Online poker is finally in Pennsylvania! It was first launched in PA by world-renowned poker site, PokerStars.

The majority of online casinos in the state obtained a poker license when online gambling was deemed legal.

While PokerStars is the only site to currently offer poker, we expect to see companies like GVC, and WSOP.com join the market soon too. 

What are the Best Online Poker Sites in Pennsylvania?

PokerStars has made a name as one of the largest online poker platforms found around the world and is recognized for its state of the art software.

The night that poker went live for the first time in PA, over 600 players were active on the site. This shows huge potential for the future of online poker in the state.  

PokerStars PA 

Players can head to the online casino and choose between different tournaments or real money poker games. You can access all kinds of online poker games from the desktop site or the PokerStars mobile app. 

Sign up to PokerStars PA today and receive $30 for free after you make a deposit of $20 or more! You’ll get $10 in tournament tickets and $20 as a bonus to use at different tables.

Use the promo code FREE30 upon registering.  

bonus $ 1,500
free spins 100
  • #1 Online Poker site in Pennsylvania
  • Lots of tournaments to enter & win real money
  • Variety of online casino games

What is Online Poker?

Online poker is a virtual version of the classic casino card game. The goal is to beat the other players at the table by having the best cards in your hand.

Poker online can be played in all sorts of different ways, but the basic rules remain the same. 

Online Poker in Pennsylvania

The most popular online poker games include variations of: 

  • Texas Hold’Em
  • Stud
  • Omaha

Terminology 

Fold

Folding in online poker usually happens when you don’t believe your hand is strong enough to compete with the others, and you aren’t ready to take chances by bluffing. When you want to cut your losses and call it a day, you fold. 

Check

This term is used to see what’s going to happen in the game. Will other players raise, or will they fold? During online poker, you’ll be able to select this option with a button at the table. In real life, it’s usually indicated by hitting the table with your knuckles. 

Raise

You’re raising your bet at the online poker table. Depending on the table you’re playing at, there could be different restrictions on how much you can raise.  

Difference between Live Dealer Poker & Virtual Poker

Live Dealer Poker is played versus the dealer, while virtual poker is played with other online players. Some of the most popular live dealer poker games include: 

  • Live Casino Hold’em
  • Live Three Card Poker
  • Live Texas Hold’em

Usually, online poker is played much faster than live. This is because the computer is much faster at dealing out the cards than the live dealer is. 

Virtual Online Poker Games

Whenever you play poker online, it’s versus other virtual players at the table. PokerStars offers a lot of different games you can join, and each will use a random number generator.

This is only used in these types of games, not live casinos. It keeps each hand randomized so every poker player has the same chance. 

Studio Live Poker Tables 

Live poker tables are streamed directly from a poker studio to your device. You’ll join a live table and the dealer will start the game. You will only be playing versus the dealer, not other online players. 

Live poker tables are meant to provide real-life experiences, virtually. Some casinos will even stream right off the casino floor. It’s great for those who enjoy the social aspect of gambling but can still stay home and play. 

How Poker Online works?

When you play poker online, you’re playing at a table with other virtual players, not the house. There are multiple ways to play and different levels of tournaments you can enter. 

Poker betting systems and strategies

There are different types of strategies you can use while playing poker online. Of course the more you play the more you’ll pick up, but here are a few key points every poker player should know: 

Starting hands

The idea in poker is to beat the hands of the other players, not so much about what hand you’re finishing with. There are a number of poker hands players can use in a game:

  1. Royal Flush: This is the unbeatable hand and what every poker player wants to see! This hand is made up of the three face cards (Jack, Queen, King), an ace and a 10, all in the same suit. 
  2. Straight Flush: In the case of a tie, flash five cards in the same suit following a sequence. 
  3. Full House: Out of five cards, three must have the same value and the other two must be a pair following one of the suits displayed on one of the other three cards. 
  4. Four of a Kind: A hand with four cards that have the same value. If another player has the same hand as you, then you will each take the fifth card in your hand and the win will go to the player with the higher card (referred to as the “kicker”). 
  5. Straight: Five cards that don’t have to follow the same suit but need to be in sequence with each other. 
  6. Flush: Five random cards that follow the same suit. 
  7. Two Pair: Two pairs, the highest one will win in the event of a tie. 
  8. Three of a Kind: Three cards with the same value. 

Value Betting

Value betting is a strategy used in online poker by more experienced players. This is when you’re trying to get another player to call based on the value of their hand compared to yours.

This requires you to place a bet that’s just the right amount to get the full value from the player with the lower hand.  

Bluffing

When a poker player knows their hand isn’t going to win, they'll still call or raise to try and get others to think otherwise. This is called bluffing and is a very common strategy used in poker.

