With a population of 13 million, Pennsylvania is the largest state so far to have legalized online poker. And while other forms of online gaming preceded it, the launch of online poker is finally here for those physically located in the Keystone State.
All three operators have had their applications approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and the regulator has confirmed to pokerfuse that testing of partypoker PA has already begun. While expectations that a second online poker room launch would happen in 2020 went unfulfilled, all indications now point to a Q2 2021 launch.
PokerStars PA: Key Facts at a Glance:
|Deposit match bonus||100% up to $600|
|Apps||Windows, Mac, iOS and Android|
|Last verified||February 2021|
PokerStars MI Welcome Bonuses
As part of its Welcome Bonus Package, PokerStars Pennsylvania is offering online poker players two ways to pad their bankrolls while trying out their skills at the tables. You can only claim one of these Welcome Bonuses, so choosing the best bonus for you depends on how much you will play or can deposit.
$30 Free Play
The easiest bonus to claim is the $30 Free Play offer. This offer doesn’t have any play-through requirements so it is good for players that may not be able to devote a lot of time clearing a bonus.
The Free Play offer includes $20 as a cash bonus and $10 in Spin & Go tickets. To claim this bonus, simply make your first real money deposit at least $20 and use the bonus code FREE30.
You will receive $10 in free bonus money within 36 hours of making your first deposit and another $10 in free bonus money with seven days.
The Spin & Go tickets will be awarded over the course of the first three days as follows:
- Day 1 you get 3 $1 Spin & Go tickets
- Day 2 you get 1 $2 Spin & Go tickets
- Day 3 you get 1 $5 Spin & Go ticket
100% Deposit Bonus up to $600 Free
Those that have more time to play or have a bigger bankroll may want to take advantage of the 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $600.
To get the most from this bonus, make your first real money deposit with the Bonus Code STARS600, and you can still max out on this bonus even if you don’t deposit the entire $600 the first time because your first three real money deposits count towards this promotion as long as you make them within the first 60 days and use the Bonus Code STARS600 with each one.
You then have 120 days to clear the bonus by earing the required number of redemption points. You will be credited with $10 of your bonus for every 140 redemption points you earn. That works out to a return of 35% for every dollar of rake and tournament fees you pay while playing.
Depositor Freeroll Ticket
In addition to the bonus money from each of the Welcome Bonus Offers, players will also receive a free ticket to the Depositor Freeroll which runs on the on the last Sunday of each month at 18:00 ET.
It is important to always check to make sure you have received your bonus. To do so, go to the My Stars menu in the PokerStars main lobby. There you can verify that you have received the bonuses and see other relevant details such as expiration dates and redemption point requirements.
Check out PokerStars PA in action
Players at PokerStars PA have a wide variety of tournaments to choose from, with all the popular tournament formats on offer including MTTs (Multi-Table Tournaments) and SNGs (Sit N Go Tournaments).
Due to what is believed to be regulatory reasons, the relatively new and immensely popular Spin & Gos (Jackpot Tournaments) are not available in Pennsylvania at this time.
MTTs (Multi-Table Tournaments)
Running day and night, PokerStars PA has a full slate of Multi-Table Tournaments available in a wide range of buy-ins and in a variety of different poker games including:
- 5-Card Draw
- Mixed Games
PokerStars PA also has a full schedule of Sunday Majors with some of the biggest guaranteed prize pools of the week.
PokerStars PA also runs a number of Tournament Series with big guarantees throughout the year. These high-profile series regularly guarantee $1 million or more in prize money and typically come with the opportunity for players to win their way into tournaments with bug guaranteed payouts.
Since dealing the first hands of legal regulated online poker in the state, PokerStars PA has run such series as PACOOP (Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker), PASCOOP (Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker), Bounty Builder Series, Winter Series, Summer Series, and more.
SNGs (Sit N Go Tournaments)
Players looking for the tournament series without devoting large chunks of time to playing will enjoy the SNGs on offer at PokerStars PA. These single table tournaments are available in both No Limit Hold’em (NLHE) and Pot Limit Omaha (PLO).
There is also a choice of a 6-handed tournaments played at Turbo speed and heads up tournaments played at Hyper-Turbo speed.
The highly popular No Limit Hold’em is available at 6- and 9-handed tables with stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 at the micro-stakes tables all the way up to $25/$50 at the high-stakes tables.
