Pennsylvania’s online poker players have reason to be optimistic these days. PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site went live in PA on November 2019. They also launched online casino gaming and online sports betting with poker.
PokerStars is the only online poker room right now in the state, and since going live has exceeded expectations with hundreds of real money cash games tournament guarantees up to $30,000. Players can either download PokerStars to their computer or via an app on Android and iOs.
New to PokerStars PA? You can take your pick of a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus or a $30 PokerStars Free Play offer, which includes a mix of cash and tournament tickets.
|PokerStars PA Bonuses FAQ|
|PA PokerStars Deposit Bonus||100% up to $600|
|PA PokerStars Deposit Bonus Code||STARS600|
|PA PokerStars Free Play||$30|
|PA PokerStars Free Play Bonus Code||FREE30|
|Last Verified||February 7th, 2020|
In this review, we take a peek of what PokerStars PA is like and what you should know before playing on PokerStars.
Get a PokerStars PA bonus
To reward you for signing up and depositing at PokerStars PA, you are giving the choice of one of two attractive bonuses, which will essentially pay you for trying PokerStars out. The two bonuses are quite different, a 100% up to $600 and a $30 free play bonus. We’ll break down the differences of each of the bonuses and how to take enroll in the bonuses.
PokerStars 100% up to $600 bonus – PokerStars PA Promo Code STARS600
This bonus is for players who have more than $50 to deposit and want a bonus that will last awhile they play and grind away on PokerStars. If you want to get the largest bonus possible and can put in the hands, this is an excellent choice, paying the equivalent of 35% cashback.
You start out initiating the bonus by making a first deposit and using PokerStars PA Bonus Code STARS600 with PokerStars matching your deposit 100% up to $600. If you deposit $100, you will get a $100 bonus. If you deposit $500, you will get $500. Make a deposit of $700 and you will receive a $600 bonus. If you don’t have enough to deposit the first time, PokerStars will allow you make a total of three deposits within the first 60 days.
After making the deposit, you will need to earn PokerStars PA Redemption Points at a rate of 140 points per $10 of bonus redeemed, meaning you don’t have to clear the entire bonus to still be rewarded or make the bonus worthwhile. You will also have a relatively generous 120 days to meet the terms before the bonus finally expires.
What are PokerStars PA Redemption Points?
Redemption Points are earned at a different rate than Reward Points. Players earn Redemption Points at a rate of 5 Redemption Points for every $1 in rake and tournament fees generated.
PokerStars $30 Free Play Bonus – PokerStars PA Promo Code FREE30
If you don’t really want to make a large deposit on PokerStars and consider yourself a player who likes to play micro-stakes or tournaments, you should give the $30 Free Play bonus a look. You still need to make a minimum deposit of $20, but you will get $30 of rewards that you can use across the site.
Start off this bonus by depositing with PokerStars PAbonus code FREE30 on your first deposit. You will receive $10 free within the first 36 hours of registration. Another $10 will be rewarded after your first deposit + $10 in tournament tickets. They will be allocated as three $1 tickets, one $2 tickets and $5 tournament ticket within the first three days of your first deposit.
Getting started on PokerStars and who can play
PokerStars is currently available in two states, PA and NJ. In order to play on PokerStars PA, you must be at least 21 years of age and physically located in the state while you play. With PokerStars, like all online gambling sites that are licensed in the United States, you need to abide by these rules to play. PokerStars PA uses geolocation tools and verifies your identity to ensure that you are legally able to play.
Assuming you meet these requirements, you can get started on PokerStars PA by following these steps:
- Go to the PokerStars PA website to register an account
- Sign up to PokerStars PA by filling out your personal details
- Download the PokerStars PA app (mobile devices) or download the client from the PokerStars PA website (computers)
- If you want to play the real money games, make a deposit (don’t forget to enter in a bonus code!)
Download the PokerStars PA app and download
To play PokerStars PA on a Windows or Mac computer, you will need to download the client from the PokerStars PA website. From there you can install the program to get the full PokerStars experience.
If you are like a growing number of poker players that also enjoy playing poker while on the go, you will also likely want to download the PokerStars PA to your phone or tablet. The process for downloading the app to your device will depend on what device you are using.
Want to download the PokerStars PA iOS App?
