Pennsylvania Online Casinos

Pennsylvania has always been one step ahead of others, even when gambling is in question. The first type of gambling that was legalized in 1959 was horse racing. Then came the state lottery in 1972, bingo in 1988, and casino in 2004 right after the creation of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Today, gambling is seen as a way of boosting the economy, improving the state’s financial deficit, and providing more people with job opportunities. Pennsylvania is one of the first states to legalize almost every form of gambling — the only gambling activities that are still illegal in the Keystone State are betting on greyhound races and live dealer casino games.

Read our review to learn about the current legal situation regarding online casinos in Pennsylvania.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Pennsylvania?

Gambling has been present in the Keystone State for quite some time. Pennsylvania’s residents have been able to partake in all sorts of gambling activities for more than a decade, and now, they have the opportunity to enjoy the offering of various online gambling platforms.

On October 26, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed the H 271 — a bill that made online gambling legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Here is what the bill introduced:

  • Online casinos (table games and slots)
  • Online poker
  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Online lottery
  • Video gambling terminal at a couple of truck stops
  • Tablet gaming in several airports
  • Mini-casinos

Additionally, this bill provided regulation for sports betting, both retail and online, in case it became legal at the federal level. Once the H 271 bill was approved by the Senate and introduced into the law, the state of Pennsylvania was given permission to legalize and regulate the above-mentioned activities.

The law states that real-money casino platforms can operate only in cooperation with existing land-based casinos. All the legal online casino sites are approved, vetted, and overseen by the PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board).

In 2018, after the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Pennsylvania legalized sports betting.

Currently, there are three types of online gambling licenses the state of Pennsylvania issues:

  • Slot machines
  • House-banked table games
  • Peer-to-peer games and poker

Online Casino Platforms in Pennsylvania

At the moment of writing this article, there are ten online casinos that offer various gambling activities to PA players:

  • Bally Casino
  • BetMGM Casino
  • BetParx Casino
  • BetRivers Casino
  • Betway Casino
  • Borgata Casino
  • Caesars Sportsbook & Casino
  • Caesarslace Online Casino
  • DraftKings Casino
  • FanDuel Casino
  • Golden Nugget Casino
  • Hollywood Casino
  • PlayLive! Casino
  • PlaySugarHouse Casino
  • PointsBet Casino
  • PokerStars Casino
  • Stardust Casino
  • Tropicana Casino
  • Unibet Casino
  • Wind Creek Casino

Each of these platforms holds a license to operate and has partnered up with a local brick-and-mortar casino. Every casino has a wide range of online slots and table and card games. Additionally, they offer enticing welcome offers to all new players who’d like to join.

Currently, the only form of casino games that isn’t available to PA players is the live dealer casino. However, with the state adapting its laws and regulations regularly, this type of gambling might soon be legalized.

What Other Types of Online Gambling Are Legal in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania was the fourth state, and the largest one, to legalize online gambling. Online casinos were the first ones to have a crack at the gambling licenses. Afterward, the Keystone State introduced online sports betting into the law. Soon after, online poker became a legal gambling activity as well.

Currently, PA players have the opportunity to enjoy a vast selection of sports betting opportunities on top-notch online sportsbooks — FanDuel, DraftKings Sportsbook, BetRivers, FoxBet. Bettors can place bets on sports and sporting events such as the NLF, NBA, MLB, hockey, horse racing, golf, tennis, etc.

The last one to join the party was online poker. For now, the only licensed poker platform that operates in the state of Pennsylvania is PokerStars. However, another two poker websites are set to launch soon in PA — Party Poker and

Online Blackjack Basics

The objective of blackjack is simple — players need to get as close as possible to 21 without busting (going over) and have a higher hand total than the dealer. If you go over 21, you lose the game, and the same applies to the dealer.

Hand Values

Before you start playing, it is vital to understand what determines hand values. Each card has a specific value, depending on its rank. For instance, numbered cards (2–10) carry the same value as their rank, and there are 36 of them in the deck. On the other hand, face cards (jack, queen, and king) count as 10. Aces are flexible, as they can be valued as one or 11, whichever brings you closer to 21.

Your blackjack hand is the sum of these values. If you are lucky to be dealt 10 and 11 as your initial cards, you have a blackjack or natural. As a result, you win automatically and get paid 3:2. In case of winning with some other hand total, you’ll be paid even money.