PokerStars PA also spreads other popular poker variants including:
- Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)
- PL Omaha H/L
- Limit Omaha H/L
- PL 5 Card Omaha
- Limit Stud
- Limit Stud H/L
- Limit Razz
- PL 2- 7 Triple Draw
- Limit 2- 7 Triple Draw
- 8 Game
It is easy to find action at the NLHE and PLO tables most every time of the day and night, but if you are looking to play some of the other less popular variants, your best chance of finding a game is to visit the room at night and on weekends, as these are the times when the card room sees the most traffic.
That is not to say that you can’t find action at other games during off hours, but be prepared to play short-handed or potentially sit wait for opponents.
PokerStars PA offers a personalized rewards system called Stars Rewards that provides extra value to players as they play real money games in the poker room as well as PokerStars Casino and at the FOX Bet sportsbook.
As with any rewards or loyalty scheme, it is important to understand how the system works in order to maximize your potential value.
Because Stars Rewards is personalized to reward each player based on the games they play, the types and amounts of the rewards received will vary player to player, but read on to find out how the system works.
- All of the information about your rewards can be found in the My Stars area of the PokerStars PA lobby
- Players earn Reward Points for real money play across all verticals (poker, casino, and sports)
- Each Reward Point advances a player’s Progress Bar
- When a Progress Bar is completed, the player will be awarded a Chest which contains prizes such as StarsCoin (the Stars Rewards currency) and Free Play
- StarsCoin can be redeemed at the Rewards Store for PokerStars merchandise, electronics, tournament tickets and even cash!
The rate at which you earn Reward Points depends on a number of factors including your frequency of play, game type and your net deposits.
As a general guide, PokerStars provides the following guidelines for earing Reward Point at each vertical:
- Poker – 100 Reward Points earned for each $1 paid in rake and tournament fees
- Casino – Reward Points earned at the casino vary greatly with multiple rates applied within each grouping of games (slots, table games and video poker). It is best to refer to documentation provided by PokerStars Casino to determine how many Reward Points you will earn at your favorite casino games.
- Sports – Single bets provide 1.7 Reward Points for each $1 wagered. Multiple bets will get you $.7 Reward Points for each $1 wagered.
After you earn enough Reward Points to complete your Progress Bar, you will be awarded a Chest which contains a reward in the form of tournament tickets, promotional items and StarsCoin.
There are six types of Chests. The higher the level, the greater the value of the rewards it contains. The following is a list of the different types of Chests and the range of rewards they contain:
- Level 1: Blue Chest – $0.25 to $5
- Level 2: Bronze Chest – $0.60 to $12
- Level 3: Silver Chest – $1.50 to $30
- Level 4: Gold Chest – $5 to $100
- Level 5: Diamond Chest – $12.50 to $250
- Level 6: Black Chest – $35 to $700
Chests can be opened at any time after they are earned, but unopened Chests expire after three calendar months and can no longer be opened and your reward will be lost.
The quality of the online poker software will have a direct impact on the enjoyment derived from the game. Luckily, PokerStars has brought its global world-class software to Pennsylvania including its desktop and mobile clients.
In our experience, the three top-level factors to consider when evaluating the quality of online poker software are functionality, reliability, and appearance. Below is our evaluation of those major factors.
It may seem simple, but the ability to run the software on your chosen devices should be a primary consideration when choosing an online poker room. In that regard, PokerStars does not disappoint as it has versions of its software for Windows and Mac computers as well as Android and iOS mobile devices.
The design of the tables, lobby, user interface and mobile software also adds to the functionality, with easy to read text and graphics, easily clickable buttons, resizable tables, customizable controls and many more functionality features that make the PokerStars software one of the best in the business.
Reliability is not a factor to be taken lightly when it comes to online poker. Unstable poker software that freezes, crashes, or fails to connect to the gaming servers often can cost you a lot of money.
Fortunately, the PokerStars software has been around nearly 20 years and the company has continually invested in improvements. Through those improvements, PokerStars has maintained the stability of its software.
As with any online service, there can be disruptions and disconnections from time to time, but those instances are rare. In addition, PokerStars has a well document disconnection policy that aims to treat players fairly in the event a disruption in service does happen.
The appearance of the PokerStars software was greatly enhanced with the rollout of the company’s new graphic engine Aurora which allows for enhanced animations and sound effects. It also allowed the company to offer additional software themes and an improved mobile experience.
PokerStars Pennsylvania Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Download The PokerStars PA Software?
Players can register and download the PokerStars PA software including the mobile apps (both Android and iOS) from the PokerStars PA website. Be sure to check for the bonus code below before you sign up to make sure you claim your Welcome Bonus.
What Signup Bonuses and Promotions Are Available at PokerStars PA?