Good news, the PokerStars PA App is available via a link from the PokerStars PA website on a mobile device or directly from the Apple iOS Store. Download the app just as you would any other app and then log-in to your account to play.
Want to download the PokerStars PA Android App?
Things are done a bit differently on the PokerStars Android App. Poker players will not be able to download the app from the Google Play Store due to restrictions on real money apps. Instead, you will be required to download the app directly from the PokerStars PA website. You will first need to allow downloads from external sources in your settings, but after doing so you will be able to download the app to your device.
Opt-in to StarsRewards VIP Program
The PokerStars PA Stars Rewards program has changed drastically in recent years as the online poker room puts an increased focused on poker ecology and recreational players.
The new program works like this:
As you play on real money tables and tournaments, you will earn Reward Points. Those Reward Points are accumulated towards Chests. When you get enough Rewards Points, you will be able to open those Chests to reveal a randomized prize, which has a range that is based on your Chest Status Level according to the chart below:
|PA PokerStars Rewards Chest Level||Range Of Rewards||Average Reward|
|Blue Chest||$0.25 to $5||$0.50|
|Bronze Chest||$0.60 to $12||$1.20|
|Silver Chest||$1.50 to $30||$3.00|
|Gold Chest||$5 to $100||$10.00|
|Diamond Chest||$12.50 to $250||$25.00|
|Black Chest||$35 to $700||$70.00|
How do I earn PokerStars PA Rewards Points?
In short, you will earn PokerStars PA Rewards Points at a rate of 100 per $1 of rake accumulated at real money cash game tables. At tournaments and sit and gos, you will earn 45 points of every $1 in fees.
PokerStars PA tournaments
PokerStars.com is famous for its massive tournament prize pools. PokerStars PA obviously wasn’t been able to match these huge numbers, due to a much smaller pool of players, but they are still offering dozens of offering daily and weekly tournaments as a featured aspect of the site.
The extremely popular PokerStars Sunday Million won’t be available in PA but players can still find fairly large Sunday tournament guarantees including Sunday Major events that can guarantee up to $50,000 with weekday tournaments up to $20,000.
In the early days and weeks of the PokerStars PA launch, we saw larger guarantees as the new site looked to make a big splash in this new market. It’s also worth considering that Pennsylvania’s population is larger than that of New Jersey and with growth continuing those numbers will only get bigger. After maturation of the local state market (ignoring player pool merge considerations), it figures to be larger and have larger prize pools than neighboring New Jersey.
PokerStars PA has also offered a localized version of its popular online tournament series’ such as the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). In late 2019, PokerStars debuted the first-ever PACOOP, generating over $1.5 million in prizes pools.
Pennsylvania’s PokerStars players could easily see higher prize pools right out of the gate. And of course, as more states make agreements to share player pools, these numbers will grow and grow over time.
Depositing and withdrawing at PokerStars PA
As a fully licensed and regulated online poker room in PA, poker players on PokerStars can feel confident that they depositing their hard-earned money on a safe and secure poker room. Pennsylvania Gaming regulations state that an online poker room must fully segregate player funds from operational funds, which means there is always cash on hand to pay your withdrawals.
Deposits on PokerStars PA start at a minimum of $10 (although a minimum of $20 is required to earn the initial bonus) with maximums that should be enough for most players. If you want your limits increased, you can contact PokerStars customer support.
Players can deposit with the following methods, with most methods crediting your account in just a few minutes. Deposit options with “Fast Deposit” allow you to receive your money even faster.
|Visa or Mastercard||Yes||No|
With withdrawals, you will have fewer choices, but most players should have no issues finding a withdrawal method that works for them. Most players can expect to receive their withdrawals within 2-3 days. No fees are assessed by PokerStars but some payment processors may charge a small fee outside the transaction. Be sure to check the cashier for the latest information on available payment processors.
How to reach PokerStars PA customer service?
Got a question about PokerStars PA? Your first stop should be the PokerStars Help section, which can have useful general information on a variety of topics. If that’s not enough to answer your inquiry or you have a specific question on your account, you can reach customer service through three primary ways:
- Email support at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact form available through PokerStars PA website, can also request callback
- Live chat available 24/7 after logging in to your account.
