PokerStars PA is Pennsylvania’s first legal, regulated online poker site.
The name PokerStars is synonymous with safe, secure online poker, so it is no surprise that they were the first to receive official approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to go live for real money online poker in PA.
The global poker giant has partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort to bring not just poker, but casino and sports betting online.
PokerStars PA offers a great variety of options for tournament players, with a rich daily and weekly schedule of events, as well as regular major series like PACOOP.
Cash game players will find the larges variety of options. The poker site features stakes starting as low as $0.01/$0.02 and going all the way up to $25/$50. The selection of variations is just as wide, with Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Badugi, Mixed Games, and more.
Add to this a great range of banking options and super-fast withdrawals, especially when using e-wallets like PayPal, and it is clear that PokerStars PA will remain one of the market leaders and that the competition has a lot of catching up to do.
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.
Until May of 2021, PokerStars PA was the only regulated online poker site in Pennsylvania. However, two of the three brands powered by the partypoker US Network, Borgata Poker PA and BetMGM Poker PA have joined the state’s regulated market as well. Then WSOP PA joined the frey as well, launching in the state with their brand new software.
PokerStars became the first operator offering online poker in Pennsylvania when it soft-launched on the afternoon of Monday, November 4. After live-testing some of the consumer-facing components of the software for eight hours on the first day and 10 hours the next day, PokerStars PA went fully live on Wednesday November 6.
All 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 site launch would happen in 2020 went unfulfilled, all indications now point to a Q2 2021 launch.
As for PokerStars PA, the room features several strong aspects that will help keep her at the top of the food chain even when new operators enter the market.
The first and the most obvious one is the operator’s ability to host large tournaments. With series such as PACOOP, PASCOOP, and a variety of daily and weekly tournaments with large guaranteed prize pools, PokerStars will remain the place to go for tournament players, and others will have quite a bit of catching up to do.
If you are a cash game player, no other operator offers the kind of diversity found at PokerStars. On top of traditional options, i.e. Hold’em and Omaha, PSPA features stud tables, 5-Card Draw, and even Badugi. There are also mixed games for the more experienced ones, so the room covers a wide array of options.
The PokerStars software still remains the best in the industry as well. Other stakeholders have made some significant improvements in this area as of late, but they still have some work to do. GGPoker has probably come the closest in this regard, but they are also the one operator whose launch in PA is still under a fairly big question mark.
In this PokerStars PA review, you will find all the information you need to make up your mind and decide whether you want to play here. We cover all important aspects, such as bonuses, rewards, deposits, withdrawals, game selection, and much more, and we will try to update the review regularly as things change or new features are introduced.
|PokerStars PA: Key Facts|
|Freeplay bonus||$50 in freeplay after playing one cash hand|
|Deposit match bonus||100% up to $600 with code STARS600|
|Apps||Windows, Mac, iOS and Android|
|Main highlight||Leading poker operator in PA|
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.
Players new to PokerStars PA looking to boost their bankrolls will probably appreciate the operator’s revamped bonus offer. Instead of $30, newcomers can now get $50 worth of free play funds.
There is no minimum deposit requirement attached to this welcome offer, either. To claim it, players just need to follow a simple procedure:
This will trigger the bonus, which is issued in the form of Spin & Go and MTT tickets. Tickets are found inside rewards Chests, which will appear in the player’s account as follows:
All resulting winnings from Spin & Goes and MTTs go straight into the player’s cash balance without any further wagering requirements. Players are free to cash out the winnings, use them to enter other tournaments, or play at cash tables.
One important rule concerning the PokerStars PA $50 free offer is that it must be claimed and activated within first five days from opening the account with the operator. Once this period passes, the offer will no longer be available, but everyone can still take advantage of the generous first deposit bonus.
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.
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.
PokerStars PA has done a good job with their promotions’ section, creating an environment that is both engaging and rewarding, adding to the overall gaming experience.
Players can find a variety of promos through the “Challenges“ section of the software. Here, you will find all sorts of tasks you need to complete to receive extra rewards. To get involved, you will need to manually confirm your participation, so that is an important bit to keep in mind.
The best way not to miss out is to regularly check out what challenges are available and get involved with any that seem interesting and/or doable. There is no downside to doing this as if you do not complete a challenge, you just will not get the reward.
For MTT players, PokerStars PA also hosts monthly tournament competitions. There is $7500 worth of prizes up for grabs, distributed to top 60 finishers on the leaderboard. To earn TLB points, you need to finish in the top 15% of a multi-table tournament, with top 20 results during the month counting towards your final placement.