Each player receives two face-up cards when joining an online blackjack table. Meanwhile, the dealer takes one face-up and one face-down card. After that, you must settle on one of the following moves:

  • Hit — Taking one more card from the deck.
  • Stand — Not taking/adding more cards to your hand total.
  • Double down — Doubling your bet before the dealer gives you another card, giving you a chance to earn more money in a single go.
  • Split — If you receive two cards with identical values (for example, two 7s), you can split them into two separate hands and receive two more cards. Then, you can continue hitting or doubling down on each hand. The good news is that even if one hand busts, you can continue playing with the other.
  • Surrender — When you are dealt a bad hand, opt to surrender rather than hit or stand. This will deduct 50% of your initial bet, but at least you won’t lose it all.
  • Insurance (side-betting) — You can place an insurance side-bet when the dealer’s card is an ace if you believe their other face-down card has a 10-point value.

Benefits of Playing Online Blackjack in Pennsylvania

Online blackjack offers several major advantages unmatched by any land-based casino in Pennsylvania. Let’s unpack them and see why it is worth your time.

  • Convenience — The most obvious perk is that you can enjoy this casino classic without leaving the comfort of your home. All you need is a mobile device or a PC, and you get access to the best real-money games from top-of-the-line online casinos.
  • Accessibility and anonymity — You can access and play your favorite blackjack variation in a matter of seconds on an online platform, which is pretty handy for those who live far from land-based casinos. Furthermore, online gambling allows you to sit at a virtual table without revealing your identity, which is ideal for players who want to feel comfortable without being judged solely for their skill level.
  • Attractive promotions — Online casino promotional lineups are much more abundant than the perks you can get at brick-and-mortar venues. Operators typically reward new members with lucrative welcome bonuses worth several thousand dollars and incentivize regulars with reloads, cashbacks, and VIP programs.
  • Free games — Playing blackjack in demo mode allows you to move at your own pace and try different strategies. Use this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of your preferred blackjack game without risking a dime.
  • Change tables — If you wish to change a table in a land-based casino, you may have to wait for other seats to become available. Luckily, you can change a table in online blackjack instantly.
  • Play head-to-head with a dealer — Online blackjack allows you to play the game one-on-one with a dealer, which is way more beneficial than doing it against a full table. You may come across an inexperienced player making bad calls, stands, or hits, ultimately ruining your strategy and chances of winning. This is something you can avoid in an online head-to-head game.
  • Budget-friendly — PA online casinos are an excellent choice for those on a budget since you can find tables with bets as low as $0.10.

Popular Blackjack Variations in PA

As a globally popular game, it’s no wonder blackjack has hundreds of variations. Most of them stick to the same basic game rules, with small deviations, and these are the most widespread variants in Pennsylvania.

European Blackjack

This blackjack variant typically uses two decks, but you can also stumble upon games that feature four or six decks. In American blackjack, the dealer peeks at their hidden card when the up card is a 10 or ace. However, in European blackjack, the dealer is not required to do so since they get one card. Meanwhile, the hole card is dealt after all the participants have acted.

In this variation, blackjack pays 3:2, and the dealer has to stand on soft 17. Players are allowed to split a pair only once and double down on hands with a total of nine, ten, or eleven. The game is unique in that you lose if the dealer has a natural and you have a total of 21 with other cards.


Pontoon is the British version of blackjack, sharing many aspects with the American variant. However, this game has several elements that make it a bit more interesting. Players are dealt one card and make their bets before receiving the other one. Then, the game follows the standard blackjack rules, except players use the term “twist” instead of “hit.” The best hand in Pontoon is having five cards that equal 21 or less, which automatically doubles your winnings.

Atlantic City Blackjack

Inspired by the famous gambling destination Atlantic City, this blackjack game follows the same basic rules. However, one distinguishable feature is that it uses eight decks, and late surrender is allowed, which means you can forfeit half of your original wager. The game pays 3:2, and the dealer can peek for blackjack and stand on soft 17. Additionally, you can split pairs up to three times and double down on either of the first two cards.

