|2999 Street Road|
Bensalem, PA 19024
From “racino” to casino, Parx has done it all for over 40 years
Parx is a modern day gambler’s paradise. It is enormous and glamorous and offers dozens of eateries and bars, a world-class concert venue, and a mammoth casino floor that offers live poker, slots, video poker, table games, and horse racing. The only slight drawback of the property is the lack of an on-site hotel. Parx makes up for this lack by offering special discount rates with nearby hotels.
The property wasn’t always this diverse and ambitious. Parx began it’s gaming history in 1974 as a “racino” called Keystone Racetrack. This new venue replaced Liberty Bell Park as the premier thoroughbred racetrack in the Philadelphia area. In 1984 new ownership brought a new name and the property continued as Philadelphia Park. In 2006, several changes in ownership later, the property received a broader casino license and in 2009 changed names again to Parx Casino. In 2010, Vegas-style table gaming was added to all Pennsylvania casino licenses and Parx added a second building called Parx East to handle the increased business.
It’s quite an impressive arc and the end result is also impressive. Parx Casino is majestic and expansive. In addition to the horse race betting of it’s origins, Parx has over 3300 slot machines, over 180 table games, and a beautiful 48 table poker room. The casino operators must’ve done a few things right. In 2016, Parx Casino won Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Award.
Parx Casino gaming
With all this space, glitz, glamour, and history, one would expect Parx Casino to have some impressive casino gaming offerings. And they do.
Let’s start with the ponies
Parx Casino was awarded Best Race/Sports Book in Pennsylvania by Casino Player Magazine for 2016 and 2017. During the racing season (February through December) you can bet on the ponies and watch them race live. During season, racing days are Saturday through Tuesday. In addition, Parx simulcasts races from across the country and takes bets on each and every one. At Parx, horse betting season is year round.
Lots and lots of slots
Parx Casino’s massive casino floor is home to over 3300 slot machines. Low stakes players can enjoy the penny machines and high rollers can find machines as high as $100 a spin. Many of these can be found in their high-limit section called Xclusive. This enclave features premium beverage service, a private cashier, and a 24/7 casino host.
All the latest slot machines are available at Parx with some of the most popular being:
- The Simpsons
- Willy Wonka
- The Walking Dead
- The Goonies
- Michael Jackson
- Cherry Mischief
- Black Widow
Video Poker, anyone?
Parx has less video poker offerings than it does slot machines, but there are still several to choose from. The most common video poker machine on the floor is the Game King multi-game variety which offers most of the standard versions.
Additionally, Parx offers the following video poker machines in its high-limit section:
|Game (number of machines)||Denomination(s)||Number of playable lines||Percentage Hold (with optimal play)||Paytable
|Double Double Bonus||$5, $10||Single-line||98.98 DDB||1-1-3-4-6-9-50-80-160-160-400-50-800
|"LV Airport/Illinois Deuces Wild 44"||$5, $10|
|Jacks or Better Super Triple Play||$1||Single-line||98.85%||1-2-3-4-5-11-100-60-800
Let’s hit the pit – bring on the table games!
Parx has over 180 tables games with many different games to choose from. Additionally, as with the slots and video poker sections, Parx has separated their casino into smoking and non-smoking sections. This is a nice (and considerate) touch, but some patrons say it is less effective than it could be, as smoke sometimes drifts from one section to the other.
Table game limits vary for low and high stakes players, but since the weekends get so busy, Parx increases the limits and it’s not uncommon to be unable to find a blackjack game for less than $25/hand. This is less of a problem during the weekdays.
Parx Casino’s table game selection is:
- Casino War
- Let It Ride
- Sic Bo
- Big Six Wheel
- Baccarat (mini and midi)
- Pai Gow Tiles
- Spanish 21
- Pai Gow Poker
- Three Card Poker
- Four Card Poker
Table games with an electronic twist – and Shaq!
Stadium seating gaming is all the rage these days and Parx Casino isn’t ignoring the modern gaming customer’s wishes. Parx offers stadium seating hybrid games for blackjack and roulette – with some sections allowing players to bet on up to four games at once!
For those unfamiliar, stadium games feature a live table game dealer (or more than one) with players seated at an electronic terminal nearby. The deal can be watched live or on a screen. The dealer pauses before each hand a few seconds for players to make their bets and then deals. The results appear instantly on the player’s terminal. Cashing in and out functions just like any other slot or video poker machine.
In an interesting twist, unlike traditional table games, with stadium seating, each player’s result is independent of other player’s actions. No more swearing at the guy on 3rd base for “taking” the dealer’s bust card!
Parx also features a massive version of stadium seating blackjack called “Shaq Jack” that offers special side-bets based on the popular basketball star. It is very popular and has to be seen to be believed.
Kickbacks, perks, and other benefits – the Xclub player rewards system
Parx Casino offers a card-based player rewards program called Xclub. It is free to join and players can sign up in person at the casino or online. New members get $10 free play just for signing up.
Xclub members (with their card inserted into the machine while playing) earn points (credits) while they play. Slot machine play earns one credit for every $20 wagered. Video poker play earns one credit for every $60 wagered. These credits can be used as comp dollars at casino restaurants, bars and shops. Comp dollars must be used quickly though – they expire after 90 days.
Slot players receive another bonus feature in the Xclub system. As long as they earn at least 10 credits in any one gaming day, they begin to earn Xtra play. The more you play the more you earn with this feature. Xtra play appears on the players Xclub card at 9am the following day and must be used before it expires in 45 days.