When it comes to deposits and withdrawals, Pennsylvania players should have no problems whatsoever when playing at PokerStars.
The operator offers plenty of options to get money into your PS account and withdraw your winnings when the time comes. Here is an overview of the currently supported PSPA banking options:
|Instant Bank Transfers||Yes||No|
As you would expects, withdrawals from PokerStars PA tend to be very quick. For example, withdrawing money to your PayPal account will usually only take about one hour, provided that you have completed the verification process already.
More traditional methods, such as wire transfers, can take longer. If you withdraw fund to your bank, expect to receive the money within a few working days.
PokerStars PA offers a personalized rewards system called Stars Rewards that provides extra value to players as they play real money games on the poker site as well as Stars 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.
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 earning Reward Point at each vertical:
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:
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.
PokerStars is known the world over for hosting the best online poker tournaments and its poker site in Pennsylvania upholds that reputation.
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.
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:
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 big 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.
Always looking to add more to their already overflowing tournament schedule, PokerStars USA launched a brand new Summer Stacks Series across all three regulated sites in June.
In Pennsylvania, the Series featured 100 tournaments spanning across two weeks, with all buy-ins being $100 or less. Despite of this, the overall guaranteed prize pool for the entire Series was $1,045,000.
The $100 Main Event was the pinnacle of the Series, with the guarantee of $100,000. This guarantee was easily shattered, as the final number of entries was 1443, generating the prize pool of $132,467.
Overall, the Summer Stacks Series was a success for PokerStars PA, with the majority of the big tournaments hitting their guarantees.
In September, PokerStars launched their flagship Championship of Online Poker series across their sites, and the PA market was no exception.
In fact, with $2,000,000 guaranteed across 69 events, this was set to be the largest tournament series held in the state to date. On top of big cash prizes for the winners, there were also trophies to be won, and much more.
The series turned out to be a great success, drawing in more than 25,500 entries over the course of 69 events of varying buy-ins, starting as low as $10 and going all the way up to $1000.
Most tournaments easily met the guarantees, and some have even exceeded quite comfortably. Only six events failed to meet the guarantee.
The $300 Main Event attracted 851 entries, bringing the prize pool to $238,280, crushing the $200K guarantee. The eventual winner took home $36,400 for their efforts.
In total, 2021 PACOOP awarded just shy of $2.4 million in prize money.
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.
PokerStars’ popular jackpot sit and go tournaments are available in Pennsylvania. Players can compete in Spin & Go’s across different levels, starting from just $1 and going up to $25.
Each Spin & Go is played in three-handed and it kicks off as soon as the required number of players has registered. Before the start, the random prize multiplier is assigned to the tournament, starting at 2x the buy-in, but reaching as high as 1000x the buy-in.
In most cases, only the winner gets paid. However, if you trigger one of the highest three multipliers, i.e. 1000x, 160x, or 80x, you will be guaranteed a payout as the second and third place finisher will also receive consolation prizes.
If you are interested how the odds of triggering particular multipliers stack up, check out the table below:
|First Prize Multiplier||Odds of Triggering|
|1000x||1 in 100,000 (0.001%)|
|160x||4 in 100,000 (0.004%)|
|80x||8 in 100,000 (0.008%)|
|20x||100 in 100,000 (0.1%)|
|8x||1000 in 100,000 (1%)|
|5x||8000 in 100,000 (8%)|
|3X||41,926 of 100,000 (41.93%)|
|2x||48,961 of 100,000 (48.96%)|
No other online poker operator in the US offers a wider variety of cash games than PokerStars
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:
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 poker site 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 is the absolute leader in terms of player traffic in Pennsylvania. In October 2021, the operator had four times the traffic of the other two leading operators (BetMGM Poker PA and WSOP PA) combined.
PokerStars PA regularly hits over 200 concurrent users on the platform, while the other two operators struggle to go over 50 at any given time.
These numbers make PokerStars Pennsylvania the largest online poker operator in the United States as well, with the only real competitor being WSOP USA, a combined network of sites comprised of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware markets.
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 site. 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.
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.
While there may be other URLs that may eventually redirect users to the proper location to download the PokerStars PA client, the software including mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices is available at pokerstarsmtairycasino.com. Although a shorter URL might have been easier to remember, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulations require that the land-based casino partner’s name be included in the URL.
