PokerStars is not only poker; it is also an online casino and sportsbook. Besides being the largest poker site in the world, PokerStars is the only regulated online poker site operating in Pennsylvania. But while PokerStars is firstly a poker site and poker is what it is primarily known for, poker isn’t the site’s only offering.
PokerStars PA and NJ conveniently offers three betting platforms to its customers: poker, casino and sports betting. Additionally, PokerStars is expected to launch soon in West Virginia and Michigan.
PokerStars offers online and mobile casino gambling through its partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort and Resorts in Atlantic City. This PokerStars Casino review covers the first deposit bonus, how to fund your account and available games.
PokerStars PA Casino offers new players a three tiered 100% deposit bonus worth up to $1,500 over 3 deposits. Each bonus has its own promo code as follows:
Here’s how the PokerStars PA Casino welcome bonus works:
Deposit $25 or more with the code ‘WELCOME1’ and you will receive a 100% match deposit bonus up to $500.
Next, deposit $25 or more with the code ‘WELCOME2’ for 100% match deposit bonus up to $500. The deposit must be made within 14 days of the first deposit. In addition, you will receive a Mystery Chest containing a slots bonus worth up to $500 that can be used to play any of the site’s slot games.
Finally, deposit $25 or more using the code ‘WELCOME3’ for another 100% match deposit bonus up to $500. This deposit must be made within 14 days of your second deposit. You will also receive another chance to open a Mystery Chest offering an up to $500 slots bonus.
Please read the offers terms & conditions for further qualifying requirements. Also, note bonus code field in cashier image in screenshot images section below.
Players earn rewards points when they wager real money on games. However, as a PokerStars player, you will earn them at different rates depending on the game’s return to player (RTP). The higher the RTP, the more you will have to wager to earn the reward points.
So, this is true for slot games.
For example, you will earn points faster with a slot game that has a 94% RTP than with a slot that has a 96% RTP. However, you will be less likely to win.
Table gameplay, especially blackjack, is rewarded at a significantly lower rate than slot play.
When you accumulate enough reward points, you will receive a virtual chest full of rewards. Depending on your play, there are six levels of chests you can earn.
For each successive level, the chest’s value increases as follows:
The contents of the chests are individualized, depending on each person’s playing preferences. Some or all of your rewards might be in the form of “StarsCoins.” Each StarsCoin is worth 1 cent.
You can exchange the StarsCoins in your chest for items in the online store, such as PokerStars’ brand clothing and accessories.
Or, if you prefer, you can convert your StarsCoins into online poker tournament tickets or VIP cash rebates. Some of the rewards that poker players receive might already be in the form of tournament invitations, while casino players might receive a bonus to use on their favorite games.
You can check your online progress bar at any time to see how close you are to qualifying for the next level of rewards. Players must earn at least one chest in the next 28 days to maintain their current chest level; otherwise, they will drop one level.
However, those who earn 10 chests within 28 days will move up to the next level.
The progress bar resets to zero after three months of player inactivity.
The PokerStars PA website is patterned after PokerStars’ New Jersey gambling website affiliated with Resorts Casino & Hotel in Atlantic City.
Like the NJ website, PokerStars PA uses the same proprietary software as PokerStars’ overseas website.
Pennsylvania players have two options depending on whether they wish to access the site and play online or on their mobile devices.
If you wish to access and use the site on your computer, you will need to download the PokerStars PA software.
The software includes platforms for both poker and casino games. If your computer is up to date, the software should run fine.
PokerStars also offers a combined poker and casino app for both iOS and Android devices.
Apple users can download the iOS app from the Apple App Store.
Players using an Android device can download the app directly from the PokerStars website.
Virtually all of the account management features available to you online are also available through the PokerStars mobile app.
For example, there is a drop-down menu that provides access to such features as settings, the cashier and the VIP store.
Other commendable features of the mobile app include fast-loading time, superior graphics and a user-friendly layout that enables on-the-go players to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for the selection of casino games available for mobile play, which is extremely limited.
Once you have downloaded the software, the next step is to create an account. To get started, click on the “Create an Account” button in the lobby.
Then you must do the following:
As soon as PokerStars has verified your identity and geolocation, you can start playing.
However, when you log in to play, the screen opens to the ongoing poker games and tournaments by default. To switch to the casino, click on the “Casino” tab.