The point of bluffing is to try and get other players to fold by intimidating them with your wager. 

Calling a bluff is much harder to do while playing online, compared to at a land-based venue. When you’re in front of other people, it’s a lot easier to tell when someone is lying, mostly from the facial expressions.

If you’ve ever heard of a “poker face”, this is where a good one comes in handy.

Playstyle

Playstyle is how you choose to play at the online poker table. It usually defines your type of gameplay. Some players choose to be aggressive and call every round.

Others will be passive and fold until they get good cards. Once you understand the rules of the game, you can decide what type of player you want to be. 

Why Play Online Poker?

Now that online poker is available in Pennsylvania, there are a number of reasons to play online instead of at the land-based venue.  

Play from your home

Playing from home is extremely convenient. You don’t have to worry about getting dressed up and can play in an environment you’re comfortable in. This allows you to go at your own pace, and also save money you’d normally spend at a brick and mortar. 

You can receive Online Poker bonuses

Bonuses are a huge part of online gambling and are offered by every online casino in the country. You can claim different bonuses and use them towards online poker games!

It’s a great way to experience online poker if you’re new, without risking your own cash right away. 

PokerStars PA offers a great welcome bonus for the poker site, offering new users $30 to use towards tournaments and games! $10 is rewarded as Spin & Go tickets, and the other $20 can be used for free play.

Find out more about PokerStars PA and available poker games by clicking here! 

Poker Variants 

Since poker is new to the online scene in Pennsylvania, the variety of games available isn't as big as in NJ. However, if online casinos want to keep up with the demand, poker will be a must in all PA game libraries.

Right now, there are a number of cash games offered, usually starting at $2 a buy-in. There are also different tournaments where you have the chance to win up to 10,000x the amount used for your buy-in!

Read about the most popular poker games below. 

Texas Hold’Em

Texas Hold’Em is probably the most popular online poker game. Here’s how a typical game would be played: 

All of the players participating are dealt with two cards, both face down. Using those two cards and the five from the shared community cards, players have to form the best 5 card poker hand. 

In the end, whoever is left at the table can place their final bets before comparing the hands. The player with the best cards gets the win, but also happens if everyone else at the table folds. 

Omaha

Omaha is another popular poker game and can be played in a variety of different ways. For example; Omaha Hi, 5-Card Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo. It’s very similar to Texas Hold’Em and uses most of the same rules. 

The biggest difference between Omaha and Hold’Em is the hole cards. Omaha is played with a regular 52 card deck. Instead of beginning with 2 hole cards, you start with 4.

You must use three community cards and two hole cards to complete your hand. When it comes to the value of a hand, Omaha hands tend to be much higher in value than in Hold’Em for this reason.  

Three Cards Poker

Three Card Poker is one of the easier games of poker to learn. The goal is to have the best hand using only 3 cards instead of 5. You’ll play with other players at the table, but will be trying to beat the dealer's hand. 

Players will start by placing a bet on if they’ll receive a Pair or not, and then the Ante bet. This is where you’ll bet on having a hand that will beat the dealers.

Depending on the online casino offering Three Card Poker, the order of these bets may change. 

After everyone has been dealt three cards and looked at them, you have the choice to Fold or continue. Those still in the game will compare hands with the dealer.

If you manage to have a better hand than the dealer, you get your money back from the Ante wager.   

Is Online Poker Legal in Pennsylvania?

Online poker was legalized in PA at the same time as online casinos back in 2017. Months after the first casino launched in the state, online poker made its debut. PokerStars is the only legal online casino to offer poker so far in PA. 

Are Online Poker games rigged?

Online poker games are not rigged. It’s pretty much impossible to even try and rig a hand due to the Random Number Generators (RNG) online casinos use.

RNG’s keep each game fair by randomizing the outcome. A big company, like PokerStars, is not going to risk losing a $10 million dollar license and reputation off of one faulty game. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board monitors every casino site in the state to ensure players are treated fairly.

Can you play Online Poker for free?

Online poker is available to play for free in Pennsylvania. Finding free play poker games is a great tool for any player to use, regardless of being new to the game or playing it for years. 

Free games are the best way to practice your skills and learn the game without spending any real money. Once you are feeling confident enough to buy into a game, look for lower stake games, and gradually move up.

FAQs

PokerStars is the only legal online poker site in Pennsylvania right now. Other casinos, like SugarHouse, have poker licenses but have not yet launched a poker platform.

888 currently offers an online poker platform in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. PA is the most recent state to legalize poker online, so it’s expected 888 will eventually also move into PA.

Yes! Players in PA can register at PokerStars and gain access to a variety of poker games, including daily and major tournaments.