Once downloaded, the PokerStars software installs pretty easily. For most users, it is not necessary to change any of the default configurations. Simply check the box to indicate you agree to the PokerStars PA End User License Agreement, and click on the green Install button.
After the software has been successfully installed, players will be prompted to register a screen name and new account if they do not already have one. If you have a FOX Bet Pennsylvania account, simply use those credentials to login.
There are two Welcome Bonus codes available for PokerStars PA, one that will get you $30 in free play and the other is a first-deposit match bonus.
Please note that if you have already made a deposit on FOX Bet, you will not be eligible for these bonuses.
The $50 FREE PLAY bonus from PokerStars PA can be claimed as follows:
Now, all you have to do is play one hand at cash tables. As soon as you do, you will receive the $50 FREE PLAY package. The offer does not require any deposit, but you will need enough funds in your account to be able to join a cash game.
This offer extends to your first three deposits on the site in the first 60 days up to $600 as long as you use the bonus code on each deposit and do not make withdrawal before completing three deposits. If you do withdraw, you will keep the bonuses assigned but future deposits will not be eligible for the match bonus.
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.
Yes you can! If you live within the state of Pennsylvania or are visiting, you are able to play online poker!
PokerStars, the biggest online poker operator in the world, has a fully legal and regulated site. PokerStars PA is a safe and secure place to play online poker in Pennsylvania.
As of May of 2021, you can also play online poker at two other poker rooms, BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA. These two poker sites are both hosted on the partypoker US Network, which means they share player pools within the state.
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.
Online poker operators in the state of New Jersey are allowed to let people in Delaware and Nevada play at the same tables and in the same tournaments as the people in New Jersey.
Currently, Pennsylvania does not allow shared player pools, so you can only play with people who are within the state lines. PokerStars PA, Borgata Poker PA, and BetMGM Poker Pa are the three operators currently offering online poker in Keystone State.
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.
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, BetMGM PA, and Borgata PA.
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.
Monthly Stars Rewards freerolls on PokerStars PA usually feature between a $2000 and $5000 prize pool. New deposit freerolls are also available for new depositors.
PokerStars was the first operator to go live in Keystone State. However, they got some competition in the form of BetMGM and Borgata Poker, two sites on the partypoker US Network that went fully live in early May of 2021.
More operators will likely join the PA regulated market in the near future as well.
888 is fully 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.
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:
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.
PokerStars online poker software has been tested to ensure:
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.
No. If you already have a FOX Bet 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.
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).
No, real money player-to-player transfers are not allowed as per Pennsylvania gaming regulations.
PokerStars PA went live in a soft launch period on Monday, November 4 at 2pm and the test phase 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.
“We’re excited to launch PokerStars as the first and currently the only online poker option available to players in Pennsylvania,” said Matt Primeaux, then President of FOX Bet in a press release.
“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.
People at least 21 years of age or older that are physically located within the borders of Pennsylvania are eligible to play online poker for real money at PokerStars Pennsylvania.
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:
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.
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.
PokerStars’ Spins (three-handed Sit N Gos with a variable prize pool) are now available on PokerStars PA. Buy-ins range from $1 to $25, and players can compete for random prizes, ranging from 2x all the way up to 1000x the buy-in.
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.
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.
Currently, shared liquidity, i.e. 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.
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. In fact, the PACOOP 2021 featured the astounding $2,000,000 in guaranteed prizes and was the most ambitious series in the state to date.
In addition, PokerStars usually has special promotions that accompany these big online poker tournament series, further increasing the draw for players.
PokerStars USA schedules its first tournament series in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey in 2022.
While the rewards system, with fixed monthly rakeback up to 65%, has been revamped globally, the PokerStars USA ecosystem has yet to see the change.
Exclusive events and giveaways are running all through December across all three PokerStars’ US online poker rooms.
While the overall Pennsylvania online poker market dropped a bit from September, October was significantly up over 2020 numbers, with PokerStars PA still the clear market leader.
The operator’s first US series since September will run in PA, NJ, and MI.
PokerStars Pennsylvania increased its revenue over August, but the PA online poker market as a whole was down by 8.5%.
$350,000 worth of treats on offer at the fifth edition of Pennsyl-MANIA, PokerStars PA’s pre-Halloween celebration.
PokerStars PA is not just a giant in the Pennsylvania market, but still leads cash game traffic nationally.
PokerStars is running its Half Price Sunday promotion today in PA, MI, and NJ, with all Sunday Major buyins cut in half on Sunday.
The operator saw a massive surge in traffic during the bracelet series, tripling its gross revenue for the month of August.