Online Casino Games Pennsylvania
In July 2019, gamblers in the Keystone State saw three casinos release an online platform with game libraries full of slots, table games, and video poker. Over time, we have seen more casinos launch sites and online poker finally join the party! Since 2018, any gaming operator in Pennsylvania has legally been able to set up an online casino so players have been very patient.
PA online casinos offer a large variety of slots and table games including favorites like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. PokerStars was the first online casino to offer a poker platform to players for real money, and live dealer games have also become available at most of the PA sites. The following guide breaks down every game you can expect to see at any of the online casinos in the state and how to play.
In the last ten years, online poker has become a global sensation for gamblers, increasing by the millions year after year. It is the mothership of online gambling providing players with different variations like Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, and worldwide tournaments with guaranteed prize pools. As players in PA finally see online poker launch, rumors begin wondering if Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey governments will reach an agreement to allow player pooling between all four states.
If you want to play online poker in PA:
- Must be 21 years or older to play - sites will be required to verify identification.
- Players must be inside state lines to play for real money - sites will be required to verify player location within borders of Pennsylvania.
The following four sites are currently seen as frontrunners due to connections attained inside the Keystone state:
- Pokerstars - Official partnership with Mount Airy and currently the #1 poker operator in the world. The first online casino in PA to offer online poker and get the ball rolling!
- 888 Poker/WSOP.com - Owns interstate poker network in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware that PA is expected to join, and also has links to Mount Airy and Harrah's casinos.
- GVC/Partypoker.com - Expanding reach in the United States due to multiple partnerships like with Boyd Gaming.
- Rush Street Interactive - Both casinos under Rush have applied and received online gaming licenses and are also rumored to have developed their own poker software.
Right now, 10/12 casinos in Pennsylvania offer poker rooms with a total of 225 tables.
Due to the fact that slots are the most loved game among players, it's no surprise that all of the online casinos feature lots of slot games! From exclusive online slots to online versions of PA land-based casino slot games, players have over 100+ different slots to choose from. Players will also expect fixed and progressive jackpots as well as themed PA online slots based on popular movies and TV shows. You can also experiment with demo versions but can wager real money online at any time.
Types of online slot machines players can expect to see with the launch of online casinos in PA:
- Classic 3-Reel Slots
- Bonus Video Slots
- Pick 'Em Bonus
- Buy a Bonus
- Stacked/Cascading Wilds
- Bonus Wheel
- Themed Slots
All online slots in PA are monitored by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board who put the games through a variety of tests to ensure everything is kept fair for players.
One of the most popular casino games around the world, the player's goal is simply to beat the dealer. Its popularity is accounted for its very high chance that the player will beat the house.
In PA, blackjack rules are authorized by the PGCB and include:
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- Double down on any two cards
- Split up to three hands (except aces)
- Double down after splits
- Late surrender, half the bet is allowed to be given up when the dealer doesn't have blackjack.
These rules are followed to ensure house edge stays low to around 0.40 percent, giving a return to player rate of 99.6%.
Online casinos in PA are following the same rules as land-based venues when it comes to how blackjack is played.
Another casino game that is known worldwide, roulette has rules that are easy to follow with good payouts. The game is either played with an American or European wheel which has a big impact on the house edge as the European wheel has a single green zero, whereas American features both a green zero and green double zero.
House edge for American roulette is 5.26% with an RTP of 94.74% versus 2.7% house edge and 97.3% RTP for European.
The outcome of what a player has wagered is all decided by where the ball falls in the wheel. Players wager on numbers and red or black, the colors of the numbered slots on the wheel, and the ball is rolled inside the opposite direction of the way the wheel is spun. If given the option, always go for European Roulette!
Baccarat is a casino card game played between two hands, the “Banker” and “Player”. There are different versions that can involve different sized tables and minimum bets but the basic gameplay is always the same.
- Dealers deal out two hands consisting of two cards, one to “banker” and one to “player”. Players then bet on which hand will end up closer to a value of nine or tie, the banker or player.
- 10s and face cards mean nothing, aces are worth 1 point, and the rest of the values are represented on each card. If a hand ends up adding to more than 10 points, only second digits are used.
- Another card is dealt if the “player” hand is five or less and if a third card is dealt to the “player,” the dealer will draw according to the rules set in place for the set game.
- There is a 5% commission charge on winning banker bets but there are versions that allow a zero commission.
RTP for Baccarat is 98.94% on “banker” bets, 98.76% on “player” bets, and 85.6% on ties.
Known as the most social game inside PA casinos, craps is a dice game where players bet on the outcome of what they roll. While the online version lacks the social atmosphere players get in a casino, it’s a great way for players to learn the game at their own pace.
- Players start with betting on the pass line or don't pass. What the player rolls decide what will happen next.
- If the dice come out to seven or eleven, all pass lines are paid and don’t-pass bets lose. A crap out occurs when a two, three, or twelve is rolled and don’t pass bets are paid, pass line bets lose.
- Anything else rolled establishes the point where the player continues to rolls until the point is hit or “craps out” at seven.
- Once a point is established, players can choose to make and odds bet up to a posted maximum where the bet is paid at true odds if the point is rolled out before the player “craps out.”
- Players also have the option to bet on a variety of numbers and groups of numbers before each roll with payout rates displayed on the table.
Craps is the fastest moving casino game and gives players the chance to wager on dozens of options, usually requiring a larger bankroll than other table games.
The RTP on crap bets depends on the bet but basic pass-line bets equate to an RTP of 98.59%.
Pennsylvania Online Casino Bonuses
In order to attract and keep customers, it can be expected that all PA online casinos will offer a wide variety of new player bonuses, including a no deposit bonus just for players creating a newly registered account, as well as a 100% deposit match bonus.
PA online casinos will also offer a variety of customer retention bonuses that can include things like game-specific bonuses, volume, and deposit bonuses and also casino loyalty programs that give players the chance to earn loyalty points.
Most of the bonuses will come with wagering requirements that will force gamblers to wager with the bonus a certain amount before it can be withdrawn.
Online Gambling License in PA
Today, Pennsylvania has 12 existing casinos with another under construction that is expected to open in 2020. The state has quickly grown since seeing online gambling legalized in the summer of 2019 and has become the second highest-grossing casino economy in the US, right behind Nevada.
For a casino to attain an interactive gaming license, each came at a fee of $4 million. However, when the initial offer started in 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board offered a package deal of all three licenses for $10 million total, (this deal no longer exists).
The PGCB needs casinos to meet three essential requirements in order to start the Interactive Gaming License Process:
- The QGE (a casino currently licensed to offer to gamble in any district) must hold a license in or outside of the United States as well as a licensed slot machine.
- The license must be in good standing and not still under review.
- The QGE must show financial stability and the ability to pay the $4 million required for online gambling documentation.
The following casinos took the package offer:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Valley Forge
- Sands Bethlehem
- Mount Airy
Three casinos in Pennsylvania have chosen to stay offline: The Meadows, Lady Luck Nemacolin, and Rivers.