Vegas Strip

This game originally used one deck of cards, but nowadays, it employs four. The objective and card values follow the standard blackjack game, but in Vegas Strip, you can double down on any two cards and split to a maximum of four hands. Moreover, you can split 10-value cards, which is a rarity. As for the dealer’s play, they must stand on soft 17 and peek for blackjack. This variation also pays 3:2.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

Although blackjack is a game of chance, you can follow the basic strategy to increase your winning chances and even reduce the house edge. Here’s how:

  • Always stand on a hard 17 or higher.
  • Never split two face cards, as you’ll be ditching a high possibility of winning with a 20.
  • Split a hand of Aces or 8s since they give you a better chance of making a winning hand.
  • Avoid betting on insurance since it’s nearly impossible to predict whether the dealer’s face-down card has a value of 10.
  • Assume that the dealer’s hidden card has a value of 10.
  • The dealer is more likely to bust if their face-up card is six or lower.
  • Hit on a soft 17.
  • Double down on 11.

Finding the Right Blackjack Table on PA Gambling Sites

It is crucial to scout blackjack tables before you register and make a deposit. Different operators may have their own rules, shuffling procedures, numbers of decks, and maximum and minimum betting limits. Small nuances may greatly influence your potential profits, so always consider the following:

  • Look for the games with a 3:2 payout, and avoid those that pay 6:5, as this increases a house edge by roughly 1.39%.
  • Opt for the games allowing early and late surrender, as it lowers the house edge by 0.6%.
  • Choose the blackjack variations where the dealer stands on soft 17; otherwise, the house edge increases by 0.2%
  • Find a game where you can re-split aces because this boosts your chances by 0.6% according to the basic blackjack strategy.
  • Stay away from games using continuous shuffling machines (CSM) because they combine a dealing shoe and an automatic card shuffler.
  • Pick a variant with fewer decks. A rule of thumb is that the more the decks, the higher the house edge.

Land-Based Casino Options in Pennsylvania

Before online casinos, there were land-based casinos — 12 of them, to be precise. They have all been active for quite some time and they offer traditional casino games but are always looking to improve their selection.

Below, we have mentioned some of the brick-and-mortar casino options you can opt for whenever you’re in the Keystone State:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia — Operated by Caesars Entertainment, this casino offers over 2,000 slot machines and video poker games. Additionally, it has a good range of table games and a sports betting hall.
  • Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Course — Recognized as one of the best casinos in Pennsylvania, this casino offers around 2,500 slot titles, more than 60 table games, and a selection of video poker opportunities.
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino — Without a doubt, this is the largest casino in the Keystone State. The Meadows has a selection of over 3,000 slot games, more than 60 table games, and 14 poker tables available to all visitors.
  • Parx Casino and Racing — With jaw-dropping 3,300 slot games, 180 table games, and 48 poker tables, this casino offers an amazing casino experience to all players.
  • Rivers Casino — Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, it offers over 2,900 slot machines, along with over 100 table games and 30 poker tables.
  • SugarHouse Casino — Even though in size, it can’t be compared to other casino establishments, this establishment is still among the most popular options among casino players. It has over 1,800 slot machines and over 130 table and poker games.
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono — With more than 2,300 slot game titles and 90 table game choices, Mohegan Sun offers an immersive casino experience.

Most of these land-based casinos already have their online counterparts, and more might come in the future.


Yes. As long as you stick to a state-approved casino, you have nothing to worry about. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the main regulatory body overseeing this industry, regularly tests casino games to ensure they adhere to specified standards. Plus, players are protected by KYC guidelines and responsible gaming laws.

Yes, in 2017, the state of Pennsylvania introduced the legislation that made online gambling (online casinos and online poker) legal. In July 2019, the first online casino platforms went live so you can enjoy web-based blackjack as long as you are at least 21 years old.

Online poker was legalized along with online casinos in 2017. Currently, there are seven casinos that have poker licenses. Poker players have the opportunity to play different versions of online poker, claim bonuses, and participate in numerous online tournaments.

In order to participate in any form of gambling, you need to be older than 21 in the state of Pennsylvania.

At the moment, there is no law that prohibits offshore casinos from accepting players from Pennsylvania. However, you might encounter some difficulties if you want to play in an offshore casino. For example, American banks are legally obliged to block all payments players try to make in offshore casinos.

Pennsylvania is home to 12 land-based casinos that offer casino games, poker, horse racing, and sports betting. Additionally, players located in Pennsylvania can participate in the state lottery and bingo.