourage calls with inferior hands that occasionally outdraw stronger ones.
The tempo of the game is one of the most noticeable contrasts between live and online poker. Online poker games are substantially faster than live poker games, and players who are used to playing online may find live games stressful.
In a no-limit Hold'em cash game, a player may be dealt roughly 30 hands per hour, whereas an online player playing a similar game may be dealt 60 hands per hour (or more) at a table and even in short-handed games.
Furthermore, the ability to multi-table online implies that players play more hands each hour than they would in live poker events.
The capacity of players to see or not see one another is a significant distinction between live and online poker; the role of "physical tells" is eliminated from the online game. Table talk, a major factor in live games, is unnecessary when playing online.
During live poker, experienced players exploit inexperienced players, who frequently give up information at the table by their facial expressions and body language.
Due to various reasons, an online poker game played at the same limits as a live one tends to have higher-skilled players in attendance than the live game.
For instance, a live $1/$2 cash game usually does not involve as many tough opponents at a table as one would have in a typical $1/$2 online game.
One reason for this is that there aren’t many lower stake games available in live poker compared to online poker, where there are loads of them.
Interested persons seeking safe Pennsylvania online poker sites can identify such websites using the following characteristics and features:
One of the essential features of safe poker sites in Pennsylvania is that they are licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The PGCB is in charge of enforcing statutes governing online poker operations.
These laws provide players confidence in the safety of legal online poker sites that unregulated poker sites do not.
Likewise, the PGCB ensures that gaming is genuinely random and that random number generators are random and fair to all participants.
Safe poker sites usually include a seal or statement on their homepage stating that they are regulated. This security measure assures players of a safe and fair game.
According to Pennsylvania laws and regulations, PA poker sites must have mechanisms to protect players' information and payments. As a result, all accounts are password-protected, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption ensures that players' personal information is secure.
Geolocation software guarantees that users are playing within the geographical bounds of the state, as mandated by state law.
The purpose of requiring internet gaming within the borders of Pennsylvania State is to protect the gaming business from outside influences that may undermine the fairness of poker games.
Pennsylvania poker sites also use software monitoring to detect and prevent player collusion and gaming concerns like chip dumping.
Another feature players must look out for when identifying safe PA poker sites or online poker rooms is the availability of multiple means of depositing and withdrawing money from the sites.
Safe poker sites must ensure that players have easy access to their funds while also keeping players' personal information and their accounts safe.
Interested persons can also find out about a poker site's reputation by reading lots of reviews on the web about a specific company. While one or two bad reviews might not set off red flags, many negative reviews on a particular poker site should be a source of concern.
Safe poker sites offer players looking to make inquiries or issue a complaint a channel for such purposes. Usually, plates can find links to inquiry or dispute resolution pages on the website of the poker operator.
Some of the means of contacting online operators players must look out for include the following.
Yes. Unlike blackjack, where you compete against the house, poker is played between individuals. The house has no vested interest in the result of a hand.
In terms of player gaming activities, the Pennsylvania Gaming Board holds online poker operators to a high standard of fairness and equity.
Playing with the players' funds may result in the loss of their license. Most online poker sites are controlled by large organizations that stand to lose a lot if their reputation for fairness in online gaming is brought into doubt.
The entire online poker industry is highly competitive, and any company banished for unethical practices would see a significant shift of players to competitors with higher quality and reputation.
Most online poker sites are controlled by large organizations that stand to lose a lot if their reputation for fairness in online gaming is brought into doubt.
The entire online poker industry is highly competitive, and any company banished for unethical practices would see a significant shift of players to competitors with higher quality and reputation.
Yes. The World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) legal status in Pennsylvania is guaranteed by its licensing by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. In other words, the company’s operations are legitimate, fair, and transparent.
The World Series of Poker Event, an annual summer series of poker tournaments available on different apps and platforms, is the most coveted poker tournament globally. With WSOP PA, gamers may compete in the WSOP Main Event from the comfort of their own homes rather than waiting all year for a title shot.
**The World Series of Poker (WSOP) started operations in Pennsylvania on July 12, 2021. **
Yes, Bovada is legal in Pennsylvania. The company is also legal in 45 out of 50 US States. The range of betting programs and online casino games offered by the company includes sportsbooks, facebook, casino, and poker room.
Bovada is one of the most popular online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania.
Yes, PokerStars is available in Pennsylvania. Following its soft launch on November 4, 2019, the brand was the first operator to offer online poker to players in the state, officially ending an 8.5-year wait for online poker in the Keystone State.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board licenses and regulates the company—the largest online provider of poker games in the United States—and its wide range of online poker games are available to anybody residing or visiting Pennsylvania.
Players in Pennsylvania can play real money online poker on the PokerStars site, the PokerStars Casino, or a compatible betting app.
Most online poker sites allow players to play games right from their browsers without the hassles of downloading any software. This alternative is also known as no-download poker or in-browser poker. However, it is usually beneficial to download the mobile or desktop software app in order to unlock the full features of online poker sites.
For players on vacation, on a bus or train, or generally in motion, in-browser poker uses mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. However, players may wish to download the mobile or desktop application to access more games, better quality, and even extra bonuses.