Players that create a new PokerStars PA account can choose from the following two Welcome Bonuses:
- A first deposit bonus offer of $30 free play by using code “FREE30”
- A 100% first deposit bonus matching up to $600 using the bonus code “STARS600”
Check back soon for additional promotional offers, or as PokerStars puts it, “Watch this space for live and online tournament updates, and for a complete online gaming experience unique to Pennsylvania.”
What Promotions Are Available at PokerStars PA?
In addition to the Welcome Bonuses, PokerStars PA also regularly offers other promotions and bonuses for its players. You can find details about the latest promotions on our PokerStars PA Bonus Code and Promotions FAQ page.
Can You Play Online Poker in Pennsylvania?
Is PokerStars PA Legit?
100%. PokerStars PA is fully legal and regulated, and it is one of the most legitimate online gaming sites a player can play on.
PokerStars PA has been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to offer online poker, casino games and sports betting to people that are in the state. It is a legal and fair site to play on so you can rest assured that your funds are safe, the games are fair and you are not breaking any laws by playing on their site.
How Can I Play Online Poker For Real Money in the USA?
Currently, Pennsylvania does not allow shared player pools, so you can only play with people who are within the state lines. PokerStars PA is currently the only site up and running within the state offering online poker.
Pennsylvania has around 12.8 million residents. New Jersey has around 9 million residents, Delaware under 1 million and Nevada has 2.9 million—so although players in Pennsylvania are essentially land locked, the state is far bigger than the others, allowing for more lucrative games.
Does Pennsylvania Have Online Gaming?
Yes! We are pleased to say Pennsylvania does offer online gaming. Since 2019 players in Pennsylvania looking to play online poker and online casino games such as slots and roulette have been able to do so. Pennsylvania also has online sports betting.
Players must be within the state lines of Pennsylvania in order to play, and there are plenty of sites to choose from, including PokerStars PA.
Where Can You Play PokerStars Online in the US?
If you are in the US, PokerStars currently offers online poker in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. US regulations are strict, so you must be physically in these states in order to be able to play on PokerStars NJ, PokerStars MI or PokerStars PA.
Are There Freerolls on PokerStars PA?
Monthly Stars Rewards freerolls are running on PokerStars PA that usually feature between a $2000 to $5000 prize pool. New deposit freerolls are also running for new depositors.
What Online Poker Sites Are Legal In Pennsylvania?
Currently your only option is to play on a fully legal, regulated and secure site is PokerStars PA. Running freerolls, cash games and tournament, there is something for everyone if you live in or are visiting Pennsylvania.
Roar Digital, the company that operates the partypoker US Network, BetMGM Poker, and Borgata Poker, has been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and is expected to be the next online poker room to launch in Pennsylvania. Currently, BetMGM is expected to go live in early Q2 2021.
888 is also approved by the PGCB, and according to Yaniv Sherman, SVP and Head of US at 888 Holdings, the company expects to provide the online poker software for its B2B partner Caesars Interactive to launch WSOP PA in time for the 2021 WSOP Summer festival.
How Can Out of State Players Set Up an Account on PokerStars PA?
You don’t need to jump through any additional hoops if you are from out of state looking to set up an account on PokerStars PA.
All you need is a US address and Social Security Number (SSN) to play for real money on PokerStars PA. Your SSN will only be used to verify your identity. Those people that do not have a SSN will only be allowed to participate in play money games.
To play on PokerStars PA, you must:
- Have a PokerStars PA account: you can sign up here
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be physically located within the state of Pennsylvania while playing
- Have a US address and Social Security Number
- Complete an electronic identity verification questionnaire to play for real money
Is PokerStars Fixed?
No! PokerStars is not rigged or fixed and they go to great lengths to ensure fair play at all their tables. PokerStars uses an independently verified Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure that its games are fair.
The RNG that PokerStars uses has been tested and certified by Gaming Labs International (GLI) to meet the highest gaming regulations and standards.
- The software does not determine who wins and who loses
- The cards are distributed in a purely random fashion
- The order of the cards is unpredictable
I Have An Existing PokerStars Account Which I Created Before Black Friday. Will I Be Able To Use That Account For PokerStars PA?
Players with existing PokerStars accounts registered on a different platform (.COM, .EU, .NJ for example) can use their existing credentials to login but they will be prompted to create a new PokerStars PA account.
I Have An Existing FOX Bets Account in PA. Do I need to create a separate PokerStars account?
No. If you already have a FOX Bets account, you can use that account to play on PokerStars PA. In addition, the funds you have on account at FOX Bet can be used at PokerStars as the sites share a common wallet.
Do I Have To Be Physically Located In Pennsylvania To Create A PokerStars PA Account?
Like in New Jersey and Michigan, to be able to participate in real money games, players must be physically located within the borders of the state offering the games.