A history of PokerStars
PokerStars opened its virtual cardroom in 2001 and is currently the largest online poker site in the world, having captured around two-thirds of the total online poker market. PokerStars rode the poker “boom” of 2003 along with other industry leaders such as Full Tilt Poker, Party Poker, and Ultimate Bet Poker.
PokerStars achieved the top spot in the US in 2006 when Party Poker (the front-runner at the time) suspended US operations in response to US government actions to crack down on the legal “gray area” of online gaming. For five more years, PokerStars ran the most popular and well-loved online poker site in the US before leaving the market in 2011.
How PokerStars found its way back
Recent changes in US and PA laws have made it possible for online gaming (including poker) to make a comeback. In Pennsylvania’s case, legislators have created online poker, online table games, online slots, and sports betting (including online sports-betting) licenses. These licenses are initially available to the states thirteen pre-existing land-based casinos but will be available to Qualified Gaming Entities (QGEs) for a limited time should the local casinos turn them down.
PokerStars isn’t on the list of QGEs that are applying for licenses (MGM and Golden Nugget are the only ones so far) but they have been allowed to the PA market anyway through a strategic alliance. In August 2018, Pennsylvania’s Mount Airy Resort Casino announced a partnership with The Stars Group (parent company of PokerStars) to handle their online gaming operations.
Mount Airy Casino was approved for licenses allowing them to operate online poker, online slots, online table games as well as a sports-betting license .
The Stars Group has partnering with Mount Airy Casino to run all of these new ventures, using Mount Airy as a gateway to access the vast Pennsylvania gambling market. It was earlier guessed that Mohegan Sun Pocano would serve this purpose. The Stars Group already has a relationship with Mohegan Sun through their sister company Resorts Casino Hotel in New Jersey where PokerStars first established a new foothold in the US in 2016.
The Stars Group – not just poker anymore
In the intervening eleven years since PokerStars was forced out of the US market, they have been growing and diversifying in the online gaming space. PokerStars is owned by The Stars Group (formerly known as Amaya Gaming) and they have expanded their focus to encompass the entirety of the gaming market.
|PokerStars PA in brief
|Pennsylvania Partner||Mount Airy||Approved August 2018|
|PokerStars PA Promo Code||Coming Soon||Check back here for savings when signing up & depositing
|Approved - Estimated launch early 2019||Poker Bonus (Likely): 100% up to $600|
PokerStars PA Casino
|Approved - Estimated launch early 2019||PokerStars Casino Bonus (Likely): 200% up to $400|
|Estimated Launch: Sometime in 2019||BetStars Bonus: $500 New Player Bonus|
PokerStars: The market leader in online poker
In terms of growth, as already mentioned PokerStars is the world’s leader in online poker holding a two-thirds share of the market. They have the largest tournaments, the largest player pool, and an enormous selection of poker variants to choose from. Games include Limit and No-limit versions of Texas Hold’em, Limit and Pot-limit versions of Omaha (both high and high-low split), Stud, Stud high-low split, Razz, Five-card draw, 2-7 triple-draw, No-limit 2-7 single draw, Badugi, Courchevel, and several variations of “Mixed” games which rotate through several of these variants.
In addition, PokerStars is constantly innovating, offering their players new poker games like Split Hold’em, Power Up, and Fusion. New games don’t always stick, but PokerStars is always trying to push the envelope and keep things interesting.
While PokerStars is their most well-known brand of online poker, The Stars Group also runs the Full Tilt brand and has since purchased Sky Betting & Gaming, and the Sky Poker site (though they have merged this platform and player pool into the PokerStars framework).
FoxBet: expanding and innovating in the sports-betting market
FoxBet, previously BetStars, is The Stars Group’s sports betting brand and is one of the newest of their endeavors. They got a leg-up into the space when they purchased Sky Bet as part of the Sky Betting & Gaming acquisition. Since then, FoxBet has been all about innovation and player experience, focusing heavily on mobile wagering.
FoxBet offers bettors a wide variety of sports games to bet on as well as a wide variety of betting lines to choose from. They offer in-game betting, early cashouts (lock in the equity of your position before the game ends!), and the innovative Odds Boost and Spin & Bet features.