If you are new to online casino gambling or wish to play a game that is unfamiliar to you or you’re not sure you want to risk real money yet, PokerStars gives you the option to play most games in demo mode.
However, when you are ready to start playing for real money, you will need to make a deposit (see the section below on banking), and you must be within Pennsylvania state lines.
One more thing: When you make your first deposit, don’t forget to claim your welcome bonus. Read the terms and conditions carefully and double-check with customer support whether you can clear the bonus with certain casino games.
PokerStars, as the name implies, is primarily a site for poker players. However, many online poker players also like to play casino games.
So, with those players in mind, as well as casino players who would like to play a little poker on the side (and bet on sports, too), PokerStars can serve as a convenient one-stop-gambling site.
A single log-in to your account gives you full access to all three platforms, so you can easily switch back and forth as often as you like.
Both the downloadable desktop software and the mobile app have the casino platform built into the poker platform. However, the selection of casino games on the app is much more limited.
The easy-to-navigate website organizes the various casino games into the following categories:
The information here is about the game offerings within each category for desktop computer players.
Mobile players should keep checking to see what their options are, as the number of games supported by the mobile app will hopefully increase over time.
As of this writing, PokerStars offers a total of 162 slot games.
It may seem like a lot, but compared to some online casinos that offer more than 500 slots, PokerStars is a relatively small online casino. Unfortunately, the number of slots you can play on the mobile casino app is considerably lower.
On the plus side, desktop players can choose from a wide variety of slots, many of which might be already familiar to you if you play slots on other gambling websites. Top online slot manufacturers, such as NetEnt and NextGen, are well represented.
For example, some of the NetEnt slots that might appeal to you include:
In addition, One Can 2 Can, Cash Stampede and Doctor Love are some of the slots from NextGen.
If you like slots with popular TV show-themes, check out slots like Baywatch and The $100,000 Pyramid, by IGT.
If you are looking for a particular slot title, the listings are in alphabetical order to make them easy to navigate. Also, there is a separate display of “New Slots” and “Jackpot Slots.”
At present, PokerStars only offers one progressive jackpot slot, Divine Fortune, by NetEnt. But for those who like to play jackpot slots, it is an excellent choice.
Most progressive jackpot slots have a lower than average return to player (RTP). In other words, while chasing the elusive huge jackpot, other wins tend to be few and far between.
But with Divine Fortune, it is not the case. Divine Fortune’s RTP is 96.6%.
All the games have a section on how to play, including a description of terms for new players.
However, notably missing is a brief description of each game. This summary could save players a lot of time when checking out games they haven’t played before, which may or may not be their cup of tea.
Card and table games on PokerStars.com are organized according to the following categories:
Blackjack is by far the most popular table game both at brick-and-mortar casinos and online. So, it is nice to see that it is well represented on PokerStars. In fact, for a small casino, the present offering of nine varieties of blackjack is quite impressive.
The following is a brief description of each variation:
This game is available in both a single-player and multiplayer format.
At the single-player tables, you can play up to five hands at a time. Or, if you prefer, you can select a multiplayer table with other players. Typically, online casinos do not offer this option except for live dealer games. Still, PokerStars gives you the same opportunity for social interaction in classic blackjack, which is played without a live dealer but offers better rules.
You can only occupy one betting position at a multiplayer table. Another difference from the single-player tables is that it includes a time limit in which each player must act. The time limit ensures that the game moves along smoothly at a suitable pace.
However, if you are unsure how to play a particular hand, you are free to use the live chat option to seek advice from other players.
The minimum bet on classic blackjack is only 10 cents, and the maximum is $100.
Like classic blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack is available in both a single-player and multiplayer format.
Atlantic City Premium Blackjack is the same game but played with four decks and with higher limits.
This game is almost identical to Atlantic City Blackjack and Atlantic City Premium Blackjack.
Since it is played with six decks, rather than eight or four, the RTP is slightly higher than for Atlantic City Blackjack and slightly lower than for Atlantic City Premium Blackjack.
Players can choose either a single-player or multiplayer format.
This game is similar to classic blackjack. However, players lose not only the original bet, but also double-downs and splits when the dealer shows a blackjack.
The reason why the house edge is lower than in classic blackjack is that the European version is played with six decks rather than eight and late surrender is permitted.