In addition, you need a US address and Social Security Number (SSN) to play for real money on PokerStars PA. According to the FOX Bet/PokerStars PA website:
If you are visiting Pennsylvania and wish to play real money games on PokerStars PA, you have to register an account under our PA license and have a Social Security Number (SSN). The SSN is necessary to verify your account. If you don’t have a SSN, you can only enjoy Play Money games.
The following criteria must be met in order to play in the State of Pennsylvania:
* You must have a PA Stars account.
* You must be 21 years of age or older.
* You must be physically located within Pennsylvania.
* You must have a Social Security Number and US postal address.
* You must complete an electronic account verification (if you intend to play for real money).
Can I Make Real Money Transfers Between Players?
No, real money player-to-player transfers will not be allowed as per Pennsylvania gaming regulations.
When Did PokerStars Launch Online Poker in Pennsylvania?
PokerStars PA went live in a soft launch period on Monday, November 4 at 2pm and lasted until 10pm. During this soft launch, the online poker room underwent testing to ensure that player experience components of the software are properly functioning including geolocation services, payment processing, and responsible gaming measures.
The soft launch testing period continued on Tuesday, once again starting at 2pm, but the second day lasted until midnight.
The full launch of PokerStars PA took place on Wednesday November 6.
“Including today’s launch of our highly rated casino product, which is now available in the FOX Bet and PokerStars apps, we’re proud to say we’re currently the only online provider offering all three forms of regulated gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Primeaux added at the time.
Who is Eligible to Play at PokerStars PA?
What Cash Games Are Offered at PokerStars PA?
Without a doubt, No Limit Hold’em is the most widely available cash game spread on PokerStars PA, but there is also a wide selection of other games too.
You can find nearly all popular poker variants on the site including the following:
- Limit Hold’em
- Limit Omaha H/L
- Limit Stud
- Limit Stud H/L
- Limit 2- 7 Triple Draw
- Limit Razz
- Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)
- PL Omaha H/L
- PL 2- 7 Triple Draw
- PL 5 Card Omaha
- 8 Game
What Stakes Are Offered at PokerStars PA Cash Games?
PokerStars has a wide range of stakes and limits.
NLHE and PLO tables have stakes as low as $0.01/$0.02 and as high as $25/$50.
Limit Hold’em has tables with stakes as low as $0.10/$0.20 and ranging as high as $50/$100. Other variants (including 8 game which is a mix of Limit Games and NLHE and PLO ) start at low as $0.50/$1 and range as high as $100/$200.
Are Sit N’ Gos (SNGs) Available on PokerStars PA?
Yes, PokerStars spreads SNGs at both 6-max and heads-up tables with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $500.
No Limit Hold’em (NLHE) and Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) are the only variants available as SNGs, with all 6-max games offered as Turbos only and all heads-up games only available as Hyper Turbos.
Are Spin & Gos Available on PokerStars PA?
Currently, PokerStars’ Spins (three-handed Sit N Gos with a variable prize pool) are not available on PokerStars PA. It is expected that the popular poker format will be offered eventually, as it is available in other regulated markets.
Does PokerStars offer Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs)?
Yes, PokerStars has a full slate of poker tournaments for players in Pennsylvania. These games offer tremendous value to players as the larger population of Pennsylvania has allowed PokerStars to offer MTTs with lower buy-in than neighboring New Jersey and higher guaranteed prize pools.
In addition to MTTs that run daily with buy-ins starting at just $1, PokerStars has a full slate of Sunday Majors with guaranteed prize pools.
Is Zoom Offered in Pennsylvania?
PokerStars is not offering its fast-fold poker format Zoom in Pennsylvania. It is still unclear when the format will be made available. It is important to note that Zoom is also not available in New Jersey, but it may be introduced once the player pools of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan are combined.
Can Players at PokerStars PA Play with Players on PokerStars NJ?
Currently shared liquidity, the ability for players in different states to compete at the same cash games and in the same poker tournaments, is not authorized by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The recent resolution of the Wire Act case saw proponents of shared liquidity prevail and we expect gaming regulators in Pennsylvania and Michigan to join the Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) along with New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
Once that happens, PokerStars will be able to allow its players in Pennsylvania to compete against its players in other legal regulated states that have joined MSIGA.
Does PokerStars Run Online Poker Tournament Series in Pennsylvania?
Yes, PokerStars PA, has already run a host of big online poker tournament series in the state including both PACOOP (Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker) and PASCOOP, (Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker) and a host of others.
Most of the tournament series run by PokerStars in Pennsylvania offer total guarantees of at least $1 million.