The smooth layout of the app and the bevy of features, games, and lines make it clear that BetStars is serious about offering a great experience to their sports betting players.
PokerStars Casino: Offering slots and table games online
Long ago, the PokerStars poker room had a relatively dinky “casino” attached to it in a clunky manner reminiscent of an afterthought. Those days are long gone.
The current PokerStars Casino is seamlessly integrated with the entire PokerStars suite of offerings and it is massive. They offer their own proprietary games but also offer some of the industry’s most popular offerings from online gaming companies like NetEnt, NYX Gaming, Playtech, Leander, and Microgaming.
The PokerStars Casino slot machine game catalog is enormous, offering players over 400 different titles to choose from. Their table game offerings are also extensive, offering both standard and exotic versions of Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card, Poker and many more.
In addition, PokerStars Casino also offers a decent selection of video poker games including Joker Poker, Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Double-Double Bonus Poker, among others.
In total, the betting options available from the “new and improved” PokerStars is impressive and US players who haven’t seen the brand in eleven years will be surprised and impressed by what’s available.
When did PokerStars PA go live?
PokerStars PA went live in Pennsylvania in November 2019 much to the approval of poker players across the state.
Mount Airy Casino was approved for the licenses that will allow it to provide online poker, online slots, and online table games. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) hasn’t yet gave the final go-ahead to casinos for online sports betting in early 2019, online casinos in the summer of 2019 and finally online poker later that year.
The PGCB likely wait for eligible PA casinos and other QGEs to apply and be approved before giving the green light to start taking bets. This presumably put all license-holders on the same competitive footing. Surely companies who pay hefty taxes and license fees don’t want their competitors to have a head start on wooing the Pennsylvania gaming player base.
What will PokerStars PA be like?
It is important to remember that PokerStars PA won’t be the exact same product as the normal PokerStars.com available all around the world. On that platform, the entirety of the PokerStars player pool can all play with each other in one large virtual poker room.
Unfortunately, when online poker rooms launch in newly regulated markets they are sometimes “ring-fenced” to begin with and this will be the case in Pennsylvania. This means that initially, PokerStars PA will most likely only be allowed to let Pennsylvanians play with other people located within the state.
In the intermediate term, the “ring” will probably be relaxed to include player pools from other states. As an example, New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware currently share a multi-state liquidity agreement allowing player pools in these states to be unified. Currently, the WSOP.com online poker room is the only site able to take advantage of this arrangement but more sites (like PokerStars) should be able to do so in the near future.
As legal online poker (and gaming in general) matures in the US market, it is almost certain that the long-term equilibrium will see PokerStars PA fully integrated with the rest of the PokerStars world-wide player pool. Unfortunately, exactly how long it will take for this situation to normalize is anybody’s guess.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at what PokerStars PA will mostly likely be offering customers right out of the gate.
The former PokerStars PA VIP program
PokerStars uses a tier-based VIP rewards program, with the final rank culminating in the legendary Supernova status. They will probably simply use the same system for PokerStars PA.
Back in 2011, Supernova status players would have over 60% of their rake kicked back to them, making PokerStars the “place to play” for many serious poker grinders. Those days are long gone, and the current rewards program is much more modest, though recreational players will still find it attractive and competitive.
Players still earn (through their play) cash and prizes with the new StarCoin program, but the actual cash rakeback program has been scaled way back. Most high-volume players earn no more than 20% rakeback and Supernova players earn only 28% rakeback (now under the new Cumulative Monthly Rebates program)
PokerStars PA promotions and bonuses
We can’t say for sure what kinds of sign-up and deposit bonuses will be available when PokerStars PA launches, but what’s on offer next door at PokerStars NJ is a good indicator.
Right now, PokerStars NJ offers the same generous deposit bonuses that players might remember from PokerStars back in 2011. Currently players can receive a 100% bonus up to $600 on new deposits. PokerStars NJ also offers $30 in freeplay when depositing $20 or more.
There is no obvious reason bonuses would be different at PokerStars PA once the site goes live in Pennsylvania.
Check back here for updated information
As online poker continues to evolve in Pennsylvania, be sure to check back here at pennonlinecasinos.com for more details about PokerStars games, bonuses, the VIP program, and other details specifically applicable to Pennsylvanians.