Yes. However, the choice of which mobile device to play games with depends on whether or not the poker site of interest has made its games accessible through these devices.
Other considerations include the compatibility of the devices and the software used on online poker sites.
The varying sizes of the Mac, phone, or tablet sizes also influence interactive gaming and players' experience. For instance, navigating through an online poker site with detailed content and unique features would be a challenge on the phone compared to a tablet or Mac because of its smaller screen size.
On the other hand, players may prefer a tablet for different reasons: it’s portable and lightweight, has a larger display and better sound, and has more easily seen poker table controls compared to phones.
Even though most online poker sites say that they accept credit cards, some have trouble processing credit card deposits into players' accounts. These problems often happen because the bank that issued the credit card does not consider online gambling a valid charge.
Players may want to transfer money from their credit cards to a mobile wallet like PayPal so they can use them to make deposits. After that, they can use PayPal to pay for their gambling activities.
Moneybooker is another option for poker players who don't want to use their credit cards on poker sites. No matter which choice is made, the players' personal financial information will not be at risk.
A poker loyalty program rewards players for being devoted to a poker room. Poker loyalty programs are juicy offers intended to bring players back to an online poker room.
For spending money in a particular poker room, players get cash and other perks in return. The logic is that the more money a player spends, the more they get back in return.
Experienced players often use rewards earned from loyalty programs—whether cash or items with a cash value—to make up for losses suffered during periods of bad luck. Other professional players may play to break even and then profit from the rewards earned.
With respect to recreational players, poker loyalty programs and rewards help to keep their bankrolls afloat.
A poker bonus is a special reward given to new players for signing up to play games on a specific website. These rewards are usually monetary, but some sites offer prizes such as free poker books, while others may give away money deposit bonuses and poker books.
The essence of poker bonuses and rewards is to encourage people to play games and, at the same time, highlight the different features on offer in a poker room. Some of the most familiar types of poker bonuses** include no deposit bonus, first deposit bonus, and rakeback bonus**.
This bonus type is relatively uncommon on online poker sites. All a player has to do is sign up for an account and then collect the free money for playing poker. Typically, players do not have to spend money on the no deposit bonus; however, the reward is often a low amount.
Players are given a reward on their first deposit. At times, this is a gift like free books, but these bonuses tend to match a percentage of a player’s deposit.
A small percentage of the pot goes to the site hosting the game whenever a player wins a pot. A rakeback bonus in most Pennsylvania poker sites offers players 30%-40% of their money back.
Yes. If players stick to online poker sites that are officially licensed, extensively supervised, and have a history of keeping promises to gamers, the safety of online gambling in Pennsylvania is assured.
No, you don’t. Most legal PA online poker sites cater to the desires of everybody—not just the ambitions of high stake players.
With the development of online poker, online poker operators have emerged who accept the barest of minimum deposits from players to play online.
Not all players have considerable funds to play on poker sites, and the inclusion of lower and medium-stake players means that the industry has grown to embrace those players that would have been left out because they can’t afford to play high-stake poker online.
Players have different motives for playing the game: some play with the dream of winning the big bucks; some play with moderate funds as a pastime; and others may just be curious players willing to play with little funds they can afford to lose.
Yes. Although the minimum deposit allowed by online poker sites varies, most poker sites allow players to make deposits as low as $5 to $20.
These low-stake poker sites give everybody a chance to play poker games because not everyone can afford to deposit hundreds or thousands of dollars for online poker games.
Some players do not have the funds; others treat online poker as a hobby, and some just want to limit their risk through small stakes.
Yes. As long as players meet the online poker deposit bonus requirements—that is, deposit a certain amount—they are free to do whatever they want with their money.
Whether a player decides to play more or cash out, once the bonus is cleared, it’s real money that the player can do with as they deem fit.
Some card rooms also offer free bankrolls, commonly referred to as no-deposit bonuses. This type of bonus gives a player the money to play with right away. However, before the individual can withdraw the money, the bonus requirements must be met.
No. The online poker industry is a multimillion-dollar industry constantly under the scrutiny of stakeholders—online poker operators have much to lose by tampering with the game.
In fact, it does not make economic sense for reputable operators to rig games; they stand to make more money in the long run by running fair poker sites.
Clear-cut evidence of a rigged deck would instantaneously ruin the reputation of major poker operators. Therefore, to safeguard their reputations as honest and transparent online poker operators, all regulated poker sites employ independent auditors to confirm their random number generators (RNGs) are genuinely random.
Rigging online poker games is almost impossible due to the vigilance of players and other stakeholders. For instance, knowledgeable players use poker database software to track every hand played on some poker sites. With this data, players analyze hand histories to check for foul play.
Furthermore, as a community, poker players are some of the most thorough investigators in the world. They conduct intensive scrutiny of online poker sites and discuss issues related to cheating in poker games. The fact that they have not been able to come up with tangible proof of online poker rigging is evidence that it is almost impossible to achieve long-term cheating in poker.
On the part of the regulator, any evidence of online poker rigging would be met with the strictest punishment by the body, resulting in the erring poker operator’s license being revoked.