Like Atlantic City Blackjack, the European blackjack is also available in a premium version with higher limits.
All of the above games have some rules that favor the player and others that favor the house. The two games with the highest RTP (lowest house edge) are Double Deck Blackjack and Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack.
Classic blackjack has a higher house edge than the other blackjack games at PokerStars, but the minimum bet is only 10 cents. So, it is an excellent choice for low-stakes players just learning the game.
For more information on this game, see the section on live dealer games.
More than any other online blackjack game, live dealer blackjack replicates the real casino playing experience since it offers the opportunity for social interaction with both the dealer and other players.
However, in return for the added entertainment, the game has more restrictive rules and a higher house edge.
Regardless of which of the nine blackjack varieties you decide to play, make sure you apply the correct basic strategy.
The PokerStars website includes a basic strategy chart that you might find helpful. However, keep in mind that different rules might have a bearing on the correct way to play certain hands. This information is readily available online.
One technique that will not work in any of the games is card counting.
In all of the online blackjack games except for live dealer blackjack, the cards are reshuffled after every hand. In live dealer blackjack, half of the cards in the eight-deck shoe are never dealt.
Beginners are strongly advised to practice in demo mode before attempting to play for real money. PokerStars offers this option on all of the blackjack games except for live dealer blackjack.
Frequent roulette players will be disappointed to see that PokerStars only offers two varieties of this game: European roulette and live dealer roulette.
European roulette is the better of the two games because the wheel only has one zero. The house edge is 2.7%.
The options for video poker players are also much more limited than what many other online casinos offer.
Video poker games include the following:
Live dealer games have been popular in European online casinos for a long time. Until recently, they have been hard to find in the US.
The difference between the other multiplayer casino games on PokerStars.com and live dealer games is that only the latter include a real live dealer.
The live dealer games at PokerStars consist of blackjack, American roulette and baccarat.
This game is American roulette, as distinguished from the European version.
Because the wheel has a single and double zero, and the house edge is almost twice as high, 5.26% instead of 2.7%, it is best to avoid live dealer roulette.
Multiplayer European roulette is a much better option.
If you stick to the basic bank or player bets and avoid the optional side bets, this game has an RTP of 98.94%.
PokerStars Casino PA offers only one other game: Heads-Up Hold’em.
It is available as a single-player and multiplayer version, with a minimum bet of 10 cents and a max of $100. Heads-Up Hold’em is best suited for small players.
See the casino website for the rules and how to play.
All of the information about banking is on the poker platform rather than the casino platform.
PokerStars casino players can fund their online account with any of the following safe and secure deposit methods.
The minimum deposit is $10; however, the maximum deposit and amount of time required for the money to become available will vary.
To help you decide which deposit method is best for you, we also list the pros and cons of each:
*Both e-checks and credit or debit cards come with relatively low deposit limits.
The indicated deposit limit for e-checks is only $750 per 24 hours and $5,000 per 30 days.
The indicated deposit limit for credit and debit cards is even lower: $640 per 24 hours and $2,000 per 30 days.
Many bettors will want an option that allows more substantial deposits.
Note: A fast-deposit option allows the depositing process can be expedited; however, it won’t work with e-checks. There is still a 10-day waiting period before the player can have access to the funds.
Many of the deposit methods you can also use for withdrawal.
You can use Mastercard and Visa credit or debit cards, PayNearMe and PokerStars online banking for deposits.
Also, some banking methods can only be used for withdrawal when the same approach has been used for the deposit.
The PokerStars website does have a section on withdrawals. However, rather than being centralized in one easy-to-read location, it is necessary to open multiple tabs.
Instead, a table indicating for each method the minimum and maximum amounts, length of processing time and applicable fees, if any, would be most helpful.
Depending on the method selected, withdrawals can take anywhere from three to 10 business days from the time you request to the time the money becomes available to you. The exception is if you make the trip to Mount Airy Casino or Resorts in Atlantic City, where you can get the money instantly.
Missing from the website is any indication of minimum and maximum amounts and applicable fees, if any, for each method.
The site includes a “Help Center” where PokerStars’ players will find answers to many frequently asked questions.
However, if you need additional help, you can complete a contact support form. You can request a callback if you send your request between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST. Outside of those hours, you will receive a response by email.
There isn’t a direct phone number or live chat option available.