The Xclub is a 3-tiered rewards program. Your tier level is determined by the amount of credits earned in the current 6-month period. Free play and Xtra play don’t count towards earned credits. There are three tiers:
- Player’s: 999 credits or less
- Premium: 1000-7,499 credits
- Elite: 7,500 credits or more
All Xclub card members receive the following perks:
- free play, food and beverage, match play, sweepstakes, and other offers
- Access to current promotions
- Complimentary beverage service on the casino floor
- Birthday offers
- Discounts on purchases and services offered by Parx Casino’s community partners (hotels, etc)
Premium card members receive all the benefits above as well as:
- Free valet service
- Complimentary top shelf beverage service on the casino floor
- Exclusive invitations
- No cover charge at 360 (a live-music nightclub)
Elite card members receive all the benefits of the previous tiers plus:
- Gift pickup offers
- Priority lines for the Xclub, cashier, and valet
- Priority restaurant reservations
- Private gated parking
Let’s play poker!
Parx Casino’s poker room is huge and well appointed. It has 48 tables, 22 televisions, a 3-table high limit section and table-side food and beverage service available 24 hours a day. Many consider this poker room the finest in Pennsylvania and the room has received awards saying precisely this from Casino Player Magazine for the years 2014, 2016, and 2017.
Tournaments are offered daily and weekly and range in price from $65+15 to $300+40 (buy-in+fee). In addition, the room runs it’s own tournament series’ as well as playing host to other major poker tournament series’ that tour the country.
The poker room runs several player promotions, including periodic high hand give-aways, cash drawings, and a bad-beat jackpot.
Parx Casino poker room offers a wide variety of games and a wide range of betting limits:
No Limit Texas Hold’em
- 4/8 blinds
- 6/12 blinds
- 15/30 blinds
- 40/80 blinds
- 75/150 blinds
- 150/300 blinds
Pot Limit Omaha (high)
- 2/2 blinds ($100-500 buy-in)
- 5/5 blinds ($500-2000 buy-in)
- 10/10 blinds ($1000-4000 buy-in)
- $10/25 blinds ($1000-no max buy-in)
- 25/25 blinds ($2000-no max buy-in)
- 50/50 blinds ($2500-no max buy-in)
- 100/100 blinds ($6000-no max buy-in)
- 6/12 O/E
- 10/20 BigO/Super Stud
- 15/30 O/E
- 15/30 Mix
- 40/80 Mix
- 75/150 HOE
- 150/300 Mix
- 200/400 Mix
- 300/600 Mix
Players can find out which games are currently going at Parx Casino’s poker room here. For information about upcoming tournaments and general poker related news and events, visit the poker room blog.
Currently, Parx Casino only operates a social gaming platform run by tech gaming partner GAN. Players can sign up and play their favorite slots, video poker, keno, and table games for play money. New players get 5,000 virtual credits for signing up and can purchase more if they run out. It’s all for fun, though. No matter how many virtual credits you win, you can never cash out real money.
Parx Casino has yet to officially enter Pennsylvania’s nascent online gaming market, but it is clear that they will do so as soon as they are able. They have already applied for the state’s $10 million license allowing casinos to offer online table games, slots, and peer-to-peer gaming (geek-speak for online poker). Once they are ready to go live, it is expected that it will be GAN operating their online slots and table game offerings. It is unknown at this time how Parx will choose to handle the use of their online poker gaming privileges.
For those Pennsylvanian’s who are eager to try online gaming without having to wait, why not give the Pennsylvania online lottery a try? It’s quick, easy, and fun to play. It’s completely legal and you can win real money. Even better, new players receive $5 free to play when they sign up.
Dining options at Parx Casino
After ranging the expansive casino floor and gambling to your hearts content, you may have worked up an appetite. Parx has several options for you from fine dining to quick bites and everything in-between.
- Parxgrill – An award-winning upscale signature steakhouse featuring classic cuisine along-side seasonal specialties from the chef.
- Liberty Bell Gastropub – A farm-to-fork inspired menu featuring burgers and comfort foods made from locally sourced ingredients including grass-fed Pennsylvania beef, Pennsylvania premium reserve pork, free range chicken, and locally grown produce.
- Oliveto – New York style pizza and classic Italian recipies served with handcrafted cocktails and premium Italian wines.
- Bambu Noodle House – Asian favorites designed by Chef Joe Zhou featuring dumpling dishes, noodle soups, wok favorites and more.
- The Lucky Cheese – Gourmet grilled cheeses, freshly made paninis, soups, salads, and sides.
- Xlounge – A high-end lounge featuring craft beers, premium cocktails, and 8 different wine flights alongside a high-end dining menu.
- Chickie’s & Pete’s – A Philly favorite voted America’s #1 sports bar.
- Earl of Sandwich – A nationwide chain famous for it’s delicious sandwiches.
- Foodies– Quality, freshness, and the finest ingredients served on the go 24/7.
- Paddock Grill (in Parx East) – An eatery featuring quick-stop or table service as you please. Features views of the racetrack.
- Sang Kee Noodle House (in Parx East) – A classic noodle bar available for lunch and dinner.
Nightlife and entertainment
For bars and lounges and general adult fun, Parx has more to offer than just Xlounge and Chickie & Pete’s mentioned above.
- 360 – Heralded as the areas best live music venue, 360 boasts great drink specials and an LED-lit glass dance floor.
- Jax – Parx Casino’s premier sports bar.
- Xcite Center – Parx Casino’s large concert venue featuring a wide variety of big-name entertainers.
Hey, where’s the hotel?
Ok, so you’ve gambled, you’ve eaten, you’ve had a refreshing drink. Now where are you going to sleep if you don’t want to (or can’t) drive home? Parx Casino has no hotel on site so they have thoughtfully partnered with several nearby hotels to provide discounted lodging options for their guests. Simply being a member of the Xclub (make sure to have your card with you) entitles you to discounted room rates at the following hotels:
Raddison Hotel Northeast Philadelphia
Best Western Plus
CourtYard Marriot – Bensalem
Extended Stay America