The rake is the amount of money taken by the house to conduct the game in poker games. Both** cash games and tournaments take rakes in different manners** and in varying proportions. During the cash game, a rake is taken from each pot, but in tournaments, the rake is included in the buy-in.
The amount of rake taken also varies according to the game and casinos; the lower the rake percentage, the bigger the game's stakes. Because some poker sites charge much more rake than others, players should be on the lookout for the best card rooms.
There are multiple ways by which Pennsylvania casinos calculate and collect rake. Often, the rake is taken as a percentage of the pot determined on a sliding scale.
The method of calculating rake varies depending on the type of game being played: in cash games, the rake is dependent on the amount of money in the pot, whereas for tournaments, there is a predetermined amount built into the buy-in.
Pennsylvania casinos typically take a rake between 2.5% and 10% of the amount in the pot up to a pre-set maximum amount. The rake may be as high as 15% of the tournament fees for poker tournaments. However, these figures may differ from one casino to another within the Keystone State.** **
This is a fee charged by card rooms on cash games. Rake is generated as a proportion of the pot. The hand must go to a flop to qualify for rake, and there's a maximum rake that can be taken from the pot. For instance, a casino that charges a $5 rake on a cash game pot will often take a maximum rake of $10.
Due to the popularity of the pot rake method among low and medium-stake players, it is the widely preferred method among Pennsylvania’s top online poker sites.
In brick and mortar casinos, the dealer will calculate if the pot has exceeded the threshold, remove the chips manually, and put them in a box.
For online cash games, the rake is automatically removed by the computer. It is noteworthy that most casinos operate a “no flop, no rake” policy. This means that if the hand does not go to a flop, no charges will be applied.
For instance, a player is playing a $1/$2 Texas Hold’em game, and the pot is $60 at showdown, and the casino takes $5 rake up to $10 maximum; in this hand, the casino would take 5/100 x 60, which translates to $3.
The online poker sites have varying rakes based on the limits. However, a typical online full-ring cash game in Pennsylvania would have the rates below:
In this type of rake, the card rooms charge all players the same fee rate, called the dead drop fee.
Following complaints from successful winning players on the bias of only winning players paying all the rake, land-based card rooms introduced the fixed fees.
In a fixed-fee card game, all players at the table pay a fee for sitting down to play. The fee ensures that casinos can continue taking rakes even if many losing players are at the table.
Timed collections were introduced to counter the habits of some cash players who spend hours playing poker in the cardroom or online. In this method, players get charged a rake for every hour that the table plays. It doesn't matter if a player spends only 30 minutes at a table; they still have to pay the fee.
Players who sign up for a tournament—whether it’s the Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or Stud—will be charged a fee when they enter the contest. This fee applies to online poker and live card rooms.
Yes. The application software and the Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) software deployed by online poker sites to enhance the gaming experience and safeguard sensitive data are safe. This is because the software of the major poker site operators is rigorously and constantly audited.
However, being security conscious while using these poker sites is ultimately the players' responsibility. No amount of software upgrade or any other measure put in place by the poker rooms can protect those who carelessly handle their passwords or computers. But concerning the software, players can confidently play real money poker, knowing they are in a secure environment.
Players will encounter variations in the statistics used in different card rooms; however, some of the commonest stats peculiar to almost every poker room are highlighted below.
This refers to the mean size of pots played at the table. This is often calculated over the last 50-200 hands played at the table. Usually, the average pot size number indicates the type of table one is looking at. A small average pot size suggests a tight table with little action, while a larger average pot size may indicate that a table has lots of action.
This statistic shows how many players are currently involved in an average hand at the table. The higher the number, the more relaxed the game at that table is likely to be.
A waiting list is a collection of people waiting to play in a cash game, whether an online cash game or a live game at a casino. A player who wishes to play at a specific table already filled up may put their name on the waiting list. Anytime someone vacates a seat at one of the existing games or a new table is opened up, the person topping the waiting list is called to take the available seat.
Yes. Money deposited on tested and trusted poker sites is safe. These operators deploy the best cybersecurity technology and software programs on their platforms to ensure that players' funds and personal details are secure during financial transactions. However, the same cannot be said of offshore poker sites that lack regulatory oversight. Players who deposit money on such poker sites risk losing their funds due to the absence of checks and balances in the operations of unregulated offshore poker sites. In addition, players who are careless with the details of their online poker accounts are likely to fall prey to scammers despite the effort of online poker operators to keep players' details secure.
VIP programs are reward-oriented programs run by online poker sites to reward their most loyal players with tempting offers to make them play more and spend more money in their playrooms. A poker site’s VIP program benefits are reserved for its top-level customers, who have significantly added value to their service through repeated purchases. Because online poker rooms are always competing against one another to attract players, one way to effectively do this is through competitive loyalty schemes, otherwise known as VIP programs.
The VIP program of most poker comes in different forms and structures. Poker rooms usually split their loyalty programs into VIP levels; the biggest rewards are reserved for the highest VIP levels, which are the most difficult to reach. The VIP levels often expire monthly or yearly and must be earned again after their expiration.